Is Dolphins camp — which on Sunday felt like the hottest place on Earth — suddenly the cool place to be?
Draymond Green seems to think so.
Green, the Warriors forward who’s equally entertaining and out of control, was a guest at Dolphins headquarters Sunday, watching practice from the sidelines and addressing the team before it ended.
“He had a great message, just as far as guys being able to pick each other up, guys stepping up, especially in tough situations,” Adam Gase said. “Just gave them something to think about, and talked about where they started and where they are right now. Kind of tried to give those guys that thought process -- where we're at right now, that's part of the process and keep fighting and try to do it right.”
A great message, perhaps, but it was delivered by an unlikely messenger. Green is an NBA and Olympic champion, sure. But he’s also best known for screaming at officials and kicking opponents in privates.
“He argues every call,” said Dolphins corner Tony Lippett, who couldn’t even fathom how much he would owe in fines if he behaved as Green does in a game.
Green, who declined interview requests Sunday, is the second-high profile guest at Dolphins camp in the last couple of months. Ex-Eagles and 49ers coach Chip Kelly caught a practice back in the spring. Wes Welker and Peyton Manning have also been through since Gase took over.
Green has a relationship with Gase, a fellow Michigan State Spartan, and is also a member of the advisory board of Stephen Ross’ RISE outfit, an anti-racism initiative that uses sports to bridge divides.
“I saw him up in New York [over the summer], and he said he was going to be down here for El Clasico,” Gase said. “I asked him if he wanted to [come] to practice, and a couple of days ago, he just texted me and said, 'Would you be all right if I said something to the team at practice?'”
Gase jumped at the offer.
Green’s Dolphins contacts go beyond simply their head coach. He’s tight with defensive end Andre Branch and he spent two years on campus with Lippett in East Lansing.
In fact, they even shared a field — once.
Green talked Michigan State coaches into letting him dress for the Spartans’ 2011 spring game. The results were hilarious.
The 6-foot-7 Green was on the field for exactly two plays; he committed a false-start penalty on the first and watched a pass sail by on the second.
“He don’t want that work,” Lippett joked, when asked if Green was tempted to put on pads Sunday.
But just as Green knows his limitations, so does tight end Julius Thomas, who played both basketball and football at Portland State.
When asked if he could take Green one-on-one, Thomas responded:
“No. He’s a good player. Unlike most football guys who are like ‘Aw, man I’ll get buckets,’ I’ve been there before, I know how hard it is to get those buckets.”
▪ Cornerback Bobby McCain is “fine” after a suffering a scary knee injury during Sunday’s practice, Gase told reporters.
“I just wanted to pull him out of practice,” Gase added. “... I expect him to be out there tomorrow."
McCain went down in a heap during a one-on-one drill Sunday, stayed down for a while but eventually walked off under his own power. After undergoing a preliminary medical exam, McCain was asked to jog and test his lateral movement on the side.
He did not return to practice, and ultimately left the field under the supervision of a medical staff member. A source said that McCain was scheduled to undergo further exams, presumably an MRI, but that seems to be precautionary.
McCain, who has been the Dolphins’ starting nickel corner all training camp, was replaced by Michael Thomas in the lineup.
Defensive end William Hayes, meanwhile, got a veteran’s day off Sunday.
Mike Pouncey (hip) again warmed up with the team, but did little more. Isaiah Ford (knee), Lamin Barrow (knee) and Storm Johnson (foot) all missed practice.
Safety Reshad Jones remains on the non-football injury list with what has been described as a minor injury.