Miami Dolphins defensive coaches had positive reviews for rookie linebacker Channing Tindall’s progress after he played his first two defensive snaps this regular season in Sunday’s 40-17 loss at the New York Jets.
“Channing’s been making great progress in practice,” said defensive coordinator Josh Boyer on Thursday. “Obviously, physically, there’s a lot of things that we like that he does, and I think he did well with the snaps m that he was in there.
“You’re always trying to work ways to get guys involved, especially if they can excel or succeed at those. I was excited for his opportunity.”
Tindall was the Dolphins’ top draft choice in the late April draft. The national champion at Georgia was taken late in the third round after Miami packaged picks in the first two rounds in the deal that landed receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Before the Week 5 loss to the Jets, Tindall had only seen special teams action after an uneven training camp and preseason where he showed he still needed some development.
“I think Channing is on course for where we were hoping he’d be,” Dolphins linebackers coach Anthony Campanile said. “I think he’s doing a good job, progressing. Got in the game a little bit. Think he was excited about that, and I think he did a good job when he was in there. I think he’s progressing, and like any rookie, just taking it all in and trying to get better every day.”
Third-year cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, a 2020 first-round pick, also saw his first defensive snaps against New York. He mainly entered as a boundary cornerback in nickel packages, seeing 31 defensive snaps.
Although his collision with linebacker Jerome Baker that prevented his teammate from making a tackle may be what most remember from his outing, Boyer took some positives from the appearance that saw him play while Xavien Howard was out, Byron Jones remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list and Keion Crossen was active but hurt.
“I thought there were some really good clips there. I thought there were some things that we can improve on,” Boyer assessed. “I would start with me and things that we can detail and coach a little bit better, but I did think he had some positive clips out there, for sure. … I thought it was a good start for him.”
After running back Raheem Mostert became the Dolphins’ first 100-yard rusher of the season on Sunday, he missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury.
Mostert was back on the practice field on Thursday with a compression sleeve on his left leg for the team’s session outdoors under the Miami Gardens rain.
Tight end Durham Smythe (hamstring), after officially being listed as a non-participant on Wednesday as he worked on the side, was seen working with the team.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (concussion protocol) took the expected Thursday step of throwing and joining the team after working out on the side on Wednesday. Fellow quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (concussion), who will be held out on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, was also seen participating. Third-stringer Skylar Thompson has already been named the starter this week by coach Mike McDaniel with Bridgewater as his backup if he clears protocol by Sunday.
Left tackle Terron Armstead (toe) again missed practice, and defensive back Elijah Campbell (foot) was not seen after being limited on Wednesday.
Right tackle Austin Jackson, who is progressing toward activation off injured reserve with an ankle injury, was again seen at Thursday drills after also participating on Wednesday. He was seen with sleeves on both legs with the right one not extending all the way down to his ankle. Practice squad tackle Brandon Shell, who was elevated for the loss to the Jets and replaced Armstead at left tackle, was practice with a brace on his left knee.
Ogbah and the pass rush
The Dolphins pass rush has not made an impact early in the season, and a big reason has been the lack of pressure seen from defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, Miami’s sack leader in 2021 with nine.
Boyer pointed the finger at himself as to why Ogbah hasn’t gotten off to a hot start, with just one sack in five games.
“I start with self-reflection, and that’s not an easy thing to do,” Boyer said. “I do think that we can detail things a little bit better. He’s a dedicated player for us. He works hard. I think we can put him in some better situations from time to time. I know it’s important to him.
“He’s accountable, but I do think we can detail things and put him in a little bit better spot. I’m really excited for his opportunities coming up.”