MIAMI — Once the Miami Dolphins offense found a rhythm in their intrasquad scrimmage, the touchdowns started coming in rapid succession through the air and on the ground.
Also worth noting: None came with Ndamukong Suh on the field.
Suh made his presence known early with some impressive plays, the offense eventually got going and the Dolphins completed their first road trip — so to speak — of the season by scrimmaging for more than an hour at Florida International University on Friday night. The scoreboard said the final score was Defense 21, Dolphins 17, somewhat inexplicable since the Dolphins once led 30-0 and a bunch of touchdowns weren't even counted in the second half.
It was essentially a dress rehearsal for Miami's preseason opener at Chicago on Thursday.
"It's great to be with the fans," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "I thought they created a great atmosphere for a football practice in training camp. It's great for the players. A couple guys already came up to me and were like, 'Wow coach, I'm glad we did that.' We've got to get on a bus and go play a game in six days and I thought this was really good preparation for them."
The Dolphins ran about 90 plays, and the announced attendance was about 16,000 with a fireworks show and autograph session afterward. Philbin thanked them for coming, urged them to come see the team play at their remodeled Sun Life Stadium home — and got loud cheers when he suggested they could see the team play in January as well.
Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of second-half touchdowns, both to Jordan Cameron. One went for 26 yards on the first play after the break when he stepped up against heavy pressure and found the tight end in the left corner of the end zone. The other was a 2-yarder in a red-zone situation. Tannehill finished 11 of 17 for 101 yards with the two scores and two interceptions.
Tannehill found Jarvis Landry for a 14-yard gain on the scrimmage's first snap. Two plays later, Suh took over — first running down Lamar Miller for a 12-yard loss after blowing past guard Billy Turner, then immediately following that by catching Damien Williams for a third-down stop.
"It's going to happen," Tannehill said. "When you have an All-Pro player, no matter who's playing guard, there's going to be one play a game or two plays a game where he's getting through."
Later, Suh went back into the game when the offense was 7 yards from the end zone and driving. Perhaps not coincidentally, as soon as Suh re-entered, someone false-started and the drive stalled.
"I've seen him do it in person before," Tannehill said. "I was on the wrong end of some of those hits. I do understand it. Just the energy he brings to the defense in the pass game and the run defense ... I'm glad he's on our side."
Perhaps the most promising part of the night for the Dolphins was from Suh after the scrimmage, when he shrugged off his big plays and described them as the start of him shaking game-situation rust off.
"Just scratching the surface," Suh said. "I've got a lot of work in front of me to do ... I've got some things I'm not happy with."
NOTES: Both kickers — incumbent Caleb Sturgis and rookie challenger Andrew Franks of Division III RPI in Troy, New York — went 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts. ... The Dolphins were late arriving at FIU because they weren't sure they could play. Storms hit the area late in the afternoon and Philbin said the team "kind of sat around the facility" roughly 45 minutes to the north before the weather cleared. ... In all, 15 players caught a pass, with Landry leading the way with three grabs for 37 yards. ... LaMichael James ran for 41 yards on nine carries.