Three Brand New Dolphins - A Free Agent, a Trade Acquisition and a Rookie - Talk with South Florida Media
By: Jason Sarney
The NFL’s third leading rusher since 2016 sat down with South Florida media Thursday afternoon to discuss his first training camp with his new Miami Dolphin teammates. That player, believe it or not, is Jordan Howard who is behind only Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley over the last four season in running back ground yards.
Howard comes to Miami having already familiarizing himself with the South Florida heat, thanks to training there in prior off-seasons, so he looks forward to using that to an advantage this year.
“Yea I used to train down here; practicing here in this heat is much different,” Howard said. “I know the advantages training down here.”
Entering his fifth season and third with the team Howard was a Pro -Bowler as a rookie and has put together a career 4.3 yards per carry average which is a far cry from last season's overall running back output of 3.3 yards per carry for the year.
Jordan has also scored 30 rushing touchdowns since 2016 which remarkably is only five less than the output of the entire Dolphins rushing attack combined in those same seasons all together.
Jordan joins a committee of rushers and is certainly taking to the team concept as he is ready to handle his specific role to help move this offense. In a true team concept mindset, which is consistently obvious with each Miami player at this point, Howard says, “we are going to use all of the backs.” He adds, “they’re going to use us all to the best of our abilities"
Next up were two more new Dolphins, the first via trade in tight end Adam Shaheen, a former 2nd round pick of the Chicago Bears. He has battled injury in three seasons in the Windy City, and a change of scenery could lead to warmer receptions in Miami.
While reflecting on his time with the team that drafted him 45th overall, he said, “the last 3 years, I’ve enjoyed them…The big thing for me is staying healthy. If I stay healthy, I think I can do the things needed from me.”
Shaheen realizes there is an adjustment and a learning curve, but seems up for the task. “It was a little different to come in and learn a new system,” he stated. And true to any Dolphin player thus far, yet again, he made it clear that he has the team first mindset, and let media know he will play any area of the field to see it.
Lastly was rookie first-rounder Noah Igbinoghene, who the Dolphins selected after a mutual appreciation which was likely solidified by a terrific Auburn pro-day. Igbinoghene cites coach Brian Flores and his mentality, in terms of having Miami as one of the teams he really wanted to play for.
In addition to Flores, the young potentially tagged, “lock-down corner,” is thankful to be in the same defensive backfield as an idol of his, Xavien Howard as well as another player he has looked up to in Byron Jones. Specifically to Xavien Howard, Igbinoghene said that having him in the locker room and being on the field with him since returning from the PUP-list is helping him. “It’s a huge,” he said. “He’s somebody I looked up to coming up.”
Igbinoghene, while impressive thus far in training camp, knows there is constant ability to improve one’s craft. When asked about what he has gotten better at this summer, he said, “just my overall technique. I feel like the game is really slowing down for me."
The product of two Olympian parents has the athletic prowess, clearly, as he was a converted receiver and has been playing cornerback for just two seasons. Yet, as the theme continues, he does not seem to care where he will have to play if it gets him on the field. With special teams ability, as well as nickel-corner and boundary coverage ability, it is a safe play to assume many snaps are on the way for Igbinoghene.
"I'm comfortable playing anywhere...I'm a baller at heart,” he said with swagger.
Swagger is a byproduct of confidence, especially when there is production and God-given skill to back it up. When asked about his confidence heading into a rookie season defending guys like Julian Edelman and Stefon Diggs, Igbinoghene was direct as can be, with palpable poise.
“I approach the game like I am going to dominate every single game.”
With a bit of a fun portion of the presser towards the closing minutes, Igbinoghene mentioned he has yet to receive a nickname to play off that five-syllable name. While it is never my business to take it upon myself to create nicknames, I will give it a shot.
How about Noah “No-Gain” Igbinoghene?
You can follow Jason on Twitter @OrangeAquaman and on YouTube on The Fin Addicts Network