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NOTEBOOK: A Homecoming For Sturgis; Other Notes

Posted Oct 23, 2014

The surroundings will be very familiar for Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis when he takes the field on Sunday at EverBank Field.

Even though he’s never played an NFL game there, kicker Caleb Sturgis just might be the Dolphins player most familiar with EverBank Field.

Sturgis grew up in St. Augustine, less than 30 minutes away from Jacksonville, attended some Jaguars games as a kid and then played three games at the stadium while kicking for the University of Florida.

Sturgis played in the annual Florida-Georgia game at EverBank Field twice, in 2009 and 2012, and also played in the Gator Bowl in the 2011 season against Ohio State.

“I love going back there,” Sturgis said. “Grew up a Jaguars fan and all. Always enjoyed getting to play there, Florida-Georgia. It’s probably our biggest rivalry, especially the first few years I was there. Just great memories over there.”

Sturgis, who missed the Florida-Georgia game in 2010 and 2011 because of injuries, has had great success in Jacksonville, making all six of his field goal attempts. That included a 56-yard kick, the longest of his collegiate career, in 2009 and a 50-yarder in 2012.

Sturgis is one of four Dolphins players who competed in the Florida-Georgia game at EverBank Field but have never played there in the NFL. The others are offensive lineman Mike Pouncey (Florida), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (Florida) and safety Reshad Jones (Georgia).

“I like it,” Jenkins said of EverBank Field. “I’m used to having orange and blue on one side, red on the other side. But it’s a fun stadium to play at.”

THE DION DECISION

Head Coach Joe Philbin said he hasn’t made a determination on whether Dion Jordan will play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he has liked what he had seen from the young defensive end in his first week back from his league suspension.

“At the end of the week, we’ll certainly take a look and see where he’s at,” Philbin said. “He’s looked good. He hasn’t had any setbacks whatsoever. He seems to be comfortable in the scheme again and working on his techniques and fundamentals, which obviously are the things that need the most work since he hasn’t had a lot of practice. Yeah, so far so good. It’s been encouraging what he’s done on the field.”

The Dolphins would have to make a roster move to create space for Jordan if they decide to activate him for the Jacksonville game.

Jordan contributed on special teams as a rookie, so his ability to help in that area could factor in the decision regarding his playing status Sunday.

Said Philbin: “We’re trying to integrate him and get him back up to speed on all the things we’re doing and all the different ways that he potentially could contribute to the team.”

BORTLES MEMORIES

The Dolphins will get their first look Sunday at Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but cornerback Lowell Rose already has some history with Bortles.

Rose, who joined the Dolphins’ active roster last weekend, played at the University of Tulsa and he faced Bortles when the University of Central Florida traveled to Oklahoma in 2012.

The Golden Hurricane won that game 31-13, but Bortles still managed to leave a good impression on Rose even in defeat.

“I remember he was a good runner,” Rose said. “He ran around a lot on us. We had a few missed sacks that game against them. He’s a good quarterback. We ended up pulling out the win, but it’ll be interesting going up against somebody you played against in college.”

Rose ended up with four tackles in that game, but he also said he was among those Tulsa players who missed chances to sack Bortles.

“I can’t exactly remember what happened, but I was like, that’s a big boy right there,” Rose said. “I wasn’t expecting that. Most quarterbacks, especially in our conference, weren’t that big. You barely touch them and they go down. He was a big dude.”

THIS AND THAT

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, a Miami native and former University of Miami star, stopped by the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University and chatted with some Dolphins players in front of the building. Among Dolphins players who chatted with Gore, whose 49ers have a bye this weekend, was practice squad member and former San Francisco teammate LaMichael James. ... Ryan Tannehill last Sunday became the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 275 yards, rush for at least 45 yards and complete at least 78 percent of his passes in the same game. The other two were Jeff Garcia of the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 and Ken Anderson of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1974.

LAST WORD

“His athleticism really jumps out. Really good instincts. I was watching (film) with the defense and then switched over to the offense side, and that was a name that popped up throughout our offensive staff.” — Jacksonville Head Coach Gus Bradley on Dolphins second-year linebacker Jelani Jenkins
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