Barry Jackson

Timmons camp hopeful on return; Corner play still weak; Dolphins nuggets

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) causes the Jets running back Elijah McGuire (25) to fumble and outside linebacker Mike Hull (45) picks it up for a turnover in the fourth quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) causes the Jets running back Elijah McGuire (25) to fumble and outside linebacker Mike Hull (45) picks it up for a turnover in the fourth quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Monday Dolphins notes after Sunday’s Jets debacle:

• Agent Drew Rosenhaus said on his weekly WSVN-Fox 7 segment on Sunday night that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the Lawrence Timmons/Dolphins situation will be resolved favorably, and that Timmons wants to play for the Dolphins.

CBS’ Jason LaCanfora reported Sunday that Timmons attended a Pittsburgh Steelers practice on the Friday before the Dolphins’ postponed opener against Tampa Bay.

According to La Canfora, Timmons was allowed into the Steeler facility on Sept. 8 and “watched at least part of practice from the sidelines. Most players and team officials had no idea Timmons would be going to their practice, though a source said he did inform a few coaches of his desire to visit the Steelers. Mike Tomlin was aware but the front office was not, and his presence did seem odd to many given his status with the Dolphins

“Sources said he told former Steelers teammates he wanted to be back in Pittsburgh and said things along of the lines of it was a mistake to have ever left. He caught former teammates, coaches and Steelers officials off guard by his presence there as an under-contract player to another team.”

Timmons reported to Dolphins practice in Southern California the following week, but went AWOL on Saturday (the day before the Chargers opener) and was suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins last Tuesday.

Adam Gase has refused to say whether Timmons will be back with the team. By NFL rules, his unpaid suspension cannot last more than four games. Gase said Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum is handling the matter.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler speaks to the media after Dolphins lose to the Jets 20-6 on September 24, 2017.

• Dolphins cornerback play remains deficient.

Per Pro Football Focus, Xavien Howard's overall grade of 40.9 through two games ranks 91st out of 108 qualifying cornerbacks, while Byron Maxwell's 38.8 ranks 97th.

Maxwell was targeted five times in coverage and allowed four receptions for 64 yards against the Jets (all team-highs). After being targeted a league-high 13 times against the Chargers (he allowed 10 catches), Howard was targeted just four times Sunday, allowing two receptions for 14 yards and was called for pass interference.

Alterraun Verner played nine snaps Sunday (when Maxwell was out briefly with an eye injury) and allowed a long touchdown reception in his only target. Not good.

• Don’t blame Jay Ajayi for his 11 carry, 16 yard game Sunday. According to PFF, he had 22 yards after contact, as he was hit behind the line of scrimmage repeatedly.

Blame blocking for that. Not only did Laremy Tunsil allow four QB hurries, but he ranks 41st among tackles in run blocking through two games, per PFF.

Mike Pouncey ranks 25th of 33 centers in run blocking this season. Jermon Bushrod ranks 62nd of 67 guards in run blocking.

And tight end Julius Thomas ranks 65th out of 68 qualifying tight ends with a 37.4 run-blocking grade and has 42 receiving yards in two games.

Ja’Wuan James has been excellent in pass protection and ranks 23rd among 67 tackles in run blocking through two games, per PFF.

• Some notable offensive snap numbers from Sunday: Ajayi played only 33 of 63 snaps, with Kenyan Drake getting 20 and Damien Williams 10... At receiver, the Dolphins gave only three snaps to Jakeem Grant and one to Leonte Carroo... In their left guard rotation, Anthony Steen played 39 snaps, Jesse Davis 24.

• Some notable defensive snap numbers from Sunday: Kiko Alonso and Reshad Jones were the only two defensive players to play all 63 snaps... At linebacker, beyond Alonso, Mike Hull played 62 snaps, Chase Allen 28 and Stephone Anthony zero...

At safety, Nate Allen played 45 snaps but left with an injury. Michael Thomas had 14...

At defensive end, Andre Branch and Cam Wake each played 40 of 63, Charles Harris 32, William Hayes 24 and Terrence Fede two.

At defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh played 54 of 63 snaps, Davon Godchaux 35 and Vincent Taylor 29.

• Per PFF: In 31 drop-backs under no pressure Sunday, Jay Cutler was 22-31 for 194 yards and 1 interception for an NFL QB Rating of 73.9. In 17 drop-backs under pressure, he was 4-13 for 26 yards and 1 touchdown for an NFL QB Rating of 65.9. When Cutler threw the ball in 2.5 seconds or less, he completed 19-25 passes and had a rating of 87.4; when he threw the ball in 2.6 seconds or more, he completed 7-19 passes and had a rating of 47.7.

Here’s everything notable Erik Spoelstra said in his Monday news conference at Heat media day.

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