Training Camp Battles: The WR’s

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The WR group for Miami just might be the most talented group we have had in quite some time and collectively if properly coached and utilized they can be one of the most talented groups in the league.

Miami have a loaded and crowded WR group with a variety of skills that complement each other. The projected starting 3 of Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker posses exactly what you would want from your receiving group.  Jarvis is an excellent slot receiver with the ability to be moved around to exploit match ups to the Dolphins advantage. The only knock on Jarvis is his limited TD’s when you consider the amount of times he has caught the ball his first two seasons. (Is Jarvis Elite?)

Kenny Stills had a somewhat disappointing 2015 season netting just 27 receptions in 16 games and 3 TD’s  I am not sure who to blame as Kenny just did not get targeted as much (63 Targets) as other receivers. (Landry had over 100 more targets)

Kenny is the speedster who can stretch a defense and with improved accuracy Tannehill should be able to exploit certain coverage’s to Miami’s advantage. Still with far fewer touches than Jarvis Landry he scored only one less TD than Jarvis last season. This is a contract year for Kenny Stills so it will be interesting to see if he can take advantage of it.

DeVante Parker a Tall, big body receiver has a large catch radius coupled with good speed  is a threat anywhere on the field but particularly in the Red Zone. Parker’s rookie season was reduced due to foot issues that needed to be corrected.

After he was able to get on the field the season was more than half way over. He played the last 6 games of the season and showed his potential. DeVante had his best game vs New England the last game of the season where he racked in 5 receptions for 106 yards  an average of 21 YPG and a 46 yard reception and 1 TD. Parker in his last six games averaged 74 yards per game and an average of 19 yards per reception and 1/2 TD, project that for 16 games and he would have 1,186 yard season with 8 TD’s. Parker is by far the only receiver who has the potential to be legitimate  #1 receiver. If he can remain healthy throughout the season along with his fellow starting receivers he could have a breakout season.

Wide Receivers currently on the roster:

88 Carroo, Leonte WR
81 Cruz, A.J. WR
19 Grant, Jakeem WR
15 Hazel, Matt WR
14 Landry, Jarvis WR
16 Murphy, Tyler WR
11 Parker, DeVante WR
87 Scott, Rashawn WR
82 Shippen, Brandon WR
10 Stills, Kenny WR
18 Whalen, Griff WR

As you can see with our 3 starting receivers we have a solid group with great potential. Miami also in the draft took a WR in the 3rd round Leonte Carroo who will be battling for playing time or be ready should one of our starters gets injured or maybe we go 4 or 5 receiver sets.The good news is all of our receivers are young, talented and complement each other well. Another potential exciting draft pick is WR Jakeem Grant who posses ridiculous speed and will be used in the return game and maybe a match up package or two. If all goes as planned our WR group will play a huge role in the success of this team.

 


Training Camp Battles: The Offensive Line

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The offensive line has been an issue with the Dolphins for Joe Philbin’s entire tenure, from bully-gate to failure to provide quality depth, on down to injuries, poor QB play and just plain old bad luck, the offensive lines under Joe Philbin has been a complete failure. The irony is Joe Philbn’s entire background consist of the majority of his career coaching the offensive line and he now is working as the offensive line and assistant head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

Under new head coach Adam Gase the Dolphins have made a concentrated effort to improve the depth and talent within the offensive line group and they are hoping to have better success with the unit that has plagued the former regime their entire tenure. The health of the offensive line coupled with a little luck is paramount as when healthy the Dolphins have a very good win loss record.

Adam Gase and his line coaches have studied the line issues and concluded that they needed more time in the weight room as he felt they did not do that with former head coach Joe Philbin who chose to spend more time in the classroom.

Time will tell if they have fixed these issues and there is no better place to find out than training camp with full pads on against our own Defensive front line considered by quite a few to be a loaded and talented unit maybe the true strength of the team. See (Iron Sharpens Iron)

This season the Dolphins have done a good job of improving their offensive line with a variety of moves along with better conditioning they have added veteran depth and even was fortunate to land what was considered the best offensive lineman in the 2016 draft Laramy Tunsil.

As we approach training camp Miami will finally get to see who steps up and can win what appear to be two legitimate openings at the Guard spots. The starters are locked in for the most part at three of the 5 offensive line positions LT Brandon Albert, Center Mike Pouncey and RT JaWuan James. Studies have shown when together and healthy just having these three in the lineup Miami had an 8-1 record. Add to that better depth through free agent acquisitions such as Jermon Bushrod, Sam Young & Kraig Urbik. Also hopefully with better strengthening of Dallas Thomas and Jamil Douglas on paper the Dolphins seem to have fortified a unit that has been under-performing these past 4 years.

So when training camp starts look for a battle between 5 players for key roles as starting L & R Guards as well as backups. We have Laremy Tunsil, Jamil Douglas, Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and  Jermon Bushrod most likely are the ones who are battling for the two open spots.

Here is the list of offensive lineman currently on our roster:

51 Pouncey, Mike C
64 Carter, Ruben C/G
66 McClendon, Jacques C/G
60 Urbik, Kraig C/G
75 Douglas, Jamil G
71 Painter, Vinston G
65 Steen, Anthony G
63 Thomas, Dallas G
77 Turner, Billy G
67 Tunsil, Laremy G/T
76 Albert, Branden T
70 James, Ja’Wuan T
68 John, Ulrick T
79 Young, Sam T
74 Bushrod, Jermon G/T

There is no bigger key to the offensive success of the Miami Dolphins than the offensive line.  Tannehill has been sacked more than any quarterback since he was drafted in 2012 and even though some of that falls on the QB a lot of the problems are due to bad luck, poor health, lack of quality depth and poor coaching.

Hopefully we will soon see the fruits of their labor pay off as training camp is fast approaching.

 


Training Camp Battles the DT’s

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Defensive Tackle is one of our strengths and why not when we have the best in the game in Ndamunkong Suh, despite some criticizing his play last year he played very well it’s just the price the Dolphins paid for his services will always be an issue for some. Not for me!

As contracts for other defensive players start to match or exceed what Suh is making  his contract will no longer be looked at as to exorbitant and people can focus on his play on the field rather than the money he is making. If you look at his play last year he was double-teamed and sometimes triple-teamed most of the year and that should have created opportunities for others (like a former DE who just broke the bank in NY) to really excel.

Jordan Phillips was a rookie that Ndamunkong Suh took under his wing according to some reports last year but as most rookies do he struggled last year and did not have the season he would have liked. But with one year under his belt he will be battling for the starting spot next to Suh against veteran player Earl Mitchell providing one of the more interesting battles in this years training camp.  With not to many DT’s on the roster I can see all but maybe one making the roster. If that is the case there will be another battle for that final spot between Deandre Coleman and Chris Jones.

Another possibility could be Miami trading one of their DT’s and picking up a future draft pick or a player of need like another CB?

Current DT’s on the roster:

62 Coleman, Deandre DT
52 Jones, Chris DT
90 Mitchell, Earl DT
97 Phillips, Jordan DT
93 Suh, Ndamukong DT

Miami has the DT position well stocked and it just might be one of the most talented position group on the team and as we all know it all starts up front an baring any injuries we can expect a dominant front defensive line that will help out the entire defense as they set the tone,


Training Camp Battles: The CB’s

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The CB position just might be the most unstable and open position on the team. After losing or letting Brent Grimes  go (Depends who is telling the story) Miami had no experienced  CB’s on the roster. Miami traded with the Eagles before the 2016 NFL Draft for two veteran players CB Byron Maxwell and LB Kiko Alonso. In addition Miami swapped their 8th overall pick in round one to Eagles for their 13th overall pick of the first round.

CB Byron Maxwell was inserted as one of our starting CB’s after a disappointing season with the Eagles  as one of their high priced FA signings a season earlier. Questions abound  as many wonder if Maxwell is truly a quality starting CB.

Miami also addressed the position in the draft as they traded up in the 2nd round with the Ravens and included their 4th round pick to get the 38th overall selection in the second round  and they drafted  CB Xavien Howard from Baylor. He has the size and play the style of game Miami will have their CB’s play.

Howard is a rookie and he will have to earn the starting spot opposite Byron Maxwell, he will be battling 2nd year converted WR Tony Lippett who is competing for a starting position. The Dolphins should be concerned with their CB position as I see this as our weakest position and it concerns me greatly.

The names on our roster at CB do not jump out at you, they are a bunch of no-names with limited experience. I am not sure if the Dolphins are done looking for more veteran help or not, but they should be.

38 Chekwa, Chimdi CB
33 Ekpre-Olomu, Ifo CB
25 Howard, Xavien CB
36 Lippett, Tony CB
21 Lucas, Jordan CB
41 Maxwell, Byron CB
28 McCain, Bobby CB
29 Patmon, Tyler CB
40 Pitts, Lafayette CB

In about 11 days we will see how things start to unfold for our CB’s who will need to be coached up and prepared for the season. The  CB position  is  a liability no matter how you look at it. Vance Joseph has his work cut out for him with the position he coached before becoming our DC.

Good Luck!


Only 3 Spots Remain

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We have 3 spots remaining in TDS fantasy football league so come and join the fun!

Link to The Dolphin Seer FFL:

CLICK HERE TO JOIN!  (http://fantasy.nfl.com/league/980041)

If you have any problems trying to join the league please let me know by posting in this article or email me at thedolphinseer@yahoo.com

 


Training Camp Battles: The Safeties

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After a brief holdout throughout OTA’s  and the first day of the Dolphins’ mandatory mini camp Safety Reshad Jones did attend the remainder of the mandatory mini camp without a new contract. After maybe realizing he may have overplayed his hand or maybe after private negotiations that assured Jones’s camp that  if they play out this year the Dolphins will reward him for his services but there was no way the Dolphin could negotiate with Jones with two years left on his contract and it would have set a bad precedent.

Reshad is by far our best Safety. I give him credit for realizing quickly he had no ground to stand on with his contract demands and to say he did not want to be a distraction to the team as his reason for ending his holdout. No matter the reason it is comforting to know Reshad is now back in the fold.

Next to Reshad will be Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus another ex Detroit Lion player who seemed to follow our big signing of DT Ndamukong Suh last year. Isa Abdul-Quddus is a solid player, good tackler, good in coverage and also can rush the passer well and will complement Reshad Jones well in our new defensive scheme under Vance Joseph and if both of our starters can stay healthy throughout the season the back end of our Defense will be well represented.

The battles in camp will be for depth and roster spots for the remaining Safety’s on our roster so lets look at who they are.

  • Walt Aikens
  • A.J. Hendy
  • Michael Thomas
  • Shamiel Gary

With a new defensive system being implemented our two players who were on the roster last season Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas will have only a slight advantage over A.J. Hendy and Shamiel Gary both undrafted rookie free agents signed this off season.

A.J. Hendy might have a chance to make a roster spot but like many late round and or undrafted free agent rookies the best way to sure up a roster spot is through special teams or to out play the other 4 Safety’s vying for a roster spot on the team.

Hendy lettered four years (2011-13; 2015) at Maryland, where he played in 42 career games with 18 starts. He started all 12 games as a senior in 2015 and recorded 76 tackles (48 solo). His 76 tackles ranked fourth on the team. As a junior in 2013, Hendy earned Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week honors after recovering two fumbles and returning an interception for a 28-yard touchdown vs. West Virginia on Sept. 21. 

He has the size the Dolphins like but his troubles and injuries marred what could have been a sold college career. He has a chance to put that all behind him and start with a clean slate in Miami. Hew just might be worth keeping an eye on to see if he can rise to the top and make the roster.

Current Safeties on the roster:

24 Abdul-Quddus, Isa S
35 Aikens, Walt S
27 Gary, Shamiel S
37 Hendy, A.J. S
20 Jones, Reshad S
31 Thomas, Michael S

Training Camp Battles: The TE’s

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One of the big stories involving our TE’s this offseason was when Cameron Jordan after a disappointing first season with Miami was asked to take a pay cut and the refreshing thing about it was his response to taking a pay cut “It doesn’t feel good, but at the same time I didn’t do much to deserve a raise, I’ll tell you that much.” said Jordan.

As a fan I appreciate that attitude but I also see why a player like Reshad Jones after playing lights out was trying to get a raise before his  last contract was just about half way up. Miami has a sold veteran TE situation as Cameron Jordan and Dion Simms both have different skill sets that complement each other well as Cameron is the better receiving TE and Dion is the better blocking TE.  Adam Gase will have options when he goes with a two TE set in certain packages in games. They both will be starters and assured a roster spot on the 2016 roster.

The other names in camp will battle it out for maybe one spot I do not see them keeping more than 3 TE’s on the final roster the only question is will rookie seventh round pick Thomas Duarte be the one to make the final roster. His draft status can make an argument both ways for the same reason. First the positive: He is a low coast player as being drafted in the 7th round is one step above being an undrafted rookie free agent. So if Thomas can show he is ready and has been studying his playbook and comes to camp prepared as best he can he stands an excellent chance to make the roster if he plays well because they drafted him and he is cheap.

On the other hand it is not a shock to see 7th round draft picks not make the roster and end up on the practice squad if they are not poached from team  on final cut week.

Current TE’s on the roster:

84 Cameron, Jordan TE
83 Duarte, Thomas TE
48 Gray, MarQueis TE
89 Hughes, Gabe TE
85 Jones, Dominique TE
80 Sims, Dion TE
86 Stoneburner, Jake TE

The TE position should see more production in Adam Gase’s offense and the ones who can catch the ball and block well are assured to find a home on this team.I will be looking forward seeing how Thomas Duarte plays this preseason as well as in training camp as he fights for a roster spot. With just 3 potential final roster spots for the TE position more than half the current TE’s on the roster will be hard pressed to make the final cut unless somehow they excel on ST’s and win out against some other fringe player on the roster.

 


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