Football usually isn’t an afterthought no matter what time of year it is. But today, a day when LeBron James and the Miami Heat square off against the Indiana Pacers in a do-or-die game 7 with a trip to the NBA finals at stake, the Dolphins’ final open media OTA practice seems insignificant relatively speaking.
But for football junkies, fans who couldn’t care less about basketball, Dolphins fans scattered throughout the country, and maybe even die-hard Heat fans that desperately need some temporary relief from the imposing stress, we’re here to bring you the updates from this morning’s workout.
Today’s session was the last OTA practice open to the media. The Dolphins conclude OTAs this week but will hold mandatory minicamp – the grand finale of offseason activity – next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Ellerbe’s flight cancelled
For the second consecutive week, one of the Dolphins’ prized free agent acquisitions was nowhere to be found. Last week it was Mike Wallace, who was attending to a family emergency. This week its middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, whose flight to Miami was cancelled last night per his Twitter account.
According to Ellerbe, this is the second OTA workout he’s missed because of a cancelled flight. Austin Spitler, who has produced 23 tackles in three seasons with the Dolphins, replaced Ellerbe on the first team.
Lance Louis (knee), Jamar Taylor (sports hernia), Randy Starks (holdout), and Dion Jordan (shoulder/league rules) all missed the session as well.
Dallas Thomas practices
Rookie tackle/guard Dallas Thomas practiced for the first time with his teammates this morning. Thomas had been rehabilitating after shoulder surgery but has apparently been cleared in time to finish up OTAs.
The third-round pick has yet to come to terms with Miami on his rookie contract and projects to serve as a versatile backup to Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito on the left side of the offensive line.
Three TDs for Egnew
Second-year tight end Michael Egnew reportedly caught three touchdown passes during this morning’s practice.
Clearly Egnew is performing much better this year. But making headlines in May and June won’t mean anything without a strong showing in August.
– Dolphins’ undrafted rookie free agent receiver Chad Bumphis had an impressive practice according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. Bumphis reportedly blocked a punt and flashed all day.
– Seventh-round pick Don Jones was thought to be exclusively competing at corner. He got some work at safety today, though, returning to the position he played in college. Showing versatility will help his chances of making the 53-man roster.
– Chris Clemons picked off a Ryan Tannehill pass that was tipped by Jimmy Wilson. Wilson continues to be the starting nickel, but he’ll receive stiff competition in camp.
– Rookie tight end Dion Sims was paired with Dustin Keller on the first team during goal-line drills.
– With Davone Bess no longer in the mix, Brandon Gibson, Brian Hartline, Marcus Thigpen, and Jasper Collins worked on fielding and returning punts.
– Wide receiver Armon Binns continues to impress according to the Miami Herald.
Sources: Sun Sentinel, ESPN’s AFC East blog, Miami Herald