Cornerback Xavien Howard and receiver DeVante Parker both missed a significant part of Miami Dolphins training camp last year because of injury, so they didn’t get to wage the one-on-battles in practice Howard now relishes so much.
“I love competing against DeVante,” Howard said after Sunday’s practice, the fourth of training camp. “I feel like he can be the best receiver in this league and I want to go against the best every day.”
What makes Parker tough to cover?
“His releases. My main goal is to try to get my hands on a receiver, and his releases are so quick, it’s hard to get my hands on him,” Howard said. “It messes the timing up.”
Parker, who’s entering his third NFL season, and Howard, going into his second year, are widely regarded as the two young players most likely to have a breakout season for the Dolphins in 2017.
But while Parker has established himself as a starter after 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games (eight starts) last fall, Howard is battling Tony Lippett for a starting spot opposite Byron Maxwell in a secondary Maxwell said arguably is the team’s deepest unit in talent.
“Every day, me and Tony have been competing,” Howard said. “He wants the best for me and I want the best for him, and the best man’s going to win the job. At the end of the day, we’re just getting better competing and learning from each other.”
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