By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303
After spending the last 48 hours down in Miami watching and observing the Miami Dolphins practice sessions, I did indeed need to keep reminding myself this is only practice. I tried not to make too much fuss over dropped passes or missed blocks. Because trust me, there was plenty of that going around.
I take training camp with a grain of salt. I mean one day you’ll get focused on a player that has had a great week. You can write all about it, only for that player to struggle the following week. I have seen this happen every single year.
The player this week for me was the Dolphins’ backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who the first week of no-pads practice looked good. On came the pads last week now he looks like he took a step backward. I’m not taking anything away from Bissett, as he is still learning this Dolphins offense. So I expect him to settle in and he should get in some good playing time next week in Chicago.
Of course, the talk of camp was Dolphins All-Pro CB Xavien Howard, who had been seeking to restructure his contract that then turned into a trade-me request. Earlier in the week Howard was present but did not practice, reportedly dealing with a minor ankle injury.
Like I said before, things change daily. It was announced just before today’s practice session that Howard and the team had come to terms on a new contract. Howard did participate and was on the field for today’s practice. He met with the media afterward saying only that he was excited to be on the field with his teammates.
With every training camp comes injuries. Today it hit rookie tight end, Hunter Long. It was tough to see from my vantage point, but it has been reported that Long got shoved out of bounds and then hit the turf hard. The cart was then brought out as trainers worked on his left leg.
Waddle looks like, from what I saw, to be the real deal. Now once again, I had to remind myself that this is just practice. So keeping that in mind, watching him on the field…the kid looks solid. Especially since he came with a nasty ankle injury that he sustained on October 24, 2020. He did resume play when Alabama played Ohio State for the National Championship game but playing very little and with a very noticeable limp.
I spoke to an expert source on this type of injury, who said with this type of injury a slight limp is expected. Still shouldn’t take away from the player’s ability as long as it has healed properly. Which we all can assume it has. So something just to keep an eye on.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago on my feelings regarding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. I am still on the fence with him. I still feel like he needs to come into his own. So I’m really looking forward to seeing him this year with a full training camp and preseason under his belt.
All in all, it was practice. Which you see some good, some bad, and some ugly. As the team heads to Chicago next week to play their first preseason game against the Bears, we will need to just watch and see what happens. Preseason games can provide some real questions and answers.
Follow Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303