Noah Igbinoghene couldn’t find himself in a better situation to prove he can handle a starting cornerback role in the NFL.
With Byron Jones on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of a surgical procedure he underwent in the spring, the former Auburn standout the Miami Dolphins selected with the 30th pick in the 2020 NFL draft has had plenty of opportunities to prove he can handle working with the first-team defense.
Problem is, he has struggled for most of Miami’s camp, yet again, routinely getting beat by receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. And while those struggles can be justified because of Hill and Waddle’s phenomenal speed, what happened during Wednesday’s joint practice against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be an indicator of what’s to come during the preseason.
Buccaneers starting quarterback Tom Brady went after Igbinoghene most of Wednesday’s practice. He connected on two passes to Julio Jones, making the former Pro Bowler receiver like he did in his prime, with Igbinoghene in coverage. Then in a situational period at the end of practice, Brady got his offense into field goal territory with a 20-yard comeback pass to Deven Thompkins, who beat Igbinoghene.
It was clear that the Buccaneers viewed Igbinoghene as the weak link of Miami’s defense.
Last year around this time, Igbinoghene was trying to work his way out of former coach Brian Flores’ doghouse after struggling during camp’s first two weeks. Fast forward a year and it seems very little progress has been made.
It’ll be interesting to see how Igbinoghene responds to a tough day, and whether or not the Dolphins will give Trill Williams or Keion Crossen more opportunities going forward.
The Buccaneers kicked a 47-yard field goal during a situational period where the offense was challenged to drive downfield with a minute on the clock. The Dolphins were put in an identical situation, drove downfield into scoring territory, but couldn’t get the field goal unit in position to attempt the kick before time expired. …
The joint practice featured a few chippy moments that centered around Tampa Bay’s tailbacks. Leonard Fournette struck Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins’ helmet at the conclusion of a run, and Miami safety Brandon Jones popped a Buccaneers tailback at the end of practice and it created a shoving match between the offense and the defense. …
Dolphins tailback Sony Michel took a dump-off pass from backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for sizable gain. He fumbled at end of the run, but well after the whistle as Tampa defender punched at ball. …
Miami rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson found receiver Trent Sherfield open on deep comeback. …
Dolphins center Michael Dieter, who had been sidelined by a foot injury, participated in his first practice since the opening of training camp. …
Pass protection was solid, but the Dolphins did allow a handful of coverage sacks. However, Miami’s run game was stagnant. In fairness to the Dolphins offensive line, prized free-agent addition Terron Armstead only took a handful of reps during the first-team period. …
Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage during a situational period, and had a potential sack on that drive. However, the refs didn’t stop the play before Brady completed a pass downfield to tailback Giovani Bernard.
Defensive lineman Zach Sieler has spent the past two seasons establishing himself as a valued contributor, starting 18 games on Miami’s hybrid defensive line, and he was highly productive during Wednesday’s practice. Sieler beat up on the interior of Tampa Bay’s offensive line, which is trying to replace three projected starters.
Teddy Bridgewater threw two interceptions during 11-on-11 periods, giving the Buccaneers the edge when it came to turnovers. Cornerback Carlton Davis and linebacker Devin White pulled down Bridgewater passes intended for receiver Preston Williams. Davis undercut a pass Bridgewater threw behind Williams, and White pulled down a high pass Williams tipped into the air.
Dolphins safety Clayton Fejedelem, cornerback Elijah Campbell and Deiter returned to practice on Wednesday. …
Safety Sheldrick Redwine, and fullback John Lovett were held out practice. …
Cornerback Kader Kohou suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury during the early team period.