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I Said It: OTA No. 7

Posted Jun 11, 2018

Linebacker Stephone Anthony, and tight ends A.J. Derby, Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe addressed the media after the OTA practice Monday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:

“That should be one of my first goals. Before I can do anything else, I’ve got to become the starter and put my best foot forward.”

— Anthony is preparing for his first full season with the Dolphins, and the 2015 New Orleans Saints first-round pick is hoping to become a starter once again. Anthony, who started 16 games for the Saints as a rookie, showed flashes in the final games of last season after joining the Dolphins in a trade in September.

“This group is going to come with a lot more energy, a lot more to their step.”

— Anthony explained what difference might be clearly visible when it comes to the defense next season.

“I feel very good with where I am with the offense.”

— Like Anthony, Derby joined the Dolphins during the 2017 season, so he’s also getting the benefit of a full offseason and not having to play catch-up.

“He’s a very detail-oriented and that’s something you want in a quarterback.”

— Derby was a quarterback in college before converting to tight end before his senior season at Arkansas, so he’s got a unique appreciation for quarterback Ryan Tannehill than perhaps most of the other non-quarterbacks on the roster.

“I’m excited to keep pushing through the next month, month and a half and get really familiar.”

— Smythe said Monday the Dolphins playbook is about twice as large as the one he had at Notre Dame, and trying to learn plays and formations has been the biggest item on his agenda since being drafted and it will continue to be this way until the start of training camp.

“I kind of feel like freshman year all over again.”

— Like Smythe, Gesicki’s biggest task is learning the playbook. Gesicki said he was proud of his effort at practice Monday, and the biggest reason was that he had a good grasp of everything that’s been going on.

“I could care less about a depth chart. I don’t care if there’s six tight ends and you already got me at 7.”

— Media members always are fascinated with which player is taking reps with the first team or second team, no matter the team of year. For Gesicki, who’s lining up where in June doesn’t make a whole of difference because the regular season is still three months away and his entire focus at this time is on learning and earning the trust and respect of his teammates and coaches.