Chad Johnson — gunner?
Maybe the artist formerly known as Ochocinco really will do anything to make this team.
During a light, low-contact practice Friday morning, the six-time Pro Bowler receiver tried his hand at special teams, fielding punts and racing down the field on kick coverage.
“He looked all right,” said Reggie Bush, in a joking, underhanded compliment kind of way. “He said he’s never done it before, but Chad’s an athlete, so I’m sure if we threw him back there, he’d do pretty good.”
Johnson, who caught every punt without a drop, apparently did so without any prior notice. His coach, Joe Philbin, said he was none the wiser until his son filled him in after practice.
• It was a tough day to evaluate the quarterbacks, since they played in shorts without a true pass rush. Each had their moments, good and bad.
Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill threw some pretty horrid interceptions. Moore had one — an ill-advised pass to the corner of the end zone picked by Sean Smith. Meanwhile, Tannehill was picked twice, including his throw into double coverage on the last play of practice. Jonathan Wade was in position for the relatively easy interception.
As for David Garrard, it was his day to work extensively with the backups and had no major hiccups.
• If Lamar Miller can pass protect, he has a pretty good chance of seeing the field on offense this season. The rookie out of UM was expected to be a factor on special teams, but the Dolphins played him with the first-string Friday. He showed good speed around the right edge on a stretch play.
“I think he really stepped up and took the guy on and had a good [blocking] base, bent his knees a little bit,” Philbin said. “If you’re going to play, you have to be able to do that.”
• Cornerback Richard Marshall again got reps with the first-team defense, rotating with returning starters Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, and indicated that coaches have indicated that a true competition is afoot.
“That’s what they say, but I’m not worried about a starting job,” Marshall said. “When they make the decision, they make the decision.”
• A player on the bubble to watch is Cameron Collins, an undrafted rookie linebacker from Oregon State. The team likes Collins and has been playing him on the inside with the second unit.
Play of the day
One play, one pass, one touchdown — that was Garrard’s work during 11-on-11 drills late in practice. On his first play of the drive, he connected with Chris Hogan on a 30-yard dart straight downfield for a touchdown.
The Dolphins have eight remaining training camp practices, all open to the public. Six of the eight will be held at 8:40 a.m. at the team’s Nova Southeastern University training facility in Davie. Admission and parking are free at all practices. The first 1,000 fans attending Saturday’s scrimmage will receive two complimentary tickets to one of the two Dolphins home pre-season games.
Practice dates and times
*Saturday: 9:15 a.m.
Monday: 8:40 a.m.
Tuesday: 8:40 a.m.
Wednesday: 6:25 p.m.
**Aug. 12: 1:40 p.m.
Aug. 13: 8:40 a.m.
Aug. 14: 8:40 a.m.
Aug. 15: 8:40 a.m.
*at Sun Life Stadium
**Season-ticket holders only