As hard as this regime has worked to rebuild the Miami Dolphins' offensive line it appears injuries keep getting in the way of the Dolphins putting together a forceful offensive line.
While starting left guard Justin Smiley is back to work earlier than expected, it appears Donald Thomas is battling a serious pectoral injury.
I'm not a doctor (I only play one inside the newspaper), but the last I knew pectoral injuries take months to heal, and usually saps a player's strength because he can't lift weights.
Thomas stretched with the team at the beginning of Tuesday's OTA session then immediately walked off when the action got started. Brandon Frye, not Ikechuku Ndukwe, worked with the starting line in Thomas' place.
Joe Berger was the second team center because Andy Alleman also didn't practice.
Despite the absence of Thomas, the offensive line was opening up some nice holes. A couple of the running backs made nice runs during the OTA, which don't feature any tackling.
After a certain period we have to shut down all the electronic equipment, so I'll finish off my observations on this blog entry.
WR Greg Camarillo participated in all of the individual work, but was shelved when it came time to do the team drills. However, he did get a few runs in during one team session. As I reported on my tweets, Davone Bess is the receiver who continues to accompany Ted Ginn Jr. working with the first team.
Speaking of Ginn, he caught a beautiful touchdown pass from Chad Penningtonduring the 7-on-7 portion practice. It was a perfect over the shoulder throw into the corner of the end zone. Ginn beat Eric Greenon the play. Pennington showed off his fresh arm to zip the pass in while Green was chasing Ginn. Beautiful throw, and great catch from Ginn, who coach Tony Sparano said is "night and day" ahead of where he was at this point last season.
Channing Crowder is still wearing a compression sleeve on his right leg, which means there might still be issues with his right knee.
Rookie receiver Brennan Marionsat out a portion of team practice because of the torn ACL that was rebuilt in November. Sparano said Marion is a little bit behind Camarillo.
Phillip Merlingreplaced Vonnie Holliday as the Dolphins' starting right end, and Randy Starks worked as the backup left end. Lionel Dotson and Tony McDanielsplit time as Merling's backup on the right side.
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams spent a 15 minute portion of practices throwing 15 yards passes to one another and catching them along the sidelines. What's really interesting about that drill was Bill Parcells sat right in front of it watching. Both were really working on their throwing mechanics.
Parcells spent a lot of his time watching the quarterbacks throw to the receivers. Rookie Pat White overthrew his targets A LOT during a tough day . But he did connect on a touchdown pass to Todd Lowber, who beat Scorpio Babers (this guy again) on a 9-route. The pass was good for 40-yards and would have been a touchdown.
White also had one nice scramble during the team portion of the practice, and boy can he move. Forget his 4.50 40-time. White's got that I'm as fast as I need to be speed.
Tight end David Martin didn't practice because of a sports hernia that has been repaired, and his absence allowed Joey Haynosto shine. Haynos, who was claimed off Green Bay's practice last season, caught a number of nice passes. The other tight ends struggled catching the ball consistently. Truthfully speaking, I'm gaining a new found respect for Haynos. But it was just one session.
Australian punter Jy Bond is still punting knuckle balls, but every sixth or so kick is a whopper. But Brandon Fields looks like an All-Pro by comparison.
Every cornerback wants to be Will Allen'sbuddy. Whenever Allen came off the field all the young defensive backs were in his grill, possibly looking for a little veteran leadership and guidance from the proven and polished vet.
First-round draft pick Vontae Davis was a borderline Will Allen stalker, but Sean Smith, and even veteran Eric Green wasn't far behind.
Rookie Chris Clemons is a lot bigger than I initially thought, and he moves extremely well for a guy his size. I'm guessing he's presently the team's biggest safety. He was paired with Tyrone Culver as the second-team safeties.
I know this is just OTAs, and the second practice of it, but by my estimation Jason Taylor is the fourth best outside linebacker if you go by the present depth chart. The Dolphins had him working as the second-team strong side linebacker, playing behind Matt Roth, who I think even Taylor would admit is better against the run than him.
But I left Tuesday's session scratching my head that Charlie Anderson, and not JT was the second-team weakside linebacker.
Maybe that's because Anderson knows the scheme, which Taylor says is very similar to what a former head coach now at Alabama ran. Or maybe the Dolphins think Anderson adds more to the mix right now than Taylor, the NFL' active sacks leader.
No matter where the Dolphins line him up, or how they use Taylor, I suspect he'll be the last person to complain. At least that's the impression he's giving in this story. He also downplays the alleged beef with Parcells and said the two have been on the golf course together since the end of last season.
As for the former CFL standouts, Cameron Wake and Tearrius George spent most of Tuesday's OTA session as the third team outside linebackers. Both worked on both sides....