Receivers Stealing The Show As Dolphins Minicamp Continues

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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins completed the second day of the team’s three day minicamp on Wednesday.

Most of the attention following the practice surrounded the strong performance by the Dolphins receivers, with specific props going to DeVante Parker.

The third year receiver caught everything thrown his way, including a touchdown of at least 30 yards from Ryan Tannehill.

Parker has drawn nothing but praise from his coaches throughout the offseason program.

The rookie changed a lot of his living habits, making sure he is eating healthier, staying hydrated and sleeping well, in addition to staying in top physical shape.

Aside from Parker, second year wideout Jakeem Grant and undrafted rookie Drew Morgan stood out as well.

The media was provided four players on Wednesday, along with Coach Gase.

Defensive back Walt Aikens, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and offensive linemen Jermon Bushrod and Anthony Steen answered questions.

Here are the best quotes from each:

ADAM GASE

“There were a lot of people trying to help point [DeVante Parker] in the right direction; but at the end of the day, he has to do it day in and day out when he’s outside the building. I think he just gravitated to it and stuck with his plan that was made for him during the season. Then once the season ended, he really just carried it on, on his own. To me, it’s evident that he started working on things a lot earlier than probably what he’s ever done, or he’s been able to do. It’s really paid off for him. You see a different guy out there every day. I should say he’s not a different guy every day, but the consistency compared to what we saw last spring. He is constantly moving as fast as you see him on game day. He really treats every day like it’s a game.”

“It seems like the longer we get to do this and we’re all together every day in meetings and practice, it’s just the communication. When you come in here to watch film, guys talking to each other, giving reasons why they did certain things, what they’d be thinking and if a different coverage would come up on certain concepts. It’s just that constant talking that goes on. That’s really all you want to have happen is you give them an outline of what you’re looking for and you let those guys really take it to the next level and kind of make it their own. You don’t want to just say ‘This is what it is and live with it.’ We really just try to give them that framework and let those guys take it from there.”

“I think [Jakeem Grant has] made some huge strides throughout the spring. I know we were trying to figure out what was the best spot for him. We’re just trying to get him to play as fast as he can. He’s done a really good job of diving into the playbook, spending … You can tell when a guy spends extra time because some of the little mistakes that you would see as a rookie, you don’t see as much anymore. He makes some really good plays.”

“I made a mistake. I should have been playing [Cameron Wake] more early [in games last season]. We were trying to think long term. We trying to think let’s get him the most important snaps during games. When we were getting down, it really put us in a bad spot because we didn’t want to stick him out there and all they were doing was pounding the football. We wanted him in there when teams were passing it, we just kept getting behind, and that was putting us at a disadvantage. That’s when we decided we have to make sure he’s out there more. That’s why we made that switch. We thought we were being smart and it backfired on us. We should have just went with … What we should have done was just let him play.”

JERMON BUSHROD

“[Coach Gase is] always going to shoot you straight. He’s always going to tell you how he feels about every situation that we’ve been in – good or bad – or how he could have been better and how we could have been better. That just makes us evaluate ourselves that much tougher, that much harder. So when your head coach can take accountability like that, then it’s just a trickle-down effect. We’re professionals and that’s just how it needs to be so you can fight to win.”

“Last year we lived and learned through a lot of different things. We dug ourselves out of a hole. We took the first few games and we fought to learn from them. We fought to figure out what we were good at, how we could put ourselves in better situations. There’s no regrets about it, it’s just in life, you have to find a way to correct those mistakes, correct the instances that you could have been in a better position and then when that opportunity comes later on in the season, we ironed out some things and were able to have some success.”

“I know [Ryan Tannehill] was excited to get back. I mean you could see it in his face last year when he didn’t have the opportunity to be in there when we were rolling. That’s tough on a player. That’s tough on any competitor, but the way … He’s doing a great job of taking over the huddle, taking over the offense and being the leader that he knows he can be. We all have a better feeling of where we are in this offense and the better feeling he has with the receivers, the better feeling we have up front, all 11 of us kind of feed off each other.”

“I like the way these rookies are coming in here and competing. I like the way this team competes. I like the way the vets get out here and they work. We’re going out here in OTAs and minicamp and we’re fighting to get some good work in. We’re getting after it the way that we’re supposed to, but the rookies are coming here and they’re fighting. Come training camp, it’s going to be a battle. There are going to be a lot of tough decisions that our coaching staff is going to have to make because we’ve got some good veterans on this team. We’ve got some good young guys that look like they want to come in, make the team and make some plays. So come training camp, it’s going to be a battle.”

ANTHONY STEEN

“I’m just trying to switch everything in my head, especially when you go from right guard and then three plays later he wants you to go to left guard. Some people might not think much of it, but when you’re pass blocking, your hands have to go totally opposite when you’re switching positions. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but I’m getting the hang of it.”

“Right now it’s probably 50-50 [between snaps at guard and at center]. The past two days, I guess today and yesterday, I’ve done more center than guard. I’ve done center for three or four team periods then I do right guard for one or two.”

“[Mike Pouncey] still comes to meetings and jokes around with everybody. He’s always here, trying to pay attention and watch film. Even though he’s not playing or practicing, he’s still in there watching film with us trying to stay on top of things.”

“I think right now [Pouncey’s] mindset is yes, he’s going to play. I think for a player, you’ve got to think that way. If you think you’re not going to make it, then it’s not going to happen. You’ve got to be able to say to yourself ‘I’m going to be the starting center or guard’ or whatever. You have to tell yourself you’re going to be ready. You can’t just want to be in the training room just to be in there. You’ve got to want to be out of the training room to be able to play.”

“I think [Pouncey is] walking fine. When he was on crutches, you could definitely tell he was struggling a little bit. I think he was 75-80 percent for a while on the crutches. The past two weeks, he’s seemed fine to me – three weeks.”

NDAMUKONG SUH

“Charles [Harris], in my opinion, is a very focused kid. He’s very excited about his approach to the game. He’s very detail oriented. [He] obviously takes coaching very, very well [and] implements it very quickly as you coach him up in-game and [he] listens. Obviously he has been running with the ones and getting a lot of play time in our package we like to run in regards to pass rush. He has had a lot of good things from my opinion, but everybody has got a lot of work to do, so we’ve got a long way ahead of ourselves.”

“It’s exciting to see a guy [Cameron Wake] like that, 1) have the year he had last year, but see how he’s coming out and being just as good, if not better, in a lot of ways. I think this will be a very fun and exciting year for him. Obviously, he’s not having to worry about injury or anything of that sort, having a good offseason from the looks of it. Obviously, being with him the last four weeks, he’s in great shape.”

“I think one of the things of being able to work with a guy like [Wake], the way he rushes … I love the way he rushes. It’s actually funny, [we] were talking about that today with [Defensive Line] Coach ‘T’ [Terrell Williams]. A lot of people think he’s a speed rusher, but a lot of times he uses his speed, but it turns into power. [He’s] really a straight line guy. I can learn certain techniques – hands and different stuff like that – from him. And he’s obviously seen a lot. I play outside a little bit. So, there are things for me to learn from him, without question.”

“I think I’ve always prided myself on wanting to be a guy that has been very similar to, obviously, the greats – Reggie White, Warren Sapp – guys of that caliber [that] change the game from their particular position. I’m only eight years into the league. They played many, many more years than me. I still have a lot of work ahead of myself. I think in this particular instance, probably one of the best things I would want people to recognize for me is you have to know where I am at on the football field at all times. If you don’t, then I should be causing havoc. And even if you do, I still want to cause havoc.”

WALT AIKENS

“Coach just asked me to come back to corner, get some work and make sure I can stay touched up on my skills. It’s something I’ve been doing since last year since practice days and just going into this OTA, coach let me know ahead of time. It’s been good. I like it.”

“As far as special teams goes, that’s a place where you can go out there and just balls to the wall ball out. I’m trying to incorporate that into the defense and just listening to what coach tells me to do and any way I can contribute, I’ll go out there and do what I need to do.”

“Right now we’re just picking up where we left off and trying to improve on the things we failed at last year. I mean [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Matt] Burke gets us fired up. We go out there every day trying to get better and with the guys we got here now – the drafted rookies and free agents that we picked up this offseason. I mean it’s been great going into this season.”

“This isn’t really a break for us [after minicamp]. This is a time where we have to actually step it up a notch because we’re going to be home and away from the facility for so long. We have to go in and approach it like we’re still at camp – we’re already in camp. We have to stay working out and continue to eat well. If you’re heavy, you get light and if you’re light, you gain some good weight. It’s more of a workout type break.”

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