Football preseason camp: Day 8A

Aug. 15, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A muggy morning turned into a nice midday as the Dolphins returned to the field for Day 8 in the first of two practices. The day started with PAT/Field Goal before moving to position drills and group work. The offense and defense had individual battles in the "Circle Drill" with two players tugging on a rope in a circle. After a short break, the offensive and defensive line battled inside while the receivers and defensive backs went through the air. Next up, Perimeter sessions and then the four freshmen battled in punt drills. The end of practice had the offense and defense lined up for third and short yardage and "End of Game" (offense lines up on the defense's 20-yard line) before finishing with positional conditioning. The squad will go through its second practice at 7 p.m. The following is some highlights and quotes from Day 8:

PAT/FG: Donovan Curry was perfect on his two PAT attempts after three consecutive misses by his counter parts. From 30 yards out, Joseph Recktenwald connected on both of his attempts. Brett Buxbaum hit his only attempt.

Circle Drill (O vs. D): The offense won by a 9- 5 margin. Offensive winners were senior wide receiver Edrian Rogers, senior running back Jerry Brant, freshman offensive lineman Mark Dolatowski, freshman quarterback John Solak, freshman tight end Timothy Kramer, freshman wide receiver A.J. Burgman, freshman receiver Ricky Contartesi, freshman tight end Shawn Beauchamps and freshman receiver Bryan Jackson. Defensive winners were freshman defensive lineman Nixon Maitre, senior corner Bryan Flowers, sophomore corner Robson Noel, junior defensive tackle Kiel Pierce and freshman defensive lineman Chris Downs.

Inside (O-Line vs. D-Line/7-0n-7): During the inside portion, the defense won with seven stops compared to four touchdowns by the offense. The offense didn't help their cause as they finished with three fumbles during the period. Senior linebacker Justin Sturdivant made two stops at the line, including one to start things off. Brant rushed for a touchdown. Junior defensive end Mirco Zanella made a stop. Senior defensive lineman Jason Greenwood recovered a fumbled handoff. Senior running back Bryan Gamble rushed for a touchdown. Freshman quarterback Chad Belcher broke through for two scores. Maitre made a stop at the line. In the air, junior quarterback Chris Horton finished 5-for-15 with two touchdown passes (freshman receiver Sam Bell, Burgman). Flowers broke up a pass on his first attempt. Noel broke up a pass during the session. He also made a nice swipe to strip the ball out on another play. Junior quarterback Jason Hohensee finished 8-for-13 with two touchdowns (freshman receiver Cameron Abdullah, Cantartesi).

Perimeter (Offense vs. Defense - outside the tackles): FIRST ROUND: Horton completed a 10- yard screen to Brant. Brant rushed for nine yards on two carries. Senior nose guard Ryan Young made a tackle for loss and Noel cleaned up the option pitch for a loss on the continuation. SECOND ROUND: Hohensee hit a 10-yard strike to Beauchamps and a six-yard screen to Jackson. THIRD ROUND: Freshman linebacker Quinton Salary and freshman linebacker Todd Copland made a stop at the line. FOURTH ROUND: Solak completed a 15-yard pass to sophomore tight end Jon Martinson. Freshman defensive lineman Raymond Gault and Maitre combined for a loss behind the line. The session ended with a fumbled snap. FIFTH ROUND: Horton completed two passes to freshman receiver Sam Bell. Sophomore running back Cecil Coltrane rushed for six yards. SIXTH ROUND: Freshman defensive lineman Aaron Frye tallied a sack.

Punt: Recktenwald took top honors with an average of 38 yards per punt and a session-long 42 yard punt. Brett Buxbaum was second with an average of 33.6 yards per punt and finished with a long of 35 yards. Curry had a 29.3 yards per attempt average and a long of 34 yards. Smith had a 28.5 yards per attempt average and a long of 31 yards.

3rd & 3 (O vs. D): The offense and defense were even at two a piece. FIRST ROUND: Brant rushed for a 20-yard touchdown on his first attempt. Pierce broke through for a tackle behind the line. Horton, who threw an incompletion, rushed for 10 yards.

3rd & 2 (O vs. D): The offense won by a 2-1 margin. FIRST ROUND: Freshman linebacker Allen Fennel and Frye combined for a stop at the line. Coltrane rushed for three yards and a first down. SECOND ROUND: Belcher completed a four-yard pass to Jackson.

3rd & 1 (O vs. D): The defense won by a 3-1 margin. FIRST ROUND: The defense ganged up for stop at the line. Gamble squeezed through for a one- yard gain. The offense fumbled a snap. Young and Greenwood combined for a tackle behind the line.

End of Game (O vs. D - from the defense's 20- yard line): The offense and defense split in two attempts. FIRST ROUND: The defense allowed a one- yard gain on first down. Horton rushed for two yards on second down. Horton rushed for 22 yards and a touchdown on third down. SECOND ROUND: Frye flushed the run outside for a two-yard loss on first down. Freshman fullback Dustin Smith rushed for two yards on second down. Freshman running back Ron Harris ran for three yards on third down.

Defensive line coach Ernie Logan: "The line is looking decent so far. We're working hard to try and get rid of the rust with the veterans and freshmen. We are also trying to get some more depth up front with some of our young guys because we are going to need at least one or two of them to play this year.

"There is a little more pressure on us up front this year because of the inexperience that we have behind us. Ryan Young, Kiel Pierce and Sean Heverin need to step up and be more dominant at the line to keep the blockers off of the second level. We just need to set the tone up front.

"We don't have one guy who can replace a player like Jason Bense (the team's best defensive player last season). But collectively, we can work together as a group to make up the difference. Players come and go, and you hate to see a good player like Bense leave, but we need to step up as a unit and get the job done."

The Dolphins will return to the practice field at 7 p.m. for an evening practice.

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.