New Dolphins RB Arian Foster flashes in first practice

DAVIE, Fla. -- The uniform is different. But there were flashes from new Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster Sunday where he looked like his same old self.

Foster made a "wow play" in drills right off the bat when he caught a one-handed pass in the corner of the end zone. He also had a nice, cutback run in team drills for a solid gain.

Foster, who is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury in 2015, played limited snaps mostly on the second team Sunday. For the first time in years, Foster, who was cut by the Houston Texans after seven seasons, must compete for a starting job against Dolphins incumbent Jay Ajayi, who had a four-month head start.

“Nobody is going to hand anything to you, especially out here on the field,” Foster said. “You gotta earn the respect of your teammates and respect of everybody around you day in and day out. So you just keep that mentality.”

Foster also caught a pass out the backfield working with the first team in 7-on-7 drills. His ability to create mismatches in the passing game could be a big addition to Miami’s new offense under first-year head coach Adam Gase. Foster has 249 career receptions.

“When I watch him run routes, it just looks so smooth,” Gase said. “It looks effortless. It almost looks like he’s not running, but for some reason guys struggle to cover him and he pulls away. You don’t see many times when if the ball hits his hands it’s on the ground.”

Here are additional notes from Sunday's practice:

  • Dolphins rookie first-round pick Laremy Tunsil got an extended look at left tackle Sunday. Starting left tackle Branden Albert got a rest day. Tunsil played the position in college but will likely play left guard as a rookie. But he also needs enough reps at tackle in case there is an injury.

  • The play of the day goes to wide receiver DeVante Parker, who caught a deep pass on the sideline from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Parker ran past cornerback Tony Lippett and got a step on him. Tannehill threw a nice deep ball to Parker for about a 35-yard gain. Tannehill and Parker are expected to make more plays like that this season.

  • I was impressed with Miami's run defense on Sunday, which is a huge area where the team must improve. The Dolphins were 31st in run defense in 2015, but have a new scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. The wide-nine alignment caused a lot of issues for Miami's offensive line and short gains.

  • The Dolphins signed cornerback Brandon Harris and released Tyler Patmon on Sunday. Nickel cornerback Bobby McCain also practiced for the first time this season after being activated from the physically unable to perform list.