Dolphins Notebook: Phase II Opens, DB Claimed Off Waivers, Flores Talks Tua

The Miami Dolphins had a heavy turnout on the first day of Phase II of the offseason program
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The Miami Dolphins added another rookie Monday when they claimed defensive back Trill Williams off waivers from the New Orleans Saints.

This actually is a pretty weird story because Williams became available after the Saints waived him with a failed physical designation but then were set to re-sign him, per multiple reports.

The Saints initially signed Williams on May 11 after he went undrafted out of Syracuse.

He becomes the sixth rookie free agent on the Dolphins roster, joining guard/tackle Robert Jones, fullback/tight end Carl Tucker, tight end (and college basketball player) Jibri Blount, defensive tackle Jerome Johnson and cornerback Jaitlyn Askew.

This was the scouting report on Williams from the NFL Draft Bible:

A part of the most underrated secondary in college football this past season, Williams was the Swiss Army knife for the Orange, having played a variety of roles. Blessed with an outstanding frame, with length for days, Williams is a very easy player to spot on the back end. Lining up mostly in the nickel in 2019, Williams made the move to free safety full time last season. He brings a physical brand of football, never shying away from contact. Williams is an explosive mover who is a height/weight/speed specimen that position coaches are going to get excited about on the next level. He plays angry, putting some massive shots in the pass game on film. But for a player as athletic and  impressive looking as Williams, he doesn’t pop on film as much as you’d like. He’s a little complacent in man coverage, getting flat-footed at the top of the stem, making for some easy completions. In deep zone, he seems to have an underwhelming understanding of spacing, making few plays on the football. Williams has made some splash plays working in short zone, but not nearly as many as his physical profile would suggest. When his athleticism and versatility are coupled, teams are sure to take a hard look at him. However, Williams is currently more athlete than player. Look for a team to take a gamble on him on Day 3, hoping they can unlock his obvious gifts.

HEAVY TURNOUT AS PHASE II BEGINS

Monday marked the opening of Phase II of the offseason program, which puts players on the field for the first time.

It also was seen as a gauge for what kind of attendance each team would have this spring, a hot topic in light of the NFLPA encouraging players to stay away from team facilities.

By all accounts, the Dolphins had very good representation on this first day.

Running back Myles Gaskin talked about the turnout when he spoke to reporters in a Zoom call in the afternoon.

"It was a good amount of us," Gaskin said. "We’ve been having these Zoom meetings, so it was good for guys. I think guys were excited to get out there to walk through it. It was very slow-paced, but just getting in that huddle, just having somebody call a play is different than just like reading off flash cards or sitting in this type of setting, a Zoom setting. It felt good.”

FLORES TALKS TUA

Head coach Brian Flores appeared on the radio show of former Dolphins tight end Joe Rose on Monday morning, and as one would expect, one of the topics of conversation was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

And, also as one would expect, Flores expressed his optimism at what's in store for the 2020 first-round pick from Alabama.

“We’ve talked to him about the Year 1 to Year 2 jump,” Flores said. “It’s a real thing. He’s more comfortable with just his surroundings, more comfortable being in a huddle, giving a cadence, going through his communication. Those little things that no one really talks about. He’s said this: He feels much more comfortable about doing those things. I think having a year under his belt will really help him. What we really like is him finding time to get with his receivers, getting with the centers, go through the cadence, go through the communication, go through his reads. They’re doing a lot of that on their own.”

FLORES THE FAN

During that same radio interview, Flores indicated he very well might end up attending playoff games involving the Florida Panthers and the Miami Heat.

Flores watched Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, which Tampa Bay won 5-4 on a late goal.

"I was on the edge of my seats," Flores said. "It was exciting. They were going after it. It was fun to watch."

THE WATSON WATCH

No, it hasn't gone away yet.

And, yes, it does need to be mentioned, even if at the end of a notebook.

We're talking, of course, about the idea of the Dolphins trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Over the past several days, it was brought up during a discussion between Rich Eisen and Peter King and then again this morning in the Monday Morning Quarterback column by SI NFL National Reporter Albert Breer.

After mentioning Carolina and Denver as possible destinations for Watson once his legal situation gets resolved, Breed added this: "I also would not ignore the Dolphins. Miami has a first-rounder next year, and two in 2023, and could also offer a young quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa) from a college program Texans GM Nick Caserio has a lot of experience with. Houston could then let Tagovailoa and Davis Mills compete behind Tyrod Taylor … and, well, we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves here. But I do think the Dolphins are in a place where they could offer something good for Watson that would also allow them to maintain everything they’ve built the last three offseasons."