Which Miami Dolphins rookies are likely to play special teams on Sunday?

Dolphins defensive back Torry McTyer celebrates after breaking up a pass intended for Vikings and ex-Hurricanes receiver Stacy Coley. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

OXNARD, Calif. — Miami Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi cited rookies Maurice Smith, Torry McTyer and Chase Allen as three rookies who are ready to contribute effectively.

All three players were undrafted and all figure to play on Sunday against the Chargers.

“‘Mo’ (Maurice) Smith definitely jumped out,” Rizzi said. “He flashed in every one of our games, every one of the preseason games. He played in all of them on special teams and defense, and he definitely jumped out at us as a guy that it didn’t seem too big for him.”

Smith is a safety who can also play cornerback.

McTyer is a cornerback who can also play safety.

Allen is an option at middle linebacker behind Mike Hull, if Rey Maualuga is not available.

“A couple of guys that I thought really got better as we went along were Chase Allen and Torry McTyer,” Rizzi said. “I thought those guys really progressed nicely. (They had) really a nice rookie progression as camp moved forward and they were peaking at the end of preseason.”

Third-year running back Senorise Perry also figures to be a key special teams contributor, according to Rizzi. Perry made the team over Storm Johnson and it seems special teams were a factor.

“Senorise Perry really played well on special teams, in many different facets,” Rizzi said. “I think many people will probably point at (the fact that) he fumbled a kick return and all that, but he really played well in all of the other facets. I was really, really impressed with him.  So those guys, all of those guys, were impressive throughout for a lot of different reasons.”

It’s never easy for a special teams coach to know how youngsters will respond in the opener.

 “It’s a big learning curve because a lot of these guys haven’t done it at all,” Rizzi said. “It’ll be the first time – if some of these guys are active on Sunday – it’ll be the first time ever doing it in live action. Listen, the preseason, there’s a lot of great things about the preseason, but it really for me as a special teams coach, is a lot different than offense or defense, because we’re really evaluating personnel… Some of those guys have played a little bit (of special teams), but a lot of them have not, so that’s what we’re really trying to drum home in their minds is that this regular season is going to be amped up a notch. It’s going to be a little bit different for them; but all of those guys, in one way or another, have really shown it.”

 

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