Barry Jackson

Ajayi leaves; Carroo out; Dolphins, Canes notes; Heat starts search

On Sunday, August 13, 2017 Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler practices, left, hands off the to Jay Ajayi during training camp at the team's training facility in Davie, Florida.
On Sunday, August 13, 2017 Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler practices, left, hands off the to Jay Ajayi during training camp at the team's training facility in Davie, Florida. cjuste@miamiherald.com

A quick six-pack of Dolphins, Canes and Heat notes on a Sunday:

• Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi on Sunday participated in 11 on 11 drills for the first time since suffering a concussion on July 31 but left practice early with hydration issues.

“He’s all right,” coach Adam Gase said, noting it was his first day in pads since the concussion.

Even though Ajayi ran the ball during team drills, the Dolphins say Ajayi technically remains in the concussion protocol system. But he’s obviously healthy enough to practice.

“We’re back to what he was earlier,” Gase said. “Now it’s a conditioning thing.”

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are now without five young receivers: Leonte Carroo (hamstring), Jordan Westerkamp (hamstring) and Francis Owusu (knee) are the latest to be sidelined, joining Rashawn Scott (foot) and Isaiah Ford (knee).

“Carroo had a hamstring strain; we’re trying to give him a day off and see how he recovers,” Gase said.

Receiver Malcolm Lewis, who had a concussion, has returned to practice.

Still sidelined with injuries NOT considered major: right tackle Ja’Wuan James (shoulder), safety Nate Allen (groin), safety Walt Aikens (back) and linebacker Neville Hewitt (shoulder).

By the way, Kiko Alonso - who has had two ACL injuries in the past - told rookie Raekwon McMillan (out for the year with an ACL): “I’ve got two of them. You’ll be fine.”

Alonso praised Mike Hull - now starting at middle linebacker - as a “scrappy guy” who “makes a lot of plays.”

• Isaac Asiata, the rookie fifth-round guard, took snaps with the first team for the first time in camp, during the later stages of team drills. Anthony Steen began the day as the first team left guard, a job held by Ted Larsen until a torn biceps sidelined him for what likely will be half the season.

“We’re just moving guys around,” Gase said of Asiata’s first-team snaps. “All hands on deck right now. We’re a little thin at o-line and wide receiver. [Offensive line coach Chris Foerster] does this all the time. Sometimes he will throw [a young player] in with the first group, put a little pressure on them and see how they react. I wouldn’t look into it too deeper than that.”

Incidentally, Gase cited undrafted Virginia rookie tackle Eric Smith as one of the offensive linemen who played well against Atlanta on Thursday.

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins coach, talks about the contact at Monday's practice that has put starting running back Jay Ajayi on concussion protocol.

• Though respected Hurricanes assistant coach Stacy Searels does good work, offensive line remains the UM position with too much dead weight, as one UM person conceded.

Four-star Bar Milo hasn’t developed; “things happen too fast for him physically,” one UM official said.

LSU four-star transfer George Brown “isn’t consistent enough,” the official said. And Jahair Jones hasn’t developed into a major factor.

• UM cornerback Malek Young had an interception during UM’s scrimmage, and Mark Richt noted that Young always seems to pick off a pass in scrimmages.

Former UM cornerback Adrian Colbert, before departing to San Francisco to join the 49ers, told me to watch out for Young, and Young proved this spring what a special talent he can be.

“He's really, really fast, can react and is physical,” Colbert said. “He may not have the height I have or some of the premier corners have but the guy plays way past his [5-foot-9] height.”

It will be a good challenge for defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph to split time among Dee Delaney, Jhavonte Dean, Young, Trajan Bandy and improved Michael Jackson.

• The Heat has begun its search to replace TV analyst Tony Fiorentino, who is being re-assigned to a non-broadcast role after this coming season. Radio analyst John Crotty is among a bunch of people who will be considered.

• If you missed Dion Waiters’ interview with HipHopSince1987, some highlights:

“At the end of the day when I was on that court I produced,” he said. “[Miami was] 30-11 in the second half of the season – 23-5 when I was on the court. I wasn’t satisfied at all. For me, it was just a little taste. I’m 25 man. We’re not going nowhere. That’s why I always say, ‘Bet on yourself and double down.’

On his four-year, $52 million contract, Waiter said: “You have to think about that at the end of the day, from what happened last year when they just threw a lot of money out there, it was a lot of bad contracts last year. So this year a lot of teams were more safe like ‘we’re not throwing it out there like that.’ Even though I know like for real, for real what [my contract is] supposed be, I’m blessed with the situation and I’m going to make the best of that.

“But at the end of the day we know what’s up. Got to think about it, no [Florida state income] taxes. You see all that plus bonuses. You’ve just got to really save money. Do the right thing, have fun, but save. I’m 25. I got another” big contract down the road.

Here’s my other post from Sunday, on several Dolphins rookie defensive linemen who are impressing, including one with an eye-opening back story.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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