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Dolphins training camp update: Adam Gase press conference transcript - 8/16/16

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NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(On Wide Receivers Coach Shawn Jefferson wearing shoulder pads at practice and how he follows that up) – “I’m not really sure. It’s something that I knew he did in Detroit because I left and then when he became the wide receivers coach, I’m trying to remember who first told me about it, then I called him up and then asked him if he really did that. I begged him to just use the shield because I’d rather them hit that than legitimately hit you. The whole point of that is the emphasis of push-cracking on a safety, just knowing the angle they have to take and it’s tough to do when you go against player on player because it’s a slower speed. Shawn was just trying to emphasize about the tempo that they need to go to go in there and dig a guy out that’s a low safety.”

(On how he thinks Wide Receivers Coach Shawn Jefferson did) – “That was the first time I saw him a little leery as far as wanting to do that. From what I heard before, he was always real aggressive on it. I went up to him before he did it and was kind of like, ‘How are you feeling?’ He kind of had this look in his eye like, ‘I might be getting a little too old for this.’ (laughter) But I told him, if you keep calling these guys by the wrong name, they’re going to pick up the tempo. I know a couple of those young guys were looking to go in there a little hard. I noticed that when Jakeem (Grant) got up there, (Jefferson) kind of was like ‘Alright, we’re done.’ He didn’t want to go against Jakeem.”

(On TE Jordan Cameron being more involved in the offense today and if it is possible for him to produce the same numbers he produced in 2014 in Cleveland in this offense) – “I don’t want to predict anything. I feel like what’s going on with him right now is that there’s a little bit of a learning curve for him. We went through some struggles there in the spring (and) a little bit at the beginning of camp. The thing about the tight end position is that there’s a lot of responsibility you have. You’re doing multiple phases of the game. If you’re a wide receiver, you have the route tree and sometimes you’re inside or outside and some guys do both. But for the most part, the run game’s not … you know you’re either blocking the corner or the safety. When you’re a tight end, you have a lot of responsibilities. When you’re learning both the ‘off’ guy (off the line of scrimmage) in a two tight end set and then when you’re in the three wide receiver set, you’re the ‘on’ guy now (on the line of scrimmage). It’s a lot of information to digest and it’s a lot of things on his plate. Plus trying to get as involved as we want him in the passing game, it’s just a lot on his plate. It does, it takes a minute. I went through the same growing pains with Julius Thomas. It wasn’t like that thing happened overnight. It was two years of he didn’t play and once it clicked for him, it clicked. Obviously with Jordan being a little more experienced, it’s going to happen a little faster.”

(On T Branden Albert having a veterans rest day) – “Yes. When you think about it, this is really the first time that we’ve had three consecutive days of … I know it’s not full pads but we’re wearing the shoulder pads and those guys act like we’re wearing full pads when they practice. I just wanted to make sure that when we hit tomorrow, he can go tomorrow. Then we can do our walkthrough and then he can play in the game and he’s feeling as good as he can.”

(On if he can explain why they didn’t bring in a punter to compete with P Matt Darr even though they brought in competition at kicker and long snapper) – “I think there are only so many spots we had on the roster. We set out with this is how many guys we want going into camp. Really, it was up to (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren) Rizzi at that point of what he wanted to do. I think the two guys that we ended up bringing in were probably the two best guys that we felt were out there. I think they felt really good about it. And it’s good competition at those two spots (kicker and long snapper). I don’t think we’re looking to bring in just anybody. We wanted to make sure that whoever we brought in, they were in a legitimate competition.”

(On if P Matt Darr has justified that decision thus far in camp) – “From what I’ve seen so far, out of all of those guys, they’ve done a great job. I don’t know if I’ve been around a whole group like this, especially in training camp, that are as focused as that group. Matt’s done a great job as far as – that responsibility, he has a lot on his plate. Holding seems like an easy thing to do but you think about how many times a game has been won or lost because of that spot. I feel like there’s a big-time confidence there with our special teams coach.”

(On S Isa Abdul-Quddus’ camp) – “I think it’s been good. The longer we go, it seems like the better that whole group is getting. He’s done a great job. I think we knew what we got when we signed him and what we saw on tape, he’s really shown to be the same guy.”

(On Dallas’ offensive line and how good of a test they’ll be on Friday) –“Obviously they’ve been getting a lot of praise here over the last few years. Any time you can go against a group that you know is a proven group, and they’ve done it well together for a couple years now, it’s going to be something that I think our guys will enjoy going against. It will be fun to get that group out there and see them do what they basically do to the offense every day. It’s a tough test to go against those days. I think (our defensive line is) fired up to get out there. I was debating whether or not I even wanted to play them in this game and really they took that decision out of my hands and said, ‘We’re going.’ That’s exciting for me to hear.”

(On G/T Laremy Tunsil getting more work with the ones today and if a change is being made at that position) – “No. We’re just going through our process. I’m pretty sure if we had five periods the other day, I think he started three of them. Every day it has been two to three periods that he has been starting. It’s just sometimes it seems like everybody notices.”

(On the value of QB Brandon Doughty throwing with anticipation) –“You’re throwing guys open. In this league, that window closes so fast. As soon as you’re trying to evaluate whether that guy is open or not, he’s probably going to get covered by the time the ball gets there. With him having a great feel of the route concepts and turning the ball loose – sometimes it looks, like today I think he threw an in-cut today and it didn’t look good, but he knows, ‘I’ve got to get rid of the ball.’ As a receiver, you’ve got to know that, ‘I’ve got to get my depth, I’ve got to snap out of this thing and that thing is going to be there.’ He’s done a great job as far as being that consistent in anticipation.”

(On RB Arian Foster’s status for Friday’s game) – “Right now, I’m pretty sure that he’s going to go. Unless I change my mind for some reason, I want to see him get in there with that first group and get him a little feel for how we operate.”

(On TE Thomas Duarte’s work with in-line blocking in the Giants game and how he did) – “I think there’s a little bit of a learning curve there for him. I know the effort is there, which that’s the number one thing you want to see from a guy that really hasn’t had to do it before or asked to do it before. Hopefully sooner than later it will just keep getting better. Of course, you’d love to jump to step 100; but it’s early in his career and we’ve got a ways to go here before that first game and figuring out who (are) going to be our guys. But I see improvement and I see a guy who is willing to try to do the right thing.”

(On if he’s close with CB Xavien Howard or DE Dion Jordan) – “We’re still keeping a close eye on that. I think ‘X’ (Xavien Howard) is closer than Dion (Jordan). I don’t want to say an exact date yet just because when you’re going through that process that they’re going through, you could always have little minor setbacks that could push it back. When (it’s) the right time to take one of those guys off, then we’ll do it. But we want to make sure that we get the check marks from the sports science, trainers and the strength staff and then obviously the kid’s saying ‘I’m good, I feel good. I’m ready to go.’”

(On Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph saying that DE Dion Jordan has done everything the right way and if he’s seen that also) – “Yes. Every time he’s supposed be somewhere, he’s been there. He’s been engaged in everything we’ve done. I see a guy that seems to be excited to be here and, for him, it’s like the first thing I told him, ‘Whatever’s happened in the past is irrelevant. You got a fresh start so make the most of it.’”

(On what he’s seen from CB Lafayette Pitts) – “I see a guy that’s very confident, which at that position, you love to see. I see a guy that wants to push to see if he can find a spot on this roster. Anytime you get a young, hungry guy, (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph) always said ‘Give me as many guys with no means possible. Nothing to lose.’ I feel like that’s the way (Pitts has) approached everything. And when you got a guy at that position, treating everything like that, that’s a good thing.”

(On if G/T Laremy Tunsil has improved as he’s made the transition to guard and if he is more comfortable the last couple of days) -- “I don’t want to say it’s just over the last couple of days. It’s been a steady process. I just look at a guy like (Jermon) Bushrod for example, who has played left tackle his whole career and moves to right guard. It’s not the easiest thing to do when thing you go from being a tackle, especially on one side of the ball, and then flip to the other side and then get moved inside. It takes a minute. It takes a minute to understand the angles. It takes a minute to understand those guys are on you quicker. It takes a minute to understand those guys are bigger and stronger than what you’re used to going (against). And that’s why you can’t rush and just be like, ‘Oh, let’s just throw them in there.’ This is a league where confidence does matter. And I’ve seen rookies before, you throw them in and (you’re) like, ‘Well, he’s got to play,’ and then two years latereverybody’s calling for his head. So right now we’re going through the process that we need to go through. I like what he’s doing. I like the fact that he’s coming out there, giving everything he has, and he’s trying to make sure mentally that he’s on the same page, because there’s two other guys counting on him plus a back. We’ve got to make sure that whoever our five guys are, we’re doing the right thing – playing physical and they can count on each other.”

(On when the last time he wore a helmet and shoulder pads) – “Way long ago. There’s no chance I’d ever do that.”

(On if it’s tough coming up with a balance between keeping WR DeVante Parker healthy and seeing him in action or if he has a specific plan for him) – “I think we’re kind of getting to the point where it is what it is right now. He’s just got to keep fighting to push himself through the little bit of pain he has remaining. I feel like he’s trying to do that and him being out there and showing me, ‘Hey, I want to make sure that I get in these games, I need the reps. I need to get in there with the quarterback. I need to get in there in the system as far as getting on the ball. I need to be in there when the adjustments (are) made and then do the right thing.’ I feel like he, especially the last couple of days, has really pushed himself to stretch his muscles as far as strutting it out and making sure, ‘Alright, I feel good. I’m ready to go.’”

(On RB Damien Williams and if anything has surprised him at all) – “No. He was a guy that when we first got in here, and I know when (Running Backs Coach) Danny (Barrett) came on board and (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen), we kept talking about what we could do with him. Some of the skillset that he has, it’s unique. Because he’s a big man that can run really fast and he can catch the ball. Just having a guy that can do all of the things that you want a running back to do, how fast can he get into this system? Which (the system) is different than what he played in the past, where he was in an offense where they tagged a lot of the halfback’s responsibilities. In this system, it’s a lot of concept-base so you have to understand what’s going on with you and a receiver. It’s a change for him. I know early it was tough for him and then he gets hurt and when you don’t get the reps, it sets you back a little bit. I’ve noticed a difference, especially this week, where he doesn’t make mistakes and he’s playing full speed. Today – I loved it – we’re doing a 2-minute drill and he comes up to me and he goes, ‘Get me the ball.’ I was like, ‘Alright, we’ll see what happens.’ We dialed up a play for him and he makes a play. I love that about him. I love that he is confident and now he is starting to feel like ‘I know what to do,’ so now he’s playing faster.”

(On what he’s looking for in the slot corner position with S Michael Thomas and CB Bobby McCain) – “We’re looking for a guy that does a great job as far as keeping his leverage. That’s the hardest thing. It’s one of those positions where technique is the number one thing. You’ve got to be a sticky guy and you have to make sure you stay tight to the receiver. And you’ve got to trust what’s being called as far as the coverage – if you’re inside or outside leverage, if you’re off or if you’re pressed. It takes a little bit of faith to trust what you’re supposed to do. It’s not an easy position to play. You guys have seen a lot of these slot guys, the way offenses can manipulate what the routes are and take advantage of the leverage you’re playing. You’ve got to be able to stay tight and you’ve got to be able to be disciplined as far as what you’re asked to do.”