Dolphins Chicago Practice Thursday Observations

Highlights, lowlights and anecdotes from the Dolphins joint practice with the Chicago Bears

LAKE FOREST, Illinois — Highlights, lowlights and observations for the Miami Dolphins in the second of two joint practices with the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois:

-- Joining the list of Dolphins players not practicing Thursday were rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips, who had returned Wednesday after missing a week with an injury. Also out was guard Durval Queiroz Neto.

-- After coach Brian Flores said before practice that rookie second-round pick Liam Eichenberg was out, he comes out to practice but only did a position drill early before watching the end of practice with a Gatorade towel over his head.

-- With Eichenberg out, second-year player Solomon Kindley took his spot as the starting left guard.

-- On  defense, Jason McCourty was the first one to take first-team snaps as the deep safety.

-- Wide receiver Mack Hollins was wearing a long Gatorade towel around his waist for the second day in a row.

-- Tight end Adam Shaheen got into a brief shoving match with linebacker Khalil Mack after a one-on-one blocking drill, and Mack was talking smack after the two were separated.

-- On the next rep, Cethan Carter threw linebacker Trevis Gipson to the ground and the two later were in each other's face. This practice is shaping up to be a lot more contentious than the first one. And it most definitely played out that way.

-- The first snap of 11-on-11s was unfortunately an indicator for what was not a particularly impressive day for the offense. On that play, Tua Tagovailoa goes back to pass but can't find an open receiver and eventually has to scramble.


-- Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was very, very noticeable in this practice, and it starts early when he meets a Bears running back at the line on the 11-on-11 on the opposite field. AVG later will bat a pass at the line of scrimmage and get pressure on Andy Dalton.

-- Quick aside on Bears QB Justin Fields, he made some really eye-opening throws, including one early where he threw down the right sideline while rolling out to his left.

-- On two plays not far apart, Jacoby Brissett took a "sack" — we put it in quotation marks because the play is ended before the quarterback is hit.

-- Next was a red-zone drill that saw Tua loft a pretty touch pass (though it could have been a tad farther ahead) down the left sideline to Mike Gesicki, who was ready to make the catch before Teez Tabor knocked the ball out of his hands. 

-- On the other field, Justin Coleman returned the favor by breaking up a pass in the Dolphins end zone. Coleman later met a Bears running back in the backfield on a running play. The free agent acquisition seems firmly entrenched as the slot corner and has been strong in camp.


-- Malcolm Brown was the most impressive running back for the Dolphins on this day because the one who consistently showed the ability to  move a pile in goal-line situations.

-- Tua threw a TD pass to a wide-open Jakeem Grant after rolling right.

-- Noah Igbinoghene has had his struggles well documented, so let's give him props for some great coverage against WR Chris Lacy on an incompletion from Fields.

-- Tua had about a 20-yard touchdown pass down the middle to tight end Adam Shaheen on a play where linebacker Austin Calitro had good coverage and even might have had an interception had he bothered to ever turn his head around instead of simply looking at Shaheen the whole way.

-- Tua had a completion to Mack Hollins near the goal line nullified by a holding penalty, though we couldn't make out the guilty player (and they were not announcing them).

-- After Cole Kmet caught a pass near the sideline from Andy Dalton, safety Eric Rowe laid a shoulder into him and sent him to the ground. Kmet responded by shoving Rowe in the back after getting up, and that brought players from both teams together. It was the most intense of the altercations on that day, though Rowe kind of laughed about it afterward.

-- This doesn't happen very often, but Xavien Howard was beaten by WR Javon Wims in single coverage to catch a pass downfield from Andy Dalton.

-- In a series of one-on-one pass-rushing drills between Bears defenders and Dolphins offensive linemen, there was some good and bad performances by Miami. The standouts here Jesse Davis, Adam Pankey and Robert Hunt, while Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley had their issues.

-- In another 7-on-7 drill, everything Tua threw was underneath the coverage, including a low throw that Mike Gesicki couldn't catch. It's not the last time that would happen on this day.

-- Starting another 11-on-11, Gesicki makes the catch of the day when he gives us one of those patented grabs reaching out with his right hand to complete a reception from Tua.

-- Tua comes back later with a nice completion to Robert Foster on a slant.

-- Rowe makes a great defensive play to break up a long pass from Andy Dalton.

-- Tua throws the ball away when he can't find a receiver and then badly misses with a downfield pass to a wide open Jakeem Grant, who can't adjust to the underthrown ball.

-- Wide receiver Kirk Merritt's mini-slump continues as he fails to catch a low (but catchable) pass from Jacoby Brissett.


-- There are sacks everywhere in an 11-on-11 period on both fields, with Emmanuel Ogbah and Christian Wilkins getting them for the Dolphins and Angelo Blackson getting one for the Bears against Tua.

-- Cornerback Tino Ellis comes close to a spectacular interception against Justin Fields when he dives in front of the intended receiver but can't make the catch as he's going to the ground.

-- Tua has his best throw of the day some 15 yards to his left when he hits Jaylen Waddle on an out pattern just beyond the reach of two Bears defenders.

-- In a goal-line period, an muffed handoff exchange between Tua and Myles Gaskin leaves the ball on the ground and Mack recovers for the Bears, punctuating the play with a spike.

-- Tua tries to hit Grant on a short slant in the end zone, but DB Jaylon Johnson goes through Grant, tips the ball and comes up with the interception. Grant asks officials for a defensive pass interference call, but he won't get one even though he might have had a case.

-- Ogbah gets to Dalton again for what would have been a second sack. This was a good practice for the defensive end.

-- Tua tries a short touchdown pass to Foster, then has two negative plays when he's forced to throw the ball into the ground with no open receiver and then scrambles out of the pocket before flipping the ball over the hand of Gaskin and out of bounds before he meets a Chicago defender near the goal line. Let's just hope it's a play that never occurs in a regular season game.

-- Gesicki goes low to catch a Tua pass in the end zone and the first official rules a touchdown before two other officials come in to rule the ball had hit the ground.

-- The Dolphins have a hard time scoring touchdowns on this drill, while the Bears are scoring almost at will on the other side against the Miami defense, whether with Dalton or Fields at quarterback.

-- It's another day of good work for the Dolphins against an opponent, but if we're scoring at home on the number of positive plays, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that the "Bears" won this practice.