Quick shots from Grier and McDaniel at Dolphins press briefing
Quick shots from Tuesday’s 4 p.m. Dolphins press conference with general manager Chris Grier and coach Mike McDaniel:
▪ Grier, on the decision to keep Byron Jones on the physically unable to play roster, which sidelines him for the first four games of the season after leg surgery in March: “We’re just being patient. We made the decision to put him down for four games. He was optimistic that he would return in a few weeks, but we can’t rush him there.
Are Miami at the cornerback position, even with Jones injured and Xavien Howard and Keion Crossen struggling with minor issues?
“Like everything, we will seek [the waiver wire]”, Grier said. “We feel good in the group that we have. We do not think it is essential for us at the moment” to add help to this position.
▪ There could be additions to the offensive line; the team has eight on the 53-man roster. “You need more players than eight,” McDaniel said. “We feel good where [No. 3 tackle] Greg Little is at. We are satisfied with the performance of our tackles.
▪ When asked if keeping rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson on the 53-man roster was a no-brainer, Grier and McDaniel said yes.
Other teams “were saying you’d be stupid to let him go,” Grier said.
McDaniel: “We’re not here to do anything stupid” McDaniel added that no one ever complains about having too many good quarterbacks and “if you let those things get away from you, you’ll end up regretting it.”
▪ Grier on the decision to keep rookie tight end Tanner Conner: “He’s done a good job here. Visited with him on a 30 spring visit. He got better every day. Smart kid, wants to improve his craft and play in the NFL. He did an excellent job.
Although Conner has been out for a few weeks and is injured and has one of his legs braced, Grier said full-season IR was not a reasonable option: “He will be back here shortly. It’s not IR with him. Talent level, we would have lost it [if they tried to put him on waivers and move him to the practice squad]. Other teams have asked about him. He potentially has a future here. We are delighted to have him here.
▪ Eric Rowe (shoulder) won’t need to go on the injured reserve, Grier said.
▪ Grier, on this formation: “We are satisfied with the formation. We were talking about how difficult the cuts were for us. A few guys we were fighting at the end. There are players who have been released who will be on NFL rosters.
“We feel good about the roster and how good it can be going forward. When you add players like Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson and Raheem Mostert and Alex Ingold, talented players who are also good players and good teammates. We feel that we have a good group in depth. We are still quite young.
▪ Grier, on Tua Tagovailoa: “See his personality and how he is with the team. His teammates all see it and feel it. He takes action. With the attack from Mike and the coaching staff, he is very excited. The offense suits him. It’s good to see his growth and have fun playing football.
▪ McDaniel, on cornerback Kader Kohou, who was part of the 53-man roster: “He’s a competitor. It’s obvious when the game ain’t too big for you [and it wasn’t for him]. It’s hard. The in-game level jump [from Texas A&M Commerce] was real. From the start, he implied through his play that it wasn’t too big a scene for him. It would be a joke to say that you totally expect it in terms of undrafted free agents being able to make that leap so quickly.
▪ McDaniel, on keeping Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed above Sony Michel: “This process was brutal. This competition was real. It was continuous opportunities. There was a game strip involved, but it was so much more than that, the whole progression from the start. This piece was very wholesome in terms of how they were trying to improve each other. They were competing against each other but also rooting for each other.
McDaniel likes how Gaskin and Ahmed didn’t “sulk” but instead worked after the Dolphins signed Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Ahmed.
▪ Grier, on Hill: “Behind the scenes was even better than we thought. Contagious attitude, great teammate, competitive. You see it – 100 mph in everything he does, always cheering people on. It’s always fun to see him behind the scenes. It would be easy to get through that, but it’s not him.
▪ Grier, on the NFL landing the Dolphin a first-round pick and third-round pick in 2023 because they tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton: “It doesn’t affect the way we do business. This team is not affected by it. Focused on winning as many games as possible this season. The Dolphins still own the 49ers’ first round in 2023.
▪ Grier, nervous player Trey Flowers, who signed this week: “Trey’s familiarity with our system and our system helps and New England and Josh Boyer and Elandon Roberts. We were looking for someone with his skills. In New England, he could also rush inside. We realized he was unlucky with injuries [which prematurely ended his past two seasons with Detroit]. He is not expected to be a star here. Just help. Great teammate, great person.
▪ Grier said two teams have called to inquire about tight end Gesicki, but the Dolphins haven’t made any calls and he’s not bought.
Grier: “We challenged him to do something he had never done before. In recent weeks, he has made great progress. There was never any question of moving it or trying to [move him]. The teams called asking. I will always listen; that doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything. It’s negligence if you don’t [listen].”
McDaniel: “There was noise. One of the coolest parts of training camp in general is Mike worrying about getting better at blocking and catching. Every day he does one or two things better at his level compared to how he wants his football to look. He’s a guy that teammates and coaches respect and can ignore the noise and get better.
This story was originally published August 30, 2022 4:21 p.m.