DAVIE — There’s a lot of pressure on the Dolphins’ rookies right now between trying to learn the playbook and adjusting to everything else that comes with playing in the NFL.
One challenge is tempering their enthusiasm during offseason practices that allow for minimal contact. Linebacker Jerome Baker, a third-round pick, said it hasn’t been easy to restrain himself and pull back at the last second from hitting someone.
“Sometimes it’s hard when you’re running full speed,” he said. “It’s a regular play, you just run through them. But we’re pros now. You just got to take care of each other. It’s pretty cool.”
It’s been a significant change for Baker from Ohio State, where the coaches apparently didn’t discourage contact. When the Dolphins held a walk-through last week, it was much more low-key than what he was used to.
Dolphins defensive players have occasionally been scolded for getting too physical in offseason practices, or for getting too close to the quarterback, and Baker’s already heard it from some veterans.
“I have players be like, ‘Alright, calm down,’” he said. “Especially at walk-throughs. Even in college, it was a full — We were going hard. You just weren’t hitting anybody. Here, the walk-throughs are a little toned down, but I was still in my college mind of going hard and sometimes it gets you in trouble a little bit. But it’s all good.”
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