Wednesday locker-room chatter from the Dolphins’ three new players:
• New corner Ben Benwikere says he’s comfortable playing slot and boundary but “I guess I enjoy being outside more often than not. A lot of people watching the game say I look more comfortable and play better in the slot.”
He said the Dolphins haven’t told him whether he will be given an opportunity to compete to start.
He said he will “definitely be ready” for Sunday’s home game against Pittsburgh.
“I feel confident that definitely by Sunday I can get involved,” he said. “They seem to put you in great positions to make plays on the ball [here]. If I’m in position, I will definitely be able to make plays on the ball.”
The Carolina Panthers cut him five days after he was torched by Atlanta’s Julio Jones.
He said “conditioning” was a factor in that game “but I wouldn’t say my conditioning is bad. To be a great-caliber player, going against another great-caliber player, you have to have that extra edge. That’s where I’m going to go. My main goal is to be in top shape and not let anyone outrun me…. I had that inner talk with myself, ‘What do I want to be --- just another guy or do I want to be an elite player?”
Of being cut by the Panthers after starting all four games there this season, Benwikere said: “Do I think it was fair [to be cut]? No. They were ready to go with the younger guys… It sucked that they let me go on a Friday and had to wait until Monday [of this week] to finally get calls.
“When I came in [here], the first thing they talked to me about was a clean slate. Put that performance behind me.”
Benwikere said he and former Carolina Pro Bowl teammate Josh Norman (now with Washington) “have a lot of the same mentality, as far as attacking the ball.”
• Meanwhile, Chimdi Chekwa was the Dolphins’ second cornerback addition in the past two days. He was receiving first-team work with the Dolphins in early August before sustaining a thigh injury that sidelined him the remainder of preseason.
Chekwa, who has appeared in 32 games with four starts for Oakland over the past four seasons, had workouts with Seattle and Detroit in the past month but wasn’t offered a contract.
When the Dolphins cut him in early September, Adam Gase told him that he “liked the way I worked,” Chekwa said.
He said he “wasn’t surprised” he got a call from the Dolphins. “I was expecting a call every day” from some team. “I’ve been staying ready. I have a lot of football left.”
• Like Chekwa, left tackle Sam Young also was brought back after Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner were released on Tuesday. Like Chekwa, Young also had workouts with a couple of teams but wasn’t offered a contract.
Young said he can “be a swing tackle and help wherever I can.”
• Cornerback Chris Culliver, who is eligible to come off PUP for the Oct. 23 Buffalo game, said he’s not sure if he will be ready to play in that game but said he’s running well and believes he’s getting closer.
He said he should be able to do some things in practice Monday (the first day he’s eligible to practice) but “probably not” participate fully.
Bringing him back Nov. 6 against the Jets, after a bye, would seem to make more sense.
Culliver suffered a serious knee injury in a Thanksgiving practice as a member of the Redskins last year.
• Safety Reshad Jones has a groin injury and will be a game-time decision Sunday, Adam Gase said.
• With Koa Misi’s season likely over, Miami will rely on veteran Donald Butler and young linebackers, such as Neville Hewitt. Misi’s career is in jeopardy.
We hear Zach Vigil (on PUP with a back injury) has been cleared to do some football activities and is expected to practice at least to some extent starting next week and could be back for the Jets Nov. 6.
• Running back Arian Foster, who has missed the past three games because of a hamstring injury, said he will practice Wednesday but was non-committal about whether he would play Sunday.
Laremy Tunsil and Branden Albert were back at practice Wednesday.
• After Tuesday’s cuts, the Dolphins – in the last seven drafts with offensive linemen – have squandered a first-rounder with Ja’Wuan James, a second-rounder with Jonathan Martin, three third rounders with John Jerry and Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner and a fourth-rounder with Jamil Douglas.
Gase said one problem with James is learning a new technique preferred by a new offensive line coach (Chris Foerster).
• Ndamukong Suh said he has “no explanation” for the team’s 1-4 start but emphasized the need to tackle better. Miami missed 18 tackles against Tennessee.
• CBS is sending Dolphins-Steelers to 11 percent of the country --- South Florida and parts of nine other states, with No. 5 team Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots on the call. Here’s a map.
• For UM football nuggets today, including Sam Bruce’s mother speaking about her son’s dismissal, please click here.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz