Tidbits from another eventful day at Dolphins camp, as coaches continued putting rookies through a three-day classroom-oriented rookie minicamp:
• This was a more relaxed Laremy Tunsil today, far different from the stiff soul who took the stage in the Dolphins auditorium last Friday, after his draft stock plummeted amid the regrettable two-year-old bong video.
Tunsil disclosed that mahi-mahi was the cause of his allergic reaction last week. (Yes, there's irony there, about a Dolphins player being allergic to mahi-mahi, as many have noted on Twitter.) He said he never had mahi-mahi before and won’t have it again.
Tunsil, who is slated to play left guard unless there’s an injury to starting tackles Branden Albert or Ja’Wuan James, said he has never played guard before. But he’s open to playing anywhere, he reiterated several times.
Tunsil said of this revamped offensive line: “I think we’re awesome.”
He has been getting encouragement and tips from Mike Pouncey.
And asked whether he’s worried what happened to him on draft night will forever be associated with him, Tunsil said: “I’m not worried about that. Everybody has their opinions. I am the only one who knows the true character I have.”
• Thomas Duarte, who played a pseudo-receiver/tight end role at UCLA, said “I bring a speed factor. I’m not the biggest tight end in the league. I’m obviously working on my in-line blocking.” He said he was never required to do in-line blocking in a college game.
“I knew I would have to step up my game in the blocking area in the NFL,” he said. “Catching the football is what I’ve done in the past. Make myself versatile. I was big in special teams.”
At UCLA, “my first year I understood I would be a receiver in the slot. I then got exposed to in-line tight end, to be versatile, to do both. The slot was where I made my money in college; I lined up all over the place [but] in the slot most of the time.”
• Jordan Lucas, who played corner his first three seasons at Penn State and safety his senior season, said: “I feel cornerback is more my natural position but I can play corner/safety/nickel. I played nickel three years.”
Lucas said he “was very surprised” the Dolphins drafted him because his pre-draft interaction with Miami was limited to one phone call. (Conversely, five of the other Dolphins’ picks visited team headquarters.)
His strengths? “High football IQ. I’m a physical defender.”
• With this draft, special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi has several enticing options on punt and kickoff returns, including Jakeem Grant and Kenyan Drake, plus incumbent Jarvis Landry.
Rizzi said Grant can handle punt and kickoff returns, even though he didn’t do punt returns at Texas Tech.
Drake also will be given a chance on punt returns, Rizzi said, even though he returned only one punt at Alabama.
Rizzi pointed out Landry didn’t return punts in college.
Drake returned only 19 kickoffs at Alabama, but one was a touchdown in the national championship game this year.
Will Jarvis Landry be the returner if he’s your best option?
“If he’s our best option, yes,” Rizzi said. “I would like to think guys like Grant and Drake will now be options for us. Having more options is the best scenario.”
• Rizzi, on Matt Darr and Andrew Franks: “I want to see a big jump. They say your biggest jump should be year one to year two. Some would say Matt Darr was third in the league in gross punting, but there are some areas we can improve --- location, hang time, little things he can work on. He can be an elite NFL punter, if he’s not already.”
“Andrew Franks didn’t get a lot of field goal opportunities," Rizzi said. "Some people might think the jury is still out on him. I saw a huge jump from May to training camp. He missed three PATs last year, though one wasn’t his fault. The makeable kicks he missed are the ones we want to see. We want to see him become more consistent.”
Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn has a legitimate chance to unseat Franks.
“Marshall Koehn had a hell of a career in the Big 10,” Rizzi said. “Made a 57 yard game winner at home. He will definitely compete for the job. He has a great skill set. He reminds me a lot of Andrew. Only difference is he kicked at a bigger school.”
• Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Xavien Howard will compete with Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett to start at corner, though Maxwell assuredly will be a starter.
"He's going to be in the mix," Joseph said of the rookie second-rounder Howard. "We liked the size. He's a press corner on tape. Has good long speed. The receivers in the league are getting much bigger."
Do the Dolphins have enough good corners?
"Absolutely," Joseph said. "Most teams have three capable corners they can play and trust. We have three or four guys we know can play and hopefully three or four more that can help us."
• Joseph, on Ndamukong Suh: "Our scheme is going to be an attacking scheme. With his size and quickness, there shouldn't be any reason why he shouldn't be successful inside. It's our job to free him up him."
• Joseph, on Kiko Alonso: "What I've seen in our minicamp is he's got great instincts. He's a long, tall mike backer. Covers a lot of ground with his movement. Has great eyes. Has been very vocal, assertive in the huddle.... Between Kiko, Jelani [Jenkins] and Koa [Misi], that's three pretty good athletes."
• Joseph said Walt Aikens has corner skills and "he's going to grow into being a very good strong safety."
• On Cam Wake, who's coming off an Achilles' injury, Joseph said: "Cam is a worker, a great leader. He looks fine. We won't know [how he is doing off injury] until training camp starts."
• Joseph, on early impressions of his rookies: "Jordan Lucas is a very mature guy. He's going to fit well. Howard is also a mature kid. It won't be too big for those two kids. Most kids come in wide eyed. These two kids are not."
• Joseph said Mario Williams "is motivated. When he's motivated, he's pretty good."
• Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said: “I didn’t think in my wildest dream we had a chance to get [Tunsil]." He likes how Tunsil handled the adversity because for many people "that could have shipwrecked you."
Christensen likes "this is going to be the most depth at tackle I've ever been around" and he won't have to "open your newspaper and find a left tackle in the classified." Albert, James, Tunsil, Sam Young and Dallas Thomas can all play tackle.
• Christensen, on Tannehill: “I love the way he works, love the way he’s attacking it. To judge him yet would be unfair. This isn’t an evaluation period as much as a teach period.”
• Christensen, on Drake and receiver Leonte Carroo: "They are going to bring some juice, bring some versatility."
• Christensen, on Gase calling plays: "I like this situation. I enjoy complementing and fitting in a spot and helping tie the thing together. I kind of get a charge out of that. It wouldn't be a new situation for me."
Christensen worked on the offensive staff with others who have called plays, including Tom Moore and Bruce Arians in Indy.
• Adam Gase said Zach Thomas spoke to the rookies on Friday and Jason Taylor will speak to them tonight.
Twitter: @flasportsbuzz... Check back later for lots of stuff on Game 3 of Heat-Raptors.