Barry Jackson

Under-radar Dolphins impressing; Marino’s amusing advice to Tannehill; Dolphins chatter

Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio, left, tries to pass the ball before being sacked by Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio, left, tries to pass the ball before being sacked by Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. AP

A six-pack of Dolphins notes a day after the end of the team’s offseason program:

• What under the radar, non-household name Dolphins impressed during the offseason program?

Coaches liked what they saw from former Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith, who was around the ball a lot.

Cross training at both safety and corner, he had two picks and several deflections in 13 offseason practices. Smith said he nearly transferred to UM when he left Alabama last summer but opted for Georgia instead because he “wanted to contribute to Kirby Smart’s success.”

Smart was defensive coordinator at Alabama before replacing UM coach Mark Richt at Georgia.

Among others who flashed: undrafted Arkansas receiver Drew Morgan (here’s more on him from my Thursday post), former Southern defensive end Arthur Miley (got some heat on the quarterback), former British track and field Olympian Lawrence Okoye (had some good moments at defensive tackle late in the offseason program) and Houston undrafted rookie defensive end Cameron Malveaux, who had only 3.5 sacks in four years at Houston but generated a strong pass rush, at times, in May/June practices.

• Cameron Wake likes the prospect of playing with rookie defensive end Charles Harris on traditional passing downs.

“I’m excited,” Wake said. “I’m excited for him. I think he has the right mentality and the right mindset to come into this game and be able to be successful. If you add that mindset and that mentality with physical talent and physical gifts and hopefully a little bit of urging from some of the veterans around here and the coaches, I think he’s set up in the right place to make plays.

“Physically, he’s very gifted. He’s obviously explosive, aggressive, and obviously to play this position, there’s no other way that you can be successful unless you have those tools. He’s definitely got his foot in the right direction and obviously we’re looking for more.”

• Encouraging: Wake has seen a difference in defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who has challenged himself to be more consistent.

“And this is not even for now, this is back in March or the end of February, when a lot of guys were starting to work out,” Wake said. “I spoke with him personally about him wanting to make a difference. Not just to be a guy, but be the guy. Obviously being next to a guy who is the guy, being able to train with him, take tips from him, learn from him and be a sponge, I don’t think you have a better mentor to play in the inside of the trenches than Ndamukong Suh. So to be able to sit by that guy and do whatever it takes to put yourself in that position, he’s shown that he’s got it and he’s on task. Again, it’ll all show when the pads come on and the games start playing.”

• Coach Adam Gase has high regard for Kenny Stills as a player and leader, and Stills said this week that during “this offseason, I kind of took it under … on my shoulders to kind of take the younger guys and say ‘Hey, this is what you can do. This is what I did. Here’s kind of the recipe for what I think has worked for me.’ And so a couple of guys followed and a couple of guys did their own thing and so it just was up to those guys if they wanted to be a part of the routine that I had kind of put together.”

That routine includes Pilates twice a week, among other things.

Of Carroo, Stills said: “He talked about him dropping his weight, but he’s faster. He knows the offense better. He’s a little bit more confident out there and so he’s made some major improvements.”

• Jason Taylor, preparing for his August induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, told WQAM’s Zach Krantz on Friday that if he wanted to play again, he would play for free in order to play for Dolphins coach Adam Gase.

“He’s what the Miami Dolphins needed for a long time,” Taylor said, praising the way Gase relates to players.

• Couple highlights from Dan Le Batard’s light-hearted and thoroughly entertaining interview with Ryan Tannehill on 790 the Ticket on Friday:

After speaking for awhile about the responsibilities of being a father, Tannehill said Marino advised him “to mess up the first diaper I changed so I wouldn’t have to change one again.” (Tannehill has changed a bunch of diapers.)

Le Batard asked Tannehill what he does that annoys his wife Lauren. “She hates when I leave the dish towel wadded up by the sink. It happens every day.”

What does she do that annoys Tannehill?

“My wife is a perfect little angel,” he said. “Listen, I live with her. I am not going to air out any dirty laundry on the radio.”

Le Batard then said: “She leaves things some times in the rental car.” (”That will do it,” Tannehill responded.)

That was a reference to a January 2014 incident when Lauren Tannehill left a legally-owned AR-15 rifle in the back seat of a rental car. The rifle was found by the next rental customer, a New York woman, who turned it into the authorities.