The Dolphins are hopeful recently signed free agent MLB Rey Maualuga can help their run
defense, which ranked 30th last season. But the former Cincinnati Bengals standout has yet to play in a game because he joined the team overweight.
When he gets in shape, Maualuga is expected to challenge third-year incumbent Mike Hull, who replaced injured rookie Raekwon McMillan.
“My strengths are coming downhill and taking on blocks and stopping the run and leading by example,” Maualuga said. “If I come in and do all of that and show what I can do on the field in that aspect, I think everyone will follow, and I think we can be that much better on defense.”
Maualuga spent eight seasons with the Bengals, including two with current Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke. Maualuga had 27 tackles in 14 games last season before being released.
Rookie watch: DT Davon Godchaux, a fifth-round pick from LSU, made his second consecutive start and has an excellent chance of opening the season in front of DT Jordan Phillips, a second-round draft choice in 2015. Godchaux could be the only member of this year’s Dolphins draft class to start, though CB
Cordrea Tankersley (third round) and DT Vincent Taylor could be part of the rotations.
Noteworthy: Pro Bowl C Mike Pouncey saw his first game action since injuring his hip last season and played four series. “It’s always different when Big Mike is in there,” RB Jay Ajayi said. “He changed that whole dynamic.” … Two weeks after coming out of retirement, QB Jay Cutler was 5-for-8 for 105 yards and a touchdown in five series in his most recent game. He had a 72-yard strike to WR DeVante Parker and set up another score with a long pass that drew a pass-interference call.