Miami Dolphins scrimmage: Xavien Howard with interception, TD

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 1, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

MIAMI GARDENS — Xavien Howard intercepted Matt Moore for a touchdown return on the quarterback’s first pass attempt of Miami’s scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“From the get-go, I could tell from the splits and what stuff I was getting in practice, I was familiar with what I was seeing,” Howard said. “As I saw him break, I scanned to see would he throw it to him (DeVante Parker) and I just jumped in front of him and took it to the house.”

Howard has had a very strong sophomore preseason.

“He’s had an outstanding camp,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke said of Howard. “I mean, outstanding. Again, it’s hard. He was a rookie last year, didn’t play, had the (injury) issues, and that plays with you guys with people a lot, psychologically and physically. He’s had a very, very, very, very good camp and we’re putting a lot of expectations on him to continue that trend, so I’m excited to see it.”

Howard said recently that he is still learning the intricacies of the NFL game. It would seem that Howard is competing with Tony Lippett for a starting spot opposite Byron Maxwell, but Howard is clearly ahead.

In large part it’s because he’s feeling much healthier than he did at any point last season. The Dolphins relied heavily on Howard as a rookie because he was a second-round pick and Miami needed a starting corner.

“I’m doing more squats and stuff like that, stuff I was doing in college that helped me strengthen my legs,” Howard said. “I try to keep that and keep taking care of my body, being a pro.”

Burke said Howard is far ahead of where he was a year ago.

“Everywhere,” Burke said. “He’s physical, he’s putting his hands on guys. We drafted him for a reason and the athletic ability he has. He spent a lot of time in the off-season just (working on) technique, the stuff he didn’t get as a rookie because he was hurt this time last year and then we kind of threw him into the fire.”

Burke noted that Howard’s technique has improved remarkably.

“(Last year) it was more just like learning the scheme and just trying to get caught up to where he could just go play ball,” Burke said. “The technique work that he’s done with (Defensive Backs Coach) Lou (Anarumo) and (Assistant Defensive Backs Coach) Daronte (Jones) from really the offseason start forward. His technique is just … it’s been impeccable. Again, we’ll see. It’s only Week 1; but he’s just having a really good camp.”

Jay Cutler wants to play and would really like to play for Adam Gase again

Miami Dolphins: Davon Godchaux pushing Jordan Phillips

Miami Dolphins trying to replace injured guard Ted Larsen

Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore: ‘I’ve done this before.’

No matter what, they’ll all hold their breath for Ryan Tannehill

Get Dolphins stories right to your Facebook by liking this page

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s