OTAs Next Week: 5 Miami Dolphins We Can’t Wait To See
On April 15, the Miami Dolphins began a three-phase, nine-week offseason workout program. This structure is applicable to each team in the NFL as per the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. On May 21 through 23, the team will begin OTAs. They will continue on May 29 and last until May 31, then again on June 3, lasting until June 6.
There is a community of fans that don’t think about football between the draft and game 1 of the preseason, but there is the hardcore group that has this information memorized with palm-punching anticipation. Consider the active offseason the team has had to date and that wait doesn’t get any easier.
OTAs will see the veteran free-agent acquisitions, undrafted free-agent acquisitions and the draft class participate in workouts and non-contact drills. I can just hear the whistles and the chatter now. It couldn’t come soon enough.
For many dolphin fans who follow the team this closely and on this level, there are the obvious names they will be looking for. We all want to see Mike Wallace, Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor.
Then there are those of us who view this team with a microscope and notepad. We have questions about this roster that we can’t wait to address. We won’t get direct answers until the season starts, but we may be able to manage our expectations. There are certain players who left 2012 as question marks. We want to see if the questions will be answered. Let’s take a look at five players who fit that category.
Lance Louis - Guard
Louis was a free-agent signing that also had an injury-shortened 2012. Discussions about Louis will start with the phrase, "When healthy," because he has the skill set to start at RG between Center, Mike Pouncey and recently-signed right tackle Tyson Clabo … Can't wait to see how he's coming along with his ACL
Richard Marshall - Cornerback
Marshall is a talented six-year veteran cornerback. He only played four games in 2012 and is coming off back surgery. Between his $5.7 million 2013 cap hit, his back and the new faces at his position, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Dallas Thomas - Offensive Lineman
Selected in the third round of this years draft, this was not a pick expected to crack the starting line-up. Thomas was recently quoted as saying he is being taught the entire offensive line. He played tackle and guard in college, but translates best as a guard in the NFL. The development of Jonathan Martin factors in here. If all goes well with Martin, Thomas will provide depth.
Brent Grimes - Cornerback
Grimes was signed to a one-year $5 million contract. His roster spot is not in jeopardy, but his ability to regain his pre-achilles-injury form will factor into how the entire defensive backfield will look in 2013.
Jonathan Martin - Tackle
Last season saw Martin as the lowest-ranked left tackle in the league (as per pro football focus). To be fair, Martin did play both tackle positions. While viewing NFL defenses up close for the first time, many have attributed his issues to a lack of strength. But there is still heavy skepticism. The team has even entertained the idea of acquiring a new left tackle, but that scenario never materialized.
Reports say that Martin reported to camp, having added 20 pounds of muscle. If strength was his only issue, this is great news. But if it went beyond that, the team could be in trouble.