While some of their ex-teammates were opening fall practice 21 miles to the south, former University of Miami standouts Rashawn Scott and Anthony Moten made their case for the Dolphins to keep them around on Saturday, delivering impressive plays at a scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium, their former college homefield.
This marked the second day in a row that Scott and Moten did something notable.
Scott caught two passes for 65 yards on Saturday: a 17-yarder from Brock Osweiler and a 48-yard bomb from Bryce Petty. Scott also made a couple of nice catches Friday, including a touchdown reception from Osweiler.
Scott -- who has appeared in three regular-season games for the Dolphins over the past two years with no career catches but strong special teams work -- is competing with Isaiah Ford, Leonte Carroo and others – including former UM receiver Malcolm Lewis - for a sixth receiver job if Miami keeps that many.
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Scott’s 65 yards in receptions Saturday were by far the most by a Dolphins player. Next closest: Running back Brandon Radcliff, who caught two for 21.
Scott “keeps doing his job,” said Adam Gase, noting Scott and the others must makes plays in preseason games to win a job. “He’s really good in meetings. He’s going to give you everything he has on the field. He fights. The thing I love about him is he never looks at anybody else. He’s not worried about, ‘Alright, where am I on the depth chart? Where do I stand? How many reps?’ When he’s put in there, he does everything he can to make a play.”
Moten, the undrafted rookie defensive tackle, has had tackles for losses the past two days, including stuffing Kalen Ballage three yards behind the line of scrimmage at Saturday’s scrimmage.
“Moten’s pretty good,” said guard Isaac Asiata, who has blocked him in practice.
Moten’s best realistic hope would likely be a spot on the practice squad, which is also a possibility for undrafted UCF rookie Jamiyus Pittman.
One other UM/Dolphins matter: Saturday was the first time that Notre Dame tight end Durham Smythe walked on the Hard Rock Stadium field since UM’s 41-8 thumping of the Fighting Irish last November.
“When I first walked in, it didn’t feel great,” said Smythe, who caught one pass for three yards. “As soon as I wiped it out of the memory, it got a lot better. It’s an awesome stadium.”
THIS AND THAT
Asiata, who didn’t play a snap last season after being drafted in the fifth round, had a nice block on a run and said his mobility has improved since losing 20 pounds this offseason to get to 327.
“I feel I can move,” he said. “Nobody wants to come to the NFL for one year and then be done. I’ve improved a lot. I let it overwhelm me last year, didn’t feel like myself. I decided if I’m going to do this, I have to have confidence to do it.”
Asiata, competing for a roster spot, has worked primarily as a second-team left guard in camp.
▪ Davon Godchaux opened with the starters at defensive tackle (instead of Jordan Phillips) and alongside Akeem Spence for the third consecutive day… Cordrea Tankersley started at cornerback opposite Xavien Howard. Torry McTyer began practice with the starters the previous two days.
▪ Defensive end William Hayes (hamstring), tight end A.J. Derby (foot), center Jake Brendel (calf) and guard Isaiah Ford (shoulder) missed the scrimmage.
▪ Besides Brock Osweiler (seven for seven, 50 yards) and Charles Harris (two sacks), Andre Branch also had a good day, with a sack. Branch, playing primarily with the second team, has put pressure on the quarterback all camp and appears to have regained his burst after a knee injury slowed him last season.
“Last year it was hard for him to get that burst that he showed the year before,” Gase said. “I think now that he’s healthy, we see it in practice every day.”
▪ Jakeem Grant returned the opening kickoff 45 yards… Sinorice Perry led Miami with four rushes for 26 yards. Kenyan Drake had 3 for 10 and Kalen Ballage six for just two yards. Frank Gore didn’t get a carry.... Drew Morgan caught the only touchdown of the scrimmage, a short pass from Osweiler.
▪ Rookie tight end Mike Gesicki didn’t catch a pass in Saturday’s 11-on-11 scrimmage but caught a 40-yarder from Ryan Tannehill in 7-on-7 work.
▪ Jason Sanders was two for two on field goals, with a long of 47. Greg Joseph was 2 for 3, missing from 52 with a long of 41.
▪ Former NFL defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, wearing Dolphins gear, was around the Dolphins for the fourth day in a row, as a guest. (He’s friends with former NFL coach Joe Vitt, a Dolphins consultant and Gase’s father-in-law). Gase said he and Ryan have not discussed a position on the staff.