Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
With concerns about the starting linebackers for the Miami Dolphins, fifth round pick Jordan Tripp might find himself on the field come the first week of the season as a starter. Tripp, who showed flashes of promise during Friday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, is being watched closely and the coaching staff is seriously considering putting him in the starting lineup.
“Nobody has nailed down a spot as far as I’m concerned,” Dolphins linebackers coach Mark Duffner told the Palm Beach Post. “Tackling is something we’re certainly putting a priority on. You can’t play defense if you cant tackle — it’s probably our No. 1 fundamental that has to be done.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Tripp graded as the team's fourth best player throughout the night. His best grades came in run defense and pass coverage - two areas that the current linebackers lack in.
“He had the most multiple roles of any player in the game and the game plan was to see if he could handle those responsibilities,” Duffner said. “The good news about it is that he didn’t back down from it. He’s a highly competitive guy and he did see reps against their second group. It didn’t appear like it’s too big for him right now and we’re going to continue to see his ability to make plays. He’s got real good athletic ability for a rookie and he’s got length. So far he’s distinguished himself with some flash making plays in practice. We need more consistency out of all our players, him being one of them. But he’s got some versatility that’s valuable for the team.”