Quick hits from Chris Grier and Mike McDaniel at Miami Dolphins’ post-cut press briefing
Quick hits 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 perform list, which sidelines him for the first four games of the season after March lower leg surgery: “We’re just being patient. We made the decision to put him down for four games. He was optimistic about being back in a couple weeks, but we can’t rush him out there.”
Is Miami set at cornerback, even with Jones injured and Xavien Howard and Keion Crossen battling minor issues?
“Like everything, we will be searching [the waiver wire],” Grier said. “We feel good about the group we have. We don’t feel it’s critical for us right now” to add help at that position.
▪ There could be offensive line additions; 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 feel good about the ways our tackles are performing.”
▪Asked if keeping rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson on the 53-man roster was no brainer, Grier and McDaniel said yes.
Other teams “were saying you would be stupid to let him go,” Grier said.
McDaniel: “We’re not in the business of doing something stupid” McDaniel added that nobody ever complains about having too many good quarterbacks and “if you let those things slip through your finger, you will end up regretting it.”
▪ Grier, on the decision to keep rookie tight end Tanner Conner: “He did a good job here. Visited with him on a 30 visit in the spring. He improved every day. Smart kid, wants to improve his craft and play in the NFL. He’s done a great job.”
Though Conner has been out a couple of weeks injured and has a brace on one of his legs, Grier indicated full-season IR wasn’t a sensible option: “He will be back here shortly. It’s not IR with him. Talent wise, we would have lost him [if they tried to put him on waivers and move him to the practice squad]. Other teams were asking about him. He’s got a future here potentially. We’re excited to have him here.”
▪ Eric Rowe (shoulder) won’t need to go on injured reserve, Grier said.
▪ Grier, on this roster: “We feel good about the roster. We were talking about how difficult the cuts were for us. A couple guys we were battling at the end. There are some players who got released who will be on NFL rosters.
“We feel good about the roster and how good it can be in the future. When you add players like Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson and Raheem Mostert and Alex Ingold, talented players who are good players and good teammates too. We feel we’ve got a good deep group. We’re still fairly young.”
▪ Grier, on Tua Tagovailoa: “Seeing his personality and how he is with the team. His teammates all see it and feel it. He’s taking steps. With the offense of Mike and the coaching staff, he’s very excited. The offense fits him. It’s good watching his growth and enjoying himself playing football.”
▪ McDaniel, on cornerback Kader Kohou, who made the 53-man roster: “He’s a competitor. It’s obvious when the game is not too big for you [and it wasn’t for him]. It’s hard. The jump in level in play [from Texas A&M Commerce] was real. From the onset, he let it be known from his play that it wasn’t too big a stage for him. It would be a farce to say you totally expect it in terms of undrafted free agents being able to make that jump so quick.”
▪ McDaniel, on keeping Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed over Sony Michel: “That process was brutal. That competition was real. It was continued opportunities. There was some game tape involved, but it was much more than that, the whole progression from the onset. That room was very healthy in terms of how they tried to make each other better. They were competing against each other but also rooting for each other.”
McDaniel loves 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 has even been better than we thought. Infectious attitude, great teammate, competitive. You see him - 100 mph in everything he does, always encouraging people. It’s always fun watching him behind the scenes. It would be easy to coast through this, but that’s not him.”
▪ Grier, on the NFL docking the Dolphin a 2023 first-round pick and third-round pick because they tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton: “It doesn’t affect how we do business. This team is not affected by it. Focused on winning as many games as we can this season.” The Dolphins still own the 49ers’ first-rounder in 2023.
▪ Grier, on edge player Trey Flowers, who was signed this week: “Trey’s familiarity with our system and scheme helps and New England and Josh Boyer and Elandon Roberts. We were looking for someone with his skill set. In New England, he could do some rush inside, too. We realized he had bad luck with injuries [which prematurely ended his past two seasons with Detroit]. He’s not asked to be a star here. Just help. Great teammate, great person.”
▪ Grier said two teams called inquiring about tight end Gesicki, but the Dolphins made no calls and he’s not being shopped.
Grier: “We challenged him to do something he hasn’t done before. Last couple weeks, he has had some great strides. Was never about moving him or trying to [move him]. Teams called asking. I will always listen; it doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything. It’s negligent if you don’t [listen].”
McDaniel: “There was noise. One of the cooler parts of training camp in general is Mike worried about getting better at blocking and catching. Each and every day, he’s doing one or two things better to his standard to the way he wants his football to look. That’s a guy that teammates and coaches respect who can ignore the noise and get better.”