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5 posts from April 27, 2013

April 27, 2013

Dolphins add another DB with final pick

I wanted cornerbacks. I got three in this draft with the latest being Don Jones out of Arkansas State University.

Jones, 5-11 and 191 pounds, has two interceptions in his career.

At the Arkansas State pro day, he ran a 4.42 and 4.40 40-yard dash, according to NFLDraftScout.com. He also recorded a remarkable 42-inch vertical jump, which has skyrocketed his draft stock. For his senior season, he recorded an unofficial 72 tackles with one interception and two passes defensed.

Jones missed the 2010 season becasue he transfered to a JUCO due to academic reasons. He had been a running back in 2009.

Jones, who played strong safety, is expected to get the opportunity to play cornerback.

It's a UF day for the Dolphins, Carpenter on notice

The Dolphins have drafted three University of Florida players today, the latest running back Mike Gillislee and kicker Caleb Sturgis were drafted in the fifth round.

Two things:

Dan Carpenter, who struggled through the middle of the 2012 season, is officially on notice that Miami isn't afraid to replace him.

"Coming into the league you know you have to compete against the best," Sturgis said. "I've seen him kick and he's got a great leg. It'll definitely be fun competing against him."

Despite the slump and finishing the year on injured reserve, Carpenter did connect on 16 of his final 17 kicks before getting hurt.

Gillislee, meanwhile, was a rotational running back at Florida. He rushed for 1,152 yards while averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

The happiest guy on the Dolphins?

Center Mike Pouncey, a Florida guy who predicted the Dolphins would pick three Gators player"s.

Wow that's crazy I can't believe I just predicted that" Pouncey tweeted. "I will be handing out gator shirts to all my teammates this coming up week."

The addition of Gillislee puts Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller on notice. Considered the favorites to win the starting job and then split carries, both now have another player that is a legitimate player who can possibly catch the ball as well as they can.

"I'm just ready to compete," Gillislee said.

Dion Jordan meets the Dolphins

Dion Jordan arrived at Dolphins camp for the first time to meet with coaches, general manager Jeff Ireland, and the media.

The funniest moment of his meeting with the media? He was asked his thoughts on getting a police escort to camp ...

He answered, saying he thought there was "a celebrity showing up."

Funny part is there was no police escort at all.


Anyway, this is the entire press conference:

(On how the flight to Miami was) – “The flight wasn’t bad. (It was a) straight flight. I slept most of the way, so it wasn’t bad at all.”

(On whether the last few days feels like a whirlwind) – “It is a little bit. I’m just trying to take my time and just get everything taken care of before I start camp and things like that.”

(On the things that he needs to take care of before camp starts) – “Well first of all I have to take care of this, the media thing. Then just as far as getting everything situated so when I get in I get acclimated to the city and everything going on here.”

(On what he thought about the motorcycle escort to the facility) – “It wasn’t bad man. It was good, and plus I got to meet the long-time ticket holder. That was a great experience for him I bet, and for me also just meeting somebody who has this much pride for an organization and who has been around for this long.”

(On whether he thought the motorcycle escort was for him or a celebrity) – “I guess I was thinking there was celebrity showing up, but no like I said it was good. I enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure the ticket holder did also.”

(On whether he thinks he needs to add weight to be an effective player in the NFL) – “Everybody that is coming in and getting acclimated to the NFL level, there are a lot of things we need to work on. For me personally, improving my weight and my strength is an area that I am looking forward to getting better at. But you know I understand that it comes along with time and my hard work and taking care of the little things.”

(On how excited he is to play with Cam Wake and learn from him) – “Watching a guy like him for a awhile, seeing his talent and understanding how (good) he is at doing his job of getting after the quarterbacks, it just motivates me that much more to step my game up. Being in meeting rooms and and being out there with him on the practice field, I’m pretty sure I will get to see a lot of the little things that he is doing to improve his game.”

(On whether he thinks he has similar attributes to Wake) – “Yes sir. Like I said I’ve watched him for a while and I’ve seen the way he bends and the way he finishes at quarterbacks. That’s something that I’m looking forward to improving in my game, and you know they brought me in here to do that and take care of the role on the other side.”

(On whether he would compare his motor to Wake’s) – “Yes sir, of course. I do feel like I have a high motor. I work really hard, not just when it’s game time but everyday leading up. So when the lights come on and when it’s game time I turn it on, and like I said I am looking forward to improving in that area and being a great compliment to him on the other side.”

(On what he weighs right now) – “I’m at 250 right now.”

(On how tall he is) – “I’m 6’ 7.”

(On how big he eventually sees himself getting) – “I feel like I can play with the same speed and the same motor right around 260. Like I said I am looking forward to improving in those areas and I know it is something that I have to do personally. I am going to take care of that and get ready for the season.”

On whether 250 is the most he has weighed) – “As far as playing weight, yes sir.”

(On how he would rate his run defense) – “I feel like I am very good at the run. I did well at the University of Oregon. I took care of that part, but I guess because of my size, because I’m not 260 already, most people don’t think I can do that. That comes along with my maturity and taking care of things in the film room and at practice and just taking care of my body. I know as time goes along I’ll be able to be that player I’m looking forward to being.”

(On whether this was his first time in New York City and what he thought about the experience) – “It was, me and my family. It was great. The NFL had a lot of cool things for us to do. Probably for me personally the best thing was the NFL Play 60 thing. It kind of just allowed us, me and the other guys, to take our mind off everything that was going on and get out there with the kids and toss the football around. I had a couple playmakers on my team, so it was good.”

(On whether he went to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building) – “No we didn’t get a chance to do that. We got to go to the New York Stock Exchange actually, and a lot of guys enjoyed that. We also got to visit the hospital up there and got to visit a lot of kids. That was a great experience.”

(On what he thought of the fan contingent at the Draft) – “I stepped on the stage and I didn’t know there were that many fans in the building. But I honestly felt really blessed at the moment. It was a pleasure for the Dolphins to make the move that they did, and I can tell that the fans were really excited.”

(On whether there is another player besides Cam Wake that he looks up to) – “Man honestly in this league there are a lot of great pass rushers, and when I got moved to the defensive side of the ball, you know I really didn’t just look at one person. I tried to take a lot of my attributes from a lot of other players. Guys like a Terrell Suggs or Demarcus Ware. You know I even went back and watched a lot of Lawrence Taylor film because the position I played was a lot similar to his. There a just a lot of little things that, as a player, you can get from anybody.”

(On who made the decision to move him from tight end to the defense in college) – “It was between me and the coach. When Coach Kelly went ahead and he got the head coaching job, you know he offered me the job on the defense. He asked me if I wanted to do it, and for me it was just another challenge that I looked at and openly looked at it and took it. It wasn’t something that I was hesitant about. I was really looking forward to it. I knew I was going to have an opportunity to play, and then I just learned and I just went out there and played and tried my hardest.”

(On whether he enjoys talking to the media and the other obligations that being in the NFL demands) – “It’s different man, honestly it’s different. At the University of Oregon the defensive players don’t get much love (laughing), so it is a little different.”

(On playing at Oregon which is known for its offense and how it felt to be on the defense) – “It was good, man. It was good competing against those guys day-in and day-out. I’ve seen some tremendous talent. It was a blessing for me that he did make the move and put me on the defensive side of the ball because not only did I play against some good offensive players, (but) I played with some good defensive players also - you know, my guys Josh Kaddu who’s here in the city now. It was just good. If somebody had to run on the field after they scored in four or five plays.”

(On coming back onto the field quickly after the offense scored) – “It wasn’t bad. Like I said, we prepared because we practiced against them every day. So we were prepared. We had great depth on the defensive side of the ball, a lot of talent. For us, we just had to be ready. It came down to the defense most of the time. We had to get the ball back to them in close games because we knew sometimes it might not go their way, so we really had to be prepared.”

(On Oregon not sending a ton of players to the NFL and if that creates more responsibility for him) – “No, that’s not a responsibility for me at all. Just being now an alum of the University and seeing all the guys that came before me, it’s a lot of talent that came through. We even had a Heisman hopeful for a minute up there. It’s not a responsibility for me at all. It is a great opportunity for me to represent the University of Oregon and have an opportunity to put them on the map. Like I said, just being there, I felt really blessed and thankful. I worked hard and things  are starting to pay off.”

(On if he has any goals in terms of sacks or starts) – “Man, honestly, I’m just looking forward to coming here and helping out this team and improving and taking the next step that everybody wants to do. Like I said, me personally, I have work to do and I’m going to do what I have to do to be the player that I want to be this year and for the next year’s coming.”

(On if he’s ready for rookie mini-camp next week) – “I’ll be ready to go. I’m going to continue to attack the little things that I’ve been doing before. Next week, when I get back out here, I’ll be ready to roll.”

(On if he feels pressure being a high draft pick) – “No, I don’t feel pressure at all. When it all boils down to it, it’s about what you do on the field and, me and the rest of the rookies and whoever gets here, we all understand that. That’s all that matters and that’s what I’m going to take care of. I’m going to take care of what I have to do as a player.”

(On what other sports he played growing up) – “I was a basketball player and also ran track.”

(On if there was ever a time he thought he would have played basketball) – “For a little bit, but my team wasn’t that good. So it kind of took away a lot of motivation. There’s something about football that always stuck with me. Every time it was Fall time, being out there with my guys, that grind honestly kind of just really grows on you and I think I made the right decision.”

(On if he paid attention to any of the criticism after he was selected) – “No, I didn’t have enough time to pay attention.”

(On if he’s fueled by doubters) – “Of course. Anybody that gets negative comments about them, it kind of motivates you a little bit more. For me, like I said, I’m just worried about what I have to do next, and the next thing for me is getting ready for rookie mini-camp.”

(On what came to mind when someone asked him about the Dolphins– “It’s a possibility. I didn’t really know what was going to happen and, sitting in that green room, it’s stressful not only for me, but for a lot of players because you don’t know what’s going to happen. And they decided to make that move. I was shocked. I was surprised, but, at the same time, I was happy. I was overwhelmed and I just felt like it was a great opportunity for myself and my family.”

(On if someone asked him about the Miami Dolphins before the draft process what he would think of) – “I would have told them, ‘I really don’t know,’ because I really didn’t know it was going to happen and I’m pretty sure a lot of other people didn’t either.”

(On what he thinks of the new Dolphins uniforms) – “It’s nice. I think it fits the city really well. Like I said, for me personally, at the University of Oregon, it wasn’t about the uniform. It was about the players inside the uniform. We had some great players there and I feel like we’ve got  a great team here also.”

(On what percentage of the time he dropped back in coverage last year) – “I probably dropped into coverage 30-40% of the time last year. But me playing coverage, it benefitted me as an athlete and as a defensive player because I had a great understanding of what was going on around me, and plus I was able to get after the quarterback too, so I had the best of both worlds.”

Dolphins pick UF linebacker, Michigan State TE in 4th

The Dolphins picked up a linebacker and tight end with their two fourth round picks today.

The Dolphins spent a lot of money revamping their linebacker corps in free agency but with their first pick of the fourth round (104 overall) the team picked linebacker Jelani Jenkins.

With the (160th pick the team picked TE Dion Sims of Michigan State.

Jenkins is a WLB. He's very similar to Josh Kaddu who the team drafted last season and is hoping to use more as a pass rusher.

Jenkins missed four games due to multiple injuries in 2012. Durability is a big issue with this player.

Jenkins was a fine cover linebacker in college. He had one interception last season.

"I hope to be able to help out as fast as I can," Jenkins said. "However I can do that, I'll do whatever the coaches ask me to."

Sims, 6-4 and 265 pounds, is a classic tight end type. He's burly. He's lumbering.

He does, however, seem to have good hands.

"I'm an all-around tight end and I can do everything," Sims said. "I came a long way. I've been putting a lot of work in. Blocking and catching is my specialty. I'm a versatile tight end."

In 2010, Sims was suspended from the team for his participation in a theft ring. So there's that.

"It's pretty much in the past and it's behind me," Sims said. "I learned a lot from that situation and not be so naive."

Sims said all the teams he spoke to asked him about the incident and he "told them the truth and the whole story."

Ireland, Philbin discuss Dolphins Friday haul of draft talent

This is how it works: The Dolphins work the entire day at trying to improve their roster during the NFL draft and after all the rounds are complete -- rounds two and three were held Friday -- then both general manager Jeff ireland and coach Joe Philbin leave the team war room and meet with the media.

That meeting on Friday happened around 10:45 p.m. and the two men discussed the additions of Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor, Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas and Utah State cornerback Willie Davis.

This is what was said:

Jeff Ireland

(Opening remarks) – “Good evening.  So we obviously gave up the 42nd pick yesterday when we met for Dion (Jordan). So at (selection) 54 we took Jamar Taylor, a cornerback from Boise State.  Great kid.  Prototypical size and speed.  Very smart.  Very physical.  Can play inside and outside.  So we’re very happy to have him.   We took Dallas Thomas at (selection) 77 from Tennessee.  He’s played guard, he’s played tackle.  He’s very versatile.  I’ll let Coach (Joe Philbin) address where he plans on playing him.  But, you know, big, big physical kid.  I’m looking forward to having him on the team.  We traded the 82nd pick and then back into the third round with Green Bay and selected Will Davis, another cornerback out of Utah State.  Another prototypical left cornerback that can play inside and outside.  Very skilled athlete.  Doesn’t have a lot of experience.  He’s kind of been through the junior college route.  Really came on the scene this year.  Played at the Senior Bowl.  Had a great look at him there and looking forward to him to developing fast.  So at that point I will open to any questions.  Then, obviously the trade that tonight (sent), Davone Bess to Cleveland.  As I told you last night, it was kind of a dead issue as I left the building yesterday.  It heated back up again today and we went ahead and did the trade."

(On the rationale behind trading out of the third round and then later trading back into it)– “Well, we had a couple of players there and when you have a couple of players you feel like there’s value there that you know you’re going to get one so we traded back (and) picked up (an) additional fourth.  (We) saw some corners go off, you know there, and I felt like we need to go back in there and get him.  So that’s what happened.  Lost a couple of players on board at that point and felt like we needed to go back in and get him."

(On what stood out about Jamar Taylor)– “Well, like I said, he’s a great kid.  You know what you love about him is he’s very smart.  He’s very physical.  He’s got very good ball skills.  He plays with a great awareness, instinct and so just a combination of all the things he can bring the intelligence, the character, the speed, the physicality, the ball skills. Those are all things that obviously we covet in a cornerback position.  And I felt like he had those things.  Specifically after combine, I mean we put everybody on the board and so I don’t think there was anything out of the ordinary."

(On if Dallas Thomas will play guard or tackle) – “I’m going to let coach address where he’s going to play him, but I think he can play either way."

(On needing to create more takeaways and how Taylor and Will Davis will help with that)- “I think both Will and Jamar have very good ball skills.  Taylor is very physical.  He can get it out.  He can go up and get it or he can knock it out with forced fumbles and PBU’s (pass breakups) and Will, he’s kind of a very, very good at getting the ball out from a PBU standpoint.  Both those guys have very good ball skills in my opinion.  I think they’re both going to be play makers."

(On why he traded Davone Bess) – “Why trade Davone Bess? Well obviously we did some things in the offseason that made us feel a lot better about the position. I’ll let coach (Head Coach Joe Philbin) address some of the things as well, but we feel very good about the group we have with Mike (Wallace) and Brandon (Gibson) and Brian (Hartline) and Rishard (Matthews), so it felt like we had a little bit of value there that we could move on from. I wish Davone the best actually."

(On whether the Brandon Albert trade is still on the table) – “You know, never say never. I mean I don’t want to lead you guys on to anything, but I don’t think that’s going to really amount to much. I’ll give you my personal opinion. Like I said there is really nothing more to it today than there was yesterday."

(On whether Will Davis is more of a project and if he can play some safety) – “I don’t believe (so). I see Will as more of a corner. I think he can play inside and outside, but his corner skill set is probably not that of a safety. I think he is more of a corner. And is he more of a project? I think guys develop in different stages in their career. Obviously with his experience level you would think that he may be a little bit of a developmental player, but I think the guy has the skill set to play in this league. I think that with the great coaching that we have and the players around him, he will develop fast."

(On whether he feels that he has his five starters on the offensive line with Dallas Thomas now in the fold) – “Well that’s yet to be determined. He's going to be one of the guys that is competing for a spot. I feel very good about where Dallas is going to play, but coach is going to say, ‘hey it’s a competitive position,’ obviously, and we may not be done yet. We’ll see."

(On what he saw in Dallas Thomas that made him think he can help this offensive line) – “We spent a lot of time watching him play in 2011 and 2012. I personally made a school call there, and I love the versatility. In certain games he can play guard, he can play tackle. Obviously the versatility. When you see a big guy that can pull and move his feet and play guard and tackle on the left side, that’s pretty unique. So obviously the versatility was one component."

(On whether he thought he was going to revamp the defensive backfield going into tonight) – “Not necessarily. You don’t really know how the board is going to fall. Obviously I thought this was a pretty good corner draft and that’s basically how the board fell. You had some good corners on the board and they’re core positions; the corner position, the tackle position, the guard position and obviously defensive end. Again I think they are prototypical players, size players, they’re very good character guys, and they are core position players."

(On his comments earlier about there being a position that he really liked, and whether he addressed that position today or has yet to do so) – “Well today is over, and I liked today, so I’m going to like tomorrow too. But, it was a certain area of the draft that I certainly liked today for sure. It was more or less the second round, but a lot of players were picked off our board just about where we had them. It was a good day. I feel really good about it."

Joe Philbin

(On Dallas Thomas’ versatility) - “Same thing Jeff said – we watched on film both years. Obviously, this year, he primarily played at the left guard and the year before tackle. So we like his versatility. We liked his athleticism. We thought he had a pretty good technique and I think he has a bright future. He’s a fluid athlete. We like his size and we thought he was well-coached at Tennessee. So we’ll see. We’re going to start him on the left side. I’m not sure where yet. We’ve got to see how the weekend unfolds and take a look at things, but we’re excited about him."

(On how the competition Thomas faced at Tennessee helps him transition to the NFL) -  “Yeah, it’s good film to watch. We threw on last year, we watch him against South Carolina, at LSU. This year, I think we watched him against Florida, Georgia and those type of teams. You get a look at him against different fronts, different schemes. It’s a great coaches league, the SEC. So I thought we got a good look at him."

(On his thoughts on trading Davone Bess) - “I wish him the best of luck in Cleveland. He worked his tail off for us. He played well and he had a great attitude the two weeks in the offseason program and I wish him well."

(On if he doesn’t know yet where he wants Thomas to play) - “We’ll see. You’ve got to get your hands on people a little bit. We’ve seen him play both positions. I think he’s got ability at both spots. We’ll see how the depth chart unfolds."

(On if he feels good about the defensive backfield)  -  “I like the two players that we took today, absolutely. I like them a lot."

(On if Thomas is polished at both guard and tackle)- “He’s a pretty good technique player. Like I said, I think Harry Hiestand did a very good job with him. I think Sam Pittman was his line coach this year. Those guys are very, very good college football coaches and you can see that on the tape. He takes a good first step typically. He’s not perfect. He has good hand usage and we like those things about him. He moves fluidly. It doesn’t look like he’s real herky-jerky. We think he has a chance."

(On why Tennessee wouldn’t keep Thomas at tackle) - “Again, I didn’t coach Tennessee. You’d have to ask those guys."

(On if he talked to Tennessee’s coaches about why they moved Thomas around)

Philbin: “I didn’t really ask that question."

Ireland: “They had a young recruit that they really liked and they were moving him from tackle to guard as well.”