Barry Jackson

Dolphins, apparently, are cool again; plus six-pack of Dolphins notes

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill smiles during OTAs practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, May 25, 2017.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill smiles during OTAs practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, May 25, 2017. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Friday Dolphins notes:

▪ The Dolphins, apparently, are cool again.

According to Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Dolphins have risen dramatically in jersey sales this year, from 22nd at the end of last season to 11th so far this year in the wake of their first playoff appearance since 2008.

Jarvis Landry, who had the 50th-highest selling jersey last year, has risen to 22nd since the NFL Draft. He’s 18th among offensive players.

Also, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has risen to No. 31 overall in jersey sales, and 27th among offensive players.

Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is No. 10 among all defensive players; he ended the 2016 season at No. 20. He’s also 53rd overall after closing out last season at No. 88.

▪ Though Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum drafted linebacker David Harris with the Jets, the Dolphins haven’t been pursuing him since the Jets released him this week. That could change, of course, if the Dolphins have an injury or simply change their mind, which happened last summer with Arian Foster.

There is certainly appreciation for Harris inside the Dolphins building, but signing him would take playing time away from second-round pick Raekwon McMillan. Miami has more depth at linebacker now, with Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, Koa Misi, McMillan, Mike Hull and Neville Hewitt.

Defensive coordinator Matt Burke this week commended Hull and Hewitt for their improvement.

Incidentally, the Jets signed former Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysinger on Friday. He essentially replaces Harris on their roster.

▪ Another reason to be encouraged about Charles Harris, who has been impressive throughout OTAs:

ESPN’s K.C. Joyner tells us that Harris, for Missouri, last season ranked 15th in college football in flash plays per snaps, with sacks, knockdowns, hurries, pressures and tackles for loss all qualifying as flash plays.

That was better than the Cleveland Browns’ No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett, who ranked 22nd.

Because newcomers Harris, McMillan, William Hayes, Timmons, Nate Allen and T.J. McDonald have all done good work to varying degrees in OTAs, and because the young corners are playing well, there are positive feelings internally about the defense.

“I feel really good about our defense, because they do a lot of really good things and it makes it very difficult for our offense to consistently move the ball,” Adam Gase said Thursday.

▪ Leonte Carroo caught a touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill in red zone drills Thursday and seems serious about improving.

The Dolphins have conducted media interviews in their auditorium the past month, and it was striking to see Jordan Phillips, Carroo and Jakeem Grant stand on a podium and be so critical of their play last season.

Has Gase noticed?

“These guys are very open with our coaching staff,” Gase responded. “A lot of times you don’t have to tell a guy what his faults are. They know by playing time whether they’re active or not. When guys really take it on themselves and come to you and say, ‘I need to get better. How do I do it?’ and they keep following up on that, to me that’s the action you’re looking as the starting point. At the end of the day, you have to go out there and do it, and it’s consistency.

“When you get put in that kind of situation where things don’t quite go right, how are you going to battle back? I know a lot of people, that’s what they’re going to look for. Are you going to fight and do everything you can to win your job or to go from good to great? I think every one of us is always looking for, ‘Who are the guys striving to get better?’”

Honest self-analysis is good, but with Phillips, Carroo and Grant, the Dolphins want to see the results.

▪ Gase did pushups with players after Thursday’s session. What’s the deal with that?

“When Coach [John] Fox, when he got sick in 2013 [in Denver], Jack [Del Rio] implemented this last play of the game on Fridays,” Gase said. “It was one play. Usually we would just make it fourth down with 3 seconds left and winner take all. It was something as simple as five pushups. It gets competitive. There’ll be a lot of talking going on afterwards. They’ve won a few more times than we have. It’s not calling very good plays, I guess. It’s good, though. I like the competition. I like when guys get ready to go for that last play.”

▪ A couple of observations of the Dolphins rookies: Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley picked off Brandon Doughty during Thursday’s session and continues to flash, though he’s not likely to play a lot this year barring injuries. … Vincent Taylor deflected a Matt Moore pass Thursday. Next week, the first in pads, will be very telling on rookie defensive tackles Taylor and Davon Godchaux…

Isaiah Ford, the Dolphins’ seventh-round pick, dropped a pass from Matt Moore during the OTA session open to reporters last week and hasn’t done anything to stand out in three sessions open to reporters. The next 18 practices (three next week and the first 15 of training camp) will be open to reporters.

Please join me on The Herald’s Facebook page for a chat at noon Friday. Please click here for my Heat notes today, including Gordon Hayward being linked to Miami, and click here for Marlins nuggets, including trade talk, draft plans and a change with Giancarlo Stanton.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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