Quietly, Branden Albert is making progress.
The best example: On Thursday, he no longer felt like a semi flattened him.
His first game back since a 10-month layoff was grueling. Albert explained Monday: “I feel like a Mack Truck hit me.”
Much of that soreness was gone by Thursday. His surgically repaired knee responded well after Week 1.
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But his game? That admittedly still needs some work.
“A couple of plays, I was just out there,” Albert said with a smile. “I’m not going to lie, I did some silly things, but we won the game. All of us stayed together as a team and won a game together.”
Albert didn’t allow a sack but did surrender a hurry in 55 plays from scrimmage.
Still, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he was “really pleased with what he did in the game.”
Philbin also praised Albert’s work in practice this week, and pointed to the player productivity data provided by the personal monitors each Dolphin wears.
“All of those numbers reflect that he’s doing a lot of the same work that he was doing a year ago,” Philbin said. “I think it’s just a matter of timing and those type of things.”
Most importantly, Albert is now beyond the mental hangup he had before his first game since tearing his ACL and MCL in late 2014.
“I’m not going lie, it took me a couple of series to say, ‘You know what? You’re going to be fine,’” Albert said. “From Nov. 9, 10 months ago, I was kind of traumatized a little bit, in the back of my head. But after a while, I said ‘You’ve got to man up.’ It went away after a while.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Philbin also had high praise for DeVante Parker on Thursday, calling his Wednesday workout “probably the best practice he’s had since he’s been here.”
Parker, three months removed from foot surgery, was a bit surprised by his usage — or lack thereof — in the opener. He was on the field for just one play against the Redskins.
▪ The Dolphins provided some inadvertent comedy in Week 1. Ryan Tannehill’s fumble dribbled 40 yards before the Redskins finally fell on it. Several Dolphins players had a chance to recover the fumble, but none could.
As a result, Philbin had the entire team participate in a loose-ball drill early in Thursday’s practice.
▪ Dion Sims (concussion) and Derrick Shelby (eye) again did not practice Thursday. Cameron Wake (hamstring) and Olivier Vernon (ankle) were both limited.
▪ Philbin, on the Dolphins having just two running backs on their 53-man roster with NFL experience (Lamar Miller and Damien Williams): “That’s football sometimes. We’ll see where we end up on Sunday.”