Friday, June 6, 2014
Miami Dolphins Stock Watch
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins offseason program is in full swing during Phase 3 of organized team activities.
Here is a look at whose stock is up and down in Miami:
1. Mike Wallace, wide receiver: Wallace looks a lot more comfortable in Miami in his second season. Last year, he was trying to fit in and had a lot of pressure after signing a $60 million contract. This year, Wallace is focused on making himself better, which will only help the Dolphins' offense and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. For two straight weeks, Wallace has been the last player to leave the practice field. He tore up practice Tuesday with three touchdown receptions.
2. Bill Lazor, offensive coordinator: Miami's first-year offensive coordinator is getting rave reviews from his players. Lazor is bringing an up-tempo style that uses a lot of formations and motions to dictate to the defense. It's an aggressive approach that Miami didn't have last season. Lazor replaces former Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who's scheme became too predictable last season.
3. Dallas Thomas, guard: Thomas has been one of the pleasant surprises so far this offseason. He's the early leader to start at left guard and is beating out Miami third-round pick Billy Turner. Thomas battled injuries and inexperience last year and only saw the field for four snaps. The Dolphins' coaching staff hopes Thomas can make a significant jump in Year 2. Earning a starting job would be a big accomplishment.
1. Dan Marino, former quarterback: The Hall of Famer had an odd series of events this week in which he joined the concussion lawsuit against the NFL, only to retract his name a few days later. According to Marino, he wasn't properly informed by his legal counsel that he would be added as a plaintiff. That certainly garnered national headlines. Marino also is closing in on a job with the Dolphins, which makes suing the NFL not a smart idea.
2. Knowshon Moreno, running back: It's too early to make a huge deal about it, but Moreno appears a little thicker around the midsection than usual at the start of OTAs. Miami signed Moreno in free agency to be the team's starting running back. Moreno is currently behind incumbent starter Lamar Miller and sharing reps with backup Daniel Thomas. Moreno may be one of those players who works his way into shape during the summer. But right now it doesn't look ideal, especially if you're trying to win a starting job.
3. Pat Devlin and Brock Jensen, backup quarterbacks: One of the small details I was looking forward to this spring was to see the No. 3 quarterback competition between Devlin and Jensen. The casual Dolphins fan doesn't care, but Devlin rarely has been challenged in his four seasons for one of Miami's final roster spots. Jensen, an undrafted rookie from North Dakota State, has a winning pedigree, solid college credentials and is expected to be Devlin's biggest challenge to date. However, I haven't seen flashes from either quarterback in OTAs. Snaps are limited for the third and fourth quarterbacks, so Devlin and Jensen need to do more to take advantage of their opportunities.