Who says the off-season has to be relegated to reality TV shows and owners meetings? For those two scroll down the page, the owners meeting information is actually good. Despite all that stuff, there is news about the Miami Dolphins and today begins the first organized team activities or OTA’s.
Owner Wayne Huizenga has stated that he will NOT interfere with the media reported rift between Jason Taylor and Bill Parcells. He says that should JT approach him about being traded, he would let BP and Tony Sparano know but his involvement would end there.
Randy Starks is the big news today as he has stated that he has been moved from his down lineman position to DE where he will now challenge Matt Roth for the starting position. Starks played DT for the Tennessee Titans last year but is expected to be able to make that move to DE. With the Dolphins heavy at the DE spot, the future of Roth on the team now seriously should be questioned.
Moving along to OTA, the Dolphins finally will take the field as a team, not just rookies. Minus JT of course. So what does this mean? Well nothing except that the Phins will really start taking a look at who they have and in what condition they are in. Make no mistake, this is about conditioning despite anything that the local media reports. If you hear someone say that so and so looked good and so and so looked bad, believe me when the day is over and the coaches are sitting in their office, the conversation is going to be how good of shape or bad so and so was in.
Jason Allen is taking snaps with the first team, or is expected to, and Yeremiah Bell, according to Armando Salguero is almost 100 percent recovered from his Achilles injury last year.
The focus of course during any mini-camp and OTA segment Will be the QB position. Beck, McCown, Henne? McCown, Beck, Henne? Who will be the guy that takes the first team snaps, the majority of the snaps, and of course who looks the best. All eyes will be focused on these 3 above all others. Remember this is about conditioning for every position but this one. The starting QB is going to have to show more than Tony Sparano and Dan Henning that he is the guy. He has to impress the Tuna, regardless of what the fish says publicly.
If you look to the running backs, be prepared to watch the two rooks, Mauia, and Cobbs. Ricky and Ronnie won’t be doing all that much if anything at all. Both are recovering from injury and testing them now would not be wise. Mauia is the one to watch though as he is the one who sits on the outside.
Despite the fact that he started most of last year, Reagan Mauia is not secured a position on this team. With Williams and Brown assured the top two spots and both Hilliard and Parmale having real opportunities to make the team, Mauia and Cobbs could be on the way out. Neither are Parcells guys. Hilliard is supposedly a good prospect at FB.
The WR’s will give a little insight into their abilities and most will likely pay attention to the hands of new WR Ernest Wilford. The real attention however will be on Ted Ginn‘s route running, speed, and ability to hand on to the ball, something he did well last year when given the chance. While it is almost assured barring a future trade that both Ginn and Wilford will be the number 1 and 2 guys on the outside, the future of Derek Hagan and his slot spot are not so much. Hagan must develop better hands or he will find himself looking for a job sooner than later.
Of course the real, absolute attention to these OTA’s will be focused on the structure of the coaching staff and the way the approach the team concept. Tony Sparano is in his first season as an NFL HC and the entire coaching staff has been turned over sans 1 defensive coach. While Sparano and his staff intermingle with the players, the Tuna will be pacing the sidelines, talking to few, glaring at all of them.
We will keep you posted throughout the week as the OTA’s continue.