Monday, June 18, 2012
Three things to watch at Dolphins minicamp
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins also will hold their three-day, mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Here are three things to keep an eye on:
No. 1: Chad Ochocinco
Expect all eyes to be on Ochocinco this week. The colorful receiver and six-time Pro Bowler just joined the Dolphins last week and signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum. Ochocinco has a lot to prove after a poor stint with the New England Patriots. Does the 34-year-old receiver have anything left? Can Ochocinco quickly grasp a new offense, which was an issue in New England? Will the receiver-thin Dolphins use Ochocinco as a starter? There's no doubt Ochocinco will bring excitement to the Dolphins, who will debut on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in August. But will Ochocinco also bring the type of production he had earlier in his career?
No. 2: Quarterback derby
This is probably the biggest storyline for Miami. But it's already been written and talked about for months. Right now Ochocinco is the fresher story. Still, this minicamp is very important for quarterbacks Matt Moore, David Garrard and rookie Ryan Tannehill. It's a chance for one of these players to take a firm hold on the quarterback derby leading into training camp. Garrard and Moore remain the favorites, while Tannehill is on the outside looking in. But one of these three quarterbacks can take a big step by outperforming the others in this week's minicamp.
No. 3: Miami's defense
The strength of Miami's team this year will be its defense. The Dolphins have virtually no chance to compete if this group doesn't play up to their potential. Miami is switching to a 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. That could provide early growing pains, but Miami has enough talented veterans to handle it. The biggest questions are at safety, following the release of leading tackler Yeremiah Bell, and getting a consistent pass-rush from someone other than Cameron Wake. The Dolphins will be evaluating and looking for answers this week.