It's Thursday - meaning it's time to once again go "three up and three down." For this week's installment, I wanted to talk about story lines. In particular, let's look at which story lines are most interesting heading into training camp and which have been or will be the most annoying.
Check out my list below and then be sure to share your thoughts below.
THREE STORY LINES I'M MOST INTERESTED IN
1. How quickly the rookie cornerbacks rise up the depth chart
Early offseason reports indicated that Sean Smith was really impressing the media - when they got to attend practices, of course. His combination of size, speed, and athleticism has really translated well on the field during minicamps and OTAs. But there's also no contact during these practices. It'll be interesting to see how Smith performs once the hitting goes live.
On the other hand, there haven't been many reports at all (good or bad) about Vontae Davis - the team's first round pick. But Vontae is a very physical corner, which likely means his chance to shine will come once the pads go on.
Meanwhile, Eric Green - the veteran who is competing for either the starting job or the nickelback spot - has been getting burnt left and right during offseason practices. So just how long will Green remain towards the top of the depth chart with two talented rookies breathing down his neck?
2. How Jason Taylor is utilized in Paul Pasqualoni's defense
The return of Jason Taylor has excited Dolphin fans across the nation. He's an icon in South Florida and I'm confident that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. But now the question will become how Taylor will be used. The last time Taylor played in the same defense with Joey Porter, neither really played up to their potential. They are similar players who play basically the same position. And Dom Capers never could seem to find a way to get the most out of both Taylor and Porter in 2007. Taylor will also be 35 years old in September and it's likely that the Dolphins will limit the number of snaps Taylor sees. Training camp will be the first time we really get to see Paul P's plans for using Porter and Taylor together - as well as newcomer Cameron Wake.
3. Chad Henne's development
We are all pretty sure that - as of now - Chad Henne is this team's future quarterback. And it's widely believed that Henne will take over by 2010 (though I'm not as sold on that as some). We know that Tony Sparano made it a point to tell the media he plans on getting Henne as much work as he possibly can during camp and, more importantly, during preseason games. How Henne performs in those games will be watched very closely - perhaps too closely. But expectations are high for Henne - and with good reason, until proven otherwise.
THREE STORY LINES I AM OR WILL BECOME TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT
1. Pat White's inconsistency
All offseason long, we've read in the various practice reports that rookie QB Pat White has been erratic throwing the football. Most often, we've read reports of his throws being too high. Generally, high passes are a sign of "over-throwing." Could it be that White has been too pumped up and is pressing to impress his new team? It's feasible. But let's not freak out over this. White completed 64.7% of his passes at West Virginia. And you don't just lose your accuracy overnight.
2. The "quarterback controversy"
You'll notice that I put this one in quotes. Why? Because there is no quarterback controversy. Chad Pennington is this team's starting quarterback. Period. Now there's a small quarterback competition - meaning of Henne completely outplays Pennington in camp, there could be an early hook for Pennington. But I'm not counting on that. I know a lot of you are just dying to see Henne start in the regular season. But let's not create a controversy that doesn't exist.
3. Brett Favre
No - this one isn't exactly related to the Dolphins. But it's going to be insanely annoying having to hear the "will he or won't he" talk continue until Favre makes up his damn mind. Even worse, if Favre does come back and go to Minnesota, we'll have to hear play-by-play from the media about every little thing Brett does. "Brett Favre just put on his Wranglers, took some Prilosec, and applied some Sensodyne so he could drink some milk." Guess what? I don't care - and unless you're a Vikings fan, you probably don't care, either!