There is little question that I am a countdown type of person. If I knew my own death date I would probably wear the countdown clock on my wrist. I joke, sort of, but there is only six days left until training camp. I will actually be gone all next week so don’t expect a lot of writing from me as we approach the 24th. I will actually be in South Florida so hopefully I will get some hands on information but if not, I will be back in force a week from this Monday but let’s continue our feature on the top ten things to watch come training camp.
The entire linebacking corp
The Miami Dolphins got great production out of DE/LB Olivier Vernon last year but we are not going to talk about those players who can rush from the two technique or drop back as a hybrid linebacker. We are going to talk more specifically about the changes that are being made and wether or not Koa Misi can handle them.
The Dolphins are working on a plan to move Misi inside and then move Danelle Ellerbe to the strong outside position. Phillip Wheeler will stay outside on the weak side. In his five years in the NFL, Misi has never played in the middle. In fact, collegiately he played as a DE.
The Dolphins were ranked close to the bottom in 2012 in stopping the run. Ellerbe and Wheeler were given big contracts as free agents and Misi was given a contract extension prior to the season as well. Initially, Misi was reluctant to move inside in new linebacker’s coach Mark Duffner scheme. Duffner is trying to optimize his position by making moves he believes will make the unit better. The video below, courtesy of USA Football, gives some insight on Duffner’s approach to this training camp.
This training camp, the Dolphins linebackers will be under close watch by the media and fans, especially if the move of Misi continues into the camp. Did the coaches see enough in Misi during OTA’s to view him as a viable option in the middle or did they see enough of him to know he is not?
The Dolphins came into last season wanting to run a 3-4 defensive scheme but the team was built more for a 4-3 and last year the team spent far more plays in that formation than the other. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has not publicly made his intentions on this season known but training camp will give us a glimpse into what the season has in store.