By: Jason Sarney
The Miami Dolphins welcomed another linebacker via Zoom session Monday morning in former Eagle and Falcon, Duke Riley. Riley initially was drafted by Atlanta in 2017 in the third round and throughout his career has played a mix of special teams as well as defense.
Riley showed his personality to the media and seems genuinely thrilled to be a part of the Dolphins team as well as city of Miami. "I’m just excited about everything. I'm excited about the coaching staff, playing with the guys, the great city, the weather, the great organization in general.” He added, "it’s a blessing."
When asked what Dolphin fans should expect of him, he said confidently, “positive energy. I will bring energy and just be consistent." Expanding on that, Riley said, "Energy. That's all I can say, energy.” Continuing to say what he will bring on-field, Riley says he is, “a guy that's gonna bring his teammates along and lead by example."
Acquired in 2019 in-season by Philadelphia, Riley earned his way on to the starting unit for the Eagles defense by 2020 and had 55 combined tackles in eight starts last season. Riley attributes his energy to a reason why he became an every-down linebacker as opposed to simply third downs or solely on special teams. He kept grinding and worked at his craft.
"Staying dedicated and believing in myself," Riley said. "Not getting many snaps at first, I was still digging." Riley says he became an "every down guy" in Philly. "I was first a situational guy, then I became an everyday guy."
The LSU product is another player who is perfect for a Brian Flores coached team that understands whatever is needed in terms of his role is exactly what he will provide for the Dolphins. "I know he is going to put us in the best position to make plays, Riley said. "We are going to be competing like no other."
In Riley's three full seasons he has played 57 games and started 24, totaling 159 tackles 94 being solo. He was a captain while in Philadelphia.