Early Camp Observations

The Dolphins have now been through five practices in this 2010 training camp and while it's too early -- way too early -- to reach any conclusions, that doesn't mean that some things haven't jumped out. The list starts with the obvious, that being the fabulous first impression being made by Brandon Marshall.

From the very first practice on Friday afternoon, Marshall has shown he's a different brand of wide receiver from what the Dolphins have had in recent years. Make that many, many years.

Simply put, the guy looks phenomenal in practice. Everything has been him has been impressive, from his ability to get open, to catch everything thrown to him and to win the jump ball every time there's a battle between him and a defensive back.

Folks, get excited about this guy because so far he looks every bit as good as advertised.

SMITH'S STRUGGLES: While on the subject of jump balls between receivers and cornerbacks, we've noticed a disturbing trend so far in camp and it involves second-year corner Sean Smith.

Basically, he's continue to do what he did a lot of last year, which is to have great coverage on the receiver but not be able to make the play on the ball.

It's happened against Marshall, and maybe that could be excused but it's also happened against other receivers and it is getting worrisome.

On Monday morning, for example, he had great coverage on Brian Hartline deep down the sideline, yet allowed Hartline to make the catch against him.

It's something to keep an eye on.

SAME OLD ALLEN: Smith's problems actually aren't nearly as significant of those with Jason Allen, who still isn't showing the ability to cover anybody.

He has gotten beat repeatedly at practice. Still, he's likely to make the 53-man roster because the Dolphins don't have great numbers at cornerback and because Allen is good on special teams.

WHITE NOT RIGHT: Pat White may be back at training camp after his much-publicized and much-discussed Friday absence, but he's not doing anything to impress anybody.

In team drills, he's showing a lot of hesitancy when it comes to finding a receiver and the accuracy when he does thrown the ball just isn't there.

The way things are going, it's difficult to envision him being on the active roster at the start of the regular season.

JERRY'S JUMP-START: You might have read that third-round pick John Jerry is spending a lot of time working with the first-team offense and Coach Tony Sparano confirmed on Monday the guard from Ole Miss actually has gotten the most reps of any guard on the team.

But before you start assuming that it means that Jerry will wind up starting, understand that the reason this is being done is so that Sparano sees on a consistent basis what Jerry can do against the Dolphins' first-team defense.

It also doesn't mean that Jerry won't wind up starting as a rookie, but that determination won't be made for a while and it's even premature to suggest he's even leading the battle for the starting right guard job.


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