DAVIE - If you asked me to name the top playmaker for the Miami Dolphins offense during the offseason practices the media has attended Armon Binns name would be the first one out my mouth.
I'm pretty sure he'd be amongst the top three names (Binns, Brian Hartline and Rishard Matthews) mentioned if you polled all my peers because Binns, a waiver wire claim late last season, makes things happen daily for whatever quarterback he's working with.
And this has been consistent for all five practice sessions the media has seen. On Wednesday I noticed Binns got some first-team reps as the slot receiver, which happens to be the role he filled late last season when Davone Bess was sidelined by a back issue.
I'm starting to suspect he could push newcomer Brandon Gibson for that spot, and coach Joe Philbin didn't exactly put up a STOP sign when I asked about the coaches developing Binns as a slot receiver.
"We would love to attack the middle of the field in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s easier when you have a bigger body at times cruising through the middle," Philbin said, referring to the 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver. "If guys have a little bit longer arms, they are a little bigger, then the quarterback has a little extra room. Those types of things. So that’s one of the reasons we wanted to get him in there.”
Philbin said the biggest difference between Binns and the rest of Miami's playmakers has been his "play speed."
It is fast! Really fast! Which explains why he's become a go-to target for Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore.
"I think that’s the one thing we’ve noticed as a staff," Philbin added. "I’m usually the kiss of death, but he is playing faster. He is playing fast, and he is catching it when he gets an opportunity."
I'm extremely curious to see if Binns, who caught 24 passes 277 yards and one touchdown last season playing for the Dolphins and the Bengals, continues to makes plays during today's final practice session, and when training camp begins in late July.
If Binns, a former University of Cincinnati standout, does he could work his way up the depth chart.
Clearly the Dolphins need more playmakers to pair with Hartline, Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Lamar Miller, who should be the team's top weapons.
Observations from Omar Kelly
— The Dolphins are planning to practice outside all day today if the weather allows. Humid day but skies are clear for now.
— Today is the final minicamp kick day. Dan Carpenter is 4-of-5, and Caleb Sturgis is 3-of-5 on kicks of 40-plus. It is Carpenter's day.
— Rookie CB Jamar Taylor, who is rehabbing a surgically repaired groin, is doing his work on the side.
— Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers told me he's not too concerned about the time Dion Jordan has missed. Says he'll get caught up quickly.
— Because Dion Jordan is rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder he could report to Davie next week to work with the medical stuff.
— Tight end Dustin Keller doesn't appear to be working for the third straight day.
— Michael Egnew has spent all camp working as the starting tight end on the line. He's had an up and down camp. Few catches.
— Lamar Miller has spent all of camp as the starting tailback. But Daniel Thomas gets sprinkled in with the starters.
– It looks like rookie Don Jones has been completely moved to safety. He's the free safety paired with Jordan Kovac on the JV unit.
— OG Lance Louis continues his rehab work on the side. It will be interesting to see if he's cleared for training camp.
— Today the Dolphins split the teams up and had a mock scrimmage. Ryan Tannehill led a come from behind victory with a 2-point conversion.
— Marvin McNutt scored the 16-yard TD from Tannehill. Brian Hartline brought in the 2-point conversion.
— "He's a lot faster than I thought he was," Cameron Wake said about Lamar Miller. "He's explosive. A big play kind of guy."
— Rookie DE Emeka Onyenekwu was a pain to the offensive line. He got two sacks on Tannehill today & one was on Tyson Clabo.
— Cornerback Nolan Carroll made the special teams and defensive play of the day. He had a pick-six on Tannehill and downed a punt at the 1.
— Mike Gillislee and Austin Spitler contributed to a punt blocked inside the end zone. Would have been a safety.
— Derrick Shelby was the top defender of today's scrimmage. He managed three sacks during 11-on-11 work.
— Brian Hartline did drop a beautiful touchdown pass Tannehill threw him on a desperate 4th-and-3 from the 47. Major throw on a scramble.
— Tons of bad exchanges to the QBs today and one of them botched a fourth-and-1 attempt to keep a drive alive. Pouncey & Samuda innocent.
— Rookie TE Dion Sims scored a big touchdown from Tannehill. He was wide open. Clearly it was a broken play by the defense since 20 yds of RAC
— Julian Posey drew a penalty for holding Mike Wallace on a deep ball from Matt Moore.
— Jared Odrick was consistently pressuring the pocket from the inside.
— Pat Devlin threw a short touchdown pass to rookie tailback Cameron Marshall.
— Lee Robinson, the CFL import, intercepted QB Aaron Corp and had a big return. He flashes from time to time.
— Kelcie McCray had a respectable breakup of a Pat Devlin pass.
— Rishard Matthews made a few clutch catches from Ryan Tannehill, which includes a 35-yard grab early, then a sideline catch on final drive
— Philbin said the team scripted 95 percent of the scrimmage, but they couldn't have scripted the end any better. "Excellent practice."
— Philbin said Tyson Clabo is "very resourceful." Called him an excellent locker room guy. "He knows what works for him."
— Philbin said he'll talk to the players about "the accountability of being a Miami Dolphin" before the break.
— Philbin said the team's 2 minute offense is better, blitz packages is better, and team is throwing a better deep ball.
— "We like a lot of things he's doing in pass protection, but we have to temper our excitement & see what he does in pads," Philbin on Miller
— Philbin said "all the play speed things we saw on tape are evident" about Phillip Wheeler, who is a good blitzer.
— Philbin said Nolan Carroll has had a very good offseason, and labeled him "a competitor."
— Bob Griese, Jim Cefalo and Joe Rose will remain the radio broadcast team for the Dolphins. Keith Sims and Kim Bokamper on the sidelines.
— Jesse Agler will be calling play-by-play for the preseason games this exhibition season for the Dolphins.
— Charles Clay beat Reshad Jones for a 9-yard touchdown from Ryan Tannehill.
— Vaughn Martin deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage against Tannehill.
— Kelcie McCray dropped a possible interception of a Ryan Tannehill pass during the first series of the scrimmage.
— Koa Misi applied pressure to Pat Devlin's offense and Nolan Carroll broke up a pass to Mike Wallace.
— I found the offensive line pairing of Will Yeatman at LG and Dallas Thomas at LT very interesting.
— "You can coach and teach route running. You can coach and teach catching the ball. But you can't coach speed," Nate Moore said.
— "Corners and wide receivers make each other better....Same thing is going to happen with the safeties and tight ends," Nat Moore said.
— "Look back a year ago and Lamar didn't look sure of himself. Now he's a leader....It is Lamar Miller's time," Nat Moore said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun