Running back Phillip Tanner said he wasn’t out to prove anything in the fourth and final preseason game Wednesday night. But he did show the ability that helped him stick last year.
He carried nine times for 48 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in the first half before giving way to Lance Dunbar and Jamize Olawale in the second half. The other backs were brought in to give him competition for the third running back spot, and Olawale gained an edge on the others when Tanner was out with a broken hand and Dunbar missed time with a hamstring injury.
“It wasn’t like me going out here and proving anything,” Tanner said. “Like we’ve talked before, it was just going out, having fun, playing football – something I’ve been doing since I was 8 years old. Just going out, gelling with the team.”
Tanner gave credit to center Phil Costa and fullback Shaun Chapas for creating running room for him. His first seven carries gained 45 yards. And he said he felt sharp.
“I made sure I stayed in mentally when I was out with the hand,” he said. “I stayed in my playbook, stayed watching film, just going out and gelling with the guys. That’s the biggest thing.”
-- Carlos Mendez