Barry Jackson

Dolphins o-line: This is our identity ‘whether you like it or not’; UM news

Center Mike Pouncey, 51, points as they run a lineman drill at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, Aug. 5, 2016.
Center Mike Pouncey, 51, points as they run a lineman drill at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, Aug. 5, 2016. ctrainorjr@miamiherald.com

• Among the intriguing subplots in Sunday’s Dolphins-Jets game:

The Dolphins enter averaging 5.0 yards per carry, second in the league behind Buffalo.

The Jets enter allowing only 3.3 yards per carry, tied with Carolina and Green Bay for second best in the league from a defensive standpoint.

But after two enormously successful rushing games, the Dolphins aren’t going to suddenly become a passing team.

Adam Gase put it this way Wednesday, talking about his offensive line:

“It was almost kind of like we were searching for an identity and they basically said, ‘Well this is going to be our identity, whether you like it or not - whether you want to throw the ball 100 times, it doesn’t matter. You better start calling runs because we’re going to get you yards.’”

Center Mike Pouncey said of the Jets: “They got one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. They’re trying to trade guys, (because) they can’t pay them so much. These guys, they’re really good, really active. They’re a strong, big front. And they’ve got a really good coach that was here before.

“They put a lot of guys in the box. We’re not going to shy away from it. We’re going to see how it goes throughout the game, but we’re going to do whatever it takes to win the football game.”

If the running game isn’t as effective as it was against Pittsburgh and Buffalo, Ryan Tannehill simply must play better than he has historically against the Jets.

Tannehill has a brutal 70.6 passer rating against the Jets in eight games.

• Tight end Dion Sims, returning from a concussion, practiced fully Wednesday and “everything looks good,” Gase said.

Tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains out.

Safety Isa Abdul Quddus (ankle) was limited.

• Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the Dolphins’ front seven: “They are a scary front four in terms of size, athleticism, how hard they play. They really show up on film. Their scheme fits their personnel.”

UM HOOPS

With UM basketball playing Barry in an exhibition game Wednesday night, some nuggets that coach Jim Larranaga shared with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline:

• Freshman Bruce Brown “can play the 1, 2 or 3. He reminds me of a Durand Scott type attacking guard.”

• Freshman guard Dejan Vasiljevic “can really shoot the ball, has really adjusted to our style of play really, really well. He only visited 2 schools – Miami and Stanford. Our fans will really like him…. These longer athletes that jump so high and NBA-caliber players” will be a challenge for him defensively.

• Freshman forward Dewan Huell is “6-10, long, athletic, really adjusting well but he is someone who is going to have learn the 4 and 5.”

• Freshman center Rodney Miller “is almost 7 feet tall, 250 pounds. He’s our only wide body.”

• Guard Rashad Muhammad, the San Jose State transfer, “came in at 157 pounds as a junior in college. Now he’s 184. Now he’s just skinny. He’s not just undernourished.”

• Overall, “our defense and our rebounding [are] not at the highest level. We have to learn how to play individual defense, team defense on a higher level.”

• Larranaga bemoaned how UM’s final four ACC games this season include three on road (Virginia, Virginia Tech and FSU) and preseason No. 1 Duke at home. That Feb. 25 Duke game is Miami’s only CBS appearance.

“We open [ACC play] home against NC State, which is a real problem. They kicked us up and down the floor, outrebounded us by 20.”

That NC State is at 4:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

UM opens its regular season at home against Western Carolina on Nov. 11.

For some more Dolphins nuggets from today, including one reason Braden Albert is playing well, and the Andre Branch success story, please click here.

For a look at some smart contractual moves that the Heat made which will pay dividends down the road, and some UM football news from today, please click here.... Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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