For Dolphins fans, the position battles of most importance are secondary, linebacker/defensive end, and receiver.
Judging from mini-camp, the defensive backs competing for positions are impressive.
Sean Smith, with his size and quickness, appears to be the front runner, although we havn't seen him in pads. Vonte Davis, the first-round pick, is close behind. He appears to be both a hitter and a cover corner.
It looks like Will Allen is a lock for one of the corner spots, so that leaves the opposite corner with the most competition. I expect to see both rookies playing this year with Davis more in obvious run plays and Smith used more in the red zone.
Eric Green, picked up from Arizona, is the other cornerback, but seems to lack speed. He was burned by several receivers deep during mini camp.
The additions of Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor this off-season have increased competition at defensive end and linebacker positions. If either player can contribute to the pass rush with Joey Porter, the defense will rise near the top in the NFL.
Matt Roth, a decent linebacker last year, and could have a breakout year in '09. With one year under his belt, he should play faster.
The receiving corp may be the most exciting group to watch this training camp. I count six different receivers who could each have a huge impact this year.
Ted Ginn, with speed and two years of experience, is poised to become the number one receiver.
Two other receivers, Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo, were productive last year. With the additions of rookies Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline, competition will be even more intense.
Keep an eye on Brandon London and Anthony Armstrong, both of whom could surprise this training camp. Armstrong may be as fast as Ginn and London is 6-foot-4, so both bring unique talent to the receiver corp.
This Dolphin team has greater depth this year and should be much improved, especially on special teams.
Even with the tougher schedule, a repeat of last year is not out of the question.
P.S. Pat White is not in any real competition, but should provide some real excitement in training camp.
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