Cornerback McTyer battling for starting job
DAVIE — Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer did everything right on his interception in Friday’s practice. While defending wide receiver Jakeem Grant, McTyer read the slant pattern, jumped the route and finished by using his blazing speed to intercept the pass.
“It was just me just playing the situation and playing down and distance, and just getting a read on the quarterback,” McTyer said after Saturday’s third practice of training camp.
Coaches noticed that play, just as they have the others McTyer has made. That’s why McTyer lined up with the first team for a few snaps Saturday.
“I think he’s had a good start to camp,” coach Adam Gase said.
And now McTyer, who made the team last year as an undrafted rookie from Nevada-Las Vegas, has injected himself into the starting right cornerback picture alongside Cordrea Tankersley and Tony Lippett. But he seems unmoved. “I’m not really paying attention to that,” McTyer said of going with the starters. “I just want to come out here and work hard every day.”
Because of that, and his performance, McTyer, whose father, Tim, played in the NFL with Philadelphia
(1997-98) and Cleveland
(1999), has been a beneficiary of the Dolphins’ new training camp philosophy.
In past years youngsters would have to show their stuff for a few days before getting snaps with the first team. Things are different now.
“I’ve told the defensive staff ‘Let’s not wait around,’ ” Gase said. “‘If we feel like a guy is playing we’ll, give him opportunities, especially with the first group.’
“They feel like he’s played well enough to be put into that spot and compete with that first group.”
McTyer, such as most other rookies, first earned playing time last year on special teams. Late in the season he played from scrimmage. That experience has carried over into training camp.
“It gave me a lot of confidence, just being out there, getting some experience at corner and just knowing that I can play with those guys,” McTyer said. Second year cornerback Torry McTyer, right, earned a few snaps with the starting defense during Saturday’s practice.
The Dolphins are routinely rotating starters on both sides of the ball. But few expected McTyer to earn snaps with the first
team so early in training camp.
Perhaps this is the result of the offseason work McTyer did back home in Los Angeles, with former Dolphins cornerback Jamar Taylor (now with Arizona), among others. McTyer said he’s added eight pounds of muscle (he’s up to 190 pounds) while still maintaining his 4.3-second 40-yard dash speed.
The race for starting right cornerback will eventually work itself out before the Sept. 9 season opener against Tennessee.
McTyer is taking the same approach to that, and his eventual role on the team, as he did lining up with the starters Saturday.
“I just want to come out here and do what I can do to help the team win,” he said. “So whatever that is, it is what it is.”