Miami Dolphins training camp starts the Mike McDaniel era
MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-8)
CAMP SITE: Miami Gardens, Florida
LAST YEAR: The Dolphins had quite the strange season, winning their opener, losing their next seven games, then winning their next seven games, ending up with a winning record and missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season anyway. And then things got even more strange, with Miami firing Brian Flores after three seasons, Flores filing suit against the Dolphins and the NFL alleging discriminatory practices, and Miami bringing in Mike McDaniel to coach going forward.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: HC Mike McDaniel, WR Tyreek Hill, OL Terron Armstead, OL Connor Williams, RB Chase Edmonds, QB Teddy Bridgewater, DB Keion Crossen, WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., RB Raheem Mostert, RB Sony Michel.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: HC Brian Flores, QB Jacoby Brissett, OL Jesse Davis, WR Mack Hollins, RB Duke Johnson, C Greg Mantz.
CAMP NEEDS: McDaniel is bringing a new way of thinking and a new style of offense to the Dolphins, and the most distinct change will be in the way the offensive line handles its business. That’s probably a good thing, since that unit hasn’t exactly done a stellar job at times trying to help QB Tua Tagovailoa in his first two Miami seasons. The Dolphins went all-in this offseason by bringing big-time talent like Hill in to help the offense, and is banking that the defense led by CB Xavien Howard will remain a positive.
KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: The running back spot is going to have much of the camp intrigue. The Dolphins didn’t have a gamebreaker there last season, and Edmonds likely is the frontrunner to be the go-to guy entering camp, but Mostert will be part of McDaniel’s schemes if healthy. Michel is proven as well and returning to his native South Florida could provide him with even more incentive to perform.
EXPECTATIONS: Tagovailoa will be expected to be a star, especially with players such as Hill around him. Camp will be critical for Tagovailoa, who will start — and has been remarkably accurate — yet still hears plenty of criticism about his play. Finding a running back will be another top task. McDaniel is the polar opposite of Flores from a public persona standpoint; Flores was businesslike, McDaniel is the cool, hip, new guy who enjoys talking about sneakers and sushi as much as he seems to enjoy talking blocking and tackling. If nothing else, it’ll be a fun camp.
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