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Miami Dolphins 2019 Training Camp Journal – Day 7 (August 1)

Travis Wingfield

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Quick Notes:

– Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, Kiko Alonso, Kalen Ballage, Dwayne Allen, Chase Allen, Cordrea Tankersley, and Mike Hull didn’t practice.
– Shaq Calhoun and Michael Deiter remained the first team guards.
– Jomal Wiltz began the session as the starting nickel.
– Nik Needham started at perimeter corner alongside Xavien Howard.
– Reshad Jones starts with the first-team for the first time all camp.

Day 1 Report
Day 2 Report
Day 3 Report
Day 4 Report
Day 5 Report
Day 6 Report
Day 7 Report
Scrimmage Report

The puzzle is beginning to come together for the Dolphins new brain trust

“I can’t remember the last time I drew LB or DT when deploying defense on paper because everyone might play everywhere.”

After a week’s worth of putting the visual evidence on the field, Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham verbally confirmed our suspicious about the makeup of the Dolphins new defensive scheme.

Even the most nuanced football minds are having issues pinpointing the exact specifications of the Dolphins defensive scheme — as was the case with Brian Flores’ 2018 Patriots defense. Every day gives fans a peak into new concepts, new tryouts for potential depth players, and an overall effective unit that flies to the football.

Coach Flores kept the team in the soggy elements of a South Florida tropical depression. With buckets of water flowing off the canopy designed to protect the grandstand at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University, the entirety of the Dolphins skill positions went bare-handed for the day.

Perhaps that was the jumpstart for a better practice from the offense — that side had its best day of the week.

Flores’ message is taking hold. The message to work hard, and when the circumstances get difficult, to dig in and work even harder. The wet field and poor conditions didn’t impact the quality of the practice. Nobody left with a new injury, and the team put another good two hours into the bank.

Quarterbacks

Josh Rosen spun arguably his best day of camp. He was more aggressive in the team periods, picked up chunk yards in the passing game, threw with timing and precision, and had the deep ball working in one-on-one drills.

Rosen’s revelation that he never made protection calls (identifying the middle linebacker) tracks with his performance. He’s still hesitant to take shots when the read isn’t readily apparent (schemed open receivers) and that’s something he’ll have to overcome if he’s going to be the truck this coaching staff hitches its wagon to. Anybody can hit the schemed open throws, it’s the time for Rosen to begin taking the next step in his early Dolphins development.

One knock on Rosen’s skill set that isn’t likely to improve — when he has to move off the top of his drop immediately he doesn’t have the quick twitch to do it urgently. The bearded one does. And with this offensive line that might be the most important trait.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his beard, had a clean practice as well. The touch and timing on the variety of throws the Dolphins are asking him to make impresses more with each session.

Fitzpatrick had the comical moment of camp so far when he broke contain and took off. In a live game he would’ve paid a significant price from Linebacker Sam Eguavoen, but under the protection of the red shirt, Fitzpatrick galloped into pay dirt from 35 yards out. Laughs were shared by the players, the fans, and the media alike.

The quarterback competition has tightened this week, but the overall nod is still firmly in Fitzpatrick’s grasp. The next step is for Rosen to become effective getting deep into his progression and going off-script.

Defensive Backs

T.J. McDonald has had the best camp of any DB not named Xavien Howard (who snatched a couple more interceptions today). McDonald is active. He’s involved on defense and special teams working in the latter as a signal-caller of both return units.

Dolphins rookie Defensive Back Montre Hartage has been heavily involved this training camp

McDonald’s most impressive rep came in a one-on-one matchup where he matched Mike Gesicki high-pointing of a pass to the back of the end zone. McDonald outleaped the former volleyball star for a pass break-up.

The leader of pass break-ups was at it again. Eric Rowe’s demotion was more about getting the younger guys reps, he’s been fantastic and will start opening day barring something unforeseen.

Nik Needham was the beneficiary of those extra reps and the rookie ran with it. He stayed in phase on a long pass up the sideline during team drills, and wound up with the interception. Preston Williams deflected the ball into Needham’s lap, but his work to get in position rewarded the rook with his first pick of camp.

Bobby McCain works his butt off on angles every practice. He’s spent a lot of time working to open his hips and get to the help from his deep safety position. Today he was coming in with a purpose in the downfield passing game.

Maurice Smith looks comfortable down around the line-of-scrimmage and Torry McTyer’s difficult camp continues — he was mossed by Parker in the red zone team-period. Jalen Davis hasn’t had the camp he was hopping for either — he’s not seeing any work with the first two teams and has given up some plays.

Miami’s multiplicity is really showing off, as Patrick Graham stated. Running in contention for backup safety work, behind McCain, is a trio of cornerback-conversion types. Montre Hartage is the first up to fulfill this role and he’s taking to it well. Hartage started 36-consectuive games at Northwestern and plays technical football with toughness and instincts.

The other contestants for the position are Jomal Wiltz and Chris Lammons. Wiltz is seeing a lot of run at nickel — even with the first team — which coincides with the principles of this defense. Principles that bring the safeties down to cover in the slot. Wiltz has had a strong camp inside and a difficult one outside.

One such play saw McCain and Hartage as the two deep safeties. McCain sprinted up to the line-of-scrimmage with late rotation from Hartage, and McCain threw an interior blitz at the offense.

Cornell Armstrong did a lot of individual work with Walt Aikens on special teams — that’s a good sign for the second-year Southern Miss product.

Howard, McCain, McDonald and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all getting reps on special teams — expect a lot of starters to play in the third phase — this is a very Patriots thing to do.

When the Phins go two-deep, it’s Fitzpatrick that falls back into the safety position with Wiltz coming on for nickel work. Fitzpatrick also played linebacker, on the line-of-scrimmage, and worked in the underneath, middle-of-the-field role in sub-packages — he’s everywhere.

Defensive Line

Nate Orchard is having a nice bounce back, evident by his recent usage. The amoeba package that Flores unveiled down the stretch last season is making its way to Miami, and Orchard is playing a significant role. Often the lone down-lineman, he’s lined up all over the defensive line with any variety of rushers coming on any given snap.

Charles Harris continues to work off the edge in both odd and even fronts. He didn’t have as much of an impact today, but it’s difficult to gage individual success given the gap discipline nature of these rush packages.

Christian Wilkins is quietly causing problems inside against the run, but his pass rush has been relatively silent for a few days. He’s working as hard as anybody out there every day.

Adolphus Washington picked up a sack in the team red zone period. He’s already made the team as far as I’m concerned.

Jamiyus Pittman had his best day. He made things difficult on the interior ground game with the second team defense.

Linebackers

Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel provide most of the pressure from a blitzing standpoint. They, collectively, are liable to line up in any gap, back out, or bring the heat on any given snap. It’s extremely difficult to peg exactly what they want to do. Baker had another sack — that total is climbing close to double digits through seven practices.

Miami Dolphins linebackers Quentin Poling (51) and Jerome Baker (55) work during a drill at NFL football training camp at the Dolphins training facility in Davie, Fla., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP)

Sam Eguavoen is best-suited to provide the Dolphins with a sub-package coverage linebacker, but he’s been making his case in the running game as well. He defeated a block and made a big stick on a Mark Walton run inside the 10. He also came free for a would-be punt block and celebrated by slamming Thor’s Hammer into the turf — he’s explosive.

Speaking of explosive, Terrill Hanks gets into the journal yet again with some of his own blitz work up the middle. His partner on these looks was Eguavoen — that’s a lot of speed on the field.

I’ve been meaning to mention Tre Watson the last couple of days. He too is getting plenty of second-team work. He is often celebrated by his positional coach when he comes off — smart player.

Wide Receivers

Preston Williams and Devante Parker were the stars on the offensive side. Both were rebounding balls in the end zone with relative ease, and Williams showcased his deep-ball skill set with a beautifully patient touchdown catch in tight coverage. A perfect throw from Fitzpatrick required Williams to hit the jets — which he did — and show quiet hands so as to not tip the underneath defender — which he also did.

Parker gets better every day. There was on play in particular that should encourage fans. Parker came across the formation on a mesh concept inside the 10-yard-line, the ball was severely underthrown, and Parker went over the top of McTyer for an impressive touchdown thievery.

I’ll say this again — as someone who has been very critical of Parker — he looks terrific. And you can refute that as much as you want on Twitter, I’m still going to report on what I’m seeing — what everyone at practice is seeing.

Isaiah Ford worked his way into the first-team line-up. He’s spent a lot of time after practice with Fitzpatrick, and a high level of chemistry is building there. Parker, Ford, and Kenny Stills have the best rapport with Fitzpatrick of all the receivers so far.

Brice Butler seems to be fading. He hasn’t seen much first-team work, he’s not producing, and he alligator-armed one pass today.

Running Backs

Mark Walton has been the beneficiary of the Kalen Ballage injury. He’s seeing extended work with the second-team, and even checked in as part of a 21-personnel package sharing the backfield with Kenyan Drake (we saw this previously with Drake and Ballage).

Drake is quietly having a productive camp. While the story has been Ballage, Drake’s vision is creating some chunk gains in the run-game. He’s showing a penchant for stretching runs to the outside and bending it back across the formation creating a big, back-side lane. His lateral fluidity and agility is as good as ever.

The entirety of the Dolphins backfield drilled the passing game hard, including some corner routes from the gun (just like Drake’s touchdown against the Bengals last year).

Rookies Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin were the last ones off the field. They worked on their patterns from the backfield and caught some passes off the jugs machine.

Laird might have the upper-hand on Gaskin right now — he gets into the offense first and sprung a long touchdown run today.

Offensive Line

The escorts of that long Laird touchdown run were Michael Dunn and Kyle Fuller. The created a nice gap off right tackle and Laird picked his way through. On that play the defense committed an illegal substitution, which sent the entire unit to the TNT wall.

Isaiah Prince is seeing more second-team action and he’s clearing some bodies in the run game. So is the physical phenom Jaryd Jones-Smith — had an excellent block from the left tackle position where he took a drop step and then latched on the defender, sealing the edge in the process.

Chris Reed has struggled since a strong start to camp. He and Daniel Kilgore are serving as the first and second-team centers, and neither is doing well to handle Miami’s deep interior line.

Michael Deiter is settling into his starting left guard position rather nicely. He even took to the role of mentor today spending time with newly converted guard, Durval Neto, as the two rookies sharpened their hand placement skill sets.

Shaq Calhoun’s positon on the first-team line might not be on steady ground, but it’s easy to see why he’s earned the work. New O-Line Coach Dave DeGuglielmo called Calhoun over from across the field and the rookie sprinted — I’m talking zombie apocalypse run for your life sprint — over to coach.

Tight Ends

Nick O’Leary has become possessed by the return of Dwayne Allen (even though Allen didn’t practice today, he was on a stationary bike). O’Leary is snatching everything in sight, he’s making plays in the team period, and he’s done well on his patented dig-out block working back across the formation as an H-back.

Mike Gesicki’s hot start to camp has come to a halt. He’s struggling through contact, he’s not been a factor in the team periods, and he’s not being asked to block a whole lot. He even dropped an uncontested Hail Mary to close out practice

Durham Smythe continues to see time with the first-team offense, particularly as the 11-personnel tight end.

Recap

These last two practices have been a lot more about installing the scheme than individual production. The team periods remain short, and the fundamental theme of the day was ball security and tackling.

This staff knows that if this team wants to compete and win games, they can’t miss tackles, commit fouls, and put the ball on the ground — it was encouraging to see those boxes all checked on Thursday.

Perhaps most encouraging of all, the linebackers are rerouting on just about every play — a staple of the Patriots defense, a non-existent feature of a Matt Burke defense.

The best news is that no new injuries occurred on a soaked field. The practice ended again with more gassers and the team, as a whole, is already improving in that aspect as they continue to progress their lungs and conditioning.

We’ll have more detail on today’s podcast, and tomorrow is the final practice Locked On Dolphins will cover live from Davie. We finish up this incredible experience with the scrimmage Saturday at 1 PM at Hard Rock Stadium.

@WingfieldNFL

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    andy breakstone

    August 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    best coverage of dolphins trAVIS KNOW YOUR SHT fuk omar and armando

    • Avatar

      Kevin

      August 1, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Amen… most detailed coverage by far. Nice job and thank you!

  2. Avatar

    Phil

    August 1, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Nice work, again. Best around.
    *Gauge*
    With Preston Williams’ role (and u wrote he probably makes 53) and TJ McDonald making calls in ST, is perennial ST leader Walt Aikens safe?
    I’ve seen Patrick Laird play in person a lot in his last 2 seasons as a starter. He has no quit. Smart. Works like a perpetual walk-on. Rarely makes a mistake. And, some hop/good vision and hands. Surprised if he’s cut. Stanford WR as well although a more crowded position.

  3. Avatar

    Pigskin101

    August 2, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Hey Travis, your boy Needham looks to be the real deal. Also i really hope Hanks and Watson make the final 53 both seem to possess a ton of upside.
    #FinsUp

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Miami Dolphins

The Levee Breaks in Jersey – Dolphins Giants Week 15 Recap

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins break record for most players used, blowout loss ensues

The entire Dolphins operation took a back seat to the A-block story of Eli Manning in his final start at MetLife Stadium. Although riddled with mistakes, Miami played a strong first half, but unraveled after the intermission. With a first half lead, the Dolphins were outscored 16-0 — and out-gained 187-19 — in the third quarter, with the Giants scoring the first 13 points of the fourth quarter as an encore.

Miami’s experimental season became tangibly explainable Sunday as the Dolphins gave its 80th-differnet player a snap. The previous record was 78 players in one single season. Miami’s roster is currently comprised of 23 undrafted free agents (43%, most in the NFL). The Dolphins made 74 roster moves since week one and have 17 players on injured reserve — both of those are second most in the NFL.

Stat Dolphins Giants
Total Yards 384 412
Rushing 122 138
Passing 262 274
3rd / 4th Down 4/16 (25%) 5/11 (45.5%)
Penalties 7 (42 yards) 4 (32 yards)
Sacks For 1 3
TOP 28:53 31:07

 

DolphinsGiants

The things that made Miami a competitive team for the last two months were of the “takes no talent” variety. Dropped passes, penalties, turnovers, missed field goals, even the occasional miss from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins simply are not good enough to overcome the many errors committed in the blowout loss.

Despite the majority of Miami’s six dropped passes occurring in the first half, Fitzpatrick compiled the most Dolphin passing yards in a single half (234 yards) since Ryan Tannehill’s 2015 game against Houston. The Dolphins moved the chains 14 times (also a season high), combing Fitzpatrick’s arm and legs; he is now the team leader in rushing yards for the 2019 season with 219 yards.

It would be completely understandable for the Dolphins to go into the proverbial tank these last two games. The final home date with Cincinnati on-deck, followed by a season finale in Foxboro, 3-13 looks to be more than a possibility, but rather a probability.

More on how that could affect the Dolphins draft positioning in the recap segment at the bottom of the page. Let’s get to the individuals.

Quarterback

It looked like business for usual for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense early at the Meadowlands Sunday. He was ripping the Giants zone defense for chunk yardage, escaping pressure and moving the chains with his legs, but coming up short in the red zone for the second consecutive game.

Miami’s first two drives traveled 99 yards, but yielded no points. Fitzpatrick had two misses that cost Miami points. First, a back-shoulder fade to Devante Parker left too far inside led to a turnover-on-downs. Then, on a later 3rd down, Fitzpatrick underthrew Parker to allow the defensive back to break up the pass. Miami would punt, opposed a fresh set of downs from inside the Giants 35-yard-line.

The dagger occurred on a Fitzpatrick run that resulted in a lost fumble, though the officiating crew blew the call on the field and in replay. Miami dropped six passes — including a ball off the facemask in the end zone — so it’s difficult to put too much of the blame on the quarterback.

Running Backs

Patrick Laird has some moments, but the gaffes are a weekly occurrence. He dropped another pass, failed to win a one-on-one situation on a stretch run that resulted in a safety, and he gets beat in pass protection every game. His 18-yard run saved his average for a respectable 3.8 yards per rush on 12 carries.

Myles Gaskin had a similar, average-saving run. Gaskin popped a 27-yarder in garbage time to get to 43 yards on nine carries, but he too has his shortcomings in pass protection.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Devante Parker has been consistent as they come this season. In his first game off the new contract that is schedules to keep him in Miami through the 2023 season, Parker went for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including another win on a 50-50 ball (more apt to call them 70-30 balls with Parker in range).

Albert Wilson was involved in the plan to the tune of five receptions on eight targets for 59 yards. Wilson has the shifty quality in condensed spaces that will provide the Dolphins with two, highly-utilizable traits going forward: 1.) uncover quickly from the slot on two-way-goes, and 2.) key misdirection to open up space for the rest of the offense.

Wilson’s start-stop ability, along with his prowess as a ball carrier could be a valuable piece in Chad O’Shea’s offense next season. He’ll have to be, in order to justify his retention at $8 million. The upside, for Miami, the commitment doesn’t extend beyond 2020. The team can certainly afford to keep Wilson on the books for another year and a better look at the player two full years removed from the hip injury.

Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford were limited. Ford was the culprit of the facemask drop on a would-be touchdown in the second quarter, and Hurns only caught one pass. He was playing injured.

Mike Gesicki was involved early drawing matchups on the Giants safeties and linebackers. He had an opportunity on a takeoff against DeAndre Baker, but the pass was broken up. He caught four of eight for 47 yards. He continues to look more comfortable with each passing week.

Miami utilized plenty of offset 12-personnel formations (double tight ends inline to one side of the formation). Miami’s only semblance of a running game comes on stretch runs off this formation, and they do it in behind Clive Walford and Durham Smythe.

Walford was off to a sterling start, but two dropped passes quelled the strong showing. He and Smythe both hit a number of key blocks on Miami’s longer runs of the game.

Offensive Line

Miami shuffled the line throughout the day, and none of the combinations seemed to make improvements. Fitzpatrick was under siege, Miami failed to create any penetration on point-of-attack blocks, and another good scrambling day saved what otherwise could’ve been a shutout type of performance.

Michael Deiter’s issues are systemic at this point. He’s constantly off-balance, lacks conviction and confidence, and misses an assignment each time he’s out there. He looks good pulling and getting the second level, but that’s about where the praise stops.

Daniel Kilgore continues to demonstrate a lack of ability to do the things they want him to execute in this scheme. Reach blocks are an adventure, anchoring is a 50-50 proposition, and he rarely blows anybody off the ball.

Jesse Davis has quietly pieced together a better initial kick slide and pass set as a right tackle. He’s living up to his end of the bargain on those offset 12 runs to the right side.

Evan Brown, Shaq Calhoun and J’Marcus Webb were all difficult watches.

Defensive Line

Davon Godchaux has been the Devante Parker of the defense — consistently stable. Godchaux demonstrates his power with consistency, but he flashes big plays on a weekly basis with penetration. He made five more tackles Sunday, bringing his season total to 65.

Christian Wilkins is a poor man’s Godchaux in his rookie season. He too has the flash plays, but he’s not as consistent and can get moved a gap or two from time-to-time.

Taco Charlton was back after a healthy scratch a week ago. Taking Charles Harris’ spot, Taco made one tackle and saw a lot of runs go for big gains off his edge. The same was true on the other side against Avery Moss and the occasional outside ‘backer condensed inside to a six-technique.

Linebackers

Sam Eguavoen is piecing together a nice run. He came from the CFL as a standout in passing situations, and he’s been active doing just that. Falling into the hook zip and tipping footballs, applying pressure on the quarterback, and picking up a sack for the second straight week, Eguavoen is showcasing the goods to return as a sub package linebacker.

Jerome Baker had quite a day making plays. When he keys it and pulls the trigger, Baker is as disruptive as they come blowing up plays at the line-of-scrimmage. He used that speed to get into the hook zone for two plays on the ball, an interception and a PBU. He also made 12 tackles in the game.

Vince Biegel fell into the hook zone for a play of his own. Dropping in place of a blitzing Nik Needham, Biegel picked off the first pass of his career. He also continues to dent the edge and set up tackles as well as anyone on this defense.

Raekwon McMillan left the game with a hamstring injury. When he was out there, his impact was minimal. McMillan played all over the formation and tried to give Miami some help in more of a Sam ‘backer position.

Defensive Backs

It’s a mix mash of street free agents in the Miami secondary. For the fourth time this year, Miami signed a played on a Tuesday, then played him in the defensive backfield the following Sunday.

Nate Brooks was beaten up and down the field by fellow rookie Darius Slayton. Linden Stephens saw his first action as a Dolphins and made two tackles.

Eric Rowe made four tackles and continues to show his mettle in the box safety role. He’s definitely a fit going forward for that role.

Nik Needham had a day of peaks and valleys. He made an exceptional tackle on Saquon Barkley in space, but then came back and was juked badly by the former number-two overall pick. Needham got his hands on a ball that wound up going for a 51-yard touchdown. It was that kind of day for Needham and Miami.

Jomal Wiltz continues to show the competitiveness and tackling prowess that makes him a favorite to return as a sub package defensive back next season.

Recap

This game looked like a laugher early, in favor of the Dolphins. Despite three bad interceptions from Eli Manning, Miami continuously made errors that turned the game in favor of the home team.

Perhaps that result was best for Miami.

The Dolphins climb now to third in the 2020 NFL Draft. Miami leapfrogged Washington based on tie-breakers, as week 16 presents a pair of huge games in the race for better draft choices. Washington hosts the Giants while the Bengals visit Miami.

Winning one of the final two games would result in no worse than the fifth pick in the draft for the Fins, and Miami can climb all the way to second if the team finishes 3-13.

Whoever Miami deems as QB2 should be there for the taking. The Chase Young option will continue to compel the fan base, but his penchant for the up-field rush will likely make Miami pursue other avenues.

There’s a lot of time between now and the last weekend in April, including two more games. Brian Flores’ ability to get his team up for these final two could be telling.

Or maybe they won’t. It’s perfectly understandable if Miami are unable to mount a competitive fight in the final two weeks. The roster was depleted in every fashion imaginable (trades, cuts, injuries, player shutdowns), and even a good coaching staff has a breaking point.

The upshot for the 2019 season is that Miami secured a high draft pick and added a war chest of offseason resources. Perhaps best of all, the Dolphins now have surefire long-term fits that were largely unknowns just a few months prior.

Parker, Needham, Gesicki, Biegel, Rowe all emerged as surprise breakthrough players. Joining core parts like Godchaux, McMillan, Baker, and those returning from IR (Preston Williams, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Jakeem Grant, Jonathan Ledbetter), reinforcements are on the way for the 2020 season.

This season has been brutal. We’re eight quarters away from its conclusion, and the real season beginning. The 2020 Miami Dolphins offseason.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Extend DeVante Parker

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest-tenured players on the team may very well be a Miami Dolphin for life.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins have extended DeVante Parker through the 2023 season.

All of the details are still being flushed out, but the deal is a 4-year, $40m extension, with an $8m signing bonus (which is guaranteed).

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Parker will earn $4.5m guaranteed in 2020, and $7.7m guaranteed in 2021.

Parker signs this extension in the middle of a career year. His 55 catches are 1 shy of his career-high (56, 2016), his 882 receiving yards surpass his prior career-high by 138 yards (2016), and his 6 touchdowns are only 3 less than his career total coming into the 2019 season.

Whether it’s Chad O’Shea‘s offense, a shift in Quarterback mentality, or the receiver finally coming into his own, Parker has shown that he can be a #1 receiver in this offense. Though some fans may be hoping for DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. “elite”, the truth is, Parker isn’t that far behind.

His extension is in line with his production, and it’s fair to say that Parker’s potential still hasn’t been tapped. It’ll be interesting to see how much Parker builds off of his career-year, especially if the Dolphins can solidify their offensive line and give their receivers a chance to get open (more often).

Parker joins Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey as the only other 1st-round picks drafted this decade to have signed an extension with the team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins roster move round-up: Week 15 sees several more changes

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Linden Stephens
Linden Stephens defending Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins continue to change up the roster

The Miami Dolphins have continued their roster churning in Week 15, leading up to their prizefight against the New York Giants on December 15.

While it’s been a mainstay strategy for the Dolphins this year, to comb over the waiver wire and the free agency market, there was a significant uptick in waiver wire awards last, totaling four new players being claimed.

Last week’s claimed players included Trevor Davis, Mack Hollins, Zach Zenner, and Zach Sieler. Zenner’s Miami stint was short-lived; he was waived on Tuesday, December 10 to make room for the newest wave of Dolphins signees.

Along with Zenner’s release, the Miami Dolphins added cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis to the Injured Reserve list.

Those three transactions allowed the Dolphins to scoop a player from the New England Patriots’ practice squad, defensive back Nate Brooks, a second player from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, linebacker Jamal Davis II, and a third player, offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers.

Nate Brooks is a rookie defensive back that played at North Texas and has spent time with the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

Jamal Davis II is also a rookie. He entered the league from Akron. As mentioned above, he spent time with the Titans earlier this year before the Miami Dolphins signed him.

Adam Pankey is the most traveled player the Dolphins have added. Pankey went undrafted in 2017 out of West Virginia and has had two runs with the Packers and a short one with the Titans.

On December 7, cornerback Linden Stephens was added to the roster in a last-minute shuffle before the Dolphins-Jets game. Cornerback Chris Lammons was released to make room for Stephens on the squad, per Adam Beasley.

Stephens has had tenures with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He formerly played at Cincinnati in college.

In practice squad news, cornerback Rashard Causey was added to the group on December 12, per Safid Deen. Causey played college ball at UCF and has spent time with the Denver Broncos.

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