In most NFL training camps, teams run 75 to 85 plays per day, according to Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman’s estimates. But the Dolphins are getting 150 to 160 snaps per day because of a unique approach to running practice.
During most 11-on-11 team drills, the Dolphins are having starters compete against each other on one side of the field and backups on the other. After one group runs a play, the coaches turn their heads and watch the other group run a play.
The upside is the Dolphins have a much larger body of work with which to evaluate players. It also allows them to give more opportunities to the four quarterbacks, including the three competing for the starting job.
The majority of the snaps with the first team went to Matt Moore on Friday and Sunday and to David Garrard on Saturday. Ryan Tannehill got the most quarterback snaps overall Sunday, but most of them came with a group of backups and young players competing for roster spots.
“To get two groups going at the same time has allowed us a chance to develop those younger guys,” Sherman said.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Green Bay did not use that practice technique when he was offensive coordinator there, but Sherman used it at Texas A&M, where he was the coach from 2008-11.
• Philbin suggested that Eric Steinbach, who has never played right guard, might get a chance at that position in a week or so. Steinbach, who missed last season after back surgery, has been running with the second team at left guard behind starter Richie Incognito.
At right guard, Artis Hicks has taken the first-team snaps ahead of John Jerry during all three days of camp.
“You’re talking about a guy that hasn’t played in 12 months and has been a left guard since 1999,” Philbin said. “We didn’t want to rush him. You don’t want to move a guy to a [new] side when he has no familiarity with the scheme. We’ll see how he does maybe after a week or so. We’re looking for the five best guys.”
Asked if the Dolphins might leave Steinbach at left guard and move Incognito to right guard, Philbin said, “I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Steinbach, who signed with the Dolphins on Thursday, said he worked out for Baltimore and Miami but the Ravens didn’t offer him a contract because of concerns about his back.
Philbin was Steinbach’s line coach at the University of Iowa, and “that’s the reason I’m here,” Steinbach said. “Coach Philbin was such a great offensive line technician. I owe a big part of my NFL success to him.”
• With Chris Clemons (bruised knee) missing a second day in a row of practice, Jimmy Wilson again got first-team work at safety Reshad Jones. Philbin said the opportunity that Wilson and Tyrone Culver are getting to compete for a starting job is “huge.”
• Philbin said the offensive line protection “looks to be a little bit of a concern.” Among the sacks Sunday: two by Randy Starks and one each by Jamaal Westerman and rookie Jarrell Root.