Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It's been a crazy few weeks for most of the Miami Dolphins rookies but against the Oakland Raiders, many of them came back from injuries and contributed a variety of ways. Leading the way was safety Walt Aikens, who had 1 tackle, 1 pass defended and 1 interception, which he returned for 43 yards.
"He’s starting to play faster. I think the one thing you are always a little bit leery of when you are playing a young player is what’s the play speed like. Is the game a little too big for him or if the motion checks or the formation checks in empty, how do they function with all of those pieces are moving at one time," Kevin Coyle said. "Not uncommon like a lot of guys, I think it’s getting better and better and better. Yesterday was kind of an example of the play (his interception) you spoke about. I think he’s improving, so that was exciting to see.”
Another one was defensive lineman Terrence Fede, who had one tackle. Although Coyle said he was a bit rusty after not playing for several weeks, he still contributed and helped move the pocket.
"They were arguing in the locker room after the game because, not arguing, but discussing the fact that Derrick (Shelby) got to the quarterback and Terrence got there almost simultaneously. Probably a hair behind him and they were giving Terrence a hard time being a rookie that he wasn’t going to get any of that sack. I think he’s just going to keep getting better. He’s a young talented player that has a great attitude and a lot of upside.”
Finally, linebacker Jordan Tripp made an appearance on special teams and then again towards the end of the game. He racked up two tackles between special teams and on defense.
"Jordan got out there and helped out on special teams. Then, at the end of the ball game, (he) did a couple nice things in coverage. Having him back is another plus. Having those two young players (Tripp and DE Terrence Fede) coupled with the vets that will be back in the fold I think is very positive for us as we move forward.”
With many players coming back from injuries, the rookies will continue to develop and some may even begin to outplay their veteran counterparts. We'll see how the season progresses but hopefully, they can all continue to play at a consistent level.