Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel spoke highly of safety Jevon Holland and running back Raheem Mostert’s performance early in training camp while providing injury updates on Saturday morning ahead of the team’s fourth practice of camp and first one open to fans.
McDaniel has been impressed with Holland, the second-year free safety after a rookie season in which he had 68 tackles, two interceptions, 2 1/2 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.
“I like having him, especially on the team that I’m on and not the team that I’m playing against,” McDaniel said. “I didn’t know too much about him before I’d studied our tape here, and his play as a rookie was very impressive.
“The way he’s been diligent about approaching his craft. He’s serious about continuing to take his game to the next level, and that, as an impact player, is something that the Dolphins team, all of us, are dependent on.”
Holland stood out at Friday’s practice with an interception on a deep pass from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa while covering receiver Jaylen Waddle, which contributed to him wearing the orange jersey Saturday as the previous practice’s top performer. He also had an outstanding pass breakup on a near catch by rookie receiver Erik Ezukanma where he punched the ball out of his hands on Thursday.
Mostert, a running back in McDaniel’s ground game in San Francisco, showed his burst in Friday drills after recently getting cleared to participate coming off last year’s season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
“He was really fast [Friday], so ‘attaboy!’ ” McDaniel said. “It’s cool because his teammates recognize it too. All the players, when you come off from a season-long injury, players really understand what that’s like when you’re on a team, you get injured, you have to rehab, you’re isolated a little bit.
“To see how hard that guy has worked, I think he had the fastest time at practice [Friday]. I do a thing where I announced that every team meeting, and he got an unsolicited round of applause. He’s continuing the process. It’s very important to us to take all measures to try and be smart with a guy’s return, but as he gets going, he gets used to everything, I think we all believe that he’ll start showing that speed more and more and more.”
McDaniel updated reporters on the status of offensive lineman Michael Deiter and Adam Butler, who have missed each of the previous two practices entering Saturday. He called Butler’s undisclosed injury “slight” and said Deiter is dealing with a foot ailment, something which also kept him out nine games in 2021.
Saturday’s practice was the first of a slate for the Dolphins that are open to the public McDaniel called it a full-circle experience for him to lead a team in a practice open to fans after he originally fell in love with football as a young fan in Colorado attending Denver Broncos’ practice.
With some strategy and scheme potentially revealed in an open practice, McDaniel quipped: “For all opponents watching, nothing that you see today will we ever run.”
Dolphins fans have bought in to where the team has positioned itself as the team is on the verge of selling out season tickets for the 2022 season. Upon reaching that milestone, the Dolphins would then open up a waitlist for 2023 season tickets, something the team has never had in its history.
“It’s something that we’re not entitled to, but it’s a competitive advantage and it’s why we do what we do,” said McDaniel of the staunch fan support.
Dolphins to celebrate 1972 team
The Dolphins announced a series of events as part of Miami’s 50th anniversary celebration of the 1972 Perfect Season. The yearlong celebration will feature a series of events honoring 1972 team members, their families, and fans:
— The Dolphins will recognize members of the 1972 team as alumni captains at every home game this season by position groups.
— There will be a podcast breaking down the Super Bowl championship season game-by-game.
— There will be a museum exhibit at Hard Rock Stadium that will include artifacts from the 1972 team and memorabilia.
— Members of the 1972 team will be honored as part of Miami’s Sunday Night game against the Steelers during pregame and halftime ceremonies on Oct. 23. The team will also wear throwback jerseys with a commemorative patch honoring the 1972 team.
— The Dolphins will also have a fan cruise with some of the team’s legends from March 12-19, 2023. For more information, visit www.DolphinsFanCruise.com.