- Dion Jordan suspended 4 games DE Dion Jordan is suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
- Mike Pouncey has hip surgery Fins OC could be out for 3 months
- Fins suspend S Don Jones For his twitter comments about Ram's DL Michael Sam
- Fins select OT Ja'Wuan James in 1st round James should challenge for the starting RT spot
Daryn Colledge reportedly agrees to a one year deal with Miami, and will serve as depth along the offensive line. He’s primarily a LG which will allow Miami to move one of the existing guards to center while Mike Pouncey recovers from his hip surgery.
He is catching on quick as his twitter feed says #Phinsup!
Football…real football is just a few months away, but what happens over the next few days sets the stage for Training camp, and will go a long way to determine opening depth chart placement for training camp rosters.
I think there are a few very important positional battles to look at over the course of the four days. There’s also certain situations that need to be seen. Let’s look at a few of those.
It stands to reason the coaches have a mental idea of who they’d like their starters to be. Mini camp just helps them reaffirm their beliefs.
Can Misi handle his responsibilities at MLB? They’ll test him to the limit. Giving him looks, and formations he’s probably not seen through out OTA’s to see if he can make the proper calls. That will show a few things. Can he adjust on the fly to what is happening correctly, and can he get the message out to the rest of the defense quickly enough for them to react pre-snap. With the up tempo offense this is vital.
Are the young CB’s ready to move up the depth chart? Regardless of where they end up, you have to assume all three young CB’s will see playing time once the season kicks off. That aside, where will they end up? Can Finnegan hold down the corner opposite Grimes? Can Taylor, or Davis take that spot? How much has Aikens learned? Can he be reliable against the bigger receivers?
The safety position is thin. Will someone surprise, and prove to the coaches they’ve got what it takes to challenge the starters?
Who will claim the OLB spot? Can Jenkins overtake Wheeler? Will Jordan get in the mix on passing downs? Who will be first off the bench in all the LB positions? Can Tripp move up the depth chart?
On offense, there’s competition in every area. Is Jensen just a camp arm, or can he challenge Devlin?
My Thoughts On the Kevin Coyle Interview:
This is the time of year when every new player reminds one of that shiny used car you just drove off the car lot. You did your research, and fell in love with the prospect of what this car can do for you. Maybe you were looking for comfort, and reliability? Or possibly something to hold you over until you could afford something better. In either case, you had expectations, and you felt comfortable this car would most likely suit your needs. That is how a coach sees every new player he is assigned. He may need to tune the engine, or tinker inside the dash, but the overall car is perceived as an upgrade, and a value. That’s the impression I get when I listen to coaches talk this time of year. Every player is a blessing, and each one is exactly what the team needs.
Here is most of Coyle’s Q&A interview from the other day. See if you don’t get a similar impression. I’ll comment under his answers as appropriate.
You can listen to the entire interview at www.miamidolphins.com
Bottom line the defenses job is to keep points off the board. We’ve finished 7th in 2012, and 8th in 2013. There are only 4 teams in the league that have been in the top 8 both seasons, those are SF, Seattle, Cincinnati, and us.
The bottom line is keeping other teams out of the end zone and giving yourselves a chance to win. Like every team in the league there’s areas we need to get better at, but when all is said and done if we keep people from scoring points that’s the job of the defense, and really that’s what it is. We’ve been doing a really good job of that. We’ve been very good in the red zone, we were 5th in the red zone last year, and first the year before. Quarterback ratings against us last year, we were 5th in the league at 77.3%. There’s a lot of positives. We’ve had the 2nd least amount of touchdowns against us over a two year period. Seattle being the only team that’s been better then us, so yeah, there’s quite a few things to build on, but we want to be the best in the league in all these things so, uh, I feel that we’ve made great progress, but we’re not where we want to be. We want to build a championship defense that is going to take us to the Super Bowl.
I wonder to myself how coach would have responded if someone brought up Darren Sproles. He absolutely killed us in the Saints game, and it seemed we didn’t have an answer. Then there was Graham. It’s great to point out the positives, but the defense got outscored 8 times. That’s a lot in a 16 game season. I wonder too, how he felt about the final two games. No sugar coating, just an honest opinion.
Each year some 90 something players get an invitation to knock their brains out for 6 weeks in order to fulfill their life’s dream to make an NFL roster. They come from all areas and walks of life to battle amongst each other for that chance. This year is no different. Miami has 30 rookies reporting, including their 7 recent draftees. What we’ll do here is go through what should be the most contested battles of camp, and the most interesting to watch. At this point it’s early to project the final 53, but I’ll give it a shot. We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball which should hold most of the real battles.
QB – With Tannehill the clear #1, and Moore backing him up, the battle to watch should be for the #3 position.
Pat Devlin – Pat’s done a respectable job in his limited opportunities, but is he an NFL capable QB? We know Philbin likes him so maybe that’s enough for now.
Brock Jensen – Brock was 70-7 as a starting quarterback through High School, and college. The knock on him is he does not have an NFL caliber arm. You have to believe the team will take a long look at his potential before making a final decision.
Most likely to make the roster: Tannehill, Moore, Devlin.
It would appear that Moreno, and Miller are locks to make the 53 man roster. Beyond them anything can happen as I don’t see an abundance of talent here.
Orleans Darkwa – Orleans is 6’0” and 210lbs. He runs a 4.44 40, and rushed for 925 yards in only 6 starts as a freshman at Tulsa. His issue has been durability. He has been hampered by injuries most of his college career.
Mike Gillislee – Mike didn’t see much playing time in ’13. He’ll get more opportunity to prove he belongs this summer.
Let’s start with the obvious. The quarterback, Ryan Tannahill is entering his 3rd season, and albeit slight, he’s shown improvement fairly steadily. With Bill Lazor coming in he’ll have that knowledge at his disposal that is vital to further progress.
Lazor has worked for Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, Mike Holgrem, Jim Mora, Jr, and lastly Chip Kelly. Interestingly, he has a degree in human development. He’ll need it. That’s a solid group of offensive minds from which to draw from. There is also a common denominator. All these coaches knew the importance of the running game. Everyone is focusing on Lazor bringing an up-tempo, Chip Kelly offense here, and he should, but the key to me, and Ryan’s progression will be a running threat.
To provide this Miami added Knowshon Moreno, to compete with, and possibly split time with Lamar Miller, and potentially Daniel Thomas if the light finally comes on for him. If Miami is successful in forcing the defense to respect the running game you’ll see players like Hartline, and Clay all of a sudden have space to break open. You’ll see Wallace single covered. You’ll see more points.
The number one priority coming into this past off season was to construct an offensive line that would make everyone forget the nightmare of 2013.
Dennis Hickey was hired as GM, and while it was apparent he was not Miami’s first, second, or third choice he’s fit right in and hit the ground running.
Hickey went out and quickly signed the best LT available in Brandon Albert to a 5 year, 47 million dollar contract. Did he overpay? Probably, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It was apparent since early in the 2013 season Albert was the apple of the Dolphins eye, and Albert felt the same about the team. So what’s a few extra million for a player who truly wants to be here, was a pro-bowler, and has that thing everyone keeps talking about called high character? It was a no brainer. The one risk, and it’s a big one is he’s got to remain healthy.