Now that the Dolphins have been announced as 2012's "Hard Knocks" team, paying attention to the results of their mini camp has become an even better table-setter for the various layers of rookie-based intrigue on the team this year. We'll get an up close and personal look behind the scenes. Familiarizing yourself with the rookie plotlines as they stand coming out of the team's last practices before training camp will make what we see on HBO that much more meaningful and insightful.
Is Ryan Tannehill really the front-runner to start at quarterback going into training camp?
Reggie Bush thinks so. Of course, he also knows that it's not his decision to make. The Dolphins can not afford to have a three-way quarterback battle stretch too far into training camp, because first-team reps are at a premium and important no matter who starts. With a new offense being installed, having no passer get the lion's share of the summertime starter snaps would be a big mistake. Watching to see who gets the most time with the first team in the mini camp will be a big clue as to where the coaching staff stands on the quarterback battle going into the summer break.
How much lost time will Jonathan Martin make up for in the mini camp?
Martin is already at right tackle, a position he hasn't played since high school. The team wants him to win the starting job at the position, but he was missing from OTA practices until last week because of Stanford's academic schedule. Ben Volin from the Palm Beach Post reported that Martin worked with the second team when he returned on Monday.
Martin also told the media that he felt a little behind, but thought he could catch up quickly because the similarities between head coach Joe Philbin's offense and the west coast scheme they ran at Stanford. We'll know just how quick when the first team lines up in the minicamp.
What kinds of new wrinkles will be installed for Lamar Miller?
The fourth-round running back impressed with his speed and receiving ability, inspiring the team to find more ways to use his play-making ability. We'll see a lot more detail on this front in training camp, but the mini camp should show us some of the inventive ways the Dolphins have come up with to get the most from Miller.
What can BJ Cunningham and Rishard Matthews do to re-gain momentum after the Dolphins signed Chad Ochocinco?
A depth chart that looked wide open after the draft got a little more gummed up after the Dolphins swooped in to sign Ochocinco after the Patriots released him. Matthews surrendered his number 85 to Ochocinco, will his roster spot be next?
Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are almost assured locks, and speedster Clyde Gates brings an element to the table that no one else on the roster does. Legedu Naanee could put up a fight, and the swiftness that the team exhibited signing Ochocinco indicates that he's a good bet to make the roster. Cunningham and Matthews will have to start performing if they want to make the final 53 come September.