Dolphins fans everywhere had a definite bounce to their step on Friday as the eagerly-anticipated first day of camp workouts finally arrived.
The summer lull in football news has finally come to an end. From here on out, fans will enjoy more information than they can absorb at one time.
There is obviously going to be much to discuss and assess over the coming days and weeks, but for now, I thought I'd break down the Dolphins' first training camp outing to the two standout issues of the day.
Injury Status Updates
The Dolphins finished 2009 without several key players whose presence in the coming season will be necessary for victory. At midday, a visibly-thinner Tony Sparano appeared before members of the press, announcing the best news Dolphins fans have heard in months.
Among those players cleared for practice were Brandon Marshall, Ronnie Brown, Chad Pennington, Channing Crowder, Will Allen, and Patrick Cobbs.
There was zero hesitation when Sparano delivered the great news; that everyone (with the exception of Pat White and Evan Oglesby) was out on the field and ready to go.
Brown took snaps from the Wildcat. He even tested out his throwing arm.
The question as to whether Pennington would be ready to go, or perhaps be placed on the active PUP list was finally answered when Sparano confirmed that he will indeed be competing for the backup QB position.
As is often the case, with an answer only comes another question: What will this mean for Pat White?
He clearly has the smallest face value of any of the Dolphins' four quarterbacks, and with Pennington now confirmed healthy, may no longer be guaranteed a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Overall, the significance of having each injured player back with the team getting reps simply cannot be overstated.
Brandon Marshall in Top Form
The Beast took to the practice field amidst the cheers of 2000 fans who were more than willing to bake in the South Florida sun for a chance to see the offense's new pride and joy at work.
Marshall made light of the situation with his hip, and didn't look to be holding much back as he schooled second-year corner Sean Smith on what it is going to take to cover an all-pro receiver. Smith was twice-burned by Marshall, and did express excitement over having someone of that caliber with which to practice and grow.
After an entire summer of wondering what a touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Brandon Marshall will look like, fans were finally appeased; he stretched the field for more than fifty yards on a bomb from No. 7 during 11-on-11 drills.
If anticipation for the 2010 season was not already at an all-time high, B-Marsh just kicked it into overdrive.
The start of the preseason is just two weeks ahead, and with pieces falling into place and the Dolphins enjoying more good news than bad, the excitement is palpable.
We're certain to be treated to a seemingly endless cavalcade of status updates, position-battle analyses, and sneak-peeks into the impending year over the course of the next 45 days. We will ultimately be rewarded at the end with the start of the regular season.
Football is back in full swing, and this time it isn't just a fleeting summer night's dream.
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