Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel talks Connor Williams at heart, offensive line and extra at Day 2 of coaching camp


Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel addressed offensive lineman Connor Williams’ play at heart in his new setting, offensive line play as an entire, three-time Pro Bowl edge defender Melvin Ingram’s early affect and extra forward of Day 2 of coaching camp on Thursday.

The Dolphins have been working Williams out at heart after he spent his first 4 NFL seasons at guard earlier than signing with Miami in free company this offseason.

“We weren’t signing him to be necessarily a center. We were signing an offensive lineman,” McDaniel mentioned. “We thought his skillset would best be utilized at the center position. With him only having limited reps at it, we wanted to give him a full opportunity to make what we think, what we know.”

The Dolphins’ plan is to maneuver ahead with Williams at heart, but when a transfer again to protect is required, McDaniel feels snug making that adjustment.

“I know he’s going to do everything to be the best that he can be at that position,” McDaniel mentioned, “but if the team is better off with him at another position, that’s the great thing about Connor. It’s that he’s learning the offense from the inside out at the position where you learn everything, center.”

Does that imply Miami might nonetheless be within the combine late within the preseason for an accessible veteran heart in free company?

“You’re just trying to do the best thing that’s available to you with your options,” McDaniel mentioned. “You exhaust everything, and then you say, ‘Okay, well, what’s better? This scenario where you have injuries and you have Connor at center and you’re signing someone else off the street or there’s somebody from your practice squad or within?’ You just don’t black and white that.”

On what he desires ideally at heart, McDaniel mentioned: “Everybody at every position wants the biggest, fastest, strongest. You want someone that can really move. You don’t always have to move to be an effective center. There’s multiple ways of being a productive player. In an ideal world, you can do the best job attacking the defense if you have some athleticism at the position and then if you have some strength.”

He additionally famous line calls and the orchestration of the road as key parts to enjoying heart.

McDaniel mentioned what he favored about preserving an alignment on the road of, from left to proper, Terron Armstead, Liam Eichenberg, Williams, Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson, which was revealed earlier in offseason practices from varied interviews.

“It was the highs and lows,” McDaniel mentioned of his new offensive line going towards a protection that returns intact in 2022 from final season. “How do you respond? How do you correct stuff? That’s the nature of the business we’re in, and not that anything was perfect, it was that individuals were responding to failures and correcting mistakes, which is why you’re encouraged moving forward.”

Veteran exterior linebacker and edge rusher Melvin Ingram participated in crew parts of apply forward of schedule at Wednesday’s first apply of camp. McDaniel mentioned Ingram was “fighting tooth and nail” with defensive coaches to become involved within the 11-on-11 setting.

“He had a lot of impact,” McDaniel mentioned of Ingram. “He was a better run defender than I remember him from the beginning of his career. He’s really grown in that. As a pass rusher, he had a lot of activity in and around the quarterback.”

McDaniel mentioned he works on the offensive play-calling facet of his position, which he’ll deal with for the primary time in his profession, each apply, utilizing the walkie-talkie throughout crew drills.

Ahead of Thursday’s session, he recapped Wednesday’s first apply: “I was very happy with Day 1 because it was a purposeful practice. … The practice was worth something moving forward.”

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