DAVIE — Davon Godchaux was a fifth-round draft choice this season, and Jordan Phillips is a former first-rounder, but it is clear that none of that matters at the moment to the Miami Dolphins.
Because there was Godchaux, running first team, alongside Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake and Andre Branch on Friday afternoon.
And Phillips wasn’t. And this wasn’t the first time the rookie took reps ahead of Phillips, the mercurial lineman who can look like Tarzan at times, and not at all like Tarzan, at times, too.
“Never sleep,” Godchaux said of his approach. “Never sleep. I do go to sleep at night. But I can’t ever sleep on the field. I have to get better. Just because I’m in the starting lineup right now, don’t take that for granted. You know, go out and go out each and every day and get better.”
The Dolphins cautioned that Phillips is doing just fine. Not to read too much into Phillips. Not to read so much into Godchaux. Not to read too much into any of it.
“What we’re trying to do with some of the young guys, especially, is get them in against the top competition,” defensive coordinator Matt Burke said. “It’s not a reflection on Jordan. He’s had a solid camp and done what we asked him to do. It’s really us trying to move guys around and see them against top level competition and get a better evaluation. Godchaux’s had a good camp. He has flashed a little bit.”
Burke really wanted to make sure it was known Phillips wasn’t being punished.
“With Jordan, as always, it’s been consistency,” Burke said. “He’s had maybe one rough day of camp so far. One day he jumped offsides a couple of times. Other than that, he’s been consistent. That’s what we’ve been preaching to him. I know he stood up in front of you guys in the off-season and said the same thing. That was our charge to him when we came up: ‘Listen, it can’t be a part-time, it can’t be a flash play, it’s got to be a level of consistency. And he’s done that, he honestly has.'”
That said, Godchaux is making a positive impression.
“He’s doing a good job,” defensive line coach Terrell Williams said. “For a rookie, he’s strong, physical, he’s doing what you want a defensive tackle to do… In my mind on first and second down his number one job is to be physical with those guards and knock them back. We give them one responsibility. Knocks the guards back. Whether it’s run or pass. So if you’re thinking pass rush, as a defensive tackle on first and second down, then it’s a problem. So he kind of gets it. He comes from a good system of LSU.”
Godchaux said it’s been a blessing to work closely with Cam Wake, Ndamukong Suh and Andre Branch, “guys I’ve watched on TV.”
Midway through training camp, he’s starting to feel like he belongs.
“I know once I get going I can’t be stopped,” Godchauxs said. “Whether that’s one on one blocking or double-teaming, once I get off the ball, the sky is the limit.”
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