MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins held their annual team scrimmage Friday night at Florida International University. This was the first simulation of game action for this year’s Dolphins.
Here are some notes and observations from Miami’s scrimmage:
New Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh set the tone. Suh set the tone early on the opening drive with two "wow" plays on defense. First, Suh easily shed guard Billy Turner and chased running back Lamar Miller for a loss of about 10 yards. On the next play, Suh hustled up the field to hit backup running back Damien Williams after a reception. Suh also had a couple of quarterback pressures on Ryan Tannehill that could have been sacks if he didn’t let up. Suh has been a dominant force in training camp and it was impressive to see him in his first game setting.
Miami’s first-team defense had a good night overall. There were at least four would-be sacks from the defense and two interceptions off starting quarterback Tannehill. The Dolphins’ defense also got a pair of stops in the red zone and forced field goals. The defense being ahead of the offense is pretty much on par with training camp.
There was a mixed bag from Tannehill in this scrimmage. His best throws were a pair of touchdowns to tight end Jordan Cameron, who signed a two-year contract this offseason in free agency. Tannehill stood tall in the pocket despite pressure from defensive end Olivier Vernon and made the nice touch throw for 26 yards to Jordan, who beat Kelvin Sheppard. Tannehill also threw a 3-yard touchdown to Jordan in goal-line drills. Tannehill’s interceptions were a pair of bad throws and bad decisions to cornerback Brent Grimes and rookie cornerback Bobby McCain in the end zone. Tannehill’s stats for the scrimmage were 11-of-17 for 102 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
As Suh dominated, Turner struggled mightily. That is bad news for Miami’s offense. Turner had no shot blocking Suh Friday night and did nothing to convince the coaching staff that he’s the answer at guard. Suh beat Turner against the run and pass. On one play, Suh shrugged Turner away easily and threw him on the ground. Miami’s offensive line has looked very shaky this summer. The Dolphins need two players to step up at this positon before their Week 1 game against the Washington Redskins.
Miami running back LaMichael James had a nice scrimmage. James, who continues to make a push for a spot on the 53-man roster, led Miami with 41 rushing yards on nine carries. He had a nice, 15-yard run up the middle that moved the chains and added a nice kickoff return of about 30 yards. James also lined up for punt returns and played with the starters and backups.
Dolphins rookie defensive back Tony Lippett flashed in the scrimmage. He nearly had two interceptions, one against Matt Moore and one against McCleod Bethel-Thompson. Lippett is trying to make the conversion from a college wide receiver to defensive back in the NFL.
The Dolphins will have the day off Saturday. They will return to the practice field Sunday at 1:45pm ET.