How Miami Dolphins rookie Davon Godchaux is approaching NFL debut

Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux leaps to tackle Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West at Hard Rock Stadium. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

OXNARD, Calif. — Davon Godchaux either doesn’t know or wasn’t saying if he’s starting at defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s season opener at the Los Angeles Chargers.

But either way, the youngest member of Miami’s projected starting defense is going to play a lot.

Godchaux, a 22-year-old rookie from LSU, knows what his first, second and third responsibilities will be.

“Melvin Gordon,” Godchaux (pronounced GOD-chaw) said after Friday’s practice. “He’s a physical back. He likes to run between the tackles. (The Chargers) like to run the ball. Last year we had a problem stopping the run. So this game we really want to come out and show we can stop the run.”

Godchaux has been first-team defensive tackle opposite Ndamukong Suh for most of the preseason, but Jordan Phillips has closed the gap a bit lately.

“We’re going to play the best guys for that week for those matchups,” defensive coordinator Matt Burke said this week. “Tackle particularly, I mean they’re all going to play. We wave guys in there. We want to keep guys fresh. We feel good about the progress that Jordan (Phillips) and (Davon) Godchaux have made. I mean those guys are all going to play up front and like I said, we’ll just work our matchups in situations that we feel good about where we’re playing those guys. I have some clarity.”

Godchaux has proven to be a relentless worker with a commitment to fulfilling his potential.

“Just grind,” Godchaux said. “There are going to be tough times and adversity, but you have to overcome those obstacles. Just go after each and every moment that you’re in there. Whatever works for the defense. I’m here to do first team or second team. Whatever. I’m going to go in there and play my heart out. First or second team, it really doesn’t matter to me.”

In the preseason, Godchaux had seven tackles. Phillips had two tackles and one interception.

“I’m very ready,” Godchaux said. “I waited through a hurricane. So now we actually get to play. I want to see how it is. I want to play. I want to play fast. I want to get out there with Jordan Phillips, Ndamukong Suh, Cam Wake, William Hayes, Andre Branch, to get out there with those guys. I want to play fast. I want to enjoy it.”

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