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Miami Dolphins 2019 Training Camp Journal – Day 5 (July 30)

Travis Wingfield

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Day 1 Report
Day 2 Report
Day 3 Report
Day 4 Report
Day 5 Report
Day 6 Report
Day 7 Report
Scrimmage Report

The A-block story quickly takes a backseat to a proclamation about the QB competition

The media room at the Nova Southeastern Training Facility is normally spacious enough to comfortably seat all the credentialed media. After the news came down on Monday that the Dolphins would be dismissing Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty, the area became standing room only.

ESPN sent Jeff Darlington and a camera crew to the practice, and while the initial questions were about the offensive line, Darlington uncovered the nugget of the day with a question about the quarterback competition.

We’ll come back to the quarterback battle and reshuffled offensive line (changes went beyond the coaching staff), but first, a general overview.

Sunday’s practice wasn’t far behind today’s showing. Dropped passes, fumbles, coverage breakdowns, it was another Murphy’s Law day for the Dolphins — everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

That includes an injury to the star of early portions camp, Running Back Kalen Ballage. We don’t have details on the injury — or the severity of the injury — but Ballage did walk off under his own power. We should have more clarity tomorrow.

Quarterbacks

Every Dolphins fan wants Josh Rosen to turn heads. It didn’t happen in OTA’s, and it’s not happening in training camp.

Asked what he thinks he’s done well, Rosen paused and replied, “that’s a good question,” as he pondered his answer options. He eventually landed on “identifying the linebacker — because he’s never had to MIKE calls before — and that’s allowing me to play faster and think less,” Rosen said.

He also referred to drinking from a fire hose in regards to his acclimation to the offense back in OTAs.

For the fifth-straight practice, Rosen struggled on air. Typically, these throws are when he has to open his hips and drive the ball to the left — he’s more effective from a closed posture (throwing right) — and that was evident on his Cardinals tape.Just as I tweeted that out, Rosen airmailed back-to-back throws on the dreaded out-route — to the right side of the play. His body language showing clear frustration on his end as well.

His work in the team drills was one of a player that’s not seeing/processing things as quickly as he needs to. The backs are always open underneath in seven-on-seven, and Rosen is taking those dump-offs instead of anticipating routes downfield.

Rosen tried to anticipate a seam shot between a triangle Dolphins defenders, but his eyes brought Montre Hartage (more on him in the DBs section) to the ball for an interception (Hartage dropped it, however).

Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t perform a whole lot better. Ball security has been an issue the last two practices. The ball slipped out of his hands — conjuring up nightmares of John Beck in Buffalo circa 2007 — as he began his throwing motion on one particular play.

Fitzpatrick anticipates routes opening up exceptionally well, but he does look like he’s dealing with some arm fatigue.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect, after the quarterbacks had been informed of the pecking order, Fitzpatrick was on the field 20 minutes for work before practice (a daily occurrence) while Rosen is the last QB to hit the field.

After practice, Fitzpatrick drills with any variety of receivers while Rosen typically does not.

Offensive Line

Tough, smart, disciplined players that communicate well. That’s the prototype for what Brian Flores wants in an offensive line, and he feels David DeGuglielmo presents a better opportunity to cultivate that with his current group than Pat Flaherty.

Communication was the day’s buzz word as the South Florida media peppered Flores with questions about the change. For more on the coaching change, check out yesterday’s article and podcast on Locked On Dolphins.

DeGuglielmo wasted no time putting his fingerprints on the position — there were multiple changes to the first and second teams.

Up first, Laremy Tunsil, Michael Deiter, Daniel Kilgore, Will Holden, and Jesse Davis took the field. Then, Shaq Calhoun jumped in for Holden.

That first-team remained consistent throughout practice, with Michael Deiter continuing to work tirelessly on his pulling.

The second-team line went: Zach Sterup, Kyle Fuller, Chris Reed, Shaq Calhoun, Jordan Mills.

Later in practice, a walkthrough install gave us the desired line of the entire offseason here at Locked On Dolphins: Tunsil-Deiter-Kilgore-Reed-Davis.

It was another difficult day as far as execution, but the intensity of the individual drills came with a little extra juice. And more variety. Three-man units worked in tandem with zone-scheme foot work. They worked on scoops and reach blocks with a sense of urgency to fire out of their stances.

Defensive Backs

My major scoop of the day comes from Northwestern undrafted free agent Montre Hartage. Primarily a perimeter corner in college, Hartage answered my week long question of, “what the heck is the plan if Bobby McCain misses a game?”

The early answer is the former NW Wildcat. Hartage saw significant run as the single-high safety with the second-team in Miami’s aggressive, 10-men-on-the-ball type of defense.

Two players, who are making headlines every day, were at it again. Minkah Fitzpatrick lines up all over the formation, though he was strangely running with the second team at times. He was as impactful as ever, particularly in the running game where he jarred a football loose for a forced fumble.

T.J. McDonald is settling comfortably into the new defense. In addition to finding a niche covering backs up around the line-of-scrimmage, he took Nick O’Leary to the ground twice in the ground game, and has been working as the assignment checker (captain) on kick return.

The kick return unit is chock full of starters. McDonald, McMillan, Baker, McCain, Eguavoen are all out there. So are Preston Williams, Chandler Cox, Cornell Armstrong, and Terrill Hanks.

Eric Rowe looks comfortable playing up on the line of scrimmage and bailing out at the snap. He works to funnel things inside and shows a penchant from breaking quickly on in-breaking routes.

Things continue to be a struggle for the younger corners in the individual portions. Nik Needham, Chris Lammons, Torry McTyer, Jalen Davis, and Jomal Wiltz all got turned around pretty good — although this drill favors the receivers considerably.

The former — Wiltz — saw time in place of Minkah Fitzpatrick on the first team, and was responsible for a major coverage breakdown which sent him to the TNT wall.

Xavien Howard had a one-on-one rep against Stills where he pinned the receiver to the sideline and took away the quarterback’s target entirely. Howard is picking up right where he left off from last year.

Tyler Patmon finds his way onto the Twitter timeline every day — he’s been solid.

Wide Receivers

Drops were the story of the day; even from the ever-reliable Kenny Stills. Stills dropped a pass that was deflected into the air and picked off by Howard, but was otherwise the best of the bunch. He and Isaiah Ford worked with Fitzpatrick after practice again, this despite Stills finding the end zone on a few occasions throughout the day.

Stills is currently the best on the team at winning against one-on-one coverage consistently.

Preston Williams hands look like vacuums. The ball seemingly tractor beams right into the big mitts, particularly when he elevates down in the red zone.

Devante Parker made a couple of nice plays, Jakeem Grant continues to win off the line-of-scrimmage with ease, but has been plagued by drops recently, and Albert Wilson is still not a full practice participant.

Brice Butler and Isaiah Ford saw extended time with the second-team — perhaps a credit to their post-practice regiment.

Reece Horn deserves some recognition. He made a number of big plays on the day.

Linebackers

Jerome Baker is making his case as most effective player on the defensive side of camp. His speed off the edge in the running game is eye-catching — in the same way that he shows an innate ability to come clean on interior blitzes. He had a terrific coverage rep against Nick O’Leary where he carried the tight end up the seam and broke up an on-target pass.

Baker’s best play of the day was an absolute de-cleating of Fullback Chandler Cox on a flare route. The rookie had no idea what had just hit him.

It was a quiet day for the CFL standout, Sam Eguavoen. Raekwon McMillan has been the same guy just about every practice. They often get him flowing downhill and he’s extremely effective working through trash and making run-stops.

Kiko Alonso didn’t practice due to an undisclosed injury that will likely keep him out for a couple of days. If Alonso isn’t careful, I suspect he’ll play his way into a more limited role because of the work of a pair of rookies.

Andrew Van Ginkel is making more of an impact every day, particularly working off the edge. The former Wisconsin play-maker shared a quick chat with me after practice.

I asked him if it’s encouraging that there are more opportunities to play with sub-packages and the rookie responded, “yeah, for sure. That’s huge, and it also puts us in the best possible position to succeed and it’s just up to us to make plays.”

Van Ginkel has been around the football in camp; no surprise given his penchant for taking the rock away at Wisconsin.

The other is undrafted free agent Terrill Hanks, who continues to work inside in a variety of “starter” packages. Hanks has also come down off the edge and worked as a rusher and edge-setter, as well as extensive work on special teams.

Defensive Line

We start this group with the elevation of two undrafted free agents who have earned the reps they’re getting. Dewayne Hendrix had another sack today — this time on Jaryd Jones-Smith, and Jonathan Ledbetter saw some time with the first-team offense. They’ve both served their chances of making the team well by adhering to the heavy-handed style and sniffing out the run-game.

Charles Harris flipped to the left side of the line and had some success in the run-game.

Tank Carradine’s solid camp continued today, including a lot of work with the first team defensive line — including work in even fronts (we originally thought he might be exclusively an odd-front five-tech).

Akeem Spence and Adolphus Washington had active days and, though I don’t have specific notes on the individuals, the running game didn’t accomplish much when Davon Godchaux, Vincent Taylor, and rookie Christian Wilkins were doing their thing – the interior defensive line has been the most encouraging unit of camp given the expectations coming in.

Tight Ends

Durham Smythe ran with the first team early and often on Tuesday. He and O’Leary appear to be in competition for the same roster spot, if the Dolphins are to keep just three tight ends (I think they keep four). Smythe had a terrific wham block that sprung a long touchdown run for Kenyan Drake.

On the topic of O’Leary, he sure has spent a lot of time on the ground throughout practice.

Mike Gesicki continues to look the part in one-on-one, but he’s a bit of an afterthought in the team-period passing game. He did, however, hit a beautiful wham block to create a big hole on a Drake run.

Smythe opened with the first-team from 11-personnel and O’Leary and Gesicki were a tandem on the second-team which ran from 12-personnel.

Running Backs

Kalen Ballage’s exit gave us a look into who the Dolphins might prefer behind the 1-2 punch. Mark Walton stepped in for second-team work after Drake’s promotion to the first team.

Drake had a difficult day. Aside from one very Drake-esque cutback for a big gainer, he had a fumble, took a hit that had him sitting off to the side for five minutes, and then proceeded to re-enter as a kick returner. After the period, he walked to his next drill — something that I have yet to seen through five days (players walking).

Miami might consider scouring the running back market, especially if something is wrong with Ballage. The depth here has not been encouraging to start camp.

Recap

The pads were on again, but it was a light practice. There wasn’t much by way of team periods, and a lot of the stuff that brought the units together collectively was half-speed. The offense drilled the heck out of the screen game, and the defense continued the theme of working on tackling fundamentals.

It would appear, to the naked eye, that the return to the individual periods is a punitive measure for poor performance in the team period (everybody loves the live scrimmage; that goes back to Pop Warner days).

We are four days away from the scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium, and unless something changes, expect yet another dominant defensive showing that has fans up in arms over the offensive futility.

Back at it again tomorrow at 9:40 A.M. EST.

@WingfieldNFL

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    pacificfinfan1

    July 30, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    When did the drops for Jakeem Grant begin this camp? I thought I read atleast 1 day of camp Grant was catching almost everything his way idk if I am mistaken or not I lost my notes >.<

  2. Avatar

    MARK D WHITE

    July 30, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you Travis. Great stuff

  3. Avatar

    Rod Walker

    July 31, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for your excellent recap! It’s really appreciated!

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Miami Dolphins

The Levee Breaks in Jersey – Dolphins Giants Week 15 Recap

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins break record for most players used, blowout loss ensues

The entire Dolphins operation took a back seat to the A-block story of Eli Manning in his final start at MetLife Stadium. Although riddled with mistakes, Miami played a strong first half, but unraveled after the intermission. With a first half lead, the Dolphins were outscored 16-0 — and out-gained 187-19 — in the third quarter, with the Giants scoring the first 13 points of the fourth quarter as an encore.

Miami’s experimental season became tangibly explainable Sunday as the Dolphins gave its 80th-differnet player a snap. The previous record was 78 players in one single season. Miami’s roster is currently comprised of 23 undrafted free agents (43%, most in the NFL). The Dolphins made 74 roster moves since week one and have 17 players on injured reserve — both of those are second most in the NFL.

Stat Dolphins Giants
Total Yards 384 412
Rushing 122 138
Passing 262 274
3rd / 4th Down 4/16 (25%) 5/11 (45.5%)
Penalties 7 (42 yards) 4 (32 yards)
Sacks For 1 3
TOP 28:53 31:07

 

DolphinsGiants

The things that made Miami a competitive team for the last two months were of the “takes no talent” variety. Dropped passes, penalties, turnovers, missed field goals, even the occasional miss from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins simply are not good enough to overcome the many errors committed in the blowout loss.

Despite the majority of Miami’s six dropped passes occurring in the first half, Fitzpatrick compiled the most Dolphin passing yards in a single half (234 yards) since Ryan Tannehill’s 2015 game against Houston. The Dolphins moved the chains 14 times (also a season high), combing Fitzpatrick’s arm and legs; he is now the team leader in rushing yards for the 2019 season with 219 yards.

It would be completely understandable for the Dolphins to go into the proverbial tank these last two games. The final home date with Cincinnati on-deck, followed by a season finale in Foxboro, 3-13 looks to be more than a possibility, but rather a probability.

More on how that could affect the Dolphins draft positioning in the recap segment at the bottom of the page. Let’s get to the individuals.

Quarterback

It looked like business for usual for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense early at the Meadowlands Sunday. He was ripping the Giants zone defense for chunk yardage, escaping pressure and moving the chains with his legs, but coming up short in the red zone for the second consecutive game.

Miami’s first two drives traveled 99 yards, but yielded no points. Fitzpatrick had two misses that cost Miami points. First, a back-shoulder fade to Devante Parker left too far inside led to a turnover-on-downs. Then, on a later 3rd down, Fitzpatrick underthrew Parker to allow the defensive back to break up the pass. Miami would punt, opposed a fresh set of downs from inside the Giants 35-yard-line.

The dagger occurred on a Fitzpatrick run that resulted in a lost fumble, though the officiating crew blew the call on the field and in replay. Miami dropped six passes — including a ball off the facemask in the end zone — so it’s difficult to put too much of the blame on the quarterback.

Running Backs

Patrick Laird has some moments, but the gaffes are a weekly occurrence. He dropped another pass, failed to win a one-on-one situation on a stretch run that resulted in a safety, and he gets beat in pass protection every game. His 18-yard run saved his average for a respectable 3.8 yards per rush on 12 carries.

Myles Gaskin had a similar, average-saving run. Gaskin popped a 27-yarder in garbage time to get to 43 yards on nine carries, but he too has his shortcomings in pass protection.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Devante Parker has been consistent as they come this season. In his first game off the new contract that is schedules to keep him in Miami through the 2023 season, Parker went for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including another win on a 50-50 ball (more apt to call them 70-30 balls with Parker in range).

Albert Wilson was involved in the plan to the tune of five receptions on eight targets for 59 yards. Wilson has the shifty quality in condensed spaces that will provide the Dolphins with two, highly-utilizable traits going forward: 1.) uncover quickly from the slot on two-way-goes, and 2.) key misdirection to open up space for the rest of the offense.

Wilson’s start-stop ability, along with his prowess as a ball carrier could be a valuable piece in Chad O’Shea’s offense next season. He’ll have to be, in order to justify his retention at $8 million. The upside, for Miami, the commitment doesn’t extend beyond 2020. The team can certainly afford to keep Wilson on the books for another year and a better look at the player two full years removed from the hip injury.

Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford were limited. Ford was the culprit of the facemask drop on a would-be touchdown in the second quarter, and Hurns only caught one pass. He was playing injured.

Mike Gesicki was involved early drawing matchups on the Giants safeties and linebackers. He had an opportunity on a takeoff against DeAndre Baker, but the pass was broken up. He caught four of eight for 47 yards. He continues to look more comfortable with each passing week.

Miami utilized plenty of offset 12-personnel formations (double tight ends inline to one side of the formation). Miami’s only semblance of a running game comes on stretch runs off this formation, and they do it in behind Clive Walford and Durham Smythe.

Walford was off to a sterling start, but two dropped passes quelled the strong showing. He and Smythe both hit a number of key blocks on Miami’s longer runs of the game.

Offensive Line

Miami shuffled the line throughout the day, and none of the combinations seemed to make improvements. Fitzpatrick was under siege, Miami failed to create any penetration on point-of-attack blocks, and another good scrambling day saved what otherwise could’ve been a shutout type of performance.

Michael Deiter’s issues are systemic at this point. He’s constantly off-balance, lacks conviction and confidence, and misses an assignment each time he’s out there. He looks good pulling and getting the second level, but that’s about where the praise stops.

Daniel Kilgore continues to demonstrate a lack of ability to do the things they want him to execute in this scheme. Reach blocks are an adventure, anchoring is a 50-50 proposition, and he rarely blows anybody off the ball.

Jesse Davis has quietly pieced together a better initial kick slide and pass set as a right tackle. He’s living up to his end of the bargain on those offset 12 runs to the right side.

Evan Brown, Shaq Calhoun and J’Marcus Webb were all difficult watches.

Defensive Line

Davon Godchaux has been the Devante Parker of the defense — consistently stable. Godchaux demonstrates his power with consistency, but he flashes big plays on a weekly basis with penetration. He made five more tackles Sunday, bringing his season total to 65.

Christian Wilkins is a poor man’s Godchaux in his rookie season. He too has the flash plays, but he’s not as consistent and can get moved a gap or two from time-to-time.

Taco Charlton was back after a healthy scratch a week ago. Taking Charles Harris’ spot, Taco made one tackle and saw a lot of runs go for big gains off his edge. The same was true on the other side against Avery Moss and the occasional outside ‘backer condensed inside to a six-technique.

Linebackers

Sam Eguavoen is piecing together a nice run. He came from the CFL as a standout in passing situations, and he’s been active doing just that. Falling into the hook zip and tipping footballs, applying pressure on the quarterback, and picking up a sack for the second straight week, Eguavoen is showcasing the goods to return as a sub package linebacker.

Jerome Baker had quite a day making plays. When he keys it and pulls the trigger, Baker is as disruptive as they come blowing up plays at the line-of-scrimmage. He used that speed to get into the hook zone for two plays on the ball, an interception and a PBU. He also made 12 tackles in the game.

Vince Biegel fell into the hook zone for a play of his own. Dropping in place of a blitzing Nik Needham, Biegel picked off the first pass of his career. He also continues to dent the edge and set up tackles as well as anyone on this defense.

Raekwon McMillan left the game with a hamstring injury. When he was out there, his impact was minimal. McMillan played all over the formation and tried to give Miami some help in more of a Sam ‘backer position.

Defensive Backs

It’s a mix mash of street free agents in the Miami secondary. For the fourth time this year, Miami signed a played on a Tuesday, then played him in the defensive backfield the following Sunday.

Nate Brooks was beaten up and down the field by fellow rookie Darius Slayton. Linden Stephens saw his first action as a Dolphins and made two tackles.

Eric Rowe made four tackles and continues to show his mettle in the box safety role. He’s definitely a fit going forward for that role.

Nik Needham had a day of peaks and valleys. He made an exceptional tackle on Saquon Barkley in space, but then came back and was juked badly by the former number-two overall pick. Needham got his hands on a ball that wound up going for a 51-yard touchdown. It was that kind of day for Needham and Miami.

Jomal Wiltz continues to show the competitiveness and tackling prowess that makes him a favorite to return as a sub package defensive back next season.

Recap

This game looked like a laugher early, in favor of the Dolphins. Despite three bad interceptions from Eli Manning, Miami continuously made errors that turned the game in favor of the home team.

Perhaps that result was best for Miami.

The Dolphins climb now to third in the 2020 NFL Draft. Miami leapfrogged Washington based on tie-breakers, as week 16 presents a pair of huge games in the race for better draft choices. Washington hosts the Giants while the Bengals visit Miami.

Winning one of the final two games would result in no worse than the fifth pick in the draft for the Fins, and Miami can climb all the way to second if the team finishes 3-13.

Whoever Miami deems as QB2 should be there for the taking. The Chase Young option will continue to compel the fan base, but his penchant for the up-field rush will likely make Miami pursue other avenues.

There’s a lot of time between now and the last weekend in April, including two more games. Brian Flores’ ability to get his team up for these final two could be telling.

Or maybe they won’t. It’s perfectly understandable if Miami are unable to mount a competitive fight in the final two weeks. The roster was depleted in every fashion imaginable (trades, cuts, injuries, player shutdowns), and even a good coaching staff has a breaking point.

The upshot for the 2019 season is that Miami secured a high draft pick and added a war chest of offseason resources. Perhaps best of all, the Dolphins now have surefire long-term fits that were largely unknowns just a few months prior.

Parker, Needham, Gesicki, Biegel, Rowe all emerged as surprise breakthrough players. Joining core parts like Godchaux, McMillan, Baker, and those returning from IR (Preston Williams, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Jakeem Grant, Jonathan Ledbetter), reinforcements are on the way for the 2020 season.

This season has been brutal. We’re eight quarters away from its conclusion, and the real season beginning. The 2020 Miami Dolphins offseason.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Extend DeVante Parker

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest-tenured players on the team may very well be a Miami Dolphin for life.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins have extended DeVante Parker through the 2023 season.

All of the details are still being flushed out, but the deal is a 4-year, $40m extension, with an $8m signing bonus (which is guaranteed).

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Parker will earn $4.5m guaranteed in 2020, and $7.7m guaranteed in 2021.

Parker signs this extension in the middle of a career year. His 55 catches are 1 shy of his career-high (56, 2016), his 882 receiving yards surpass his prior career-high by 138 yards (2016), and his 6 touchdowns are only 3 less than his career total coming into the 2019 season.

Whether it’s Chad O’Shea‘s offense, a shift in Quarterback mentality, or the receiver finally coming into his own, Parker has shown that he can be a #1 receiver in this offense. Though some fans may be hoping for DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. “elite”, the truth is, Parker isn’t that far behind.

His extension is in line with his production, and it’s fair to say that Parker’s potential still hasn’t been tapped. It’ll be interesting to see how much Parker builds off of his career-year, especially if the Dolphins can solidify their offensive line and give their receivers a chance to get open (more often).

Parker joins Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey as the only other 1st-round picks drafted this decade to have signed an extension with the team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins roster move round-up: Week 15 sees several more changes

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Linden Stephens
Linden Stephens defending Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins continue to change up the roster

The Miami Dolphins have continued their roster churning in Week 15, leading up to their prizefight against the New York Giants on December 15.

While it’s been a mainstay strategy for the Dolphins this year, to comb over the waiver wire and the free agency market, there was a significant uptick in waiver wire awards last, totaling four new players being claimed.

Last week’s claimed players included Trevor Davis, Mack Hollins, Zach Zenner, and Zach Sieler. Zenner’s Miami stint was short-lived; he was waived on Tuesday, December 10 to make room for the newest wave of Dolphins signees.

Along with Zenner’s release, the Miami Dolphins added cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis to the Injured Reserve list.

Those three transactions allowed the Dolphins to scoop a player from the New England Patriots’ practice squad, defensive back Nate Brooks, a second player from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, linebacker Jamal Davis II, and a third player, offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers.

Nate Brooks is a rookie defensive back that played at North Texas and has spent time with the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

Jamal Davis II is also a rookie. He entered the league from Akron. As mentioned above, he spent time with the Titans earlier this year before the Miami Dolphins signed him.

Adam Pankey is the most traveled player the Dolphins have added. Pankey went undrafted in 2017 out of West Virginia and has had two runs with the Packers and a short one with the Titans.

On December 7, cornerback Linden Stephens was added to the roster in a last-minute shuffle before the Dolphins-Jets game. Cornerback Chris Lammons was released to make room for Stephens on the squad, per Adam Beasley.

Stephens has had tenures with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He formerly played at Cincinnati in college.

In practice squad news, cornerback Rashard Causey was added to the group on December 12, per Safid Deen. Causey played college ball at UCF and has spent time with the Denver Broncos.

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