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David Hinds: On a journey climbing from the bottom

After the Dolphins rookie minicamp last weekend, the personnel department brought the dozen or so players that were trying out into the team room. General Manager Jeff Ireland got in front of the group, thanked them all for their work and announced he was signing only one of them.

The general manager then dismissed everyone and one of his assistants grabbed that one player who still had no clue he was the one just selected.

Meet David Hinds. Outside Linebacker.

Hinds is the newest and perhaps most inspiring Dolphins rookie. He has a long, long way to go but he just made the leap from not being draft or signed as a free agent to getting a tryout -- a process that rarely turns into NFL success -- and now he's got a contract and a chance to live his dream.

"I didn't really understand at first," Hinds said. "I didn't really understand how the tryouts really went. But the guy came up to me after the meeting and I was shocked. Praise God, that's the first thing I felt. Praise God. I felt like going down with emotion, but I kept it together. God is amazing."

The Dolphins congratulated Hinds, explained what they expect of him, and signed him to a contract.

"I called my dad once I got to my car because he was praying for me and when we were watching the draft together he was down but didn't say anything because he didn't want me to feel bad," Hinds said. "I knew it bothered him a lot that I didn't get drafted so I called him and told him and it was great."

When the Dolphins announced the signing on Sunday it was almost an afterthought because it went out in the same media release as the more newsworthy and prominent Tyson Clabo signing. But that didn't seem to matter in Hinds' world.

His phone blew up.

"I didn't have to tell anybody because I was getting calls from all over the place," he said. "It was a great feeling. I was humbled by it, man.

"It is one of the biggest moments of my life. You don't know what to expect but this was what I wanted to do since I was a little kid. I get to stay home. This is where I'm from. It takes a lot of stress off going somewhere else while I'm trying to accomplish this goal."

Hinds will get his chance on special teams and at outside linebacker. He's not big at 6-0 and 223 pounds. But he is quick (4.7 in the 40) and smart.

"I'm not the biggest guy but my speed, my agility, my reaction time is good," he said. "I feel like I'm a good cover guy."

Hinds attended the regional and super regional combine. He didn't attend the one in Indianapolis. And then he relied on his work in front of Miami coaches to speak on his behalf. 

"Man, honestly I went out there and gave it my all," he said. "I wanted to learn. I wanted to compete. I just wanted to show the coaches that I could be good for the organization. And I prayed a lot. I stayed in my playbook. I felt that if I gave it my all, that's all I could do. I just gave everything I had and just waited for the results."

Said Ireland: "The hard work, attitude and attention to detail David showed during the weekend rookie orientation paid off. As a player invited to try out, David approached the whole process -- highlighted by his work ethic during practices and meetings -- with the type of characteristics that we are looking to add to the Miami Dolphins."

You have to pull for this kid now, no?

He shone even when the draft rejected him. He picked himself up when 32 teams told him time and again that he wasn't worthy of being picked. 

"I reacted positively," Hinds said. "It was just me, my dad and my mom. They didn't want to sit down. My mom started cooking and my dad was pacing back and forth and going in and out while doing things around he house. I was the only one that sat there and watched it. I prepped myself because they all told me I'd be either a seventh-rounder or undrafted. So I understood the process. I was ready for it. Regardless, I knew I had a chance to go into somebody's camp."

Hinds understood his chances weren't over. But he didn't really understand how far he had to go. The fact is he didn't get drafted and then the mad dash by teams to fill their rosters with undrafted free agents also passed him by. Trying out off the street was his last chance at, well, a chance.

"I didn't understand that a tryout was different from a free agent at first but after I talked to my agent, I got it. The whole process, I believed in myself. I know there's a plan for me. I feel l can play football so any opportunity I get, I'm going to make the most of it."

So how did Hinds get noticed?

"I went in there and focused on special teams. I focused on being the first person in and trying to be the last person out. I tried to give them my undivided attention, paid attention to the details, and anything they asked me to do, I tried to do it correctly and at 110 percent. I wanted to show them that I belong. And right now, I have to keep showing them that.

"They gave me the opportunity, so now I have to work toward trying to make the 53 man roster and represents the organization best I can."

Hinds is a local boy. Yes, he played at FAU but also is a product of Miami Edison High. He lived in a little apartment behind the plaza on NW 79th street.

"My parents have a shop on 54th street in Little Haiti," Hinds said. "I'd walk home from there."

Hinds played only one year of high school ball at Edison because he didn't qualify academically before his senior year. He still got a full college scholarship and then started for the Owls as a true freshmen.

"I understand I'm at the bottom," Hinds. "I know I've got a long way to go. But I also know how to work myself from the bottom to the top. I'm very humble and I'm going to work my tail off. This organization made a great decision and I'm going to prove them right."


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Love this story. I'm an FAU grad. I will follow this closely. Hope I get to buy his jersey.

I see the team carrying 6 LB's on the 53 man roster. Wheeler, Ellerby, Misi, Trusnik, Jenkins and Kaddu. The team will definately need to carry an extra LB on the practice squad in case of injury. Hinds seems like a guy who would welcome the practice squad to start his career.

Nice human interest story for filler. Maybe Armando's buddy Billy Corben can do a 30/30 piece on him.

...Kris.. I loved me some Micah Johnson as well. Man he could hit. Couldn't play linebacker though!

Craig M..I think you have every right to have tempered expectations for the team. Funny because I have a different criteria for Jordan but not the team..Ironic eh? Anyway, this franchise has to win some games before we start to get the benefit of the doubt. Before we go into seasons expecting to win 10 plus games like it our birthright.

On paper. We look like a better team. We all know impressive off-season's aren't guarantees for anything. I am excited for this season. Would I be shocked if we ended up with a similar record to last year? No. Disappointed, not shocked. I don't know what to expect for this team. To many new parts to guess right now.

Afraid Of Gillislee?

I Wish Him Well.

I'm Just Trying To Caution Everyone's Over Optimism On Him. As The Biggest Dolphins Homer I'm Just Being Objective.

Better Pass Blocker Than Miller? Cause Of Why? Someone's Opinion. Have You Seen Gillislee Pass Block An NFL LB.

The Coaches Probably Used That Excuse To Keep Reggie The Veteran On The Field. Cause Once Reggie And D. Thomas Started Fumbling L. Miller's Pass Blocking Seemed Fine Then. And That Was The Only Excuse Not To Start Miller Over Those 2 Scrubs.

Gillislee Is No R. Bush. And Even R. Bush Knew By The End Of The Season His Replacement Was Already On The Team. Why Do You Think The Fins Brought Zero Free Agent RBs In. Even At A Minimum.

E. Lacy and M. Ball Are Better Cutback Runners. Way Better. E. Lacy Might've Been Slow(Lacy Was Only A Little Slower Than Gillislee) , But His Agility And Ability To Make 1 Cut And Go Was Unmatched In The Draft.

Agreed. Gillislee Will Probably Be Part Of A Rotation. At Best.

But Some Here Are Already Talking About Him Unseating A Younger More Talented L. Miller.

The Travis Minor Comparison Is A Legit One. I'm Not Insulting Him. Like You Said He Does A lot Of Things Good, Not 1 Thing Great.

Minor Was Actually A 3rd Round Pick.

D. Thomas Compares To JJohnson.

Minor Was Better Than JJohnson.

Just Being Objective.


Someone here said they hope to be able to buy this kid's Dolphin Jersey. When did they start selling the jersey of practice squad players?

Yup, that's right, its a long uphill battle for this kid to even make the ps team.

Remember, it's very rare for even a udfa to make 53 man roster. Usually their best hopes are to make a ps team. David Hinds isn't even an udfa, he's a tryout invite.

Also, there are at 3 guys from the 2013 draft who'll be competing for special teams spots. That's what's going to make it so difficult for even 1 udfa to make 53 man roster there.

Hinds will get 2yrs on ps to make the team. If not, the team will move on to the next "David Hinds" story.

...Lets break down the 53.. QB(3) O-Line (8) TE(4) RB(5) WR(5) Special Teams(4) DL(9) LB(6) Corner(6) Saftey(4)..This would be my guess. Obviously there would be special teams guys within the units. The 4 special teamers were Kicker, Punter, Long snapper, Return..Someone in the 53 can be the holder

I keep telling you guys, the best back in this draft went to Seattle in Michael (2nd round, way above original 4th round grade)...

I would've settled for bernard, Bell, or Franklin. I don't like Gillislee. Average athlete and small. Dashi the Travis Minor comparables are what was going through my head too. But don't forget Minor played a lot of years here. I'd take that out of a 5th round pick.


Another great post @10:55am. I think that's exactly right....disappointment. As you've said 'a lot of new parts'. Looks great on paper but so did the Eagles team a couple of years back. It will all depend on how quickly this team comes together, how Tannehill develops, whether the LT can hold up and whether the defence can become a cohesive unit in a short period of time. Again, looks good on paper but who knows.


Good point on the WBC. I think we're stuck with Buerhle. His contracts becomes astronomical the next few years. To me, AA is very much on thin ice (how's that for a 'CANADIEN' reference, Canadien Bacon?).

Realistically, I see only 2-3 udfa's that may have chance to make 53 man roster.

Jasper Collins, Chad Bumphis as returners. Then maybe only one of these.

..Dashi. Good post. No I have not seen Gillislee block at this level. So I am only going off what I was from Gillislee, and what I know about Miller. Miller didn't see more of the field because he was a liability in pass pro. I don't think it was some weird conspiracy that kept him off the field.. C.J. Spiller took 2 years before the Bills started to trust him...Now look.

I can only comment on what I know. I know that I watched Gillislee play in a pro style offense I watched him pick up rushers in a game V LSU that convinced me he was a guy that could play.

Funny though..How many times have you said college guy is better then pro guy? I'll give it too you. Because I always found those statements ludicrous. Yet I am doing the same now. I haven't seen Gillislee block anyone yet.Why draft him? He must have a skill set we were looking for.


What I like most about Gillislee is that his body of work was in the SEC and he wasn't running behind the Bama oline. Far from it, and was still very impressive.

I wonder what happens if Eddie Lacy ran beind the Gators oline in 2012 and Gillislee behind Bama's?


On The 53.

O-Line - 9
D-Line - 8
LBs - 8 (Special Teams Coverage Players Usually Are LB's)

Fields Is The Holder. And Returners Play Other Positions.

when you guy's talk pure football,your at your best.Thanks,out.

Playoffs or Bust

We definitely have our work cut out and it comes down to many guys stepping up and taking on the next step in stride. I would be be disappointed if we weren't in the the real thick of a Wild Card birth all the way up until the end.

Players who have to take the next step for Miami to succeed and make the playoffs

1. Ryan Tannehill - I'm a believer in him. I love his intangibles. He's mature, smart, athletic and the old cliche can make all the throws. He has to get better with his touch and he has to be able to take advantage of Mike Wallace and even Hartline's ability to get deep and connect. He was flat out terrible at it last year. However with much more talent to work with I believe he has a good year, good enough to make the playoffs? We will see.

2. Ellerbe/Wheeler - One of these guys has to be the player they were brought into be. Unlike their predecessors Dansby/Burnett they have to make a difference in game or 2 and make big time plays from the under rated LB spots in a 4-3. A big redzone turnover, forced fumble, int or even points on the board would be something the other 2 stiffs Dansby/Burnett never did.

3. Reshad Jones - He was without a doubt an emerging player and to an extent and emerging star last year. He has to continue to build off of that and not only play to that level but even better.

4. Mike Wallace - he has to be the game changer he was brought into be. The last splash WR was a bust. Marshall racked up yards but I remember him more for his drops then dominant games or even game changing plays. Wallace was paid like a game changer and needs to turn that 10 yard slant into a 50 yrd TD. The days of 12-15 plays drives needs to become a thing of the past.

5. Jonathan Martin - He has a tall task in front of him. I am optimistic in him for the same reasons I am optimistic in Tannehill. He has good mechanics, obviously smart and a mature player. If he can get football-functional stonger a sold B minus work on most Sundays would be a huge step.

Body Of Work?

His 1 Average Season.


E. Lacy Was The Most Underrated Player In The Draft.

M. Ingram and T. Richardson Hurt E. Lacy More Than Running Behind That Magnificent O-Line.

Gillislee Wouldn't Have Made Te'o His B'tch. Or J. Jones and Ogletree His Side Pieces.

Gillislee Gained 100yds 5 Times In A 4 Year College Career.

Can We Say Inconsistent.

Look At The Game Log

L. Miller

M. Gillislee

L. Miller Is A Better RB.

And If Alabama Had A Better O-Line Than Florida. Florida Had A Better O-Line Than Miami.


On your 1-5 list, the greatest question mark may easily be Martin. But, I still like the kid and absolutely believe he will come thru.

Wallace, an the TE additions, absolutely makes life much easier for Tannehill in 2013. I believe Tannehill has to suffer season long amnesia not to have success this year.

I just absolutely love the prospects of what we will see on the defensive side of the ball this. It may be the defensive side. and not the offensive side of the ball, that shocks and awes us most this season.


Without looking it up, name 1 startng olineman for the Gators in 2012.

Plug Gillislee behind the Bama horses and he's probably a 1st rd pick. Plug Lacy behind the "where are they now" oline of the 2012 Gators and he's even more plain average than Gillislee.

When Cam Cameron came to the Fins in 2007 he wanted a faster smaller team.

When Bill Parcells showed up he wanted a bigger, stronger team.

Now Philbin is here and the circle is complete back to smaller faster players.

When he leaves the next coach will want bigger stronger.


Plug Lacy behind the 2012 gators oline and I highly doubt he's even a 1,000yd rusher. He's probably a 750-900yd rb.

Posted by: Omar kelly | May 08, 2013 at 11:39 AM

I believe you're wrong about Philbin. I think he likes incorporating a blend of both. Yet he does want his big players fast and athletic too. But he likes his smaller players extremely fast.

However, Philbin's moniker seems to be more "very athletic and smart". This is what I believe Philbin wants most from his players, no matter how great their other attributes.

YG 4ever,

Agreed. If Tannehill can't build off of last year it would be tough to swallow. If he was outstanding or a playoff caliber QB then the word sophomore slump might would work but in his case he hasn't come far enough yet but I believe this will a good season for him. I like what Sherman said about him believing he will be the most improved QB in the league and I believe him.

Quiet as church mice pissing on cotton in here. Im out.

I know someone is a genuine Miamian if they pronounce (and spell) Fontainebleau correctly.

It is pronounced "FAWN-TAN-BLUH" not "FOUNTAIN-BLUE."

People who say it the second way are uneducated simpletons who are not from here.


Thank goodness you posted, was about to leave.


I believe we see great improvement in pass pressure and coverage on defense. This should naturally lead to more turnovers and stops.

More turnovers and stops naturally leads to more possessions and better field position for the offense over 2012's count.

So this naturally leads to more and better opportunities for Tannehill to capitalize on this year. It will all began on defense. If the defense is much improved, I believe, so will Ryan Tannehill be much improved.

More turnovers and stops will naturally lead to better scoring opportunities for Tannehill and this dolphins offense.

If Jonas Gray comes back from his injury, I have the feeling that Daniel Thomas gets cut. We haven't seen what Gray can do since he hasn't seen the field yet. But, we've seen Thomas and his fumbles and injuries, etc. Both are North-South runners. Miller will be the primary back with Gillislee in on 3rd downs and either Gray or Thomas our short-yardage back. Thigpen is more of a return specialist and receiver-type back.

I pity the other teams who will have to play this defense! Speed kills and it looks like Miami will have plenty of it all over the field. The Dolphins will be looking to bring in defensive packages to create mismatches, something only offenses normally do. If they can get them coached up in time, I see a top 5 defense in the making.

I'll also be surprised if our offense isn't top 15. But, everybody looks good on paper this time of year. We'll know more once the games begin...especially by the Bye Week.

True about the misconception of faster smaller players. Jamar Taylor was the strongest CB in this draft. Jordan or Thomas didn't lift. jenkins was 3rd strongest of the OLBs at 27 reps. What good is big if it's slow and soft like Menelik Jenkins. Surprised they drafted Martin for that reason. Sims 22 reps was 3rd among TEs. These guys have power.

Any way............... this and Im out..........

Very early we should know what this team's 2013 fortunes will be. The greatest indicators will be defensive pressure and coverage, then redzone offense.

If we see struggles in these areas, hold on tight, it'll be another 7-9 rocky ride.

* Menelik Watson


Top 15 defense? Im sure you know there are only 32 nfl teams.

Top 15, and we're probably hovering around 0-7 to 8-8=-ish.



No matter how you say it, it costs a ton to stay there!

Nothing on the arm! They charge for everything!

Hey guys, I would of love to see if we could of drafted a bigger WR as a project like a 6'3 215 plus guy, we seem to have a lot of 6'0 200 pounds WR which is ok but the more weapons the better, we def need a TE for redzone situations im 98% sure Keller is gone after this year

Good luck David, Stay humble and keep working hard and your spot on this team will be there for you. No doubt. I really believe you will make this team.

This guy Hinds is an upgrade over Misi.
Another great move by Ireland.
Tannehill will have no one to blame but himself when he fukks up this opportunity.

Agree wth ameltoeJoe@12:51

Clue, maybe Derrick Rogers??? For this guy to go as an undrafted free agent to Buffalo, his character flaws must be worse than Mathieu or T'eo. Crazy stuff.

Ross and his wife have four children, with the youngest entering college. In a one-page letter posted on givingpledge.org, the former tax attorney said he would give away “the substantial majority of my assets to charitable causes.”

So Ross will be 73 on Friday! Happy Birth Day!

But he has a Kid "Entering College".....?

Does this mean Ross was "Banging Away" and having Babies in his mid Fifties?

Go Stevie!!!!

Odin, must be. heck my father was a champ too. he was 47 when I was born ..

I just Love Stephen Ross' latest announcement.

It really just goes to show how utterly ignorant Mando's Trained "Pool Bu-oy" really is when he tries to talk "The Dolphins" with the Grown-Ups-ROTFLMAO!

Can any of you remember the umpteen Gazillion times The Troll Tard called Ross, Greedy, Cheap, Money Hungry, etc, etc.......

Well, here's a couple of excerpts for you Troll Tards. It just PROVES what UTTER BUFFOONS you and ALoco **TRULY ARE** ROTFLMAO!

**Dolphins owner Ross promises to give away most of his fortune to charity**

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on Tuesday pledged to donate the bulk of his $4 billion fortune to charity once he dies, joining a list of prominent billionaires in the so-called “giving pledge.”

In his message on the Giving Pledge website, Ross touted his upbringing in a middle-class Detroit neighborhood as teaching him the value of “giving back.”

“I am delighted, grateful and honored to join this important effort in the hope that collectively we can leave the world a little bit better place than we found it,’’ wrote Ross, who turns 73 on Friday. His was one of nine billionaire pledges that the Seattle-based charity announced Tuesday.

Tuesday’s charity pledge announcement puts Ross in the company of the country’s most famous billionaires. Ross wrote he was grateful to join “Bill” and “Warren” — Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — along with Gates’ wife, Melinda, in making the public pledge to give away the bulk of his money. Buffett and the Gateses are the leading advocates for the pledge.

Ross and his wife have four children, with the youngest entering college. In a one-page letter posted on givingpledge.org, the former tax attorney said he would give away “the substantial majority of my assets to charitable causes.”

-More important than proving what USELESS, LIVING AFTER-BIRTHS The Twin Tard Trolls are, this latest puts Ross in with some very Historically Famous People.

While The Vanderbilt's, Carnegie's, Rockefeller's and Ford's were ruthless, low-life scumbags. They really tried to redeem themselves and "Give Back" to the Country and People that helped make them so filthy rich.

It seems as they grew old, they learned some very important lessons. As competitive as these Giants of Industry were, they even tried to out do each other in their efforts to Give Back and leave a lasting legacy.

I'm not going to even try comparing Ross, The Gate's and The Buffet's to these Giants. But for all intents and purposes, these guys are doing very similar types of things with the Private Fortunes. It's Good Stuff!

Now, what was that you were saying Troll Tards....?

Oh yeah, Ross..........he's one Cheapo SOB!

Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!



nice story..i am rooting for him...

There must be a linebacker with more upside than Jason Trusnick as a backup. Find any acorn you can Ireland to get this guy off the team.

Who was that big strong LB that Odin was pulling for last year....I can't remember his name...but according to Odin....he had ALL the phsical tools...and was extemely quick/fast for his size....and he enede up being cut....

Posted by: Kris | May 08, 2013 at 10:18 AM


You mean last year.......or the year before....?

Or the one the year before last.....?

Or the one 4 years ago-LOL...?

I kind of "Specialize" in rooting for those Longshot Linebackers.

I think you might even be referring to the Linebacker I was rooting for from Two Years ago. He got cut, went to KC, got cut from there.

I haven't heard about him since. The funny thing is, I can't even remember his name at the moment.

That's OK though, I have Hinds and Kovacs for NOW-LOL!



I should've kept reading before I responded to you.

Was this the guy you remember me rooting for?

I admit it, I thought this Guy was going to be a Hall Of Famer!

...Has anyone seen Micah Johnson???

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | May 08, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Don't get it with many of you here.

You'll accept a team full of Davon Besses, then when the team isn't successful cry like b'itches, then when we try to remove the Davon Besses so that we can win.

You still cry like b'itches.

At some point you'll have to make up your minds. Do you want a team full of Davon Besses, or do you want to win.

You cant have it both ways!

Hell, personally Im rooting against this guy. If tryouts invitees can come in and make the 53 man roster. It signifies we have HUGE issues with the 53 man roster.

If any other gm, including our own, didn't see enough in this kid to in the least bring him in as a udfa. You may as well put your fairytale books down right now.

While we're at it, lets just go ahead and litter thje entire 53 man roster with udfa's and tryout invitees just because it'll make many of you happy.

Im sure every oc and dc in this league will absolutely love it!

Imall about having a team that wins games and sb championships. Not leading the league in longshot feel good stories.

When this happens, come December we'll be leading the league in "feel bad" stories.

The Replacements!! Go Falco!!!

This is only one of those stories where at the end you say, "well good for him", then move on.

It only means he has a legit chance to compete for a ps spot. He'll have to be a preseason raging inferno, just to make st's.

I'm usually agree with you YG, but I can't on 1:33. If that was the case, Cam Wake would still be in Canada, or selling insurance. Or whatever his job was before coming to the Fin's.

This time next season, we probably remember his name nor story. Yet 1 post here, say he hopes he'll be able to buy the kid's jersey.

Boy are there some gullible of the gullibles in this blog!

yeah...that was they guy....lol...

Posted by: Rage | May 08, 2013 at 01:45 PM

Cam Wake was cut by the Giants as a rookie. Cam Wake was "DRAFTED". He went to Canada to revive his pro football aspirations.

If, and this is a HUGE IF. If this kid can make ps he'll have 2yrs to try and make st's. If not, he'll probably end up in Canada too.

Then you can test your theory in the "comparison" to Cam Wake. Just don't hold your breath on it.

Im not being negative, just being realistic.

Still looking for the next consecutive 20+ sack seasons Cam Wake in Canada.........

Still waiting......... Still waiting................


Im sure many here are the type that would go to the racetrack and bet every race on the greatest longshot dog.

Then go home with head in hand wondering why you always lose your ass.

YG, don't be a D-bag. I am stating that you never know. This is not a attack on you, so simmer.

Sure longshots eventually do come in. But you don't want to go naked, hungry, and homeless in great expectations of it.

Koa Misi was the best linebacker on a pretty good defense last year. Philbin said he had to make the biggest adjustment and got it right. On our defense, against a good running team (San Francisco or Seattle), he was awesome. We beat Seattle and played San Fran well enough to beat them.

Misi is part of the defense being versatile. We don't play New England every week.

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