Part 3 of our first SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag of training camp:
From Tony Figueroa (@tonyfigcis):
With Coach McDaniel talking about bringing starters along slowly, do you expect the starting OL to play in a preseason game together or just practice together and suit up for a game in Week 1? Thank you!
Hey Tony, that is a very good question and I would tell you the wild card in that equation is Terron Armstead. I would expect the other starting O-linemen to get action in the preseason and maybe even quite a bit of reps, but not so sure about Armstead given his circumstances (credentials, age, injury history). I do believe the Dolphins will err on the side of caution with him.
From Orlando Aloisi (@OrlandoAloisi):
If Tua is good but only good, does he get an early extension?
Hey Orlando, that’s obviously a question only the Dolphins organization can answer, but remember that the team can buy itself a year to make that kind of decision by exercising Tua’s fifth-year option for 2024, which they will have to decide by next May. So if Tua has a good but only good season in 2022, I would expect the team to exercise the fifth-year option. If he has a great season, a long-term extension is definitely in play.
From Olive Grove John (@Owlizee):
Can you see the Fins making any more trades this season or do you think they save those two-first round picks as a plan B in case Tua bombs?
Hey OGJ, first off (and I know this is going to come as a shock to some fans who have decided they know that I’ll knock Tua at every turn), I would be very surprised if Tua bombed because his floor as an NFL quarterback is way higher than bomb level. But, yes, I would be surprised if the Dolphins gave up one of their two first-round picks before the end of the 2022 season. For starters, is there anybody out there who’s going to be available who’s worth a first-round pick at a position the Dolphins fill in need of? Not from where I sit.
From Chip Saucek (@chippaucek):
Biggest surprise so far?
With no pads so far and essentially no contact, that eliminates pretty much all linemen and linebackers. That said, I have very much liked the work of rookie wide receiver Braylon Sanders, who shows a knack for being able to adjust to the ball. And then I’d throw in second-year cornerback Trill Williams, who absolutely looks the part of somebody who could play in the NFL for a while.
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From Shane Clingerman (@MarylandDolfan):
Who has been the biggest standout and who do you need to see more out of, at training camp?
As stated earlier, it’s tough to include linemen, although Jaelan Phillips has been noticeable in every single practice so far. He’s up there among the standout performers, as is Jaylen Waddle. Tyreek Hill had a huge practice Saturday, but he lost points for a drop on a short pass from Tua the day before. As for who needs to step it up (again leaving out linemen), I’m not so sure there’s anybody I’d mention because I don’t think it’s fair at this stage and there’s nobody I would say has really struggled from my vantage point.
From RICHARD J. LEONARD (@SLICK6971):
Has the defense been working on the cover 0 much?
Hey Richard, I’m not sure I’m allowed to reveal that information based on the Dolphins’ media reporting policy, although I will tell you as a general statement all NFL defenses every year are very vanilla at this stage of training camp.
From Cameron (@Camo335):
Does Michael Deiter get traded before the season starts?
This question was asked before it was revealed that Deiter is out with a foot injury and the Dolphins hope to get a better idea of his condition Monday, but that doesn’t change my answer here and it would be a no. First off, why would the Dolphins trade the only player on the roster with NFL starting experience at center? And then, what exactly could the Dolphins expect to get for him if he’s deemed not good enough to keep around even for depth?
From JT (@JeffT32Phins):
Does Gaskin make the team? Is Preston Williams on the verge of losing a roster spot? Do you see Williams sticking at C, or will they eventually go outside the team to fill the spot?
Hey JT, a little three-for-one here, huh? OK, here are my thoughts: I’ve gone back and forth on Gaskin and think he has a better chance than most to make the team, so I’ll call it 50-50. I have a hard time seeing Preston Williams on the 53-man roster in part because he doesn’t play special teams and also because there are too many good candidates for that final spot. As for Connor Williams, it’s still very early, but if you ask for a prediction right now, I’ll go 51-49 he sticks at center.
From Shawn Williams (@swilliams3205):
In case I’m not late…what rookie, if any, has stood out in a positive way this far?
Hey Shawn, with the understanding that it’s tough for linemen and linebackers to shine at this stage of camp, I think I have to go here with a couple of wide receivers, Braylon Sanders and Eric Ezukanma. I like the body control each player shows while going up for the ball. Ezukanma is going to make the team as a fourth-round pick, but I think Sanders is putting himself in the mix for a sixth spot (if the Dolphins end up keeping six on the 53-man roster). At the very least, I’d expect Sanders to be kept on the practice squad (assuming he clears waivers, of course.).