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Dolphins Camp Has Bumps, But Arrow Is Pointing Up

Dolphins Camp Has Bumps, But Arrow Is Pointing Up

Despite some early bumps in the Dolphins Training Camp, Miami appears much improved

Despite some early bumps in Dolphins Training Camp, Miami appears much improved

Bumps aside, some critical areas are on the rise

There’s only been a few practices, and one in-house (rough and tumble) scrimmage. So any wholesale analysis, running hard in any direction, would be ridiculous at this point…

BUT, since we are all starving for Miami Dolphins football, who can refuse a nibble or two on some observations and commentary from the snack isle of Phinsnews?

Anyone, anyone–Bueller, Bueller?! Guess I’m showing my age… ohh well.

Adam Gase wants an aggressive team willing to dish out the lumber. So he pulled the trigger on having contact a bit early this Preseason by having a scrimmage with a fair amount of contact.

Some are questioning why the hard hitting so soon. His players aren’t among them, and neither am I.

To quote the man, “For the most part, we found the violence.”

Cam Wake is the best.

Truth is, Miami will win games in 2017 based on team play. A young team banging, to find out who has bite, will only help in the long run. If Cam is good with the decision, then I sure as hell am, too.

Getting physical early was nothing but good coaching… and anti Joe Philbinism at it’s core. Honestly, I don’t feel a damn bit ‘queasy’ in the least over this type of coaching.

Every teams has bumps, Miami seems have less than previous years

We learned right away that T.J. McDonald is ready to dish out the wood–and viciously. Unfortunately for Jay Ajayi that wasn’t a good thing. Ajayi was escorted off the field by trainers holding his helmet and is currently being checked for a concussion. I just hope Ajayi’s brain rebounds quick, both for team and himself. These guys give chunks of themselves for this game.

Damien Williams stepped up and delivered some nice runs in his absence–real glad he’s aboard.

It’s becoming pretty obvious that after McDonald’s 8 week suspension, the Fins should have a nasty top of this defense that can at times run the Mirror Scheme at Safety they ran with Isa Abdul-Quddus. Of course, we’ll see if he can cover a well as he hits.

This flexibility, however much it ends up being, will be a great asset for Matt Burke to scheme up some positive plays.

That brings us back to the bumps in the road: Reshad Jones’ calf. Calf injuries are notoriously fickle, and if not treated with kid gloves, it can lead to a disaster of a season. Tuesday will offer more info on this, but fingers and toes are crossed that Jones will heal fully… and soon.

Injuries are a bit of an ugly theme so far this camp.

There was big talk over 7th Round pick Isaiah Ford, but now he’s on his second opinion for a swollen knee (that’s never good). Miami signed Rookie FA Wideout Jordan Westerkamp to seemingly to fill his spot… or maybe Jakeem Grant, who fumbled a kick and punt return in scrimmage. Grant’s demeanor of hanging his head low seems to be the most concerning. Mental toughness is key to the position and in Gase’s eyes.

Pay per head software currently vote him as the surprise cut at this point.

Injuries have started to stack up early this Preseason

Hold your socks, Mike Pouncey did some drills! Drills! Next up: a Sasquatch dancing at practice tossing out winning lotto tickets.

Also, Bobby McCain was back from a nasty looking knee injury.

Maybe the worm will turn in Miami’s favor sooner rather than later?

Back to the bumps. The Offensive Line isn’t looking hot… not the dumpster fire it’s been in previous years, but certainly not the hot item of camp either. This is a HUGE key. It can’t be underestimated how crucial the OL’s play is to the success of this season. There are some signs of life, but will it be enough… stay tuned.

Let’s end on a good note, shall we:

Devante Parker is looking every bit the stud he was expected to be; Ryan Tannehill is looking sharper and more aggressive, working some magic in the Red one; and Laremy Tunsil is growing into a franchise player.

On defense, Kiko Alonso is playing fast at the Will Linebacker and making plays, Charles Harris is excelling at pass rush and getting called everything but the second coming of Wake… we won’t talk about his terrible Run D for the moment.

The big spotlight and ta-da is on second round pick Raekwon McMillan. By all accounts, McMillan appears to be settling in fast at the Mike Linebacker. While still only rook, he’s making all the calls, and tackling hard. If he can contribute solidly to this season, especially due to Koa Misi‘s absence is immense, he could be the most important pick Miami mad in 2017.

The Dolphins are off Tuesday with results on both Ajayi and Jones coming at some point during the day or early Wednesday. All in all, if Miami can get healthier, then the only real issue (so far) is the Offensive Line. Beyond that, this team looks to be a much better team than 2016. Given the tougher schedule, it remains to be seen if this year’s team will have enough growth to match last year’s success? Go Fins!!!


 

 

 

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4 comments

  • Lemmus

    EDIT!!!!!!

    …you were doing so well and then ????

    …that aside, it’s too early to make any assessments …the Ajayi and Jones injuries are worrisome but only if they linger …the OL is what it is, can Pouncy play 16 games remains the key …if if if

    • admin

      Tail end had some bumps didn’t it? Well, I’ll try and get that arrow pointing up. 🙂 Thanks… yeah, sometimes I wished I didn’t start that whole if thing… But, I hope this season can end that fateful word ASAP.

    • Stephen Fabrizio

      Lemus,

      You are right. The OL remains the real mystery now, and Pouncey is key. I for one don’t think he will make it thru the entire season. The question is who on the team is likely to take his place? Steen, Urbik, Larson,? Only time will tell.

      • admin

        Yeah, Stephen and Lemmus… it’s a mystery, but that mystery will be solved very soon. No matter what though, I see this year’s line being slightly better than 2016. Tunsil is better than Albert, who was pretty much done last year. In 2016, Tunsil was excellent at Pass protect and offered depth at Tackle, so that a regression to 2017. But, I do like Urbik better at G than 2016 Tunsil due to his experience, size, and better run blocking. Now in the long run Tunsil would be better, I’m just comparing last year. Now Urbik might not win the LG role, but I like Tunsil and Urbik better than Albert and Tunsil in 2016 due to better consistency and more rounded. If Pouncey plays, then it’s obliviously a better situation than 2016. But if not, Brendal, Larsen, or Urbik is equal to last year with Steen. At RG Bushrod will have a year of exp at the spot and will be better than 2016. Also, you now have Larsen as a back up and Asiata as the talented youth behind that. Last year it was Tunsil, Urbik and Bushrod and that’s it. So, I’d take this year’s interior core over last year’s. James also got on track mid way through the season, and I expect his play during that time to be what we see this year. The big wild card is Pouncey’s health and the lack of depth at Tackle. Either if those could swing the state if the line either way. But overall the inside is deeper and even though the wings are thinner, the experience and depth makes it a slightly better unit overall. Just my take. But if you look at what is going on at practice, the line isn’t showing itself to be the debacle it has in the past at this stage of the season.