Miami Dolphins: 5 Positives to Take from Training Camp so Far
Miami Dolphins fans seem to love to focus on the negatives, but I think it is important to focus on some of the positives, too.
Fans are upset and frustrated that the Dolphins have not brought in a quality QB to compete with incumbent Chad Henne.
I am frustrated as well, but I also have moved on and ready to focus on the players who are here.
Some players are really turning some heads early on in camp and some wise decisions have been made by the Fins.
Let's take a look at the early positives.
Undrafted Free Agents Playing Well
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The Miami Dolphins have been successful in finding good undrafted free agents with Davone Bess being the best example.
With new free agent signees unable to practice until the new CBA is signed, the undrafted free agents this year have received a lot more reps in practice than in a normal year.
DB Jimmy Wilson out of Montana has really impressed early on. He has made a couple of INTs and has shown good football instincts. The Dolphins secondary is a little crowded but Wilson may be able to sneak onto the 53 man roster with special teams, if not he could be a practice squad addition.
QB Pat Devlin out of Delaware has surprised with how strong his arm is. Devlin has always been known as an accurate QB but has shown arm strength in camp.
TE Brett Brackett out of Penn State has WR speed at the TE position. He has exploited the seams of the defense on numerous occasions. The Dolphins kept three TEs around last season and Brackett could be joining Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay to make up this year's TE group.
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No one gives credit to big Paul Soliai for how hard he has worked this offseason. He has come to camp in the best shape of his life.
Many thought he was just playing for a contract last year, but I think he is demonstrating that he is just developing and has the desire to be the best at his craft.
Not only does a better Soliai help the defense but it helps a young Mike Pouncey get better.
Pouncey has told Soliai to bring his best on every rep so that he can get better at the C position.
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Yesterday it was announced that Carey was going to not only take a pay cut but also move from his RT spot inside to RG.
From a distance, it may not seem like that big of a deal. However, I highly doubt any of you would jump at the chance to take a pay cut for the better of your organization.
"I'm just happy to be here," Carey said. "I'm from here. I'm born and raised here. I love the Dolphins and I want to see this team do well."
This is the type of attitude that Miami needs. It is really refreshing to hear something like this.
I was critical of Carey at times last year, but I think he is the type of guy this team needs in the locker room. Also, a switch to guard might be what he needs to revitalize his career. Robert Gallery of the Oakland Raiders had problems at tackle and a move to guard was the best thing for his career. He just landed a big contract with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
2010 Injured Draft Picks Making Comebacks
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The Dolphins lost two of their top 2010 draft picks early on last season.
LB A.J. Edds and DE Jared Odrick are both working their way back from season-ending injuries and it is going to be fun to watch what they bring to Miami's top ten defense.
Odrick brings a lot of speed to the DL and Edds brings MLB depth and a solid special teams player.
With the release of ILBs Channing Crowder and Tim Dobbins, Edds has gotten a lot of reps along side Karlos Dansby on the first unit. This will only help Edds get better and he has been solid so far in camp.
The Dolphins defense was strong last year and Odrick and Edds will only help make it better.
Replacing Channing Crowder with Kevin Burnett
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Whether you loved or hated Crowder, the Dolphins made the right move in cutting him and bring in Burnett.
TEs killed Crowder in coverage. It was so bad that by the end of the year the Dolphins moved CB Sean Smith into a S/LB hybrid role to cover the TEs.
I personally never like Crowder, but I understand that a lot of Dolphins fans did like him.
I tolerated him until I watched Karlos Dansby play last season and saw what a real 3-4 ILB looks like. Dansby was above and beyond Crowder and showed me that the Fins needed an upgrade at the ILB spot.
I think it is good the Dolphins did not just sit on the fact that the defense ranked in the top ten last season. They saw a chance to improve it and jumped on it.