Some Dolphins notes on a July 4, with just 23 more shopping days until training camp opens:
• The Patriots have won eight consecutive AFC East titles and 13 of the past 14, with the Dolphins interrupting that streak (in 2008) only when Tom Brady tore his ACL in New England’s opener.
But the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh remains undaunted by any of that.
“I think the Patriots are definitely beatable,” Suh said on ESPN on Monday. “It’s just a matter of playing a good game, almost a perfect game in a lot of ways because they’ve got great coaching and obviously great players and talent on their side of the ball. So you’ve got to be going on all cylinders. Without question, I have a ton of respect for them, but without question, they’re definitely beatable as everybody is in the league.”
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Suh’s comments came a couple weeks after he declared that the Dolphins have “never been scared” of the Patriots.
Asked about Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier’s comments that the league has a “Patriots problem,” Suh said he didn’t agree.
“[Making the Patriots the division favorite] is an easy thing to do, and it’s a great opportunity to create conversation,” Suh said. “What we do as the Dolphins, we put our downs head and we go to work. We’ve beaten them before. We’ve had success against them and really look forward to repeating that as we go out there in this upcoming 2017 season.”
New England has won four of the past five against Miami and 11 of the past 14. The teams meet Nov. 26 in Massachussets and Dec. 11 on a Monday night in Miami.
• The Dolphins adjourned for the summer without telling any of their linebackers where they would play.
But one team source said the most logical option is playing Lawrence Timmons in the middle and Kiko Alonso at weakside.
In the offseason program, Miami also gave a lot of work in the middle to Raekwon McMillan, who can play strongside. The Dolphins liked how McMillan did at mike linebacker, but it would be surprising if he started the season there.
Koa Misi is still awaiting medical clearance after neck surgery.
• Every player on the roster who wasn’t injured attended the team’s offseason program except one: Stanford receiver Francis Owusu, who wasn’t permitted to, by league rule, because his school’s classes were still in session. Adam Gase says catching up won’t be an issue, pointing out that he attended a university known for its academics.
Owusu caught only 34 passes for 482 yards in his college career and just eight last season. But he’s a dynamic athlete; at Stanford’s Pro Day, he twice ran the 40 under 4.4 seconds and a had a vertical jump of 39 inches. That’s impressive for a receiver with his size (6-3, 210 pounds).
“I knew I didn’t have the best college career I could have had, so I put my whole mind, body, spirit into this winter and I trained my butt off for it and it showed,” Owusu told dolphins.com. “It showed on the Pro Day.”
• Officials who are involved in the players’ efforts in a class action lawsuit against the NFL, over health issues, met with a bunch of former Dolphins and other ex-NFL players in Miami on Thursday night and reminded them that they must sign up by Aug. 7 to be eligible to receive a piece of the settlement money, and then have a neurological assessment completed in a year-plus after that.
According to a person in attendance, Mercury Morris spoke a lot, and A.J. Duhe, Shawn Wooden, ailing former Dolphins cornerback Don McNeal, Tony Nathan and John Offerdahl were among many others in attendance.
Wives asked a lot of questions. The children of quarterback Earl Morrall also had questions; Morrall died in April 2014 after being diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
In order to be eligible to receive part of the settlement money, players must be diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS or two forms of dementia.
Here’s my July 4 post with lots of UM personnel nuggets, including a new high-end recruiting commitment and one notable absence from the 2017 class that arrived on campus.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz