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Sports Ravens

After Dolphins' scrimmage, offensive line looks for stability

Following an offseason filled with change along the offensive line, the Dolphins are hoping to do less experimenting with the group moving forward.

After the first-team unit went without giving up a sack or fumbling a center-to-quarterback exchange during the Dolphins' first scrimmage of the season at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, starting guard Nate Garner said it was a good first showing for the group.

"I think we did a pretty good job today," Garner said. "Obviously, you've got to get better every day. We went out there and worked hard today and we'll go watch the film later today and come back Monday and go back to work and try to make the corrections."

The big uglies created holes that allowed Lamar Miller to rush for 36 yards on only six carries and gave quarterback Ryan Tannehill time to throw two touchdown passes on 15 of 27 completions.

Center Sam Brenner, who started with the second team but got some reps with the starters before the scrimmage concluded, said the line is becoming more cohesive.

"I think we're starting to really come together as a unit and fully grasp the offense and all of the intricacies of the plays," Brenner said.

Shelley Smith, who has spent most of the offseason starting at either right guard or center, spent most of Saturday's scrimmage as the second team left guard.

Dolphins Walk of Fame

Former defensive end Jeff Cross, one of four selected for the team's Walk of Fame, never wanted to play in South Florida until he got a call explaining he was drafted by the Dolphins.

He grew up as a fan of Tony Dorsett and the Dallas Cowboys.

"As a kid I hated the Dolphins. I don't know if it was Dan Marino's afro or coach [Don] Shula's jaw," Cross said.

On Saturday Cross, who estimates he has only missed two Dolphins home games since retiring in 1996, was joined by cornerback Sam Madison, guard Ed Newman and running back Tony Nathan as the newest members of the Dolphins Walk of Fame.

Newman served as a guard on three squads that visited the Super Bowl between 1973-84 and was selected to one Pro Bowl.

Madison, who was the first Dolphins cornerback to reach a Pro Bowl, ranks third in Dolphins' history with 31 interceptions.

Nathan was a versatile back who ranks in the top 10 in Dolphins' rushing and receiving history, while Cross finished his career with 59.5 sacks.

"I don't think we could have come up with better choices," said Nat Moore, the senior vice president of alumni relations.

Camp observations

Rookie linebacker Jordan Tripp stripped running back Damien Williams, then picked up the fumble and scrambled 73 yards for a score. ... Defensive end Dion Jordan had two sacks during the scrimmage. ... Receiver Jarvis Landry caught two passes for 40 yards, including a 15 yard touchdown reception where he slipped through two tackles.

Injury update

Tight end Charles Clay left the scrimmage early after an apparent leg injury. ... Starting receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace, quarterback Matt Moore, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, receiver Matt Hazel and cornerback Jelani Jenkins did not participate in the scrimmage.

Who's up?

Lamar Miller was not only effective on the ground, (6 carries, 36 yards) but he also caught a touchdown pass after slipping out of the backfield.

Who's down?

The backup quarterbacks who played in the scrimmage, Seth Lobato and Pat Devlin, combined to complete 13-of-31 passes for 79 yards two interceptions and one touchdown.

Quote of the day

"We've been hitting the same people every day. We want to hit somebody that wears a different color."

Ja'Wuan James, Dolphins' offensive lineman

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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