Steve Mitchell

Dolphins HC Gase Takes Questions

Heach Coach Adam Gase discusses Sunday’s practice and the difficulty on making roster moves.

On RB Kenyan Drake and CB Xavien Howard returning to practice and their game status:

“We are going to play them both. Really, right now, we are gonna go through the next couple days of practice to see where they are at as far as a conditioning standpoint. They are in good shape, but obviously it’s not dynamic football shape right now. Probably X is a little ahead of Drake, but we’ll have a set number of plays they can go and try to stay in that range and not get over it. We don’t wanna over do it. But I think right now, they need to play. Those guys who are active for the Seattle game, it would be nice for them to have experience in an NFL game.”


LB  Jelani Jenkins suffered a knee injury in Thursday night’s game against the Falcons. He had an arthroscopic procedure on his knee and will miss the next 2 or 3 weeks...


“It’s really week to week for us. It’s gonna be about how quick he can get his strength back. Every person is different. It’s really the pain tolerance… how quick can the rehab go. I can say there is a possibility that that first game-he’s good. It’s we gotta see how his body reacts to everything.”


LB Spencer Paysinger will most likely fill in for the missing Jenkins…


“What he brings to the table is he knows all the positions. Obviously, he’s a very good special teams player for us. But his ability to be able to plug in at any spot and us not really lose anything as far as a guy knowing what to do is valuable. When you have a player like that, especially that has some experience that makes you feel better as a coach. I think he’s been doing well as far as the way he’s played in preseason games and the way he’s practiced. You see a guy who’s constantly trying to get better.”


On Ndamukong Suh (ankle) not practicing...


“We just thought it was kind of better for him to stay in and rehab.”


TE Jordan Cameron has dropped multiple touchdown passes in the last 2 preseason games. But in Sunday’s practice, he caught a TD pass over safety Walt Aikens and was mobbed with celebration by teammates. Gase commented on his status and his chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill


“We’ve been doing things a little different as far as ‘hey when we get into the end zone we’re all celebrating together. You know, it’s not a 1 man show’ and I think those guys have been doing that during games and it’s really carried over to practice. Obviously, that’s a guy that all those guys really like and they really care about. And for us in that situation, that was a big play in that 2 minute period, and him making that play… He made a couple good plays in that series. You can see Ryan is gonna go to him. He knows he has a great matchup sometimes-especially when its on a Linebacker or a safety- so he’ll keep getting opportunities. ”


On Xavien Howard’s role in Thursday’s game against the Titans…


“We are gonna line him up and tell him to cover that guy. Whoever is across from him. We are not gonna make it hard on him. It’s no secret on what we do on defense. We attack and we play man-to-man coverage.”


Center Mike Pouncey’s status on coming back from the left hip injury…


“It’s gonna be week to week. We just gotta keep seeing how he feels everyday. And we just constantly keep monitoring everything. I just don’t wanna put pressure on him and be like ‘you have to be back at this date.’ It’s something that we are just gonna keep looking at.”


Backup Center Anthony Steen made his 1st start in the Falcons game and played very well. Gase commented on his play and what he sees in Steen…


“I know he had that 1 ball on the ground, but for the most part he did his job. There was quite a few times where he had to do some things as far as redirecting some protections, along with him and Ryan communicating. Communication was outstanding. I love the way he plays. He’s aggressive. And he’s just one of those guys who finds a way to get it done, and he plays physical and tough. ”


RB Isaiah Pead suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s  practice. He is part of a group of 3 running backs trying to make the team. Gase likes what he has seen from the running back, but did not confirm Pead’s placement on the team...


“It’s probably gonna be a couple weeks. Unfortunately for him, another hamstring. So we’ll kind of see where we are at on the roster. Obviously, I think he’s done a good job and it’s unfortunate for him just because he was rolling pretty good and we’ll just see how everything falls.”


On making roster decisions with the bottom tier players…


“Its tough. You gotta figure out what’s the right thing to do and as the film and what the guy’s done in practice anointed to say ‘hey. You’ve made it and we’re gonna have to carry ya.’ And then obviously you have a few options you can do to kind of hold a spot and be able to bring him back. We haven’t really made any of those decisions. We need to get through Thursday first, and then we’ll figure out all those little moves.”


Does a player’s past history come into effect?

“You try not to let it. But everything comes into play. Its almost like the draft process. You look at everything and then you have to evaluate what you wanna do as far as your final roster.”


On making roster moves ahead of the Tuesday deadline…

“Mike[Tannenbaum], I remember very early on before we really got going in all this stuff and that date was set, and he told me- he goes ‘I’d rather do it early to try to give those guys a little bit of a head start as far as if other teams wanna look at them’ and we knew who the guys were that we were going to release. Obviously, it’s never fun telling a guy that he’s not going to be here. I felt like the guys that we all talked to were very appreciative as far as getting an opportunity.”


Involvement in roster decisions prior to being a Head Coach:

“I was usually involved in those decisions. In Denver and Chicago, it seemed like the relationship I had with a lot of those guys was pretty close. I know in Denver there was a couple times where it was some older guys that you had to sit there and talk to so… It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s probably the worst part about being in this profession, because you do get close to a lot of these guys. Especially when you’re with a guy since we started in April. And you watch these guys work as hard they did; and give you everything they had; and you wanna try to make sure that as a coach you give them an opportunity to put it on tape, to give them reps in practice, so at least when they leave here they say ‘I got better and I got a fair shot as far as an opportunity.’”



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