We've now seen three versions of Laremy Tunsil in his week-plus as a Miami Dolphin.
▪ There was the shell-shocked, draft-night Tunsil, being a bit too honest with reporters after a saboteur posted damaging material to his social media accounts.
▪ There was the tight-lipped Tunsil the following afternoon, when his response to basically any query was, “I’m here to talk about the Miami Dolphins.”
▪ But by Saturday, Tunsil finally felt comfortable enough to show his true colors. And they were vivid.
“I just like to be positive any kind of way, man,” Tunsil told reporters during Day 2 of rookie minicamp. “I’m a laid back guy, just a hard worker.”
He’s also a bit of a cut-up.
When Tunsil approached the podium, he pointed to the assembled press and began the new conference by saying, “somebody hit me with one.”
OK, Laremy. Have you had any food allergies since falling ill during your visit to team headquarters last week?
“I actually found out what kind of fish it was. I think it was called mahi-mahi? Something like that. I ain’t never had that before. Never again. I can’t go through that again.”
(Let’s just take a moment to marvel at the irony of the new Dolphin being allergic to dolphinfish.)
Moving on. ... Laremy, are you concerned that your draft-night experience (most notably, the video of you smoking weed through a gas-mask bong) will be the lasting impression most will have of you?
“I’m not worried about that. Everybody got their own opinions. I’m the only one who knows what kind of true character I am. That’s for me to prove to everybody.”
There’s a good chance you’ll play guard as a rookie. You’ve never done that before. Worried about the position change?
“Wherever they put me, I’m going to give it my all. If they put me at quarterback, I’m going to do a seven-step drop-back and throw the pass. If they put me at tight end I’m going to catch the ball.”
He wasn’t kidding about that last part. Tunsil caught a touchdown in Ole Miss’ blowout win over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.
Tunsil starting lobbying to play tight end “about 10 minutes after we drafted him,” Adam Gase said with a chuckle Saturday.
For the time being, Gase and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen will probably only ask Tunsil to block the guy in front of him.
Which will likely be a vast improvement over the guard play the Dolphins got last year.
How vast? Christensen had to calm himself down a number of times on draft night, as Tunsil’s free-fall made it possible for Miami to take him at 13.
Christensen said: “The further he dropped, I started feeling myself get a little knot in my stomach. I'm going, 'Ah, don't get your hopes up. You know better than to do that. There's five places to go.' And even when it was one spot away, I was going, 'Somebody is trading up. Do not let yourself get your hopes up. You've done this before. It's no fun. You'll be disappointed.' When it did happen, I couldn't believe it did happen.”
The Dolphins got the best offensive lineman in the draft, Christensen said. And if there was anything else positive to take out of Tunsil’s eventful evening, it’s this:
“I've been impressed with him throughout the whole process, the adversity, how he handled it,” Christensen said. “That could shipwreck you, what he went through. I've been really impressed with how he's handled it, which is a great mentality for an offensive lineman.”
▪ Nearly half the Dolphins’ roster is under the age of 25. Gase said the team’s youth, particularly at running back, could have a liberating effect.
“The fact that we have a bunch of young guys, guess what? We've got nothing to lose,” Gase said. “They're going to come out here and give us everything they have.”
▪ Retired Dolphins greats Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas spoke to the rookies this weekend.
▪ Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is encouraged by Cameron Wake’s comeback from Achilles’ tendon surgery and is “guessing he’ll be ready for Week 1.”
▪ Joseph said that he’s seen Dion Jordan’s workout photographs, but when asked if he’s counting on the suspended defensive end this season, he said: “That's a league issue. Obviously, he's the third pick of the draft for a reason, so if he's here, I would like to have him, but right now, I can't speak on him.”
▪ Kick returner Jakeem Grant and defensive back Jordan Lucas signed their rookie contracts Saturday.