Dolphins asked what camp battle are you looking forward to?
By Brian Miller
Each week the Miami Dolphins pose a question to the fan-site media as opposed to the mainstream media. This week they wanted to know what training camp battle we were looking forward to the most.
The Dolphins pulled the answers from several sites and posted them on their weekly “Voice of the Fan” post. Which of course you can read there.
Here are the rest of the responses.
Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line. It seems redundant as if we’re all in the Twilight Zone but offensive line is the linchpin to a successful season. Last season Dolphins gave up the most yards in team history and still managed to have a 10-5 record with a post season visit. Tannehill is coming off an injury so that’s become a factor. A balanced offense is necessary, so having a consistent run game is pertinent. You’ll need a solid offensive line that can create those gaps.
There are so many front line battles coming but what intrigues me the most is defensive end. Charles Harris will be competing for a spot that is already chock full of talent. Cameron Wake is an ageless wonder who earns the top billing every season. With his 11.5 sacks last season let’s not forget he was held back on snap counts early on and started in 11 games.
Andre Branch was a great pairing with Wake and seemed to get better as the season went on. Branch had 5.5 sacks starting in 11 games. Newcomer William Hayes had 5 sacks starting in 14 games with his former team the Rams. This seems like a lot of competition for the first draft pick Harris. To be honest I felt that made the pick of DE first unsavory but the potential here is mind-boggling. Harris has shown so far he is very much worthy of being picked first and at the least will provide a boost to the aforementioned players.
The position battle that I am looking forward to the most is the one that the Dolphins are probably the most deep at – wide receiver. Sure Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills are the starters, but I want to see the guys behind them. I want to see which of these guys are going to fight hardest for roster spots, and with a limited number of spots available, it’s sure to be a dogfight.
Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant are NOT LOCKS, in my opinion, to make the final roster, although the coaching staff may want to give them one more shot after they were drafted just a year ago. Their level of uncertainty, however, will give guys like Drew Morgan and Isaiah Ford ample opportunities to bump ahead of them, and show they deserve to be on the 53-man roster. The Dolphins are deeply talented at receiver going into training camp, but they can’t keep everyone. It will be exciting to see who emerges on to the team, and who is shown their walking papers.
I am most looking forward to the training camp battle at the Nickel position in the secondary. With the secondary overall becoming a strength for this team, having a weak player man the Nickel spot would not be for the defense.
That position has been given to Bobby McCain in recent years, but he has not shown enough stability to be able to maintain that job. The players in the run to own that spot are McCain, Michael Thomas, Lafayette Pitts, Jordan Lucas, Cordrea Tankersley and Tony Lippett.
That is quite a large number of players competing for one spot. Bobby McCain has the experience, but Michael Thomas might be able to man the position better. Tony Lippett and Cordrea Tankersley are too talented to keep off the field. With Xavien Howard and Byron Maxwell taking the boundary corner spots, Lippett and Tankersley will need to find playing time elsewhere. Pitts and Lucas have been bodies in camp and are looking to make a name for themselves.
The Nickel cornerback position battle should bring out the best in each of the players, ultimately giving the defense a solid option at what has been a weak link in the secondary in years past. This battle will take a while but it is surely going to improve the defense.
It’s not the position that I’m looking forward to, but rather the battle. Charles Harris versus Laremy Tunsil.
Honestly, I am trying to remember the last time two first round picks selected by the Miami Dolphins in consecutive years have had this much hype? I can’t. I don’t think it has actually happened. These two promising prospect will be the cornerstone players for the Dolphins franchise in the next coming years. With Cam Wake battling father time, Harris will be his eventual replacement. Tunsil has already replaced Brandon Albert (as he was traded to Jacksonville this past offseason), so his time is now.
Tunsil vs. Harris. Two first round picks battling each other it’s what is all about!
The most important position battle is probably the guard position but the one I am most looking forward to is the starting cornerback battle. Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard and Tony Lippett all looked good at times last year but they all also had times where they struggled. Maxwell is the most experienced and highest paid but he was benched at times last year due to inconsistent play. Howard looked good when on the field but struggled with injuries all year. Lippett is the least experienced but also showed the most play-making ability (4 INTs) last year. Maxwell and Howard are the current favorites but I could easily envision a scenario where it’s Maxwell/Howard or even Howard/Lippett.
I am most interested in the deep corner situation where Jordan Lucas, Bobby McCain, Alterraun Verner, and Torry McTyer will compete along with Lafayette Pitts for maybe one open spot.