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  1. Training camp 2018

    I guess I will keep putting some updates. Baker has been getting reps at OLB. Anthony seems to be a bust, and word is that he may not make the final 53. Baker is finally reading plays correctly, and is getting to the ball carrier quickly. He is also very good in coverage. The only real problem with Baker as a starter, is we don't know how well he can tackle against elite NFL RB's. They could rotate Allen with Baker as they both compliment each other well. Parker hasn't done anything in camp to keep his starting WR job. In fact, rumors are starting to swirl that he may be out. In practice, the most successful WR group has been Amendola as the 1, Stills as the 2, Wilson in the slot, and Grant as the 4. I wouldn't be surprised to see Parker traded. The other big battle right now is CB. Howard just doesn't seem to be able to bring his practice play to games. The Phins are so worried that they are looking for possible upgrades through a trade. The team had McCain at CB1, Howard at CB2, and Minkah covering the slot in practice. Ballage has turned heads in practice, and he had a really good first preseason game. If he can get over his rookie wall quickly, he may get some significant playing time this year. He is very hard to tackle, and has a great burst that carries him through contact. Mike G' effort has caught Gase's eye. Gase said that Mike has been getting destroyed by Cam Wake in practice, but he never complains, gets back up, and goes right back at it. He said that Mike has talent that is very rare at that position, and if he can become an effective blocker, he won't have to come off the field. The starting TE job I Mike G's for the taking. The starting D-line was flat against the Bucs. Quinn said that the fast pace and hard work of training camp has slowed the big guys down some, but said that as camp winds down, that won't be a problem. He said that they were all bruised and cut up, but they are all veterans and know what to do. The offensive line is getting better each day, and they are starting to look like a cohesive unit. One national reporter said that if Tannehill has time to throw, the talent at RB, WR, and TE will be hard for defenses to match up against. Tannehill knows the offense, and has been working the pocket like a veteran. His accuracy on long throws still isn't where you want it, but the short and intermediate throws have been on the money, and that is the sweet spot in Gase's offense.
  2. Training camp 2018

    Man it has been dead in here. I hope everyone hasn't left and given up. Some notes about training camp on the eve of the first preseason game. Mike Gesicki is the real deal and is the #1 TE right now. For anyone who follows Gase, you know how big of a deal this is. Gase hates playing rookies. Especially on offense. Mike G has been unstoppable in practice. I don't know how many TD's he has, but even when matched up against the starting secondary, he comes down with the football. His jumping ability, catch radius, and ability to read the football is elite. I don't know how well he is doing in blocking, but as far as receiving, he has been Tannehill's best weapon in the red zone. Minkah has also played extremely well, and has been an interception machine. He has played a ton in the slot in certain packages, and plays with tight coverage. When he is at center field, it has been very difficult to get behind him. Jerome Baker hasn't looked ready to play. He has done very well in special teams, but it has been reported that he looks lost when playing OLB. He needs lots of work learning NFL offenses and where he needs to be. Chase Allen has the edge right now at OLB, and has outplayed S. Anthony. Smythe has been pretty invisible in camp, but he did have a clutch TD. He has lots to work on. Ballage has flashed at times, and is a tremendous athlete. He is buried on the depth chart right now, so I doubt he gets much playing time this year barring an injury. I haven't heard anything about Armstrong, so he must not be doing much. Poling has flashed at times, and he has elite speed and athleticism. He has been great in coverage and special teams, and he has a great shot at making the 53. Other surprises. Tory McTyer is winning the #2 CB battle right now. The D-line has been unstoppable against the passing game. Wake and Quinn haven't lost a step, and Spence has gotten great penetration in the middle. It has been so dominant that the coaching staff hasn't really been able to tell how good the O-line is coming along, and they really need to see them in action against the Bucs to have a point to measure.
  3. High Expectations, Low Expectations

    High-Drake/Grant/Wilson-This is going to be a breakout year for Drake. Gase has spent the off-season re-tooling the playbook for Drake. Defenses are going to be forced to play conservative with Grant and Wilson. This is going to leave running lanes open on delayed runs, and Drake has the speed and vision to gash teams. If defenses decide to play aggressive, Grant and Wilson can take a short slant to the house. Minkah-The Dolphins are being careful not to give anything away, but it is being suggesting by the beat reporters that the Dolphins will run a 3 safety defense with 2 LB's on third and long, to give Minkah a chance to make plays. Minkah has shown the ability to read the ball in the air perfectly, and has gotten into position to challenge the WR. He has the most INT's so far from the OTA's, and even Gase said that Minkah just knows how to find the football. Maybe we can come up with a catchy name for it. Low-LB's. I don't think that the current starters compliment each other well. Normally you want a thumper at SLB, and speedy coverage LB at WLB, and a rangy balanced LB at SLB. We have an undersized speedy LB playing SLB, a LB with suspect coverage playing WLB, and a player with no experience playing MLB. Sounds awesome to me.
  4. Organized Team Activities

    During his press conference, Davis threw a little shade at Pouncey. He praised Killgore and Sitton for "taking the young O-lineman under their wing" and immediately seizing a leadership role. He said that they are the first to correct technique issues, and have spent lots of time with the tackles on how they should all be working together. He also made a comment about "knowing where to go", which I am assuming he is talking about line calls. He also said that they are playing with more energy this year. I personally feel that the fact that the entire O-line is set, is going to help everyone get on the same page, and limit the mistakes like unblocked rushers we had last year.
  5. Lippett still isn't 100% yet. In an interview, the DB's coach said that Lippett has been working hard to restore length to the injured Achilles. So based on that, it sounds like the injured tendon is still stiff. Lippett might not be ready to go until the first couple of weeks of the season. I love the McCain extension. The front office wanted to counter the opinion that they just wanted to be cheap, as the reason they got rid of Suh, Landry, and Pouncey. This lets the team know that hard work will pay off in this organization.
  6. Organized Team Activities

    I have heard that there is lots of optimism this year. From what one player was quoted as saying that the locker room "feels right". I hope that the team can really work together this year, no matter what the record is. Last year it just seemed like players were just there, not really in it.

    A thing to add about the kicker. Rizzi said that over half of the holds were bad and that is what hurt his field goal percentage so much. No way for us fans to check that, as we don't get the coaches tape to see the hold. I guess we will see during training camp.

    It has been reported that Darren Rizzi hand picked the kicker that the Phins drafted, but they brought in the UDFA for competition. They also wanted to bring in a punter, but it doesn't look like that happened. Grier said that Rizzi spent a ton of time with the kicker, and the FO trusts his decision, and made the pick.

    I was one of the posters banging the table for a QB. I can understand the logic of not trading up for one. From what has been reported, it was only a 2 QB race to begin with. They wanted Baker or Rosen, and once they were gone, they forgot about QB altogether. I watched all of the after the draft press conferences. The front office is hoping that a QB gets released, that they like, so that they can add another arm. However, they seemed fine to roll with what we have if they need to. Brock was brought in because Gase already knows what he needs to fix, and Brock is young enough that he can improve. That was Grier's exact words. The Dolphins never thought that Fitz would fall to them. He was in their top 5. Fitz has a work ethic and football IQ that was off the charts. The FO did work out Mike G., and did prefer him over Dallas. When asked about his blocking, Grier said that they were well aware of his problems, and they will work on it. He is actually very strong, he put up over 20 reps with those long arms. As I said in another post, if Tannehill goes down, Miami will be trading everything next year for a QB. I would like to go on the record and say that if Tanny goes down before the trade deadline, I would like for the Phins to give up the picks to bring in Nick Foles. I know it would be expensive, but so would trading up. Foles has proved he can play at a high level, you can't say that about a 1st round QB.

    Overall I like this draft. A couple of things can also be learned about where the Dolphins are heading. One of the announcers made a comment about the Dolphins building a defense for the future of the NFL. He seemed to imply that with the new rules, especially the keep your eyes up at all times rule, speed is going to be more important that brute strength. Also with the QB's that are coming out of college, the spread offensive style is starting to win. Taking all that into consideration, Miami went for speed on defense, especially LB. The Dolphins finally got a move TE with elite size. The biggest negative I see is that when Tannehill goes down, Osweiler will be the starter. Not to say that Brock doesn't have good qualities. He has excellent arm strength, and was very accurate in college. For some reason, he made a bunch of bone headed decisions when starting in the NFL. From the physical standpoint, he is elite. I hope that the coaching staff can help him get past some of these dumb mistakes he makes. Hopefully, Tannehill goes back to his 2016 play, with a better O-line, and we are successful. If Tannehill goes down, we are going to be trading everything next year to go up and get a QB.

    I am so happy that we finally got a TE. If you look at the TE's on the roster, they are all move TE's. Not a single one is a blocking TE. I wonder if the Phins are going to pull a page out of the Patriots playbook and put in the swing O-lineman as the blocking TE in the redzone. Gesicki is a super sized WR. A former basketball standout, he has probably the best hands for a TE in the draft. He has a huge catch radius, and can go up and get contested balls with ease. He is the type of receiver that you tell the QB to place the ball over his head, allowing him to block out smaller LB's and CB's. Gesicki is a match up nightmare. He doesn't have elite acceleration, but he doesn't need it. Day one starter.

    I don't think Hernandez makes it past the Giants. Then you have the Broncos who need O-line as well. I think there is a chance that Goedert drops to 42, but other teams aren't afraid of trading up. So any team that wants him, will just jump in front of the Dolphins and get him. As others have said, TE isn't realty a strong need from the teams in front of the Dolphins. I also don't want tem to draft a QB in round 2. Either TE, LB, DT, or OG, in that order.

    Here are some names to look at, and a look at the 2nd round in front of us. Browns pick twice, rumor is they are looking for more secondary help, and could pick up another DB and S. The Dolphins are done in this area, so this helps. Giants need O-line help, so I think that Hernandez goes here. Colts pick twice, they also need help in the secondary, and could be looking for offensive playmakers. They are a threat to take Goedert, or Guice. Buccaneers also are looking for offensive playmakers, so Chubb, Guice, or Goedert could go here. Bears need WR help, so St. Brown or Sutton could go here. Broncos still need O-line. Raiders also need WR. So that leaves Miami. I'm hoping for the following players. Dallas Goedert, he fills a big need for the Phins, if he is there, they have to draft him. Darius Leonard, we need LB help, and he is the best available.

    Now that I have had some time to digest this pick, here are the pro's and con's when related to the Dolphins. Pro's Has experience playing CB, slot CB, Nickel LB, and FS, all at a high level. This means that he can help Bobby McCain cover the slot, and McDonald/Jones at S. Has great feet, short area quickness to stay with most receivers. Has good burst to accelerate with receivers out of breaks. Has great instincts, knows when to close the gap. Great hand eye coordination, picks off deflected passes with ease. Knows both zone and man responsibilities, never in the wrong place. Great wrap up tackler. Has experience as a blitzer. Will fight through blocks to get to the ball carrier, he isn't afraid of sticking his shoulder into big backs. Con's Doesn't have elite long speed, can be burned on deep routes against speedy WR's. Although footwork is good, he doesn't have elite lateral quickness, and can give big cushions against speedy RB's, WR's while in man coverage. When playing safety, he can sometimes misjudge the speed of the WR in the route, causing him to react slowly. When filling gaps in the run game, he gets too eager and doesn't give himself enough cushion to react to cuts. This made him miss tackles when faced against a fast one cut RB. In Miami, I don't believe that Fitz is going to replace any one starter. He is a perfect addition to McCain in Nickel and Dime packages, where he can cover the TE, and McCain can cover the small speedy WR. In the base package, he can replace McDonald. GM Grier called him a swiss army knife, and that is his greatest strength.

    We are going to need to go very defense heavy in this draft. We now have 3 teams in our division with legit QB's. The Jets and Bills are going to be very competitive now. Our division is going to be insane. Fitz is going to be a great addition beside Jones. I don't think that McDonald can transition to LB as easily as some think. We are still going to have to get some LB help, unless the Phins think that Chase Daniels can develop into a decent Sam LB.