The Dolphins' best quarterback/wide receiver combination in Friday's practice was Pat Devlin to Rantavious Wooten. The most productive tight end might have been Kyle Miller. And the best offensive tackle was probably Jason Fox.
Those aren't the names you're used to hearing from a Dolphins practice. But these were the guys who took advantage of their opportunities.
Coach Joe Philbin gave a number of veteran players a light day of work Friday — wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, left tackle Branden Albert, guard Daryn Colledge, tight end Charles Clay, cornerback Brent Grimes, and free safety Louis Delmas among them.
That opened the door for a few backups vying for starting jobs, and a few guys fighting for roster spots.
Wide receiver Rishard Matthews, who Philbin said "without a doubt" is having a good camp, was one of those who benefited. Matthews, fighting for playing time among a talent group of wide receivers, was a favored target of quarterback Ryan Tannehill in red zone offense drills. He was also sure-handed in traffic.
"This game is about opportunity," said Matthews, who has also benefited from wide receiver Mike Wallace missing the last two days to rest an aching hamstring, "and once you get it you've got to take advantage of it."
Matthews, who filled in admirably last season after Gibson went down with a knee injury, is coming off a season in which he totaled 41 receptions for 448 yards and two touchdowns. But he still needs to impress the coaches.
The Dolphins drafted wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second round and he's been impressive, and veteran wide receiver Armon Binns, who missed last season with a shoulder injury, is healthy and has had a good camp. Also, veteran Damian Williams has been practicing well. Wooten, the undrafted rookie from Georgia and Glades Central, is on the outside despite Friday's productive day.
Matthews' advantage is his experience and his versatility.
"The coaches are comfortable throwing me in at any position, X, F or G," he said, "and just having that ability helps me out tremendously."
Devlin, the third-team quarterback, has received extra work the past two days due to backup Matt Moore being slowed by a shoulder injury. Devlin, who has held his job the previous three seasons, was sharp Friday and seemed comfortable running coordinator Bill Lazor's offense.
Devlin was poised in the pocket and solid on decision-making and seems destined for the No. 3 quarterback job again.
Fox, who has also spent a little time at guard in training camp, got a chance to run with the first team at left tackle all Friday and fared pretty well going largely against defensive end Dion Jordan.
On a team desperately searching for offensive line help, and on a team that signed two tackles earlier in the week (Steven Baker and Tony Hills), having those extra snaps is a good thing. And Fox, the former University of Miami standout, has another edge.
"I feel like I have a good grasp of this offense," he said of Lazor's new system. "I'm ready to contribute where ever they want me."
Among tight ends the picture might be more clustered than most other positions. Clay is the starter. And although Philbin said Dion Sims has had a good camp they also have Michael Egnew, Miller, rookie Arthur Lynch and Harold "Gator" Hoskins and Brett Brackett, who they just signed Tuesday.
Miller, who had a touchdown reception in a red zone drill, acknowledged Clay is the clear No. 1 tight end.
"It's kind of just between the rest of us guys to figure out whose going to be out there with him," he said.
That's why a day such as Friday was helpful for reserves looking to make a move.
"It was good for me, especially," Miller said. "I'll take the most reps I can get."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun