Monday Dolphins notes and highlights from Adam Gase’s Monday news conference:
• The Dolphins expect Mike Pouncey to miss his third game in a row with a hip injury but are hopeful about their other injured players being available for Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
With Pouncey, “it’s a week to week thing,” Gase said. “Probably not ready yet.”
Left tackle Branden Albert, two weeks after wrist surgery, was non-committal about his availability for Sunday but he very, very much wants to play. The Dolphins are hopeful.
The Dolphins also are hopeful Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) should be ready to play. Gase said the Dolphins knew on Saturday night that he probably wouldn’t be playing.
Gase said the Dolphins are still evaluating DeVante Parker’s back, but Parker said Sunday it isn’t serious and he should be able to play Sunday. Others in the Dolphins’ building also expressed optimism.
• The Dolphins would be in the playoffs if they started today, but several Dolphins players had no knowledge of that. Albert said he didn’t even want to know what seed the Dolphins are at the moment (sixth).
“It’s too early for me [to think about playoff stuff],” Gase said. “You just keep playing. It’s hard for us to worry about [playoff race]. Our focus is so small. We’re worried about what we’ve going to do this week.”
But, Gase acknowledged: “It feels different in December.”
• Gase, on players praising him: “The thing we try to do as a coaching staff is we try to shoot our guys straight, make sure we’re honest. If a guy is doing something right or not doing something right, we let them know. [Good coaches] don’t tell them something to try to gain favor with them or pick sides. Being around coach [John] Fox [in Denver] was good for me because I saw a head coach who was up front, very honest, doesn’t BS. They always knew where they stood. That was a great experience for me.
“Another thing I’ve learned being with coach Fox is that is how he treated all of his players. He gave them some leeway on a few things but if you abuse it, you get reined in pretty quick. That was great for me to see.”
• On what he hears on the sideline late in games: “There’s good chatter through the game. If something bad happens, which it does in every game, I hear that constant positive reinforcement from a lot of guys on the sideline. There is always good dialogue, good encouragement on the sidelines. We’ve seen guys emerge as far as being a little more vocal. Andre Branch is a guy that I’ve noticed, Cam Wake’s been a lot more vocal than what I thought. I thought he was quiet when I met him.”
• On Ndamukong Suh on the last play: “I thought it was really good job of him doing his job and making a play. It just shows his relentless pursuit. I hear it a lot in that room as far as running with a purpose. I’ve heard him say it a lot. When guys run with a purpose and understand why you’re pursuing with that effort,… for that to happen last play of the game it shows his conditioning level and ability to fight through a lot. When you get double-teamed throughout a game, it’s got to be frustrating.”
• Ryan Tannehill said his feet have improved under Gase, in terms of moving around the pocket: “He’s done a great job,” Gase said. “He’s bought into the fact we’re OK with him ad-libbing plays. I have no problem with it. He makes good decisions. When he rolls to the left and throws 40 yard downfield, I’m sure I’m saying no.
“The thing I remind him is he’s getting stagnant in the back and feet not moving and he’s standing around. Little reminders. I don’t want to overdo it. We try to get him up quick, keep his feet moving. We’ve encouraged him to get outside the pocket, don’t wait. We would rather him not get hit.
“There’s a lot of trust with the receivers, tight ends, running backs being in the right spot. He’s impressed me with his faith in where guys are going to be.”
• On Leonte Carroo: “We did him a little bit of an injustice by not preparing him more than he did [until recently]. When he went in there I felt really good. I knew he would know what to do. You could tell he was not going to be tackled [on his TD catch].”
• On Kenyan Drake: “We really have a lot of confidence in him. Jay Ajayi takes a lot of reps in practice. When you try to get someone else for him, he doesn’t want to be taken out because he wants his reps.”
• On Anthony Steen filling in for Pouncey: “Steen did a good job. He had some tougher looks there when they went to smaller personnel grouping. He did a good job as far as his communication goes. He had a tough matchup.”
Here are my two other Monday posts:
Here’s a look at under-the-radar factors for this turnaround, cited by Dolphins players.
Here are lots of UM nuggets, including why Manny Diaz is irked, plus the Panthers’ amusing Twitter war and another veteran pitcher on the Marlins’ radar.
And for quick posts, please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz