Dolphins done talking, but still exude quiet confidence
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said, "I believe we're going to do some great things this year."
Wide receiver Brian Hartline, who rarely indulges in the art of adding false ostentatiousness to the words, also held confidence the Dolphins had a “championship offense” and the best receiving corps in the AFC East.
"On paper, we do," added Hartline. "If not, who's better in the AFC East than us, on paper? I don't think anybody's better than us."
Although the chatter still hasn’t completely died out, Dolphins players adopted a more conciliatory tone by the end of minicamp, two weeks ago. But the Dolphins still maintain a low-key confidence in everything they say or do.
It’s still not clear whether the players stumbled across this calmer approach on their own, or the order came from above. But at this point, what’s more important is that the Dolphins believe they’re a better than last year’s team – both athletically and mentally – with less than a month remaining in training camp. Perhaps this new found quiet confidence has given the Dolphins the reassurance that they no longer need to continue to boast about their team this offseason.
"I can't make any predictions because at the end of the day, any given Sunday anything can happen," Pouncey said in an updated overview of the team. "But we do have a team that's ready to win football games this year and hopefully make it to the playoffs."
The Dolphins seem mostly satisfied by what they’ve seen during minicamp earlier in June. Still a few questions remain, such as the pass protection from the running backs, especially if quarterback Ryan Tannehill is going to have the time to stretch the field with newly acquired deep threat – receiver Mike Wallace – or a chance to utilize tight end Dustin Keller.
Although second-year tailback Lamar Miller showed some sparks in his rookies season, rushing 250 yards on 51 carries, he still hit a few bumps on the way, mostly in the pass protection. Neither had the Dolphins been impressed by fullback Jorvorskie Lane in that regard. The Miami Dolphins signed former Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez this offseason and are still among the top runners for ex-Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach. But Ryan Tannehill said he believes Jorvorskie Lane has made improvements and possess the natural ability to run the ball.
"He's picking up pass protections," said Tannehill.
Despite what the offense has showcased in terms of pass protection during OTAs and minicamp, coach Joe Philbin said an official analysis can be only made one players put the pads on for training camp.
"It's hard to get a tremendous feel for where you are in the running game on either side of the ball," said Philbin. "So I think that is something that we need to pay close attention to when it gets closer to camp."