By: Jason Sarney
The Miami Dolphins opened the floor, virtually, on Monday to veteran Miami Dolphins, discussing the latest news and notes with South Florida media. Starting off the pair was second-year Dolphin linebacker Elandon Roberts, who unfortunately ended 2020 prematurely with a Week 16 knee injury leading to an off-season surgery.
In a funny moment in the presser, Roberts let everybody know he may in fact be built different as many social media individuals claim to be saying, "What you may call surgery, I may call a sprained ankle.” In all seriousness, he did confirm a surgery and looks to be ready, hopefully to start the year, but that was not specified exactly.
Roberts, a 2020 1-year free agent signing from New England was re-signed in this off-season despite that surgery.
Roberts was a team captain last season and a wrecking-ball-type of a hitter until that injury against the Las Vegas Raiders. Roberts finished the year with 61 total tackles, 8 for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and recovery and 4 QB hits.
When asked about his rehab, Roberts said he is taking it one day at a time, and in terms of getting another deal done with Miami he said, “me and the Dolphins; they knew I definitely wanted to be a part of the family, and we made it happen." Roberts acknowledged the departures of released defensive captains Bobby McCain and fellow ex-Patriot, Kyle Van Noy. “Oh man, you know, real great guys. I loved playing with those guys and stuff like that, but at the end of the day a business is a business," he said. Roberts added, “they are great people on and off the field and I wish them nothing but the best with their new teams.”
Speaking of former Patriots, he was asked about facing his ex-mates twice again and Roberts said, “another day on the job…"I don't hold grudges or nothing like that." Moments later, he did make a reference about seeing reporters' and social media accounts' posts and Tweets, so while he may not hold grudges, he sees all apparently.
“Omar [Kelly], I’ve seen your Tweets.”
In all fairness and honesty, there was a fun exchange between Roberts and the Sun-Sentinel reporter as Elandon even promised Omar a one-on-one interview. Roberts closed with praise of rookie edge rusher from the University of Miami, Jaelan Phillips, saying, “I feel like him and his rookie class, they are gonna, you know, do what they came here to do; and they are gonna have a great year."
Speaking of a great year, 7th-round draft pick from 2019, running back Myles Gaskin, had a tremendous 2020.
Omar Kelly pointed out that Gaskin was pacing to be a top-4 running back in terms of production from the line of scrimmage. Gaskin had a humble response and seemed to spin away from the grip of the question saying, “I have heard things like that, I guess it's like a complement, but I wasn't at the end of the day."
Gaskin acknowledged his healthy and missing a few games to injury and Covid-19 was a factor there, leading him to play in only 10 games. In those games, he piled up a total of 972 yards from scrimmage, which for math majors equates to 97.2 per game. To compare, in 14 games in 2020 Aaron Jones of the Packers averaged 7 total yards from scrimmage more per game at 104.2.
Perhaps that’s why Miami didn’t spend the free agent money on Jones?
Regardless of the lack of a big name free agent signed or a Day 1/2 draft pick selected at the position, Gaskin is aware he still has to produce, and this is a team mindset, especially with college and pro backfield teammate Salvon Ahmed. He referenced how close they are, essentially best friends who also share a competitive fire in all things, especially football. And much like the signing and selection process, the depth chart doesn’t seem to be a worry or concern for the 3rd-year veteran runner.
“Above my pay-grade to be honest with you; whatever they do upstairs they do upstairs,” Gaskin said. He then added, “I watched the draft, but whoever we drafted I was just excited to have on the team.”
There is that word again, much like from the weekend’s rookie conferences…” team.” That “team” will be guided on offense by co-pilots in a pair of Dolphin assistants, thrust into a joint coordinator role in George Godsey and Eric Studesville. While the offense is brand new it appears, it seems to be an early and steady process.
"It's super-basic right now. Just know where to be; you can't run a play if you don't know where to line up," the running back hinted. Gaskin did clarify, in perhaps one of the most detail-oriented answers in the last three Miami press conferences, we seem have a definitive answer regarding what type of offense we could see versus last season's.
"It's definitely different, it's a whole new playbook."
Well, there it is...
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