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The Blitz: There's Joy In Hard Work

August 14, 2020

It's Friday! The Dolphins are hard at work on the practice field and in the meeting rooms. We had a chance to hear from Byron Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Davon Godchaux yesterday. Plus, some roster changes, a new stat of the day, and a look ahead at the weekend and beyond.

Roster Comings and Goings

Chris Grier and Brian Flores continue to churn the roster ahead of training camp with two newcomers.

The Dolphins added a pair of cornerbacks in Breon Borders and Deatrick Nichols, and waived safety Steven Parker and tight end Bryce Sterk.

Borders, who was added on Wednesday night, joins the Dolphins after playing 12 games in 2019 – one for Washington and 11 with one start for Jacksonville. He totaled seven tackles (six solo) and one fumble recovery. Borders also appeared in one game with Jacksonville in 2018. He also spent time with Houston (2018), Buffalo (2017-18) and Oakland (2017). Borders originally entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent with the Raiders on May 5, 2017.

Nichols played two games for Arizona in 2018 and spent the 2019 offseason with the Cardinals. He did not record any statistics. Nichols played for the Houston Roughnecks earlier this year and led the XFL with three interceptions before the remainder of the season was canceled. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent with Arizona on May 11, 2018. A Miami native, Nichols played collegiately at South Florida and attended Miami Central High School.

Parker played in 14 games with four starts for the Dolphins last year after he was claimed off waivers on Sept. 1, 2019. He totaled 19 tackles (14 solo), two interceptions and three passes defensed. Parker originally entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent with the L.A. Rams on May 15, 2018 and spent the 2018 season on the Rams' practice squad. 

Sterk signed with Miami as an undrafted college free agent on April 29, 2020. He was a two-year starter (2018-19) at defensive end for Montana State before moving to tight end with the Dolphins. In college, Sterk started 28 games for the Bobcats and totaled 126 tackles (81 solo), 23.5 sacks, five passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

They said it

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the only Dolphins player over the age of 30. In total, Miami's roster features 38 players in the first or second years of their respective careers.

Cornerback Byron Jones signed with the Dolphins back in March. On the Drive Time podcast, Jones expressed his interest in helping lead a young team, as well as providing all the youth with a veteran example. Now that he's in Dolphins camp, Jones is recognizing very early just how hungry a young team can be.

"This is a young roster," Jones said. "There's no going around that, but that's exciting. These guys are hungry. They're hungry to build a name for themselves. They're hungry to build a special team here and you see it every day, and 'Coach Flo' (Head Coach Brian Flores) has been great with his communication – definitely during these times where things are very different."

Around the Beat

Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had his first media session of training camp on Thursday. Among a variety of questions, Tagovailoa did not stray from his mission – and the team's goal –of making daily improvements and focusing on what the each individual can control.

Steve Wine of the Associated Press has the story.

"I think the best way to handle it is really not pay attention to it," he said. "They're going to put the team in the best position possible. If that's me or support someone, that's what it's going to be."

Stat of the Day

Part of those expectations derive from Tagovailoa's production at the college level.

It only took Tagovailoa 18 starts to break Alabama's record for most games with four or more touchdown passes. He ended his college career throwing four or more touchdowns in half of his games (12 out of 24).

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On this Day in Dolphins History

August 14, 1976 – The Dolphins spoiled the biggest production output from one of the game's all-time fan favorites in Philadelphia's Vince Papale. The inspiration behind the movie 'Invincible,' Papale earned a way onto the Eagles roster via an open tryout and would catch a career-high five passes for 45 yards in the Week 3 preseason game in Miami. The Dolphins would claim victory 24-16 on a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Don Strock and another from future Hall of Famer Bob Griese.

Content On Tap

Christian Wilkins will be appearing on The Audible with Kim Bokamper and John Congemi. You can find that episode wherever you get your podcasts.

Dolphins Today is back with its Friday show. This twice-weekly video show will recap everything going on at Dolphins headquarters in Davie.

The training camp roster preview series concludes today with the specialists as we analyze Matt Haack, Jason Sanders and rookie long snapper Blake Ferguson.

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