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Miami Dolphins 2019 Training Camp Preview

Another year where Miami was supposed to take a step forward, turned into another
that saw them running in place. A 7-9 season was not what fans and front office staff
alike were hoping for. Miami decided it was time to give up on the Tannehill era,
bringing in two possible replacements in Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bucs) and traded for Arizona
QB Josh Rosen. Adam Gase also was given his pink slip and will be replaced with first
year Head Coach Brian Flores. Kenyan Drake will be looking to build off last year as
Devante Parker will look to prove his worth. Growth and more continuity among the
defense should also produce an even better defense, with possibly a top 5 secondary
brewing.
Injuries and inconsistent play ultimately led to the departure of Tannehill this offseason.
Miami made one of the more eyebrow raising moves, going out and signing Ryan
Fitzpatrick from the Bucs just down the street. They then added some fuel to the
competition by trading for second year man Josh Rosen, just a year removed from
UCLA and a rough start in Arizona. Chad O’Shea will be taking over as offensive
coordinator, so Miami has a chance to see an offense like what they’ve seen beat them
consistently over years in New England. The QB competition will come down to, who
makes the best final decision, and who shows they can take over the locker room and
lead this young squad, with early rumors stating Fitzpatrick as the front runner heading
into camp. Fitzpatrick was ultimate Fitzpatrick in Tampa Bay last year, having multiple
games of 400+ yards, then throwing 4 INTs the week later. Rosen was erratic in
Arizona, showing flashes every now and then. Many think he was hampered by a poor
front line and lack of playmakers so we’ll see if he can get clicking with players like
Devante Parker and Kenny Stills.
Many of us across the league were introduced to Kenyan Drake in his breakout game
over New England. We remember him taking a lateral filled, last play, down to the five,
beating Gronk to the corner, and scoring to defeat the Patriots in Miami. Drake will look
to really bloom in his fourth year in the league, building off an impressive season last
year. With Flores and O’Shea coming in, Miami will be pounding the rock more this
year, even drafting a fullback from Auburn. Already a threat in the passing game, Drake
has said to have perfected his preparation in order to be RB1. Devante Parker will really
need to reach his potential this year, whoever is throwing him the ball. Miami decided to
give the young pass catcher a contract extension in hopes he turn into what they have
imagined. A big bodied receiver with speed to stretch a defense, Parker has shown
inconsistent hands and an inability to stay healthy. 2019 very well could be a make or
break year for him.
A team that rolled out a secondary that surprised people last year, Miami has the
potential to have a top defense in the NFL. Xavien Howard will keep rising in the
cornerback ranks after a 7 INT year last year, and Minkah Fitzpatrick solidified his spot
as the teams’ number one safety after a very impressive rookie season. Possibly the
biggest surprise this off-season that no one is talking about was Cristian Wilkins
dropping down to the Dolphins at 13 in the draft.
The 315 LB defensive tackle out of Clemson was widely regarded as one of, if not the top lineman in the draft. Miami didn’t hesitate to find Suh’s replacement up front, and Wilkins should be dominant right away with his superior strength and nose for the ball. Their linebacking core is also quite
underrated with Kiko Alonzo manning the middle, and second year man Jerome Baker
on the edge with elite speed for a backer. Baker racked up 79 tackles and another 3 sacks
as a rookie out of Ohio State.
With one of the younger rosters in the league, Miami still looks to be a bit of a project. A
project worth following though. Young skill players with all the potential in the world,
could turn them into a juggernaut if they can develop. If Rosen can shed the funk from
Arizona, he could be their franchise QB. Young in the secondary, and linebacking core,
with a First-Round pick to anchor the defensive line, the defense also could be on their
way to running the AFC East.

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