By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303
The Miami Dolphins opened training camp yesterday by welcoming back the fans!
For the first time in over a year, fans were welcomed back by Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores. Coach Flores during his pre-practice press conference said he was excited that fans were back in the stands. [He] always enjoys the fans’ support and was excited that the fans could watch practice.
It’s also worth mentioning that the fans were able to watch their beloved Fins from the team’s brand new training facility. Baptist Health Training facility is 217,200 square feet of state-of-the-art technology. It features two full-size natural grass fields and a full indoor practice facility as well.
— Lisa Johnson (@LJ1303) July 31, 2021
Going into the day the main storyline was cornerback Xavien Howard. Howard, who earlier in the week, released a statement asking the Miami Dolphins to trade him. Howard has said that he doesn’t feel valued or respected by the Dolphins. He feels that the Dolphins didn’t act in good faith when he signed his 75 million dollar extension. Howard appeared before the media after practice today. He looked relaxed. I was paying attention to his body language when reporters started firing questions on his possibility of staying in Miami. Howard responded by saying, “Sure, I hope so. I’m just here now supporting my teammates. So I’m out here.” Howard who is nursing a sore ankle was limited in practice.
Like the past couple of days, the Dolphins were not in pads. Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson believes the team will likely be in pads for Tuesday’s practice. Fans were able to see some of the simple formations and watch quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continue to build a rapport with his receivers, Jaylen Waddle and Albert Wilson.
Fans have to remember the wise words of Hall of Fame Basketball player Allen Iverson. This is just practice. There were many times I watched Tagovailoa complete a pass only after the edge rusher had pulled up. Had this been a game, it would have been a hurry-up or sack. So, it’s still way too early to get an exact read on just how Tagovailoa will perform. Basically, we won’t know much until the pads go on and we see how this offensive line ends up. Because of this, I’m afraid we won’t have an answer till possible game 3 of the preseason.
Overall, I think fans are just happy to be back to football. Even if it’s just make-believe for now.
Follow Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303