Camp Conclusions: The highlights

The Dolphins wrapped up training camp with their final practice on Thursday morning, and that was nothing but good news for the players, who now get to go home at the end of the day. Coach Tony Sparano expressed his satisfaction at how camp went, saying the Dolphins got a "lot of good work." As always, there were ups and downs in training camp. For now, we'll look at the highlights.

-- Quarterback Chad Pennington looks like his right shoulder, injured last season, looks just fine and he's ready to go whenever called upon.

-- The same goes for Ronnie Brown and his surgically repaired foot. Brown hasn't showed any effects whatsoever from last year's injury since camp started.

-- For all the talk about Brandon Marshall's drops in the preseason opener and at practice on Monday, it's been pretty clear from the start of camp that this guy is special. It starts with his demeanor, where he just looks like he knows he can't be stopped. It doesn't hurt that he seems to win every jump ball he's involved in.

-- We're ready to say he's going to be a big-time player, but Patrick Turner at least has shown signs that he's got a chance.

-- David Martin has looked just fine since re-signing with the Dolphins and his acquisition should make a big difference for an offense that didn't have a field-stretching tight end last year.

-- Guard John Jerry practiced with the first-team offense for most of camp and he never really looked out of place. There's still no guarantee he'll be a starter on opening day, but he's got a definite shot.

-- First-round pick Jared Odrick looks the part and plays the part. He may not produce huge numbers this season, but that's because of the position he plays (DE in a 3-4). The bottom line is he'll be a major contributor for this defense.

-- Paul Soliai looked like a much more consistent player throughout camp, and that's great news for the Dolphins.

-- At linebacker, Karlos Dansby may think a little too highly of himself ("I'm the best (linebacker), by far"), but it's very obvious this guy is a player. It's interesting to watch him cover ground because he runs tremendously well for a guy his size.

-- Ikaika Alama-Francis has been a nice surprise after switching from defensive end to strongside linebacker. He might get beaten out for a starting job by rookie Koa Misi but should contribute nonetheless.

-- In the secondary, the two guys who have stood out have been rookies Nolan Carroll and Reshad Jones. Carroll has made a lot of plays on the ball, and he now finds himself as the nickel back with Will Allen nursing a sore knee. Jones hasn't been nearly as good, but he's shown a knack for breaking up plays. Now, Jones doesn't appear likely to beat out Chris Clemons for the starting job at free safety, but we maintain he's got a better chance at becoming a playmaker in the NFL.


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