Barry Jackson

Rex Ryan’s Dolphins musings; UM in transfer mix; Heat, Marlins

Miami Dolphins center Kraig Urbik, 60, quarterback Matt Moore, 8, and Laremy Tunsil, 67, set the line as they play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sat., Dec. 17, 2016.
Miami Dolphins center Kraig Urbik, 60, quarterback Matt Moore, 8, and Laremy Tunsil, 67, set the line as they play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sat., Dec. 17, 2016. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Dolphins, Heat, Marlins and UM:

• Though Ryan Tannehill’s deep ball is much, much improved, Bills coach Rex Ryan made an interesting point Tuesday about Matt Moore:

“He may throw the deep ball better than Tannehill,” Ryan said. “I don't think he's as athletic as Tannehill. “… Moore had success against me other times. He loves to throw the deep ball, is accurate with the deep ball.”

Ryan, on Jay Ajayi: “He's got vision, he's big and strong. He's a heck of a back. We're going to make some adjustments from their last meeting,” when Ajayi ran for 214 yards on 28 carries.

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins running back, is excited about their win over the New York Jets and is OK with not having his third consecutive 200 yard running game.

Ryan, on Jarvis Landry: “He's got phenomenal hands. He's a great route runner. He's physical. He attacks the ball. He's got instincts. There's a reason he has the numbers he has. He has tremendous player.”

On Miami’s defensive backs: Their “corners are playing really well. Bacarri Rambo was outstanding for us last year. Great ball skills and he's smart and he's a tough guy. Obviously he had the injury. That's why he wasn't on the roster. I really like him and he's got what you look for back there. He's smart and has great ball skills.”

On the Dolphins overall: “They've won eight of their last nine. That speaks volumes right there. When Mike Tannenbaum and I were together with the Jets, [tabulating] completions [plus rushing attempts] were a big thing.

“They got healthy on their offensive line. If you can run the ball and protect your quarterback, that's where it all starts. The way they're running the football, that has been impressive to say the least.

They're No. 1 in the NFL on third down. They're deep with their pass rushers. That's been impressive.”

• Ajayi has averaged less than three yards per carry in three of his past four games – 2.5, 5.1, 2.4 and 2.7, but Adam Gase doesn’t blame him.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks with the media about quarterback Matt Moore's game performance with the team's 34-13 victory over the New York Jets Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, at MetLife Stadium. Moore had a career-high four touchdown passes.

“We want Jay to consistently do what he’s been doing and he hasn’t changed one thing he has done,” Gase said. “We don’t want him to be frustrated because we haven’t quite got results we are looking for. He’s stuck with what we’ve been telling him, which is big for him to do because it’s easy to try to gain yards on your own. We need everybody to keep doing their job.

“We need him to consistently do what he’s been doing. We’ve run into some tough defenses. That’s not a hidden secret. We have another one ahead of us this week. They are going to try to stop the run and make us one dimensional. That’s what most teams have tried to do with us the last nine games.”

On Ajayi: “He does a good job maintaining his health. He does a lot of things extra. He’s taken some big shots. He built for this. He’s a big man. When you stand next to him; you realize how thick he is, he’s a strong guy. This is what he’s been doing. He understands the impact he’s going to make.”

• Linebacker Zach Vigil, released by the Dolphins on Monday, was claimed off waivers by Washington, agent Ryan Downey said. The Dolphins had wanted to re-sign him to the practice squad.

Miami cut Vigil to make room for linebacker Trevor Reilly. “We felt he was a guy that could fit in our program and contribute whether it be on defense and special teams; good fit for us,” Gase said.

We answer all the key questions about various Dolphins playoff scenarios here, with the hope that your head won’t explode.

• Nobody could have expected the Heat’s Josh Richardson to match last season’s NBA-leading 46.1 percent shooting on threes, but he will need to be much better than his current 31.9 (and 39.5 overall from the field) to be a longterm starting two-guard. His assist-to-turnovers (35 to 22) also is worse.

“I wish I was playing better,” he said Tuesday. “Lately, threes haven’t felt very good. I want to get back to where every shot feels good.”

Richardson missed training camp with a slight MCL tear but doesn’t want to use that as an excuse. Still, it was assuredly a factor in his slow start.

Wayne Ellington (right hamstring strain) and Rodney McGruder (sprained left ankle) are latest Heat injuries says Coach Spoelstra on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.

Because of that, it’s way too soon to make any grand prouncements on Richardson. He’s obviously an NBA rotation player, but his growth this season will be critical in the Heat determining whether it needs to find a starting two-guard next summer.

Erik Spoelstra said Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington will miss Tuesday’s game against Orlando and Rodney McGruder is questionable.

• Corey Holmes, a former four-star receiver out of St. Thomas Aquinas, is leaving Notre Dame as a grad transfer next summer, and his father told Canesport.com’s Matt Shodell at UM has shown interest and Holmes is very interested.

"They have told him they have interest, that they're interested, wanted to let him know that," David Holmes told Shodell. "He reached out to Miami, said point blank, `I'm interested, are you interested?' And they said `Yes, we are.'"

The father said: "I can tell you Miami is at the top considering their needs, his needs, playing for a program that is on the rise, Mark Richt being the caliber coach he is, being close to home.

Holmes, rated the 29th best receiver in the 2014 class, had only 11 catches for 96 yards this season in limited playing time. Whether UM offers him a scholarship could depend on how many receivers it signs in this 2017 class.

The speedy Holmes has two years of eligibility left.

“There’s track speed, and there’s in-line straight-line speed, and then there’s, quite frankly, football speed,” coach Brian Kelly told Notre Dame reporters about Holmes. “I think that that’s been the struggle with Corey in the first couple years, is to get that to translate and through playing fast and playing with confidence and I think he’s gaining that. He’s gaining the confidence and we’re seeing definitely a different football player.”

• New Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler, who was 85 career saves, told Sirius XM that he expects to set up and AJ Ramos to remain the closer.

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