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Sports Buzz: Gase's first practice

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  • Sports Buzz: Gase's first practice

    Dolphins chatter after their first practice under Adam Gase (Armando and Adam cover the contract-driven absence of Reshad Jones in their pieces):

    • The Dolphins got their first on-field look at the two veterans for whom they traded out of the top 10 in the draft: cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso. To get fair value for moving down from 8 to 13 in the draft, they desperately need both to return to the form they showed not with Philadelphia last year, but their previous teams: Seattle, in Maxwell’s case, and Buffalo, in Alonso’s case.

    “I’m definitely a No. 1 cornerback,” Maxwell declared after practice. Why?

    “Cause I feel that way,” he said.

    Maxwell struggled early last season and Pro Football Focus ranked him 75th among all corners. But metrics show he played pretty well the final two months of the season.

    The Dolphins expect him to thrive because they will allow him to play the way he did in Seattle earlier in his career. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is “allowing me to press, to get up in a receiver’s face and be aggressive,” he said.

    “That’s one of the things I do best. I look forward to doing that…. He wants us to press and play man coverage and be aggressive with the receivers on the line and get them off their routes…. I love it down here.”

    Gase said “as long as [Maxwell] is, and as physical as he is at the line of scrimmage, I’m just glad he’s on our side. He enjoys the defense he’s playing in under Vance [Joseph]. He’s a guy we’re really expecting to excel in our scheme.”

    Alonso, who’s lining up at middle linebacker, said he has regained everything he had physically before tearing his ACL in the summer of 2014 and spraining it again early last season.

    “Didn’t have a great year [in 2015]; I’ve got to get better,” said Alonso, who was rated 92nd among all linebackers by PFF for last season. “I like to think I can do it all. To be a great linebacker now, in this day and age, you’ve got to do it all – stop the run, play in coverage, play man to man.”

    Do the Dolphins believe he can regain his 2013 form, when he was Defensive Rookie of the Year?

    “I would say it’s tough for me to predict anything,” Gase said. “I mean, it’s been one day. We’ve had eight meetings. Time will tell. We have a long ways to go and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the offseason.”

    • The cornerback room will assuredly add players in the draft this weekend. For now, 6-3 Tony Lippett said he is lining up with the starters, opposite Maxwell, and said defensive coordinator Vance Joseph – who helped develop several defensive backs with the Bengals – is being hands-on with Miami’s young corners.

    “He’s always with us,” Lippett said. “He’s always coaching us up on all the little things. He said he likes big corners. [This system] is more defensive back friendly.”

    Lippett was beaten on the most notable play from practice – a Ryan Tannehill bomb to DeVante Parker for a touchdown….

    Joseph also believes he can extract more from Jamar Taylor, who really likes Joseph and said “I’m blessed to be here and still be a part of this organization.”… Multiple players, including defensive endAndre Branch and linebacker Jelani Jenkins, said they like Joseph’s attacking defense.

    • The Dolphins aren’t sure what they have in 5-9 corner Iko Ekpre-Olomu, who was an All-American and considered a potential high-round pick out of Oregon in 2014 before a devastating knee injury that dropped him to the seventh round and required two major surgeries. Claimed off waivers from Cleveland last month, Ekpre-Olomu worked only on the side Tuesday, and Gase said: “We’re seeing how far we can bring him around, as far as where his injury was. We’ve got to figure out what’s going on with him. Iko was a high guy on a lot of peoples’ draft boards. Unfortunately, he got injured. We’ll see how that progresses.”

    • Incidentally, we’re told the Dolphins showed no interest when Josh Norman’s camp was allowed to seek a trade before his release, then was willing to offer less (in years and money) than Washington when he became a free agent.

    • With Jermon Bushrod recovering from shoulder surgery, the Dolphins on Tuesday cycled through incumbent guards Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and Jamil Douglas, plus veteran addition Kraig Urbik.

    • Besides Maxwell, Gase was most effusive about Jay Ajayi.

    “When I watched him coming out of college and then now I see him in person, I guess I never realized how shifty he was, and today was a great example,” he said. “Just seeing him stick his foot in the ground and change direction, you didn’t see him do that a lot in college. Just being able to see him move around, it was very impressive for me to see him in person. The way he cut in some of the run game schemes … I mean I’m really excited to see what we can do going forward.”

    • Gase was happy to add former Patriots starting defensive tackle Chris Jones off waivers. He’s behind Ndamukong Suh (not present today or a lot recently), Earl Mitchell and Jordan Phillips. “Our scouts and personnel guys were really excited we had a chance to get him,” Gase said.

    • Gase is far more demonstrative than Joe Philbin. Maxwell described him as “in your face.” Gase, who will call the plays, said “I went over and talked a little smack to the defense and let them know how many times we were going to throw over their heads.”

    • Alonso has been in touch with suspended former Oregon teammate Dion Jordan but declined to say how he’s doing or whether he has applied for reinstatement.

  • #2
    I like that Gase is fooking with the defense and calling them out. They were as bad as the OL was last season.

    Also, nice stuff on Ajayi. Gase doesn't strike me as someone who's just hyping a guy for no reason.


    • #3
      Its a good thing Gase is more demonstrative than Philbin.....otherwise i would have thought we hired a mannequin.


      • cuchulainn
        cuchulainn commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes... Gase looks like Putin to me and doesn't mind needling his team leaders and calling them out. He went after the defense in his first practice and burned them with the long bomb to Parker from Tannehill. We're going to be aggressive on both sides. Love it.

    • #4
      Originally posted by Kato
      Its a good thing Gase is more demonstrative than Philbin.....otherwise i would have thought we hired a mannequin.
      Or Bernie from Weekend at Bernies!


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