Dolphins Camp Has Bumps, But Arrow Is Pointing Up
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 a 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 votes 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!!!