A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Tuesday:
▪ Bettors don’t necessarily think the Dolphins are going to be as bad as Las Vegas oddsmakers believe.
At the MGM Grand and 10 other Nevada casinos, the Dolphins’ over/under for wins has been set at 5.
But according to MGM sports book hub manager Jeff Stoneback, more than three times as many people are betting the Dolphins will exceed that number than there are people who are betting they will fall short of that number.
If the Dolphins win say, six, that might be a disaster because they would neither be good enough to make the playoffs nor likely bad enough to get a top-three pick. It would not be a disaster only if they get to six wins with Josh Rosen playing well enough to show he’s the long-term future at quarterback.
The MGM opened the Dolphins at 50-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl but dropped those odds to 60 to 1 and expect to drop them again to 75 to 1, Stoneback said by phone.
Still, five teams are listed with longer odds to win the Super Bowl: Tampa Bay and Arizona at 100 to 1; and Washington, Cincinnati and Buffalo at 75 to 1.
▪ Though linebacker Jerome Baker bulked up to 227 pounds (from 215 last year), he still showed very good speed off the edge in offseason practices.
“I feel like a new player, honestly,” he said. “I feel stronger, feel faster. I just have to take that into the season and constantly improve. But this offseason, [the weight room] was like a main focus of mine. I definitely took that, this offseason, to heart.”
Here’s one thing he would do differently from his rookie season:
“Just because you’re a rookie, that doesn’t mean you don’t say anything. Last year I would know the call, I would know something and I just wouldn’t say anything because it was an older guy. This year, just speak up what you see. If you’re wrong, at least everybody is on the same accord. I just kind of took that to heart.”
▪ Rookie first-round pick Christian Wilkins, completing his first NFL offseason program, has a neat perspective: “I’m just living the dream right now. The NFL, so far, is everything I could’ve asked for, could’ve hoped for. I’m literally getting paid to play the game I love so much, so I couldn’t be in a better position knowing I’m not working in an office. I am, but I’m with another 90 other guys, get to show up to work every day in sweatpants, so it’s pretty awesome. I’m living the dream right now.”
He said fellow defensive linemen Akeem Spence and Charles Harris are the veterans who have been most helpful to him.
“I love those two guys. Just as far as in my role, they’ve been helping me get adjusted,” he said. “Akeem is an older, savvy vet who’s always teaching me little techniques and things like that, so I really like him.”
▪ Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor has looked good in his return from October’s season-ending foot injury. Look for the Dolphins to use him as a 3-4 defensive end at times.
“My feet are feeling good. I’m just trying to get back in the rhythm of everything,” he said. “The coaches, they’re going to put us in a position to be successful. [Coach Brian Flores] knows how to win and I can tell he’s bringing that same style down here [as the Patriots] and I think that’s going to help us out.”
▪ It’s the slowest time of the year in the NFL, but a couple of announcements this week with Dolphins connections: The Buccaneers announced they will have joint practices with the Dolphins on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and Wednesday, Aug. 14 in Tampa. They’re free and open to the public. The teams play an Aug. 16 preseason game in Tampa...
With David Fales joining the Detroit Lions, Brock Osweiler is the only unemployed quarterback from the 2018 Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill is with Tennessee and admitted it’s a tough adjustment not being a starter. Luke Falk is with the Jets.
▪ Quick stuff: As radio host Andy Slater noted, Dolphins running back Mark Walton last week had one of his three court cases removed from judge Ed Newman (the former Dolphin) partly to avoid an appearance of conflict and partly to consolidate his three pending cases under the domain of one judge. Walton has three court hearings in the next five weeks...
Kenny Stills, who continues to do terrific work in the community and call attention to important issues, said the one person he would really like to meet is Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who has been a proponent of measures to curb sale of assault rifles and has been supportive of NFL players’ protests of law-enforcement treatment of African Americans….
Jets coach Adam Gase continues to add jettisoned Dolphins — Falk and linebacker James Burgess the latest. Gase’s tendency to gravitate toward players with whom he had a history didn’t always serve him well in Miami.