Miami Dolphins

Kiko Alonso’s impressive first practices surprise even the Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso plays against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso plays against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. AP

Dolphins coaches got their first real look at Kiko Alonso during voluntary minicamp last week.

They didn’t just like what they saw. They loved it.

Alonso, who is coming off two knee injuries in as many seasons, was fast and agile during his first practices with the team.

The third-year linebacker exceeded all expectations, the Miami Herald has learned, and the team is cautiously optimistic that the Alonso of old is back.

If so, that would make an already good trade a great one. The Dolphins received Alonso and Byron Maxwell from the Eagles two months back, swapping first-round picks with Philadelphia in the process. But the Dolphins paid no price for moving from eighth to 13th in the draft; they would have taken Laremy Tunsil at either spot.

If Alonso can return to 2013 form, the Dolphins will have clearly upgraded at linebacker. As a rookie, Alonso was dynamic, recording 159 tackles and four interceptions for the Buffalo Bills.

Yet he tore his ACL while training the following summer and missed the entire 2014 season. The Bills traded him to the Eagles the next offseason, and Alonso’s knee experienced a setback during his only season in Philadelphia.

But Alonso is now fully recovered, saying that his knee issues are “all behind me.” Back in March, friends insisted that Alonso again looked like the player that entered the league three years ago.

After three impressive days on the practice field, Alonso is proving them right.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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