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THE EXTRA YARD: 5 Questions for Miami Dolphins Training Camp

As Training Camp starts, we finally get some answers to the questions that have built up over the offseason. While we had an idea, we didn’t have a real firm grasp on what to expect, once real football arrived. I take a deeper dive into the 5 most intriguing questions, we are seeking answers too during training camp.

How has the Offensive Line settled?

They drafted Liam Eichenberg. They moved 2nd year man Robert Hunt to right guard. They signed Matt Skura as the starter at center. DJ Fluker is in great shape, after coming off a couple of well above par NFL seasons. They return two promising 2nd year players in Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley. How does this all mesh? You gotta figure Jackson starts at LT. Hunt at RG. Skura at C. RT and LG is up for grabs and all three players (Eichenberg, Fluker, Kindley) can play either. This is before mentioning that Jesse Davis is still here, and does have a shot at grabbing one of these spots. This is the most intriguing battle of training camp, and could prove one of the most important factors to winning.

How do they use Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller?

Is it as simple as one is a diagonal threat, and the other a vertical threat? Is Waddle used as a HB more, does he begin to take Jakeem Grant’s jet sweeps, reverses, design passes? Does Will Fuller build on his elite 2020 season? All good questions, but you have to think the acquisition of both was to fill the design of what will be a new passing game, complete with real “roles” for all involved including DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson. My strong guess is that this will be a much more fluid and fast offense, with more switch releases, crossers/drags, with shot plays built in with every pass play.

What kind of command does Tua Tagovailoa have of the offense?

How quick is he in the huddle? Is he decisive within the offense. Does he take the deep shots when there? Most importantly, I want to see how he reacts to certain coverages, and how he processes checks when teams blitz him (which they will). His play in camp, as well as his dress rehearsals in the preseason will give us some answers in short order. I think the Dolphins will build in some two level concepts (one window, one lane, two routes, one medium, one long) as Tua did excel with those at times last season. The amount of RPO’s they call will also be interesting.

What does the rotation at defensive end look like?

The Miami Dolphins don’t have traditional “defensive ends” as most teams. They have guys to fill roles from 6 to 9 tech, as the Tackles tend to play everywhere from 0 tech, to 3 tech, to head up on the tackles as a 5 tech. What is usually fluid, is who rushes outside in their scheme, and who gets the duty outside on the rush on their multiple fronts. Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelen Phillips, Andrew Van Ginkel, Vince Biegel, with some Jerome Baker thrown in, figure as players in these roles. Who gets the snaps? Who is more effective? Strong indication, that Phillips and Ogbah have the inside track, with AVG as the situational guy on 3rd downs, as Van Ginkel could be executing A Gap blitzes along with Baker.

Who, plays where, in the secondary?

We know who plays the boundary (Howard/Jones). At slot corner, you have options everywhere, including using Byron Jones who has excelled as a slot corner in the past. In fact, Byron Jones has also played Free Safety effectively, so the versatility is there. Nik Needham, Justin Coleman, have a legitimate battle there, and it seems the loser of that battle figures in dime coverages. At safety, you have to figure Eric Rowe sticks, but who plays in the 3 safety looks? Highly touted rookie Jevon Holland, has to have a role, and Brandon Jones figures to play a lot in 2021. Then, what are Jason McCourty, and 2nd year man Noah Igbinoghene doing? This is a talent laden group, and the clear strength of the team. It’s worth watching how this shakes out.

Well, we finally made it, and all these questions from the offseason, begin to get answers in the coming days, weeks, months.


Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.



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