Mike McDaniel’s first NFL training camp as Miami Dolphins head coach formally started Tuesday when the crew’s 17 rookies reported. In contrast to the final three years, Miami’s rookie class possible received’t be requested to do a lot heavy lifting in 12 months 1. Dolphins GM Chris Grier this offseason dedicated roughly $300 million in new contracts to veterans tasked with breaking the AFC’s longest playoff winless drought.
5 storylines for Miami Dolphins coaching camp
Followers will get an up-close (and free) probability to see these new faces — a bunch that features elite abilities Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead — throughout the crew’s eight open practices at Miami Gardens’ Baptist Well being Coaching Advanced starting July 30.
However for all that’s new in Miami, the most important story is a fairly outdated one at this level.
Tua Tagovailoa’s profession at a crossroads
It’s exhausting to think about any participant in soccer not named Deshaun Watson who has had extra scrutiny over the past six months than third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. And whereas the controversy about his future can get a bit drained (significantly contemplating how a lot airtime cable sports activities networks should fill within the offseason), it’s additionally warranted.
Tua is a former No. 5 total decide who was the face of school soccer for a time. And if he doesn’t take an enormous leap ahead after two comparatively pedestrian NFL seasons, the Dolphins have greater than sufficient property to search out his substitute within the 2023 NFL Draft (or maybe by way of commerce).
The excellent news? For a lot of the offseason program, he had the look of a participant able to thrive in McDaniel’s system. The final time McDaniel was requested an in depth query about Tagovailoa’s efficiency in spring ball, he predictably gave a detailed answer.
“I’m enthusiastic about the place he’s at,” McDaniel stated of this third-year quarterback.”I’ve simply been ready for these moments the place you could have a slight impediment. Tua may be very, very crucial on his ball placement, and he’s a really correct quarterback because of this.
“Yesterday, he had some throws that he calls for higher of himself. Like I advised all people else, at this time was the primary day I received to essentially consider Tua as a result of that could be a skilled quarterback within the Nationwide Soccer League. You’re going to have issues that you simply don’t execute to perfection. You’re going to have individuals speaking about the way you’re not performing and guess what? Nobody cares. It’s about main.”
“… I believe his teammates have actually seen a distinction in him. He’s opening up. He’s coming into his personal in that regard, and he’s been unbelievably coachable. He’s let his guard down and we’ve been in a position to preserve his confidence excessive, which it needs to be proper now for certain, whereas correcting and getting his sport higher, which is the last word objective for everybody.”
How will Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle match collectively?
Hill’s effort throughout his first offseason program was much more spectacular than his incredible capacity (his 97 rating in the latest Madden trails solely Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp).
Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the sphere on the identical time will present some big-time logistical challenges. They’re most likely the quickest 1-2 receiver tandem in soccer.
However additionally they have some overlapping ability units, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how McDaniel finds methods to make use of each. They’re each high-volume receivers — Hill was seventh in targets (159) in 2021, whereas Waddle was eleventh (140) regardless of lacking a sport — who needs to be large YAC weapons for Tagovailoa.
What is going to the new-look operating again rotation appear like?
No crew dedicated extra in free company to the offensive backfield than the Dolphins, who added Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel, and Alec Ingold.
Two of these 4 — Mostert and Ingold — are coming off fairly important accidents that would land them on the PUP to begin camp. But when they’re in a position to follow in some unspecified time in the future this summer time, it’ll be an excellent preview of how the autumn will look.
From a useful resource allocation standpoint alone, our guess is Edmonds is RB1, Mostert RB2, and Michel will compete with Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed for RB3. Barring damage, a kind of final three will possible be reduce.
How a lot does Melvin Ingram have left within the tank?
The Dolphins took a calculated threat at EDGE defender by signing Melvin Ingram to a one-year, $4 million contract within the spring. He didn’t take part in OTAs or minicamp however insisted he’ll be prepared — and efficient — in coaching camp.
“I’m 200 p.c wholesome,” Ingram stated. “I really feel wonderful. I’m able to rock and roll.”
Actually something the Dolphins can get from Ingram shall be an enchancment over what the Chargers, Chiefs, and Steelers received out of him the final two seasons. He has simply two sacks for the reason that begin of the 2020 season.
But when he has a profession renaissance, Ingram and his 108 profession sacks will present yet one more weapon for a Dolphins protection that has efficient go rushers in Jaelan Phillips, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Jerome Baker.
Will Terron Armstead be rusty after an extended layoff?
We haven’t seen Armstead on a soccer area since Dec. 12, his final sport of the 2021 season earlier than the Saints shut him down with arm and knee accidents. The wildly proficient however oft-injured left sort out underwent surgical procedure for the latter, and the Dolphins accordingly stored him out of all of spring ball.
Armstead wouldn’t decide to being prepared for the beginning of camp, however he did acknowledge within the spring he’s gotten a bit antsy to get on the sphere.
“I’m anxious to get into this offense, this scheme,” he stated. “I believe it matches my ability set fairly properly, so I’m excited. I’m going to maintain saying that phrase as a result of I actually am. Simply able to get on the market and present what I can do in that match.”
A wholesome Armstead is vastly vital for Tagovailoa’s improvement. The Dolphins had been final in pass-block win rate (47%) and 18th in sack price (6.5%) in 2021.