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Dolphins release first depth chart; Thoughts, notes from Monday's Dolphins practice; Brice McCain's bid; Fins fight; WQAM re-hires Crowder

Notes on a Monday:

### Depth charts for a preseason opener shouldn't be overstated, but here are a few things of note from what the Dolphins released late Monday afternoon:

1) Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner are listed as the starting guards, joining Branden Albert, Mike Pouncey and Ja'Wuan James on the first-team offensive line.... Second team o-line, from left to right: Jason Fox, Jamil Douglas, JD Walton, Jeff Linkenbach, Donald Hawkins... Jacques McClendon is listed as a fourth-team guard, despite getting some work with the first team again on Monday.

2) Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and Jarvis Landry are listed as the first team receivers. On the second team: DeVante Parker, Rishard Matthews and surprisingly, Tyler McDonald --- who was then promptly cut an hour later. (Safety Shamiel Gary also was released; Miami signed former Seahawks practice squad running back Demitrius Bronson and safety Philip Thomas, who has four NFL starts for the Redskins.)

3) Here's the pecking order at running back behind starter Lamar Miller: Damien Williams is on the second team, LaMichael James on the third, Jay Ajayi and Mike Gillislee on the fourth.

4) Chris McCain is listed as the starting strongside linebacker alongside Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins.

Second team linebackers: Jordan Tripp, Kelvin Sheppard, Spencer Paysinger. On the third team: Rookies Zach Vigil, Jeff Luc and Neville Hewitt.

5) Jamar Taylor is listed as the first-team cornerback opposite Brent Grimes. Brice McCain and Will Davis are on the second team.

6) Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens are listed as the second-team safeties behind Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas.

7) Jordan Phillips and Anthony Johnson are the second-team defensive tackles behind Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell. CJ Mosley is on the third team.

8) The third-team tight ends, behind Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims, are identified as Gerrell Robinson and Jake Stoneburner. That leaves Arthur Lynch and Tim Semisch on the fourth team.

9) Josh Freeman is listed as the third-team quarterback ahead of McLeod Bethel Thompson, who clearly has had the better training camp of the two. Neither is expected to make the team.

10) Also bizarre (and it makes me question the significance of any of this, as I do every year with this team's depth charts): Bobby McCain (who has made plays all camp) is the fourth string corner (with Tony Lippett). Sammy Seamster and Zack Bowman are the third-team corners.

### When the Dolphins signed Brice McCain in March, Joe Philbin made clear that they viewed him as a slot cornerback. Five months later, McCain is immersed in a close battle with Jamar Taylor for the starting cornerback job opposite Brent Grimes.

So what exactly changed to make the Dolphins conclude that he’s capable of more than merely slot duties?

“He has played good football since he’s been here,” Philbin said today. “He’s competitive. He’s got good recovery speed. He’s picked up the system well. He’s going to get opportunities to show if he’s the second-best, third-best, whatever it may be. We will take all the body of work, preseason practices and games, and see who’s the best.”

McCain, who intercepted a Josh Freeman pass during Monday’s practice, said it sells him short to refer to him as merely a slot corner.

“I do take offense to that because I can play outside as well,” said McCain, who is Miami’s shortest cornerback at 5-9. “I’ve been playing outside my whole life. I played outside in college [Utah]. That’s what got me here. In Houston, I started outside [before Wade Phillips was hired].

“When you have quickness, you can put yourself in position to make yourself bigger. A tall corner, if you’re always behind the guy, how can you jump? How can you use your height if you’re always trailing and never can catch up with a guy? My speed and quickness and my jumping ability really help me out.”

Taylor took the first team snaps on the boundary on Monday, with McCain in the slot. But McCain, who had three interceptions for Pittsburgh in 2014, said afterward that he and Taylor continue to alternate in those roles.

“They can’t lose with whatever they go with because we’re both talented guys,” McCain said, adding that he expects to move to the slot in clear-cut passing situations even if he starts on the boundary.

### Jim Turner, who lost his job as the Dolphins offensive line coach in February 2014 after Ted Wells’ report implicated him in the team’s bullying scandal, is filing a defamation lawsuit against Wells, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

“Wells is not a good human being and when I didn’t give him the stories he wanted, he targeted me as part of a problem in Miami,” Turner said in May. “He’s not an independent investigator. He’s not doing this looking at both sides of the situation. He’s hired by the NFL and he’s going to print the story that they want printed.”

### Some Dolphins practice stuff Part 1 from Monday: In addition to DeVante Parker and Don Jones, five others missed practice: Koa Misi (calf), Kenny Stills (calf), Jay Ajayi (hamstring), Shamiel Gary (shoulder) and Christion Jones (hamstring)….

Andrew Franks hit five of six field goals, including a 56-yarder… Jacques McClendon and Billy Turner split first-team snaps at right guard.... What caused the brief skirmish between Ja’Wuan James and Kendall Montgomery? James threw Montgomery to the ground in a blocking drill. Montgomery lost his helmet and got up swinging. James then swung before Mike Pouncey came over and order was eventually restored.

### Dolphins practice stuff Part 2: Gerrell Robinson, battling for the No. 3 tight end job, continues to show flashes. He caught a 20-yard TD pass from Matt Moore…. Brent Grimes picked off Ryan Tannehill in the end zone…. LaRon Byrd had a terrific 10-yard catch from Matt Moore in the end zone, beating Tony LippettSam Brenner worked ahead of JD Walton in the center hierarchy behind Mike Pouncey….

Jordan Kovacs, an underdog in the battle for the fifth safety job, had an interception on Matt Moore…. Terrence Fede recovered a fumble on a handoff. He makes at least one impactful play every day....

Jordan Cameron had an impressive catch, from Tannehill, over Michael Thomas…. Greg Jennings and Michael Preston dropped passes. But Preston also caught a few, including a 20-yarder from Moore, as he continues his uphill struggle to make the roster (which seems unlikely barring injury)…. Tannehill’s deep ball throw to Rishard Matthews was barely beyond his grasp…. LaMichael James continued to look fast and shifty on several carries… Bobby McCain had a sack on a blitz.

### Philbin’s assessment of his backup defensive line:  “I though the two ends have really been consistent throughout camp. Derrick Shelby and Terrence Fede have really played at a high level.

CJ Mosley has come along the last couple days. We’ve seen some flash plays out of Jordan Phillips.... We need some more consistency, particularly out of the inside guys.”

### A month after being dropped by WQAM-560, former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was re-hired by the station.

He will join Marc Hochman and Zach Krantz from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays beginning Tuesday. The show’s name, appropriately enough: Hochman, Crowder and Krantz.

“This was something we’ve been working on for awhile,” WQAM program director Ryan Maguire said by phone this afternoon. “We knew what we had in Channing. He’s so unique. Even when he goes off on weird tangents, he’s so entertaining. You want to stick around to see where he takes you on the journey.”

WQAM dropped Crowder’s and Adam Kuperstein’s 1-3 p.m. talk show in July because it wanted to go to exclusively with four-hour talk shows, like other CBS-owned stations.

Maguire believes Crowder will have good chemistry with Hochman and Krantz.

“Channing gets along very well with both those guys,” Maguire said. “There is already chemistry there. He will be able to give the athletic perspective that not a lot of our guys can give [beyond morning host Joe Rose]. I don’t think they’ll be talking over each other.”

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz 

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