August 3, 2020
In a year where nothing is the status quo, staggered report dates have players on the Dolphins roster slowly trickling back into the facility in Davie. Training camp practices are set to officially begin on August 17, but the team is already hard at work with strength and conditioning programs, socially-distant classroom sessions, and on-field walk-throughs.
Roster Comings and Goings
Last week was a busy one with regards to transactions for the Dolphins. New to the team are waiver claims cornerback Javaris Davis, defensive tackle Ray Smith and free agent signing Rex Sunhara, who gives Miami a second long snapper along with fellow rookie Blake Ferguson.
Ferguson was one of six Dolphins added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Linebacker Jerome Baker, defensive lineman Zach Sieler, guard Ereck Flowers, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and defensive tackle Benito Jones were all added to the reserve list, but Jones and Ferguson have since been removed and added back to the active roster.
Cornerback Xavien Howard was placed on the physically unable to perform list and linebacker Calvin Munson to the non-football injury list.
They said it
Dolphins veterans Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jesse Davis and Bobby McCain met with the media Saturday morning.
Fitzpatrick is entering Year 16 and his second as a Dolphin. Statistically, and according to the bearded passer himself, Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his career. Fitzpatrick is finding ways to adapt and best prepare himself at this stage of his arduous journey, including limiting his offseason pitch count.
"(Not throwing in the offseason) started probably eight or nine years ago," Fitzpatrick said. "A lot of it - it's physically, mentally and emotionally just kind of getting away for a little bit, and I think you pour so much into every season that I do like to just take a step back. But the throwing part of it for me (is) just preservation and longevity. I probably have ramped it up here for the last two and a half or three weeks and trying to get ready. I think I wish we would've had OTAs and been able to do all the offseason stuff, but the silver lining for me is not having to make all those throws and coming in with a real fresh arm for the season."
Fitzpatrick is a clear leader on offense. On the defensive side, do-it-all defensive back Bobby McCain takes pride in his leadership role as the longest-tenured defender on the roster. McCain is proving his leadership worth by imparting his knowledge and wisdom on a fellow defensive back in rookie Noah Igbinoghene.
"I know Noah works his tail off," McCain said. "He trained with me in the offseason a little bit as well. He works his butt off. He's a smart kid. He's a good player. I know he's going to be a good player in this league and each and every day, he's getting better and learning, and that's all you can ask for."
Igbinoghene transitioned from receiver to corner half-way through his Auburn career. The son of two Olympic sprinters, Igbinoghene hit the ground running allowing only three touchdowns on 879 coverage snaps in college.
Another Dolphin familiar with position changes is veteran offensive lineman Jesse Davis. Davis has played four positions along the line, all after beginning his career on the defensive line. Davis, who played 16 games at right tackle in 2019 and 16 at right guard in 2018, is used to the approach of cross training.
"Primarily [the coaches] just said right guard or right tackle," Davis said. "They said to probably work some left, that way you still have it; but right now, everything's kind of up in the air. You never know who's going to be up, who's going to be down. Primarily, I've played more on the right side, so I guess I'd probably say something on the right side; but at the end of the day it really doesn't matter. I can adjust to it."
Stat of the Day
As a team, the Dolphins finished out the 2019 campaign on a high note with three wins in December. Jesse Davis' strong performance helped the Miami offense score 28.6 points per game during the final month. Davis, according to Pro Football Focus, did not allow a sack over that span. He was penalized only once, and only three times out of 111 pass blocking reps did Davis' man hit the quarterback.
Around the Beat
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel detailed Davis' emergence as the leader of the offensive line in a story from the weekend.
"I'm going to be the leader," Davis said during Saturday's media availability. "I want to be the leader."
Davis, the longest-tenured member of the Dolphins offensive line, perused the leadership aisle of the proverbial bookstore for his summer reading. Among the works Davis digested, books about the Navy Seals with a strong focus on teamwork.
"It kind of just gave me a different perspective about how to lead," Davis said.
Dolphins on Social
Sports were back in action in South Florida over the weekend as the Heat and Panthers seasons resumed. The Dolphins are supporting both teams and showing off the digs with a jersey swap, courtesy of DeVante Parker.
On this Day in Dolphins History
August 3, 1991 -- The Dolphins make the longest road trip in team history as they travel 14,912 round-trip miles to Tokyo to battle the Los Angeles Raiders at the Tokyo Dome in American Bowl '91. Miami comes from behind to defeat the Raiders, 19-17, before 51,122 Japanese fans.
Content On Tap
We continue the training camp roster preview series with the running backs. That written story will be available on MiamiDolphins.com and the Drive Time Podcast will publish in time for drive time (5 PM EST). The Fish Tank Podcast has a new episode dropping Tuesday, keep an eye out on the Dolphins socials for the teaser this afternoon. Plus, we will feature some photos from the Dolphins workouts from the early portions of camp.