DAVIE, Fla. – “They’re raring to go.”
Those were the words of Dolphins coach Brian Flores before his team took the field in full pads Monday morning for the first time this training camp in Davie.
It’s one of 14 padded practices the Dolphins will get before the start of the regular season, and every single one is important for Miami’s players.
That’s even more evident for rookies like quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has a short amount of time to impress his coaches before the games begin. While it seems unlikely Tagovailoa would start over Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1, Flores says every player will be treated the same. They’ll get a chance to compete. Tua will get his snaps and reps to show what he can do.
The good news is the coach said “he’s looked healthy” when talking about his young QB.
As for the first padded practice, the media was allowed to watch, though no fans are allowed inside the facility for Dolphins camp because of COVID-19 protocols.
It was certainly different for all media and people entering the facility. Temperature checks, coronavirus questionnaires and hand sanitizer awaited everyone. Months into this pandemic, it’s things we’re all used when entering a building or location. It’s a small price to pay to be able to enjoy the normalcy of watching football.
Tagovailoa and the QBs did some individual work in the early portion and then got into team drills. If you’re looking for a recap of how he looked, well, he threw the ball well, but so did the other quarterbacks. This isn’t exactly the same as playing a game.
He did seem very comfortable in directing his teammates before plays and decisive on his throws, although a few of his throws got him an immediate conversation with a coach.
It’s all part of the process of training camp and learning how to play in the NFL.
It’s clear that Tua looks the part.
For now, it’s the most Dolphins fans will get of Tua, as the league has no preseason games on the schedule.
The bottom line is his coach says he’s healthy, Tua was moving well and made some very nice throws and the South Florida heat was as relentless as ever.
All positive signs that the start of the NFL season is near.
The overall practice had the same feel you’d get from training camp work, with lots of energy, as Flores expected.
Day One of padded practices is in the books. The fact it happened is enough to call it a success.