With their depth depleted by injuries to arguably their fourth- and fifth-best receivers, the Dolphins plan to audition former Cowboys receiver Laurent Robinson and potentially others Tuesday.
The Dolphins pursued Robinson in March of 2012 after a breakout season for Dallas in which he caught 54 passes for 858 yards, including 11 touchdowns.
But the 6-2 Robinson sustained a concussion last season and was limited to seven games and 24 receptions for 252 yards. Teams want to make sure he is healthy.
Robinson, 28, recently worked out for the Jets, Patriots and Lions. He lives in Miami and would love to join the Dolphins, a source said.
Former Colts receiver Austin Collie also is on Miami’s radar. Collie sustained a season-ending knee injury in the third game last season and has had three concussions in his career.
Other free agent receivers still available include Randy Moss (highly unlikely for Miami), Chad Johnson (even more unlikely), Brandon Lloyd, Early Doucet, Donald Jones, Donald Driver, Brandon Stokley, Deion Branch and Ruvel Martin. Former Dolphins receiver Greg Camarillo also is looking for work.
“We’re always looking to improve, whether from within or without,” coach Joe Philbin said when asked about the receivers.
The Dolphins are looking for receiver help after losing Armon Binns for the season with a knee injury and Rishard Matthews for at least several weeks. Before their injuries, Binns and Matthews had been the favorites for the fourth and fifth receiver jobs behind Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson.
Meanwhile, Philbin said Monday he wants to take a longer look at the young receivers competing for spots, including Marvin McNutt, Brian Tyms and Jeff Fuller. “We like the size of those three guys,” Philbin said. “They have good length and speed and playmaking ability.”
Philbin said undrafted rookie Chad Bumphis “has really come along. He’s a crafty receiver. Has found a way to get open. Has caught the ball better. [Undrafted rookie] Junior Collins has similar skills — quick, good hands. It’s a good crop of young guys we have to get further evaluation on.”
With Wallace and Hartline not participating in the scrimmage, McNutt and Bumphis had the best night among the receivers. McNutt had three catches for 23 yards. Bumphis’ two receptions for 41 yards included a 28-yarder on a fourth down.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, permitted to speak to reporters Monday for the first time during training camp, said he is emphasizing creating more turnovers “as hard as I’ve ever done in all my years of coaching.”
Coyle showed his players tapes of the fumbles forced last season by the Patriots, Bears and Bengals — three of the best in the league at that. He also said players are encouraged to strip and punch footballs hanging from the walls in their defensive meeting rooms.
“Hopefully, it will start to translate to our play,” Coyle said.
Coyle assuredly was pleased when Olivier Vernon had a sack and strip of Matt Moore in Monday night’s scrimmage. Jared Odrick recovered.
Coyle addressed other issues:
• He said first-round pick Dion Jordan is working exclusively at defensive end “in the early stages of camp.” But the Dolphins see the possibility of using him some at linebacker eventually.
“He has a lot of position versatility,” Coyle said. “I see him a lot like Olivier Vernon in the sense there will be times we can use him in a lot of different spots. He’s very athletic, can cover, can certainly rush the passer, which is his strength. We’ve got to get him stronger when his shoulder comes back around from the injury.”
• On the decision to replace linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett with Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler: “We’ll determine if we were right as we go down the road. But what we’ve seen in practice is two guys that are very explosive, play an aggressive style of game.”
• He said defensive players are making far fewer mental errors than a year ago at this time.