Rookie Jamil Douglas has pulled ahead of Billy Turner in the competition at right guard, according to two people briefed on the situation. Turner was informed of that Monday and was naturally disappointed. The Dolphins still have time to settle on a starter before the Sept. 13 opener at Washington.
Though Turner — a third-round pick in 2014 — has shown flashes, his inconsistency concerns coaches. Douglas, meanwhile, has made a strong impression on the coaching staff.
Douglas, the rookie fourth-rounder from Arizona State, has gotten work at both left guard and right guard during the past month. He started at left guard on Saturday against Atlanta, with Turner at right guard.
Douglas played left guard and left tackle with the Sun Devils, so playing on the right side would be something of an adjustment.
“Very pleased with Jamil, particularly for a rookie,” offensive line coach John Benton said a few weeks ago. “Handles himself like a pro.”
Dallas Thomas is the likely starter at left guard.
Center Mike Pouncey predicted that the team’s young guards “are going to shock a lot of people. They have really surprised me. I have seen the strides from last year to this year, and it’s amazing to see how far all those guys have come.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Rishard Matthews, who wasn’t even assured a roster spot a month ago, not only appears a lock to stick but also could end up starting. He started ahead of Kenny Stills on Saturday, alongside Jarvis Landry and Greg Jennings. After requesting a trade this past spring, Matthews said Monday he is “glad I’m here for another year.” He said all he wanted was a fair competition and it “definitely has been fair” and he has tried to “show that I need to be on the field more offensively.”
Said Ryan Tannehill: “He has had a heck of a camp. We came in together, so I’ve spent a lot of time with him and seen him grow over the past four years. I would say that over the last six months I have seen the most growth from him. He is growing as a man, growing as a player and developing his game in all aspects. His consistency is at an all-time high.”
▪ Kicker Caleb Sturgis, the front-runner in his competition with Andrew Franks, said he “definitely” did not do enough “early” in camp to secure the job, “but I’ve been hitting the ball better lately.”
▪ Cornerback Jamar Taylor (quadriceps) was the only player who missed all of Monday’s practice but said he expects to be ready for the regular-season opener. But running back Mike Gillislee left practice and was working on the side during a short session open to reporters. Linebacker Jordan Tripp returned to practice after missing two weeks with an ankle injury. Offensive tackle Jason Fox returned after missing a week with a concussion.
▪ With Kirk Cousins named the starting quarterback in Washington and Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo, that means the Dolphins will open the season potentially facing these six QBs: Cousins, Blake Bortles, Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota and Bobby Hoyer. Not exactly a murderer’s row.