A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Monday:
▪ Though it wasn’t stated in these terms, here’s one takeaway from the Dolphins’ assistant coach media availability session on Friday:
The Dolphins will now be NDA.
As in… No Dummies Allowed.
The Dolphins want a smart team, because they need players with the intelligence to switch schemes between plays (something new coach Brian Flores wants to do on defense) and make spontaneous adjustments on offense, either late in the week with regard to the game plan or during games, something that Chad O’Shea wants to do as offensive coordinator.
That’s reflective of the way the New England Patriots do business.
That puts a premium on intelligence and the ability to retain information and execute specific changes made to defend or attack certain opponents.
“We want a core set of things we do well but we also will have ability to adjust on a weekly basis,” O’Shea said last week. “It’s important for the coaching staff to have the mindset of we need to be able to adjust and our players need to adjust. That’s an important part of the offense, our ability to be multiple.
“When you have a multiple offense, it does require the players to spend extra time in preparation. But in the end, we’re doing what’s best for the players and most importantly what’s best for the team. The players in the past [in New England] have always embraced that challenge.
”We talk about being able to adjust. That’s a word that definitely is an important part of our offense is the ability for the coaches to adjust in the way we think as far as our scheme, and our players to be able to adjust and might be able to adjust weekly depending on what we need to do to win the game.”
Defensively, the same philosophy applies. As new defensive line coach Marion Hobby said: “Those guys have to be open-minded to doing different things and probably being multiple than anything.”
▪ O’Shea wasn’t ready Friday to discuss skills of particular players on offense but said “there’s a lot to work with on this team. It’s exciting to look at the backs. It’s a group that has a lot of strengths. It’s a very exciting group because there are a lot of things these guys do very well. There are a lot of things we’ll be able to utilize.”
Asked if he plans to use Albert Wilson in the varied ways that Adam Gase utilized him, O’Shea said: “We are going to use every strength they have and utilize those.”
▪ Running backs coach Eric Studesville, who was retained off last year’s staff, declined to answer directly when asked if Kenyan Drake warrants more than the 7.5 carries per game he averaged last season.
Studesville also declined to say whether he agrees with Gase that Drake’s negative runs put Miami at a disadvantage or whether he needs to change his style – which Drake said he won’t do. But he made clear he doesn’t want to curtail Drake’s big-play ability.
“How much can you change and how much you adjust, you take away what their God given ability is,” Studesville said, suggesting he doesn’t want to do anything to take away Drake’s explosiveness. “I hope that mentality is in all of my guys... want to make the big play. I don’t ever want them to [not think in those terms] … unless it’s third-and-1 and we’ll take that 2-yard gain every time. But I want them to think about big plays.”
Studesville said Drake never complained a single time about lack of carries.
“Kenyan did a great job and was trying to do everything he could to help us win games,” Studesville said. “He knows that happens a lot of different ways” - meaning catching and running the ball.”
▪ Studesville likes what he saw in Kalen Ballage during his rookie season.
“He’s a big, physical body,” Studesville said. “He can run. He’s athletic. He’s got a lot of growth to do as far as seeing and recognizing things. His work ethic is tremendous. He’s got speed for a big man.”
Studesville said he did not known if impending free agent Frank Gore will be offered a new contract: “The biggest thing with Frank is let’s get Frank healthy and then we will cross all those other bridges.”
▪ New Dolphins tight ends coach George Godsey coached Detroit Lions quarterbacks last year, meaning he worked closely with new Dolphins quarterback Jake Rudock, who was on the Lions practice squad last season after coach Matt Patricia opted instead to keep Matt Cassel as Matt Stafford’s backup.
So what does Godsey think of Rudock?
“He’s attentive. He’s very detailed, works hard. He’s going to be a good asset to bring in here. He’s competitive, so he’ll go out there and earn it on the field. He’s from down here, too, so that probably helps. I’m really anxious to see him again down here after last season.”
Dolphins quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell coached Rudock in his first and second NFL seasons as Lions coach and said: “I had Jake early.. Jake is one of those guys that I think improves daily. He’s smart. This league requires pretty special guys to play that particular position, and Jake is one of those guys that just works at his craft. He throws the ball well and not only that, he’s mobile. Those two things give you an opportunity to at least be competitive in this league.”
▪ Quick stuff: New special teams coach Danny Crossman said he has no plans to speak with former Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi (now with the Saints) about Miami’s personnel because “we will do our own evaluations.”...
In his second mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper sticks with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray as his pick for the Dolphins at 13, adding this: “He’s going to be the most talked about prospect at the combine, and all eyes will be on his official measurements. It’s not so much his height, either. Whether he’s 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-9-and-a-half isn’t a big deal at this point. Will Murray weigh under 200 pounds, though? That would be unprecedented for a first-round quarterback. His agent said recently that he weighs 205, which would be a good sign. As for Miami, the Dolphins need to rebuild, and adding the Heisman Trophy winner is a perfect way to start it.”