One of the Intriguing parts of any training camp are players that you don’t yet know whether they can truly contribute or not.
Unfortunately for the last year’s second round pick, Raekwon McMillan, he suffered a nasty ACL tear right away at the beginning of his first preseason game. His first season was over before it started.
Now in 2018, McMillan is grateful to be back fully healthy and essentially, starting over with his NFL career.
"I had to come out here and earn it again. Me coming out here and earning it again after coming off of that injury was very fulfilling for me.” – @Kwon_daTRUTH
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 28, 2018
At the time of his freak injury and the aftermath of it, coach Adam Gase was criticized for having put McMillan on punt coverage as a second round pick that was being counted on. As we wrote, Gase was only doing what most coaches have to do with younger players and a limited roster: some of them have to be out there on special teams.
McMillan admitted that it was tough at times to watch last season,
“I never got to the point where I got mad at myself or got down on myself,” McMillan said. “I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to provide for this organization; but this is my year right here, so I’ve got to give them everything I’ve got.”
Now he’s back and as McMillan said after day three of Dolphins training camp, he’s so confident in the stability of the surgically-repaired knee, that he’s not even using a brace in these workouts:
“I felt like if I needed a brace then I needed more time to rehab and do stuff like that,” McMillan said. “My whole rehab I did without a brace, thanks to the training staff here. They did a good job of keeping me focused on working without it and making sure I had stabilization without it, so I feel more safe without it.”
Now he’s back and even has former college teammate, Jerome Baker from Ohio State, as part of this year’s Dolphins roster. The Fins actually began scouting and drafted Baker, after having watched McMillan in Columbus two years ago.
So, it’s almost as if defensive coordinator Matt Burke has to rookie Ohio State linebackers to utilize for this upcoming season.
And Raekwon McMillan is excited about that.
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