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NOTEBOOK: Freeny And Kaddu Looking For Longer Stay; Other Notes

Posted Sep 2, 2013

Young linebackers survived a roster roller coaster ride in 2012.



No two players on the Miami Dolphins understand the unpredictability of the roster better than linebackers Jonathan Freeny and Josh Kaddu.

Last year at this time, the pair had experienced the thrill of surviving the two major rounds of cuts that take place at the end of training camp only to be handed their walking papers the next day when Miami was awarded four players off waivers. And 24 hours later they were back inside the locker room as members of the eight-man practice squad.

“It was like my heart was broken,” Kaddu said. “This is what I love do and this is what I’ve been doing ever since I was young. To think you’re on the squad and then the next day find out something else, it was a big disappointment. But I just knew I had to go out and work hard every day to show them that I need to be here and I can play.”

This time around, Freeny and Kaddu were able to breathe a sigh of relief after all the waiver claims were made on Sunday. Their performances last season after being activated – Freeny appeared in all 16 games and Kaddu in five – combined with their showings in training camp gave them more solid footing in 2013.

“You can never celebrate too soon,” said Freeny, who finished with seven tackles (five solo) and was tied for second on the team with seven special teams. “You always know that was just the 53-man that roster they had to have out but it wasn’t official until now. So after it was all said and done I took a deep breath and I was just thankful to be a part of this team and excited about what awaits us this year.”

MEET TYLER CLUTTS

Only one familiar face among the players was in the locker room to welcome fullback Tyler Clutts, the newest Miami Dolphin to the team, when he arrived over the weekend from Houston. That was linebacker Jason Trusnik, who was with the Cleveland Browns in 2010 when Clutts joined their practice squad.

Miami claimed the former Fresno State standout off waivers Sunday after the Houston Texans released Clutts. He had to uproot his family and relocate on the fly. It’s something he has had a lot of practice doing over his journeyman career that has taken him from the CFL to the AFL and finally to the NFL.

“It’s been a whirlwind with some downs and then quickly some ups,” said Clutts, who at 6-foot-2 and 254 pounds brings a physical presence to the offensive backfield. “I didn’t really have much time to soak it in and enjoy it because we had to pack up our house, get it all shipped out and get on a plane three hours later. So it was a quick turnaround but I’ve done it before when I was traded from Cleveland to Chicago and then last year when I was traded from Chicago to Houston.”

Clutts did know defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle from his affiliation with Fresno State where he held the same position from 1997-2000. Of course he doesn’t have any time to make introductions because he has a system to learn in less than a week.

“It’s going to be a lot of studying because the more you study the faster you can play on the field,” Clutts said. “When you’re thinking you’re always a step closer so I’ve just got to spend a lot of time in the book and have it completely down by Thursday or Friday so that I can get through a good practice and be solid with it.”

Clutts describes himself as a “fearless and unselfish fullback” who will put his body on the line and sell out for his quarterback and his team.

SECOND CHANCE FOR PRACTICE SQUAD PLAYERS

For wide receivers Brian Tyms and the rest of the eight-man practice squad, first there’s the disappointment of being waived after battling throughout training camp and the preseason. But once they’re back on the field and doing their jobs again, the fire returns.

“You’ve just got to take it stride and I like to play football,” Tyms said. “I love football so at the end of the day I’m happy because I’m still playing. Of course the news is not what you want to hear but I’m still part of the team and anything can happen. It’s a long season so I’ve just got to keep working and get better every day.”

THIS AND THAT

Rookie cornerbacks Will Davis and Jamar Taylor were both working on the side with the training staff as they try to return to health. … Charles Clay was listed as the starting tight end on the depth chart for Sunday’s game and lined up that way in practice, even though on the positional roster he is listed under the running backs as a fullback/tight end. … As for the first musical selections of the regular season during the stretching period, it was a Drake-fest starting out with “The Motion” featuring Sampha. The second song was “All Me,” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean.

THE LAST WORD

“I know for one thing we’ll be able to get the running game going a lot better this year because they have to respect our speed on the outside this year instead of stacking the box on us.” – center Mike Pouncey and the potential for more big plays on offense with the addition of wide receiver Mike Wallace

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