It’s nice to start reading about the Miami Dolphins doing some off-season work in OTA’s, but the reality is they are in shorts and t-shirts, not pads. There’s no tackling or live contact. Jason Taylor said years ago anybody can look great playing football in pajamas and he’s right. Over the years I’ve heard of players being propped up in mini camps and OTA’s only to see them disappear when the pads and contact start. Don’t get me wrong, OTA’s are great for team bonding and working together, but the real work starts in July when training camp starts, and the pads are put on.
I remember 4 years ago, when the Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil was lining up at left guard, which was a new position for him because he is a left tackle and the Dolphins had Brandon Albert, and he struggled, and first team snaps went to incumbent Dallas Thomas. People were writing Tunsil is struggling and might not start, but when the pads camp on Tunsil got better and better with each snap. Then when the preseason started, he was head and shoulders better than Thomas. Thomas had been propped only to fall flat on his face because Thomas wasn’t a physical player when the pads came on so Tunsil won the starting job and had a very good season working beside Albert on the left side of the offensive line.
There have been other examples over the years of guys with strong OTAs only to disappear when the pads come on like Devante Parker. Parker the last couple of years has flashed like he would be a top five wide receiver only to go unnoticed when training camp came around. Back in 2009, then coach Tony Sparano praised a second-year offensive lineman named Shawn Murphy in spring work like he was ready to start, but then disappointed in training camp and didn’t even make the football team that year.
This year the name I’ve been hearing about is undrafted rookie wide receiver Preston Williams. I get it he’s 6’4″ a big physical receiver, but I want to wait to see what he does when training camp starts to see what the Dolphins have. Do they have a potential prospect or just another training camp body? I’ve also heard some good things about second year tight end Mike Gesicki, but again I want to see how he does when the pads come on because he was invisible last year and if he doesn’t step up his game just add him to the list of 2nd round busts this team has drafted over the year.
Like I said I’m excited to see the team working, but I’ll wait for training camp to see what type of players the Dolphins have. The team re-gutted this roster pretty good this off season and are going to be playing a lot of young players. Let’s see how these players play when the pads come on and the contact starts.