Last season, Miami came into the year with high hopes and an eye on the playoffs. 2 months into the season, they were eyeing their first win. Not having a training camp could have had an effect on the team that is not easily quantified, which makes this season’s training camp all the more enjoyable.
Given the spicy ingredient being that HBO’s Hard Knocks will begin airing episodes of the Dolphins camp on August 7th, and it’s easy to get more excited for this season than the lockout affected one in 2011. Here are three of the early storylines from extremely early training camp.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Defense Improving, But Still Need to Finish Plays
Turnovers are still a big issue with the defense. Miami’s D has a chance to be a top 5 unit, however they need to improve tremendously on forcing turnovers and taking the ball away. So far, it sounds like still there are turnovers being left out there, and hopefully training camp will start to improve that.
Last season the defense had high hopes and the lockout seemed to take the wind out of their sails very early on, especially with guys coming in out of shape. Once the season wore on, the defense began to lock down and show what it should have looked like all along. Hopefully this year that group can show the development that was meant for 2011. Forcing more turnovers would be a tremendous help.
Jonathan Martin Battling Well With Pass Rushers
Reading that 2012 Rookie Jonathan Martin is working at Right Tackle vs Cameron Wake and being able to compete is heartwarming. There aren’t many better pass rushers in the NFL and if Martin can hold his ground well enough as a rookie, then his future in Miami should be very bright, and that could really help solidify the Dolphins O-Line along with other first rounders in Jake Long and Mike Pouncey.
Having a solid young line in front of a young quarterback will serve the Dolphins well going into the future. It may also help Reggie Bush’s goal of leading the league in rushing, a lofty goal considering he’s coming off his very first 1,000 yard season.
Quarterback Battle Rages On
David Garrard has impressed early on and may be the front runner for the starting Quarterback position on opening day. In Red Zone drills Garrard scrambled for a 10 yard touchdown on his possession, while Matt Moore was strip sacked on his possession.
Garrard also has time in the West Coast offense and whatever currency Moore earned in Miami last season likely vanished under a new coaching staff. Of course, both of them are merely fighting to keep the spot warm while newly signed first round pick Ryan Tannehill learns on the job before hopefully taking over in 2013.