Miami Dolphins training camp preview: DT’s


Ndamukong Suh was the Miami Dolphins biggest signing of the offseason in an attempt to plug the opponents rushing game which gutted the Dolphins towards the end of 2014. The Dolphins improved their star power defensively with the addition of Suh but he is not the only player that will make their first appearance for the Dolphins. Just the highest profiled one.

The Dolphins were in the bottom half of the league in rushing defense in 2014. Faltering down the stretch and failing to make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season the Dolphins needed to revamp a line that simply wasn’t playing to it’s potential. Miami opted to not re-sign Jared Odrick and released Randy Starks in order to bring in Suh. How well the Dolphins perform up front defensively will be a huge factor in the teams success, and failures, in 2015.

Ndamukong Suh

It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this. Suh is considered by many to be the best defensive lineman in the entire NFL. He is solid against the run and the pass both and commands double team protection every play he is on the field. More importantly he is a player who can play every down. Suh’s ability to plug holes and shoot gaps will more than likely help elevate those around him. His presence is why his name will be mentioned along with players who don’t play the line of scrimmage.

C.J. Mosley

The former Detroit Lion joined the Dolphins after the draft and rejoins Suh on the defensive line. Mosley will battle for playing time but if he can hit his stride and capabilities it’s easy to see him supplant Earl Mitchell. For now he will be one of the rotated defensive lineman and will play a big part in the defensive schemes put out by DC Kevin Coyle.

Jordan Phillips

Phillips is a big body defensive tackle/nose tackle. He has all the tools and athleticism to make a huge impact in the NFL. The Dolphins were so high on Phillips they spent a 2nd round pick on the player despite the addition of Suh. Phillips however has a downside and it’s going to be the coaches responsibility to change it. He doesn’t play 100% every down and is known for going half speed in college. This is something he can’t afford to do in the NFL if wants to remain in the NFL. The Dolphins took a small risk on the talented and quick lineman but he is going to have to prove himself in camp.

Earl Mitchell

Mitchell played up and down last season but mostly up. He like the rest of the defensive front struggled against the run but overall his performance was positive. Mitchell will benefit from, you guessed it, Suh’s presence and should find himself in one on one match-ups often. He needs to work on his upfield game so he can collapse the passing pocket more effectively and of course gap protection from running games will be in need of improvement as well. Mitchell has the talent to be very good he just needs more consistency. Playing in this scheme for his 2nd season should help.

A.J. Francis

For all the talk of him improving, Francis needs to finally show that he can ascend to more than potential. Francis has the athleticism and he should learn a lot behind Suh and Mosley this year. It could be his chance to breakout as part of the Dolphins defensive line rotation.

Anthony Johnson

Like Francis, Johnson has a high ceiling who has yet to find it. Most of this is due to opportunity and finding playing time will come down to his camp this year. The Dolphins like to rotate their defensive lineman and depth is key. Johnson has a lot to offer and plays well off the bench. The Dolphins will likely keep six defensive tackles this season. Francis and Johnson are on that low end. If the team keeps five, Francis and Johnson will be battling come camp.

Deandre Coleman & Ellis McCarthy

Both players are on the bubble to make the roster and it’s unlikely either of them will regardless of their camp performance. Playing time and practice time will be at a premium this year and both young players need more time to acclimate to the NFL. Whether they make the practice squad will depend on their training camp impression.


I suspect the Dolphins will carry five or six defensive lineman at the defensive tackle position. Mitchell, Phillips, Suh, and Mosley are all locks for the 53 man squad but the last one or two spots will come down to the battle between Francis and Johnson. It should be an interesting camp at the position.