5 Things We Hope To See at Dolphins' spring camp
MIAMI GARDENS — The Dolphins' organized team activities practices continue over the next two weeks, followed by a mandatory three-day minicamp June 6-8.
Some of these practices have historically been open to local media, but it's important to note that unlike some summer training camp practices, they are closed to the public.
We promise to deliver observations and highlights, as permitted, in the coming weeks.
Here are 5 Things We Hope To See at Dolphins' spring camp:
Smooth Vic Fangio installation
The Dolphins are stepping out of the comfort of the familiar Brian Flores-Josh Boyer-Patriots defensive scheme and into a new Vic Fangio defensive scheme that should make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable.
Fangio will allow his players more freedom of movement than the previous coaches did.
There also figures to be more use of zone and more variation of zones.
Will this lead to an increase in turnovers in the 2023 season? Well, we'll see how it goes in spring camp.
Newcomers like cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker David Long, rookie cornerback Cam Smith and safety DeShon Elliott will be very interesting to watch for the first time.
Offensive line improvement
Miami is hoping Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg will stay healthy and make big steps forward as the starting right tackle and left guard.
As insurance, Miami has added veteran tackles Isaiah Wynn (right tackle/left tackle/left guard) and Cedric Ogbuehi (left tackle). Earlier in the offseason they added Dan Feeney (guard/center).
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This gives options to incoming offensive line coach Butch Barry, who has familiarity with the outside zone blocking scheme Mike McDaniel operates.
How do Jackson, Eichenberg and Wynn, in particular, all look in drills against the likes of Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler, Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips and Emmanuel Ogbah?
Those spring (and summer) drills are a real test.
Tua's second year and Mike White's first
It's hard to know if having at least two concussions last year will impact Tua Tagovailoa in 2023.
We can hope to see the same confident, accurate, improved quarterback this spring that we did when he was rocking and rolling early last season.
It should be a huge advantage for Tua to actually be in the same offensive system for the first time since high school. We'll look for chemistry with newcomers Braxton Berrios and Chosen Anderson and sophomore receiver Erik Ezukanma.
As for Mike White, Miami could really stand to see him separate himself from Skylar Thompson as the clear backup as early as possible. The Dolphins bypassed more experienced potential backups because they believe the South Florida native has all the tools to flourish with McDaniel and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Getting off to a great start could build fast confidence with his teammates.
Tight end Situation
Mike Gesicki has moved up North (did the contract include a shovel and a snowblower?).
In all seriousness, we'll miss Gesicki's honesty and he was a good teammate. How much will Miami miss his pass-catching prowess?
Durham Smythe, Eric Saubert and Tyler Kroft are competent blockers and catchers.
But it will be even more fascinating to see how converted receivers Tanner Conner and Elijah Higgins do. Conner should have a leg up with a year of learning the offense and drinking banana peanut butter protein shakes.
Fewer penalties, faster play-calling
McDaniel has pledged to call his plays faster this year. He will be better.
McDaniel wants fewer penalties in 2023. There should be fewer, especially pre-snap.
In all seriousness, McDaniel has a year of wet feet and a year-old belt for his cropped pants.
McDaniel is never going to change who he is. But he'll surely make a few tweaks to the plan in an effort to make a positive step as a program.
Joe Schad is a journalist covering the Miami Dolphins and the NFL at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram and Twitter @schadjoe. Sign up for Joe's free weekly Dolphins Pulse Newsletter. Help support our work by subscribing today
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins' What To Watch: Upcoming spring camp