Chris Perkins: Dolphins’ acquisitions of Chubb, Wilson might be finishing touches the team needed


			Chris Perkins: Dolphins’ acquisitions of Chubb, Wilson might be finishing touches the team needed
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There were smiles all around in the Dolphins postgame locker room Sunday, especially by, and nearby, the two newest additions to the team — edge rusher Bradley Chubb and running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

And why not?

These guys, both acquired at the Nov. 1 trade deadline, are the real deal, and their talent and attitude are fitting in well with the rest of the team. The Dolphins (7-3) needed pass rush help and they needed help running the ball. That’s why they got Chubb and Wilson.

Separately, each provides an answer for their side of the ball.

But together, they provide a path for the Dolphins to get to the playoffs, and maybe even win a game or two.

“Those two guys right there just add extra confidence to our team and our morale,” running back Raheem Mostert said.

And they bring good vibes in the process.

In one part of Sunday’s postgame locker room Wilson, who rushed for 119 yards in the Dolphins’ 39-17 victory over Cleveland, was playing along with a questioner who asked how good this team could be potentially.

“I don’t know,” Wilson said with a laugh. “I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out, huh?”

In another part of the locker room Chubb, who had three tackles, a half sack, and three quarterback hits, and fellow edge rusher Jaelan Phillips recreated the sack dance they developed before the game.

“Before the game we were talking and we felt like we’d have a good opportunity so we just tried to come up with some sack dances, talked about it, went out there and executed,” Chubb explained. “That’s all it was.”

Chubb, acquired from Denver, and Wilson, acquired from San Francisco, combined Sunday to give the Dolphins the 1-2 punch they needed in two critical areas.

Last week’s 35-32 victory in Chicago, the Dolphins debut for both players, was just a tease. Chubb had one tackle. Wilson had 72 yards from scrimmage (51 rushing, 21 receiving and a touchdown).

Their performances against Cleveland showed their capabilities, and stirred dreams of what lies ahead, which figures to be a line of good performances even, if it comes down to it, in cold weather playoff games.

Chubb is about action and opportunity, both for himself and others.

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, the former Dolphins quarterback and Palm Beach county native, absorbed 14 hits and was under pressure all game.

Chubb talked about the offensive line chaos he saw at the line of scrimmage with himself, Phillips, and Melvin Ingram on the field together.

“I see them pointing and talking and communicating, and kind of like over-talking, kind of getting themselves out of their game,” he said. “When you’ve got three dynamic people like that on the field there’s not much you can do so it’s just fun to continue to build with these guys.

“I feel like we did that off just raw talent. Imagine when we start leading and understanding how each other rushes and stuff like that. It’s going to be lights out.”

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was outstanding with 285 yards passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions, offered similar sentiment about the running game, which posted a season-best 195 yards rushing.

“Our running backs, with Raheem and Jeff, I mean, I’ve never seen a duo like this, and I’ve never been a part of a back field like that before, so this is cool,” he said before adding, “outside of the college realm, of backs in the NFL.”

Fullback Alec Ingold had no hesitation when asked what Wilson brings to the table.

“Energy,” he said. “He’s a ball of energy, man. You see that with yards after contact, you see that with the way he hits the hole with speed, decisiveness.”

The Chubb and Wilson acquisitions, when considered together, could be among the best acquisitions the Dolphins made recently. It sure seemed that way Sunday.

Wilson was asked whether this is special.

“Like I said, I think it’s [too] early to tell,” he said. We’ve got a long journey, a long ride, but the way those guys have brought me in, the love at the facility everybody around has showed me.

“Man, I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.”


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