MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The most interesting part of Day 9 of Miami Dolphins training camp wasn’t what happened during their only stadium practice of the preseason, but what happened afterward.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa gathered Miami’s offense after a below-its-standards session. What did he say? We get into that, plus much more, in our Day 9 Miami Dolphins practice report.
Miami Dolphins Practice Report: Latest News From Training Camp
Defense >>> Offense
Tagovailoa on Saturday threw two interceptions in team drills (after throwing one to Xavien Howard in 1-on-1s). Jevon Holland picked off Tagovailoa on a 1st-and-20 throw to Tyreek Hill that looked to be a miscommunication.
And then, on the final play of the rain-interrupted session, Eli Apple stepped in front of Durham Smythe at the goal line for Tua’s second interception. That turnover came on the last play of a failed two-minute drill by the starting offense against backup defenders.
On the day, Tagovailoa (very unofficially) completed 12 of 24 pass attempts in team drills for 142 yards.
And his day was only as efficient as it was because he connected with Tyreek Hill on a 58-yard touchdown strike. On his 23 attempts, Tagovailoa averaged just 3.7 yards per pass attempt.
“Here’s the thing in the journey — especially when you’re trying to be a good team,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said after practice. “You know, offense has its days, defense has its days. What you want is a team that takes advantage of any inch that the other side gives you.
“So we’ve had those ebbs and flows on both sides of the ball. Today, it seemed — I gotta watch the tape — but it was clearly advantage defense, but that’s not really how we look at it, ‘OK, they won.’ No, it’s what and why and how we can progress.
“One of the cool things, I was pretty locked in Tua during the day and I could feel that he could feel that guys were a little too geeked up. Sometimes you can get over-competitive and then you jump offsides, then. Then you start pressing and stop thinking about your technique and you end up focusing on trying to make a play and then the inverse happens. I know he could feel it.
“There were some guys that weren’t their normal selves. That happens in practice every day. And, you know, the journey is just beginning for the team and that’s the way both sides of the ball have to look at it. There will be plays, too, that the defense will learn from.
“But overall, it’s a very productive day when people really put themselves out there and are able to learn from it. Sometimes those are hard lessons.”
What did Tagovailoa say to his offense after practice?
“It was just him being a leader, like he is every day,” said Dolphins offensive lineman Robert Jones. “He just told us that we just have to keep working on the little things, keep being competitive no matter when adversity hits, keep grinding, keep going. That was basically all.”
More Dolphins News and Notes
- Cornerback Cam Smith was back in uniform and did on-field work a day after leaving Friday’s practice after he slipped on the sidewalk behind the end zone at the team’s practice facility. McDaniel suggested that Smith is working through some expected rookie soreness but did not seriously injure himself Friday.
- While Smith was on the field, fellow 2023 NFL Draft classmate De’Von Achane was not. McDaniel said that Achane’s injury was not serious and added that he’s “day-to-day.”
- A South Florida summer afternoon thunderstorm suspended practice for a half hour Saturday. The delay ended Hill’s day — which certainly didn’t help the Dolphins’ offense.
- Beyond Achane, the following players were among Dolphins who did not practice Saturday: Erik Ezukanma, Terron Armstead, and Brandon Jones.
- By our count, the Dolphins’ defense had somewhere in the neighborhood of nine sacks, including multiple by Josiah Bronson and Jaylen Twyman.