Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins stress special-teams improvement, will keep Jarvis Landry as returner

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry looks up from the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 33-20.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry looks up from the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 33-20. AP

Since last week’s special-teams meltdown – when the Miami Dolphins had one punt blocked, fumbled another and allowed a kick return for a touchdown – the team’s meetings have been focused, to say the least.

“It’s always intense, always has been,” said rookie Jarvis Landry, who dropped a punt in the second half. “This week, it was a little more attention to detail, and fundamental, assignment-wise.”

The blocked punt – Miami’s first in four years – seemed to rankle special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi the most.

The point he made in the group’s meeting Thursday: There have been 15 blocked kicks league-wide through two weeks, and 14 of those were just a lack of fundamentals and execution – a message coach Joe Philbin relayed to reporters.

“There was no magical double criss-cross, jump-over schemes where they freed somebody up,” Philbin added. “It was a lot of things that looked like were in the control of the kicking team. So really the point we’ve been emphasizing is we have good schemes. It didn’t feel like we got out-schemed on those particular mishaps, so to speak, but we are clear that we have to execute better.”

Landry’s drop hasn’t dropped him on the depth chart. Philbin reiterated this week that the young wide receiver will still be the team’s returner.

“I expect him to perform well,” Philbin added. “As we’ve said, this guy is a football player. Players make mistakes, so they’ve got to acknowledge them. They’ve got to correct them and they have to move forward. What did Coach [Don] Shula say, ‘Uncorrected errors will multiply.’ You’ve got to address it. You’ve got to acknowledge the fact that we can’t have that happen again. That’s where we are, so now he’s going to have another opportunity, and I’m confident he’ll do well.”

FEDE FINALLY PRACTICES

In Dolphins injury news, Thursday brought an improved outlook for defensive lineman Terrence Fede (knee), who practiced for the first time in weeks.

Likewise, Louis Delmas saw his prospects improve as well. After being limited Wednesday with a calf injury, he practiced fully.

The only other change of note to the Dolphins’ injury report was linebacker Jonathan Freeny, limited with a calf issue of his own.

LB Koa Misi (ankle), running back Knowshon Moreno (elbow) and guard Shelley Smith (knee) were again all held out of practice altogether.

MORE THAN 70,000 TICKETS SOLD

As expected, the Dolphins have sold more than 70,000 tickets for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. They’ve released some additional lower and mid-level seats, which are available at Dolphins.com.

The team is giving away aqua T-shirts to the first 65,000 game-goers Sunday, and all fans will receive a free game program every week.

Plus, the Dolphins will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Sunday with Jon Secada singing the National Anthem and honoring Jorge A. Plasencia with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

Some other new features at Sun Life Stadium include the longest foosball table in Florida, fan makeovers, tunnel runs and a Cornhole field.

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