Training Camp Takeaways 7/26

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Takeaways from Miami Dolphins training camp.

The Miami Dolphins have had a lot of action this week with team acquisitions. Below are a few of the included players, including newly acquired wide receiver Allen Hurns, as well as head coach Brian Flores. 

Brian Flores 

Q: Is the WR Allen Hurns signing based on anything you saw that you needed at that position or was it just for depth?

A: “Nope. We saw a player who we thought was a good player, could add value to our roster and that’s how we’ll do business moving forward. If there’s a good player out there that we feel like adds value to our team, then we’ll try to add that player. Those are the conversations that (General Manager) Chris (Grier), (Vice President of Football Administration) Brandon (Shore) and myself have really on a daily basis. That was the case here.”

Q: What characteristics do you look for in a prototypical cornerback?

Editor’s note: Miami signed two cornerbacks this week and extended Xavien Howard’s contract in the offseason. 

A: “Tough, smart, disciplined, puts the team first. Athletic, obviously. Can tackle. Put that at the top of the list. I really should have said that first. I think that goes into the tough and smart. Can tackle. And ball skills are important to me. I think taking advantage of opportunities to create big plays on offense and then defending those plays defensively, those are big plays in football games. Those are big field position swings. We need to be able to defend them. We need to be able to capitalize on them offensively. So playing the ball in the air is important to me. Obviously playing penalty-free, there are a lot of let’s call them pass penalties that you have to be aware of in those positions.”

Q: Two of your fastest, shiftiest receivers were hurt last year in WR Albert Wilson and WR Jakeem Grant. Do you keep up with how they were training together or rehabbing together and getting back onto the field?

A: “Both guys worked extremely hard over the offseason and really into the summer to get themselves in position to where they could come out, practice, learn, compete and get back and help this team. Obviously, like you said, they both have skill sets. They’re both fast, both explosive and both have made plays in the past. Again, the past doesn’t really matter to me very much. I’m worried about today and I’m worried about guys getting out on the field, practicing, working hard in the meeting room, taking it to the practice field and then being productive on the field.”

Kenyan Drake

Q: What do you have to do to solidify that number one job?

Editor’s note: There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Drake losing the starting job to Kalen Ballage.

A: “That’s not something I’m really necessarily focused on. I’m focused on getting better every day. Today is the second day of camp. Tomorrow we put the pads on and get to bang a little bit. That’s football. I’m happy to be here, happy to go out there and improve every day and let the chips fall where they may.”

Q: It’s no secret that Year 4 is an important year for an NFL player. How are you approaching this year knowing that a big part of your future could be determined in the next few months?

A: “I’d obviously be lying if I said it wasn’t on my mind, but the things that I’m focusing on is that I’m not looking too far ahead. How I control the future is how I control the present. Every day I’m here, I’m in my playbook. I try to lead by example by coming here and doing the things I need to do from a routine standpoint – eating right, taking thing we learned in the film room to the practice field, correcting mistakes things of that sort. It’s still early out here. It is what it is. I’m excited for the opportunity to come out here and help this team win a lot more games.”

T.J. McDonald

Q: Are you excited about the opportunity to play multiple spots on defense?

A: “Yeah, it’s a different challenge. It’s a different challenge than something we’ve had in the past, but I’m in my seventh year and it’s something that I’m embracing. I’m just going to come out and try to help the team.”

Christian Wilkins 

Q: How are your first couple of days?

A: “The first couple of days, I’ve got a long way to go before (I am) where I want to be. But it’s definitely good to get out here and compete with these guys, because I really feel like we’ve got a good group of guys who work hard every day, compete (and are) smart players. It’s good to get out there and compete with them, listen to them, talk to them, listen to what they think I can do better, how I can improve my game, listen to what they’re doing to how they attack and things like that just to improve my overall craft. I am just excited about that.”

Q: You’re carrying the helmets now so you’re the low man on the totem pole?

A: “I am. I’m just a funky, ole’ rookie. These guys, they love me and they respect me, but they make sure they make me realize that every day. I’m happy to do it, because those guys are my teammates and I’ve just got to respect the chain of command right now. I’m just a funky rookie, got to carry helmets, got to bring the snacks. In the spring I spent about $100 or something on snacks. I never did that before. I’ve got to get the snacks today, too. Just doing those little rookie duty things, I’m happy to do it for my guys.”

Allen Hurns 

Q: What are your expectations signing with the Dolphins?

A: “Coming off of an injury, my main thing is to come in here, learn the playbook and put my head down and go to work. My main thing once I got released was finding a good opportunity. I felt like it was a good opportunity here, so my main thing is to put my head down and go to work.”

Q: What kind of healthy competitions will it be here with WR Kenny Stills and WR Jakeem Grant?

A: “It will be a lot of good competition. There are a lot of guys that do a lot of good things. Me coming in, my main thing is I’ve got to learn the playbook. But as far as being on the field, we’ve got a lot of guys. I feel like competition brings out the best in guys so coming in each and every day, going against those guys and working with those guys, I feel like we’ll bring out the best in each other.”

Q: Take me back to the injury, not to bring up too bad of a memory for you. What did you think when it first happened? Some guys just never want to see that play on tape.

A: “It was one of those things where it was disgusting to see. It will make you cringe. As far as me and my faith, I knew I’d be able to get through it. My main thing was just seeing my foot facing the other way, that kind of freaked me out. I saw it in college with one of my other teammates that was here, Malcolm Lewis. I knew it was going to be a lot of work to get back. I’m blessed to be back. It’s crazy how the body heals. It was a long process. Once you stay dedicated and stay good mentally, you’ll be able to overcome anything.”

Q: At what point were you cleared?

A: “I got cleared in minicamp.” 

The remaining information from today’s training camp can be found here.

– Kayla Morton is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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