Football preseason camp: Day 7

Aug. 14, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The heat made its way back to practice with an index of 113 degrees as the Dolphins returned to the field for Day 7. The day started with an hour of special team's work before moving to position drills and group work. The offense and defense lined up for a "Team Blitz" session before moving to inside work. After a short break, the receivers and defensive backs went into 7-on-7 drills before the offense and defense lined up for "Coming Out" (offense at its own one-yard line) and finished with positional conditioning. The squad will go through its second two-a-day session tomorrow (8:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.). The following is some highlights and quotes from Day 7:

PAT/FG: Donovan Curry, Chris Smith and Joseph Recktenwald each connected on 1-of-2 PAT attempts. Senior corner Bryan Flowers blocked an attempt by Brett Buxbaum. From 30 yards out, Curry and Buxbaum were 1-for-2 while Smith and Recktenwald connected on their attempts. From 35 yards, Curry was the lone success story after two misses and a block by Flowers.

Team Blitz (O vs. D): FIRST ROUND: Junior quarterback Chris Horton went 2-for-4 with completions to freshman receiver Matthew Bryant and junior receiver Michael Jenner. Horton felt pressure from the defense on his final attempt. SECOND ROUND: Junior quarterback Jason Hohensee went 2-for-3 with completions to freshman receiver Cameron Abdullah and freshman fullback Dustin Smith. THIRD ROUND: Freshman quarterback John Solak went 1-for-3 with a completion to sophomore receiver Geavon Tribble. FOURTH ROUND: Freshman quarterback Ken Latessa was flushed out of the pocket by freshman defensive lineman Raymond Gault.

Quarterbacks coach Thomas Wagers: "We have a great group of kids with great attitudes this year. Our freshmen are very good athletes and the returners have shown great seasoning. We have been cutting down on our mental mistakes and that has allowed the offense to be more fine tuned early on.

"Chris Horton in particular has made major strides this season and it's evident every day in camp. All of the players look to him when they have a question and they have rallied around him since he has been the designated starter. Last year, we had three quarterbacks competing for the job and the offense wasn't hitting on all cylinders this early.

"Jason Hohensee has looked good since transferring in this spring and the freshmen have been hitting their playbooks really hard. Each one of them is eager to do whatever is needed."

Inside (O-Line vs. D-Line): The offense broke through the line on four occasion early on before the defense rallied for seven stops at or behind the line. Senior running back Jerry Brant, sophomore fullback Jeremy Brown and sophomore running back Cecil Coltrane each broke through holes on the first three attempts. Senior Ryan Young and junior defensive tackle Kiel Pierce ended the streak with a stop at the line. Hohensee broke through on a keeper. Sophomore linebacker Winston Ward had a stop for a loss and at the line on consecutive plays. Freshman linebacker Jared Brooks and freshman defensive lineman Nixon Maitre combined for a stop. Freshman linebacker Jeff Gissendaner made a stop behind the line. Junior defensive end Sean Heverin had a tackle for loss and Pierce came right after to finish off the play. Pierce followed with another play behind the line. Senior linebacker Justin Sturdivant and sophomore linebacker Tyler Thomas combined for a stop at the line.

Skeleton 7-on-7 (Offense vs. Defense - Half Line Action): FIRST ROUND: Horton went 3-for-4 with completions to Jenner, Abdullah and freshman receiver Chad Oubre. SECOND ROUND: Solak went 2- for-2 with completions to Abdullah and senior receiver Edrian Rogers. Sophomore linebacker Brett Bonds had a sack on his first attempt. THIRD ROUND: Freshman quarterback Chad Belcher threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Tribble. Tribble made a nice adjustment on the under thrown ball to make the catch. Sophomore strong safety David Onorato made another interception for a touchdown. FOURTH ROUND: Solak went 2-for-3 with completions to freshman receiver Ricky Cantartesi and Bryant. Young had a sack during the session. FIFTH ROUND: Belcher went 1-for-2 with a completion to Cantartesi. Freshman defensive lineman Austin Knipp and senior defensive lineman Jason Greenwood combined for a quarterback pressure. SIXTH ROUND: Horton threw an incomplete pass.

Coming Out (Offense vs. Defense at the one-yard line): FIRST ROUND: Horton had his first pass tipped by sophomore strong safety Stephan Knight. Sophomore corner Robson Noel broke up a pass. SECOND ROUND: The defense recorded a safety with freshman linebacker Allen Fennell leading the charge. Hohensee completed a five-yard pass to Smith. Senior running back Bryan Gamble rushed for 10 yards. THIRD ROUND: Freshman defensive lineman Chris Downs had a quarterback pressure. Freshman defensive lineman Calvin McNeil recovered a fumbled snap for a touchdown. FIFTH ROUND: Solak rushed for five yards. Freshman fullback Tony Roberts ran for five yards. SIXTH ROUND: Coltrane rushed for five yards. Heverin and Pierce combined for a sack. SEVENTH ROUND: Gamble scrambled for four and six yards on two carries. Freshman defensive lineman Aaron Frye had a sack.

Secondary coach Luther Price: "Our returning starters (Bryan Flowers and Aaron Woods) are showing good leadership and Stephan Knight has stepped into the starting strong safety spot so far. Right now, we are trying to solidify the left corner position. Robson Noel looks like the guy for the job thus far in camp.

"Robson spent most of last season at strong safety and he is still making the transition. I am very confident with him on the left side because of his speed and quickness. David Onorato has been having a good camp and is right there with Knight at the strong safety spot. Jason Wood is also doing well since moving over from running back and is in the mix for safety.

"Turnovers have been a big focus for us in camp and I've been trying to get these guys thinking that once the ball is in the air, it's theirs. We have to be ball hawks out here. If we can't get to the ball, we need to be aggressive and get our hands out there to knock it away.

"It's been an interesting transition for me because I've always been on the offensive side of the ball since I've been here (wide receivers, tight ends). In my mind, I still catch myself thinking of what the offense needs to do to improve when I'm on the field. The benefit of the experience is that I know what a receiver is going to be thinking and I can translate that to my players. My players know what is going though the receiver's mind and what his technique is going to be on a given situation."

The Dolphins will return to the practice field at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Key Dates:

August 17 - Media/Picture Day: 1 p.m. at Milne Field
August 18 - First scrimmage, 2:30 p.m.
August 21 - First day of classes
September 2 - First game vs. Gardner-Webb at 7:30 p.m.