Here were some of the comments after practice Tuesday that stood out, along with some perspective:
— Head Coach Adam Gase obviously was pleased with defensive end Robert Quinn getting two sacks in the preseason game against Carolina on Friday, but he says Quinn's contributions always will extend beyond the stat sheet. That applies primarily in the run game, where Quinn's ability to make a runner change direction will help the defense even though he won't get statistical credit for it.
— Adam Gase says now is not the time to worry about how many battles for roster spots might be going on within the team. His view is that right now it's about competing for every player to make those final decisions as difficult as possible for everybody involved."My confidence is growing with them. They're young. We're going to have mistakes. We're going to be all right with that because we feel like it's important to those guys, they work really hard to correct those mistakes."
"My confidence is growing with them. They're young. We're going to have mistakes. We're going to be all right with that because we feel like it's important to those guys, they work really hard to correct those mistakes."
— Adam Gase likes what he has with Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker, pointing to the latter two's work ethic and Alonso's ability to full prepare for training camp this year as opposed to last year when he was coming off a hand injury.
— Cornerback Xavien Howard returned his interception against Carolina for 36 yards but couldn't get past quarterback Cam Newton, who tackled him at the Panthers 9-yard line. It still was an impressive return for Howard, though getting tackled by an opposing quarterback always leads to some good-natured ribbing
from your teammates.
"I'm just taking advantage of an opportunity that a coach gives us and just being in the right position at the right time. Really (I'm) just going out there and balling and being comfortable."
— Howard's interception against Carolina came after a training camp during which he picked off several passes, and that came after he had four picks in the final five games of the 2017 season. Howard is playing at an elite level, though he has remained level-headed and low-key about his play.
"Kenyan has grown up a lot. He matured, kind of became a pro."
— Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has seen running back Kenyan Drake's transformation since the time he joined the Dolhpins as a third-round pick in 2016. Drake always was very talented, but he has broken through since he learned the ins and outs of being an NFL player.
Like everybody else on offense, Ryan Tannehill would like to see mistakes disappear and more points get put on the scoreboard, but he's overall please with the way things are going for the unit.
"We're getting better each and every day. The guys are picking up things. Everything is moving upward."
— Center Daniel Kilgore has seen progress in the offensive line since the start of training camp, and he likes the way the group is building momentum as the start of the regular season continues to approach.
"He definitely planted a seed for me. He made it that much more possible for me."
— Veteran defensive lineman Kendall Langford gave a nod to teammate William Hayes for facilitating his return to the Dolphins. Adam Gase said Sunday that Hayes kept talking to him throughout the spring about bringing in Langford, who signed with the Dolphins a week ago.
"I'm looking forward to this being my best year yet."
— Kendall Langord worked out four times a week to stay ready for any opportunity that arose for him, and he has every intention of rewarding the Dolphins for showing confidence in him.