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Rookies 'love' Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase and his two rules

By
Alex Butler
New Miami Dolphins DE Charles Harris. Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins
New Miami Dolphins DE Charles Harris. Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins

May 5 (UPI) -- A smile stretched Charles Harris' face after reporters asked him about sacking Tom Brady on Friday at Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp in Davie, Fl.

The Missouri prospect-turned-pro had one of the fastest first steps out of all the pass rushers available in the 2017 NFL Draft. He said Dolphins fans are already asking him to put the New England Patriots All-Pro in the turf.

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Harris was the No. 22 overall pick last Thursday in Philadelphia, Pa. The Dolphins snagged the Tigers defensive end/linebacker as the first of its six defenders chosen out of seven total draftees.

But as the circus of camera flashes and gaudy suits of draft night fades to black, Harris is ready to get to work. He spoke about that transition confidently.

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"It's been real smooth," Harris said. "I believe Miami did a great job of making sure everything's easy and well going. It wasn't hectic; it wasn't overwhelming or anything like that. I'm glad the cameras and everything is over with the whole draft and stuff is over with. So now, it's all about work. Behind these doors, we're all going to work and that's what it's all about."

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Harris had 18 sacks 136 tackles, and five forced fumbles in 35 games for Missouri. He hasn't signed his rookie deal yet, but has a few ideas on how to spend his new contract. Fans could see him do something similar to what Leonard Fournette and Deshaun Watson did for their mothers when they bought cars for them this week.

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"Yes, I've got something in the works," Harris said. "I can't really say right now because she's probably going to be seeing this. But I have stuff lined up for my family, for sure."

Harris is likely going to sign a four-year contract for north of $10 million.

The word "culture" is literally embedded into the walls of the Dolphins' training facility.

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It quickly became evident for Harris, and his fellow draftees, who was leading the culture: second year coach Adam Gase.

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"Just learn the way we do things, respect people in this building and really come to work every day and understand it is a one day, one day at a time league," Gase said. "If you go outside of that and you start worrying about things you can't control, that's where you get in trouble. I think the biggest thing we emphasized yesterday was that this is a prove-it league. It doesn't matter what round you were drafted – if you were drafted – nobody really cares."

One player the Dolphins are excited about is Ohio State linebacker Raekown McMillan. In its pre-draft discussions, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer called McMillan one of his "favorite players that he's ever coached."

"I was kind of a team leader out there," McMillan said. "My freshman year, I kind of sat back a little bit because it wasn't my place, it wasn't my time. But my sophomore year, going into my sophomore year, I wasn't a team captain but I was the leader of the defense. My junior year, I was a captain of the program. Everything that Ohio State stands for, you can see through me. As I walked around campus on and off the field, I presented myself to show good representation for The Ohio State University."

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Meyer has coached countless football studs, including: Tim Tebow, Alex Smith, Eric Weddle, Reggie Nelson, Percy Harvin, Cam Newton, Mike Pouncey, Maurkice Pouncey, Carlos Dunlap, Joe Haden, Brandon Spikes, Janoris Jenkins, Carlos Hyde, Aaron Hernandez, Ryan Shazier, Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, and many others.

The Dolphins picked McMillan with the No. 54 pick overall in the second round. The linebacker had 275 tackles, 18 takedowns for a loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown in 39 games for the Buckeyes.

General manager Chris Grier led the Dolphins war room in picking each of the college stars.

Love was already a common theme Friday for the rookies when it came to describing Gase.

"I love Coach Gase," said former Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. (He has) a lot of energy. He wants the best for his players, obviously, from watching him and being around him. Obviously he's a young coach, but he brings a lot of energy to the staff."

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Tankersley was the Dolphins' third-round pick.

"When I came here, I felt the same way I did when I went to Utah in high school," said fifth-round guard Isaac Asiata. "I felt that camaraderie, that brotherhood. You can just tell that everybody in the building loved their job. They loved coming here because they care about each other. They want to be successful. They want to win games. That's a really attractive trait to have, so I fell in love with that and the culture that they're trying to build here, (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase is trying to build here, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that."

Sixth-round defensive tackle Vincent Taylor said Gase has just two rules.

"It's pretty simple, an easy thing to follow," said the former Oklahoma State defensive lineman. "Just do the right thing and be on time, and I think you'll be pretty fine."

The Dolphins continue its rookie camp through Sunday. It starts OTAs on May 23. McMillan, Tankersley Asiata, Taylor, and wide receiver Isaiah Ford have all signed their rookie deals with the franchise.

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