Miami Dolphins Camp Notes Day 5 (Tua, Hollins, Needham, more)

This is day 5 of camp, and day 2 of fans in the stands, but the news was made before this practice started as Head Coach Brian Flores offered some optimism on Xavien Howard by commenting that “Contract talks are going in the right direction.” So there is that. There was also a loud “We love Howard” chant that emanated from the stands today, so we know where this whole saga stands with the fans.

Tua Tagovailoa. This is what you call a “strong camp”, so far. He has full mastery of the playbook it seems, and his decisiveness is noticeable. The offense is also much more aggressive and resembles a Dolphins pass offense from 1994, hunting big plays, taking shots, and putting constant pressure on the safeties. There is a deep element on almost every play, and all the safety valves are threatening (Waddle crossers, Jakeem drags, etc.). Tua had another big day statistically, as he grabbed TD’s on every Red Zone Install portion. Tua is coming off his first read, and whipping it to all levels. It’s now been several days of this, so this must be a feature, not a bug. His confidence is in full display each and every practice.

Nik Needham. This is a guy to watch. Nik Needham is quietly putting together a very good camp and has several impressive 1v1 snaps versus Jaylen Waddle in 6v8 drills. That alone is impressive. With the absence of Xavien Howard, Needham has been pressed into duty at several positions, and he is showing a strong leg up on the on going battle at slot corner. We have an early favorite for the Nickel guy, and it’s Needham as the slot corner. His technique is not only solid, but he seems leaner, longer as an athlete. Good start to camp.

Mack Hollins. Mack Hollins is not only finding the end zone often in red Zone install, he is putting some good reps together in 11v11 as well. Hollins had an impressive inside release on the goal line and caught a TD versus 1st team zone coverage, he then beat Byron Jones on an RPO. Hollins on this day, found himself lined up everywhere, including some reps at where you might find Mike Gesicki who is out due to the Covid protocol. He gets my Practice MVP today due to the sheer volume of plays, and his consistency across the board while being asked to do plenty.




Solomon Kindley. The starting offensive line as of now is (from left to right) Austin Jackson, Liam Eichenberg, Michael Dieter, Robert Hunt, Jesse Davis. Kindley is finding himself on the 2nd and 3rd units as the LG, and RG. He does however have a saving grace. Pads have not come on yet. They do go on Tuesday (Tomorrow). Once that happens, we can begin to talk about depth charts, and doghouses. But for now, Matt Skura has a battle at center on his hands, and Kindley has lost snaps to Liam Eichenberg.

Defensive Line rotation. This has taken shape. The edge rotation is essentially set. It’s Emmanuel Ogbah working strong side duty with several guys spelling him, while Andrew Van Ginkel and Jaelen Phillips work the weak side. On the Phillips front, he did not practice, but there was no noticeable physical issue and he was not wearing any protective padding as he watched practice. Adam Butler floats from 3 tech to 5 tech on several fronts, but the 6 to 9 rush belongs to the Ogbah, AVG, Phillips group.

Practice MVP: Mack Hollins
Struggled: Matt Skura (hello, competition)


Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

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