Dolphins general manager Chris Grier on Monday praised new quarterback addition Jake Rudock and said he definitely would consider selecting a quarterback in this year’s draft.
While Grier said no decision has been made on the future of quarterback Ryan Tannehill because the new staff hasn’t evaluated him, multiple sources have said for weeks that Tannehill very likely will not return next season. For whatever reason, Tannehill’s photograph has been removed from the team’s media work room.
Rudock, 6-3 and a Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas alum, has thrown only five NFL passes, completing three — all in 2017 for the Lions. He threw 54 touchdowns and 27 interceptions and completed 61.7 percent of his passes in a three-year college career — two at Iowa and one at Michigan. The Lions selected him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.
“The thing we had liked and the previous staff as well is he’s smart,” Grier said after a press conference introducing new coach Brian Flores, noting Rudock spent time with Dolphins officials at the team’s local pre-draft day in April 2016.
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“Big kid, can throw the ball, been in a similar offense. Before he signed, he asked what we’re going to do. I said I can’t tell you … because I don’t know what we’re doing. Someone we took a chance on. Great kid.”
The Dolphins hope to find their quarterback of the future at the top of the 2020 draft, according to multiple sources. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loves Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, who is eligible for the 2020 draft, and the Dolphins also are intrigued by Oregon’s Justin Herbert. But as I reported last week, the Dolphins also will consider a quarterback at some point in this draft.
“We haven’t gone through the process of getting to learn the guys yet,” Grier said of quarterbacks. “There are a lot of good prospects we spent some time with at the Senior Bowl [such as Duke’s Daniel Jones, Missouri’s Drew Lock and West Virginia’s Will Grier] and other quarterbacks that weren’t there that people were talking about as well. We may get through the process and fall in love with a couple guys. Last year, we liked two guys a lot and they both had good success this year. [Those were believed to be Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen.] It could be that point where we may say, “Hey, we feel this is the guy.’”
As far as who will be coaching those quarterbacks, Flores is expected to name Jerry Schuplinski as Miami’s quarterbacks coach, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Alex Marvez. He was the Patriots assistant quarterback coach the past three seasons.
Schuplinski was a Patriots offensive assistant from 2013 through 2015. Before that, he was a high school coach and special teams and linebackers coach at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.
Schuplinski would be at least the third coach to go directly from New England to Miami, joining Flores and expected offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea, the Patriots wide receivers coach since 2009.
Several other assistants who worked with Flores at some point in New England also are expected to join his staff, including expected new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who was linebackers coach with Green Bay last season.
▪ Grier suggested the team’s two first-time coordinators (very likely O’Shea and Graham) will have guidance from “veteran guys to lean on.”
Though Grier didn’t offer names, former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell — who has an offensive background — is expected to join the staff, and a source confirmed that Flores has been trying to hire longtime former NFL defensive coordinator Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant.
Capers appears to have interest unless he can land an NFL defensive coordinator job, with Sirius XM mentioning the Bengals as a possibility.
Capers, 68, has been defensive coordinator of the Steelers, Jaguars, Dolphins (during the 1-15 season in 2007) and Green Bay, from 2009 through 2017. He also was the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2002 through 2005, going 42-80.
BRADY DOWNPLAYS DOLPHINS WIN
During a post-game interview with ESPN, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady downplayed the Dolphins’ 34-33 victory over the Patriots on Dec. 9, a game won on a 69-yard touchdown as time expired.
“I don’t count the Miami game as a loss,” Brady said smiling. “So really had one loss after the bye [to Pittsburgh]. We kind of had a win [but] it’s in the loss column.”