Miami Dolphins Training Camp Weekend-in-Review: Ryan Tannehill Steps Up
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
When Ryan Tannehill finally showed up for training camp a whole day late, boy, did he show up.
On his very first pass attempt during indoor drills, Tannehill connected on a bullet to wide receiver Roberto Wallace along the sideline. The knock on Tannehill throughout the offseason was a need to adapt to NFL speed. ...Tannehill was notably quicker Sunday with his decisions. He threw a pair of interceptions in 7-on-7 drills, both tipped by wide receivers.
...Tannehill's apparent improvement was facilitated through daily summer workouts with receivers such as Johnson, Davone Bess, Legedu Naanee, Clyde Gates and Charles Clay. He also watched film trying to learn how to "get the ball out faster." He also noted his need to continue to improve his footwork, and to step into the pocket earlier.
The lack of stand-out names means someone has to step up (and wide receiver coach Ken O'Keefe has a heck of a job in front of him). Early indications are that wide receivers Julius Pruitt and Roberto Wallace are those two guys.
Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post points out that Pruitt and Wallace have begun earning the respect of their peers in practice.
Earlier this week, [Dolphins wide receiver Brian] Hartline said to watch out for Julius Pruitt and Roberto Wallace as his sleeper picks to make the roster. Friday, Sean Smith was asked to point out a couple of players who have stood out, and he also picked Wallace and Pruitt.
"Two guys that are definitely getting their fair shot," Smith said. "I saw Pruitt in the slot today, and that's something you've never seen him do before. And Roberto, with the short, intermediate routes, to see him run his slants and 5-yard digs, it was good. Coming out of his breaks, he's a whole lot quicker."
Neither of those receivers were at the top of (or even on) my list of the best wide receiver fits in the West Coast offense, but it bodes well for the receiving corps that the Dolphins may have found not one, but two diamonds in the rough this offseason.
The Dolphins should be able to count on Hartline and Davone Bess, two hold-over receivers from last year, but the new-look offense requires many wide receivers to be ready to act as the No. 1 option on any given play.
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Head coach Joe Philbin pointed out that the defense typically has an edge when the pads first go on, as the offensive line struggles with the speed a little bit, but Andy Kent of MiamiDolphins.com writes that the defense was consistently getting pressure on the quarterback.
One area where there was a clear disparity during team drills was in obvious passing situations, as defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s pass rush consistently got to the quarterbacks. Philbin chalked some of those rushes up to some poor pass protection but mostly it came as a result of the defensive players getting a good push both in pressure periods and in their basic four-man fronts.
"My initial reaction maybe is that the defense might be a hair head, and that's not uncommon," Philbin said, per MiamiDolphins.com. "The first day in pads is when your offensive guys, at least in my history, seem to take a little bit longer to get used to the leverage of the game and the speed of the game."
Wake can't do it by himself, though; the defense must improve its net yards per pass attempt if it is going to have any hope of improving as a team this year. Last season, it gave up an average of 6.3 net yards per pass attempt, ranking 18th in the NFL.
That number can be greatly affected by an even more effective pass-rush, which will either cause a net loss or force a quick throw, likely a short-yardage one.
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