Ahh the senior bowl. The time of year where I record 5 hours with of practices for three days straight and ingest every single second of football – well except when Charlie Casserly is on the screen. A practice that serves my own scouting agenda, but also gathers knowledge via the analysis of the pros like Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis.
The game is played on Saturday but the scouts all leave on Thursday at the conclusion of the final practice. It’s not that the game is unimportant, but the practices and meetings are the primary purpose of the week. Plus, the scouts will get the game tape when they get back to the facility; staying Saturday would be redundant.
As you watch this week – if you watch this week – you might only be tuning in here, which you totally should, remember this: Day-one is usually mistake-filled. Bad days are common for many. On Wednesday (Day 2) some of those bad days will iron out. By day three, the best players will have shown progress each day of the week.
So, for the next three days, we are going to be almost exclusively a Senior Bowl podcast and blog – but with a Miami Dolphins twist.
The fun started at the measurements with a pair of edge players. Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat and Charles Omenihu from Texas. For Sweat – 6-6, 252 pounds with 35 7/8”inch arms. A monster whose hands scrape his knees. The story is the same for Omenihu – 6’5’’ 274 pounds with 36.5” inch arms.
Then there’s the media session where players can steal the show for both good reasons and bad. Will Grier caught an accusation for the latter when he didn’t show up for a media availability, but it was later confirmed that Grier was speaking somewhere else.
Gardner Minshew, Daniel Jones, and Drew Lock all spoke. Minshew talked about his precipitous route to the Senior Bowl – from Mississippi to Carolina out to Wazzu. Jones spoke on his concept-based offense and the combination reads he made under David Cutcliffe. Lock spoke of leadership, locker room command, and extending plays when things breakdown.
Jon Gruden, coach of the North Squad, spoke about a hot topic on the day. “I’m throwing away all my old prototypes,” I used to believe in those things,” Gruden said. “Then I saw Brees. I met Wilson. And now I’m watching this [Kyler] Murray and things have changed”
That conversation isn’t exclusive to Gruden and the Raiders. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said word is spreading about the changing prototype at the position. He reported the mixed, even polarizing, viewpoints on Russell Wilson in 2012.
But it was Wilson that paved the way for the new-age quarterback. “If they can create their own passing lanes, but also allow teams to implement the RPO game, they don’t need the traditional style quarterback anymore,” Garafolo said on-air during practice.
Just sayin’, I been sayin’….
Not only did Montez Sweat, who said he’s best when in the three-point stance, dominate the measurement room, he kept the momentum going onto the practice field.
Daniel Jeremiah had the quote of the day regarding Buffalo Quarterback Tyree Jackson. “You put on the tape of the best 10-to-15 throws in college football, Tyree Jackson had all of ‘em.” Unfortunately for the six-foot-seven QB, day-one in Mobile highlighted his biggest pitfall – the lay-ups. His mechanics aren’t consistent, he doesn’t stride through his target creating a fluctuating release-point and sending the ball all over the map.
The linebackers, running backs, safeties, and quarterbacks didn’t get a lot of televised action today. Thankfully, Miami’s primary needs are in the trenches and that’s where the focus was fixed.
With about 20 minutes on the final DVR recording to play, I tweeted about the many interior offensive linemen that figure to come off the board in the draft’s 20-50 range. Not five minutes later Jeremiah echoes that thought, but adjusts the range to 15-40.
Nonetheless, there are a handful of starter-quality guards and centers that will be available come draft-day.
And they were working in Mobile.
The offensive line vs. defensive line one-on-one drills are my favorite portions of this entire week. It showcases all of the skills these guys are going to need to grow and/or develop. Granted, the drill is slightly flawed without rushing lanes from live action, but it gives us a good idea what kind of power and pass-rush arsenal these guys play with.
Offensive Line vs. Defensive Line
Montez Sweat won the entire day. His length, athleticism and bend led to plenty of problems from his counterpart in the drills. He made an impact closing the edge both on the play side and backside in the team portion as well.
Dalton Risner was the most impressive offensive lineman. The Kansas State product played four positions in college and showed his anchor and ability to redirect. Some of his best work came against an impressive bull-of-a-defensive end, Zach Allen. At 285, Allen is pure power and will knock heads backwards with great frequency. He showed some nuance with a crafty pin-and-pull move late in the period.
Allen might be what the new defensive end prototype looks like in Miami – get used to his name.
Greg Gaines is a bull in a china shop of a defensive tackle from Washington. His power was simply too much to deal with in the one-on-ones. He even threw an arm-over into the mix for a would-be sack.
Boston College Guard Chris Lindstrom stacked several good reps on top of one another. He stoned the Texas specimen Omenihu with a smooth shuffle and set on the interior.
Michael Dieter was on the Senior Bowl watch list yesterday and he showed why. His feet glide and his 54 games of staring experience in Madison showcase a fine technician.
Rennell Wren is a 300-pound defensive tackle from Arizona State that spent the entire day in the backfield.
Remington Award Winner Garrett Bradbury (North Carolina State) had a rough day trying to absorb bull rushes and settle. He’s a zone, reach-block type of center – something I think Miami might try to get away from.
Oregon Edge Jalen Jelks had a nice bull rush – a change-of-pace from his usual burst and speed get-off.
Mississippi State Center Elgton Jenkins has it all with the bend and anchor. Sheer power, yeesh. His hands do tend to get a bit wide and it forces him to grab. He’s so big and strong with a wide base, I think his best position will be center.
Dru Samia, guard from Oklahoma, had a difficult day.
Jordan Ledbetter showed a nice long arm, a speed rush and impacted the team portion of practice – he had one of the better days altogether.
Daylon Mack blew up the Shrine Week, and he continued that momentum on Tuesday. He’s a pure power player with tree trunks for legs – a massive, MASSIVE human. His size shouldn’t be a surprise; he’s been known to put down three double cheeseburgers from Whataburger on the Texas A&M team flights.
Cornerback vs. Wide Receiver
Winner of best name might be winner of my favorite player at this Senior Bowl. Rock Ya-Sin won his first two reps of the day with physical inside hand jams and perfect timing at the catch-point. He uses a little spin to recover from inside releases on the slant that is unusually fluid.
Ya-Sin has a great story to boot. He played for four years at Presbyterian, a school that removed all scholarships for 2018. As a graduate transfer Ya-Sin showed up at Temple and earned a single-digit number in his first week of spring practices. Single digits are given out to the nine toughest players on Temple – voted by the teammates.
Debo Samuel was the best player on the field. His smooth releases, ability to set up the defensive back and powerful hands make him a tough cover. Samuel got the best of Ya-Sin a couple of times.
The West Virginia receivers both had nice days. David Sills V is magic. He’s smooth, quiet hands, subtle moves and tugs up the stem to create separation, and he catches everything. His running-mate, Gary Jennings, showed his long speed stacking a man for a deep touchdown.
Penny Hart is a diminutive (5’8”) receiver. The broadcast mentioned that his Georgia State Coach said Penny was the most competitive kid he’s ever coached (same school as Albert Wilson). He was quick in-and-out of breaks and won a nice double-move up top on a corner.
Keelan Doss could be Miami’s target as Devante Parker’s replacement. He eats up a lot of ground quickly, has a plan with his releases, and has a big fan in Daniel Jeremiah. At 6’3” Doss drew a comparison to Keenan Allen with the technically sound game and quick feet.
Jordan Brown plays a physical brand of corner. He certainly learned how to jam at the line-of-scrimmage at South Dakota State.
Penn State corner Amani Oruwariye plays with a lot of confidence and it’s easy to see why. He takes it personal when a receiver crosses face and can wall off and pin to the perimeter nicely. He was lockdown during the one-on-one drills.
Team Portion and Additional Notes
Will Grier’s day was a forgettable one from the limited action aired on NFLN. They opened up a naked boot play-action with a wide open Samuel streaking across the deep middle and the throw was way short. That wasn’t the only time he missed a throw – his mechanics were all over the place, often failing to square up his target.
Stanford Linebacker Bobby Okereke nice job working through trash to make a play. He was able to avoid linemen climbing to the second level for a run-stop.
Andre Dillard is really smooth and really good in pass pro. He can over-set, as he did against Montez, but he’s quick into his set-up and he can redirect effectively.
Alabama DT Isaiah Buggs caused some issues generating interior penetration.
Terrell Hanks from New Mexico State had a big pop filling and blowing up a rocked up Wes Hills.
|QB Daniel Jones – Duke|
|QB Drew Luck – Missouri|
*this list will be updated throughout the week
Miami’s meeting probably came later in the evening and have gone unreported. The team did, however, send Dan Marino in to meet Lock and Jones.
The QBs as a whole were off in all portions. The timing is obviously going to be a little difficult to come by this quickly.
The guy I need to go back on the tape with is Drew Lock. He had division-one basketball offers and apparently his teammates rave about his confidence and swagger. The big arm intrigues you, and he can certainly rip some tight windows.
Daniel Jones questionable arm showed up on the post-backside crosser concept that the North squad was struggling to install.
The broadcast team talked a lot about that post with the backside crosser – and that was something the Dolphins ran all the time under Gase. Remember the Jarvis Landry touchdown against Cleveland a couple of years ago (in fact he ran that all the time). Kenny Stills ran it the deep over (crosser) a whole lot in 2017.
On today’s Locked On Dolphins Podcast, I have my entire Daniel Jones scouting report. We’ll have the Senior Bowl covered tomorrow and Friday on the blog and the pod.
Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update
Get used to this mantra, Miami Dolphins fans: Adapt or Die.
You might not find it printed on training camp t-shirts for the team to sport around, but you can expect head coach Brian Flores to repeat this line often. It’s about to become ingrained in both us and the players.
Flores spoke briefly with reporters before the team finished up their 3-day “voluntary” workout and gets ready for the upcoming NFL draft.
If you’ve heard these kind of comments before, it’s because Flores has nailed the proper, cliche proper press conference etiquette. Answers are “insightful”, but vague. He gives you an answer while also laying out all other possibilities. That said, he’ll sometimes respond with some sarcasm and wit that’ll reassure you that there is a personality inside of him.
If there is one thing we can take away from Flores’ demeanor and message, it’s that he isn’t about to tolerate the type of locker room culture that festered in Miami under Adam Gase. There will be both accountability and self-reflection; and that’s reassuring after witnessing Gase deflect blame to everyone but himself.
With the most important day of the offseason just one week away, we take a look at what Flores had to say at his press conference earlier this morning:
On the Draft:
Most important measuring tool?:
“Combination of production. Height. Weight. Speed. Intangibles. Fit. There’s a myriad of things there. To say it’s just one thing that’s important…they’re all important.”
“Is one more important than the other, I’d say no.”
“It’s the total fit of the player and how we feel they’ll fit with our team.”
Combine/Visits, what do you get out of it?:
“Try to get to know the person, that’s a big part of this.”
“Sometimes people see players as just players. You want to know about their mom, their dad, who was an important person in their life. What kind of adversity they have faced before. Does that person fit your style as a coach, your locker room, the culture you’re trying to build as a team. When you sit down with a player, you’re just trying to get to know him.”
I think Dolphins fans know this all too well after the Dez Bryant/Jeff Ireland prostitution episode back in 2010.
Flores’ Influence in the Draft:
“Chris and I definitely work well together. We speak the same language….when we come together it’s the same (language)”
“Have had (and) will have discussions on different scenarios (throughout the draft)”
On his New/Hybrid Defense:
What kind of players do you need for your Hybrid defense?:
“We need good players.”
“I think as a coach, you get a good player, (and you ask yourself) what does he do well? You try and do that.”
“That’s the good thing about having a versatile scheme, it fits a good player.”
“You try and get the best player and I feel me and my staff can fit what we’re going to do around that player.”
“Some guys are going to have a better fit than others, but you have to put the whole fit together.”
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 17, 2019
On Identity of this Team:
“You know, call it what you want.”
“I’m going to get my team to play hard. Play together. Play with good fundamentals and technique. Play as a team. Put the team first. You have to try and get 11 guys to play together and that’s a hard thing to accomplish as a coach.”
“That’s my goal, you can call it whatever you want. ‘The Patriot Way’….to me, it’s just good football.”
Flores seems to understand that he’s going to live under Bill Belichick‘s shadow for awhile, especially if he is unsuccessful. Seems like he’s also getting a little tired of it….and I kind of like it. I’m glad he’ll have this chip on his shoulder to prove that he isn’t just a Belichick clone. Then again, judging by all Flores has gone through, he doesn’t need this chip to drive him.
Does he expect his players to be on time?:
“If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late you’re forgotten.”
“Is it a rule, no, it’s my personal mantra.”
“I have a lot of respect for time. I think it’s precious; we shouldn’t take it for granted. If you want to stay on schedule you have to stay on time.”
“We have a schedule, it’s laid out pretty well.”
There is absolutely no bull**** from Brian Flores when it comes to practice! That’s not to say Adam Gase or any of the other prior head coaches were more-lenient, but you get the feeling that Flores isn’t going to tolerate players who believe they are bigger than the team.
Gase showed a similar coaching style when he traded Jay Ajayi and released players like Byron Maxwell and Jordan Phillips, but that never translated to a productive locker room culture. It’ll be interesting to see how Flores’ style compares.
On His “Right-Hand Man”:
“Pick any of the 20 guys, they’re all my right-hand men.”
“We work well together. (We) try and put a staff together that embodies what I want our team to reflect.
“I want to be tough, I want to be smart, I want to work well together.”
On Mike Gesicki:
“Mike is a good, young player. Talented. Like everyone else on this team, there are places he can improve, develop, get better. As a young player, there’s a lot of room for development. Mike’s working hard. We see what everyone else sees: he has size, speed, can catch the ball.”
On Raekwon McMillian and Jerome Baker:
“Raekwon is big. Fast. Physical. (Has) good leadership. Smart. Can play a few different positions. (A) good, young player.”
“Jerome is another skilled player. Fast. Good tackler. Raekwon is a good tackler as well. Smart. Can do a few different things. Can cover; which, obviously in this league, going in a passing direction, it’s good to have an LB that can cover.”
“We’re glad to have them both.”
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 18, 2019
On Jake Rudock and Luke Falk:
“Like everyone else, they’re working hard. They are doing everything possible to try and improve their techniques, fundamentals. Footwork. Ball Handling. They’re doing a really good job. All 3 quarterbacks.”
“We’re excited to see what they can do moving forward.”
Flores couldn’t be more generic with the assessment of his players. Even going back to when he discussed Charles Harris at a previous press conference, Flores tends to speak about his players vaguely, as if to avoid tipping his hand in any regard.
From a player’s perspective, it’s nice to know your coach won’t throw you under the bus and will keep things private. From our fan perspective, it means we just have to go through every possible adjective and scenario with him. He’s not lying when one of them has to be true.
On his Mother’s Passing:
“It was hard. She’s someone I think about on a daily basis. Wish she was here to enjoy this with us, but she’s with me all the time.”
“She wouldn’t’ want me to dwell or be upset and she would want me to have peace.”
“I’m sad. I’m unhappy. I miss her. But I have peace knowing I did everything I can to make her proud.”
On New Surprises as a Head Coach:
“(I have had) A lot of conversations with head coaches around the league…one thing they said is something would come across your desk every day.”
“(That’s) kind of my approach coming in, being adaptable. A mantra of our team: ‘adapt or die’.”
“Part of (the job) is allowing other people to lead.”
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media ahead of voluntary minicamp. https://t.co/9ttTAJHL2R
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 18, 2019
Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown
Future opponents are known years in advance in the NFL. With the exception of two games decided by divisional standing finish, fourteen opponents are determined based on the schedule rotation. The order in which those games will occur, like everything else the NFL does, has become a primetime event.
While the luck of the draw factors heavily (in-season injuries, particular teams playing their best/worst ball at a certain time of year, etc.) the order of the games provides intriguing details.
Traveling for a Thursday night game, for instance, is an extreme disadvantage for the visitor. The infamous “trap game” can occur when a team faces a lesser opponent before taking on a heavyweight. Lastly, for a team like the Dolphins, weather implications are always worth noting.
This column refers to the favors, or lack thereof, that the NFL gave the Dolphins based purely on travel, trap games, etcetera.
Week 1 – BALTIMORE RAVENS – September 8, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Ravens Sandwich Game: Week 2 Cardinals
September victories are difficult to come by for teams visiting Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins haven’t lost such an affair since 2015 with a multitude of early-season upsets under the franchise’s belt this century (2014 vs. New England and 2005 vs. Denver, most notably).
Baltimore’s ground-and-pound attack could have a converse affect, however, as the Dolphins defensive conditioning will have to be on-point from the word go.
Week 2 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – September 15, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh, Week 3 vs. NY Jets
New England’s 2018 meltdown in Miami came one week prior to a trip to Heinz Field. Now, the Pats will travel back to Tom Brady’s house of horrors in Miami one week after kicking the season off in primetime against those same Steelers.
This won’t serve as a trap game given the recent outcomes of games between these two teams, but Miami is catching the Pats at the right time. Over the last two seasons New England are just 4-4 in the first quarter of the schedule (September games), a .250-point decrease in winning percentage from their cumulative record.
Week 3 – @ Dallas Cowboys – September 22, 1:00 EST AT&T Stadium
Cowboys Sandwich Games: Week 2 @ Washington, Week 4 @ Saints
This is a classic trap game for the Cowboys. Coming off a game with its biggest rival, then heading to the toughest building to play in, in the NFC, the opportunity for Miami to steal a road win against a sleep-walking favorite is in the cards.
Week 4 – Los Angeles Chargers- September 29, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Chargers Sandwich Games: Week 3 @Texans, Week 5 Broncos
The early time slot for a west coast team is one of the biggest advantages, statistically, in football. The Chargers historically struggle in Miami but the talent discrepancy is probably too great for any of these advantages to factor in.
Week 5 – BYE WEEK
After a week-11 bye last year, Miami gets the burden of an early off-week. The Dolphins will play out the string for 12 weeks with zero breaks in between.
Week 6 – Washington – October 13, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Washington Sandwich Games: Week 5 @Patriots, Week 7 49ers
A let down following a potential beat down in New England bodes well for Miami. Washington is probably the one team on this entire schedule that Miami can matchup with from a talent perspective.
Week 7 – @ Buffalo Bills – October 20, 1:00 EST New Era Field
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 6 BYE, Week 8 Eagles
Miami’s first game against a team coming off a bye, in a building that has only provided the setting for one Miami win in the last five years, this one stacks the deck against the Dolphins.
Week 8 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers – October 28, 5:25 EST MONDAY Heinz Field
Steelers Sandwich Games: Week 7 BYE, Week 9 Colts
Another game, another opponent coming off of a bye. The Steelers will have the benefit of a 15-day break prior to lacing it up for Miami in primetime. The Dolphins road primetime woes should be noted as well – Miami are 0-for-it’s-last 8 in those games.
Week 9 – New York Jets – November 3, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 8 @Jaguars, Week 10 Giants
The Adam Gase game will certainly have both teams on notice. The man that holds a grudge like no other will certainly have this date circled on his calendar, as will the countless Dolphins players that grew tired of Gase’s shtick. This might be the most entertaining football game Miami plays all season.
Week 10 – @ Indianapolis Colts – November 10, 1:00 EST Lucas Oil Stadium
Colts Sandwich Games: Week 9 @Steelers, Week 11 Jaguars
With a potentially crucial divisional game on-deck with the Jaguars, the Colts could fall victim to overlooking Miami here. The Colts are a difficult out in that building and are quietly building up one of the most talented rosters in the AFC.
Week 11 – Buffalo Bills – November 17, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 10 @Browns, Week 12 Broncos
Divisional games rarely adhere to traditional trap procedures. Ideally the Dolphins would catch the Bills in September, but the week-7 trip to Western New York offsets the lack of weather advantages. This game should see peak effort from both teams.
Week 12 – @ Cleveland Browns – November 24, 1:00 EST First Energy Stadium
Browns Sandwich Games: Week 11 Steelers (TNF), Week 13 @Steelers
Somehow the NFL has this strange scheduling procedure where teams play each other twice over a three-week period. Cleveland sandwiches its two games with the Steelers with a home date against your Miami Dolphins – that’s the ultimate trap.Cleveland’s benefit comes from having 10 days to prepare for Brian Flores and Miami.
Week 13 – Philadelphia Eagles – December 1, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Eagles Sandwich Games: Week 12 Seahawks, Week 14 Giants
With a pivotal NFC matchup on the front end, and a divisional game on the backend, Philadelphia is in a potential trap game situation. The Dolphins home field advantage serves as another beneficial factor in this game as the weather contract between Philadelphia and Miami, in December, is stark.
Week 14 – @ New York Jets – December 8, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 13 @Bengals, Week 15 @Ravens (TNF)
The game before a road trip on a short week typically favors the opposition – that’s the spot the Adam Gase finds himself in here when the Jets welcome Miami to the Meadowlands. With two NFC games bookending this game for the Dolphins, this is a great spot for Miami to steal a road win.
Week 15 – @ New York Giants – December 15, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Giants Sandwich Games: Week 14 @Eagles, Week 16 @ Washington
This is a trap game for both teams, believe it or not. A non-conference game, sandwiched by two divisional games, has the makings for a let down on either side. If the season plays out as expected, this game could have massive implications on the race for Tua Tagovailoa.
Week 16 – Cincinnati Bengals – December 22, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bengals Sandwich Games: Week 15 @Patriots, Week 17 Browns
Like the previous game, this might set up as a draft positioning game. Both teams that figure to finish at, or near, the bottom of their respective divisions, playing out the string with rookie coaches, there isn’t much of an advantage to take away from this one.
Week 17 – @ New England Patriots – December 29, 1:00 EST Gillette Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 16 Bills
For the second consecutive year, the Patriots finish the season with two divisional home games – seems fishy, doesn’t it? The only potential saving grace here, for the ‘Phins, is that New England could have the AFC East wrapped up, as they typically do every year.
This is, no doubt, a difficult road to hoe for Miami. The order of the games, the stacks of road trips, it’s a lot to put on the plate of a first year head coach trying to set a foundation.
The troops of the tank train should be satisfied with this gamete — it likely puts Miami in a hole that will be difficult to climb out of, especially given Ryan Fitzpatrick’s medical history.
For more on this schedule, tune in to the Locked On Dolphins podcast – your daily dose of Miami Dolphins football.
Miami Dolphins Complete 2019 Schedule
Before ESPN, NFL Network, local beat writers – before anybody on the scene, Locked On Dolphins broke the 2018 Dolphins schedule. 2019 is shaping up to be the same. Keep it locked on this thread for updates from our source in the industry to get you the latest on Miami’s 2019 slate.
After the schedule release we will break things down with a column similar to the last year’s analysis.
Tomorrow’s Locked On Dolphins Podcast will be all about Miami’s 2019 schedule.
|5||—||— BYE WEEK–||—|
|8||10/28||@ Steelers||8:15 MNF|
*BOLD denotes home game
- Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update April 18, 2019
- Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown April 17, 2019
- Miami Dolphins Complete 2019 Schedule April 17, 2019
- Chris Grier Updates Status of Miami Dolphins – 4/17/19 April 17, 2019
- Miami Dolphins Voluntary Workout Update – 4/17/19 April 17, 2019