The Organized Team Activity – OTA period is over and here is a look at some of the players that got the most recognition.
Next week will be the start of a three-day minicamp and OTA’s are over so what follows will be a recap of some of went down.
DeVante Parker has gotten a lot of media coverage for what was said to be a multilayered improvement. In the past his conditioning had been in question and along with it a consistent effort on the field.
Miami Dolphins dot com’s Andy Cohen had the following statement on his observation.
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“I was treated Thursday to a close-up view of one the best catches I ever seen in person, DeVante Parker pulling down an end-of-practice pass from Ryan Tannehill, somehow catching the ball with one hand and keeping his feet in bounds despite being devoured with excellent coverage by cornerback Byron Maxwell. The bubble literally erupted in cheers and Parker, showing the swagger he had been lacking his first two seasons, let Maxwell know face-to-face how pleased he was with the catch. If this is the new DeVante Parker, I want to see more of it.”
Some of the keys I felt Parker needed to peak and get to the top-level is not only the ability to go up and get the contested reception, which he already flashed at times last season. But to also come down with the ball and stay in-bounds. Which he has not done at times last season by not properly boxing out his opponent while fighting for the completion. Or using his body in a manner to allow him to stay in-bounds.
To further elaborate, rather than trying to tip toe the sidelines which opens him up to defenders that will knock him off-balance possibly jarring the football out, or pushing him out-of-bounds which is legal after an NFL rules change. He could use his size to his advantage by just securing the football and comedown on the turf cushioning his fall with his tush. The tush is the same as coming down with two feet.
This is the lowest risk way to come down from a contested jump ball on the sidelines. If there were no defenders and enough room on the sideline than it might be worth it to try the tightrope method in an effort at more yards or a possible score.
Jordan Phillips, Coach Gase has said that he sees more motor from him and with it better consistency. Phillips himself has addressed this matter in a statement to the media. He will need to keep up that effort as the Miami Dolphins had used not one but two draft picks at his DT position. Newly signed player William Hayes could also move over if need be.
Charles Harris, the first round draftee has hit the ground running and has taken everything his coaching staff has thrown his way and spit it out. He came in with an impressive resume of getting after the QB, notably with his spin move and a great first step that was working well on the secondary offensive linemen in practice. But not as much on Laremy Tunsil who upon noticing this offered up his own advise to Harris on a better way to get past him.
As the 4th DE now in the room (yes they used 1st round pick but the future is bright) he most likely won’t be seeing a multitude of game snaps when the season starts. But defensive coordinator Matt Burke now has the tools needed to draw up some nasty schemes should he see fit. As well as having extra capable players at the ready to rotate keeping them fresh should he decide to go the speed route.
Jay Ajayi has been working to get proficient with catching passes out of the backfield. And indications are he is excelling at it. This would be a great benefit should his progress continue all the way through off-season training into the regular season games. Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase wants all around running backs and can best utilize them as a point of attack. That would also lead into opening up other points of attacks eventually having a more open and multifaceted offense.
Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen had the following to say about Ajayi.
"He may be the most improved guy out there this off-season"
Christensen also added
"He has really been impressive. … He looks like a pro. He just looks like a pro. His body looks like a pro, how he carries himself, how he handles himself, how he works, how he practices — he’s a different guy from a year ago."
Michael Thomas has been getting a lot of looks all over the backfield. And notably at slot corner where the Miami Dolphins could use more help. Bobby McCain has alluded to this himself that he could do better. This is not an easy position to play. And in today’s modern NFL, defenses are using the nickel formation (an extra DB) more than the base defense as the pass happy league continues.
Chip Kelly while not a player the ex-coach showed up on the last day of the OTA period as requested by Adam Gase. Kelly is not looking for any team accommodations, he will be working as a commentator soon enough. Coach Gase has been influenced by Kelly with his use of the up tempo offense.
I’m hoping Gase goes back to the quick strike version of it. This is used right after big plays. It was used effectively early last season but faded away. Maybe Gase didn’t feel he had all the tools needed back then. But if the offense develops into an open and multifaceted one it might return.
I also hope Gase can borrow Kelly’s end zone/goal line play to the tight end. This was a thing of beauty, 49ers TE Garrett Celek scored from four yards out. It was game 12 and the Miami Dolphins defense looked lost on that play. It called for pressing at the line of scrimmage to counter it and at the time the defense was incapable of doing so.
Soon the pads will come on and it will be interesting to see what other developments will come. Maybe the same ones will go to the next level. But there certainly will be others to follow.