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Day 2 Notebook: Grimes Stepping Up Early; Other Notes

Posted Jul 22, 2013

Veteran cornerback is adapting quickly to Coyle’s defense.



Performances on the practice field don’t always translate to games, so to put too much stock into how a particular player looks early in training camp is not recommended. But in the case of Miami Dolphins veteran cornerback Brent Grimes, it’s definitely warranted to take notice.

Not only is Grimes coming to a new team as a free agent after spending his first six active seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, but he’s also changing conferences. Most importantly, he’s coming back from an Achilles’ injury suffered in last year’s season opener, but after Sunday’s opening practice he insisted that he feels like he never had the injury and isn’t even wearing anything protective on the ankle.

“I don’t never wear tape, I don’t like it,” said Grimes, who made the Pro Bowl with Atlanta in 2010. “You see people bundled up with tape and it feels funny to me. I look weird because I’ve got these ankle socks on but hey, that’s the just how I do it.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin certainly likes what Grimes brings to the secondary in terms of his skill set and the other intangibles that helped convince the team to go after him. His ball instincts have been on display as well as his unique ability to make his relatively diminutive stature go unnoticed because of how well he covers bigger receivers.

“He’s very competitive, he’s very quick and he has a good understanding of the schemes,” Philbin said. “He’s been around for a while so route concepts aren’t awful new to him and he’s very decisive on the football field. His play speed is what we really like.”

EGNEW SHOWING OFF A NEW SIDE

After going through perhaps one of the tougher rookie seasons in recent memory, tight end Michael Egnew recommitted himself during the offseason both in the weight room and incorporating other facets into his training regimen.

“I did a lot of MMA and I focused on a lot of ground work for football in terms of blocking and run blocking,” said Egnew, who was a third-round draft pick last year out of Missouri. “Basically, that’s what I did. It was five days a week for me. I learned that you’ve always got to prepare harder and prepare for more than you think it’s going to be because it always is.”

The first day of training camp Egnew spent on the far field working with the younger players, but today he stepped up to the near field and got some work with the top two quarterbacks – Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore. He definitely stood out with a tough catch in traffic near the end of the session and a few other nice receptions down the seam and on crossing routes, but he credited the quarterbacks for putting the throws right on the mark.

TIME TO GET PHYSICAL

In all likelihood, Philbin will oversee the first practice held in full pads tomorrow morning, which means the fans that show up will be in for a treat. This is when the gloves figuratively come off and players are allowed to get more physical with each other, but they won’t find out for certain until when they arrive in the locker room.

“It’s a lot more physical,” linebacker Koa Misi said. “Drills change and speed changes. You’re still not bringing guys down to the ground but you want to get that first contact and make sure you’re fitting right and you’re in the right gaps. You definitely want to bring it when the pads first start. Everybody wants to show what they have.”

THIS AND THAT

For the second straight day, Philbin parked himself on the far field where the bulk of the rookies and first-year players were practicing. “I know some of the guys on the other field a little better,” he explained. “These other guys, not every single one, but a lot of them I don’t have quite that feel for. So I want to have a sense of what their tempo is, what their attitude is and what their demeanor is when they’re practicing.” … One of those youngsters who stood out to Philbin this morning was rookie tight end Dion Sims, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, as he singled him out as someone who had a good day with three or four nice receptions. … Wide receiver Kenny Stafford, who was added to the roster last week after playing in both the Arena Football League with the Pittsburgh Power and in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes, made a nice juggling catch down the left sideline of a long ball thrown by Pat Devlin. The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder out of Toledo also made a few more nice grabs as he fights for a roster spot. … Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis took his first kicks of training camp on the near field today after watching veteran Dan Carpenter do the same yesterday and he looked solid. … Hip-hop was the theme again this morning during the stretch routine, beginning with “Karate Chop,” by Future featuring Lil Wayne. The second song of the set was “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” by Kanye West.

THE FINAL WORD

“When I first got here and had a locker with my name and a different logo, that was it. I knew that I had a new home and I had a home that I was happy with.” – new right tackle Tyson Clabo on when it dawned on him that he was a Miami Dolphin.
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