DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins continued their 2013 training camp with Day 2 of practices.
Here are several notes and observations from Monday's session:
It was a good day to watch the battles in the trenches between Dolphins starting left tackle Jonathan Martin and rising defensive end Olivier Vernon. Both are part of Miami’s 2012 draft class and looking to fill big roles on the team this season. Martin got the best of Vernon first with a pancake block during a nice run by tailback Lamar Miller. A few minutes later, Vernon used a swift inside move to run past Martin in pass-rushing drills. This kind of exchange will make both young players better.
A player I’m really looking forward to seeing in camp is rookie second-round pick Jamar Taylor. Miami was 27th against the pass last season and would like Taylor, a cornerback from Boise State, to make an immediate impact in the secondary. However, Taylor has been bothered all offseason by a sports hernia injury. He’s in practice for the first time but was limited on Monday and sat out team drills. Taylor needs to get healthy fast if he wants to earn a role on the team by Week 1.
The stars of Monday’s practice were quarterback Matt Moore and tight end Dustin Keller. Moore ran the second team very well and had a good day throwing the ball. He had the best two passes of the day with a pair long completions for touchdowns to receivers Rishard Matthews and Kenny Stafford. Keller also had a nice day getting open and caught several passes over the middle. Keller and starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill are quickly developing a rapport on the field.
Dolphins rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis struggled with his field goal attempts Monday. He was 1-for-2 at the end of practice, which isn't good enough when competing with veteran Dan Carpenter, who made 10 in a row on Sunday. Sturgis remains the favorite because the rookie makes a fraction of what Carpenter will make this season. Perhaps it was just rookie jitters. But Sturgis cannot be too inconsistent in practice and the preseason if he wants to make the team.
Miami is still searching to find its punt returners after the departures of Davone Bess and Reggie Bush in free agency. The Dolphins had five players field punts on Monday: Miller, cornerback Brent Grimes and receivers Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Jasper Collins. The Dolphins will continue their training camp Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET.