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9 a.m. Fins signing; Tannehill, Jordan, JT & lots of Dolphins chatter; A dozen Heat notes; Marlins, Canes buzz

9 a.m. update: According to a close associate, the Dolphins are signing former Buccaneers cornerback Anthony Gaitor, an FIU grad who has played in 12 NFL games. Gaitor played in eight games for Tampa in 2011, four in 2012 (with two starts) but missed all of last season with a knee injury. He has 12 career tackles.

A former seventh-round pick in 2011, Gaitor played with Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, Jacory Harris and others at Miami Northwestern. He has experience covering slot receivers.

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Chatter from the first day of Dolphins’ full-squad offseason practices:

### The pressure is heightened on the Dolphins’ 2012 and 2013 first-round draft picks, and coaching issues surround each.

For Dion Jordan, the question is whether coordinator Kevin Coyle and his staff can be creative enough to carve out more playing time amid their decision to keep him at defensive end behind Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon and not move him to linebacker.

For Ryan Tannehill, the issue is whether new coordinator Bill Lazor --- who said he is very “demanding” with quarterbacks – can extract from Tannehill what he and Eagles coach Chip Kelly squeezed out of Nick Foles (27 touchdowns, two picks last season). Foles was drafted 88th in 2012, 80 spots after Tannehill.

Tannehill struggled at times Tuesday, throwing an interception to Cortland Finnegan, overthrowing a deep ball to Mike Wallace and throwing two other passes nearly intercepted by Finnegan and Jamar Taylor.

“It’s been exciting but challenging, completely different system,” Tannehill said. “Lot of stuff we haven’t done before. There’s still a learning curve. It’s not going to come overnight. Receivers are running routes they haven’t run before. [Lazor] wants to run it fast. We’re going to huddle but once we break we want to put pressure on the defense.”

Lazor will push Tannehill hard.

I asked Lazor where Tannehill needs to improve. Lazor's reponse: “I want to see the ball coming out on time, his footwork telling him when it’s time to throw it. I want to see that he trusted us that this is how it all fits together. The quarterback has got to play at game speed every day in practice.

“The receivers will catch up to him. That’s the first thing we’re trying to do with Ryan…. If you see them back there holding the ball or patting the ball, you’ll know I’m not happy.”

Lazor said with quarterbacks: “You’ve got to make it very clear what you expect, not only what to do but how to do it. And No. 2, you’ve got to be very demanding. If you’re demanding but didn’t go a good job explaining how you want it done, then you’re a jerk who just yells all the time.

“If you do a great job teaching it but you don’t hold them to a real high standard, then their play is only going to reach a certain level and it’s going to stop. But if you can do a great job teaching that 'this is what I want done and exactly how I want it done’ and hold them to it every single day. Every guy has traits that can be improved, but if a quarterback is accurate and he’s decisive, you get a feel that you can work with him. You can mold him. You can push him.”

Though Zac Taylor is the QB coach in title, it will be fascinating to see what Lazor can get out of Tannehill.      

As for Jordan, the third overall pick in 2013 played the fewest snaps of any defensive player drafted among the top 20 last April. Jordan said he was 260 last season and is now just over 265.

“I needed it,” he said. “I was too light to go against some of those offensive tackles. It wasn’t weight. It was mainly getting stronger. I’m trying to better myself in a lot of areas.”

Though Jordan’s defensive coordinator at Oregon believes he would be better suited to linebacker, Philbin said the staff has decided against that because “to develop him and those [pass-rushing] skills requires a time commitment. And if you’re always worried about pass drops and who you have in zone --- not that we haven’t used him in there” then there’s less time to focus on being a pass rusher.

### Jason Taylor, at practice on Monday, approached Philbin about working with the defensive linemen as a volunteer, and the Dolphins hope that will help Jordan.

“I think he’s going to be around a lot in OTAs,” Philbin said.  “I don’t know if there could be a bigger mentor for our young players. He’s energetic and enthusiastic about helping out and contributing.”

Jordan, who has been compared physically to JT, is thrilled to have him around: "It’s wonderful. Just his presence alone I feel like it’s a benefit to this team because not only was he a great player, he’s a great person. He’s dropping a lot of knowledge. He’s going to be in there watching film and working with us out here, so I’m going to pick his brain.”

Nick Buoniconti addressed the team last week and Philbin said he has reached out to other former Dolphins.

### Philbin stopped short of saying Koa Misi’s move to middle linebacker is permanent but the Dolphins are intrigued by the possibility. With Misi in the middle, “we should be more stout,” Philip Wheeler said. “He’s obviously a bigger guy.”

And Dannell Ellerbe, who played middle linebacker last season, said, “I got to show more athleticism outside. In Baltimore, I played outside. Koa's athletic and fast enough to do it. We have to get him on the field more.”

The job carries a lot more responsibility for Misi, who will be responsible for barking out the calls if he stays in the middle.

By the way, Wheeler took all the first team snaps and said he expects to be the starter. (So far, there's no indication Jelani Jenkins is seriously challenging him.) Also, it was interesting that Misi and Wheeler --- and not Ellerbe --- were on the field in some traditional nickel packages.

### What did we see of Lazor’s offense Tuesday? Lots of: shotgun, screens, motion, dump offs to running backs, three-receiver sets (one with tight end Charles Clay lined up on the opposite side), two tight end sets, sets with either one back or two backs with each lining up next to the quarterback and a few read option plays and a receiver reverse.

The Dolphins huddled “most of the day,” but “there will be times we operate a different way,” Lazor said. “If No. 1 [top receiver] is one-on-one, we expect him to win and we expect to throw the football.”

### Mike Wallace loves the offense: “It’s fast. It’s going to be good. We catch a lot of people off guard. We got a lot of play action, a lot of shots. I feel like I know what’s going on. I feel a little more in control.”

Philbin likes how Wallace is doing a lot of work on his own. He was the last one to leave the field Monday. “He feels a lot more comfortable, better about being a Dolphin,” Philbin said. “Really like what he’s doing.”

### Lazor is a no-nonsense type and made clear Tuesday: “They’ve got to get the communication ironed out right away. We’ll make that point  real fast to them.”

### Finnegan joined Brent Grimes as the first-team cornerbacks and said when he’s playing at his feisty best, “I’m a jerk. I think everyone will attest to that.”

### With Marcus Thigpen out with a back injury, Jarvis Landry, Brian Hartline, Brent Grimes and ex-Titans receiver Damian Williams worked as returners. Williams and Landry will be the primary competition for Thigpen when he returns…

Armon Binns caught a 70-yard bomb from Matt Moore, beating Taylor, and will push Williams and Rishard Matthews hard for the No. 5 receiver job. The Dolphins love Binns' size (6-3) and have issues with Matthews for reasons unrelated to performance…

Sam Brenner, getting work at backup center, struggled with snaps. Nate Garner played everywhere, as usual (backup left tackle and guard).

CHATTER

### Please see the last post for a lot of Heat notes from Tuesday night. We separated Heat into a separate post tonight for length reasons.         

### Per ESPN, UM and USF are the two leaders for power forward Kamari Murphy, who is transferring from Oklahoma State after averaging 6.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as a sophomore last season. UM lost out in its bid for three other transfers in the past month.

### The UM football team will try using 6-9 former UM basketball player Raphael Akpejiori as an offensive lineman. Akpejiori had been working as a tight end but has had trouble catching passes consistently, according to someone who observed him working with receivers coach Brennan Carroll during spring ball.

### Though it makes sense for Andrew Heaney, MLB’s top left-handed pitching prospect, to take struggling Randy Wolf’s rotation spot eventually this summer, the Marlins would be at risk of making Heaney eligible for free agency after 2019, instead of 2020, if they call him up now instead of mid-to-late June. (That's also the difference with him becoming arbitration eligible after 2016 instead of 2017, unless he's sent back to the minors.)

Heaney threw six scoreless innings, allowed one hit and struck out seven for Triple A New Orleans tonight.

Also, the Marlins have some wiggle room with Wolf because his $1 million salary won’t become guaranteed until late June.... Apparently not having seen his work with the Marlins, the Reds reportedly agreed to terms with Carlos Marmol.

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz... And again, please see the last post for Heat chatter (including interesting Stan Van Gundy comments) heading into Game 5 Wednesday.

Comments

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Jesse

Barry, What are the non-performance issues with Rishard Matthews?

Barry Jackson

Involves coachability and issues (NOT drug or crime related) that I am not able to divulge yet. But there are two sides to every story.

Eddie

Dolphins are a 7-9 team. I dont know why people even waste their time with them

Gordie

The Canes suck.

MikeM

Jason Taylor is a class act for doing this. Hopefully deon joran will listen and learn something. Excited about Lazor. seems sharp and driven

MikeM

deon jordan i mean

tis what the u has become and is

The Canes suck.

Posted by: Gordie | 05/27/2014 at 10:33 PM

for far far too long ...

ain't she a Peach ?

thank you Donna Shalalah for Neutering []_[]s ...


[]_[] would be the former U

joe r

the end is nearing for the tannehill experiment; might have to wait this season out but this isnt going to work especially in this offense..as far as wallace goes, big deal he stayed late for one practice; was he catching passes in coverage with tannehill down the field, ah no he wasnt

Not our rival

Posted by: ain't she a Peach ? | 05/28/2014 at 03:17 AM

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry, in real life Miami beat your team and we're not scheduled to play again.

Ship shape

16 games and the Phailbin Tannefail experiment will be over. And hopefully the NFL will force Ross to sell ala Sterling for gross incompetence. Enjoy the extra elbow room at JRS this year.

octavio de armas

Look at the HEAT and their owner, GM, Coaching staff, Players, organization in general. A steep contrast to the DOLPHINS. That's why the DOLPHINS will remain mediocre at best.

Reality Bites

Why so negative so soon fin fan? This Lazor dude seems pretty sharp let's see what he can do for T Hill. The new man in charge has revamped the O line which was the worst unit on the team. There is always hope in the offseason as long as some changes are made. The Fins have made those changes both in personnel and in coaches so cheer up and give them a chance.
It's not as if they were the sorry canes. There you have an example of a team that makes no changes in clueless and incompetent coaches. Has suffered a drop at the QB position due to graduation and injury. Yet their 12k delusional followers have them penciled in for the playoffs. Go figure.
Common sense will tell you that the Fins should be better than last year and the canes will be the same mediocre team of the past decade.
Go Heat!

Hush nerd

^^^^^

HeatFan since '87

Dolphins are a 7-9 team. I dont know why people even waste their time with them

Posted by: Eddie | 05/27/2014 at 10:31 PM
------------------------------------------------

What record should they achieve before we're allowed to 'waste our time with them'? I mean, let us know, so that we can be good fans of our team...

HeatFan since '87

"There you have an example of a team that makes no changes in clueless and incompetent coaches."

What changes do you recommend, Mr. Bites? Your passion for all things "U" is obvious to all that come to this blog. I'm just wondering why you don't suggest a course of action for the team, and why you don't comment on the obvious positives, like UM's running backs, or how UM's record has improved since Golden arrived.

There ARE some positives, so let be optimistic!

green

thank you Donna Shalala

Posted by: ain't she a Peach ? | 05/28/2014 at 03:17 AM

https://twitter.com/Jessehmarks/status/471382356738457601/photo/1

Turf is in at Greentree practice field! Looking good for @CanesFootball! #BuildingChampions #FBVictoryFund
-- Jesse Marks ‏@Jessehmarks

MANICURED LAWN

green

What changes do you recommend, Mr. Bites? Your passion for all things "U" is obvious to all that come to this blog.

Posted by: HeatFan since '87 | 05/28/2014 at 10:01 AM

(page 7 - ben brislawn's letter to the editor)

http://issuu.com/miamihurricane/docs/022309

next item on the agenda ...
improve our broadcast by jettisoning joe sucky zagacki ...
whose halting, mechanical, shrill delivery ...
makes U wanna throw your radio out the window ...

INDUCED ABORTION

Jmike

Marc, RT was 10th in yards, 22nd in passing percentage right behind Brady by .1, and12th in TD's in the NFL.

Reality Bites

HeatFan the most obvious change woulda have been to can the clueless DC. Having the worst defense in the soft ACC for 3 years in a row should be a no brainer for that one.
But then you have the mass of clueless bandwagonner fans who want to can the guy in the broadcast booth instead and have no problem with a record setting crappy D.
Same guy who wants to get rid of the Fins' best O lineman.
HeatFan it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Onofrio is worthless. The fact that Alverage is OK with his BFF and his dismal performance should raise eyebrows as well.
Thank you Donna Shalala for the new Turf at the practice field, lil green pea says it looks good and that it will bring championships back.
This makes as much sense as calling for Zagacki to be fired and having no problem with Onofrio.
So now the broadcaster and the old turf at Greentree is what is holding the canes back. Last year it was the NCAA investigation. Whats your crazy excuse gonna be next year?
This stuff is just too good.
Clueless in Miami, the record setting film playing in Coral Gables. Seen it before.

Sad times

Get a life nerd, your fake internet rivalry is just sad.

bubba

Anthony Gaitor is a damn good football player. I remember the 2010 Bowl Game against Toledo he shut down their top receiver all game. He's good with run support and isn't afraid to get low and tackle. He was a shutdown corner for FIU and probable their best CB ever.

Hey Reality Bites, when (and I do mean when) the Canes are dominant again, what negativity will you spew? Canes fans have heard this all before only to prove little internet trolls (and real trolls), like you wrong.

You are the bandwagon fan whom you so eloquently speak of. Get off the Heats jock strap and be a real critic of sport. You give Gator fans a bad name, although 60% of their fan base is the most ignorant, arrogant, biased, and retarded people I know..

HeatFan since '87

Mr. Bites,

I believe that this season will be the last season with UM's current DC, unless real improvement is seen.

So, then, what about the good things that are going on with the "U"? Come on, don't be a troll. Find some positives!

Sad times

Are you joking?

This guy is a total internet troll, his only purpose on this blog is to say mean-spirited things about UM football to try to make UM fans as miserable about our team as he clearly is with his Gators.

Really pathetic.

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