In the post-Cameron Wake era, Taco Charlton’s two sacks in two games qualifies as an avalanche of sacks. That leads the Dolphins in that category.
But Charlton isn’t impressed.
“To me, two sacks is really nothing,” he said Thursday. “I’m still looking to do a lot more than two sacks. I try to get two sacks in a game or more than that. It’s something to build off of, but I’m nowhere near satisfied.”
Charlton, the former 2017 first-round pick who had only four sacks in his first two seasons with Dallas, needed just a week to win a starting job at defensive end after Miami claimed him off waivers. The Cowboys released him two weeks into the season, even though he had a strong preseason that included two sacks and two forced fumbles in the preseason finale.
“Dallas freed me,” he said Thursday. “It’s all good. Now I can show what I can do.”
He said learning this defensive system “was tough at first, but coaches do a good job bringing me up to speed. The more I’m here, the more comfortable I get in this defense, the better I’ll be able to play.”
Dolphins defensive coordinator Patrick Graham told Charlton that he always wanted to coach him after watching him in the pre-draft process.
“To have a coach who wants to coach you, to be around you and wants you to succeed is a blessing,” he said. “I was blessed to be put in this situation where I have actually a couple coaches who believe in my ability and want to see me do great things. They like what they see when I came in, let me play my game.”
With another year left on his contract, Charlton hopes he’s part of the long-term plan.
“I’m excited to see just what this defense can build,” he said. “I’m excited to see the future. We’re young, we’re talented. I think we can do some great things. I’m excited to see where that goes and excited to help build for the future.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Ten Dolphins were once again limited to partial participation in practice because of injuries, though several of those 10 (receiver Albert Wilson, safety Bobby McCain, safety Reshad Jones, offensive lineman Jesse Davis) have said they’re ready to play.
It will be interesting to see how many of the 10 are held out Sunday against the Redskins in a game that will have an impact in determining draft order.
Cornerback Xavien Howard, limited with a knee injury, was noncommittal about his status. One player who was “limited” and appears not likely to play is receiver Jakeem Grant, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury. In Grant’s absence, running back Kenyan Drake said he has handled kickoffs in practice.
Other players who were limited in practice involvement Thursday: cornerbacks Johnson Bademosi and Chris Lammons and Jomal Wiltz and linebacker Trent Harris.
▪ Asked about his process not producing results yet, coach Brian Flores said: “Maybe that process needs to change.”
Meanwhile, Flores was asked about safety McCain’s comment that the team needs to display more energy. “We need a lot of things — more energy, enthusiasm, execution,” Flores said.
McCain said: “Just as a team, we’ve got to bring more energy when guys make plays. That’s understandable when you’re 0-4 and everything; but still, you’ve got a job to do, so we’ve got to bring more energy and we’ll bring that.”
▪ The issue of whether to prioritize winning or player development occasionally manifests itself in a rebuild, and one example facing the Dolphins is whether to play veteran offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb — who’s not a long-term option — or rookie Isaiah Prince.
Webb has been receiving starter’s snaps this week at left tackle, which would mean Jesse Davis at right tackle barring a change of heart by the coaching staff.
Flores, asked whether he’s prioritizing winning well above player development in the case of Prince and other young players, said: “Every week we’re going to give ourselves what we think is the best chance to win. These guys work extremely hard. We are going to put our best players out there to help us win the game.”
But he also said: “Development is very important. We’re trying to do that at all positions.”
▪ Rookie receiver Preston Williams was able to grab his first touchdown reception and take the ball home. But Isaiah Ford said he was never given the chance to keep his first NFL reception against the Chargers; he would have liked to.
Flores said of Williams: “He’s getting better every day. Is he where we want him to be? No. But he’s on the right path to hopefully become a smart, tough, disciplined professional receiver in this league. He’s got to be more consistent catching the football.”