“It was excellent," Philbin said. "There were a lot of good things on both sides. I thought it was an excellent practice for the last (one of) minicamp. We all know sometimes the last practice of the offseason program is a semi-pulling-teeth exercise. I thought the guys responded and competed well.”
Philbin said his team got better in the spring in a variety of areas, starting with the two-minute offense, the pressure package on defense and throwing the deep ball.
"We didn’t always convert, we didn’t always catch every single one of them, but I think we’re putting in a better spot, I believe,” the coach said.
Philbin's players also expressed their satisfaction with what the Dolphins were able to get done throughout three weeks of OTAs and this week's three-day minicamp.
Some guys talked about developing chemistry on a team with several key newcomers, others talked about being able to implement practically all of the playbook.
"I’m excited," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "I think we grew a lot over the spring. It started with bringing the new guys in and teaching them the offense and now really coming together as a team. So I’m excited about where we’re at but I think we’re hungry. I know that we’re not there yet, we have a long way to go and we’re going to use the fall camp to our benefit and get better each day."
There were several reasons the Dolphins logically should have had a more productive spring this time around.
The first is the obvious fact that this is Philbin's second offseason as head coach. It's also Tannehill's second season, but this time he came into the spring as the undisputed starter as opposed to a rookie who was going to be involved in a quarterback battle.
It also helped that wide receiver Brian Hartline was there throughout the spring after undergoing an appendectomy at this time last year.
"We’re not miles ahead but we are further than what we were last year," center Mike Pouncey said. "Obviously our focus right now is to get everybody back here for training camp healthy and try to get in the playoffs.
"We’re feeling good about ourselves but we just want to take it one day at a time. We just want to get better and better. We’ve added the key additions we needed on our football team, so we just go from there."