Coach Sherman: Martin Has Gotten Better And Better Each Day

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman answers questions from reporters about the state of the Dolphins tight ends following the injury to Dustin Keller and the battle for the starting running back position between Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Also, don't miss Sherman share his praise for the recent play of left tackle Jonathan Maritin.

(On Dion Sims pass catch ability) – “I think he has excellent hands. He hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities in the games, but in practice he’s taken full advantage of those opportunities. He’s a former basketball player and very athletic, can bang himself open as a tight end needs to do on occasion. I think he has very sure hands, I have no question about this ability to catch.”

(On what he sees overall from tight ends) – “I think that they’ve made a lot of progress. I think Dion (Sims), and (Charles) Clay and (Michael) Egnew in particular, obviously the loss of (Dustin) Keller is disappointing because he was making so much progress as well as a blocker, and then fitting into our offense. The other three guys have really done a nice job, obviously they have a lot on their shoulder’s now with the loss of Dustin so they need to be able to pick up the slack there. I think the tight ends have really made a lot of improvement, I think Dan Campbell is a tireless coach and stays after them and gets the best out of his players. He’s certainly proven to me that time and time again that he’ll do that.”

(On if the Dolphins will change their philosophy post injury) –“Certainly he presented challenges for defenses and also some opportunities for us. I feel like we have some talented guys behind him that will have to step up, I prefer not to change what we do necessarily. It depends who steps up, I mean if our ‘zebra’ package is stronger, and you play Gibson on the field, which certainly has its strengths, but then ‘tiger’ gives you some strengths in the run and the pass game as well. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to use both packages with equal productivity.”

(On how he would assess the running back competition at this point) – “I think that Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are competing neck and neck. They both have their strengths, and I think their competition has brought out the best in both of them on most occasions. I’m anxious to see, how we play this season, obviously I think if we were playing tomorrow, both guys would get plenty of snaps in the ball game.”

(On Jonathan Martin’s progress throughout camp) – “He’s silently gotten better and better each and every day. He still has a long way to go as far as a left tackle in this league. He’s a work in progress, when I say a long ways to go, to be a finished product, I don’t know if a young tackle like him is going to be that until four or five years into the league. He’s further ahead than I probably would expect him to be at this time, but he’s still a work in progress. I think Coach Turner has done a great job of getting him ready, and he’s going to have some ups and downs just like any player this year, he’s going to have some matchup guys that he matches up well against, other guys are going to be a big challenge. He’ll respond to those challenges, I think he’s done a good job in practice responding to them, he faces some pretty good rushers in practice every single day so that opportunity certainly makes him better.”

(On if he’d rather have one running back snatch the RB position, or two good backs fighting for the position) – “If you have a one running back and a two that’s a distant two, that’s probably not as good as a one and A. I think we have a one and 1A, so we have two that have a chance to be, they’re both very young, they both don’t have a lot of snaps in them just yet. I think they both have a chance to be good running backs in this league, we’ll see how far they can go but I’d rather have two good ones than one. I think we have two pretty good ones and hopefully we can find a third. “

(On why Daniel Thomas hasn’t had a chance to start a game yet) – “We don’t necessarily look at that the way maybe you guys look at it, I don’t think they look at it that way either. They’re both going to get snaps in the ball game, it’s just the way it’s unfolded, I wouldn’t ready too much into that.”

(On if he feels comfortable with the TE’s if the season started today, without having to go sign a free agent) – “I do, we’re very young but I think Charles Clay has really come into his own. I noticed that in the OTA’s and in the mini camps, as a blocker as well as a pass receive and a route runner, a lot more confident in what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. Certainly Keller gave us some opportunities in practice, and in games that we’re going to miss him, but somebody will step up and I’m hopeful that will happen.”

(On if the season was starting right now, would Charles Clay be the starter) – “I think you’d have to give the nod to Clay as the starter. He’ll play in a bunch of different packages, he’ll play in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage, he’ll play split out, so I mean he’ll do a lot of different things for us and he’s more than capable.”

(On if he’ll still go outside with tight ends) – “Surely, I feel comfortable Clay can play any position.”

(On how much losing Keller, changes the game plan) – “I feel bad for him, he worked so hard, he came here and adapted and fit into what we were doing and really studied hard. I feel sick for him personally as a professional. When you looked at the monitor and saw his face, the disappointment he had at not having this season, so I feel bad for him, I wish we had the opportunity to coach him this year, I think he’s someone that brought something to the table. At the same time, when someone goes down, someone has to step up, if you’re on a good team that has to happen, hopefully we’ll prove that at that position somebody will step up. I’m really pleased with Egnew, the progress he’s made has been significant, since the minicamp to right now, and I’m hoping that he steps up and others as well, we’ll have to wait and see whether we can fill that void, I’m hopeful that we can.”

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