Barry Jackson

Dolphins waiting on Tunsil, praise James; Other Dolphins notes

Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen with WR Kenny Stills during training camp at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Fl, Aug. 3, 2017.
Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen with WR Kenny Stills during training camp at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Fl, Aug. 3, 2017. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of snippets from meetings with coach Adam Gase, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi with reporters on Thursday:

• Asked if Laremy Tunsil is where his expectations are for him, Christensen said: “Not yet, but I think he’s a young guy. It’s one of the toughest positions in football and you’re on the road. Those were very, very, very good, borderline elite pass rushers coming off the edge. He’s just going to keep getting better. I think of him as a rookie left tackle, if you will. To think of him as an experienced lineman isn’t the case. It’s back to his position, but it’s new in this league.

“I was not disappointed. I think he might have been. The sack was more on myself and the play call. He’s going to be fine. He’s going to be a really good player. He’s finding his way. He’s still an extremely young guy. I thought he held up pretty darn good.”

• You know who played really well last Sunday? Ja’Wuan James.

Adam Gase called it James’ best game since Gase became coach before last season.

• Even if Jay Cutler eventually gets intercepted on one of those jump balls to DeVante Parker, the Dolphins have no issue with Cutler throwing them.

“He gave DeVante (Parker) a couple of jump balls and 50/50 balls, which were great,” Christensen said. “We want those. He really did a great job of managing it. We want DeVante (Parker) to catch one more of those 50/50 balls. Let’s keep them over 50/50 balls. Throw them up 50/50 and let’s be a higher percentage than that. He made the huge one that got us kind of cranking and had a chance to make a couple of others that I think we’ll make before it’s all said and done; but it’s darn close.”

• Christensen, on Cutler’s ability to make difficult throws from akward positions:

“I would say his rhythmic throws are non-conventional,” he said. “He kind of has an ability to throw the ball with his feet in a lot of different positions, which is a plus. That play [the freelanced scramble and throw to Parker in the middle of the field for a big gain] falls in the category of ‘you don’t teach that.’ We do drill a lot of stuff, but that’s one of those that you just have a knack and he threw that thing really early. In fact, he let it go and it was one of those where the coaches are going ‘Oh, no. Oh, yes!’ DeVante made a heck of a catch on that ball, over the top of him; but that was an anticipation throw.”

• Gase said he’s never had a so-called go-to guy in the red zone, but Christensen said he believes Miami has several who should be.

“I think we’ve got a bunch of go-to guys,” he said. “I think Julius (Thomas) is going to be a good go-to guy. DeVante (Parker) has to play big. Having Jay Ajayi banging up in there in the red zone is huge.”

That’s three. Christensen also mentioned Jarvis Landry, but he hasn’t been a big red zone target, with only four touchdown catches last season.

• Gase, asked a big-picture question about why he felt the Dolphins were the right fit for him.

He said he liked that Miami had a young quarterback, some good wide receivers, “some good pieces on defense. It’s really about meeting everyone. I didn’t know [Stephen] Ross. I knew Mike [Tannebaum]. Didn’t know Chris [Grier]... It was about seeing how it worked and the chemistry. You better make a quick assessment and it [better] be right. The longer I was around everybody, the better I felt about it.”

The Dolphins made the first head coaching job offer to Gase and also offered him control of the 53-man roster.

Here’s my Thursday story on the state of the Dolphins defense, with lots of personnel news on the situations at linebacker and cornerback.

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