A six-pack of Dolphins notes:
• Adam Gase has consistently defended Ryan Tannehill all season, so it was right in Gase’s wheelhouse Wednesday when a reporter noted that Tannehill is fourth in the league in yards per pass attempt.
Asked what he takes from that, Gase said “it means he’s probably a little more accurate on the deep ball than what everybody told me when I got here. He’s hitting everything down the field, he’s made some plays on the moves. He’s been consistently accurate when we get time and he’s able to get in the pocket and make a throw, he does it and we catch it.”
• Dolphins defensive end Mario Williams would have liked to enter this week’s Buffalo game in a blaze of glory, with shiny stats and as anchor on a winning defense.
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Instead, he enters as a recently demoted backup on an underperforming defense, a player with just eight tackles and one sack in six games.
Williams and the Bills parted on poor terms.
Williams criticized the scheme, suggesting that was responsible for his limited production (19 tackles, five sacks).
He had mixed support inside the Bills locker-room, with some players privately telling the Buffalo News that the Bills were playing him out of position and others criticizing him anonymously.
“It’s been clear to me that Mario doesn’t care about anybody but himself,” one Bills player told The Buffalo News last December. “He followed that up by not giving any effort during the season and complaining about the scheme instead of manning up and saying he played like crap and doesn’t care.”
Williams tried to downplay Sunday’s game, calling it “another opportunity to play football, do what you love. It will be great to finally play against guys live for the first time. Still got a lot of friendships and communication with those guys. I’m sure it will be interesting.”
After starting and playing heavy snap counts the first five games, Williams was limited to 13 snaps on Sunday. Cam Wake and Andre Branch replaced Williams and Jason Jones as the starting ends, and Williams said he wasn’t surprised.
“It was different,” he said. “What I am asked to do is what I am asked to do.”
Williams said “with the few plays I was out there, it could be better. More plays, [you] have more of a rhythm. But the situation you’re in is the situation.”
Did he take the demotion as a message that he needs to get better?
“By all means, I’ve got to get better regardless,” he said. “Each and every one of us has a lot of work to do.”
Williams declined an opportunity to rip the Bills: “Nah, no, because I’m here, I’m in Miami," Williams said. "That’s not something that I speak about. Stop playing, man.”
Gase, questioned by Buffalo media about Williams losing his starting job, said “Mario and J.J. (Jason Jones), they were getting pounded on pretty good. I think it just finally caught up to us as far as those guys taking so many snaps.
"He's done a good job in practice and there have been a lot of positives coming out of training camp and through the beginning of the season.”
Bills coach Rex Ryan, asked about Williams by Dolphins reporters today, said: “I didn't say any critical things about him. He's been an outstanding player in this league for a long time. He's motivated to play against us.”
• Cornerback Chris Culliver, who has been on the PUP list, and linebacker Zach Vigil (NFi list) participated in individual drills but not team drills today, Adam Gase said. Both became eligible to play and practice this week.
It’s doubtful either plays this week.
Meanwhile, cornerback Tony Lippett was limited with a hamstring injury today.
• The Dolphins remain without their top two tight ends: Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims sat out practice and are in the NFL’s concussion protocol system.
Cameron has missed three games. Sims sustained his concussion in the Pittsburgh game.
The Dolphins are optimistic Cameron can return this season; otherwise, he would be placed on injured reserve.
Asked how hopeful he is of Cameron playing again this season, Gase said: “We’ll just see. I am not going to try to rush anything back. I want him to be healthy. We’re just making sure we go through necessary steps and making sure he’s 100 percent before we walk back on the practice field.”
• With safety Reshad Jones going on injured reserve, the Dolphins filled his roster spot by claiming defensive tackle Nick Williams off waivers from Kansas City, where he appeared in 21 games over three seasons, with no starts and 14 tackles. Williams, who played at Samford, was a seventh round pick of Pittsburgh in 2013. Gase said defensive end Jason Jones was given a rest day.
• Andrew Franks has now had two short field goals blocked (24 yards in the opener, 27 yards against Seattle), and he said special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi told him he needs to get more elevation on his kicks. Franks also missed a 50-yarder against Pittsburgh and is 7 for 10 on field goals this season.
For a six-pack of UM notes from today, including Fox’s Dave Wannstedt challenging Mark Richt to loosen up his offense, please click here.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz