Top News: Rookies Kick Off Minicamp

Posted May 11, 2018

Dolphins rookies officially went to work Friday when the three-day rookie minicamp kicked off at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University.

For the third time in Adam Gase’s three years as Dolphins head coach, the rookies will be doing classroom work and going through an orientation instead of doing on-field work.

The rookies — eight draft picks and 13 undrafted free agents — got instruction on nutrition, hydration and media relations, along with getting their first taste of the Dolphins playbook and how they want run practice.

“Ultimately coming here, the only goal I have today is to continue to dive into that playbook and continue to feel comfortable with my job, my assignment, my role on each and every play,” second-round pick Mike Gesicki, a tight end from Penn State said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in that playbook and I’m at my best when I can play fast and play confident. I just have to continue to feel comfortable in that.”

The rookie minicamp runs through Sunday, and then the rookies will be joining the Dolphins veterans next week as they continue Phase Two of the offseason program.

Night to remember:
First-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick attended the 2018 NFL draft at AT&T Stadium in Texas and said he was prepared to get picked as early as No. 4 or as late as No. 32. Fitzpatrick was surrounded by family, friends and Alabama coach Nick Saban when the Dolphins made him their first-round pick, the highlight of what was a memorable evening. “At first we got all dressed up, took some pictures at the hotel with my family and some friends,” Fitzpatrick said.

“After that, me and my parents drove over to the stadium from the hotel, went to the red carpet, did a bunch of interviews on the red carpet, took some pictures on the red carpet with my parents, with some of my friends, and after that we just walked inside and they put us in the green room. The whole night was incredible. It’s something that you really just dream about. We were all excited just to be there. The whole entire time, I was taking it all in, just enjoying everything.”

Seeing old friends: Third-round pick Jerome Baker has gotten a chance already to meet up with former college teammate Raekwon McMillan, with whom he will be reuniting with as member of the Dolphins.

“It’s cool, see a familiar face,” Baker said. “There are a lot of new faces, so it was cool to see him.” McMillan, who was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round last year before he was forced to miss his rookie season because of a knee injury, had some advice for Baker heading into his rookie minicamp. “He just said, ‘Take one day at a time, learn one install at a time and just have fun,’ ” Baker said. “He said I got to this point just because I can play football, that’s all you have to do, focus on that.”

Running back review: Fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage knows his Dolphins history when it comes to running backs. He described himself as a big fan of both Ronnie Brown and Larry Csonka, whose highlights Ballage said he saw on “A Football Life.” Ballage also expressed his excitement at working with veteran newcomer Frank Gore, the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history.

“That’s just somebody that I really look up to,” Ballage said.

“A lot of people don’t see Frank as the flashy running back, but he’s consistent. Every year he rushed for 1,000 yards. That’s definitely somebody I can learn a lot from.” Ballage said he has had conversations with Gore since becoming a member of the Dolphins. “I reached out to him on Instagram after I got drafted,” Ballage said. “I didn’t think he’d probably even see the message or anything, but he messaged me back right away. That was welcoming, for sure.”

Take me out to the ballpark: Second-year defensive tackle Davon Godchaux announced on Twitter Friday that he will be throwing out the first pitch when the Miami Marlins face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on Tuesday night. Shortly after making the announcement, Godchaux followed up with this Twitter post: Need to work on throwing a strike, anywhere in south Florida I can practice
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