The Dolphins ended training camp with anger and agitation, as three separate fights broke out in a 30-minute period.
Receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Bobby McCain exchanged punches in the first drill. “Nothing personal; no hard feelings,” Landry said. “Showing a little team love to each other.”
The second fight, involving more than 20 players but relatively tame, began when McCain and receiver Kenny Stills started jawing at each other. The third featured shoving between offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod and defensive lineman Deandre Coleman.
“I like to see a little bit of that, a little bit of attitude, a little
bit of swagger; we’re not going to take some crap,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “We don’t want four or five in a practice. A little bit of that is OK.”
Coach Adam Gase didn’t object: “It’s football. It happens. No one got hurt. I don’t want that to happen every day. But it’s going to happen once in a while….One guy makes a play and starts talking. Bobby is not going to take that.”
The Dolphins haven’t been inclined to keep a third quarterback on the 53-man roster to start the season in recent years, but rookie seventh-round pick Brandon Doughty is giving the Dolphins incentive to rethink that.
His accuracy, quick mind and poise have impressed Gase, who has final say on the 53-man roster.
Doughty was 7 for 9 for 66 yards in the preseason opener against the Giants and “I saw a guy that was very comfortable,” Gase said. “I felt good calling plays for him. I didn’t have any concerns. I wasn’t sitting there [saying], ‘I can’t call this, I can’t call this.’ Watching him react to everything I called, it was like there was nothing that was bothering him…. He’s done a great job as far as being that consistent in anticipation [of throws].”
Gase said Doughty’s next step is “controlling everybody,” correcting mistakes and correcting mental errors by others..
The Dolphins could stash Doughty on the practice squad unless they believe another team would claim him and put him on their 53-man roster.
“I have a chip on my shoulder; my talents are a little better than a seventh-round pick,” Doughty said Wednesday. “I’m excited to prove everybody wrong.”
▪ Gase said he anticipates playing everyone who is healthy on Friday against Dallas. Players who remain out: cornerbacks Chris Culliver, Xavien Howard and Chimdi Chekwa, running back Kenyan Drake, defensive end Dion Jordan and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is out indefinitely with a calf injury.
▪ Laremy Tunsil, who split first team reps with Dallas Thomas, said it would be “nice” to start at left guard Friday. Gase declined to say if that would happen, but Tunsil is the clear front-runner to start in the Sept. 11 opener at Seattle.
▪ Special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said Jakeem Grant’s work as the primary returner Friday (two kickoffs for 53 yards, four punt returns for 60) “was a good start. For a guy catching a punt in his first game ever - probably since high school - it was nice to see.
“There were some things he still has to work on. The first punt that kind of landed on the ground and bounced a little bit, I'd like to see him maybe get that ball and see what we can do with the ball in his hands.
“Right now, it comes down to him making the right decisions, being at the right depth, fielding the ball cleanly. Once he has it in his hands and takes care of the ball, he obviously is a dangerous weapon. ... My comfort level [with Grant] is going to be really dependent on how these next three weeks go.”