Without pads and going full steam, it’s easy for a player to shine in OTAs. After all, these practices are designed to work on technique rather than play at game speed. Teams work to tweak bad habits from college and the season before. With the Miami Dolphins being bounced out of the first round of playoffs, OTAs will be they work on the mistakes that haunted them throughout last season. There are a few names being tossed around so far at camp, so who’s made the most noise so far?
Lawrence Timmons –
The former Pittsburg Steeler knows all about being on teams that can go deep in the playoffs. The Steelers are usually in contention every year so Timmons has been there before. Having a veteran who can bring not only bring competitiveness but work ethic will push younger guys to get better. His professionalism and drive should rub off on guys pushing for a roster spot.
Devante Parker –
If rumors are true that Parker is developing his competitiveness, the opponents better watch out. The young receiver has had his moments of greatness, now it’ll be his time to shine. Parker can be Miami’s version of Dez Bryant if he’s found his passion for the game. Throughout practice, it’s been said that he’s found a bit of swagger in his game and if that’s true he’ll go from bust to boom real quick. Every player walks a thin line between potential and talent and Parker seems to know which side of the line he wants to be on this season.
Xavien Howard –
Howard shot up into a starting role last season early on then the injury bug bit. So far this offseason he looks back to his old form and healthy. Miami could use that extra boost in the secondary and Howard can be their guy. Early in OTAs, he got glowing reviews from fellow teammate Reshad Jones. “I think Xavien can be one of the top corners in this league.”, Jones said. That’s high praise from someone who’s considered one of the game’s best safeties. Howard could be Miami’s future a lot sooner than later if he continues to turn heads.
Charles Harris –
Harris is another guy who wants to be on the field taking advantage of every opportunity he has. His desire to learn the game has shown up already. He’s already impressing teammates with his quick first step. His battle with last year’s stand out rookie Laremy Tunsil ought to be something to watch throughout the preseason program. Harris has hit the ground running as a rookie scooping up tips from everyone he can ask. If his desire to learn transitions to the field, he’ll be the next explosive defender for the Dolphins.
Jay Ajayi –
Ajayi was the breakout star the Miami Dolphins needed him to be last year. Now he’s right back to being the talk of the town. Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen is already praising Ajayi and his growth as a football player. Between being better than he was last offseason and working on his pass catching, Ajayi might hit elite status this season. With how many weapons Miami has on offense, he might not have the productivity but he’ll still be a game changer for Miami.
The Dolphins have had their fair share of talent in the past. However, the one thing they’ve often missed is that drive to be better than they were the season before. So far after OTAs there’s not a playmaker on the field who doesn’t seem to have the hunger to get better. After a surprising season last year, the Dolphins may have worked their way back to relevant. Now the only question is can they take the next step? Mandatory camps are next on the agenda, soon we’ll see how this team will develop their identity.