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Day 15 Notebook: Wheeler Looking To Settle Down With The Dolphins; Other Notes

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Veteran linebacker is with his third team in three years.



After spending his first four NFL seasons in Indianapolis, linebacker Philip Wheeler made the Dolphins his third team in three years when he signed as a free agent in the offseason.

Wheeler joined the Dolphins after spending only one year with the Raiders, with whom he had the most productive season of his career.

Wheeler says he actually has enjoyed moving around. He just doesn’t want to keep doing it.

“It doesn’t feel weird,” Wheeler said. “It’s kind of fun. I’m blessed to play this game as long as I have. This is my sixth year going in. I’ve been on three teams. I got to see three different places. I look at it as a positive. I went from Indianapolis to the West Coast and had fun out there, played well, and now I’m back on the Southeast coast. It feels good down here. I love it, Miami.”

Wheeler was part of one of the biggest plays in practice Monday when he tipped a pass at the goal line and fellow linebacker Dannell Ellerbe came up with the ball for the interception.

He’s hoping to keep making plays like that for the Dolphins for a long time.

When it was suggested the Northeast might be his next logical destination, Wheeler quickly replied: “I’m not looking forward to going anywhere, anytime soon.”

DOLPHINS BABIES

Kicker Dan Carpenter’s wife Kaela is due to give birth to the couple’s first child this week, but there are a couple of other Dolphins players with babies on the way.

Long snapper John Denney and his wife Christy are expecting their fifth child to join sons Austin, Brock and Wes, and daughter Gracie.

Finally, there’s quarterback Matt Moore, whose wife Tar is expected their second child in November. The Moores will be having a son to join their daughter, Aubrey, who is 2 years old.

FROM TRYOUT TO CAMP

When the Jacksonville Jaguars tried to run a Wildcat play on Friday night, Denard Robinson was stonewalled at the line of scrimmage and dropped for a 1-yard loss. The two defenders credited with the tackle could not have joined the Dolphins from more opposite directions.

One was Dion Jordan, the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. The other was Tracy Robertson, who wasn’t even on an NFL roster when June began and was signed by the Dolphins only after attending the June minicamp on a tryout basis.

“I didn’t come in here taking a back seat to anyone,” Robertson said after practice Monday. “I feel that I fit in just like the rest of these guys. But I also know that we have Pro Bowlers on this team, so I’m going to have to do something really special just to be a part of a group of guys like this.”

Robertson was one of four players trying out during the June minicamp. Wide receiver Joe Hastings was another, and he also was signed on the third day, but he had to give up his NFL dream when knee problems forced him to retire.

For Robertson, who spent time with Houston, Detroit and New England as a rookie in 2012 but never appeared in a game, the minicamp was an opportunity to keep the dream alive.

“I knew about the depth here in Miami,” Robertson said. “So I knew I had a big job on my hands if I was going to come in and definitely try to be a guy that can contribute in any way. I just knew I had to do something to make myself stand out.”

CATCH THE DOLPHINS LIVE

Dolphins fans anywhere in the country will be able to watch live Saturday night’s game at Houston, as well as the other two remaining preseason games, thanks to the NFL’s Preseason Live package.

For $19.99, fans can have access on their computer or tablet to out-of-market games not televised nationally. For details, go to dolphins.com/preseasonlive.

The game at Houston will be broadcast live in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area on WFOR-TV (CBS 4), in Fort Myers on WBBH-TV (Channel 2), in West Palm Beach on WTVX-TV (Channel 34) and WWHB (Channel 48-Spanish); and in Orlando on WRDQ (Channel 27) and WFTB MegaTV (9.2 as well as on digital cable via Comcast channel 209, CenturyLink Channel 10, Cox Cable 118 and Decca Cable channel 717).

Jesse Agler will provide the play-to-play call, with former Dolphins greats Bob Griese and Nat Moore providing analysis.

THIS AND THAT

Tight end Dustin Keller had a big day at practice with several nice catches, including one near the sideline where he had to make sure to get his feet in bounds. … Wide receiver Mike Wallace not only caught a long touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill, he also made a nice catch between two defenders on a slant pattern. … Three radio sports talk shows did a live broadcast Monday morning from the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. … Assistant quarterbacks coach Ben Johnson caught passes when the three quarterbacks practiced rolling out to the left and throwing 20-yard passes into the end zone and there was applause when he hauled in a throw from Tannehill. Johnson then proceeded to spike the ball in the end zone. … The musical selections during the stretching period inside the bubble included “One Drop” by Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Reality” by Kenny Chesney and “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.

THE LAST WORD

Wide receiver Mike Wallace on the high expectations Dolphins fans have for him: “I kind of feel it, but I like it. I like the pressure. I think I can handle it. I’m not worried about it. It’s not going to make me lose sleep. I welcome all of that. That’s why I’m here. I want to be a guy who’s got the pressure on. I don’t want to be a guy that they’re not worried about."
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