With Week 1 of the 2018 preseason behind us, things are changing at Miami Dolphins training camp. How will it impact the team?
The Miami Dolphins coaching staff has clearly evaluated the team after their first 2018 preseason game and are making adjustments. The players seem to have taken notice too.
The depth chart is changing and players are already taking on new roles. There is some injury news as well.
I won’t bore you with another long-winded introduction so let’s jump right in.
Tannehill Taking Charge
This weekend, we saw quarterback Ryan Tannehill step up in his leadership role and take charge. When rookie running back Kalen Ballage missed a blitz pickup in practice, Tannehill threw him out of the huddle and sent him to the sidelines. He went on to give the rookie an earful on the sidelines.
Ballage does look like a promising rookie, but a rookie nonetheless. Nothing shows that more than his great run and hurdle in Thursday’s game that concluded with a terrible fumble. He’ll go through growing pains, but these are issues that can easily be cleaned up before the team needs him to be a serious contributor.
Changes at Linebacker
After a lackluster performance in Thursday’s game by Stephone Anthony, Jerome Baker has replaced him on the first-team defense in practice. Baker is running with Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso as starters. We will watch closely to see how this position battle plays out. Baker is far from being locked into a Week 1 starting role, but he has clearly done enough to earn an opportunity to prove he deserves it.
Beat up Wide Receivers
DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills were both dealing with injuries on Sunday. Parker is nursing with a hand injury, Stills an ankle ailment. Parker did manage to return to practice after jamming his fingers, but Stills sat out after apparently tweaking his ankle on Thursday night. While both guys were sidelined, the starters on the outside were Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. Just something to keep in mind when it comes to this receiving corps. With Parker struggling all summer, a significant shake-up isn’t out of the question.
Moves at Corner
Cordrea Tankersley has now fully lost a grip on the starting job he was once the favorite to win at cornerback opposite Xavien Howard. Torry McTyer has now seemingly jumped him and Tony Lippett could as well. However, things got a lot more interesting this weekend as the team also experimented with Bobby McCain moving outside and slotting Minkah Fitzpatrick in as the nickel.
Perhaps even more importantly, the team also worked out Bashaud Breeland and could make him an offer if they like what they see and the price is right. A healthy Breeland would almost certainly immediately step into a starting role by Week 1 if signed.
We have some injury updates beyond Stills’ ankle. Linebacker Mike Hull, as we all know by now, suffered what looked to be a devastating knee injury on Thursday — but luckily, it’s just an MCL sprain and he could be back anywhere from just over a month to eight weeks. IR is still an option, but they team hasn’t made that call yet. Jordan Phillips is also dealing with a shoulder injury, allowing Vincent Taylor to step up in practice and perhaps earn a role on Sundays.