Dolphins offense comes alive on Day 2 of joint practices with Bucs. Notes and highlights

·6 min read
Chris O'Meara/AP

On a day when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense was missing quarterback Tom Brady and several top playmakers from practice, the Dolphins offense shined on the adjacent field.

Miami’s offense had an efficient session Wednesday, the first of a pair of joint practices in Tampa ahead of their preseason opener Saturday night, but failed to get into the end zone.

That wasn’t the case Thursday, as the offense scored several touchdowns in team drills.

A recap of the Dolphins’ 12th training camp practice and second with the Buccaneers:

Stars of the Day

Tua Tagovailoa: The third-year quarterback threw at least two touchdowns in team drills and continued what was an encouraging set of practices in Tampa. Like Wednesday, he didn’t complete a lot of —if any — deep passes traveling 20 or more yards but he was once again was efficient working the middle of the field and finding pass-catchers. More importantly, Tagovailoa took care of the ball, going two days in Tampa without throwing an interception.

Skylar Thompson: The team’s seventh-round pick threw at least five touchdowns in team drills, with most coming in work that resembled short red zone action. His first was a deep pass to tight end Tanner Conner, and he followed that up with short touchdown passes to Conner, receivers Trent Sherfield and Erik Ezukanma and running back Chase Edmonds. Teddy Bridgewater’s reps appeared to be limited today, and Thompson took advantage of his opportunity.

Tanner Conner: The former college receiver-turned-tight end caught two touchdown passes, including the deep one along the Dolphins sideline from Thompson. The Dolphins’ trade of Adam Shaheen should open more camp and preseason opportunities for Conner, who has impressed in recent practices.

Tyreek Hill: The All-Pro wideout is a frequent name on this list and continued to turn heads Thursday. He brought in an acrobatic one-handed catch from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 11-on-11s and reached the end zone a few plays later on a short score in which he caught a screen pass and then bobbed in and out of traffic to reach the end zone. Dolphins quarterbacks found Hill throughout team drills as he continues to be prioritized on offense.

Keion Crossen: The veteran defensive back is expected to primarily contribute on special teams but had two strong practices in Tampa. For the second straight day, he registered multiple pass breakups in team drills.

Plays of the day

Hill delivered one of the best plays of camp Thursday. Tagovailoa dropped back and delivered a pass over the middle to Hill, who extended his right arm and snagged the ball with ease and in stride. The highlight catch elicited oohs and aahs from the fans in attendance at the AdventHealth Training Center.

On Thompson’s touchdown pass to Conner, there appeared to be some type of coverage bust from the Buccaneers’ defense, as Conner was left wide open along the Dolphins sideline. Thompson delivered the ball to Conner in stride, and he rushed into the end zone for about a 30-yard touchdown.

Crossen delivered another athletic deflection in team drills. This time he broke on a pass to the Buccaneers sideline and was able to get in front of the intended receiver to break up the attempt.

Notable

After practicing Wednesday, Brady missed practice for a personal matter, Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said. Tampa Bay also practiced without receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman.

The Dolphins defense had another solid effort without many of the Buccaneers’ top offensive players but allowed a pair of big runs to Gio Bernard in 11-on-11 drills.

In Tagovailoa’s first set of 11-on-11 drills, he started with a short pass to running back Raheem Mostert. On the next play, he fielded a high snap from center Connor Williams and threw an incomplete pass to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. The play was also negated by a false start penalty. After Hill’s one-handed catch and a short run, a touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to tight end Mike Gesicki was negated by another false start infraction. Tagovailoa then found Hill for the short score.

In an ensuing 11-on-11 drill, there was a bad center-quarterback exchange between Tagovailoa and Williams, forcing Tagovailoa to fall on the ball. A few plays later, Tagovailoa found wide receiver River Cracraft in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

The 90-minute practice came to end with a sluggish effort in a two-minute drill featuring Tagovailoa and the offense. Waddle was flagged for a false start and then another player was called for the same penalty. Afterward, Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett beat offensive tackle Larnel Coleman for two likely sacks.

Gesicki dropped a short touchdown pass in 11-on-11 work but was targeted more frequently in the joint practices than he has typically been targeted in Miami Gardens.

In 1-on-1s, Buccaneers wide receiver Cyril Grayson Jr. had a step on Trill Williams on a deep route, but the second-year cornerback was able to get his head around and track the ball, deflecting the pass before it could reach Grayson’s hands in the end zone.

In 11-on-11s, cornerback Noah Igbinoghene recovered in the corner of the end zone to break up a pass attempt to a Buccaneers wide receiver.

Intensity ramped up on the field featuring the Dolphins defense, as linebacker Duke Riley and Buccaneers rookie offensive lineman Luke Goedeke had to be separated in the end zone after locking onto each other following the end of a play. A big scrum ensued, but it was broken up after several seconds. The physicality was slowly building in previous plays, as multiple Dolphins defenders gave hard wrap-ups to Buccaneers ballcarriers as plays were winding down and Tampa offensive linemen continued to hold blocks after plays were whistled dead. After the fracas between Riley and Goedeke, the two sides took a short break and continued to practice without incident.

Availability Report

Safety Sheldrick Redwine (undisclosed injury) was not seen at practice.

Fullback John Lovett (undisclosed) was again wearing his jersey but not in pads.

Punter Thomas Morstead (undisclosed) was dressed for practice but appeared to be limited.

Fullback Alec Ingold remained in a red non-contract jersey but continued to participate in team drills.

Left tackle Terron Armstead continued to be limited in team drills as part of the team’s maintenance program.

Cornerback Byron Jones (Achilles) remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list.