Dolphins Notebook

Miami Dolphins’ rookie cornerback Will Davis proving to be a ball hawk on defense

 

bjackson@miamiherald.com

While one of the Dolphins’ early round rookie cornerbacks works his way back from surgery, the other has gone on an interception binge this week, which is certainly a way to get noticed on a team craving more takeaways.

Will Davis, a third-round pick from Utah State, grabbed three interceptions Thursday, giving him five in the past four practices. Two of the five — including one Thursday — were made in the end zone.

“He had his hand on the ball eight times [Thursday] maybe,” coach Joe Philbin said. “That leads you to believe he had a very good practice. That’s one of the measuring sticks we’re looking at in our defensive backs — guys who can make a play on the ball. I’m sure there’s a lot of technique things he has to work on.”

Though Davis also has been beaten several times in camp, he has quickly developed a reputation as a ball hawk. He has deflected more than 10 passes in camp and could have had even more interceptions Thursday if he hadn’t dropped two.

“Everything is starting to click,” he said. “Definitely a good day. When the game slows down for you, you are able to make more plays. That’s happening for me now.”

Teammates have noticed.

“Will is looking real good,” safety Reshad Jones said. “He’s a quick guy, and that’s what we need on that side of the ball.”

Meanwhile, Jamar Taylor, the Dolphins’ second-round pick out of Boise State, participated in team drills the past two days after missing more than a week with soreness from sports hernia surgery in May. He said he hopes he’s back on the field for good.

“I’ve been antsy the whole time,” he said. “I definitely have some rust. I’m definitely not at full strength. I have great trainers working with me. I’ll get there. I’m definitely happy to be back on the field.”

Philbin said he likes Taylor’s quickness.

Taylor and Davis said they are rooting for each. “I’m proud of Will,” Taylor said.

MORE INJURIES

Receivers Mike Wallace (groin) and Brian Hartline (calf strain) missed most of their third consecutive practice. Both said they were hopeful of playing Sunday against Dallas in the Hall of Fame game, but it’s possible coaches might decide to rest them.

Wallace said Thursday he feels “a lot better” and has “a lot more strength in my groin.”

He said he “badly” wants to play Sunday. “This is a new situation for me. I want to get out there and feel it out. Feel the new situation. Be with my new teammates and have a great time.”

Also Thursday, defensive tackle Randy Starks stood on the sideline with a compression sleeve on his right leg, and defensive tackle Jared Odrick left practice early with what is believed to be a hamstring injury, but it isn’t considered serious.

Running back Cameron Marshall and linebacker Michael Clay also remain sidelined.

SIMS MAKES CASE

Rookie tight end Dion Sims continues to impress the coaching staff and has received a lot of work in two tight end sets with starter Dustin Keller.

“I like him a lot,” Philbin said. “He’s doing a lot of good things. He has a chance to be a very good blocker in this league. He’s got soft hands. He’s had a very good camp. He’s going to be a good player.”

But Sims also had a drop Thursday.

“I told him you can’t drop a ball on third-and-3 in the red zone on the 3-yard line,” Philbin said.

• Davis’ interceptions came against Pat Devlin and Matt Moore. But Ryan Tannehill also threw his first interception in six practices, when Richard Marshall picked off a tipped ball.

Philbin said Tannehill’s lack of interceptions has been a byproduct of “primarily decision making, No. 1, and accuracy No. 2. I’m not saying accuracy, the location, has been perfect every pass. But it hasn’t been bad.”

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