The first preseason game is drawing ever closer, and head coach Brian Flores is challenging his team to go beyond expectations. The pads came off on Monday’s training camp, as Flores gave the team a chance to rest after Saturday’s scrimmage. But this does not mean things were easy. On the contrary. Flores gave the players plenty of scenarios to work through, calling 3rd and 20s and trying to have them manage the situation.
With that in mind, here are the top three players from day ten of training camp.
Preston Williams, WR
This should come as a surprise to no one by now, but Preston Williams is turning out to be really good. Since arriving at the Dolphins facility, Williams has slowly worked his way up the ladder. He’s worked hard, and he’s earned the adulation of his teammates. That continued on Monday morning, as Williams received snaps with both the first and second teams, thriving with both.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 5, 2019
His rapport with Josh Rosen was on full display, catching a pass down the sideline for a would-be touchdown. Even without the pads on, it’s impressive just how often Williams seems to be open, and he’s not shy about fighting for the ball.
While the competition is far from over, Williams has come a long way from the dark horse he was originally projected to be.
Kenyan Drake, RB
It’s wise not to look too deeply into terms like “starter” or “backup” with this regime. Kalen Ballage starting over Drake is apparently a big deal. Then the depth chart came out, and Drake was listed with Ballage as a co-starter. If it isn’t clear yet, they’re both talented backs who ideally will platoon throughout the year. On Monday, however, Drake was the better back.
Folks can question his durability all they want, but there’s no denying Drake is explosive. When the ball is in his hands, Drake makes plays. He catches pass out of the backfield, screens, and he uses his amazing speed and agility to escape defenders and make something out of nothing. He did that all day Monday, and there was no stopping him. As long as he’s healthy, there’s a strong chance Drake could have a semi-breakout year.
That should be very exciting.
Bobby McCain, FS
There really wasn’t much to list for Monday’s practice. Very few people stood out above the others. What can be said, however, is that Bobby McCain is adjusting well to his new position in training camp. There were concerns regarding McCain’s size and whether he could handle the demands of the position. Upon further inspection, McCain’s height and weight is comparable to the likes of Tyrann Mathieu and even Earl Thomas.
No, he’s not as good as those two, this is strictly a size thing.
McCain had one moment during practice where he came down on a safety blitz and made a would-be sack on Ryan Fitzpatrick. While that doesn’t scream MVP status, it was impressive all the same, and it’s a sign of good things. Some will undoubtedly question the merit of moving McCain to safety while letting Minkah Fitzpatrick take McCain’s old spot. Wasn’t the entire point of drafting Minkah Fitzpatrick to make him a safety?
This regime believes in putting players in the best position to succeed. Fitzpatrick was an elite slot corner at Alabama, and a good – sometimes great – safety. So there’s no harm in experimenting, and the experiment seems to be a success. Now Fitzpatrick can play closer to the box and make those amazing plays he made in college. While McCain can roam the field and bring players down as the last line of defense.