Top News: Pouncey Plan, Landry's Dance & More

Posted Oct 12, 2017

The first quarter of the 2017 regular season is now in the rearview mirror, and center Mike Pouncey says he’s feeling just fine.

The health of the three-time Pro Bowl selection was a big topic of conversation throughout training camp and the preseason, but the Dolphins’ plan of attack with Pouncey has been working out perfectly so far.

Pouncey’s practice schedule has been to work one day and take the next day off, and that has continued into the regular season. Pouncey practices on Wednesday, sits out on Thursday and is back at it on Friday.

The plan was to do everything possible to have Pouncey available for all 16 regular season games, plus whatever playoff game or games the Dolphins would play. So far so good. Pouncey didn’t miss a snap in any of the first four games and Head Coach Adam Gase has praised his performance.

“I feel great,” Pouncey said Thursday. “Better than what I expected. I just keep rolling, keep going with the plan. Sixteen-plus, baby.”

Touchdown plan: While teams around the league have come up with creative ways to celebrate touchdowns this season with the new, relaxed rules, Jarvis Landry marked his game-winning score against Tennessee by going to the stands and handing the football to a boy. “There was a celebration,” Landry insisted. “And that changed his life. You see that video?” Landry then added that he saw a video of Dan Marino and Mark Clayton handing a football to a young fan at the Orange Bowl on the boy’s birthday in 1985, a moment that was featured in the Dolphins’ 2015 “Since Moment” promotional campaign. “Maybe something comes out of that,” Landry said of his gesture. “Maybe he’s a lifelong Dolphins fan because of that. When you celebrate, (it doesn’t) have to always be animation. I was just showing some love.”

Familiar face: New senior offensive assistant Dave DeGuglielmo is not exactly new for Pouncey because DeGuglielmo was his offensive line coach when he was a rookie in 2011. Another assistant coach on that staff was Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Darren Rizzi, who indicated Thursday his relationship goes back much further than that. “We played against each other in college, believe it or not, way back when,” Rizzi said. “I’m dating myself there — Rhode Island and Boston University days — back in 1990. ‘Gug’ is a guy that’s been with a lot of great organizations, he’s been to the Super Bowl a couple of times, he’s got a very strong personality, so in light of the situation, I think he’s a very good guy to come in here and step in. He’s seen a lot of different things, so I think it takes a strong personality guy to do that, and he’s just that.” Pouncey also mentioned DeGuglielmo’s personality when he talked about the new coach on the Dolphins staff. “We feel real comfortable with him,” Pouncey said. “He’s a great coach. He brings a big personality to the offensive line room, something that we need. We’ll be good.”

Extra motivation: Defensive coordinator Matt Burke said his defense came out with a lot of energy against the Tennessee Titans, and one reason no doubt was the fact it was the Dolphins’ home opener. But there might have been another factor at play, namely the fact that Tennessee rang up 30 points last October when they came to Hard Rock Stadium and beat the Dolphins, 30-17. “I just thought overall our energy last week was really sky high and I know a lot of guys have talked about how we’ve moved on from last year and all of that, but there’s things you don’t forget,” Burke said. “We were still smarting a little bit from how that game went against those guys last year. It was the first home game. There’s a little bit of extra energy in the building for that. I think just a little bit that half a step of extra juice, which helped.”

Following Phillips: Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips missed his third consecutive game last Sunday, but Burke indicated that Phillips maybe could have played under different circumstances. As it was, the Dolphins had three defensive tackles active against Tennessee: Ndamukong Suh, Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor. “We thought Vincent got a little bit more work during the week,” Burke said. “It was close with Jordan. He was kind of right up until game time but we just felt we were only going to have three healthy (defensive tackles). We couldn’t keep four up with the way the actives were going to be constructed, so we just felt for another week to have three healthy bodies. God forbid if something happened, if Jordan kind of aggravated something and we were down, we were going to be short-handed. So we just felt having the three healthy bodies, truly healthy, that we felt that was just a better option for us.”
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