Wednesday had something of a calm-before-the-storm feeling. The Dolphins players were off, the roster will be trimmed down to 53 players (plus 16 practice squad signees) on Saturday, then it's time to prepare for the New England Patriots.
With the players resting, the coaches met with the South Florid media on Wednesday. We heard from Marion Hobby (defensive line), Anthony Campanile (linebackers), Austin Clark (outside linebackers), Gerald Alexander (defensive backs), Robby Brown (quarterbacks), Eric Studesville (running backs), Josh Grizzard (wide receivers), George Godsey (tight ends) and Steve Marshall (offensive line).
Categorically, here are the highlights.
On coaching philosophy and approach
Campanile on his job as a coach: "I believe a coach's job is to organize information so that the player can process it and play faster. I think that's our job, so organizing the information so the guys are thinking in sound bites, not sentences; and they can play fast. I think good football players and good football plays are made with anticipation so you're trying to take away all anxiety."
Clark on coaching philosophy: ""I would say the first thing and we're big on this here and I personally believe technique and fundamentals are the most important thing that goes into any front play, any defensive play that you do. As a coach, identifying what we want them to do and how we want them to do it and holding that standard each and every day."
Alexander on coaching philosophy: "I think it's really about routine and then understanding. What I always tell those guys is that understanding leads to control. When you get a chance to understand your responsibility – not just yours as a player – but the entire big picture of what we're trying to get done as a secondary, and what we're trying to get done as a defense even though you're one of an 11 piece puzzle; if you understand what your responsibility is and how you're going to be attacked, that can give you an opportunity to do great things.
Hobby on defensive line rotation: "With all of the double teams that those guys get and all of the pressure they get on the inside run game, you like to kind of keep them as fresh as possible and try to get a good rotation on each one of them. Just different packages that some people might play a little bit more than others, but it's definitely a conscious effort to keep them fresh."
Ryan Fitzpatrick stories
Brown on the Miami QB: "He's not changed as a person in any way, shape or form. He loves to play the game. He likes the mental aspect of the game and loves to compete."
Godsey on Fitzpatrick: "Since 2014 when I specifically coached him in Houston, the most important thing about that position is communicating to everybody on the team. Getting on the same page, that's hard to do when you're not together and have already experienced it in OTAs. So now that we're in training camp, it's that much vital. Just personally, Ryan means so much. He talks to us daily at all of the positions. Our heart aches for him, and I think I'm speaking for everybody on the team when I say that."
Grizzard on Fitzpatrick and the Harvard-Yale rivalry: "Unfortunately when I was at Yale, we did not beat Harvard one time, so five years – brutal – again, not happy about that. But I can't remember who we were playing. I feel like it was the Jets or somebody and Yale was playing Harvard, and I had the pleasure of watching it with him on his phone as Yale beat Harvard, so that was a highlight of time spent with him."
Studesville on RB Salvon Ahmed: "I thought that he did a nice job up in Washington. I think it was very similar to what Myles (Gaskin) did when he was up in Washington. He ran the ball (well). He uses speed out in space. He made a lot of plays up there. He's just an exciting young player."
Grizzard on RB Malcolm Perry: ""He's done a nice job and it's a testament to him that he just works his ass off all the time; so for him to be able to come in here and make that transition from playing quarterback has been – it takes time to get a feel for routes and coverages and things like that, but what he does a good job of is not making the same mistake twice."
Alexander on CB Noah Igbinoghene: "You see the competitiveness that he has as a player – things that we thought we saw as a college player. He's still pretty fresh at the position. He hasn't been playing corner for that long in his career, obviously being new to this level, but you start to see a guy who is developing technically out there on the perimeter and look forward to kind of getting the chance to kind of see what he can do throughout the course of this season."
Alexander on CB Xavien Howard: ""I think 'X' has handled himself as a professional in the midst of obviously his coming back and being on the field with those guys. One of the things that he's done is to make sure that throughout the meetings and out there on the field if he is not taking the physical rep, he's taking the mental rep."
Campanile on LB Sam Eguavoen: "He's really done a good job with everything we've asked him to do. I think that's been his – what you saw of him last year as well. He's an awesome guy to coach. There's nothing that he won't do for the team. He's a team guy – a guy you love to coach – and like I said, has a great skillset. (He) can do a bunch of things."
Hobby on DE Jason Strowbridge: "I think Strowbridge has done a really good job. He keeps getting better and better every day. I think he's got a role on this team. I think we're going to need him – maybe the first week, second week, we don't know when his number is going to be called, but I think we're definitely going to need him."
Marshall on OL Michael Deiter: "Mike is a guy who came in here last year, played left guard. He has center in his background. He's working basically every day. I've been very pleased with what he's done at center, and he's multi-position learning. He played center at the University of Wisconsin when he was a sophomore, so it wasn't unfamiliar to him and it's just like Ted (Karras) and all our other centers – Keaton Sutherland."
Godsey on TE Durham Smythe: ""I really think Durham's a leader in that room. He was put in a lot of blocking roles last year and did fairly well. He improved tremendously from his first year. He put on a lot of weight. I think we found a good spot at his weight. He's in shape. He plays a lot of reps out there at practice. He's hydrating. He's getting his nutrition back so he's maintaining his weight. He's able to help in all three phases."
Clark on DE Tyshun Render: "He's a grinder, he's a tough guy. He plays really, really hard and I would say that's probably his best attribute. I love the kid. I think he's getting better each day. Got a lot of work to do, but I think he's on the right track."
Latest Dolphins roster news
The Dolphins announced today they have released wide receiver Chester Rogers.