DAVIE, Fla. -- The AFC East blog begins its summer training camp tour with the Miami Dolphins. Friday is the first day the Dolphins hit the practice field with plenty of changes on offense, defense and the coaching staff.
But there is one key player missing in camp: Ryan Tannehill.
Miami's rookie quarterback and first-round pick has yet to reach a contract agreement and will officially skip the first practice this morning. This doesn't look good for Tannehill's already slim hopes of winning the starting job in Week 1. Rest assured HBO's "Hard Knocks" will be all over this story for an easy ratings boost.
Here are several other things we will be looking for during our stop at Dolphins camp:
All eyes will be on the other quarterbacks in attendence. Miami has a competition brewing between Matt Moore and David Garrard. Moore and Garrard will share first-team snaps. Garrard has had the upper hand in spring practices, but Moore is a gamer who gets to prove he can shine in the preseason. Tannehill was far behind the other two and can’t make up ground while going through a contract dispute.
Will any receivers step up? It was a group that looked horrendous at times during offseason workouts. There was a frustrating amount of drops in spring practices from receivers. That has to be cleaned up in training camp. Struggles in the spring led the Dolphins to signing Chad Johnson. The Dolphins hope the 34-year-old can rebound after a down year with the New England Patriots. Miami needs all the assistance it can get at receiver.
I’m also curious about Miami’s new-look 4-3 defense. It’s hard to gauge defense in shorts. Miami appeared to have a goal of wreaking havoc with different blitzes and forcing turnovers. But I still want to see how things look in pads. Miami’s front seven is tough. This group doesn’t allow anyone to run the football. But I have questions about the secondary, particularly the safeties.
The right side of the offensive line is intriguing. Miami just signed former Pro Bowl guard Eric Steinbach, who must prove he’s healthy after missing all of 2011 with a back injury. He will compete with John Jerry and Artis Hicks. Also, the right tackle spot could be filled by rookie second-round pick Jonathan Martin, who protected quarterback Andrew Luck at Stanford.
You can also follow my Twitter account here for live camp updates. Find out who is making plays and who is struggling as it happens. We will have more from Dolphins camp in the AFC East blog this afternoon.