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NOTEBOOK: Battle Lines Drawn At Right Guard; Other Notes

Posted Oct 14, 2015

Douglas and Turner both get work with the first-team offensive line at practice Wednesday.

Jamil Douglas and Billy Turner once again are battling for the starting right guard position.

Douglas, the rookie fourth-round pick, has started the first four games of the regular season after winning a training camp battle, but Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell said Turner got some work with the first-team offensive line at practice Wednesday.

“We’re just going to see how he progresses this week,” Campbell said. “Jamil is working at it, too. We like both of those guys. They both deserve an opportunity to compete for the job. We’ll see what happens.”

Turner, a third-round pick in the 2014 draft, has been inactive for all four games. He appeared in the final two games last season after being inactive for the first 14 games.

I’m an opportunistic kind of guy,” Turner said before practice. “You get frustrated sometimes. But at the same time, as long as I’m focused on getting better, there’s really no wrong that can come to me. Even though I didn’t play in the first four games of the season, regardless of me not playing, I was still out there practicing, getting better, so when I do get an opportunity, I’m going to be ready.”

SETTING THE STORY STRAIGHT

Campbell’s toughness during his 11-year career as an NFL player has been well documented, and now it’s reached mythical proportions.

A story gaining traction in recent days had Campbell’s appendix rupturing during a Dallas Cowboys flight to training camp, Campbell not saying anything before going to the hospital to have surgery and then being back at practice the following week.

As soon as the story was brought up Wednesday to preface a question, Campbell said with mock dejection: “OK, that whole deal again ...”

Campbell later was asked whether the story was true.

“It didn’t burst,” Campbell said with emphasis. “No. It sounds like my guts fell out and everything else. I had the surgery. It was bothering me. It’s a long story. There’s some funny bits and pieces to it that I won’t get into, but I did have the surgery. But it did not rupture.”

PARKER PROGRESS REPORT

First-round pick DeVante Parker is still looking to make a big impact on offense, and Campbell said Wednesday it’s now a matter of fine-tuning his game.

Parker’s foot injury, which caused him to have surgery in early June and kept him out of most of spring work and most of training camp, no longer is an issue, according to Campbell.

“It seems like every practice he’s gotten a little bit better,” Campbell said. “That’s kind of been one of the things for him that obviously has held him back; you’ve noticed him, he’ll come out of a route and it’s a limp through the route. It seems like every practice he gets a little bit more comfortable and that little limp when he turns a certain way, it’s not showing up as much. And his speed is starting to show up a little bit.

“It’s almost like a two-parter. The first is where he feels good. He’s back to 100 percent for him where he feels like, OK, I’m healthy, I feel healthy. And then two, now he’s still a rookie who missed all of spring and training camp. So you’re trying to get back that work now that he’s a healthy football player to get back to the fundamentals that he needs to be successful. The faster he comes along with that stuff, which he is improving, then the faster he gets on the field and plays a little bit more.”

Parker, the 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft, had four catches for 30 yards in the first four games.

THIS AND THAT

Campbell said the Dolphins had a brief period during practice where the first-team offense went against the first-team defense. “You need a couple of periods of that,” he said. “Just a couple of shots, you get two or three plays against each other, good on good, where now they’re coming off at each other and you set a tempo and you make it competitive where there is a winner and loser. To me that helps. It helps your sense of urgency and urgency is going to help you when you walk out there play 1 versus Tennessee on Sunday.” ... It’s been a tough week for former Dolphins defensive backs. Will Davis (Baltimore) and Chris Clemons (Arizona) both were placed on injured reserve, and Don Jones was released by the New Orleans Saints. ... The Dolphins swapped wide receivers on their practice squad, signing Robert Herron and releasing Damarr Aultman. Herron is a second-year player who appeared in eight games with Tampa Bay last season and caught six passes. ... The musical selection for the stretching period was “I Get Money” by 50 Cent.

LAST WORD

“I love Dan’s opinion. I love his motto in toeing the line and just being a physical and downhill team, setting the tempo and setting the tone of the game. I think that’s what we need to do on the defensive side of the ball. If we want to be successful, we’ve got to go out there and set the tone.” — DT Ndamukong Suh on Dan Campbell preaching being physical

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