DAVIE — A big part of the Dolphins’ plan on the defensive line is that second-year defensive tackle Davon Godchaux will grow into a great player. He’s comfortable with those expectations.
“You have to take that and run with it,” he said. “Each and every day, you have to come out and get better. I want to restart my mindset each and every year. I don’t want to come in like last year and I’ve got the first six games and now I’m big time now. No, you don’t want to take that approach. That’s when you get complacent and guys pass you up each and every day.
“You want to have a new mindset each and every practice. It’s hard. It’s hard coming out there each and every day and try to reset your mindset and try to refocus and try to do the same thing over and over; but you have to do it in order to stay in this league.”
Godchaux had 40 tackles, one pass breakup and one forced fumble in 15 games last season while playing 48 percent of the defensive snaps. That was the most playing time out of any defensive tackle other than Suh.
Godchaux came out of LSU with serious question marks and slipped to the fifth round, but he’s clearly taken a mature approach as a pro. Coaches credited him for diligent work on and off the field this offseason, and he’s working to change his diet.
Of all the second-year players Miami is banking on this year, Godchaux might be the most important. The Dolphins cut Ndamukong Suh in part because of their confidence in Godchaux developing into a full-time starter.
He’ll miss Suh, who was a mentor to him, but he seems to grasp the gigantic opportunity in front of him now.
“We expect to make a major leap — me, as a player,” he said. “You always want to set high standards for yourself, whether that’s personal goals for me. I’m not going to tell them, but there’s personal goals for me. I want to reach those goals. If I don’t reach them this year, then I’ll come back next year next year and try to reach those goals, too.”
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