Terrence Fede, Jordan Tripp and Walt Aikens — the Dolphins’ three defensive draft picks in 2014 — all have expanded roles so far in training camp — and all appear to be making the most of them.
Fede, a backup defensive end, had another sack Saturday, giving him at least 3.5 in three days. Tripp, working mostly on the second team, had a sack and got some work with the starters at linebacker on Saturday. And Aikens continues to work on the second team at safety, alongside Michael Thomas, and also received some snaps with the starters on Friday.
Last season, Fede played 82 defensive snaps, Aikens 64 and Tripp 12.
But Fede’s opportunity should increase because of Dion Jordan’s season-long suspension.
Never miss a local story.
“Terrence really looked good, watching him in drill work,” coach Joe Philbin said. “He’s moving well. He’s up to 275 pounds and change. We’ve used him at different spots [end and tackle]. Coming from Marist is a big adjustment, but he’s doing well.”
Fede said he likes to “take a few things” from Derrick Shelby, Miami’s other second-team defensive end, because “we’re the same body frame.” He also has studied tape of injured New York Giants standout Jason Pierre Paul and former Giants star Michael Strahan.
Tripp, meanwhile, said he’s both a “completely different” and “a lot better” player than a year ago and 10 to 15 pounds heavier. He said he had an appendectomy late in preseason last year and that took awhile to recover from.
“What I like about Jordy so far is he seems a lot more confident getting the defense lined up,” Philbin said. “He’s a good communicator.”
Aikens, meanwhile, has impressed the staff not only with his play, but also with his improved maturity after a few off-field missteps last year.
Thomas said Aikens has come “in this year with a better mindset, better focus, like this year, ‘I’m going to be a pro. I’m not a young kid.’ He went from a rookie that you didn’t know what you were going to get to a guy, ‘OK, we can count on him.’ ”
DAVIS SITS OUT
After practicing the first two days of camp, cornerback Will Davis sat out the third. But Davis, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL last November, said there wasn’t a setback with his knee.
He said “we knew coming in” that he would take days off. “I’m trying to get to 100 percent, trying to get the explosiveness back,” he said. “I don’t want to push it too much.”
▪ The Dolphins said they viewed Brice McCain as a slot cornerback when they signed him in March, but he is also getting a chance to compete with Jamar Taylor on the boundary. On Saturday, both players took first-team snaps both outside and in the slot.
Of Taylor getting time in the slot, Philbin said: “We’re just looking for different roles that he can fill and we need to develop as many players inside as we can.”
▪ In training camp’s first practice in pads, Ndamukong Suh predictably got the better of guard Billy Turner.
“It’s not like I didn’t know how good he was,” Turner said. “I feel blessed being given the opportunity to get reps against him. Suh has taught me you have to be ready for everything. He’ll use a couple of moves on you and then he sets you up for something else.”
▪ The Dolphins activated tight end Gerell Robinson from the non-football injury list. … Running back LaMichael James and defensive end Olivier Vernon impressed Saturday. Thomas had an interception off Matt Moore, and Cedric Thompson and Sammy Seamster picked off McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
▪ The Dolphins released receiver Kai De La Cruz and claimed receiver Cobi Hamilton off waivers from Cincinnati. Hamilton spent part of the past two seasons on the Bengals’ and Eagles’ practice squads.