8/7 Dolphins Camp, Thoughts and Interviews
The Dolphins held practice yesterday at Nova Southeastern University. Check out this article for my thoughts on Dolphins camp, the team, and also for some great interviews. I had a chance to speak and ask questions to defensive backs, Nolan Carroll and Dimitri Patterson, tight end Dustin Keller, offensive lineman Nate Garner, running back Lamar Miller, and wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Lamar Miller didn’t get many reps at practice due to a possible lingering injury. Jonas Gray and Mike Gillislee earned a lot of reps, and it will only help the both of them continue their seasons. Mike Wallace stepped into 11-on-11s today, and received a great pass from QB Ryan Tannehill. On the defensive side of the ball, I came away very impressed with FS Chris Clemons. In a crowded secondary, it will be very interesting to see who stays and who leaves. They also added two rookie defensive backs through the NFL Draft this year.
There were reports on Tuesday of Tannehill throwing three interceptions in practice. This is nothing to worry about. Often times in practice, players take risks throwing the ball. They know that the only way to improve a weakness is to work on it. Practice is time devoted to working on weaknesses. Another thing to note, Tannehill and new $60MIL acquisition, wide receiver Mike Wallace connected on a 40+ yard pass. Wallace beat Nolan Carroll in the one-on-one coverage, but Carroll was clearly lined up very close to Wallace on the play.
The interviews were great. They are with Nolan Carroll, Mike Wallace, Lamar Miller, Dustin Keller, Nate Garner, and Dimitri Patterson.
Something interesting was Philbin’s quote about the tackling in the Hall of Fame game. “Obviously nobody in the building or the organization is happy with the way we tackled starting with me.” No matter what level the game is played at, it always takes time to get used to playing in full pads.
DB Nolan Carroll Interview: Follow @CarrollCity
Strauss: How did everything go out here today?
Nolan Carroll: It’s good so far. We’re just getting ready for Jacksonville.
Strauss: You’re from the Jacksonville area, what’s it mean to go back home for this game?
Nolan Carroll: I’m going to treat it like another game. I don’t want to be caught up in this is me coming back home. I am going to treat it like any other game.
Strauss: How are you getting better throughout practice?
Nolan Carroll: I am just trying to work on my fundamentals, my technique, and my awareness. I want to know the situations in practice since we’re constantly going through reps. That’s really the biggest thing.
WR Mike Wallace Interview: Follow @Wallace17_daKid
Strauss: How does this offense complement your strengths?
Mike Wallace: We are stretching the field. That’s what we do. That’s what I do. Coach [Philbin] brought me here to open up the offense. It compliments me, and hopefully, I compliment [the offense].
RB Lamar Miller Interview: Follow @MillerTime_6
Strauss: It’s now your time to step up in this offense, how do you feel about this?
Lamar Miller: I’m trying to do anything to help the team win. I try to do whatever the coaches tell me to do in meetings.
Strauss: What’s it like to be on this team for a 2nd year, and in the same offense?
Lamar Miller: Everything is going great in my 2nd year. I enjoy just playing with the guys, and I’m used to the blocking scheme and just the playbook. Everything is coming along really well.
TE Dustin Keller Interview: Follow @DustinKeller81
Strauss: What are you doing differently in Miami that you wouldn’t be doing in New York right now?
Dustin Keller: I think it’s a lot of the same things. I’m trying to get better in the run-game and the pass-game and clean up a lot of things.
Strauss: It is important for a tight end to contribute blocking the ball. How do you get better at blocking?
Dustin Keller: Just going back to the fundamentals. Working on your footwork, your hand placement, the grand scheme of things really. I have still ways to go, but I feel that going back to the fundamentals is the best thing for me.
Strauss: You have two young tight ends on the Dolphins. What type of role do you have? How do you help them get better?
Dustin Keller: One thing I try to do is accelerate their learning. Things that normally would take a year of ups-and-downs of learning. If I see it right then and there, I’ll let them know about how I would do it, and I let them know how I see it.
OL Nate Garner Interview: Follow @Nate_Garner_75
Strauss: How’s training camp going so far for you this year?
Nate Garner: It’s going well man. I’m just trying to get better everyday and keep improving on my craft.
Strauss: How do you plan to get better?
Nate Garner: I stay out here and do a little extra work. I’m also doing the little things like working on my fundamentals to get better everyday.
Strauss: What do you see out of your fellow offensive lineman?
Nate Garner: Everyone works hard. They’re working really hard. Everyone is out here busting their butts everyday. They’re trying to get better.
Strauss: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from Coach Philbin in his tenure?
Nate Garner: Attention to details. He loves that. He pays attention to them, and he wants us to pay attention to them, and so we can improve every day.
DB Dimitri Patterson Interview:
Strauss: How are the other defensive backs on the Dolphins helping you grow as a player?
Dimitri Patterson: I think everyone is feeding off each other and feeding off the energy, and feeding off everyone sharing their thoughts and how they view certain things, and its helping everybody.
Strauss: What is the most important thing for you to work on during camp?
Dimitri Patterson: For me, it is just consistency. That’s the most important thing. I don’t want to be up and down. I want to have good days, steady days.
The Miami Dolphins continue to improve. They’re focusing on details and working together to become better. They have the mentality and the firepower to dethrone the usual division winners, the New England Patriots, and it all starts with practicing and putting forth the most effort in Training Camp.