Antwan Applewhite was all smiles after practice because he knew he lucked out.
Applewhite, the newest member of the Dolphins’ defensive line, wasn’t just lucky to be signed in advance of the last day of training camp. He also participated in the only camp day held completely inside the practice bubble, avoiding the South Florida heat.
“Mother Nature helped me out a little bit, with practice inside,” Applewhite said. “[Practice] went well. I’m trying to pick up the defense fairly quickly, and I think I’m doing a good job.”
Applewhite is in his seventh year in the NFL after spending the previous six with San Diego and Carolina. In 48 career games, Applewhite has recorded 99 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles.
The signing comes as the Dolphins continue to deal with attrition along their defensive line.
Defensive tackle Randy Starks has missed practice with a knee injury since Miami’s scrimmage on July 29. Starks did return to the practice field Thursday but did not participate in any drills, only taking part in rehab work on the sidelines.
First-round pick Dion Jordan has also missed time. Jordan got a late start in camp after recovering from shoulder surgery before the draft. After playing in the team’s first two exhibition games, Jordan re-injured his shoulder and has also been limited to rehab work in recent practices.
Applewhite made sure to read up on coach Joe Philbin before joining the team.
“I know he’s a no-nonsense type of guy,” Applewhite said. “If you’re doing your job, he has no problem with you. About the team, I knew it was a young, fast team. We’re on our way up in the NFL.”
Philbin said Applewhite was signed after he impressed the team in his workout.
“We’re always looking to improve and adjust the roster,” Philbin said. “We want to see what he can do.”
Quarterback Aaron Corp, who signed with the Dolphins after an injury to Pat Devlin, continued to lead the third-team offense on the last day of camp. Corp also took reps on the scout team as Miami prepared for its exhibition game against Houston on Saturday.
With Devlin out and Philbin saying starters will play about one quarter against the Texans, Corp should see significant playing time in the Dolphins’ next game. Philbin would not reveal how many snaps he expects Corp to play.
“He’s a very bright guy; he knows our system,” Philbin said. “If we send him out there, we’re going to have confidence in him. We’re not going to send anybody on the field we don’t have confidence in.”
All about the kids
After a training camp that emphasized reducing giveaways, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was more generous after the final day of camp, giving away backpacks and other school items to 25 students from American Senior High.
Tannehill met with the students after practice along with his wife, Lauren, as part of his A.C.E.S. program. Tannehill, as well as many other players, signed the kids’ shirts and gave away the items after the students watched the last few portions of practice.
“To pick some kids out that are doing a good job and reward them for what they’ve done is a lot of fun,” Tannehill said. “They all seem to love it, so I’m excited about it.”