Linebacker, defensive end Jason Trusnik can play most anywhere in the front seven.
But after a recent practice, he tried his hand at something altogether different. Trusnik, the reserve utility man from Division IIIs Ohio Northern, spent the better part of five minutes trying his hand at long snapper.
Since Ive been in the league, something Ive prided myself on is knowing the whole defense and all the special teams, so wherever Im called up, thats where Ill do the job, Trusnik said.
Bumps and bruises sustained recently by starting linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett has put his versatility to the test. While the Dolphins do not make public player injury information, both have missed the last two days of practice, clearing the way for Trusnik to work with the first-team defense.
Cameron Collins and Gary Guyton have also rotated in with the starters. All three were undrafted coming out of college, with each expected to make their marks on special teams this year. But with two injuries (Burnetts is not believed to be serious) to their starting linebackers, the Dolphins may have to get creative in Fridays preseason game against the Panthers.
Guyton started in place of Burnett in last Fridays preseason loss to Tampa Bay, but it was Trusnik who really popped. He led the team with six tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams.
Those guys were running around playing football faster than our first guys were, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said.
Elsewhere, Richard Marshall still has a firm grip on the starting cornerback job across from Sean Smith, with Vontae Davis working in nickel and dime packages. Davis didnt work with the backups Monday, however, meaning his repetitions in practice are way down
• Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill split work with the first team again Monday, with Moore having the best of it. He connected with Davone Bess and Reggie Bush on goal-line touchdown passes during the padded practice.
Meanwhile, Tannehill struggled, throwing an interception directly to defensive back Jimmy Wilson inside the 5.
• Bess might be short (hes listed at 5-10), but the Dolphins clearly see him as a red-zone threat. They targeted him several times in the end zone Monday, catching at least one touchdown from Tannehill. Julius Pruitt, however, dropped a would-be touchdown pass.
• Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee) was not present at Mondays practice, while Dansby, Burnett, wide receiver Brian Hartline and running back Jonas Gray were all limited. Eric Steinbach practiced in the morning, but missed the afternoon walkthrough.
• The Dolphins on Monday announced the creation of the Cefalos Legends Suite, a fine-dining stadium experience in partnership with Jimmy Cefalo, the teams radio voice.
Hes 6-5? Ill bring the tape up to Jeff [Ireland] and see what he says, Philbin on how record-breaking sprinter Usain Bolt would fare as an NFL receiver.
The Dolphins have two remaining training camp practices (Tuesday and Wednesday) open to the public at 8:40 a.m. at the teams Nova Southeastern University training facility in Davie. Admission and parking are free at all practices.
Adam H. Beasley