The Miami Dolphins are approaching the end of their 2014 offseason, and have made multiple moves to improve their personnel. With training camp underway, us fans have obtained an inside look at the Dolphin’s position battles and changes to their last years’ roster. Next we will analyze the multiple moves that could provide improvements in 2o14.
1. Revamped Offensive Line
Following the 2013 “bullygate scandal”, the Miami Dolphins organization expressed eagerness to put the whole fiasco behind them. The team did just that, parting ways with 4 of the 5 main individuals involved in the incident (Jonathan Martin, John Jerry, Richie Incognito, Jim Turner, and Kevin O’Neill).
The projected starting 5 offensive lineman for 2014 has drastically changed in comparison to the 2013 opening day starters, as not a single offensive lineman will return come week one.
These changes can arguably be an improvement heading into 2014, as the Dolphin’s have high regards in keeping Ryan Tannehill protected. First and foremost, the signing of left tackle Branden Albert strikes me as a key acquisition this offseason, giving Tannehill the blind-side protection he needs.
Secondly, the addition of Ja’waun James and Billy Turner in the 2014 NFL Draft strikes optimism in many Miami Dolphin’s fans. Although both are young, and have no experience in the NFL, the addition of potential is exciting for years to come.
Although the offensive line is the biggest question mark for the 2014 season, a repeat performance of last year’s terror seems unfeasible (hopefully).
2. Bill Lazor
The hiring of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has impressed many Dolphin’s players including wide receiver Mike Wallace, who expressed concern in last year’s offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
Bill Lazor, who came over to Miami from the Philadelphia Eagle’s fast paced offense, provides the Dolphin’s with the up-tempo offensive movement Joe Philbin had been looking to implement the previous two seasons. In his year under head coach Chip Kelly, Lazor helped the Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles provide a spark that essentially lead the Eagles to the postseason.
Most notably, the use of Mike Wallace in this new system seems to be a high note for the offense. Wallace has reportedly been lining up in numerous receiver positions, and is essentially stretching the field.
“It’s a completely different system,” Tannehill said. “I think there are always some similarities between offenses. But we have some new concepts, some things we haven’t done in the past, pushing the ball downfield in many different ways.”
Read more about Bill Lazor’s new offense here
3. Sophomore Standouts
Last season’s rookies Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, looked to standout in the Dolphin’s secondary in their rookie campaigns. Coming into 2014, both corner backs have turned heads with their play throughout the offseason, resulting in a heated position battle in the Dolphin’s secondary behind Brent Grimes.
Early in July, reports had circulated that former standout defensive end, Dion Jordan had been suspended due to a PED violation, resulting in a 4 game suspension. This report follows an offseason in which Jordan bulked up, gaining about 15 pounds, and generated hype for an already effective defensive line. Although Jordan will be suspended until week 6 when the Dolphins square off against the Green Bay Packers, watch out for Jordan to come back with a chip on his shoulder.
4. “Juice” Landry
Jarvis Landry came off the field during the first practice in full pads with a notably exceptional practice on Sunday (7/27), and showcased his athleticism for the Dolphin’s coaching staff. This offseason we will likely see numerous changes to the Dolphin’s wide receiver corps in preparation for the 53 man roster, as many youngsters and veterans will battle for a roster spot.
Dolphin’s fans aren’t the only individuals excited about Landry, as owner Stephen Ross commented on what he’s excited about for this season,
“Jarvis Landry is somebody I think everybody is really excited about, speaking to the coaches,” Ross said. “I think he’s really going to be somebody that’s going to surprise a lot of people and really bring some excitement to this team.”
Read more about Jarvis Landry here.
Landry, who was drafted in the 2nd round in the May draft, is drawing attention from Dolphin’s fans with his play throughout practices. Landry’s speed is one asset that has prevented him from being categorized as one of the elites in the previous draft, however his reliable play, and route running has Landry competing for a roster spot come week 1.
5. Ryan Tannehill
Essentially the centerpiece to the Miami Dolphin’s offense, Ryan Tannehill has shown progression throughout the first 3 training camp practices.
One aspect of the game Tannehill has been focusing on is his ability to throw the ball accurately down field. Tannehill’s maturity as the centerpiece of the Dolphin’s offense has impressed numerous players, including last year’s standout Charles Clay.
Although it is early in training camp, and Tannehill’s progression thus far is almost irrelevant, it is reassuring for Dolphin’s fans that Ryan Tannehill he has progressed throughout the offseason.
Here is what Tannehill had to say about his goals for the upcoming season,
“We want to play deep into January and February,” Tannehill said. “And that’s our goal at this point, is to go out, win the division and then play the playoffs from there. There is a big season ahead of us and I think anything less than that is not up to our standards.”
Read more about Ryan Tannehill here.
Tags: Miami Dolphins