By Tyler McMullen @Direct_Snap on August 4, 2014
The Miami Dolphins have had a good training camp thus far, and have answered some questions along the way that seemed to linger over the team this offseason. But a few other concerns have become the center of attention in Miami, including a huge concern along the offensive line.
Here are 10 takeaways from Miami's great start to the 2014 season.
All reports have been quite telling about Tannehill entering his third season in the league. Tannehill has been a good decision maker and has been making crisp throws through the first week and a half of training camp. Reports are also suggesting that Tannehill's deep ball has improved mightily, which should excite fans due to Tannehill's inability to hit WR Mike Wallace deep last season. Tannehill is off to a great start in 2014.
Miller has been working as the team's No. 1 back due to free agent acquisition RB Knowshon Moreno being sidelined for the time being. Miller has shown burst, quickness, speed and improved hands in practice. Miller's speed sets him apart from the rest. He should be able to lock-down the starting role and remain the starter when Moreno returns due to his breakaway speed.
With Moreno sidelined, the depth behind Miller is quite concerning right now for Miami. RB Daniel Thomas looked great before the team put pads on, but has disappeared since then. The same can be said for second-year RB Mike Gillislee. UDFA Damien Williams may actually have a chance to make the 53-man squad over Thomas this season, which is quite telling. Miami may need to search the waiver wire once cuts are made in a few weeks.
The defensive line looks great on paper with DEs Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan, Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby playing alongside DTs Earl Mitchell, Randy Starks, Jared Odrick and Anthony Johnson, but it's a whole lot better in real life. Miami's defensive line has been terrorizing in practices thus far and looks like one of the league's top units already. Once Jordan returns from his four-game suspension, Miami's defense could be scary good.
Miami moved Misi to the middle linebacker spot during voluntary workouts and he has stuck ever since. Sure, it may be because the team has invested too much time into moving pieces around to go back now, but Misi has been incredible thus far during practices as the team's middle backer. Misi has looked instinctive and has played much more physical than ever before. Misi could be the answer Miami is looking for at middle linebacker.
Losing Mike Pouncey, Miami's best offensive player and a pro bowl center, was bad enough, but the unit has been struggling thus far in camp to gel. The left side of the offensive line is fine, with new LT Branden Albert and LG Daryn Colledge, but the center position is still a musical chair act and could be filled by Samson Satele, who the team just signed and the right guard position is a toss up between Turner, Thomas and Smith.
Finnegan was said to be washed up, old and basically done when he signed a contract with Miami this offseason, but he must have found the fountain of youth in South Beach because the former Pro Bowl corner has looked great thus far in camp. Finnegan picked off two passes in Miami's recent scrimmage and has looked like he has regained his pro bowl form, which would be a blessing for Miami opposite CB Brent Grimes this season.
For all of the criticism Miami takes from the popular media outlets for having poor receivers, the team is actually set up nicely this season with talent at receiver. Wallace and Hartline are locks to make the team, but veterans Brandon Gibson and Rishard Matthews will have to fight for a roster spot with the likes of Jarvis Landry, Matt Hazel, Armon Binns, Damian Williams, Stephen Williams and many others. Miami is set up quite nicely.
Jordan has looked phenomenal thus far in training camp and looks to only be improving as we speak. The former third-overall pick has looked like such through the first week and a half of training camp for Miami and could challenge DE Olivier Vernon for the starting DE job opposite Cameron Wake once Jordan's four-game suspension is up in 2014. Jordan looks fast, strong and explosive. With Jordan and Vernon, Miami has a nice young duo.
Behind Charles Clay, Miami has plenty of young talent in tight ends Dion Sims, Michael Egnew, Arthur Lynch, Gator Hoskins and Kyle Miller, but none of the names mentioned have been spectacular thus far in camp. Hoskins flashed early, but, like many others, seemed to disappear once the team began padded practices. Egnew has been non-existent and seems like a likely roster cut. Sims and Lynch have shown ability, but are too inconsistent.
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