TAMPA — The second of two joint practices between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was dominated by the absence of Tom Brady for personal reasons, but the Dolphins still were able to get a lot accomplished at the AdventHealth Training Center.
As a reminder, the facility, not far from Raymond James Stadium, features three fields and when there's action on all of them, it's impossible to keep tabs of everything that's going on.
But it wasn't for lack of trying, and we again came away with a lot of nuggets. And for a second consecutive day we can confidently say that the Dolphins at the very least held their own against the Buccaneers in this practice, if not more..
With that, let's dive into the practice report:
The Dolphins had the same attendance report as they did for the first joint practice, with safety Sheldrick Redwine and fullback John Lovett the only two players sitting out.
Fullback Alec Ingold again wore a red (no-contact), but there again was no orange jersey this time — perhaps because there was no music played during practice.
Along with Brady, the Buccaneers practiced without four of their most prominent wide receivers — Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman.
PRACTICE TOP PERFORMERS
— Tight end Tanner Conner has had his share of noteworthy moments in training camp, and he had another big one Thursday when he got behind the defense and caught a 50-yard pass with no defender behind him and the end zone. Conner also had another catch during team drills. Whether those plays he's made are enough to earn him a spot on the 53-man roster is questionable, but he sure looks like a practice squad candidate at the very least.
— Offensive tackle Larnel Coleman clearly has come a long way since last summer when he frankly looked overmatched in his first NFL training camp. A nice sign of his progress came Thursday during 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills when he won all three of his reps, including one against 2021 first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
— While his stats in team drills weren't overwhelming (6-for-10), Skylar Thompson had some really impressive throws. One that stood out was a dart over the middle to rookie fourth-round pick Erik Ezukanma, which came after the long completion to Conner. Thompson also was really sharp in 1-on-1 passing drills, though we'll point out again the large advantage the offense has during this exercise.
Because it’s training camp, we need to talk about the quarterback performances every practice.
— Tua Tagovailoa, who was one of our top practice performers for Wednesday, had another very efficient outing, particularly in team drills. Not counting plays that we ruled as sacks, Tua was 7-for-8, including a touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle over the middle on a play where Waddle maintained control despite contact at the goal line. Tua did take four sacks, usually when he couldn't find anybody open, and also dropped a snap. His best throw on the day was a 9-yard touchdown to River Cracraft in the back of the end zone.
— Teddy Bridgewater did not take part in team drills, though it was unclear whether it was an issue of wanting to give Thompson extra reps or whether there was an injury issue — as was the case in an earlier practice when Bridgewater also skipped team periods. Nothing really stood out with Bridgewater's work in earlier drills.
OTHER PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS
-- There weren't any all-out brawls during the two joint practices, but tempers did flare up more Thursday. Duke Riley was in the middle of the action on a couple of occasions and the second instance brought a bunch of players together in the end zone. Bucs running back Giovani Bernard did a lot of yapping at Jerome Baker after Baker made contact at the end of the play. DB Elijah Campbell also got into it with a Tampa Bay player.
-- Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin each won his rep in a pass-protection drill against Bucs linebackers, but Raheem Mostert was shoved out of the way by Tampa Bay's Devin White.
-- Along with Coleman, Robert Hunt also had a very 1-on-1 pass-protection drill, with two wins in two reps against veteran Akiem Hicks and Connor Williams twice stood up Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vita Vea.
-- Terron Armstead got extensive action in team periods, a very good sign regarding the veteran tackle. In the 1-on-1 drills, he split his two reps against star pass rusher Shaq Barrett.
-- Back to Williams, there was one high shotgun snap on this day.
-- Jason Sanders went 5-for-6 in field goals, missing on his last attempt.
-- Cornerbacks Keion Crossen and Trill Williams each had an interception for the Dolphins, but Noah Igbinoghene had problems in coverage for a second consecutive day. Crossen also two pass breakups in an 11-on-11 period and he continues to make a case for playing time on defense.
-- Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle each had three catches in team periods, including Hill making a one-handed snag of a Tua pass down the middle.
-- Cedrick Wilson made a nifty one-handed catch on a pass thrown late — after the play probably would have resulted in a sack in a real game.
-- The highlight of the practice for Tampa Bay probably was a long run by Giovani Bernard, who got outside the Dolphins defense for what might have been a 38-yard touchdown in a game.
-- Nik Needham had a sack.