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Miami Dolphins restructure Benardrick McKinney’s contract

Last week, I told anyone that listened how much I liked the Miami Dolphins trade for linebacker Benardrick Mckinney. I believe I said it was a good deal for both sides, and I thought that he was locked up under contract for a few years was beneficial for the team and could allow them to work on deals with some of the team’s other pending free agents. I was wrong! 

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the contract details were a little more than your typical everyday restructure.

 

Now, the first question I had after reading this is, “where will that fresh $4M worth of cap space go?”

Some might try to spin it as a bigger trade, probably for a certain quarterback to generate clicks and engagement. I won’t do that.

What I will say is that there are three in-house candidates:

All-pro cornerback Xavien Howard is seeking more guaranteed money, though the way he handled himself last night wasn’t the most professional. (It was well-written, I just would’ve preferred it be an email to the team or letter sent by Carrier Pigeon to Chris Grier’s office) Could that money be used to make Howard happy?

Emmanuel Ogbah, on the other hand, wants a new deal and has handled himself the right way. And let’s not forget tight end Mike Gesicki is in line to get paid, as well.

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Additionally, McKinney’s restructure made me wonder whether or not the Dolphins were already targeting a younger, cheaper linebacker via trade.

And let’s not forget, if Benardrick McKinney hits free agency, the Miami Dolphins would be in line for a compensatory pick. Something I reckon Chris Grier and the team knew when they made the trade several months ago. But again, I think what McKinney brings to the defense, WHEN HEALTHY, is deserving of a multi-year deal. However, with a birthday later this year and the age of 30 on the horizon, perhaps McKinney was never a long-term solution at middle linebacker?

As with anything in Miami Gardens, no one truly knows what Chris Grier and the Miami Dolphins are doing. But that won’t stop us all from speculating! I will update this article throughout the day with any important news and information regarding Dolphins linebacker Benardrick.

Enjoy day two of Miami Dolphins training camp!

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5 Stories to Track in Dolphins Training Camp

As we get closer to the start of training camp, I wanted to let you guys and gals know what storylines I’ll be spending my time in training camp observing. There are other question marks on this team outside of Tua that need answering before we can take seriously this playoff or bust attitude most seem to have. 

Run Game

One of the biggest storylines the entire offseason has been the “need” to improve the run game by drafting or signing elite talent. Names like Aaron Jones, Najee Harris, and Javonte Williams have all been talked about in insufferable amounts, but Myles Gaskin remains as the “workhorse” back heading into the 2021 season. The only addition to the RB room is Gerrid Doaks and Jordan Scarlett, which leads me to believe they expect (or hope) that the Oline developing is how they’ll be able to improve on a rush offense that finished 22nd in total rush yards with 1688, 29th in ypc with 3.9 and coming dead last for the longest run at 31 yards.

Rush Defense

One of the things Belichick always preached is the ability to stop the run first and then worry about the pass second, making teams one-dimensional. Last year at times it felt like teams could run at will against the Dolphins. In 2020 as a team, they finished 16th in overall rush yards p/game given up at 116.4, 24th in yards per away game with 132, and gave up 4.5 yards per carry which were tied for 16th in the league. The team expects further development from Raekwon Davis who at times showed dominance, as well as the additions of Adam Butler, John Jenkins, and Bernardrick McKinney helping add to Baker, Wilkins, and Ogbah who all played well last season.

Battle at WR

Excluding the top 3 guys in Parker, Fuller, and Waddle, the next 3 maybe 4 jobs are up for grabs for players like Lynn Bowden Jr, Albert Wilson, Preston Williams, Mack Hollins, Robert Foster, Malcolm Perry, and others. Will position flexibility help some stay on the active roster like Perry who can play slot, RB, and special teams, or Mack Hollins who can play WR, special teams, and even TE in a pinch? WR4 will be a crucial position on this team as most of the WRs have injury histories so expecting them to play more with one extra game is imprudent, especially when you consider WR4 will be a starter week 1 due to Fuller’s suspension. All the ingredients on paper, are there for one of, if not the most, explosive WR room in the league. It’s almost time to see if they can all put it together on the field.

Co-Offensive Coordinators

Heading into Flores’ now 3rd season and being on his 3rd and 4th Offensive Coordinator makes it a pivotal factor in how this season can go. From everything being put out, it will be a run game/ pass game coordinator situation with Godsey calling the plays on gameday due to his experience doing it with the Texans while having Studesville give major input throughout the week as well as handle anything needed on the field as Godsey will most likely be in the press box. Whatever way they decide to roll, they need to be quick and decisive in the decision because a certain 2nd year QB is fighting for his NFL life and needs people in his corner who are a help not a another obstacle, also I’m not sure how it will look to be hiring your 5th OC heading into your 4th year as a Head Coach.

Rookies & Second Year players first training camp

You know you can’t have a Dolphins article and not talk about Tua, who yes does need to improve but so many other players must perform, and it all starts in training camp to see if they can handle it. Can Brandon Jones, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland earn the trust of the staff to play large snap counts for 17 games? How about Lynn Bowden, Jaylen Waddle, Salvon Ahmed, and Gerrid Doaks who may all be integral parts of the offense at different points in the season. How are Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Solomon Kindley, and Robert Hunt going to respond from shaky rookie years and with some staring at potential position switches to have a chance to play. These are all questions that need answering to have a successful season full of progress and development from your first and second year guys.

Ultimately if this team wants to have a playoff or bust attitude, the foundation begins on July 27th as a training camp with games and also 2 scrimmages against other teams, will allow the team the ability to gel and improve in a “normal” atmosphere that some have never even experienced.

 

 

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53-man Projection for Your 2021 Miami Dolphins

53-man Projection for Your 2021 Miami Dolphins

With under 2 weeks left into training camp officially starts on July 27th, 2021, I wanted to invite you into my thinking process as to who ends up emerging and becoming a part of your 2021 Miami Dolphins. Keep in mind that this does not account for trades, potential practice squad players nor transactions that may come after league-wide cuts.

QB (2)

Tua Tagovailoa & Jacoby Brissett 

This is one of the easier ones as it is all on Tua this season with Jacoby there to help him understand what he’s seeing. Jacoby also has experience starting so that if Tua gets dinged up and must miss time like last year, we may not see a drop in QB play.

Not making team: Reid Sinnett

RB (4)

Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed & Gerrid Doaks

While some have Jordan Scarlett also making the team, I believe this team will go with Gaskin & Ahmed as the speed backs and Brown & Doaks as the power backs in that order. Keep in mind this will most likely be a running back by committee where the person with the hot hand gets most of the caries that afternoon. Doaks having special teams experience already from college is a big plus and may end up solidifying his spot on the roster. 

Not making team: Jordan Scarlett, Patrick Laird & Carl Tucker

WR (7)

Will Fuller, Devante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams, Lynn Bowden Jr, Robert Foster & Malcolm Perry.

In what is the most competitive room on the entire team, we see the Dolphins go for what it loves most in younger players with untapped talent on cheap contracts. Barring any trades or injuries, the top 3 in Fuller, DVP, and Waddle are all locks. Outside of those 3, it’s a bloodbath to determine who sticks. Preston is firmly on the bubble; I expect another impressive camp that keeps him around, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s cut or traded. I also have the battles between LBJ vs Albert Wilson & Robert Foster vs Mack Hollins, going to Bowden and Foster due to being younger and cheaper in Bowden’s case, and Foster because of familiarity with Tua and special teams play. Malcolm Perry also squeaks in because of the position flexibility to play slot, RB, and special teams.

Not making team: Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins, Allen Hurns, Kai Locksley, Kirk Merritt & Albert Wilson.

TE (4)

Mike Gesicki, Hunter Long, Adam Shaheen & Cethan Carter

When looking back at the 2020 Miami Dolphin’s roster breakdown it’s almost impossible to gloss over the fact the team only kept 3 TEs when this season it could be a 5 deep position. I have the Dolphins keeping 4 this time around with the “surprise” being Durham Smythe as I expect them to go with the more versatile player in Cethan Carter and Hunter Long taking most of Smythe’s 675 total snaps per PFF.

Not making team: Jibril Blount, Chris Myarick & Durham Smythe.

OL (9)

Austin Jackson, Jessie Davis, Matt Skura, Liam Eichenberg, Robert Hunt, Michael Dieter, Solomon Kindley, DJ Fluker & Robert Jones

Another position group that I looked back on last year and we kept 9 so I went with the same amount. The battle of backup Center went to Dieter because of the flexibility to also play him at Guard in a pinch. The swing tackle will be Jessie Davis or Fluker who can also play Guard. The developmental OL went to Robert Jones over Larnel Coleman and Adam Pankey.

Not making team: Cameron Tom, Durval Queiroz Neto, Larnel Coleman, Jonathan Hubbard, Adam Pankey & Timon Paris.

DL (6)

Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis, Emmanuel Ogbah, Zack Sieler, Adam Butler & John Jenkins

Barring any injuries, this Dline will be comprised of mainly Wilkins, Davis, Ogbah, and Sieler with sprinkles of Adam Butler & John Jenkins. Last season post the Godchaux injury, the Dline rotation was essentially the same top 4 with others lightly contributing. I expect more of the same and will be curious to see if the development of Davis, as well as the additions of Butler and Jenkins, will help improve this rush D which at times, would get gashed on command.

Not making team: Nick Coe, Jonathan Ledbetter, Tyshun Render, Jason Strowbridge, Jerome Johnson & Benito Jones.

 LB (8)

Jerome Baker, Bernardrick McKinney, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jaelan Phillips, Duke Riley, Vince Biegel, Elandon Roberts & Brennan Scarlett

The LB room after the McKinney trade and drafting of Jaelan Phillips is all but locked in. Baker and McKinney on the inside with a rotation led by AVG and Phillips while having plenty of Biegel and Scarlett on the outside to start the year, as the Dolphins like to slowly bring rookies along. Duke Riley is Baker’s backup and fills the role the departure of Grugier-Hill created. Elandon Roberts could be someone I see starting on the PUP and eventually coming back as the backup to McKinney and a key special teams contributor. 

Not making team: Sam Eguavoen, Kylan Johnson & Calvin Munson.

 DB (10)

Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Noah Igbinoghene, Jason McCourty, Justin Coleman, Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones, Eric Rowe, Clayton Fejedelem & Nick Needham

As stated previously, this projection will not include any potential trades so I have the top 2 CBs being Xavien and Byron with Justin Coleman beating out Needham for the slot CB job. I also have Jason McCourty making the team and rotating the starting safety role with Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones. Fejedelem sticks around as a special teamer, but I could see him being released due to salary cap ramifications. Needham ultimately stuck around as my 53rd player but more on that later.

Not making team: Jaytlin Askew, Terrell Bonds, Javaris Davis, Tino Ellis, Jamal Perry, Trill Williams & Nate Holley

 K

Jason Sanders

2020 Fantasy Football’s #1 Kicker in points. Enough said.

 P

Michael Pallardy

Another lefty punter that fits the mold. Hopefully, we don’t see him on the field too much.

 LS

Blake Ferguson

You don’t draft a LS to cut him a year later.

Last 3 in:

The last 3 players that made it to this roster projection were Brennan Scarlett, Malcolm Perry & Nick Needham. Keep these names in mind as they could initially make the roster but if a player or 2 from another team becomes available, I could see these guys being the first to be cut or moved.

 

 

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Which Miami Dolphins to Draft in Fantasy

 

Since I began playing fantasy football in 2012, I have been able to pick up some ironclad rules as to how to draft and operate my fantasy team. Without divulging all my “confidential” information, I can give the one that always hurt me the most: I refused to draft or pick up any Miami Dolphins. The heart and the brain just could never decide how to properly handle sits and starts. Also, any NE Patriot, they truly are a week-to-week team depending on the matchup. Now in 2021 I still have that rule but maybe some of you guys or gals are better than me at this and can handle the emotional roller coaster. Here I am to break down some possible fantasy football options on your 2021 Miami Dolphins.

Myles Gaskin
Myles Gaskin when healthy last season was one of the top 10 most productive RBs when it came to yards from scrimmage and 11th overall player.

 

Finishing the year with 972 in just 10 games played, dealing with covid, and spraining his MCL. If he had produced instead of 97.2 yards from scrimmage per game around 85-87 because of more usage at 16 games, he would have a little under 1400 total scrimmage yards with around 5-6 TDs. Gaskin 2 main obstacles in reaching said numbers in now a 17-game season would be how much teams focus on stopping the run to see if Tua can really beat them with his arm early in the year and also having players like Ahmed, Brown (potential TD vulture) and Gerrid Doaks looming in a potential RBBC but with that said, Gaskin has shown the resiliency needed to always fight his way onto the field as an integral part of the offense and I expect it to continue that way.

William Fuller
Speaking of Tua, his shiny new toy from the off-season is William Vincent Fuller V. A true threat to score from all 3 levels. He brings something that this offseason sorely lacked last season in speed, game-breaking speed to be exact. I won’t sugarcoat it for you though, he’s about the biggest boom or bust player in the entire league.


Every game that Fuller surpassed 100 yards receiving he followed it up with less than 60 yards every single time, with 2 instances of less than 38 yards, but in 2020 with DW he had his most consistent year in terms of playing all 11 games before his suspension as well as being a constant TD machine with 8 In 11 games. If Tua can put it all together, he and Fuller could put up huge fantasy points in a 17-game season.

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Devante Parker
DVP is someone that feels like I always must defend in some sort of fashion, but this is a guy who all his career was put down for missing games for little nagging injuries but quietly performed even while dealing with a QB controversy and an outdated playbook.

In games where Parker saw 9+ more targets he had 10 catches for 110 yards vs Seattle, 6 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD vs the Broncos, 8 catches for 119 yards vs the Jets, and 7 catches for 116 yards vs the Bills. If Tua can find the chemistry that Fitz had with DVP, they both could unlock a dynamic duo with him and Fuller that will leave defenses with pick your poison scenarios every game.

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Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen is the biggest unknown in this offense as he should in theory be looking at the starting slot job, but something about the way the Dolphins like to slowly bring rookies along especially early in the year doesn’t let me foresee him having enough targets to warrant an early draft pick for him. If you can take him late in the draft or through waivers/FA, he would be a great bench stash as he could explode later in the year once he’s adjusted to the speed of the game as well as showing the coaching staff, he can handle what’s required from him on the mental side because we know what kind of electric talent he is with the ball in his hands.

Mike Gesicki
Mike was probably the biggest disappointment in terms of how little they game planned to use him as the weapon that he is. Too many times I would see the game clock and notice it’s the middle of the second quarter and Gesicki was just getting his first target in the game. Mike is one of the few true mismatch TEs in the NFL and when you don’t script 2/3 of the first 15/20 plays to him, what’s the point of even having him on the team?

When you also only get 5.7 targets per game (13th best among TEs) you don’t get a chance to get into a rhythm in the same way WRs and other elite TEs can. If Mike can get more opportunities and be fed early and often he could put up big numbers with Tua as they have already shown the trust needed to perform at elite levels like in the Kansas City game.

Jason Sanders
Jason quietly put together a very strong 2020 finishing as the number 1 overall kicker in fantasy football with 172 points. He was also able to do it at a consistent pace as he beat his projections in 12 of the 17 games he played. If Jason finds himself again with an offense that struggles in the RedZone, he may find himself to finish well in the top 5 in fantasy points for Kickers again in 2021.

Tua?
The biggest wildcard for the entire Miami Dolphins is Tua Tagovailoa because if he doesn’t perform how many expect, the entire offense might take a step back. Let’s not dive too deep into his numbers as they have been looked at from every which way possible enough this offseason. Let’s instead try to project what he could potentially look like with a real offseason, another year post-injury, more time to work on chemistry with WRs, and with the organization giving him their full support for 2021. Tua could potentially be looking at a year with around 3500-3800 yards with 24-28 TDs passing and another 3-5 TDs rushing. Tua has the talent at the skill positions to potentially have a second-year breakout but it’s up to him and the talent put in front of him to go and get it done.

 

 

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Miami Dolphins release 2021 Training Camp Schedule, Ticket Info

The Miami Dolphins released their 2021 Training camp schedule earlier today, including 14 practices open to the public. Fans can reserve their FREE seats by clicking HERE

Earlier today, the Miami Dolphins released their official 2021 training camp schedule.

According to the team’s official press release, this year’s training camp will be at the Miami Dolphins’ new state-of-the-art Baptist Healthy Training Complex in Miami Gardens. And starting Saturday, July 31st, fans will have their first chance to see the 2021 team–and the new facility, in all its glory. Heck, maybe you’ll even have an opportunity to ride Stephen Ross’ iconic slide. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity fans won’t want to miss!

This will be the first training camp held at the Baptist Health Training Complex, a state-of-the-art, 227,000-square foot facility that will open in July 2021. The partnership with Baptist Health is an extension of a decades-long relationship with the Miami Dolphins. Baptist Health serves as the Official Medical Team and Official Wellness and Sports Medicine Provider of the Miami Dolphins and the Training Complex and is also a proud partner of the Miami Dolphins Foundation.

 

In addition to releasing their training camp schedule,  the team also announced the dates for their joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons, which will take place on August 17th and 18th.

Want to see Kyle Pitts vs. Eric Rowe?

What about Miami’s offense vs. Atlanta’s defense?

or maybe…..

Miami Dolphins quarterback and THE LEFT ARM OF GOD, TUANIGAMANUOLEPOLA TAGOVAILOA!?

Now. Is. Your. Chance.

The team also promises special festivities throughout this year’s training camp. BUT REMEMBER, YOU HAVE TO RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW!

This year’s training camp will feature theme days, food trucks from local and minority-owned restaurants, face painting and the garage sale benefitting the Miami Dolphins Foundation.  Fans in attendance at the Baptist Health Training Complex will experience practices under a shaded canopy over the seating area, culinary options from Centerplate at two concession stands and fan festivities.

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Jerome Baker

Jerome Baker signs 3-year, $39 million dollar extension with Miami Dolphins

There are times when players have to be coy about things going on around them. In the case of linebacker Jerome Baker, it was just two days before that he was saying he and the Miami Dolphins hadn’t really discussed details regarding a contract extension.

“I guess.” He laughed when asked about the subject. “I mean, we haven’t really talked about anything. I’m just going into this year and…”

He quickly trailed off and was soon asked another question, this time regarding whether he could see himself playing in Miami for a long time. This time, his answer was much more enthusiastic.

“Oh, yeah. I want to play here for the rest of my career. I love it here, I love the fans, I love the organization, I love everybody here.” He said. “Yeah, I definitely see myself playing here for a long time. Do you see the hat? Do you see the hat?”

Merely two days later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter took to Twitter, announcing that Jerome Baker had signed a 3-year, $39 million dollar contract extension that will keep him in Miami through 2024. So much for having no discussions.

In all fairness, when the two sides want to make a deal, it doesn’t take long to hammer out the details. Baker clearly loves the Miami Dolphins, and the Miami Dolphins love having him on defense. Since being drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, the 24-year old Jerome Baker has proven to be an effective linebacker in every facet of the game. As a pass rusher, Baker has great speed and can get around the edge in a hurry, or burst through gaps in the middle of the line. In 2020, he recorded a career-high seven sacks.

He has also shown to be effective in coverage, and is very durable. He’s never missed a game yet, playing in all 48 games throughout his three-year career, starting in 37 of them. In that time, he’s racked up a total of 317 tackles, 11.5 sacks, ten pass deflections and two interceptions. That number is only projected to go up as head coach Brian Flores finds new ways to utilize his unique versatility.

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His personality on and off the field has helped him out too. Baker recognizes and embraces this fact.

“For me, ever since I was young, it’s always been the same.” He said on Friday. “I lead by example and I kind of just do what the team needs me to do. If you need me to be the guy that yells today, I’ll be that guy. If you just need me to be that guy to just lead by example, I’ll be that guy. But ultimately, I think I’m just a lead-by-example guy. I just try to do the right things, I try to do what’s best for the team and that’s always been my approach. I don’t see it changing any time soon and I think that’s what’s gotten me here thus far.”

With Jerome Baker now signed for the foreseeable future, the Miami Dolphins can focus on signing their remaining draft class and extending other players, such as Mike Gesicki.

Training camp is just around the corner. Chris Grier deserves credit for extending a cornerstone and fan favorite before his contract expires. Jerome Baker gives a lot to the team, and that won’t change anytime soon. He’s everything the team professes to want. He works hard. He’s young. Fast enough to keep up with running backs. Smart enough to make calls on defense. And most importantly, he’s a team-first kind of player. Re-signing Baker is a no-brainer.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

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Five Takeaways from Eric Rowe & DeVante Parker’s Press Conference

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, players and coaches will meet with the South Florida media to discuss everything surrounding your MIAMI DOLPHINS—and we at Five Reasons Sports will be with you every step of the way.

Here are five things we learned from yesterday’s (6/2) Press Conferences.

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Eric Rowe has a new look.

“Well, really it’s my wife’s idea. She was like, ‘let’s change it up.’ I said no at first. But she was like ‘no, no. I want you to change it.’ So I was like ‘let’s just do it.’ Now it just kind of stuck to me.

So, after I did it, I was like, ‘oh, I’m feeling it.’ And she was like, ‘I told you.’ I was like ‘ok, ok.’”

Translation: At first, I didn’t believe my wife when she said a blonde streak going down ¼ of my head would look nice. I thought she was crazy. But as we all learn at one point or another throughout our life, a happy wife= happy life. I like it. 

Is Jevon Holland ready to step up in Bobby McCain’s absence?

“The Bobby decision, that’s just how the NFL goes, right? At the end of the year, teams are always switching out players, adding players, letting go of players. That’s just the business side, so I really can’t say much on that. I’m not upstairs making roster moves. But as far as Jevon, I’ve worked with him the past couple of weeks. He is athletic. He has nice size; and then I’ve talked to him and he’s a smart guy. He’s picking up the defense pretty fast. We’re just doing walkthroughs right now, but I see him picking things up pretty quick.”

Translation: Look, it’s the NFL. This is a business, and every day, players are cut for one reason or another. I don’t know why Bobby was cut. That’s probably something you should ask those guys upstairs. But what I do know that Jevon Holland is working exceptionally hard to get better. Will he be the starter? That, I’m not ready to proclaim. But if he continues to work hard and pick things up quickly, McCain’s absence won’t be missed.

DeVante Parker is excited to have Jaylen Waddle in Miami

Translation: Y’all saw the offense last year, right?. Cousin Grant was dropping 55-yard dimes, and Tua Tagovailoa tried to fit the ball into non-existent spaces. Personally, I could not be happier to have an explosive playmaker like Jaylen Waddle in this offense. Now you got me, Will, Bowden, Waddle, Gesicki, Unicorn…the list goes on and on. This offense is going to be dirty. 

DVP on what he’s trying to improve on this offseason

“I would say just routes, period. Just getting out of my break quicker.”

“I’m just trying to get quicker, faster and more explosive.”

Translation: I know some fans tried to trade me before Jaylen Waddle was drafted, but that doesn’t bother me. I will continue to do what I need to do to get better and be the dominant No.1 wide receiver that I know I can be. I’m working hard at becoming quicker, faster, and more explosive in and out of my routes this offseason. Don’t worry, Stephen Gilmore. Daddy is coming home #soon. 

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Parker on working with Tua Tagovailoa this offseason

“Footwork. (Getting) the ball out quicker. All of that.”

When asked how he can build chemistry with Tua this offseason:

“It just comes down to getting a lot of reps in with him and just taking it to the game. That’s all it comes down to.”

Translation: Say whatever tf you want about Tua Tagovailoa’s rookie season; the dude is doing everything he can this offseason to improve and get better. The Left Arm of God is looking jacked, and you’re starting to see him become a more vocal leader both on and off the field. This offseason, Tua texted the squad, and we all got together to throw some pigskin. Parker added that he noticed a difference in Tua’s mechanics this offseason.

What was your biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s media availabilities? Let us know in the comments section below!

Josh Houtz wrote this article. You can follow me on Twitter @houtz.

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at EverythingTradeShows or call 954-791-8882

Tua Tagovailoa

Breaking down the Miami Dolphins first open 2021 practice

For the first time since last December, the Miami Dolphins held their first open practice for the media to watch. With that first practice comes the opportunity to see and hear from the players in a real football environment and get an idea of where they stand.

As OTAs are voluntary, it’s no surprise to see that some players opted not to attend. The most notable absences were Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Jason McCourty, Emmanuel Ogbah, Justin Coleman, Jerome Baker, Benardrick McKinney, Will Fuller, and D.J. Fluker. Just looking at the list, it’s mostly veterans who didn’t show up. This is a regular pattern across the NFL and ultimately means nothing. It’s only when mandatory mini-camp arrives that attendance will matter.

“Like I’ve told them, you don’t just roll out of bed and jump back into it as if you’re in midseason form, so there’s a lot of working through some kinks, I would say, even just from a basic fundamentals, footwork, hand placement standpoint.” Head coach Brian Flores said before practice. “It’s good to get them out here and work through some of those things. We’ll see them these next few weeks to include minicamp.”

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Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns attended practice, with video being taken of Wilson catching a pass from veteran QB Jacoby Brissett.

However, Wilson will need every opportunity he can get to prove he still deserves a roster spot with all the weapons that have been added. This Miami Dolphins regime has shown over and over that no player is safe, no matter how good or respected they are.

Speaking of Brissett, it was reported that he and rookie Jaylen Waddle were getting extra work in after practice was over. This is a good sign considering Waddle is projected to be a big contributor to the offense in 2021. Why wasn’t it Tua Tagovailoa instead? One possible reason is he was preparing for a media session.

The offense and defense never faced each other in Wednesday’s practice. Both sides kept to their own work during practice and the players’ only real opponent was the grass in front of them. Part of the agreement the players reached with Brian Flores stated that OTAs would be a much lighter workload. So the session focused mainly on teaching and fundamentals.

After practice was over, players spoke with the media and dropped some interesting tidbits regarding their mindset and the surrounding chatter. One of the most candid of them all was tight end Mike Gesicki.

This is likely in regards due to the recent chatter coming from the likes of Colin Cowherd and others. The criticisms regarding Tagovailoa’s health, arm strength, durability and comparison to fellow QB Justin Herbert has dominated national airwaves. Fortunately, it seems that Tua Tagovailoa isn’t fazed by this talk and appreciates his teammate’s defense of him.

Later, Tua offered some insight on his strength and conditioning.

Obviously, this is excellent news. After all, one of the main concerns of 2020 was Tagovailoa’s health. Now instead of focusing on healing, he can focus on raising his peak physical shape. Everyone has seen the images and videos of Tua Tagovailoa working out, and it’s obvious that he looks much stronger than he did last season.

However, the quote that will likely make the national news regarded Tua Tagovailoa’s level of comfort last season. It was speculated by many that Tagovailoa looked lost at times in the huddle and wasn’t sure where to go with the ball. Tagovailoa confirmed these suspicions in Wednesday’s virtual press conference.

To clarify, Tagovailoa is not suggesting he did not take the time to learn the playbook. He clarified his comments, saying that when he was in the game, the playcalls were simpler, there weren’t extra alerts or things to take into consideration. He didn’t have the playbook down to such a science that he felt comfortable changing things on the fly, pointing things out, speaking with authority and helping his teammates execute.

Considering he was a step behind all season due to his rehab, this should not be a surprise. He did not get to really focus on learning every detail of the playbook because he had to spend time healing and getting back to his baseline physical shape. Plus, the offense was not catered to his strengths, and neither was the offensive coordinator. Last year’s offense was best suited for Ryan Fitzpatrick, a gunslinger. Not a surgeon like Tua Tagovailoa.

Granted, Tagovailoa takes responsibility for not knowing the playbook as well as he should have. But now things are different, now the offense is being built around him. That has already done wonders for his level of comfort, and it’s showing in the huddle.

As time goes on, there will be more opportunities to see what Tagovailoa is truly capable of. His teammates have made it clear they believe in him and they’re excited to work with him. All the other discussions outside the organization are being scoffed at or ignored.

It will be interesting to see where things progress from here.

Quotes aggregated by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), who is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast

Summary by Luis Sung (@LuisDSung), who has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for eight years.

 

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Five Takeaways from Myles Gaskin’s Press Conference

When the Dolphins waited and waited and waited to take a running back in last month’s NFL draft, two things became crystal clear.

 

1:Maybe the Dolphins didn’t value the position. After all, most of Miami’s front office and coaching staff have ties to New England (one way or another) and correct me if I’m wrong, but they don’t exactly spend insane resources on the running back position. Yes, they drafted Sony Michel (who will likely be cut soon and the perfect waiver claim for the Dolphins) and Laurence Maroney in the first round. Still, overall, they plug and play running backs the same way that we’ve seen throughout the duration of Flores’ tenure in Miami.

OR

 

2: Brian Flores, Eric Studesville, and the rest of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff believe in Myles Gaskin. (Something I’ve said all offseason long) And truly believe he can be that workhorse running back. Which, if you’re into projecting numbers, hypotheticals, witches and wargs, and things like that, Gaskin would’ve amassed 1,000+ yards rushing and over 500+ yards rushing. 
I’m not sure we will ever know what the Miami Dolphin’s true intentions were in last month’s draft. But I think it is clear that Myles Gaskin will be the Dolphins starting running back heading into the season. Yesterday afternoon, Miami’s RB1 met with the South Florida media to discuss Miami’s new-look offense and his expectations heading into the 2021 NFL season.
Here are five takeaways from Myles Gaskin’s press conference on 5/17.
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One of the first things Myles Gaskin was asked is whether or not he realized he was on pace to be “like the fourth-most productive player in the NFL” last season. Here’s what RB1 had to say:

“I had heard things like that but I mean; I guess it’s like a compliment, but I wasn’t so you know what I’m saying? Like at the end of the day, I liked how I was playing, but I did miss those games and that’s not a factual statement. You never know what happens in those games, so I appreciate that just kind of being brought to light. But that’s my point of being healthy. I’ll just do as much as I can. Obviously, football is football and things happen, but just trying to do as much as I can to make sure my body is able to go through a 17-plus game season with the playoffs.”

Translation | Myles Gaskin doesn’t care what he was projected to do over a 16-game season. He’s working on getting his body right so he can withstand the beating of a “full 17 game season + PLAYOFFS”?!!?!?!!? #LFG

 

Gaskin on what it’s been like to have his college teammate Salvon Ahmed by his side throughout his NFL journey

 “It means everything. Just having a brother with you at all times and having a guy to compete with. Obviously, we’re best friends off the field, but definitely when we compete, like we’ll be going back and forth. He’ll win some, I’ll win some. We get mad at each other. Like the other day, we were racing and I didn’t even feel like – I lost – and I didn’t feel like talking to him on the ride back. I was sitting in the car just silent. I was so mad. (laughter) So I mean, just having somebody to compete with, especially having like a real friend to compete with, talk about the playbook with, all that type of stuff. Like we’ll be quizzing each other at dinner and stuff like that. It’s cool.”

Translation | Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are BFFS 4 Lyfe and help push one another to be the best players they can be. They probably have best friend necklaces too. 

 

He then shed some light on Miami’s new playbook now that Eric Studesville and George Godsey are co-offensive coordinators.

Translation | I’m just thankful it’s not Chan Gailey’s playbook. So, I think by default, players are excited and optimistic to see what this offense can do when not being handcuffed by Chanstefer.

 

One reporter asked Myles Gaskin why it was important to be back in Florida to attend voluntary workouts. The response wasn’t exactly what many expected 🙂

“I’ll just speak for myself. I just needed to get up out of Seattle, to be honest. Florida is Florida, so everything’s open. And just the weather. I mean, I got an apartment here. I’m not trying to – I’m not paying for an apartment not to stay there. So I have my other reasons for myself and obviously, help me learn the playbook being on-site. I mean, we got everything you need here, but there’s definitely a mix of football and just trying to get up – I was living at my parents’ house, so you know how that goes. It’s cool and all until they want you to clean a bathroom or something. (laughter)”

Translation | I love my parents, but I’m the starting running back of the Miami Dolphins. I don’t belong in Seattle, living in my parent’s basement. I had to get the hell out of there! #RunGaskinRun

 

Gaskin ended his press conference by telling reporters the difference between the running back heading into year three.

“I’m better, I guess. Just more better in the mind, better just physically, just ready to go. I know what I’m looking for. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses and I’m trying to get those all to strengths and even my strengths are even stronger. So I think I just have more of a focus on what – I feel like when I first came in, I was just wide-eyed. ‘I just want to get better.’ But now I’m really focused on what I want to get better at, if that makes sense.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what RB1 can do this upcoming szn.

Brian Flores makes it clear that Tua Tagovailoa will be the Miami Dolphins quarterback when he is healty. (Craig Davis for Five Reasons Sports Network)

Quick Takes on Dolphins 2021 Draft

No. 6 overall pick

Jaylen Waddle, WR

My take: I think this was Tua Tagovailoa’s pick. And I think it was a great one. The Miami Dolphins have released that Jaylen Waddle was their top pick no matter who was on the board. They wanted Waddle over Ja’marr Chase or Kyle Pitts if they were available. Tua used to play with Waddle on Alabama, and Waddle was his top target to throw to. Waddle is speedy, and adds an amazing slot-threat to The Dolphins offense.

 

No. 18 overall pick

Jaelan Phillips, DE

My take: I think this was an absolute steal. I don’t think Phillips should have dropped to the Dolphins, but I sure am happy he did. A pass-rusher is a huge edition for the team, and while it is a risky pick, Phillips is worth the possible reward.

 

No. 36 overall pick

Jevon Holland, S

My take: The Dolphins have been in dire need of a Slot Corner, and while Jevon Holland is a safety, he played 64% of his snaps at slot. The Dolphins used to play Nik Needham at Slot most of the time, and I can’t even count the amount of times I saw him get beat by his man. I think Jevon Holland could be a great defensive playmaker for the Dolphins Secondary.

 

No. 42 overall pick

Liam Eichenberg, OT

My take: While the Offensive Tackle isn’t the flashy pick, the Dolphins NEEDED some pass protection early on in this draft. Eichenberg is one of the best pass blockers in the draft, only allowing pressure on 1.1% of his blocks in the past two years.

 

Overall first two rounds: I think these were all amazing picks, and while the Dolphins didn’t pick a running back early on, they filled in some major holes that needed to be filled.