Miami Dolphins: Brian Hartline

MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins still have unanswered questions as they prepare for Saturday's second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

However, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was ready to make a fairly bold statement on Friday.

"We have the best roster that we've had in the three years I've been here," Philbin told Dolphins fans confidently at the team's annual luncheon in downtown Miami.

Expectations are as high as they've ever been in Philbin's tenure. The Dolphins went 7-9 and 8-8 in Philbin's first two seasons. The feeling around the team is Miami must improve and make the playoffs this year to avoid potential repercussions from owner Stephen Ross.

Philbin's statement Friday makes it clear that there are no excuses. The Dolphins have talent at a lot of positions. However, it will be up to the coaching staff to maximize the talent, which has been an issue during Miami's five-year playoff drought.

The Dolphins received good fan support during their annual luncheon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, receiver Brian Hartline and defensive linemen Cameron Wake and Randy Starks spoke at the event. There was even a session where Philbin showed off some not-so-great dance moves, which were funny and unexpected.

Philbin and players also urged fans to support the team at Sun Life Stadium, which has been an issue. According to Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel, ticket sales are up about 15 percent compared to this time last year.

“It means everything to know that we have the backing,” Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry said Friday. “It means everything to know that all our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed as a team. We’re trying to accomplish something here in Miami and bring back a championship.”

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
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DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • The Dolphins went full pads for the first time this week. Miami’s coaching staff is putting a major emphasis on tackling and worked on a few full-contact drills. The Dolphins did their version of the "Oklahoma Drill" with linebackers against running backs. The running backs dominated and won a majority of the one-on-one battles. Miami’s linebackers continue to be a concern with stopping the run and covering tight ends and slot receivers.
  • Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had one of his strongest practices of training camp on Monday. Tannehill made strong, decisive throws and had big gains to receivers Brian Hartline, Rishard Matthews and Damian Williams in team drills. Perhaps Tannehill gained momentum from his strong start to the preseason last week against the Atlanta Falcons. He will try to build on that Saturday in his second preseason game, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, one of the big stories in camp today was the Dolphins reportedly working out veterans Rex Grossman, Brady Quinn and John Skelton on Monday. Miami has dealt with quarterback injuries to backups Matt Moore (shoulder) and Pat Devlin (hamstring). Both participated in practice, but have been limited in camp. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin wasn’t willing to say what the workouts mean for his current quarterbacks. "We’ve had workouts nearly every single day," Philbin said. "This is no different. We’re always evaluating different people are out there."
  • On the injury front, Miami backup running back Damien Williams returned to practice after getting injured in Friday’s preseason game. New injuries Monday included offensive tackle Jason Fox (chest), running back Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds (knee).
  • Finally, the Dolphins will return to the practice field at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday for their third session this week.
DAVIE, Fla. -- For all the excitement about Bill Lazor's new offense with the Miami Dolphins, the reality is there is a growing process the team must go through. Some days it's a painful process. Other days you can see growth.

The Dolphins' offense has shown flashes in the first week of training camp. But there have also been bad snaps, turnovers, poor pass protection and drops by receivers. Miami has been in the process of installing Lazor's offense since the spring and is still working out the issues.

"We're nowhere near where we want to be," Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline said candidly. "You can see it coming along. You can see guys, myself included, playing better, playing faster. We're still working on timing. We're still working on getting in and out of the huddle faster, getting lined up faster, maintaining our tempo through the heat. That will come with time."

Lazor said this week that it's his job to take the Dolphins' offense to places they haven't been before. The first-year offensive coordinator is throwing a lot at his players in terms of concepts and tempo.

It looks good when things are clicking. But more often than not, the offense has been inconsistent in the first week of camp. The goal is to have consistency by the time Miami faces the New England Patriots in the regular-season opener.

"I'm trying to get them out of the huddle faster," Lazor explained. "Sometimes, it's uncomfortable. Sometimes, it's uncomfortable for the line to make the calls that quickly. The quarterback might want them to settle in and make the calls. We don't want them [to]. We want to go. We want to go. So it's every single day it's a push."

The Dolphins were ranked 27th in total offense last season and averaged just 19.8 points per game. There was nothing Miami did particularly well offensively. The Dolphins couldn't run the ball with any consistency or protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked a franchise-record 58 times last season.

In terms of concepts and tempo, Lazor's scheme does appear to be more creative and an upgrade from last year's basic offense under former assistant Mike Sherman. But creativity won't matter this season if Miami's players cannot execute in the regular season.

"We're still learning," Hartline said. "I think overall we kind of know it. It's just a lot of the routes will have conversions, so now you're going against the defense. If you're out there on air, it's pretty easy at this point."

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 5

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
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DAVIE, Fla. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:


  • It was another sloppy day for the offense. The Dolphins are experiencing growing pains learning an up-tempo scheme under first-year coordinator Bill Lazor. This was one of those sessions where the Dolphins had poor throws, numerous drops and offensive line issues. I counted at least five drops by Miami receivers in what was probably the worst practice by the offense since the opening day of training camp. "I obviously haven’t looked at the film yet, but my instincts tell me that the defense had the upper hand," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin admitted.
  • The center position is starting to become a major concern. For the second day in a row, Shelley Smith had two errant snaps to quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The second bad snap was a ground ball that skipped past Tannehill in team drills. Soon after, backup center Nate Garner finished practice on the first team. Miami tried several different combinations in an effort to find the best five on the line. In addition to Garner, rookie guard Billy Turner also worked with the first-team offense at times on Wednesday.
  • The play of the day goes to Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline. Early in team drills Hartline beat cornerback Jamar Taylor deep for a 60-plus yard touchdown reception. Miami’s offense protected Tannehill enough for him to throw a pretty deep ball that Hartline caught in stride. To Taylor’s credit, he responded with an interception of Tannehill and had a couple of tipped passes.
  • The three punt returners Wednesday were receivers Marcus Thigpen, Jarvis Landry and Rantavious Wooten. Thigpen is the incumbent but must compete to keep his job with punt and kick returns.
  • On the injury front, Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace had the day off. He said earlier this week his hamstring was tight. Backup center Sam Brenner, who was carted off the field Tuesday, did not practice but spent time on the sideline watching the offensive line. Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey (hip) and running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) continue to be on the physically unable to perform list and worked on the side with a team trainer.

The Dolphins will continue their training camp Thursday at 8 a.m. ET.

Morning take: Center questions

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
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Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Wednesday from around the Web:
  • Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post reports the Dolphins still have questions at center.
Morning take: Injuries are eating away at this position. Pro Bowl starter Mike Pouncey (hip) is out at least four games and backup Sam Brenner was injured in practice on Tuesday. Miami might have to look for outside options.
  • Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald writes the Dolphins are excited about their new offense.
Morning take: First-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has infused energy and tempo. Many of the concepts make sense for Miami, but it mostly comes down to execution.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes talent is more important than scheme.
Morning take: There is a lot of truth to this statement. The Dolphins have talent in a lot of areas, but will have to overcome some of their weaknesses.
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel wonders if receiver Damian Williams can unseat veterans.
Morning take: Williams is having a good training camp. He could prove to be a good signing for quality depth behind starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.

Miami Dolphins' projected roster

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
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Examining the Miami Dolphins’ roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)


The only question here is whether Devlin can hold off undrafted rookie Brock Jensen for the No. 3 quarterback job. Neither quarterback stood out in the offseason, but Devlin has the slight edge because of experience.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

The Dolphins would like to have someone step up and challenge Thomas. Undrafted rookie Damien Williams from Oklahoma could be a sleeper to watch. But it's too premature to put Williams on the 53-man roster over the veteran Thomas before the pads come on.

RECEIVERS (6)

This is a deep group with a lot of competition. Williams will be pushed for the final spot by Armon Binns and rookie Matt Hazel, who is practice-squad-eligible.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor uses some two-tight-end sets. So there might be room for a fourth player such as Dion Sims. But we are sticking with three for now.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
Pouncey’s hip injury puts a major dent in this much-maligned group to start the season. Miami will have five new starters in Week 1.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8)

This is the strongest area of the team. The Dolphins can come at opponents in waves in the trenches.

LINEBACKERS (7)

This group must improve its play from 2013. The Misi experiment at middle linebacker is particularly important to watch.

CORNERBACKS (6)

This is a solid mix of youth and experience. As long as second-year players Taylor and Davis come of age and Finnegan stays healthy, the depth will be improved from a year ago.

SAFETIES (4)

This group is all about position flexibility. All four players must be able to play back in coverage and closer to the line of scrimmage in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s scheme.

SPECIALISTS (3)

This trio will remain the same for the second straight year.
There were many criticisms of former Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland from fans in South Florida. Many point to his spotty record signing free agents, questionable trades and personality fallouts behind the scenes with two head coaches (Tony Sparano, Joe Philbin). All points are valid.

But one thing Ireland probably did not get enough credit for during his tenure in Miami was his ability to find talent in the later rounds of the NFL draft. Players such as tight end Charles Clay (sixth round), safety Reshad Jones (fifth round) and receiver Brian Hartline (fourth round) are terrific examples of hidden gems Ireland found in the later rounds and became part of the Dolphins' foundation.

With that in mind, here is a little known fact: Miami's seventh-round picks have made the 53-man roster four straight years. Linebacker Austin Spitler (2010), safety Jimmy Wilson (2011), receiver Rishard Matthews (2012) and safety Don Jones (2013) all made the team as rookies. Wilson, Matthews and Jones are still part of the team and have roles as backups or on special teams.

Can rookie defensive end Terrence Fede keep the streak alive? The rookie from Marist is the first seventh-round pick for new Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey.

Fede is raw, but he has good size and athleticism. I have been particularly impressed with how well Fede moves for a player his size. However, it is too premature to accurately gauge his chances to make Miami’s 53-man roster until the pads come on in training camp.

Going against Fede is the fact that he’s trying to make the Dolphins in arguably the deepest area of their roster. Miami already has stalwarts at defensive end, such as Pro Bowler Cameron Wake, 2013 sack leader Olivier Vernon, former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan and valuable backup Derrick Shelby. The Dolphins are already four deep at defensive end. At the very least, Fede would be fifth on the depth chart.

Time will tell if Fede can extend Miami’s seventh-round streak to five years. The practice squad also is an option for Fede if he cannot make the 53-man roster later this summer.
With the 2014 offseason officially in the books, it’s time to look ahead to training camp and games being played in the exhibition and regular season.

Clay
This week ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog is taking a look at Miami’s best bargains. Next up we have the Dolphins’ most productive tight end.

Bargain player: TE Charles Clay

2013 stats: 69 receptions, 759 yards, six TDs

2014 salary: $1.431 million

Analysis: Clay began training camp in 2013 as a fullback/tight end hybrid. He also was the backup to Dustin Keller. But a season-ending knee injury to Keller in the preseason opened the door for Clay to get more playing time and he took advantage. Clay was a steady force for the Dolphins that teams had to pay attention to. Clay had more touchdown receptions (six) than star receivers Brian Hartline (four) and Mike Wallace (five) last season. Clay is expected to be more improved in his second full season as a starter, which makes his $1.431 million salary modest for his level of production.
The Miami Dolphins will complete organized team activities (OTAs) this week. That will lead into mandatory minicamp on June 17-19.

Health will be a major factor in whether the Dolphins reach their goal of making the playoffs this season. Here is an update on how healthy the team is heading into the summer:

Receiver Brandon Gibson (knee): Miami's incumbent slot receiver is making good progress following season-ending knee surgery on his torn patella tendon. Gibson has practiced in all three OTAs that were open to the media. But he was limited to individual drills and conditioning only. The Dolphins will probably keep Gibson on the same plan next week during mandatory minicamp. When healthy, he will be in a three-way battle in the slot with Rishard Matthews and rookie Jarvis Landry. Gibson won't be able to win his job back unless he participates in a good amount of training camp and preseason games.

Receiver Brian Hartline (knee): The Dolphins' leading receiver in 2013 suffered a knee injury in the regular-season finale. Hartline spent the offseason rehabbing and has participated in some -- not all -- team drills in OTAs open to the media. Hartline's injury was not severe and didn't require surgery. The Dolphins took some light precautions but Hartline already appears close to 100 percent. Miami needs its dependable receiver ready for the regular season.

Defensive tackle Jared Odrick (unknown): This has been the mystery ailment for the Dolphins this spring. Odrick did not finish last season on the injury list and the team has declined comment. The Dolphins are not required to list injuries until the regular season. Odrick attended every OTA session open to the media but worked on the side with trainers. It remains to be seen if Odrick increases his workload next week during mandatory minicamp or waits until training camp.

Receiver Armon Binns (knee): Binns appears 100 percent and has been full-go in OTAs. He tore his ACL last summer in training camp. He was having a solid showing up to that point. This year Binns is on the roster bubble with a deep group of wide receivers. Miami will only keep five or six, and Binns must prove that he's as strong or better than he was before the season-ending knee injury.

Safety Louis Delmas (knees): This situation is more for maintenance. Delmas has a history of knee injuries with the Detroit Lions. He often missed practice time during the week so he could be ready to play on Sundays. The Dolphins were well aware of Delmas' injury history and signed him to a one-year contract. There have been no issues with Delmas so far, which is a good sign. Delmas has been going 100 miles per hour in practice and recently told me has hasn't missed one training session or OTA practice. Still, Miami may have to monitor Delmas' practice reps during the regular season in order to keep him healthy and productive for the full year.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins ran a stale and predictable offense last season under former coordinator Mike Sherman. Miami finished 27th in total offense and was inconsistent running and passing the football.

Hartline
Wallace
Wallace
But there is a significant amount of newfound excitement with Dolphins players under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Miami’s offense has a completely different look. There are various formations, motions and quick-hitting plays that you didn’t see last year from Sherman. Lazor learned under Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and is bringing some of those principles to Miami.

We are only in Phase 3 of the Dolphins’ offseason program, but Lazor is getting rave reviews from his players.

“It’s really interesting. I’ve never been in an offense like this, how it’s called, how it’s run, the combination routes,” Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline said. “There’s a lot of things going on that I haven’t done. It’s really exciting and actually, I’m really enjoying it. You can tell it puts a smile on my face. I can’t wait to learn more, do more and then put it into action.”

One of the major criticisms last year of Sherman was the fact he didn’t move No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace around to get favorable matchups. That’s one of the first changes we’ve seen from Lazor, using Wallace on both sides and the slot depending on the formation. Wallace has looked good in organized team activities. He had three touchdown receptions in Tuesday’s practice in Lazor’s new scheme.

“Nobody can ever key on me,” Wallace explained after Tuesday’s practice. “Last year, you kind of knew where I was every single play, what you had to do because I was there every game, same spot. Moving around, it’s harder for the defense to know where you’re at, harder for them to adjust.”

Lazor is still experimenting and learning his players. For example, one interesting wrinkle the Dolphins are toying with is how to use tailbacks Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno in the same backfield.

Not everything is going to stick come September. But Dolphins players seem to appreciate the creativity. That is a good sign at this early stage.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Thursday from around the Web:
  • David Steele of the Sporting News wonders if Dan Marino and the Dolphins are a good fit.
Morning take: It appears Marino is getting close to finding a role with the team. He is the Dolphins’ most popular former player and most likely will land on the business end.
  • Brian Coyle of the Dolphins team site writes there are high expectations for their receiving corps.
Morning take: Miami has its deepest group in years. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline lead the way in what should be a major part of the team’s offense.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes Dolphins safety Louis Delmas is ready to make plays.
Morning take: As long as Delmas is healthy, he should make an impact. The Dolphins will have to monitor his knees throughout the year.
  • Maurkice Pouncey tells Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his twin brother, Mike Pouncey, is stressed out from repercussions of the bullying scandal.
Morning take: Pouncey must handle the fallout and move on. Pouncey doesn’t think he needs psychological testing, but it’s more important to listen to the NFL and avoid a suspension.

Miami Dolphins Stock Watch

May, 30, 2014
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The Miami Dolphins entered Phase 3 this week of the offseason program and held their first full-team practice open to the media.

Here is a look at which players are rising and falling in Miami this spring:

Rising

1. Health of Dolphins’ receivers: Organized team activities provided a welcome site for Miami as previously injured receivers Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Armon Binns all participated in practice this week. They are all working their way back from knee injuries last season and appear on schedule. Binns was full-go in practice this week, while Hartline and Gibson were limited. Barring any setbacks, it appears the Dolphins could have their full complement of receivers in training camp.

2. Dion Jordan, defensive end: No Dolphins player made a bigger physical transformation this offseason than Jordan. Miami’s 2013 first-round pick was noticeably bigger to start OTAs. Jordan said he spent a lot of time in the weight room and bulked up to about 265 pounds this offseason. Jordan said his main goal was to improve his strength to better combat offensive linemen. Last year, Miami’s coaching staff used him only on third downs because Jordan was a risk to get pushed around against the run. Jordan wants to make a jump in Year 2, and getting bigger is a good start.

3. Dannell Ellerbe, linebacker: The Dolphins didn’t get the expected returns from Ellerbe after signing him to a $35 million contract last year in free agency. Ellerbe struggled against the run as a middle linebacker, and the group overall was inconsistent. The Dolphins decided to shake things up this offseason and move Ellerbe to outside linebacker. This is a move that could allow Ellerbe more freedom to fly around and make plays. Koa Misi was moved to middle linebacker and now has the responsibility of lining up the defense. This is an interesting experiment to watch develop.

Falling

1. Dolphins’ offense: Miami first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was candid about his group following Tuesday’s practice. Lazor said the Dolphins’ offense has a long way to go, which was a true statement. Miami’s defense won a one-sided matchup in the practice open to the media this week. The Dolphins’ offense, led by third-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, had poor execution and looked like a group still working to master the playbook. That’s expected at this point in the offseason. However, it does raise concerns of how long it will take for Miami’s new offense to jell. The Dolphins cannot afford to have one side of the football lagging behind to start the season, especially with the reigning AFC East champion New England Patriots coming to town in Week 1.

2. Knowshon Moreno, tailback: Although it’s probably a ploy by Miami’s coaching staff, it was noticeable to see Moreno starting OTAs as the third-team running back behind Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Moreno was one of the team’s major free-agent signings and an expected Week 1 starter. But this week proved he has a long climb up the depth chart. Miami head coach Joe Philbin is giving his holdovers – Miller and Thomas – the inside track. Moreno will have to work twice as hard this spring and in training camp.

3. Mike Pouncey, center: As usual, Pouncey looks like a beast on the field. He showed up this week in tremendous shape and essentially looks game ready. But Pouncey’s comments this week may have put himself in the crosshairs of the NFL league office once again. Pouncey said he doesn’t need psychological testing following his involvement in the Jonathan Martin bullying case. Pouncey is awaiting word on a possible suspension to start the season, and it’s best to lay low. A mental health evaluation with a medical professional will be required by the NFL in order Pouncey to play this season. So it’s best for Pouncey to stay quiet, regardless of how he feels, and go through the proper protocols.
Here are the most interesting Dolphins stories Wednesday from around the Web:
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace likes their new offense.
Morning take: Wallace was not used properly last year under former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor plans to move Wallace around more to get him open.
  • Alain Poupart of the Dolphins team site writes about former Dolphins great Jason Taylor helping out younger players.
Morning take: Taylor has a lot of knowledge to share. He could help 2013 first-round pick Dion Jordan, in particular, if the pair spends more time together on the practice field and meeting rooms.
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel writes it’s a good sign that previously-injured receivers Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Armon Binns all participated in organized team activities.
Morning take: All three players are coming off significant knee injuries. This is an indication that they all could be 100 percent by the end of the summer.
  • Pro Football Focus rates Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes as one of the league's most underrated players.
Morning take: Grimes had a career year in 2013. He proved a lot of critics wrong that he can bounce back from injury. Now, Grimes has to be a shutdown corner for the second straight year.
DAVIE, Fla. – On the first day of rookie minicamp, new Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry worked on routes needed as a slot receiver, an outside receiver, played gunner on special teams and even discussed the possibility of returning kicks. It could be that kind of rookie year for Miami’s second-round pick.

[+] EnlargeJarvis Landry
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeReceiver Jarvis Landry could see immediate playing time as a rookie because of his versatility.
The Dolphins ignored bigger needs earlier this month and drafted Landry because he’s a versatile and hard-nosed football player. He’s a wide receiver with the toughness of a hard-hitting safety. In fact, Landry was among LSU’s leaders in special-teams tackles during the early part of his collegiate career. That helped him earn the status of team captain last season.

But finding a role in Miami as a rookie will be one of the challenges for Landry and the Dolphins' coaching staff. The team already is deep at receiver with veteran starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, in addition to quality backups Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews and Damian Williams. Landry could be as high as third on Miami’s depth chart by the end of training camp or as far back as fifth or sixth.

Rookie minicamp and organized team activities are valuable for Landry to begin finding his niche.

“It’s been a little bit of everything, just trying to learn the system as much as I can and trying not to be so one-dimensional,” Landry said Friday after his first practice. “[Coaches] have been putting us in different positions, making us learn every position on the field. It increases our chances of having success no matter where we line up.”

Special teams is a sure-fire way for Landry to get playing time in his rookie year. Landry was a strong gunner at LSU and also sure-handed enough to return kicks, despite the fact he doesn't have blazing speed.

If Landry or another rookie (Matt Hazel?) proves they can return kicks, it could put specialist Marcus Thigpen on the hot seat. The Dolphins like players with position flexibility and Thigpen hasn't provided much as a backup running back or wide receiver.

“There are a lot of guys that have those [return] skills, and that’s what we’re out here doing, just kind of further investigating,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “It’s one thing to do it at the college level. It’s another thing to do it at the NFL level. That’s what our coaches are working with these guys.”

Learning multiple positions as a rookie is not easy. It is difficult enough making the physical transition from college to the pros. However, Landry must be on top of the playbook at multiple positions mentally, as well.

“It’s very challenging, but the coaches, they give tasks and they expect them to be met,” Landry said. “It’s my job to study the way that I need to be on the field and have an effective offense.”
The Miami Dolphins have had a recent history of second-round busts. This is one of the reasons Miami missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons.

[+] EnlargeJarvis Landry
Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY SportsJarvis Landry had 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 2013 season at LSU.
Since 2008, Miami drafted second-round picks such as quarterback Chad Henne, defensive end Philip Merling, quarterback Pat White, running back Daniel Thomas and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Thomas is the only player from this group still with the Dolphins, and all of these picks were made by former Miami general manager Jeff Ireland.

New Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey hopes to end that streak of second-round flops this year with former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry. Miami drafted Landry with the No. 63 overall pick in the second round, and he is expected to compete for Miami’s No. 3 receiver role behind starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.

Miami got mostly good reviews in drafting Landry. He has very good hands, is tough and knows how to find openings over the middle. The only knock is Landry doesn’t have breakaway speed, which resulted in him falling to the bottom of the second round.

But if Landry is a productive player and contributes to Miami's offense immediately, he already will be ahead of the game with its recent second-round picks. Landry must compete with a deep group of receivers that also includes Rishard Matthews and Brandon Gibson. The Dolphins are also hoping 2013 second-round pick and cornerback Jamar Taylor can take a major step forward this season. He will have a chance to compete for Miami’s starting role opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes.

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