Barry Jackson

Dolphins monitoring lineman market; Good news on Pouncey; Dolphins notes

Miami Dolphins Mike Pouncey , prepares to play the Pittsburgh Steelers Tyler Matakevich, October 16, 2016.
Miami Dolphins Mike Pouncey , prepares to play the Pittsburgh Steelers Tyler Matakevich, October 16, 2016. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Wednesday, with players reporting today and practices beginning at 8:45 a.m. Thursday:

• The Dolphins are monitoring the free agent market on the defensive and offensive line, wanting to be fully prepared if they believe they need depth or a potential upgrade.

In their search for a No. 3 defensive tackle, Miami wants to take a long look at rookie fifth-rounder Davon Godchaux, who impressed them in the offseason program.

But we’re told that if Godchaux, rookie Vincent Taylor or veteran Nick Williams or Lawrence Okoye do not impress in training camp, Miami will revisit the idea of adding a No. 3 defensive tackle in the coming weeks.

Roy Miller, who auditioned last week, remains on Miami’s list of candidates should the Dolphins sign a veteran. Among others also available: Sen’Derrick Marks, Dan Williams and Paul Soliai, who would welcome a return.

The Dolphins are bringing in some offensive linemen today to make sure they have a good read on who’s available if they feel a need to add one.

Kitt O’Brien, who was on the Colts’ practice squad last season, is among those working out today. The others who auditioned: Connor Bizick (former Lions practice squad player) and Isame Faciane (former Viking).

UPDATE: After the workout, the Dolphins told at least one of those players that they don’t plan to sign any of those three at this time.

Miami isn’t pursuing veteran Orlando Franklin.

Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins head coach, talks to the media during a press conference on Tuesday two days ahead of the team's first training camp practice of the year.

“I guess I feel good about our entire offensive line and that room,” coach Adam Gase said Tuesday. “I like the competition. I like the flexibility. Guys really have a great feel for the scheme right now, and it has allowed our guys to play fast in practice in the spring and it should carry over to training camp. The biggest thing is going to be when we get pads on is carrying that over and being able to play fast and not thinking as much as we did last year.”

• Center Mike Pouncey was cleared by a doctor on Tuesday, and the Dolphins are optimistic about his status after he missed 11 games last season because of a hip injury. He’s on pace to play in the Sept. 10 opener against Tampa Bay, barring setbacks.

Still, the team will be very cautious with his usage throughout camp and the preseason. He is expected to participate in some individual drills. The Dolphins have felt no need to play Pouncey on the physically unable to perform list.

“When you get the news you’ve been waiting for!!!! God is good!” Pouncey wrote on social media on Tuesday.

• Despite placing Koa Misi on season-ending injured reserve, the Dolphins don’t feel compelled to immediately sign a veteran linebacker.

They are comfortable with Raekwon McMillan, Neville Hewitt and Mike Hull as their third through fifth linebackers. That could change during camp if those players do not impress or if an appealing veteran becomes available.

“I feel better probably than a lot of people do outside of our building,” coach Adam Gase said about the Dolphins’ comfort level with what they have at linebacker without Misi. “I like our guys. I saw a lot of good things in the spring. I feel like we look a lot different than we did last year with, when you get to the twos and threes, with the competition.”

(Gase made those comments before Misi was placed on IR.)

The Dolphins weren’t totally shocked by the Misi news. While they were hopeful he would be able to play, they were never certain he would be able to.

• Julius Thomas’ primary value to the Dolphins will be as a receiving threat. But the Dolphins also have seen progress in his blocking.

Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins head coach, talks about center Mike Pouncey during a press conference on Tuesday two days ahead of the team's first training camp practice of the year. Pouncey is still recovering from a series of hip injuries that de

“I saw a different guy when it comes to the run game compared to when we were together in Denver; but it was a different scheme, so I think this fits him a little bit better,” Gase said.

And “as far as the passing game goes, I liked what those guys were doing in the spring. They spent a lot of time together, because he’s the newer face and him and Ryan (Tannehill) trying to get on the same page. I like the process they went through. We had some good plays. He’s trying to feel his role out in this team and he does a good job of that, because he’s a team guy first, and he’s always going to see how he fits in and where his skillset fits in with the rest of the guys. We’ll use him to his strengths and see how it fits in this year.”

• Rookie first round defensive end Charles Harris was impressive without pads - and the Dolphins believe he will be very good. Still, there’s a hesitation internally to make any grand predictions before they see him in pads.

“We’ll see,” Gase said when asked if he will pick up where he left off, in terms of effectiveness. “That’s a hard prediction for me to make. I just know when we left here, he was feeling pretty good about where he was on the … like as far as the scheme goes and how he was practicing. We’ll just see how it goes in training camp. I’m excited to watch him rush the passer, for sure.”

• What did the Dolphins like about veteran cornerback addition Alterraun Verner?

We were told three things: His ball skills (how he plays the ball in the air), the fact he’s a good tackler and his versatility (he can play outside or inside).

He will be given every opportunity to beat out Bobby McCain but isn’t assured a roster spot if he flops in camp. He’ll also get some work outside.

Here’s a lot more, including some interesting metrics, on Verner. And please check back later today for another Dolphins post. Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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