For offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, his trade from the Baltimore Ravens to the Miami Dolphins meant he was coming home. McKinnie was a standout at the University of Miami, and he’s glad to be back in a familiar environment.
“It’s been going pretty good,” McKinnie said in an interview with the Finsiders. “It’s wonderful already having a place here, and then the plays, as far as the plays, being in different offenses, it was kind of easy for me. It was just the terminology that I had to learn.
“It is [nice]. You just have to focus on one place, you don’t have to worry about managing two different places. It’s easier.”
It has certainly looked easy for McKinnie since the get-go, as the former Hurricane has fit in nicely along a bruised and battered offensive line. In fact, McKinnie says he put extra pressure on himself to master the system because of the various issues the group has faced throughout the course of the season.
“It just made me really have to get into my playbook to kind of know what I have to do so I don’t have to rely on someone else, because one guy, [Sam] Brenner, he was a rookie, so I [didn’t] want to put a lot of pressure on him.”
Brenner has been another pleasant surprise for the Dolphins, as the rookie out of Utah has stepped up and played well despite being just a member of the practice squad a few weeks ago.
“He stepped in and did a great job,” McKinnie said. “The communication between me and him went pretty good and I actually enjoyed having him play next to me.”
McKinnie has also enjoyed playing alongside the rest of the offensive linemen and for coach Jim Turner despite the turmoil, which he said has brought the group closer together.
“I think it’s brought a lot of the guys closer and Coach Turner is actually funny,” McKinnie said. “He reminds me of Art Kehoe at the University of Miami, they [have] very similar personalities. He actually makes it enjoyable to come to work and sit in there with the rest of the offensive linemen, so I enjoy having him as a coach.”
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