Miami Dolphins Week in Review: Second OTA in Rearview Mirror.
The second OTA (organized team activity), that was open to the media, was a successful one.
The purpose of the OTA is to check up on the rookies, and chart their progression along the way, and to get an idea of where the players will line up come game time. Many people get anxious and excited when they hear that Cameron Wake is now working with the second team instead of where he started in the fourth string.
But, the truth is, it really does not matter at this point in the year. Remember, it is only the end of May, and going into the start of June. The rookies that are practicing are only a month or two removed from college! So, you can expect players to be rusty, or just plain confused by the playbook, or with what they are expected to do this year. So, why get excited over that?
Here's a rundown of what happened at the OTA this week.
Jason Taylor lined up again with the second team, but in passing situations lined up with the first team. This was the only time that JT and Joey Porter worked together.
Eric Green had a stellar day, intercepting a pass, and breaking up a couple of passes. It does not look like Green is ready to give up his starting job to the rookies Vontae Davis and Sean Smith.
Joey Haynos continues to give up ground to rookie John Nalbone. Haynos had three big drops, and let safety Tyrone Culver break up a pass over the middle. With such a big frame, Haynos needs to make those plays and be more physical over the middle.
Greg Camarillo is taking on a bigger work load. He has been given the green light to try to practice as much as he can.
Ernest Wilford continued to work with the tight ends throughout the week. He also allowed a pass to be broken up by safety Ethan Kilmer. Wilford also needs to be more physical over the middle.
Patrick Turner had a good week. Wilford's days as a Dolphin might be numbered.
The Dolphins mostly worked on the Wildcat and the spread offense. Pat White continued to sail a couple of passes this week, but looks like he is making some significant progress.
Brian Hartline practiced this week for the first time. Hartline was unable to practice with the team because Ohio State did not have graduation until last week.
Chad Pennington was his usual efficient self, but he did throw one interception.
Brandon Frye was still working with the first team at right guard. The coaching staff was giving Shawn Murphy and Ike Ndukwe a shot at right guard also.
Philip Merling worked with the first team, but should not get too comfortable, because head coach Tony Sparano said that there will be a competition between Merling, Tony McDaniel, and Randy Starks.
Ted Ginn Jr., who was drafted because of his ability to return punts, dropped one on Thursday. Sparano expects Ginn to emerge this year as the true No. 1 receiver that the Phinz have been desperately looking for.
Vontae Davis worked as the first team nickel back, while both Davis and Sean Smith lined up as the "boundary corners".
Other big story lines this week are the condition of running back Ronnie Brown. Brown considers himself in the same conversation as Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson as one of the top backs in the NFL.
He also has reported to the OTA's in tip-top shape, and is looking in the best shape of his life. Sparano also says that Brown is in great shape, and that he has a lot more confidence in himself this year when he makes his cuts and goes to catch a ball.
Brown says that confidence is key in the NFL, and that without it, he would not be in the position that he is in today.
Randy Starks made headlines this week by getting arrested for aggravated assault on a cop, which is a felony these days. He also was driving a freight liner with 13 people in it, at the cop car.
He also was charged with a misdemeanor for using plates on the truck that were not registered. This is only the second or third arrest in the two years that the Trifecta have been here.
It just goes to show you how much of a positive influence they have in the players, and how much the players respect the rules that the coaches lay down. Before the Trifecta came to Miami, players were getting arrested left and right, and the Dolphins were inching closer and closer to the status that the Cincinnati Bengals have among the NFL as "bad boys".
Even though it is only May, the Dolphins look like they are raring to go and lay out someone, and prove to the world that they can hang with the big boys. They are improving every time we see them, and that is the part that is so impressive.
By the time training camp comes around, the Dolphins should be in mid-season form, which is bad news for the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts, who have the displeasure of playing us in the first two weeks of the season.
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