Here’s what the Miami Dolphins are getting so far from their new front-seven players

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Here’s something encouraging: The Miami Dolphins’ front-seven newcomers have made a mark during the first week of training camp. And that’s important, because multiple front seven players weren’t retained from last season (Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Davon Godchaux).

Benardrick McKinney, starting every day of camp alongside Jerome Baker at inside linebacker, made a stop on Myles Gaskin on a goal line run on Tuesday, with Christian Wilkins also helping.

Linebacker Brennan Scarlett had two sacks on Monday, stuffed Gerrid Doaks on a goal line play on Tuesday and is working as a first-team edge player -- ahead of Vince Biegel - because rookie first-rounder Jaelan Phillips is missing time with a lower body injury.

Defensive lineman Adam Butler, the former Patriot, made a nice stop on a run Tuesday and has generated some pass rush in recent days.

The Dolphins hope those three - plus Phillips and former Eagles linebacker Duke Riley - can more than make up for what was lost in their front seven.

“I love having him,” Baker said of McKinney, his new inside linebacker partner. “He’s a big dude. And he communicates.”

McKinney has struggled in pass coverage but been a big asset against the run early in camp.

As for Scarlett - who has 5.5 sacks in five seasons with Houston - McKinney said his former Texans teammate is “very, very strong, fundamentally sound, very physical.”

Also really, really smart: Scarlett, who attended Stanford, has a Master’s degree in management science engineering, opened a real estate company in 2017, launched a charitable foundation and recently started a creative agency. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart, an idea man,” he said, adding he hopes to “lead companies” some day.

Scarlett is close with former Dolphins standout Ndamukong Suh; they train regularly together in Oregon. “He’s been a big brother,” Scarlett said. “True success doesn’t come without structure and I learned that from him.”

Butler, who had 15 sacks in four years with the Patriots, has been working on the second team line with either Sieler or Wilkins and John Jenkins or Jason Strowbridge. (Sieler started on Tuesday.)

“We have a lot of potential,” Butler said. But “if you think you’ve arrived, you’re in for a rude awakening. This time is about working on technique.”

The Dolphins practiced for the first time in pads on Tuesday; Butler said everything preceding that was like “going to pre-school.”

THIS AND THAT

▪ Center Matt Skura - who started 51 games at center for Baltimore over the past four years - expressed no frustration or disappointment about playing with the second and third team during the first six practices of camp. Michael Deiter has been the starting center every day, and Cameron Tom got some second-team work on Tuesday.

“It’s always about competition,” Skura said. “That’s one of the reasons why I signed here. Nothing is just going to be given to you. Even when I’ve started a bunch in Baltimore, like every season you wipe the slate clean. You’ve got to earn your keep.”

Skura said he worked all offseason to fix the snapping problems that led to his benching in Baltimore last season and believes he has solved it.

“Pretty much since January, almost every day, I’m trying to get snaps just because yeah, it was an issue last year,” he said. “I felt like going into this camp, I’ve definitely been able to turn that corner and now I can just focus on playing football and having fun. It’s definitely been something I’ve been working on and something that I just want to continue to be consistent with.”

▪ Xavien Howard (ankle), DeVante Parker (soft tissue injury), Will Fuller (foot), Jaelan Phillips (lower body injury), Elandon Roberts (knee) and Preston Williams (foot) all missed practice. All watched at least part of practice except Williams, who is on the COVID-19 list.

Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel left practice with a slight limp. Running back Salvon Ahmed (lower-body bruise) wore a red non-contact jersey.

▪ The defense got the better of the offense in goal line drills on Tuesday before the offense rallied late. The defense was stout, thanks to the aforementioned stops by Butler and Wilkins and Scarlett. Then Jacoby Brissett, from inside the 2 yard line, hit tight end Carson Meier for a touchdown, and Jordan Scarlett then ran for a short TD past the outstretched arms of Calvin Munson.

▪ Defensive lineman Zach Sieler started ahead of Christian Wilkins for the second time in three days, and Nik Needham started ahead of Noah Igbinoghene in Howard’s cornerback spot. Liam Eichenberg continues to play left guard after spending the offseason program at right tackle, with Jesse Davis at right tackle for a third practice in a row.

▪There wasn’t as much deep passing as previous practices. Two highlights: Brissett completing a 33-yarder to Allen Hurns, and Reid Sinnett with a deep completion to Kirk Merritt.

▪ Former UM and Patriots star Vince Wilfork was a guest at practice.

▪ In July 2019, Dolphins left tackle Austin Jackson was a matching bone marrow donor for his sister, Autumn, who has Diamond-Blackfan anemia. He helped save her life and is now helping “Be The Match” encourage more individuals to join the registry, including an opportunity at Wednesday’s Dolphins practice.

Only 30 percent of patients battling blood cancers or blood disorders have a matching donor in their families, and the Dolphins noted that “less than half of Hispanic patients and less than one in three Black patients will find a matching donor. Austin wants to help diversify the registry for other people in need of bone marrow transplants.”

Tickets for Wednesday’s practice are available here.

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