A six-pack of Dolphins notes on the first day of camp:
• It was surprising to see Mike Hull – not front-runner Raekwon McMillan or even Neville Hewitt – open at linebacker with the starters on the first team drill of the first Dolphins training camp practice on Thursday.
We mentioned in a piece yesterday that the Dolphins like Hull. But too much shouldn’t be read into Hull’s initial work with the first team.
It would be surprising if McMillan doesn’t seize the job, but Adam Gase clearly wants competition for the job alongside Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons.
“There is probably a big sense of urgency because of the time,” Gase said of the open linebacker job. “It’s going to be us going through our process day in and day out and we’ll just see how that whole thing shakes out and develops. I like where we’re at right now and I like the way the guys are working. The great thing is they have a lot of experience [Hewitt and Hull] because they had to play last year. When that second group goes out there, I don’t have a lot of worries.”
He wants all three to “continue with the knowledge of the defense and really kind of get in that reaction state instead of thinking. Sometimes with younger players, they start thinking about ‘Well what if this happens? What if this happens?’ And you have so much mental clutter that you don’t react as fast. That’s why you see sometimes that Mike and Neville, they’ve been doing it for a couple years now and it becomes more reactionary. It takes a minute to get adjusted to … When you are in training camp, all of a sudden it is a little faster than the spring.”
• Gase indicated that Koa Misi, who will miss the season, has not retired.
“He’s coming off of a major neck injury,” Gase said. “That was going to be a bonus (if we had him). I mean we’ve been preparing for this for a while.”
But… “this caught me a little bit off guard, as far as when we had to put him on IR. It wasn’t really the answer we were expecting and when we got the results, went back out there to kind of have another talk with the doctor, the timetable was not ideal. It was going to be more time – a lot more time – and that was the decision that was made with all of us, in conversation between him, his agent and our front office.
“My discussions with him yesterday was we’ve got a long time to go before we have to have our next conversation. Right now it’s about getting him healthy and kind of go through that process. There’s only certain rehab things that he can do. It’s time. It’s healing. It’s kind of your body dealing with this and it’s a tough. It’s a tough thing for a professional athlete to go through because you’re completely out of control.”
• Gase on rookie defensive end Charles Harris: “We threw a couple of different things at him just to make sure those edge guys weren’t just coming around the corner, so we tried to run the ball a little bit more. It’s just what we saw in the spring. The get-off off the ball is outstanding. He has a good grasp of what we’re doing defensively.”
• New cornerback Alterraun Verner said the Dolphins plan to use him both on the boundary and in the slot. Though his best chance for playing time is probably in the slot, he said he has played there in only two of his seven NFL seasons.
“Any time you can get a guy who’s been around for a minute is great,” Gase said. “We were probably a little surprised that we had the opportunity. If you bring in a guy like that, all of a sudden the young guys that are working to fight for a spot, that raises some antennas. You better be on it because you have a guy that’s done it.
“We’ll be mixing him up. When you get to game day, you only have so many guys active so everybody has to be ready to do everything. Those guys train, they cross-train, just like every other position. We’ll emphasize more inside but he’s going to do enough outside to where he’ll have that experience. It’s just creating competition among that whole group, whether it be inside or outside.”
• Though Julius Warmsley is listed as a defensive end, he said he is working only at defensive tackle. So Warmsley, at 6-2 and 294 pounds, joins Davon Godchaux, Vincent Taylor, Lawrence Okoye and Nick Williams in the battle for the No. 3 tackle job.
• As expected, Ted Larsen and Jermon Bushrod opened as the starting guards…. Long shot cornerback Torry Mctyer, the undrafted rookie from UNLV, intercepted both David Fales and Brandon Doughty… Besides DeVante Parker’s two TD receptions, Kenyan Drake and Thomas Duarte were among others with touchdowns.