Toward the end of practice Tuesday, the Dolphins held one-on-one drills between wide receivers and defensive backs.
When it was Richard Marshall’s turn, the recently signed cornerback was paired against veteran wide receiver Legedu Naanee.
Sprinting to stay on his man, Marshall saw the ball in the air, reached out then grabbed it with his left hand to make the interception. Then he gleefully punted the ball.
It was Marshall’s favorite drill of the practice and was, in his words, “fun.”
“That made practice a lot better,” Marshall said. “We didn’t even know that we were almost done with practice because we were going at it.”
Marshall is new to the Dolphins but already seems to have found his place on the team. Although it came as a surprise to many that he has been part of the first team on the depth chart throughout preseason, it did not to him.
“I feel like people didn’t know what they were getting when I signed here,” Marshall said. “I try to let the fans know what type of player I am by the way I play.”
Coming into this season, Marshall has a streak to maintain — he has played in every game of his six-year career. But he said that what really motivates him is his internal drive to improve his play.
Despite the fact that he has recorded 500 tackles and 17 interceptions in his career, he said he has “never arrived.”
“I will never feel like I’ve arrived, just because I always want to get better,” Marshall said. “At the point where you think you’ve arrived, that’s where your game starts to slip a little bit.”
Wide receiver Davone Bess remembers vividly going up against Marshall.
Bess said the two have faced each other twice — once in 2010 when Marshall was with the Carolina Panthers and in 2005 when Marshall was a senior at Fresno State and Bess was a freshman at Hawaii.
“Oh yeah, we had our times,” Bess said with a laugh. “He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s feisty. As a receiver, you had better have a plan for what you’re doing when you’re standing in front of him.”
No longer missing
For the first time since his surgery two weeks ago, quarterback David Garrard was spotted in the Dolphins locker room. Garrard was off crutches and was walking gingerly in the locker room after practice.
He spent part of the time talking privately with starting rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
With four quarterbacks currently on the roster, it is unclear whether the Dolphins will include the injured veteran on the team’s 53-man roster.
Moore’s ups and downs
Quarterback Matt Moore was involved in perhaps the best and worst plays of practice Wednesday.
While running an 11-on-11 drill, Moore threw a short, weak pass that defensive tackle Ryan Baker easily intercepted.
Moore made up for it later with a 50-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, who deserved a lot of the credit for making the play. Cunningham went up against two defenders — safety Chris Clemons and cornerback Sean Smith — and came down with the grab.
“Matt just threw it up for me to go get it,” Cunningham said. “I just adjusted to the ball, turned around and caught it. I just tried to make it a routine catch, like I do it every day.”
• The ratings from Tuesday night’s episode of Hard Knocks are in and, according to HBO, it was the show’s highest-rated third episode since 2002. The audience for the series has increased 17 percent since the program debuted on Aug. 7 at a time that coincided with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.