Dolphins training camp is moving right along. Most recently, we’ve now seen the initial depth chart in Miami. Vontae Davis isn’t happy, but his cornerback counterpart Sean Smith and tight end Charles Clay are based on their emergence thus far.
Also, the quarterback battle continues to rage on, with now all three quarterbacks firmly in the mix.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Depth Chart Released, Vontae Davis Not Happy
In a bit of an unexpected twist, the Dolphins depth chart release had quite a surprise, 2009 First Round draft pick Vontae Davis was not listed as a first team defender. Normally, this might be considered a good thing that Davis had been surpassed by someone so good as to bump Davis to the second unit. That would speak to a measure of depth the Dolphins have acquired at the cornerback position. However, that might be just wishful thinking.
Davis has shown flashes of being a great corner in this league, but has also been wildly untrustworthy the last couple seasons. If he doesn’t step up and be the #1 shutdown type corner the Dolphins expect out of a first rounder, the defense could be in for some long days in a passing rich league. Hopefully, seeing his name listed on the second unit will motivate Davis to new heights. Miami needs him (and a first round selection) to start making a big difference.
Sean Smith, Charles Clay Emerging
On the other side, some positive news about CB Sean Smith. If Davis isn’t going to step up and be that shutdown corner, then perhaps Smith can. If Marshall and/or Davis can then just be simply solid #2 corners, the pressure may not be so high and the unit could settle into some roles. Problem is, Smith has been a camp warrior before and then tailed off once the actual season starts. Miami fans have seen this drill before.
One other bright spot is the mention of Charles Clay getting into the end zone, the TE position has been largely quiet as a group, and any sign of life is a good thing. At some point, the Phins offense is going to need solid production from Fasano, Egnew or Clay in order to balance the offense and make up for a weakened receiver position.
Garrard in the Lead, But Tannehill Not Out Yet
David Garrard appears to have a leg up on the QB position in Miami, but potential face of the franchise Ryan Tannehill is showing some improvement which is a breath of fresh air for Dolphin fans. Garrard may very well play the whole season as the starter but the overall most important aspect of the Dolphins 2012 season is how much Tannehill learns and grows during his rookie campaign.
There is no telling whether Ryan will get much actual playing time this season outside of injuries to either Garrard or last year’s team MVP Matt Moore. And being on the third team offense won’t get Tannehill very many reps in practice either, so the majority of his learning will be in the classroom and on the sidelines during the season. So every snap he gets in practice or in scrimmages, especially against the first team defense, is very important to the learning curve of the franchise.