The Blitz: Tight End Production and Team Camaraderie 

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year! While 2020 is in the can, the football season is just heating up. Before you're off to enjoy the College Football Playoff today, here's what we're working on in Davie:

The latest roster moves and injury updates, running backs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed the quintessential example of the Dolphins' team camaraderie, the most productive tight end room in franchise history and on this day in Dolphins history: the Fins finish with a sixth straight win in 2005.

Thursday Injury Report and Roster News

The Dolphins placed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the reserve/COVID-19 list and signed quarterback Jake Rudock. Linebacker Elandon Roberts was placed on injured reserve and wide receiver Kirk Merritt was activated as a COVID-19 replacement for Sunday's game.

Dolphins:

Limited: WR Jakeem Grant, WR DeVante Parker, DE Shaq Lawson, G Solomon Kindley, S Bobby McCain

Bills:

DNP: WR Cole Beasley, G John Feliciano, TE Reggie Gilliam

Limited: QB Jake Fromm

Click here for the full Thursday Dolphins-Bills injury report.

They Said It

Thursday, running backs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed joined the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield. They covered their high school days, sharing the backfield at the University of Washington and becoming teammates in the NFL with the Dolphins.

Together, Gaskin and Ahmed combined for 299 yards from scrimmage over the last two weeks, both Dolphins wins. Tight end Durham Smythe shared his perspective on the tight bond in that running backs room and how the atmosphere in Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville's room is a microcosm for the team.

"That's a really cool story, first and foremost, knowing that they were roommates or whatever it was back in UW," Smythe said. "I think it's just another level of the camaraderie of this team. I think all of these position groups are so close. They obviously have a history. It's cool to see them support each other. When Myles was out for a few weeks, he was supporting Salvon when he was successful, and Salvon is doing the same thing when Myles has a big game. I think that's just something that this team has that I don't think is extremely commonplace across the league, the support within a position group.

"I think the one thing that stands out about this team is just how close it is, which is tough to do in a year like this because of obviously the unique circumstances," he continued. "I haven't been a part of a team thus far in the NFL that is this tight across the board. There's support across the board. I think there's a trust that you know other people are going to get their job done, so it kind of allows you to focus on your own. We've been growing all year. I think that will continue to happen."

Around the Beat

With one game left to play in the regular season, Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel offers his opinion that the 2020 season is a success regardless of the results on Sunday.

The Dolphins, who have the second youngest team in the NFL — trailing only the Los Angeles Rams with the average age of 25.84 to the Rams' 25.82 — have seemingly created a healthy culture behind coach Brian Flores.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

January 1, 2006 – The Dolphins finish the 2005 season with a sixth consecutive win with a 28-26 win in Foxboro over the New England Patriots. Olindo Mare kicked four field goals and a Reggie Howard sack and safety of Matt Cassell proved to be the difference as the streak catapults Miami to a winning record at 9-7.

Stat of the Day

Smythe is part of a tight ends room that has produced the most receiving yards and tied for the most touchdowns collectively at the position in the history of the Dolphins franchise. Smythe, Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen have combined for 969 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Know the Bills

Buffalo's blitz percentage (35.1) is the eighth-most frequent rate in the NFL. Six Bills players have at least three sacks on the season. Eight of the team's pass rushers have registered at least six quarterbacks hits on the year, including a pair of linebackers tied for second on the team with nine apiece (Matt Milano and A.J. Klein).

"They've got great linebackers – (Tremaine) Edmunds, Milano, Klein. They bring those guys a lot," Dolphins center Ted Karras said. "They're good pass rushers – accomplished pass rushers – more so than a lot of linebacking corps, and we're going to have to set these guys with good technique and fundamentals and get our hands on them and finish blocks."

Content on Tap

We're flashing back to the 1990's with former Dolphins linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler John Offerdahl. He joins the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield to detail the rivalry. The podcast is accompanied by a story on MiamiDolphins.com.

Plus, Dolphins Today is back as Carina helps you ring in the new year with the latest from Dolphins camp, available on the team's YouTube page. Finally, we'll cover the day's latest on Top News.

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