Day 8 of Dolphins camp kicked off a three-day weekend of practices open to fans. Those in attendance today were treated to some premier matchups, explosive plays, stretches of defensive dominance and another chance to get better.
To find the press conferences of Mike McDaniel, Jaylen Waddle, Andrew Van Ginkel and more check out the team YouTube channel. For more analysis on today's practice, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield - available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Day 1 Notebook
Day 2 Notebook
Day 3 Notebook
Day 4 Notebook
Day 5 Notebook
Day 6 Notebook
Day 7 Notebook
Here are the takeaways from the Day 8 of training camp 2022:
1. Defense has a day
Xavien Howard put on a show matching up with Tyreek Hill in one-on-ones. He jumped a short route and nearly picked it off. That drill typically favors the receivers but not when Howard is the competition.
Noah Igbinoghene flashed the goods in that drill as well. He had a terrific practice both in coverage and inserting into the run game. The same could be said for Trill Williams.
Jerome Baker was all over the field making plays against the run and the pass. Baker and Emmanuel Ogbah displayed synergy to stack up some running plays off the edge. Ogbah also had a sack in the team period.
2. Phillips v Jackson
Jaelan Phillips was intentionally omitted from the first takeaway to highlight the production of Miami's 18th overall picks of the 2020 and 2021 NFL Draft. Both had another fantastic practice Friday.
Phillips, who was coming off a multi-sack practice on Wednesday, started the team period with back-to-back snaps shutting down run plays in his direction. During individual drills, Phillips worked alone with an assistant coach perfecting his technique. That work immediately carried over to the team period. He kept his frame clean and discarded a pair of blocks for stuffs and added some pass-rush flavor late in the day.
Later, Chase Edmonds burst through for an explosive run behind a block of Austin Jackson. Jackson was able to get outside of Phillips on the play, turn him in and finish the block with authority. This, in addition to a bunch of quality pass sets and reps, has been a consistent operation from Jackson in camp.
The two went head-to-head a number of times Friday in a matchup that should encourage Dolphins fans about their recent first-round picks.
3. Armstead, Hill and Edmonds pick up where they left off
Wednesday was a load management day for three of the Dolphins biggest offseason acquisitions. Friday, they showed fans why the team prioritized the trio with explosive receptions, impressive runs and a stabilizing force on the offense line.
On the aforementioned Jackson block, Edmonds showcased the vision, patience and ability to set up blocks that made him a target for the Dolphins this offseason. One stutter step pulled a linebacker inside, then it was pure acceleration to the edge, which Edmonds won for a big gain.
Armstead got plenty of work today and his presence is so easy to identify. On one Tua Tagovailoa touchdown pass in red zone work, the Dolphins defense sent pressure inside. This forced Armstead to squeeze down and give his quarterback the additional tenth of a second to make the throw.
Hill did what he does - creates separation and strikes fear into the defense. His suddenness was evident in red zone work and his change-of-direction skillset can puzzle defenders from the moment the ball is snapped.
Speaking of separation and impactful newcomers, I thought Cedrick Wilson Jr.'s feel and instincts showed up Friday during one-on-one's. Some routes are tougher to win than others based on the defensive leverage, but Wilson showed he can get to where the defense is trying to prevent him from going. And best of all, his routes always angle back to the quarterback without drifting.
4. Some unsung love
The challenge of covering a training camp practice is the purely impossible task of watching all 90 players on a given day. This section is going to shine some light on four players I felt deserved some love for their work on Friday.
Tackle Greg Little looked sturdy in pass protection, particularly in one-on-one opportunities. Good sets, patient hands and a strong anchor. It was a big day for the big fella.
Another big man inside that caught my eye is defensive tackle Ben Stille. The rookie UDFA from Nebraska closed the red zone period with a would-be sack and strung another running play out wide for no gain in a later team period.
The previously praised Edmonds' run wouldn't have happened without a lead block from fullback Alec Ingold. He squared up a second-level block that was pivotal in creating a successful play.
Finally, you'd be surprised to know receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr. is in his 30's based on the way he's moving out here. He has a long body with vines for arms that presents a big target to his quarterbacks. The best part of practice was Sanu plucking a sideline throw and continuing over to the tent hosting the Junior Dolphins for some daps.
5. Jason Sanders, that's all
Located dead-center between the uprights in the kicking nets 10-or-so yards behind said goal posts is a thin pole with an important job. This pole anchors the end zone angle camera that produces the practice film for coaches and players to analyze.
Friday, that pole took on another role as Jason Sanders' aiming point during the field goal team session. Sanders drilled all six of his kicks, evident by the officials planted under either upright. But it wasn't just the makes that caught the eye. At least half of his kicks "doinked" off the center-cut pole, including an attempt from 48 yards.
For more analysis on Dolphins training camp, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield - available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.