Tag: Jarvis Landry

Interview with Luis Sung of PhinManiacs.com

We had a chance to interview Luis Sung (@LuisDSung) after a few days of Miami Dolphins Training Camp Observations in Davie, FL.

Here’s the interview:

First of all Luis, it’s truly awesome what you have been able to do with the site-PhinManiacs.com and seem to have your ear to the ground with your staff and your willingness to cover the team as a Miami Dolphins Fan site.  The focus on the Dolphins is complete with analysis, opinion, as well as something that I truly find important-sharing with the fans the GOOD that the Dolphins players and staff do in the community.

Again, it’s truly an honor to interview you after meeting you last year at Dolphins Training Camp in Davie, FL.
FF: What are you seeing from the rookies? Is there anything that is showing you they can contribute on game day?
LS: The rookies getting the most out of their time on the field are without a doubt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kalen Ballage and Durham Smythe, with possibly some Jason Sanders thrown in for good measure. Fitzpatrick has been solid thrown in with all three units and has been able to make a few plays here and there, while Smythe clearly has a handle on his blocking capabilities and can actually make a few catches here and there. Ballage is proving to be a hard-nosed runner who also has good hands out of the backfield, so I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him get a decent amount of snaps this upcoming season.
FF: Who are the players (non-rookies) that are “flashing” and others are starting to take notice?
LS: Outside of the rookie class, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake are all proving that they have plenty to offer this team. Amendola already has a good rapport with Ryan Tannehill, and the fact that they were able to connect on a touchdown pass in the seam on Day 3 shows that Tannehill will be looking for the veteran a lot this upcoming season. As for Albert Wilson, he’s been playing with the second team for the vast majority of training camp, and it’s plainly obvious that he’s too good for them. He’s crisp, he’s fast, he’s smooth, and making one-handed catches seems old hat to him. With Wilson, the WR depth is deeper than it’s been in a long time, and despite the main three WRs (Parker, Stills, Amendola) locked down, Wilson will definitely get a good amount of playing time. Then there’s Drake and Gore, who both have been displaying the traits that make each of them so special. Drake has been fast, elusive and dangerous with the football, while Gore has been running hard, like a man ten years younger than he is. Miami got a steal in signing him for sure.
FF: How does Frank Gore look? How do you believe that head coach Adam Gase will use him in his offensive scheme?
LS: With further emphasis on Gore, I would hope that Adam Gase realizes that – despite how good Gore has looked – he is still 35 years old, and he should not be expected to look that good all season long if he gets a huge workload. The best way to use him in my opinion would be to use him more on passing downs as a blocker, and in 3rd and short situations or simply to spell Drake from time to time, while still giving a good amount of snaps to Ballage, who also has earned a look.
FF: Backtracking for a minute on Jarvis Landry: Why do you think that he continues to badmouth the Dolphins’ Coach Gase, Tannehill, and the organization as a whole?
LS: I have been saying this for the past couple of days now and I stand by this. Landry feels slighted by the Dolphins because they didn’t treat him like he was Odell Beckham Jr., plain and simple. Landry has been getting comparisons to his old friend and teammate from college ever since they entered the NFL, and they would often put on pass catching displays to try and one-up each other whenever they were together. But it was obvious which of them was the better player, and that’s Beckham Jr. That gnaws at Landry, I believe. He wanted to get the routes OBJ got, he wanted to be on the highlight reel like OBJ was, he wants to be OBJ. And he isn’t. He doesn’t have his speed, he can’t make as much separation, he was given opportunities in Miami and it rarely worked. He was given the ball more than anyone in Miami and he still felt slighted, because he wasn’t on the highlight reel. You can’t get there if you’re a slot receiver, and that was what he didn’t want to be labeled as. He wanted to be paid like OBJ will be paid. We will see what happens in Cleveland, but it’s clear that Landry was not happy that Gase tried to make him follow his rules.
FF: Finally a Tannehill question: After seeing two days back to back, is there anything that you can compare with Tannehill as far as his presence (leadership and command of the huddle), his footwork, and his demeanor versus other training camps you’ve observed?
LS: (Ryan) Tannehill has a lot more confidence, he has learned to maneuver the pocket better, he isn’t hesitant to run despite his knee, and he is reading defenses better. Pretty much everything about Tannehill seems to have improved a bit, which will eventually add up when the regular season rolls around. He’s always been a slow bloomer, and I believe that at the age of 30, we’re going to soon see the best Tannehill we ever have.
FF: Bonus question: Who wins the kicker job in Miami? Is there a dark horse candidate not on the roster?
LS: Jason Sanders is going to win the job, no question. Sanders has been perfect thus far and Greg Joseph has missed half his kicks, the competition – in all honesty – is a farce. Miami drafted him to be the kicker, you don’t use a draft pick on a kicker if you think he’ll be beaten by an undrafted free agent.
Thank you to Luis Sung who was kind and thoughtful enough to do this interview. Remember you can follow Luis on Twitter for all of the Miami Dolphins training camp updates at @LuisDSung on Twitter and at his website PhinManiacs.com

Dolphins free agency recap

With the 2018 NFL Draft upcoming in a week, we breakdown the Miami Dolphins free agency acquisitions by position.

Quarterback:

The Dolphins signed Brock Osweiler to an undisclosed contract. Osweiler who was traded to the Browns by the Texans last year on draft day, never suited up for the Browns during the season, but headed back to Denver with mixed results. While this signing drew the ire of several Dolfans, the move makes sense as head coach Adam Gase worked with Osweiler while as an assistant in Denver and frankly offers a chance for Osweiler to compete for the back up role. Unclear is how the Dolphins view Osweiler should they draft a quarterback. To me, Osweiler had his biggest season as he led the Broncos to the playoffs-spelling a broken down and essentially benched Peyton Manning for a time and earning a huge win-for home field advantage versus the New England Patriots in 2015. While Osweiler chased big money in Houston, he was later discarded for draft picks and ended up getting some playing time in Denver due to the uncertainty of the quarterback position. In addition David Fales was brought back to compete for a backup job. Fales has earned Adam Gase’s trust so it should be interesting who stays and who goes if the Dolphins draft a QB next week.

Running back: The Dolphins signed veteran running back Frank Gore. Gore returns to his roots in South Florida as he played football and attended Coral Gables High and played football at the University of Miami. What makes this move interesting is that Gase acquires a guy who still has some gas in the tank as a running back, but also can be a veteran leader for the running back room, something that hasn’t been present in the Gase era. While Gore brings an intensity on the field, as he has said, he will show Kenyan Drake how to be a “real pro” off the field. More importantly, the Dolphins feel that Gore has one good year left in him and getting that extra yard for the offense could be Gore’s strength in a nice one-two punch with Kenyan Drake.

Wide Receiver: The Dolphins brought in both Albert Wilson (Kansas City) and Danny Amendola (New England). After sending Jarvis Landry to the Browns via trade, the Dolphins have chosen to add two potential slot receivers with speed. First on Wilson-he spent most of his time in the shadows of Tyreke Hill, but Wilson burned the Dolphins secondary in their late season meeting and quite frankly brings an element that is critical for a slot receiver-speed. Wilson ran a 4.3 at the combine, but he could be a key cog in the Dolphins offensive attack and could make things rather exciting on game days. I believe Gase went for a true game-changing threat and was perhaps even more impressed at his ability to get open and run routes. As for Amendola being available, this was kind of a key bonus to Dolfans, but in reality the Dolphins now have a short yardage threat and a red zone weapon. Amendola has plenty left for the rest of the AFC and NFL opponents and is on the same page as Adam Gase and this offense. While the Dolphins paid a premium for his services to the tune of 6 million dollars, it shouldn’t hurt their cap standing in the the next few years. The Dolphins replaced one (Landry) with two proven and talented receivers-less the cost of Landry. Plus adding both Wilson and Amendola to the wide receiver corps of DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, and Leonte Carroo-the Dolphins have the depth needed for 16 games and beyond.

Tight end: While the Dolphins didn’t sign a new player at the position and they sent away Julius Thomas, they acquired AJ Derby late in the season. Derby has shown some toughness in goal line situations as well as in the passing game. However, this draft is full of tight ends, so I’d expect the Dolphins to address the position.

Center: The Dolphins didn’t sign a new Center as they traded a 7th round pick for Andrew Kilgore of the 49ers. Kilgore brings experience and since he was signed to a new deal back in February, the Dolphins have him locked up for a few years. Surely Mike Pouncey’s intensity will be missed, but not his lack of durability.

Guard: Josh Sitton was brought in to play left guard and be a mentor for Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins I believe struck gold with this move because guard was a huge need as Isaac Asiata wasn’t clearly game-ready for the NFL and the Dolphins went with a hodge-podge of different players.

Tackle: While it wasn’t a free agent acquisition, the Dolphins stayed the course and brought back Ja’Juan James as their starting right tackle. As James was placed on IR at midseason, it was imperative that the Dolphins shored up the position and are ready to roll with James for the next few seasons. James if anything was one of the key acquisitions from the Hickey-Philbin era that has worked out.

Defensive End: The Robert Quinn acquisition in a trade was by far the biggest offseason splash. The Dolphins added a savvy and capable veteran who gives the Dolphins some length and flexibility and can in plain language-get after the quarter back. While Quinn had 9.5 sacks last season-he dipped in his number of sacks due to a position switch from end to linebacker in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense. The fact that Quinn is in the defensive line room takes the pressure off of veteran leader-Cam Wake and brings another threat that teams will have to scheme for. While the cost of a 4th round pick was steep, getting a player of Quinn’s caliber was nothing short of brilliant between Gase, Grier, and Tannenbaum.

Of course come draft day next week, the Dolphins could pivot slightly from the same mantra that seems to dog the fans intelligence-that Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins starting quarterback.

We shall see what’s next for the Dolphins, but know this-they will address holes in their roster during this year’s draft and getting a QB might satisfy their most glaring need.

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post