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Sports Buzz: Tunsil makes mov, IAQ Notes, LBs, DBs, STs...

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  • Sports Buzz: Tunsil makes mov, IAQ Notes, LBs, DBs, STs...

    ... Before he signed a three-year, $12.75 million deal with the Dolphins in March, Pro Football Focus called Abdul-Quddus the No. 1 bargain in free agency, noting he ranked 19th overall among safeties, “was particularly effective against the run” and had “positives grades in coverage and as a pass-rusher.”

    The Dolphins liked his work as a starter in Detroit over the final eight games last season as well as his physicality, defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo said.

    They also like his intelligence, and believe with Abdul-Quddus in the back end, the defense won’t be compromised if Jones, a Pro Bowler last season, gambles for a turnover. Abdul-Quddus has two career interceptions, none since 2012.

    “He’s done a great job,” coach Adam Gase said. “We knew what we got when we signed him. He has really shown what we saw on tape.”

    Dolphins defensive tackle Ndadumukong Suh said “he will complement Reshad very well. They’re both great tacklers. Isa is a head hunter and finds the ball and makes plays. I enjoyed playing with him in 2014 in Detroit.”

    The Dolphins consider their safeties interchangeable – they don’t designate a strong safety and free safety – and that has strategic benefits.

    “It makes it tough because you can't predict where everybody's going to be,” Gase said. “Maybe if [Jones] was always the down guy, at least [the opponent] could say 'Hey, I'm always going to run away from him.'… But when those guys can either go down, in the middle, it makes it tough as a play-caller. Now you don't have that advantage to stay away from somebody."

    The pairing with Jones excites Abdul-Quddus because “we both can do a lot. We just make sure we can disguise everything.”


    • The Dolphins held off making Laremy Tunsil a starter from the outset of camp, but the rookie first-round draft pick appears closer than ever to becoming one.

    On Tuesday, Tunsil received his most first-team work at left guard in any of the team’s 14 practices to date. Dallas Thomas, who started the preseason opener, received just a few first-team reps at left guard. And Tunsil performed well during his extended look Tuesday.

    “I like what he’s doing,” coach Adam Gase said of Tunsil. “I like the fact he’s giving everything he has and trying to make sure mentally he’s on the same page because there are two other guys counting on him.”

    The Dolphins haven’t wanted to rush Tunsil because “this is a league where confidence does matter," Gase said. "I’ve seen rookies before, you throw him in and be like, well, he’s got to play. And two years later, everyone is calling for his head. We’re going through the process we need to go through.”

    The Dolphins still must make a decision at right guard, where Billy Turner opened with the starters Tuesday, as usual, but Thomas and Jermon Bushrod also received some first-team work.


    With Xavien Howard not yet cleared for practice after offseason knee surgery, Tony Lippett continues to get most of the first team work opposite Maxwell. He broke up three passes during Monday’s practice.

    "I thought Lippett played well [Friday against the Giants],” Joseph said. “He had one play… he gave up a slant route inside, which he can't do….. That's stuff we can fix and coach. I'm excited about Lippett. He's obviously improved since the first day.”


    • Even though linebacker Kiko Alonso missed a tackle on a touchdown run Friday, Joseph said: “He's done fine. Obviously the missed tackle, I didn't like. We had a bunch of missed tackles in that gameFriday. That's expected; it's preseason. That should get rectified pretty soon but he's done fine.”

    • Joseph said Chris McCain, who is competing with Terrence Fede and others to be the Dolphins’ fifth defensive end, is “a natural NFL pass rusher. That's a long, athletic, fast defensive end who can definitely rush the passer.”

    But… “he's got to play the run better, as far as setting the edge,” Joseph said. "He needs to separate from the block and make the play. Friday, he had a couple of plays where he knocked the guy back and the running back still circled us. That guy can't circle him.”

    • Special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said Jakeem Grant’s work as the primary returner Friday (two kickoffs for 53 yards, four punt returns for 60) “was a good start. For a guy catching a punt (in) his first game ever - probably since high school - it was nice to see.

    “There were some things he still has to work on. The first punt that kind of landed on the ground and bounced a little bit, I'd like to see him maybe get that ball and see what we can do with the ball in his hands.

    “Right now, it comes down to him making the right decisions, being at the right depth, fielding the ball cleanly. Once he has it in his hands and takes care of the ball, he obviously is a dangerous weapon…. My comfort level [with Grant] is going to be really dependent on how these next three weeks go, and then we'll go from there."

  • #2
    Sounds like good stuff but it always sounds good this time of year. This got my heart rate off of flat line at least.
    While it takes two to have an argument, it only takes one to walk away.


    • #3
      Indeed... and Tunsil has gotten the 3rd most snaps of anyone at camp this summer. They're working him hard to get him up to speed.


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