For all the amazing numbers Luke Falk put up at Washington State, he got only one invitation for a pre-draft visit.
It was from the Dolphins.
Miami was interested in Falk and likely would’ve selected him had Tennessee not snatched him up at No. 199 overall, 10 picks ahead of the next time the Dolphins were up. However, after the Titans waived him and the Dolphins put in a claim, he ended up in Davie anyway.
“When I came down here to visit with them, it was a great visit,” Falk said, speaking for the first time since joining the team Sept. 2. “Great coaching staff, good culture. Just want to do everything I can to learn and try to develop each day.
“They just know the game of football. Even just being down here for a week, I've already learned so much in terms of Xs and Os and how much they pay attention to details and everything like that. They’re doing a great job in terms of trying to help me and get extra work after practice and get some extra meeting times as well.”
As the fourth quarterback on Miami’s roster, he’s unlikely to be active for a game anytime soon. The team has been going with Brock Osweiler as the backup to Ryan Tannehill, and David Fales is also contending. Adam Gase told Falk he’ll be competing for his job every day.
It’s unusual to carry four quarterbacks, and the Dolphins might not be able to keep doing that once they get deeper into the season and encounter inevitable injuries. That means Falk might not have much time to prove he’s worthy of a long-term investment.
As someone who made Washington State’s team as a walk-on, he’s undeterred. And he knows that kind of situation well after what happened in Tennessee, where the team was intent on keeping two quarterbacks and opted for Blaine Gabbert as its backup to Marcus Mariota.
“As a quarterback, you’re trying to always constantly improve,” Falk said. “Just a sense of urgency, intensity. The game’s a lot faster.
“I’ve always been in the (shotgun) all my life and it’s been tempo drops. Under center, you’ve gotta get going and you’ve gotta be fast, gotta be urgent. As John Wooden would say, ‘Quick, but not in a hurry.’ I think that would regard to me.”
Speaking of the Titans, Falk didn’t think he was very helpful to the Dolphins as they prepared to face them in last week’s season opener. By the time he arrived in South Florida, the staff already had its game plan in place. He joked that he couldn’t even help them much on the scout team because he’s not athletic enough to impersonate Mariota.
Falk, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, threw for 14,481 yards and had 119 touchdowns against 39 interceptions in four years of college. Some NFL Draft gurus projected him to go as high as the third round, but he was the ninth quarterback taken.
He worked out with about 10 teams prior to the draft (none called him in to their facilities for an official visit) and met with many more, but the Dolphins stood out. For starters, when he walked into their room at the NFL Combine, Dan Marino was sitting there.
“I was like, ‘Whoa, this is real,’” Falk said. “And Dan is in some of the meetings and stuff, too, so it’s still surreal for me.”
Marino even says cool things to Falk in the hallway like, “What’s up, Luke?”
More significantly, though, Falk was sold on Gase’s history working with successful quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and believed he would thrive under his guidance.
“There's a lot more on the quarterback in terms of protections and all that,” he said, comparing the Dolphins to Tennessee. “So I think you've got to really know the ins and outs of defenses and that is making me progress as a player.
“And they are taking the time to help me and really catch me up to speed because I've got a lot of vets in the room that have played a lot of football and know a lot. Same with coaches. They have been around great players.”
Check out The Palm Beach Post's Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.