Veteran defensive back Jason McCourty has seen a lot during his 13-year NFL career, and that includes going through losing streaks.
He actually went through the mother of all losing streaks in 2017 during his one season with the Cleveland Browns when that team joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to finish with an 0-16 record.
So you’ll have to forgive McCourty if he’s not looking back at that one season in Cleveland for inspiration on how to help the Dolphins snap out of their current five-game skid.
“Whatever we did in Cleveland, don’t repeat it because we continued to lose,” McCourty said jokingly. “So I don’t really want to touch on that. But I don’t know, each team is different. I think at the end of the day, you’ve got to show up to work and you’ve got to be ready to work with a positive attitude. I think that’s not just football, that’s life. There’s going to be times where you go through adversity, where things don’t go your way.
“I’m sure most of you (media members) have children. There’s times you’re teaching them a lesson or maybe you don’t like your teacher or got a bad grade and how do you respond? I think for us as a team, it’s continuing to get up every day with a positive attitude. Making sure you’re watching the same if not more film this week to prepare for Atlanta than you did last week for Jacksonville. Making sure we’re not getting down on ourselves or looking for excuses but that we are continuing to put the work in and we’re continuing to move forward.”
GESICKI NOT STOPPING JUMPING
Tight end Mike Gesicki had a productive game against Jacksonville last Sunday, but there was one cringe-worthy play where he tried to hurdle a standing defender after making a catch only to come down in front of that player.
It was a potentially dangerous position for Gesicki to be in considering he did get caught in the air, not that the tight end really saw it that way or is about to stop trying to hurdle defenders.
“I will not quit the hurdling game,” Gesicki said. “If there is an opportunity, which there probably wasn’t an opportunity on that one … (laughter) It is what it is. Get the ball in your hands and try to make a play. That is all that was.”
GASKIN PLAYING CATCH-UP
You don’t have to tell running back Myles Gaskin that he had an uncharacteristically tough time catching passes out of the backfield against Jacksonville because he’s well aware of that, and he’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Advanced stats on pro-football-reference.com charged Gaskin with only one drop Sunday, but it’s probably more accurate that he dropped three very catchable passes and then he bobbed a swing pass long enough to allow defenders to close in on him to stop him for no gain when he easily could have picked up 3-4 yards on another play.
“More time on the JUGS,” Gaskin said. “Just got to have a better mind-set. I had a hard day, had a rough day. Not catching the ball, a lot of drops. Just got to keep working on it, focus on it, don’t take the little things for granted about catching the ball and all that type of stuff. Not trying to worry about making a play after you catch the ball, just have to lock in on catching the ball.”
BRANDON JONES AND THE FINAL PLAY
It took quite an extraordinary set of circumstances for Jacksonville to put itself in position to kick that game-winning field goal Sunday, particularly being able to complete a 9-yard pass on fourth-and-8 and doing so in only 4 seconds.
Safety Brandon Jones was the one who touched down wide receiver Laviska Shenault after the catch, though Jaguars coach Urban Meyer had alerted officials he wanted a timeout the second Shenault went down as a way of giving himself up and ending the play.
“We told our quarterback and Laviska, and I had the official right there and I said, as soon as he catches and goes down, timeout,” Meyer said. “He caught it, time out, and there was still that one second left.”
Jones was asked whether there was anything he could have done differently.
“I think I just would have paid attention to the situation that we were in,” Jones said. “Obviously with three, I don’t know how many seconds they had on the clock left but it was definitely a learning experience for me and I think, did I have to touch him right then and there? Could I have waited and maybe the one second that ran off the clock? It is what it is at this point. Like I said, it’s just a learning experience for me and just taking what happened and learn from it at the end of the day.”
TUA AND HIS RIBS
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got through his first game back from his rib injury without any significant issues, which certainly was a positive development.
That doesn’t mean he was or remains pain-free.
“Sore,” Tua said Wednesday. “My ribs are sore. But I’m just glad I got to get out there and play with the guys. Obviously it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted but thank the good Lord above that we have another opportunity to play this week, as well.”
Tua explained the recovery process with the injury, which he sustained in the first quarter of the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at Hard Rock Stadium.
“I guess it was a day-to-day thing depending on how I felt throughout that week or depending on what day it was,” he said. “We kind of rested it the first week and a half or first two weeks, and then I kind of sat down with the training staff and we kind of talked about things that we were going to do to try to help with speeding it up or whatever you want to call that.”
Lastly, Tua was asked whether he was experiencing discomfort while throwing the ball these days.
“Yes and no,” he said. “Yes, there are some points of discomfort when I do certain things. But, no, because when I’m in the game, you’re just going. It just gets to certain parts of the game, I guess.”
So much for the idea of bringing back veteran offensive lineman D.J. Fluker.
The former first-round pick signed Wednesday with the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad and they promptly protected him from being poached by another team.
Fluker, of course, signed with the Dolphins as a free agent in the offseason but then was placed on injured reserve early in training camp and ended up being released off IR with an injury settlement.
Earlier this week, Fluker was reinstated by the NFL after a six-week league suspension.
Ironically, the Raiders now employ two veteran offensive linemen the Dolphins signed in the offseason but let go, Fluker and guard Jermaine Eluemunor.