Dolphins Notebook: Benito, Broncos and Injury Update
For the last media question of the week before the Miami Dolphins face the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High, head coach Brian Flores was asked about facing running backs Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay.
Flores took advantage of the opportunity to talk all things Broncos.
“Yeah, you guys haven’t asked me much about this team," Flores said. "This is a good football team, Philip Lindsay Melvin Gordon, (K.J.) Hamler, (Jerry) Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, good O-line, talented quarterback. Top defense. Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, (Bradley) Chubb. Now we're not talking much about them. I mean, this is a good football team. We stress that to our team.
"They're well coached. They're hungry for a win. So, this is going to be a tough, tough test. We’re going to have to play well, really in all three phases. And this is the National Football League. We’ve got to show up every week. We know that, they know that. Those two backs are very good as everyone knows. Very good. They’re tough to tackle, tough (in) zone schemes, gap schemes, edge plays, inside runs, screen game, catching the ball out of the backfield. You name it, they can do it. These these young receivers are good, very good. We’re going to have to play well and coach well."
For the record, it's not unusual for media members to focus solely on the team they cover, particularly with a team on a roll like the Dolphins (especially with a high-profile player like Tua Tagovailoa) or when facing a team with a 3-6 record.
Before taking questions Friday, Flores made it a point to acknowledge the passing of former Dolphins safety Jake Scott, who passed away Thursday at the age of 75.
“I just want to send our thoughts and prayers to Jake Scott and his family," Flores said. "Obviously he was a great player for some of the greatest teams, the greatest team. He played an integral part on those teams. Our thoughts and prayers are with him his family.”
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy (hip) and guard Solomon Kindley (foot) both were listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week.
Note: We'll dive deeper into the significance of the final injury report from both teams later Friday.
COACHING STAFF ALMOST COMPLETE
The Dolphins will go into the game at Denver with their coaching staff almost all in place.
In fact, they announced Friday that offensive quality control coach Kolby Smith would be the only coach who'll have to miss the Denver game because of COVID-19 considerations.
Three assistants returned this week after missing the Chargers game — QB coach Robby Brown, defensive line coach Marion Hobby and outside linebackers coach Austin Clark.
Secondary coach Gerald Alexander missed the game at Arizona on Nov. 8, but was back for the Chargers game.
“It’s always good to get those guys back," Flores said. "I mean, they're obviously a big part of our team. Just good to see them out there and see them healthy and safe. Players were excited to see them. I was excited to see them. They just jumped right back in. They had been in a lot of meetings from a virtual standpoint, but it was good to see them in person face to face on the practice field."
JONES MAKING AN IMPRESSION
Defensive tackle Benito Jones is in line to play his fourth game for the Dolphins as a practice squad call-up, his second in a row as a COVID-19 replacement.
Jones, who played between eight and 12 defensive snaps in his first three appearances, has been getting better and better each week.
“From the first game until now, I feel comfortable," Jones said Friday. "That’s something that the coaches have told me from the first game to now I look like a different player. Just getting out there and getting that one game in, now just playing a couple of games, now you’re getting the feel of the speed of it. Now I’m adjusting. They’re pretty happy with my performance now.”
Jones was perhaps the most accomplished rookie free agent the Dolphins signed after the 2020 NFL draft after he started at Ole Miss and was invited to the Senior Bowl.
Jones conceded there's extra motivation in trying to show he should have been drafted.
“It’s a big motivation," Jones said. "Just showing what I could have done and can do. That’s the thing, just go out week to week, working here as an undrafted guy and getting the ability to play and just go out there and make the best of my reps that I get.”