DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have a lot of questions at linebacker this season. But there is an unheralded rookie who has provided optimism with his play in training camp and the preseason.
Dolphins fifth-round pick Jordan Tripp has been one of the pleasant surprises in Miami this summer. He’s shown good athleticism, instincts and smarts at linebacker. The Dolphins even gave Tripp a few reps with the starters on Tuesday to see how he fits with the defense, which is confirmation of how much he's impressed Miami's coaching staff.
ESPN.com’s Dolphins page caught up with Tripp this week to get an update on his progress:
Jordan, your dad and grandfather both played college football. Did you at any point think about breaking that streak and doing something else?
Jordan Tripp: You know, they did both play football. But they never forced me to. I always grew up wanting to play. My dad never forced me into anything, but he always supported me in whatever I wanted to do. Whatever I wanted to do just happened to be football. My little brother, he’s going into welding and engineering, and my parents support him just as much as they support me.
There aren’t many places more different than Montana and Miami. How has the off-the-field transition been?
JT: The weather [laughs]. ... The weather and in Montana I can drive five minutes and I could be out in the country. I can go to a ranch or something in 15 minutes [in Montana]. Around here there is nowhere to get out in the country as much.
How comfortable are you so far in Kevin Coyle’s defense?
JT: The way the coaches help us out and the amount of time that we have, I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with each rep. And right now I’m starting to feel more comfortable and that’s allowing me to play faster.
This week you received a few reps with the first-team defense for the first time. What’s that like?
JT: It’s fantastic when you get to be with the guys who have done it and some guys who have been to the Pro Bowl, it helps you to play faster. I feel like I play faster out there with them, and it’s only going to make me better. I’m going to feel more comfortable when I get that opportunity in a game so I maximize it in a game.
How does your role change in base versus nickel defense?
JT: You’re expecting the pass more, but teams will scheme it to where they’ll run. It’s just one of those things where you find out where you fit in that scheme. The coaches have a number of different schemes, and it’s our job to run it how they teach us.