DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins held their first organized team activity Tuesday at the team's training facility.
Here are seven notes and observations from practice:
Dolphins rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker continued to open some eyes with another good day of practice. Parker, who shined two weeks ago in rookie camp, made some spectacular plays against veterans for the first time. Parker twice beat Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes for tough receptions against good coverage. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a sideline pass low and nearly out of bounds that Parker snagged in front of Grimes in team drills for a first down. But Parker’s best catch was over the middle, also against Grimes, where he extended his body to bring in a reception for about 20 yards. Parker shared first-team reps with veteran Greg Jennings. But it may be hard to keep Parker off the field for too long if he continues to make spectacular plays.
It’s very early, but Miami’s first-team linebackers to start practice were Koa Misi in the middle and Jelani Jenkins and Chris McCain on the outside. Second-year linebacker Jordan Tripp also rotated with the starters at different times in practice. This is an area of concern for Miami and young players such as McCain and/or Tripp must step up into big roles. The Dolphins cut former starter Philip Wheeler and traded another former starter in Dannell Ellerbe this offseason.
Although I don’t like to make too much of trench play without pads, Miami's defensive lines definitely had an advantage over the offensive lines Tuesday. New Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was disruptive and spent a lot of time in Miami’s backfield stuffing runs and pressuring the quarterback. Dolphins backup defensive end Derrick Shelby had two would-be quarterback sacks. There weren’t a lot of clean pockets for quarterbacks overall, which is something to keep an eye on. The guard position has a lot to prove, led by current starters Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner.
Two Dolphins players in the secondary are having good recoveries from ACL tears. Starting safety Louis Delmas and backup cornerback Will Davis both were on the practice field Tuesday, which is impressive considering they both had significant knee injuries during the past regular season. “They’re moving around well,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “We’re going to have a nice progression for them and take that through and make sure there are no setbacks. I think they are progressing very well at this point in time.”
Dolphins backup safety Michael Thomas also is coming back from an upper-arm injury and made an impact in his first practice. Thomas got reps at safety with Delmas limited and in the nickel. His best play was a near-interception of Tannehill in the middle of the field in seven-on-seven drills.
It was a rough first practice for Dolphins backup quarterback Josh Freeman. The former first-round pick didn’t play last season and is trying to shake the early rust. Freeman's accuracy was off and he threw too many wild passes. Freeman needs to be a lot better if he aims to challenge veteran Matt Moore for the No. 2 job.
Greg Jennings was as advertised in his first public practice with Miami. He was a steady veteran who didn’t make mistakes and knew his assignments. Jennings made several catches in team drills. But his best catch didn’t count. He pulled in a one-handed grab on the sideline from Tannehill but couldn’t keep his feet in bounds.