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I Said It: Final Day Of OTAs

Posted Jun 14, 2018

Head Coach Adam Gase, tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, and tight end MarQueis Gray addressed the media after the OTA practice Thursday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:

“They did a good job. Those guys put a lot of time into making sure they knew what to do out here and were able to perform and play at a good speed.”

— Gase was pleased with his rookies during the offseason program when the biggest focus was their ability to absorb information and learn quickly. One thing that stood out to Gase was the rookies’ willingness to put in extra time to make sure they stayed on top of everything.

“This group, they’re jelling pretty good. They like practicing against each other, they like playing together. You can tell there’s a lot of energy out here.”

— Gase likes the make-up of his roster and the enthusiasm with which the team plays. He said there was a drop-off in that area last season but already has seen improvement through the spring.

“I just wanted to improve my game. That’s the main thing I was dwelling on. I knew I could have been better. Now I’m here (and it’s) a new season, a new person. Let’s get it.”

— This is what Tunsil had on his mind after the 2017 season. The 2016 first-round pick is hoping to continue to improve in his second season at left tackle.

“One thing (with) ‘Wash’ (Jeremiah Washburn) is he’s always positive about anything. No matter if you mess up or have an MA (missed assignment), he’s always going to be positive about it. That’s a plus for an offensive line coach.”

— Tunsil interrupted a question about offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn with a quick “My guy” comment. Washburn is back in Miami this year after serving as assistant offensive line coach in 2016 and spending last season with the Chicago Bears. Washburn’s familiarity with several of the team’s offensive linemen can only be considered an advantage.

“Being a part of it (for) three years, it’s going to be fun. We added a couple of playmakers, so it’s going to be fun this year.”

— Gray said Gase keeps adding new things to the offensive package, but his familiarity with the offense certainly helps.

“We all move around. You just can’t study for one position. We’ve all been moving around in this offense so far, which is pretty good.”

— The Dolphins want pretty much all of their players to learn multiple positions to add depth and versatility on both offense and defense. This applies to the tight end position, where Gray has lined up at different spots on the field.

“To have him on our team, I’m excited. Having him and (Cameron) Wake, (William) Hayes and (Andre) Branch, our defensive line is going to be something special this year.”

— Gray was the latest player to be asked about new defensive end Robert Quinn’s unique ability to bend and get low coming around the defensive edge, a skill Gray saw first-hand when the Dolphins faced the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Gray is excited about what Quinn could bring to the Dolphins defensive line.

“I feel I’m just trying to get better every day and I’m just focused on coming back from this injury and being a whole better, being 100 percent and finishing this season.”

— James is back for his fifth season with the Dolphins and looking to put behind a frustrating 2017 campaign that saw him land on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury. James’ sole focus this spring has been on looking ahead and trying to make this his best season yet.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that can play, so I feel that helps out from a depth standpoint and that’s what you need because you never know who’s going to have to play when. I feel we’re all ready to play if our number gets called on.”

— James likes the depth the Dolphins have built on the offensive line with the offseason acquisitions of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton and center Daniel Kilgore. Those two will be joining holdovers like James, Laremy Tunsil, Jesse Davis, Ted Larsen and Sam Young, among others, on the offensive line.