Peter King reported earlier today that Miami Dolphins' training camp has been the fastest he's seen this offseason. That's certainly sweet music to the ears of Dolphins fans who had to endure the plodding, neanderthal-level offensive game plans of the Tony Sparano era, but it also begs the question of which Miami receivers will step up and stand out in Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman's breakneck scheme.
This current group of Dolphins wideouts are indeed a talented, unsung group on paper, but none of them scream "killer, quicksilver threat" in the West Coast scheme. Those of you currently reading this and thinking, "Isn't the WCO very much a "pick your poison" piece of offensive strategy at the receiver position?" are absolutely right, but it's a bit difficult to feel good about recreating a Packers-like offensive scheme without a Greg Jennings-type receiver in place. And maybe Jordy Nelson excels as a result of the Pack's offensive structure, but you can't argue with the numbers he posted in 2011. Could Brian Hartline experience the same uptick in production now that Philbin and the West Coast offense are in town? Maybe, but it's probably unlikely.
What about Chad Johnson? Will he be in 2005 or 2011 form? If it's the former, Miami's offense could get interesting this fall. If it's the latter, fans will be begging for the Dolphins to draft a receiver or two early in 2013 (and they might do that regardless of Johnson's output this season).
The Dolphins do, on the other hand, have a James Jones-type receiver in Legedu Naanee, who provides Miami with a blistering fast, big-bodied receiving option. Naanee isn't anything close to a No. 1-level threat, but he won't have to be in this offense. As long as his hands are sure and his routes are diamond-hard precise, he'll make a splash in his first season as a Dolphin.
And then there's Davone Bess, who stands to gain the most in the Dolphins' horizontal-minded passing attack. Bess is an elite route-runner and a conversion machine on third down, and while his game lacks some pop in the play-maker department, he's a receiver who will slaughter any defense that sleeps on his abilities.
Dolphins fans could also see considerable contributions from Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Julius Pruitt and rookies B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews and Jeff Fuller (if they make the final 53).