Severe Weather Disrupts Miami Dolphins Scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a scene all too familiar for South Florida during the summer, inclement weather once again wreaked havoc on an outdoor activity. The Miami Dolphins’ scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium was abruptly interrupted by lightning on Saturday.
The interruption occurred shortly after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa connected with Tyreek Hill for a impressive 57-yard touchdown pass. As players, staff, and spectators scrambled for cover, the scrimmage came to a halt for a lengthy 50-minute delay.
Dolphins second-year coach Mike McDaniel, acknowledging the regularity of such weather disturbances, expressed his concerns about the effect the delay might have on the team’s momentum. “The biggest fear that I had was I didn’t want the defense, which was starting to feel some momentum, I didn’t want them to all of a sudden have a lull,” McDaniel stated. “You’re just happy to get stuff out of the way because you don’t want these lessons to be learned when the score is final and the box score is real.”
Despite not singling out a specific winning unit, Coach McDaniel commended the exemplary performance of the Dolphins’ defense. Expectations are high for the defense this season, particularly with the addition of veteran NFL assistant Vic Fangio as the new defensive coordinator. Cornerbacks Noah Igbinoghene and Eli Apple shone with interceptions during the scrimmage.
Cornerback Xavien Howard, a star in the Dolphins’ defensive lineup, holds the firm position in one spot. Therefore, the focus remains on determining the suitable candidate for the second cornerback position leading up to the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 10. Adding to the team’s defensive concerns, All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey recently underwent knee surgery and may not return until December. Ramsey was acquired by the Dolphins from the Los Angeles Rams in a trade last March.
Not only did the defense showcase their interception skills, but the defensive line also stepped up their game by putting significant pressure on Tagovailoa, as well as reserve quarterbacks Mike White and Skylar Thompson.
Expressing his satisfaction with the team’s dedication and growth, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins commented, “Guys just came off today locked in. We just want to keep growing and improving as a defense every time we take the field. I feel we’ve been able to do that this camp so far.”
Looking ahead, the Dolphins will engage in joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by their first preseason game against each other on Friday.
Coach McDaniel emphasized that this is just the beginning of the team’s journey, urging both sides of the ball to approach each day with a mindset of continuous learning and improvement. “There will be plays the defense will learn from, but overall it’s a very productive day when people really put themselves out there and are able to learn from it,” McDaniel remarked.
Despite the weather disruption, the Dolphins remain determined in their preparations for the upcoming season, focused on refining their skills and creating a strong foundation for success.