Top News: Washburn Continues To Coach Despite Injury

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Offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn is playing hurt these days, though he doesn't look at it as a big deal.

Fans attending practice at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in the early days of camp have noticed Washburn walking with crutches or riding around in a golf cart, the result of an accident in early July.

Washburn sustained injuries to his MCL and PCL when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike and the truck ran over his leg, though he said it should have been worse.

"It just looked bad," Washburn said. "The adrenaline is flowing and when you stand up, you stand up and my leg is kind of at an angle and I thought, 'My gosh, I just lost it.' But then I was standing. You have those prescient moments where you think, 'I think I just lost my leg,' but then I didn't, so I was pretty grateful.

"I'm better. Considering what happened, there's a lot of gratitude that it wasn't worse."

Washburn has to deal with some pain as he recovers from his injury, but he's thankful for the Dolphins medical and training staff, as well as the first responders the night of his accident and Head Coach Adam Gase, who he said stayed on the phone with his wife until 2 a.m. when he had surgery.

With the preseason opener 11 days away, Washburn hasn't formulated a plan for that game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though he's hoping to be able to walk without crutches and take his customary place on the sideline.

In the meantime, he's just doing his job as he normally would, except under tough circumstances.

"There's nothing to it," he said. "(Senior Director of Football and Player Development) Joe Vitt had to work with an Achilles. My dad (former NFL coach Jim Washburn) got leg-whipped like five years ago by a Pouncey and he had to work with a broken leg. We all have to deal with something so it's not hard. We all have to do our jobs.

"Those guys go through way more than I do. I didn't make much of it with the guys. They were awesome. All of them reached out and have done a lot for me and have mocked me pretty well. They've been great."

The players coached by Washburn appreciate what he's going through.

"It means a lot to not only have him out here considering the circumstances," tackle Sam Young said. "You know he's still recovering and for him to go that extra mile to show off the footwork and get in there … it's hot out here and you're standing up. He's setting a great example for us and it's great to have him out here."

Tunsil time: Washburn returned to the Dolphins this offseason after spending the 2017 season with the Chicago Bears and tackle Laremy Tunsil was one of the players with whom he was reunited. Washburn called himself Tunsil's biggest fan, adding he's noticed a difference in him this year. "He came in with that eye," Washburn said. "He had that eye as soon as he came back in the spring. It was something that he found within. … I don't have to motivate Laremy Tunsil. He's a motivated young man and he knew after last season. He's very prideful. You guys know that talking to him. He's wired that way. He just has to keep that up." For his part, Tunsil was quick and to the point Sunday when he was asked for his 2018 goals. "I just want to be great," he said. "That's it."

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Ford focus: One of the most impressive players in camp so far has been Isaiah Ford, the second-year wide receiver from Virginia Tech. Ford missed all of his rookie season because of a knee injury sustained in training camp, but he's showing why the Dolphins spent a seventh-round pick on him in the 2017 NFL draft. "We liked him better than seventh round," said wide receivers coach Ben Johnson. "We were shocked that he was still there in the seventh round. We felt like we were getting a steal when we got him in the first place. His 40 time that he probably ran in college, it's not indicative of how good of an athlete he is. He can jump (really high). I know (Assistant Head Coach/Offense) Shawn Jefferson and I joke all the time, he probably could play in the NBA. That's the level of athleticism (that he has). He's an incredibly talented player and has a lot going for him, no doubt."

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Gase gets involved: Head Coach Adam Gase literally did some hands-on coaching in the early part of practice when he played the role of defensive back in receiver drills designed to get off the line of scrimmage. Gase stood right across the receivers and put his hands up as they started running their route. "He just came out, it was one of those days where he's on edge today," wide receiver Jakeem Grant said. "He came out, he was feeling it and he just wanted the DBs to stop putting their hands on us, so he wanted to come out and simulate that. We appreciate that from him. That's a realistic look. DBs are going to be in our face trying to put their hands on us and we've got to work that release." Grant was asked, half-jokingly, whether the receivers needed to be careful not to slap away their head coach's hands too harshly. "He's physical," Grant said with a smile. "He gets physical with us. But one thing we try to do, we try to tell all of our guys Coach is going to put his hands up there, make sure that he doesn't put his hands up there again. Sometimes we try to break his arm, do all that, but it's just out of love, just trying to show him just stick to coaching."

Practice report: The Dolphins again practiced in uppers Sunday. … Ryan Tannehill threw touchdown passes in the red zone to Danny Amendola and rookie tight end Mike Gesicki. Gesicki caught another touchdown pass from Bryce Petty and made an acrobatic one-handed catch in a one-on-one goal-line drill against fellow rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick. … Linebacker Terence Garvin had an interception near the sideline during a red-zone drill. … Rookie cornerback Jalen Davis had a great diving interception in a one-on-one coverage drill against wide receiver Drew Morgan. … Safety Reshad Jones had an interception when he stepped in front of a pass intended for Amendola. … Rookie seventh-round pick Jason Sanders did the kicking Sunday and was 6-for-8 on field goal attempts, with a long of 51 yards. … Offensive lineman Jake Brendel missed his third consecutive practice because of a minor calf injury, and was joined on the sidelines by tight end A.J. Derby (foot) and defensive tackle Gabe Wright (foot). … Former University of Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey, now an assistant athletic director at Florida International University, was a visitor at practice.

Youth is served: In keeping with their commitment to youth football, the Dolphins welcomed members of the Miami Jackson High School football team to practice Sunday. After watching practice, the players got the chance to meet Dolphins players and get autographs.

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