When the Miami Dolphins cut former first-round pick Dion Jordan, I realized there are no more draft picks from the 2013 class left on the team… and no front office people and coaches who picked those players are employed by the Dolphins any more. It may not seem a big deal however this team has made a transformation from not many years out. Head coach Adam Gase is a large piece to this changed puzzle.
Training camp is here and the goal going in offensively is an up-tempo offense in year two of Gase’s scheme. The Dolphins didn’t know coach Gase’s system well enough to go fast last season and lost games because of it. The slower they were on offense last year, the better they played. I will be following the second-year coach’s no-huddle, up-tempo offense that made him successful with the Denver Broncos. A guy named Peyton Manning was quarterbacking for him in that offense by the way. “This is the year to zero in,” Gase states repeatedly. Year two will have to be different considering echoes in minicamp are they will defeat the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots twice this season. The offensive scheme along with three other specific players are what I will be focusing on during training camp.
How does he look? Is he mobile? Tannehill ended the season with a scary knee injury. He did not have surgery. Tannehill sprained the ACL and MCL in his left knee in a game where the Arizona Cardinals’ Calais Campbell, landed on the knee. It healed but will his game raise the expectations from last year when the Dolphins made the playoffs even after his injury. To no surprise, cameras will be rolling on his every step in training camp.
The rookie is a leader amongst the rookies and not intimidated by the veterans furthermore trash talking Cameron Wake at times. The first-round pick out of the University of Missouri looked amazing in minicamp but now the pads come on. His speed and swing moves off the line will be exciting to watch. “Explosive,” was veteran pass rusher Andre Branch’s word for Harris. “Very explosive and he’s willing to learn. He doesn’t think he’s bigger than the D-line or bigger than the team.” Moreover his battles against talented names on the Dolphins offensive line will be a battle you cannot miss. Coaches have been raving about him. The Dolphins made the playoffs despite an awful defense. Harris will only improve that side of the football.
Former Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron announced that he will retire after he incurred four concussions in six seasons. Thomas was a big catch in the off-season for Miami to replace him. He will be a big target for Tannehill in the red zone. He may benefit the fantasy football owners also. Coach Gase has shared Thomas’ blocking has improved. Thomas will stretch the middle of the field for Tannehill and the Dolphins this season. I will be keeping an eye on whether Thomas can regain some of the explosiveness he showed when he played tight end for the Denver Broncos and Gase was an assistant coach. Jordan Cameron did not work out for Miami, but Thomas is perfect for Plan B.