For the first time in his tenure as Dolphins coach, Joe Philbin has agreed to hold joint practices with another team. And for the first time since he fled the Dolphins and accused teammates of bullying him, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin will be back on a practice field with his former team.
The Dolphins and Carolina Panthers announced Thursday that they will hold joint practices Wednesday, Aug. 19 and Thursday, Aug. 20, before playing Aug. 22 in Charlotte.
The two morning practices, open to the public, will be held at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
This marks the first time in 11 years that the Dolphins will practice with another team. In 2004, then-coach Dave Wannstedt held joint practices with the Houston Texans.
As for Martin, he’s trying to make the Panthers, who signed him March 27, a day after the 49ers released him.
Martin fled the Dolphins in late October 2013, prompting an NFL investigation of the team’s locker-room conduct. Martin never returned to the Dolphins and was traded to San Francisco the following March for a seventh-round pick.
The reason Philbin canceled Thursday’s final day of minicamp came to light: The team participated in Navy Seal training as part of a team-bonding exercise.
“As a team, we went Navy Seal training,” assistant wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan said on Twitter. “Players and coaches. Unreal experience. Seals are the real deal! Now I have to get in the cold tub.”
Dolphins defensive tackle A.J. Francis said on Twitter: “The Navy Seals team training we just did is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. If you’re a Navy Seal you are a better man than me, no question.”
▪ Among those competing for a roster spot: tight end Arthur Lynch, a fifth-round pick in 2014 who missed all of last season with a back injury.
“I’ve done a good job; it’s nice to be healthy for the first time [as a pro],” said Lynch, who characterizes himself as “a physical guy in the running game.”
Philbin said of Lynch: “I think offensively he’s catching on to the system better, and special teams he’s done a good job as well.”
▪ The Dolphins named Myles Pistorius senior vice president and general counsel. Pistorius, who will report directly to team president and CEO Tom Garfinkel, had been working for the NBA as senior vice president of content and business affairs.