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The Blitz: A Tight Bond

November 4, 2020

It's Wednesday! In the everyday world, that's a strange reason to celebrate. But in the NFL, it means the page is turned to the next game and the team is back on the practice field. The Dolphins lace up the cleats in preparation for the Cardinals and we'll hear from Head Coach Brian Flores and a handful of players.

The trade deadline came and went on Tuesday with a pair of Dolphins moves.

Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Injury Report and Roster Moves

The first injury report for the Week 9 Dolphins-Cardinal game will be available later today.

The Miami dolphins announced Tuesday they have acquired running back DeAndre Washington from Kansas City in a swap of conditional draft picks.

Washington has played in 56 career games after spending four years (2016-2019) with Oakland and one (2020) with Kansas City. He's totaled 285 carries for 1,127 yards (4.0 avg.) and seven touchdowns on the ground with 89 receptions for 615 yards (6.9 avg.) and one touchdown in the air during his career. He also has six kickoff returns for 106 yards (17.7 avg.) and three solo special teams tackles. Washington originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick (143rd overall) by Oakland in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Miami also announced Tuesday they have acquired a 2022 draft pick from the New England Patriots in exchange for wide receiver Isaiah Ford.

They Said It

In the second and fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dolphins found a pair of tight ends who balanced each other not just on the field, but off of it, too. Mike Gesicki's 256 snaps this season have called for 192 pass patterns, 59 run-blocking assignments and five in pass protection, per Pro Football Focus. His good friend, Durham Smythe, has been in pattern 48 times compared to 95 run-blocking reps and 27 in pass protection.

Now, after a summer trade, Adam Shaheen completes the room.

Shaheen's workload includes 35 routes run, 91 reps as a run blocker and 17 in pass protection. The balance and communication between the three players has been the key to the group's strong start to the season, according to Dolphins Tight Ends Coach George Godsey.

"In that room, there is a lot of communication that has to go on, especially when you're in as a Y and then you have a wing and then another wing and all of those guys are tight ends, and we're trying to communicate from inside out," Godsey said.

"There is also the dynamic of a new player coming into an organization where two of the guys had been here for a couple of years," he added. "So just the acceptance from Mike and Durham's standpoint, and then obviously from Adam's standpoint, opening up. I think the more we get to know each other, the better off we'll be as a unit. They've worked at it. It's not easy to do."

Around the Beat

By the time rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took the field for his sixth possession, the Dolphins had a 21-7 lead with the football at the Rams 1-yard-line. Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post detailed the the quotes Tuesday from Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey on Tagovailoa's debut.

"We have been fortunate," Gailey said.

Here's what he means: The Dolphins have been ambushing teams early. They've scored a combined 66 of the first 73 points during the winning streak.

When you're up by 23, 21 and 18 points at halftime, why not let your defense do the rest? No team has enjoyed halftime cushions this large in three consecutive games since the Colts in 2004, according to Fox research.

"We weren't taking chances," Gailey said. "We were throwing screens."

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

November 4, 2001 – The Dolphins score the final 13 points of the game in a 23-6 win over the Panthers at Pro Player Stadium. Miami held Carolina to just 281 total yards, 12 first downs and 2-of-13 on third down. Cornerback Patrick Surtain's 29-yard interception return broke a 3-3 tie and Rob Konrad's 5-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jay Fielder in the fourth quarter put the game away.

Stat of the Day

In games with both cornerbacks Byron Jones and Xavien Howard on the field from start to finish (Patriots, 49ers, Jets, Rams), Miami is allowing 13.8 points per game.  On top of the game's best scoring defense, Miami is averaging two takeaways, 5.5 yards per pass and an opposing passer rating of 61.5 with both Jones and Howard available.

Know the Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins accounts for 31 percent of the Cardinals pass targets (73 of 236). He has nearly double the targets of the team's second-most frequent option in the passing game (Larry Fitzgerald, 37 targets) and is producing at a level commensurate with those targets. Hopkins has 57 receptions for 704 yards and three touchdowns this season. He's catching 78.1 percent of his targets for an average of 9.6 yards per target.

Content On Tap

With practice a few hours away, we'll recap Flores' morning pressure and hear from Dolphins players on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield. We'll also play our exclusive interview on the Wednesday Feature and recap it all on Top News.

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