By Jim Berry

MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) — The Senior Bowl is back and this year, the Miami Dolphins coaching staff will be in charge when practices begin next week.

Dolphin head coach Brian Flores, who is already in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl, said it’s extra work but knows being there could give him a leg up on preps for the NFL draft.

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, players will not be allowed to visit teams in person but Flores and his staff can meet with them at the Senior Bowl. It gives Flores and his staff to get an up close look at some of this year’s top senior prospects.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to see the players live and up close, meet with them, talk to them, get some face time with them – not on the iPhone, but actual face time – and get to know them as people, as players, the things that make them tick. We get to coach also, which that’s always fun. We’re excited about this week and I think we’ll get a lot out of it,” said Flores.

Joining him in Mobile is Charlie Frye, the Dolphins new quarterbacks coach.

They’ve already met with wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who is idle because of a hand injury.  He dislocated his finger in Alabama’s national championship victory over Ohio State.

Smith said he wouldn’t mind reuniting with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his former college teammate.

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But some wonder whether he’s built for the NFL due to his skinny frame.

Flores, holding the third overall pick, is shrugging off that worry.

“If you’re a good player – I mean, you can nitpick all you want about a guy’s size – good players are good players are good players. I think we all can see that, and this guy’s a very good player. He made a lot of plays in college, he made a lot of plays in the big games – biggest games of the year. You can nitpick all day about things on people but he’s a very good player. It’s been good getting to know him, too. He’s a good kid, too,” said Flores.

Smith is listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds.  He declined to weigh in at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday. He said he’d wait until Alabama’s pro day to do full measurements.

This could give him time to bulk up a bit before his pro day for NFL scouts.

 

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Jim Berry