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