Miami Dolphins Players Facing Make-or-Break Training Camps
This is a big training camp for Miami due to all the new faces and the time it will take for everyone to gel. This training camp is especially important for a few players who have a lot riding on their performances and whether they can impress their coaches.
With Miami having one more preseason game, this will be a good measuring stick to gauge which players are worth keeping around.
Here are a few players who will have to shine during training camp in order to keep a roster spot.
A lot of you know that I'm not sold on Daniel Thomas. He's had a disappointing two years with the Dolphins and will be facing a lot of competition this season.
Lamar Miller is the clear-cut starter for this team. However, behind him is a three-way competition between Thomas, Mike Gillislee and Jonas Gray. Gillislee has shown a lot of potential during offseason workouts and may have already earned a roster spot.
Gray, who was kept on IR all last season, is a big, physical runner who can be used during red-zone and goal-line situations—similar to Thomas. If Thomas is unable to separate himself from Gray, I don't think the coaching staff would be willing to keep him around.
Thomas has been given opportunities to succeed, but if he doesn't translate his potential onto the field, he may be on his way out.
Jorvorskie Lane had a solid season last year. He will definitely have to impress the coaching staff during training camp, but his roster spot rests in the hands of Vontae Leach.
If Miami brings in Leach, I don't see Lane being kept around. Leach is the better player, and in today's NFL, there's just no reason to keep two fullbacks on the roster.
However, if Miami doesn't bring Leach in, Lane shouldn't be too worried about his roster spot. He would be competing with Evan Rodriguez for the fullback spot and I don't think Rodriguez can outperform Lane. Also, Charles Clay is more of a H-back, so I don't see him being a problem.
Lane is hoping Miami doesn't bring Leach in, but if they do, I can see Lane being relegated to the practice squad.
Dimitri Patterson really has to impress the coaching staff to stick around for the regular season. His contract is not ideal and if he's penciled-in as the fourth or even fifth cornerback, there's no reason why the Dolphins should keep him around.
Patterson did a pretty good job in limited action last season. He stepped in as the No. 2 cornerback and showed some potential, but the question will be if he can beat a healthy Richard Marshall and Jamar Taylor for the second and third cornerback spot.
There is a lot of competition at the cornerback position with the addition of Brent Grimes and rookies Taylor and Will Davis. The coaches will give Patterson every chance to succeed, but if he doesn't stand out, the Dolphins will probably go with a cheaper option.
I highly doubt we won't see John Jerry as the starting right guard, but anything can happen.
The Dolphins brought in Lance Louis for insurance purposes, but he has seen limited action since he's still recovering from ACL surgery. Louis fits Miami's zone-blocking scheme better than Jerry, but his health is a big question mark.
Earlier this season, Joe Philbin put Jerry on notice that if he didn't get his weight under control, his roster spot would be in danger. It appears that Jerry took that seriously, since he showed up lighter for OTA's.
Even with Louis on the roster, I think Jerry is the starting right guard this season. However, if he struggles during training camp and the preseason, the coaching staff might pull the plug on Jerry and give Louis a chance.
From what I saw last year out of Nolan Carroll, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with him this year. In his defense, he was asked to step in as the No. 2 cornerback when he should probably be used as the third or fourth cornerback on the depth chart.
Carrol gave up a lot of big plays last season and will be in the hot seat throughout this offseason. If Dimitri Patterson is able to impress coaches, Carrol's job may be in danger. With the addition of two rookie cornerbacks, Carrol will be fighting for his roster spot starting Sunday all the way through the last preseason game.
With the addition of Brent Grimes and a healthy Richard Marshall, Carrol won't have to worry about seeing the field too often, but he will have to make some plays during games in order to be considered for the 53-man roster.