From meeting Dan Marino to learning playbook, QB Skylar Thompson details Dolphins rookie minicamp

Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson hadn’t met Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle upon completion of his first rookie minicamp practice Friday, but he did have a quick interaction with a Dolphins legend.

As he walked out to the practice field for that initial session, Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who is now in Miami’s front office, was there to greet him.

“It was just a welcome, getting to know me a little bit,” said Thompson, the Kansas State alum who was taken in the seventh round of the draft by the Dolphins. “I was heading out to practice, so it was very quick passing by. Just said hello, and he said he’s getting ready to get to know me and work with me a little bit. That was cool.”

Thompson, mature for a rookie as he will turn 25 next month, then had the all-time great watching drills as he threw his first passes in a Dolphins practice jersey shortly after signing his contract Friday morning.

“It’s very surreal,” Thompson said. “Obviously, one of the NFL greats, being able to be present. Got to meet him, and [quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell] was saying that he comes around and hangs out and watches film. We can have access to ask him a question, whatever the case may be. That’s a great tool to use, and I plan on using it.”

Thompson comes to the Dolphins understanding his role. He’s not expected to put up Marino-type numbers — just support Tagovailoa and veteran backup Teddy Bridgewater as he and Chris Streveler will compete to be the team’s No. 3 quarterback.

“I’m coming in here to help the quarterback room be the best quarterback room in the NFL,” Thompson said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team win. Whatever they need, whatever Tua needs to be successful, that’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to make the team better and help us win in whatever way possible.”

Thompson came out to Miami initially after getting drafted to tour the team’s facilities, meet people in the organization and get his playbook. He went back to Kansas City and moved out from his place at K-State before returning to South Florida on Thursday ahead of Friday’s first of two minicamp days of on-field work.

“The past two weeks have been a whirlwind,” he said, “but I’ve also been diving into the playbook and learning that to where I can be prepared to come in here and have a good camp and good start here. It’s been very busy. Time’s just flying by. Busy’s good.”

It helps Thompson that he has familiarity with many of the elements of new Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel’s offense. The Wildcats, primarily in a West Coast offense, did a variety of things offensively, including 50-50 work in shotgun and under center. Thompson also has familiarity with the play-action pass, run-pass option (RPO) and calling plays in a huddle, which many college teams don’t do.

“First and foremost, you got to take care of the football,” Thompson said. “You can’t turn over the ball in this offense. Just got to be very confident in what we’re doing. There’s quite a few [things] that are going on and responsibilities that we have, so just being able to slow the game down and make the game simple, and I think that’s the biggest part of this game in general and playing quarterback.

“Right now, everything seems complicated because it’s all new. I’m just getting better. It’s going to be a process that I’m going to have to work through and have some bumps in the road, face some adversity. That’s going to be fine. Just got to put the time in it, and I will.”

Bevell came away impressed with Thompson’s start as a professional.

“I really liked his command,” the new Dolphins quarterbacks coach said. “I liked the way he was able to enter the huddle, communicate with the guys because the plays get very wordy. And then he was able to make some plays with his arm. Good first day.”

Thompson’s maturity was certainly something he liked when evaluating him in the pre-draft process before Miami’s decision to draft him.

“He always, as I watched his tape, played it with a good base,” Bevell said. “He’s an older guy. He’s played it for a while, as well. He’s got a lot of experience.”

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