Tag Archives: Miami Dolphins

Charles Davis says he wasn’t surprised by Antonio Richardson’s NFL draft slide (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Former Tennessee player and current television analyst Charles Davis was one of the first to raise concerns about the health of Vol lineman Antonio “Tiny” Richardson back in February.

But after Richardson was not drafted last month and signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings, Davis said he took no pleasure in being right.

“I saw that coming early in the process,” Davis said during a visit to Knoxville for a benefit honoring the memory of former Vol Harry Galbreath. “We saw him in the Combine, and I think it was my big mouth that said, ‘Something doesn’t look right…He doesn’t look totally healthy.’ A lot of buzz got created out of that, and I felt badly, because I wasn’t trying to denigrate the kid. He just didn’t look right.

“I followed up on it and I actually had three or four teams tell me, ‘He’s not clear on our board medically.’ So I knew there was something going on. So it didn’t surprise me when he slipped. He’s got to get healthy. When he does, we’ll see that talent come out.”

In more positive draft news, Vols lineman Ja’Wuan James was selected in the first round by the Miami Dolphins. Davis said he believes James impressed teams with his character and work ethic, which helped him move up draft boards.

“Ja’Wuan James I figured would go before Tiny. But I don’t think anyone saw him in the first round. That was a major surprise, but I’m very happy for him,” Davis said. “He was rising as we went on. He went from being considered a third, fourth round guy to a solid second round guy going into the draft. The Dolphins had a heavy need, really liked his character. After the troubles they’ve had, he’s the perfect antidote to that.”

Ja’Wuan James says Miami Dolphins’ pick fulfilled his wish

Ja’Wuan James at Tennessee’s pro day this spring (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Miami Dolphins officials said several times on Friday that they had “targeted” Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James for a long time.

The feeling was apparently mutual.

James said after his visit to Miami for a pre-draft interview, he knew he wanted to play for the Dolphins and he was overjoyed when the team selected him in the first round on Thursday.

“God definitely blessed me,” James said during a press conference in Miami. “He heard my prayers and answered them…I wanted to be a part of this team.”

James said he felt comfortable with the coaches, executives and players on the Dolphins — including former teammate Dallas Thomas, who he called one of his best friends.

James sidestepped questions about the Dolphins’ locker room drama from a year ago, when offensive lineman Richie Incognito was suspended for allegedly bullying teammate Jonathan Martin.

“That’s last year,” James said. “I’m comfortable with this environment.”

James said he based that on his “interaction with everyone on the coaching staff and everyone in the organization. Talking to some of the guys on the team, I just felt it was the right atmosphere.”

James also shrugged off a tweet from new teammate Mike Pouncey that seemed to make light of last year’s bullying scandal.

“It’s all part of the process of being a rookie,” James said.

James was a leader at Tennessee and one of the most media-friendly players at the team. He won his first press conference at Miami by displaying a similar charisma.

Asked if he expected to be a starter on opening day, he had a reply ready.

“I don’t expect anything,” he said. “I expect to come in and work hard. That’s how I was raised my whole life. You’ve got to earn what you’re given.”