The Dolphins on Saturday held their first of eight practices in front of fans, and the Dolphins rewarded them with several big plays.
Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, the team’s most accomplished offseason acquisition in years, grabbed the microphone and said: “Can we get a ‘hell yeah?’ Thank you guys for coming out. It’s going to be electric. We need your energy. Get your popcorn ready.”
An hour later, he caught a long TD to send the crowd into a state of delirium.
After Hill’s brief speech, rookie offensive lineman Blaise Andries then took the microphone, yelled for a few seconds, and smashed two energy drinks against his helmet.
Highlights from Saturday’s session:
STARS OF THE DAY
▪ Tua Tagovailoa: The Dolphins quarterback had his best practice of camp, delivering a glorious 65 yard strike to Tyreek Hill (including 55 air yards) for a touchdown.
He was sharp all day in 11 on 11 drills, delivering a few other passes to Hill for sizable gains, delivering a strike to River Cracraft for 20 yards and hitting several intermediate throws - including two consecutive 10-yard completions to Cedrick Wilson Jr.
He connecting on most of his 35-yard passes in 1 on 1 drills. Overall, he threw no interceptions and has thrown only one pick in four practices.
▪ Hill: After a quiet Friday, he resumed his role as Mr. Big Play. Besides that long TD pass, he jumped to catch a 20-yard throw from Tagovailoa and took another 15 yard throw for an additional 15 yards.
Hill also dove to the ground to catch a 10-yarder from Teddy Bridgewater.
▪ Andrew Van Ginkel: The outside linebacker had two sacks and deflected a pass from Tagovailoa to end practice.
▪ Chase Edmonds and Braylan Sanders: Edmonds displayed good burst on several carries, and Sanders had a spectacular catch.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
▪ Undrafted Mississippi receiver Sanders, who caught a long pass on Friday, made a remarkable one-handed catch for a 35-yard touchdown on a pass from Skylar Thompson in quarterback/receiver/cornerback drills.
Jaylen Waddle and Mohamad Sanu celebrated with him. Sanders has been arguably the Dolphins’ most impressive receiver after the top three (Tyreek Hill, Jaylan Waddle, Cedrick Wilson Jr.)
▪ Hill beat Noah Igbinoghene down the middle of the field to catch the aforementioned deep pass from Tagovailoa - as gorgeous a throw as we’ve seen from Tagovailoa in a practice.
▪ Preston Williams made a great catch from Skylar Thompson in that receiver/defensive back drill.
▪ Tagovailoa completed at least four well-thrown 35 yard passes in drills matching a receiver against a defensive back. He overthrew Hill and River Cracraft on two incomplete passes in that drill.
▪ Jaelan Phillips had a would-be sack and has at least three in four practices.
▪ Duke Riley - who had an interception earlier in camp - had a pass breakup on a Teddy Bridgewater throw to Hunter Long. Riley, who applied pressure on Bridgewater on another play, is holding off Channing Tindall for the No. 3 linebacker job.
▪ Cameron Goode did a good job setting the edge on a Salvon Amhed run.
▪ Emmanuel Ogbah and Melvin Ingram shared a sack. The battle for outside linebacker snaps between Ingram and Van Ginkel remains an interesting subplot of camp.
▪ Rookie running back ZaQuadre White was annoyed when safety Quincy Wilson pushed him out of bounds. Several players came over to separate them, avoiding any possible altercation.
▪ Connor Williams, adjusting to playing center, has had a few high snaps. Though none created fumbles, they did disrupt the timing of the plays. Cole Banwar is the only healthy natural center on the roster.
▪ Rookie Erik Ezukanma caught a 10-yard pass from Bridgewater. The rookie receiver has made some good plays early in camp.
▪ Zach Sieler blew up a running play.
▪ Gerrid Doaks dropped a pass; the 2021 seventh-rounder is a long shot to make the 53 after spending last year on the practice squad.
▪ Center Michael Deiter (foot) and defensive lineman Adam Butler (knee) remain sidelined; the Dolphins say Butler’s injury isn’t serious and they’re awaiting more information on Deiter’s status.
Cornerback Byron Jones remains on the physically unable to perform list.
▪ Terron Armstead sat out as part of a maintenance program for players who had offseason surgery. He’s expected to be fine for the start of the season.
--- BARRY JACKSON