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NOTEBOOK: Amaya And Rivera Readjusting; Other Notes

Posted Sep 27, 2012

Amaya and Rivera back in Miami.

Right when training camp was about to start last year for the Miami Dolphins, safety Jonathon Amaya’s name made headlines – for being traded to the New Orleans Saints as part of the Reggie Bush deal.

Now he’s Bush’s teammate.

The 23-year-old California native was signed Tuesday, along with former Dolphins linebacker Mike Rivera. Amaya was a special teams maven for Miami as a rookie back in 2010 over the final 10 games after being signed off the practice squad, leading the unit in tackles with 15. Rivera was with the Dolphins from December 28th, 2010 until last August 27th just before the start of the regular season.

Both players needed a little time to get adjusted to the new locker room and to the new coaching staff, as well as the new defense being run by defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. But they did appreciate seeing some familiar faces on their side of the ball.

“There has been a lot of changes around here, good changes though,” Amaya said. “Really it’s an honor to be back and I really appreciate the organization giving me an opportunity to come back and be a part of this team. Having guys like Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll still here is a benefit because I think I can understand them a little bit more compared to coming in to an entirely new team and we kind of know each other and how we work together.”

Rivera hasn’t been gone quite as long as Amaya, and besides getting used to the locker room changes he is focusing on learning his assignments on special teams and getting the defense down. The fact that he worked under special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi makes things a little easier for Rivera.

“He was the main guy and I like his style,” Rivera said. “No questions about anything. You go out there and just play.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin hasn’t worked with either player before but he had heard good things about them from those coaches that were on the staff when they were here.

“I think Amaya obviously has had very good production as a special teams player in the league and Darren was very high on him so we’re glad to have him back,” said Philbin, who places a high emphasis on special teams. “Mike Rivera’s a smart guy, a tough guy and a guy who’s got some experience. He’s been here so he has some familiarity. Hopefully, they can make a contribution, both of those guys.”

INJURY UPDATE

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee) and linebacker Austin Spitler (groin) did not practice today for the second straight day and cornerback Richard Marshall (back) was downgraded from limited to did not practice. … Running Back Reggie Bush (knee), cornerback Nolan Carroll (Achilles) and wide receiver Marlon Moore (hamstring) were limited. … Defensive end Andre Fluellen (hamstring) and defensive tackle Randy Starks (knee) participated in a full practice. … For the Cardinals, defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (hamstring), tight ends Jim Dray (knee) and Todd Heap (knee) and running back L.Stephens-Howling (hip) did not practice. … Safety Rashad Johnson (hamstring), fullback Anthony Sherman (hamstring), safety James Sanders (calf), cornerback Michael Adams (hamstring) linebacker O’Brien Schofield (knee), quarterback John Skelton (ankle), guard Adam Snyder (elbow) and strong safety Adrian Wilson (ankle/groin) were limited. … Punter Dave Zastudil (right calf) practiced in full.

COACH SPEAK

“I think anything’s possible and I wouldn’t rule anything out. As you can see he practiced on a limited basis so we’ll see how it goes.” – Philbin on running back Reggie Bush’s chances of playing on Sunday

“I was just around him a little bit at that Pro Bowl a number of years ago and he’s an impressive individual just based on his passion for the game. He must be a great guy to coach I would guess if you were on that staff. He loves the game of football and he’s obviously got some physical skills that are outstanding, both his size and speed. He’s an instinctive football player who catches the ball very well, but the thing I was most impressed with him was his professionalism, his love of the game and his enthusiasm for the game.” – Philbin on what stands out to him about Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald

“I told the team in the locker room this is going to be a great test of our maturity and some of the leadership that we have. I’ve been to Phoenix a couple of times and it looks like a great city but I’m not going anywhere during the day (Saturday). We’re there for a reason.” – Philbin on going out a day earlier and how that works

“I haven’t watched the whole play still to this point in time but from everything I hear, as my wife told me at midnight or whenever that play finally came about, ‘They got robbed.’ That’s a true story.” – Philbin on the last play of Monday night’s Seattle-Green Bay game

LOCKER ROOM TALK

“I remember it getting real loud and most importantly I remember us losing real bad (31-10) and that becoming the impetus for our turnaround. We went on that run where we finished winning nine out of 10 so it’s a little bittersweet, but at the same time it was a learning experience. I like Arizona. I stayed there for a couple of months during my combine training.” – wide receiver Davone Bess on going back to Arizona for the first time since his rookie year in 2008

“Larry Fitzgerald is deceptively fast and he knows how to get open and to separate, so for us it’s just going out there and playing with our technique and within the scheme and executing. On film we’re just looking at what types of routes he likes to run in certain situations and on certain downs because we know they try to isolate him to get matchups. … He’s very dangerous in getting yards after the catch so if we can eliminate that then things should be able to go in our favor.” – cornerback Nolan Carroll on defending Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald

“I think more than anything as a unit it’s about everybody doing their job and not coming down and trying to freelance and not stay in your lane. If we have everybody coming down the field and covering as a unit and keeping him contained in a pocket, that’s the way you get him handled to where he can’t run anywhere. As soon as one guy messes up he finds that hall crease and he’s gone so we can’t over pursue.” – linebacker Jason Trusnik on preventing dangerous Cardinals punt returner Patrick Peterson from breaking a long return

“Cam could have had like seven sacks last week but it just happens like that sometimes. It’s still the beginning of the season and we have a bunch of games to go. We’re stopping the run but we just need to rush that quarterback and we can feel it coming. We’re just a half a step away and we work on it everyday. Lining up opposite of Cam, I know he’s going to drive the quarterback inside, so I know he’s going to help the defensive tackles get sacks and I know I can do the same thing from my side of the ball along with Jared Odrick. It’s vital that we get to the quarterback, make him feel our presence and try to get sacks.” – rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon on improving Miami’s pass rush

DOLPHINS TIDBITS

## Nolan Carroll lined up as the cornerback opposite Sean Smith with the first team base defense in place of Marshall, who was not at practice at all.

## The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its nominees for the Class of 2013 today and though no former Miami Dolphins were among the first-year-eligible names there are a decent amount overall. Most notable is wide receiver Mark Clayton, and he is joined by wide receivers Cris Carter and Gary Clark, quarterback Ron Jaworski, safety Troy Vincent, defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger, kicking coach Doug Blevins, head coach Jimmy Johnson, director of player personnel Bobby Beathard and director of personnel and scouting George Young.

## This time only two songs were played before the team broke up out of the stretching and warm-up into positional drills and they were “I Can See Clearly Now,” by Jimmy Cliff and “The Mack,” by Mann, Snoop Dogg, lyaz and Mann Feat.

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