2019 MIAMI DOLPHINS CAPSULE
HEAD COACH: Brian Flores
RECORD WITH DOLPHINS: 0-0
CAREER RECORD: 0-0
FIVE-YEAR WINNING TREND
September 8 Baltimore
September 15 New England
September 22 Dallas
September 29 LA Chargers
October 7 BYE
October 13 Washington
October 20 at Buffalo
October 28 at Pittsburgh
November 3 NY Jets
November 10 at Indianapolis
November 17 Buffalo
November 24 at Cleveland
December 1 Philadelphia
December 8 at NY Jets
December 15 at NY Giants
December 22 Cincinnati
December 29 at New England
Tennessee 27 – 20
At NY Jets 20 – 12
Oakland 28 – 20
At New England 7 – 38
At Cincinnati 17 – 27
Chicago 31 – 28 OT
Detroit 21 – 32
At Houston 23 – 42
NY Jets 13 – 6
At Green Bay 12 – 31
At Indianapolis 24 – 27
Buffalo 21 – 17
New England 34 – 33
At Minnesota 17 – 41
Jacksonville 7 – 17
At Buffalo 17 – 42
2018 TEAM STATS
THIRD DOWN PERCENTAGE: 30.1
PUNT RETURNS: 10.5
KICK RETURNS: 24.1
TURNOVER MARGIN: +5
2018 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
PASSING: Ryan Tannehill, 176 – 274 – 1,979 – 17TD – 9INT
RUSHING: Frank Gore, 156 – 722 – 4.6 – 0TD
RECEIVING: Danny Amendola, 59 – 575 – 9.7 – 1TD
TACKLES: Kiko Alonzo, 125
SACKS: Robert Quinn 6.5
INTERCEPTIONS: Xavien Howard 7
NUMBERS TO KNOW
30.8…. Miami’s opponents were forced to punt on only 30.8% of drives, the lowest rate in the league
30.08…. Miami had the second – slowest offense in the NFL averaging a play every 30.08 seconds
1.9….. Miami over performed expected Pythagorean wins by 1.9, the highest in the league
KEY PLAYER MOVEMENT
TE Dwayne Allen, New England
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay
QB Josh Rosen, Arizona
CB Eric Rowe, New England
WR Danny Amendola, Detroit
RB Frank Gore, Buffalo
RT Ja’Wuan James, Denver
G Ted Larsen, Chicago
DE Robert Quinn, Dallas
G Josh Sitton, retired
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee
LB Cam Wake, Tennessee
Round 1 (13th overall) — Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
A star on the field and off at Clemson, Wilkins was a three-year starter who helped the Tigers win the national title in 2016 and 2018. Wilkins lined up just about everywhere on the Clemson defensive line and earned first-team All-American honors in 2018 as well as the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy for his work on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Round 3 (78th overall) — Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin
A four-year starter at Wisconsin after redshirting as a freshman, Deiter lined up at left tackle, left guard and center in college. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and earned second-team All-American honors in 2018.
Round 5 (151st overall) — Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Wisconsin
After starting his collegiate career at the University of South Dakota and Iowa Western Community College, Van Ginkel became a playmaker for the Badgers defense. He had 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks over the past two seasons, while also seeing a lot of action on special teams.
Round 6 (202nd overall) — Isaiah Prince, T, Ohio State
After originally committing to play at the University of Alabama, Prince reversed course and ended up at Ohio State, where he started all 41 games the past three seasons after playing as a reserve as a true freshman in 2015. Prince was a team captain and first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior.
Round 7 (233rd overall) — Chandler Cox, RB, Auburn
After playing at Apopka High, near Orlando, Cox was a fullback, tailback, wildcat at Auburn for four years. He played 52 games with 41 starts at Auburn, caught 26 passes and scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving).
Round 7 (234th overall) — Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
After becoming the first true freshman in University of Washington history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, Gaskin just kept going. By the time his college career was done, he had joined former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne as the only players in FBS history with four 1,200-yard rushing seasons. Gaskin also averaged more than 15 touchdowns a season for his four years at Washington.
MIAMI DOLPHINS CAMP NEWS: AC In The AM: New Coaching Staff Sending Clear Messages
Impressions of this new coaching staff, of the culture they are trying to create and of some of the young players who have already gotten our attention as three weeks of OTAs are about to end with only next week’s minicamp remaining in the offseason program.
I have carefully watched first-year Head Coach Brian Flores during his press conferences and on the practice field and what I have seen is a man comfortable in his new role, a man who wisely measures each word before speaking and who has clearly instilled a sense of discipline and commitment in his players. No, don’t expect many long-winded quotes or flashy one-liners. Flores comes from the Bill Belichick school of disclosure. In other words: Keep it in house. Keep it close to the vest. I can deal with this if the trade off is a highly efficient, well-organized plan and that certainly seems to be the case.
Some examples of the commitment and discipline I spoke about above: The players don’t jog from drill to drill; they flat out sprint. Make a poor play and push-ups may just be on your to-do list. They even run gassers at the end of practice.
“They want us to be the most well conditioned team in the league,” said wide receiver Jakeem Grant.
Then there’s that TNT sign on the side of the end zone at the practice field. The letters mean Takes No Talent and when a player makes a mental gaffe, a pre-snap penalty, maybe a botched exchange between the center and quarterback, he runs to that sign and touches it. It’s all about not beating yourself, about focusing on the little things, and about doing away with all the senseless penalties we have witnessed far too often in recent seasons.
There is a wide-open feeling on this team. Wide open in that very few starting jobs are secure and wide open because there are so many opportunities for young players, drafted or undrafted, to crack the 53-man roster. Last season means little to these new coaches. It’s all about today and tomorrow and, in some respects, projecting long term. Sure, we know deep down that, for instance, Xavien Howard is going to start at cornerback and Laremy Tunsil at left tackle. Those, though, are among the few exceptions. Go up and down the roster. As I have said before, this has become an equal opportunity football team. All of this adds up to a very interesting summer.
You don’t form conclusions in late May. You certainly don’t when you’re practicing in shorts and helmets. But you can identify athleticism to some degree, just as you can begin gauging things like work ethic and football smarts. Having said that, here are five of the (excluding draft picks) newcomers to this team who, in no specific order, I want to see more of:
CB Jomal Wiltz: He spent two seasons on New England’s practice squad and never got into a game. But he was impressive enough in workouts to convince Flores he was worth bringing to the Dolphins. It’s early, but it already looks like a smart move with Wiltz even spending some time on the first team defense during OTAs. He isn’t big (5-10, 190) but he is fast and had a productive career at Iowa State.
CB Eric Rowe: Yes, another cornerback and that’s positive news for a position of such importance. Like Wiltz, Rowe also played for the Patriots, but he saw significant playing time, getting in 21 games over three seasons and starting 12. A groin injury shelved him for much of the 2018 season, but now he is healthy and comes with a built-in advantage because he knows this defense better than any other player here. “Like second nature to me,” he says. It has shown in OTAs with some excellent play. At 6-1, 210 pounds, he definitely has the size you’re looking for.
WR Preston Williams: This is another one of those wide-open positions and Williams is an intriguing option. Maybe I’ve noticed him because he is the tallest of the receivers at 6-foot-4 or maybe it’s because of the numbers he put up last season at Colorado State, catching 96 passes for 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns. We have already seen that ability in OTAs, Williams coming up with a nice scoring catch in Wednesday’s practice. How he builds on that will have everything to do with his long-term possibilities.
G Shaq Calhoun: The toughest positions to judge during OTAs are on both lines because there’s no hitting and it’s hard to gauge a bunch of big men running around in shorts, even if they seem like they know what they’re doing. But Calhoun is an undrafted rookie coming in with excellent credentials from Mississippi State and happens to play a position lacking proven depth. A stat worth noting: In four seasons, Calhoun gave up just three sacks in 1,135 pass blocking attempts. That’ pretty good consistency, don’t you think? “All I want is a chance,” he said Wednesday, “and the rest is up to me.”
LB Terrill Hanks: The Dolphins have a recent history of unearthing some promising undrafted rookie linebackers and Hanks comes with a resume impressive enough to justify a long look. Decent size at 6-2, 235-pounds, Hanks had 43 career starts at New Mexico State and some projected that the Miami native could be drafted as high as the fourth round. But a disappointing 40-time at the combine made him available to the Dolphins in the hours following the draft. Hanks has also played some safety and can cover both running backs and tight ends, the type of versatility this coaching staff covets.
And finally, I’m amused these days when I hear coaches today talk about the importance of players asking “why” instead of merely accepting what they’re told as fact. “I want my players to know the why,” said Flores. “I want my players to believe in what they’re doing.” I’m amused because it led me to pull out an old Don Shula quote from the early 1980’s when he was asked about his players asking why. “What the (bleep) difference does it make?,” Shula bellowed. “Just do your job or someone else will.” My, how times have changed haven’t they?
DeVante Parker Knows What He Can Do When Healthy
For Parker, it was no big deal.
The 2015 first-round pick out of Louisville has shown flashes of brilliance before and he has plenty of confidence in his ability if he can stay healthy.
“I know my ability, what I can do when I’m healthy, what I bring to the table,” Parker said. “My confidence level has always been the same. I know what I can do, what I bring to the table.”
Parker had 24 catches in 11 games in 2018 after catching 56 and 57 the previous two seasons.
He says the key for him is very simple.
“Staying healthy,” Parker said. “That’s it. I can play.”
Parker said his game plan for being able to maximize his potential this year and beyond is very simple.
“Just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said. “Staying on top of my body, eating right, doing the little things.”
One of the long touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick to Parker came on the first play of a two-minute drill when Parker got behind the defense.
Fitzpatrick said he told Parker when he first saw the wide receiver at the Dolphins practice facility Thursday that the two would hook up on a long ball.
The veteran quarterback later talked about his deep passing.
“Personally, I’ve made a lot of progress in that area in the last few years,” Fitzpatrick said. “It has really started to show up for me. Some of it is mentality, a lot of it is the guys I’m throwing to and some unbelievable playmakers and a lot of it is just communication, expectation before the ball even gets thrown of what we want from those guys and how they expect the ball. There’s a lot of things that go into it, but certainly something that I’ve really improved on as my career has gone on.”
Of Fitzpatrick’s 18 career touchdown passes of 50 yards or longer, five of them came last season when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Call to the hall
The College Football Hall of Fame announced this week its candidates for the Class of 2020, and the list includes several players with ties to the Dolphins.
Among the candidates are former Dolphins running back Keith Byars (Ohio State), DE Kevin Carter (Florida), LB Marco Coleman (Georgia Tech), LB E.J. Junior (Alabama), QB Cade McNown (UCLA), CB Troy Vincent (Wisconsin) and Boomer Grigsby, who was a linebacker at Illinois State but briefly played fullback for the Dolphins in 2005. Also among the candidates is former Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel, who never played for the Dolphins but was a sixth-round pick of the team in 2001.
The Class of 2020 will be announced next January before the BCS national championship game.
The Class of 2019, which will be inducted in December, includes former Dolphins cornerback Terrell Buckley, who starred at Florida State.
The Dolphins continued their tradition of hosting high school teams at practice, with the visitors Wednesday coming from St. Andrews School and Barbara Goleman High School.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the progress the Dolphins have made throughout the offseason program:
“We’re headed in the right direction, but I think everybody also understands the work that’s in front of us and the fact that we’re not even close to being where we need to be.”
WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING ABOUT MIAMI
Miami has no apparent philosophical thread on this roster. The quarterback position was upgraded by trading for Josh Rosen and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The offensive line took a hit when Ja’Wuan James left for Denver in free agency. Laremy Tunsil has been just okay in his first two seasons. They will need more from their tight ends in this offense. WR DeVante Parker will get another shot at being the teams #1 one receiver. Kenny Stills is a nice vertical threat. RB Kenyan Drake will now be the top running back.
Miami doesn’t have a name – brand defender in the front seven, so they picked Christian Wilkins out of Clemson in the first round. Former top draft choice Charles Harris must improve after a one – sack season. The linebackers are ranked below average and it appears they will stay that way. S Reshad Jones is one of the most under – valued defensive backs in the division. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard gives Miami solid DB’s.
New head coach Brian Flores has a huge job in defining the team’s direction and personnel. There will be growing pains this season as the try to establish a foundation.
2019 MIAMI ROSTER
|68||Adams, Tony||OG||ACT||6’2″||315||12/28/1995||1||North Carolina State|
|59||Allen, Chase||OLB||ACT||6’3″||250||8/29/1993||3||Southern Illinois|
|Anderson, Ryan||C||ACT||6’6″||305||12/30/1994||0||Wake Forest|
|31||Armstrong, Cornell||DB||ACT||6’0″||185||9/22/1995||2||Southern Mississippi|
|55||Baker, Jerome||OLB||ACT||6’2″||215||12/25/1996||2||Ohio State|
|27||Ballage, Kalen||RB||ACT||6’2″||237||12/22/1995||2||Arizona State|
|17||Butler, Brice||WR||ACT||6’3″||220||1/29/1990||7||San Diego State|
|62||Calhoun, Shaq||OG||ACT||6’3″||320||2/20/1996||0||Mississippi State|
|95||Carradine, Tank||DE||ACT||6’4″||270||2/18/1990||6||Florida State|
|36||Davis, Jalen||CB||ACT||5’10”||185||2/2/1996||1||Utah State|
|92||Denney, John||LS||ACT||6’5″||242||12/13/1978||15||Brigham Young|
|49||Eguavoen, Sam||LB||ACT||6’0″||227||2/22/1993||1||Texas Tech|
|84||Ford, Isaiah||WR||ACT||6’2″||189||2/9/1996||2||Virginia Tech|
|88||Gesicki, Mike||TE||ACT||6’6″||245||10/3/1995||2||Penn State|
|19||Grant, Jakeem||WR||ACT||5’7″||169||10/30/1992||4||Texas Tech|
|2||Haack, Matt||P||ACT||6’0″||202||7/25/1994||3||Arizona State|
|57||Hanks, Terrill||LB||ACT||6’3″||225||//||0||New Mexico State|
|45||Hull, Mike||LB||ACT||6’0″||235||5/25/1991||4||Penn State|
|67||Kilgore, Daniel||C||ACT||6’3″||291||12/18/1987||9||Appalachian State|
|30||Lammons, Chris||DB||ACT||5’10”||190||1/31/1996||1||South Carolina|
|52||McMillan, Raekwon||MLB||ACT||6’2″||248||11/17/1995||3||Ohio State|
|24||McTyer, Torry||CB||ACT||5’11”||188||4/10/1995||3||Nevada-Las Vegas|
|79||Mills, Jordan||OT||ACT||6’5″||316||12/24/1990||7||Louisiana Tech|
|66||Monteiro, Aaron||OT||ACT||6’7″||320||//||0||Boston College|
|40||Needham, Nik||DB||ACT||6’0″||203||11/4/1996||0||Texas-El Paso|
|75||Norton, Kendrick||DT||ACT||6’3″||318||6/7/1997||1||Miami (Fla.)|
|83||O’Leary, Nick||TE||ACT||6’3″||252||8/31/1992||4||Florida State|
|65||Pittman, Jamiyus||DT||ACT||6’2″||319||10/23/1994||1||Central Florida|
|51||Poling, Quentin||LB||ACT||6’1″||235||8/17/1994||1||Ohio U.|
|72||Prince, Isaiah||OT||ACT||6’7″||310||7/29/1997||0||Ohio State|
|64||Reed, Chris||OG||ACT||6’5″||310||7/22/1992||4||Minnesota State|
|7||Sanders, Jason||K||ACT||5’11”||186||11/16/1995||2||New Mexico|
|81||Smythe, Durham||TE||ACT||6’6″||248||8/9/1995||2||Notre Dame|
|96||Taylor, Vincent||DT||ACT||6’3″||306||1/5/1994||3||Oklahoma State|
|48||Thomas, Cory||DT||ACT||6’5″||310||8/2/1995||0||Mississippi State|
|43||Van Ginkel, Andrew||OLB||ACT||6’4″||236||7/1/1995||0||Wisconsin|
|87||Walford, Clive||TE||ACT||6’4″||258||10/1/1991||4||Miami (Fla.)|
|9||Walton, Mark||RB||ACT||5’9″||205||3/29/1997||2||Miami (Fla.)|
|53||Washington, Adolphus||DT||ACT||6’4″||295||11/24/1992||4||Ohio State|
|82||Williams, Preston||WR||ACT||6’4″||210||//||0||Colorado State|
|15||Wilson, Albert||WR||ACT||5’9″||186||7/12/1992||6||Georgia State|
|6||Wilson, Stone||P||ACT||5’10”||180||8/17/1996||0||Florida International|
|33||Wiltz, Jomal||CB||ACT||5’10”||190||10/23/1994||1||Iowa State|
|76||Woodard, Jonathan||DE||ACT||6’6″||271||9/19/1993||2||Central Arkansas|
ACT = Active
RES = Injured reserve
NON = Non football related injured reserve
SUS = Suspended
PUP = Physically unable to perform
UDF = Unsigned draft pick
EXE = Exempt
Miami isn’t expected to be a playoff team in 2019, so their focus is about 2020 and beyond. The next two seasons will be more about a complete makeover in hopes of making the Dolphins a Super Bowl contender well into the future. The only way that will happen is if Miami finds a starting quarterback that can be a difference maker. Josh Rosen will get every opportunity to be that player. If Miami doesn’t make strides this season, look for a busy off-season with more cap room and more roster changes.
AFC EAST FORECAST: 4