The Miami Dolphins were back at practice Tuesday for the first time since their preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the defense absolutely dominated a session that featured a lot of red-zone and end-of-game situations.
With that, let's dive into the practice report:
The Dolphins had a few players sit out practice Tuesday, the most notable being wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
Waddle, who was among the 21 players who didn't play against Tampa Bay, did watch practice at the Baptist Health Training Complex and caught balls from the Juggs machine after the session was over.
Also on hand but not practicing were offensive tackle Kellen Diesch, cornerback Kader Kohou, safety Sheldrick Redwine and fullback John Lovett. Tackle Greg Little and linebacker Brennan Scarlett were not spotted by the media.
Good with fullback Alec Ingold, who no longer was wearing the red (no-contact) jersey.
Wide receiver Trent Sherfield had the orange jersey for his performance in the last of the two joint practices with Tampa Bay.
PRACTICE TOP PERFORMERS
— We have to start with safety Brandon Jones, who had one of the six interceptions recorded by the defense. His pick came against Tua Tagovailoa in a two-minute drill on a deep pass down the middle. He also had great coverage against Tyreek Hill on a Tua incompletion in the corner of the end zone.
— Sherfield certainly made himself a candidate for wearing the orange jersey two practices in a row (though we're thinking the coaches will go with a different player) with another outstanding practice. Sherfield caught five passes in team drills, four of them for touchdowns.
— The last of our three nods could go to any number of defensive players, among them Jaelan Phillips, Noah Igbinoghene, Elijah Hamilton and Keion Crossen, but we'll go with cornerback Nik Needham. He had a good day in coverage, highlighted by a two-play sequence where he broke up a deep pass intended for Tyreek Hill and followed up with an interception on a pass overthrown down the field.
Because it’s training camp, we need to talk about the quarterback performances every practice.
— Tagovailoa has been having a pretty good camp, but this was a rough day for him. By one unofficial count, he completed 11 of 30 passes in team drills with three interceptions, one in the red zone and the other two in two-minute situations. That did include two spikes. His final passer rating for his day was 47.4. Tua did have three touchdown passes in red-zone work, one each to Sherfield, Mohamed Sanu and Mike Gesicki. But he was off target with several throws, even though maybe one of the interceptions could be excused because it was a desperation simulated situation. His best completion of the day was a 25-yard hook-up to River Cracraft in front of Xavien Howard.
-- Teddy Bridgewater was much sharper, and we have his final stats at 12-for-20 with five short touchdowns and one interception. Bridgewater had a couple of nice throws downfield, including completions in traffic to Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Preston Williams.
— After playing the whole game against Tampa Bay, Skylar Thompson got very limited work in this practice. He took one turn at a red-zone situation and did very well on the first by completing all three of his passes, including a 4-yard TD pass to Sherfield. But things didn't go nearly as well in the two-minute drill as his three plays went interception, sack, interception.
OTHER PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS
-- Newcomers Mackensie Alexander and Niles Scott both were at practice Tuesday, and Alexander even was spotted in team drills late in the session. For those keeping score, Alexander is wearing 34 and Scott has 70.
-- Keeping tabs on Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden Jr. in light of the report suggesting the Dolphins were shopping them, Bowden caught two passes in team drills for 21 yards and a touchdown, while Williams had the one long reception from Bridgewater. Bowden, of course, had the very impressive preseason opener performance against Tampa Bay.
-- Along with Jones and Needham, the others with interceptions on this day included Noah Igbinoghene, Elijah Campbell, Jevon Holland and Quincy Wilson. Igbinoghene scooped up a low pass from Bridgewater in the corner of the end zone and raced down the sideline for what would have been a 100-yard-plus pick-six.
-- Connor Williams' first shotgun snap of the day was high, but there were no issues the rest of the way.
-- Edge defender Darius Hodge got himself into the backfield on a running play by Chase Edmonds.
-- A completion to Mike Gesicki was nullified when the offense was flagged for pass interference, with an official talking to fellow tight end Hunter Long.
-- Running back Raheem Mostert drop a swing pass, though that shouldn't be a concern given his history as a pass catcher.
-- Jason Sanders attempted two long-distance field goals in two-minute drills, but his the crossbar on a 62-yard attempt and was wide left on a kick from 60 yards.
-- We credited the defense with three sacks, based on plays that likely would have produced that result outside of a practice setting, and they went to rookie Ben Stille and Jaelan Phillips along with Igbinoghene. Phillips got his sack after getting around Larnel Coleman, who easily could have been flagged for holding on the play. Phillips later got pressure on Tua working against Terron Armstead.
-- Among DBs who had pass breakups were Keion Crossen against Hill; Sam Eguavoen against Gesicki; D'Angelo against Bowden and Elijah Hamilton against Sanders.