Chris Clemons “amazing”?
According to Tony Sparano, it’s now been over 400 reps with only one mental error for first-year starting free safety Chris Clemons. Sparano even used the word “amazing” to describe Clemons’ work so far in camp. That’s some high praise from a coach who typically doesn’t like to concede much about how his players are progressing. Still though, I’m not sold on Clemons as a starting quality safety yet, regardless of how mentally sound he has been. Can he make tackles in space? Can he effectively limit big plays in the passing game from center-field?
Those are the things I am waiting to see first-hand before I buy the hype. I will also add that I am a little concerned about his lack of playmaking ability. I mean, come on, 400+ plays with the first and third teams and no interception, hardly any reports of any passes broken up? I hope I’m wrong, of course, but excuse me for not prematurely chalking Clemons up as the last remaining piece in the secondary. We are only a year removed from witnessing Gibril Wilson lost in coverage all season long, after all.
Cameron Wake and Sean Smith have great practices
Of the players that were on the team last season outside of Chad Henne, and obviously excluding new additions like Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby, there is no player I am more excited to watch than Cameron Wake. If the daily practice reports are indeed accurate, than Wake is tearing it up out there. This morning, he reportedly produced another two sacks. Maybe I’m being too quick to jump the gun on this one, but after what we saw in limited action last season and what we are hearing so far in training camp, I would be extremely disappointed if Wake didn’t put up double-digit sacks this year, or at least eight or nine.
On to Sean Smith, who continues to bounce back from a rough opening week. Smith had a solid showing in last Saturday’s scrimmage, and according to Omar Kelly, had his best practice of camp today with a pick-six and a couple of well-executed pass deflections. Despite Smith’s early struggles, I stand by my opinion that he has a brighter future than Vontae Davis, who I still believe will be a solid starter for years to come. Smith has elite size for corner, and even though he didn’t pick-off a pass last year, he flashed some lock-down potential. There is a reason he started over Davis before Will Allen went down last year and that he has spent the most time matched up against Brandon Marshall.
Nate Garner reaggrivates foot injury
Just when we had reason to believe the interior O-line’s struggles were about to turn around with Nate Garner’s switch over to starting left guard, Garner reaggravated the foot that kept him out for all of OTA’s and minicamp. It’s unclear how long he will be sidelined, and maybe he missed so much time in the spring for precautionary reasons in a less meaningful time of year, but Garner was spotted on crutches shortly after the workout, so the Dolphins will likely have to make due without him for the time being.
When you add in Jake Grove still not being 100% (started practice with the second-team, but eventually ended up back on the exercise bike), things are a bit shaky, to say the least, in the middle. With that said, Saturday can’t come soon enough. Time to see if the media’s portrayal of how troubling things look between Long and Carey is accurate.
Dolphins work out a couple corners
With Evan Ogelsby likely seriously injuring his ankle yesterday, the Dolphins worked out two potential replacements today in former Raven Frank Walker and former Brown Matterrall Richardson. At the end of the day, though, I think we already know which five corners the Dolphins will keep on the 53-man roster. Obviously, Davis, Smith, and Will Allen are safe, and fifth-round pick Nolan Carroll has been impressing on a daily basis. And even though Jason Allen gets exposed in coverage from time to time, Tony Sparano has been talking him up in press conferences and his fantastic special teams play makes him difficult to cut in the first place.
Dolphins go bowling
Instead of conducting their scheduled evening practice session, the coaches called the workout off and took the team to the bowling alley. I’m sure that was well received with the players, who could sure use a night off with the non-stop grind that is training camp. They will be back at it tomorrow, though, with two practices scheduled for 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.