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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins in position to cash in early on Godchaux bet

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

When training camp first started 32 days ago, the smart money was on Miami Dolphins rookie defensive tackle Davon Godchaux being let go in the final roster cuts.

It certainly wasn’t on the undersized fifth-round pick out of LSU playing regularly alongside Ndamukong Suh in the Dolphins starting lineup. That’s where the smart money is now, though.

With one preseason game left to be played, Godchaux is on the verge of finishing off a stunning upset in his battle with 2015 second-round draft pick Jordan Phillips for that starter’s spot.

That may say as much about the seemingly ever-inconsistent Phillips as anything, but it’s not like Phillips lost the job. For the most part, Godchaux has just been the better player this preseason.

The only exception may have been a week ago at Philadelphia when Phillips came up with an interception of a Carson Wentz pass and nearly ran the ball back for a touchdown, but Godchaux held his own there, too.

He had two tackles to bring his preseason total to six, five more than Phillips, and is still seen as the favorite to win the job even though Phillips has seemingly closed the gap a bit.

Though Godchaux got most of the first-team reps through the first three weeks of the preseason he has been splitting them with Phillips since Phillips’ impressive outing against the Eagles last week.

There’s a chance now that Godchaux will start the season in a platoon with Phillips, but that’s not a bad consolation prize when you consider the early expectations the team had for him.

Godchaux came to the Dolphins a little soft (he measured 27-percent body fat at the combine) and needing to add a lot of strength after he bench-pressed 225 pounds just 18 times while he was there as well.

Godchaux came to the Dolphins then as a developmental prospect and a potential practice-squad candidate, but just as he did at LSU, he has shown the Dolphins an ability to develop quickly.

Whether he’s develop quickly enough to start may be determined by how well he plays Thursday night, but even if he and Phillips end up tied and the bet becomes a push, Godchaux will still look like a winner.

Same goes for the Dolphins. After all, in a short period of time, Godchaux has proved to be a better player than anyone thought he’d be and so the Dolphins stand to benefit sooner than expected from the fifth-round  bet they made as well.

 “The biggest thing is those guys getting reps and playing as good as they can,’’ Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Godchaux and Phillips earlier this week. “They’re all going to play.

 “We know we’re going to play more than one guy, but those guys are competing as hard as they can and they’ve got their little battle going on and at the end of the day it’s only it’s only making all of us better.’’

 

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

Florida Football Insiders

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Miami Dolphins

Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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