The Dolphins defense won the day Wednesday, and made sure to let the offense hear about it.
After intercepting Ryan Tannehill twice, after breaking up too many passes two count, after at least two sacks by Charles Harris, the defense talked its friends on the other side of the ball off the field.
“They took it to the offense today,” Adam Gase said. “Everything they said, that was pretty much true.”
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“I wasn’t trying to pay attention too much because then they start talking to me.”
Granted, Gase doesn’t want his offense to get abused too often. But he loves the edge his players show. He wants them to keep it coming.
“Hey, man, it’s all competition out there,” cornerback Tony Lippett said. “We’re just all trying to get each other better. ... Gase created a competitive environment out here and we’re just trying to uphold it.”
Lippett isn’t that big of a talker; he usually leaves that up to Bobby McCain, Miami’s feisty nickelback.
But Lippett’s game is saying plenty. Now in Year 3, he’s proven that Miami’s decision to move him from receiver to cornerback was the right one. Reshad Jones singled out Lippett as the one defensive player who’s emerged this spring.
He needs that progress to continue. The Dolphins have four legitimate boundary corners — Lippett, Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett and rookie Cordrea Tankersley — but only two spots on the field. Gase suggested Wednesday that none of those four are in the running to play the nickel.
“I mean, it’s competitive now,” Lippett said. “I feel like it’s going to be competitive in training camp. We all mess with each other a lot. We’re cool with each other. We help each other out a lot. And we’re our hardest critics on ourselves. We push each other every day to make plays. One makes a play, we all get hyped. That’s just how we are. A competitive room, but we all have each others’ backs at the end of the day.”
Wednesday, they proved it with their play and their words.