2016 Dolphins Safety Preview: Camp Battles


The Miami Dolphins are expecting an injection of youth will solve their issues within the secondary.  Reshad Jones is the anchor and the most experienced player the Dolphins have. Jones will be playing a mentor role all season in hope to teach and progress his fellow teammates into NFL caliber starters.

Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus are the starting tandem for the Miami Dolphins.  The first player off the bench will be Walt Aikens, The second player? That is what training camp is for.  There are two players to play close attention too.  The battle should be an intriguing one as it is a tale of experience versus youth.

Michael Thomas:
The first thing that comes to every Dolphins fan mind, when Thomas name is called is the interception he had against Tom Brady a few years ago that sealed the victory against the Patriots.  Since then, those types of moments have been hard to find.  Similar to Aikens, Thomas struggled when given an opportunity to start at either the Safety positions.

Thomas strives on straight man to man responsibilities, but that asset is his biggest liability.  A Safety is not a corner, as such, his reads and technique are completely opposite.  Yes there are similar characteristics, but it is not a linear approach.  The only time the man coverage is useful for a Safety is when other teammate are blitzing, however, if you place Thomas in the game, opposing coaches will soon understand the trend.

Thomas needs to work on his Safety development. Specifically his shadowing and hip movement.  How to play when he is not pressing at the line of scrimmage.  His versatility was one of the reason the former regimen kept him, but under a structure it would not be surprising to see Thomas cut during Training Camp.

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AJ Hendy:

If the biggest trending article on your team is about being suspended for an entire season, then we can understand how a prospect can go undrafted.  Hendy violated school policy and conduct in 2014 and was suspended the entire collegiate year.  Hendy only has played one full season, which was the 2015, where he was 4th on the team in tackles and played relatively well.

In 2016, he only managed to get on the field for 4 games, before suffering from ankle issues that held him out for the majority of the season.  The game tape on Hendy shows someone with a special burst.  Solid hip movement and likes to hit.  Takes a lot of chances and his shadowing is poor.  Basically he is a raw prospect with a good initial first step.

Training camp is a few week away.  The battle will be one to play close attention.  Hendy in everyone’s eyes is raw with potential to make a difference, whereas, Thomas has shown glimpse of becoming a playmaker but just can’t show enough consistency to warrant playing time.  The battle will start in July!