The first week of bootcamp is in the books, and the Mike McDaniel era of the Miami Dolphins franchise started off as smoothly as it could have gone.
The offense displayed itself against a vanilla-like defense in Saturday’s training, which was open to the public, and that’s exactly what fans needed to see to inject some hope into this season.
Here are some extra points from the first week of Dolphins bootcamp:
Tyreek Hill has a rare game-changing speed
I’ve never seen anyone with a hill mix of speed and velocity in all of my years. He’s the fastest player on a football field I’ve ever seen – and he’s not even close to that. That explains why he’s been a professional bowler player every year he’s been in the league (six), and points out that his $30 million-a-year contract, treasure chest of draft picks Miami gave to Kansas City to get him was worth it because no player in the league was worth it. NFL can stop him for 50 shots per game. At some point, Hill will be 30 yards wide open to play a game.
Tailback is the deepest Miami site
The Miami background is so deep due to the off-season additions that brought in Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sonny Michelle, there’s a chance that Miles Gaskin, initiator over the past two years, might not make the regular season’s 53-man roster. We’ll know more when the fill-ups start, and Miami starts their joint workouts, but the Dolphins have a talented set of backpackers who each bring something different to the table. Collectively, they might offer a rushing top-10 attack if the reconstructed offensive line could do its part.
Tua Tagovailoa can throw a deep ball
Tagovailoa doesn’t have a cannon to his arm, but it does have enough juice for a third-year beginner to throw a soccer ball with 40- to 50-yard accuracy. With the kind of pace Miami has at receiving, the deep ball threat has the potential to open up the field for everyone on a per-goal basis.
Mike McDaniel’s attack is creative
I’m a huge fan of the West Coast, McDaniel grew up in the action-based game of play, and I helped run through all of his NFL stops. Watching some of these installs, and the creativity he shows early on with movement and transitions, has encouraged me that Miami may actually be a top 15 unit when it comes to offensive production.
Jaylen Waddle runs better trails
One of the most scratching decisions as of 2021 was to convert Waddle to a slot receiver. While this transformation helped him set a new record for receptions in a single season, it negates his speed. It acts more as a releaser these days, and runs more ways down below. Obviously, this offense is a better fit for his skill set, and so his yardage per catch should go up.
The depth in the back corner is alarming
Nick Needham, Noah Eggbinogen and Trail Williams don’t have enough speed to cover Hill or Waddell. Few players in the NFL do this, but it’s not a good sign that they’re losing a lot of reps on a daily basis. What happens to Miami High if Xavien Howard or Byron Jones has to miss games this season? Who is the back corner for the spare nickel if the Dolphins have to play Needham on the frontier? Dolphins need to tackle the annoying depth of back corner before the season begins.
Troubled line workers settle down
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With Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson settling into their new positions in the left guard and right blocking, the Dolphins’ offensive line appears to be taking shape. But it is difficult to rate this unit without pads, which comes on Tuesday for the first time. Joint drills against Casey Rodgers’ defensive line in Tampa Bay next week will tell us more.
The narrow ends were a quiet start to camping
This may have been an overreaction because Miami could have used the first week of camp to work on specific things, but the tight end position was invisible. Except for a handful of catches a day, Mike Jesicki and his buddies didn’t do much. Perhaps the defense did a good job from a coverage standpoint. Things may change when the dolphins begin to operate in the red zone and goal line tracks. But this is definitely something to watch going forward.
The depth of interference is alarming
Either Jaelan Phillips will be a monster in his second season, or the Dolphins need to find some better backup tackles. With Terron Armstead on a veteran’s rest program with a limited number of training reps, the former UM star has been regularly outsmarting Greg Little and Larnel Coleman. At this point, if Armstead has to sit a game or two, Miami will likely have to move another player to the left.
Veteran’s rest program is a wise approach
McDaniel comes from a tree of coaches who respect seasoned gamers, ensuring their bodies are preserved for gaming. That’s why Howard, Emmanuel Ogba, Elandon Roberts and others, who don’t come out of injury, regularly have their surprising number limited during their daily workouts. Which is why players recovering from injuries like Armstead, Mostert, and Melvin Ingram train every day. The goal is to keep them healthy for the season, when necessary.