Five questions for dolphins during organized team activities
On Monday, the Dolphins begin the third and final phase of their off-season training program: organized team activities. This is the most important work the team can do before the start of training camp at the end of July, consisting of 10 days of 7v7, 9v7 and 11v11 exercises between attack and defense. defense.
The workout will be open to local reporters for the first time on Tuesday, and while veterans aren’t required to attend until the mandatory June 1-2 minicamp, it will be the first full look at the myriad additions being made. by the Dolphins in the offseason. .
Here are five questions for the Dolphins as they enter four weeks of OTA:
What does Tagovailoa look like in the new offense?
The Dolphins spared no expense this offseason to see tangible growth in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in his third season. The team hired an offensive-minded coach in Mike McDaniel and focused on the free agent on offense, including bringing in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and left tackle Terron Armstead.
While social media and sports talk shows over the past week discussed Tagovailoa’s infamous setback to Hill in a video posted to Twitter by the team, coaches praised Tagovailoa’s command of the attack during the off-season training program. OTAs will begin to show the extent of Tagovailoa’s chemistry with his returning and new teammates.
Who lines up with the starting offensive line – and where?
The Dolphins significantly improved an offensive line that was arguably the league’s worst unit last season, signing Armstead and former Dallas Cowboy Connor Williams. However, an important question remains regarding who will start in the center, which could have a knock-on effect on the rest of the offensive line. Michael Deiter was last season’s starter, but the Herald reported that Williams took pictures during the offseason training schedule. Offensive coordinator Frank Smith then rationalized it by saying the team trains all linemen to break the ball.
Meanwhile, Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg appear to be the favorites to start at right tackle, but offensive line coach Matt Applebaum hasn’t ruled out playing Robert Hunt at tackle after starting 17 games in 2021 at the right guard. . The only position Applebaum and McDaniel have committed to on the offensive line is Armstead at left tackle. The five players who line up with the first-team offensive line — and where they line up — could provide some insight into the coaching staff’s first take on the unit.
Is there still a pecking order to the running back?
McDaniel made his mark with the San Francisco 49ers as running play coordinator before being promoted to offensive coordinator and he quickly made his mark in Miami. The Dolphins signed Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert in week one of free agency, then added Sony Michel last week. It’s a complete facelift for a group of running backs that ranked 31st in yards per attempt last season. Each of the squad’s additions have different strengths, and the next few weeks of training could show McDaniel and Smith’s plan to bring them all in, along with returning players Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed.
What progress has the 2022 draft class made?
It’s only been one season, but the Dolphins’ 2022 rookie class has given flashes of being a foundational group that can lead the team for years to come. Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer noted the growth of outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips and safety Jevon Holland this offseason. McDaniel made no secret of his enthusiasm for throwing touches for wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. And the team is still bullish on Eichenberg, who had growing pains but played invaluable shots as a rookie. All are expected to continue to make positive steps in their development and the Dolphins will need them if they are to break a five-year playoff drought.
Are there any notable defensive changes?
The Dolphins have made a point of keeping last season’s defense intact, retaining all 11 starters who finished the season. The team then added a pair of potential major contributors in the offseason, signing Georgia inside linebacker Channing Tindall in the third round and settling on a deal with veteran outside linebacker Melvin Ingram.
Boyer will have complete reins of defense with Brian Flores gone and while he said the core philosophy of the unit will remain the same, he is eager to add his own wrinkles. What does this imply? Boyer didn’t give definitive answers, but he said his mind is constantly searching for new ideas for defense.