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Miami Dolphins ready to start OTAs: What to watch

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will officially begin their Organized Team Activities on Tuesday, hitting the practice field for the first time. OTAs have limited media availability, so there will not be a lot of news coming out of the workouts, but we will be able to get a good idea of what is happening when the media is allowed to view the practices.

The schedule for the Dolphins OTAs has them on the field for the first time May 22-24, their second practice period from May 29-31, and their final one from June 11-14. The mandatory minicamp will be June 5-7.

What should we be looking for? Here are five things to watch for this week:

1. Ryan Tannehill

The Dolphins’ starting quarterback will be the obvious first players everyone is watching this week. Will Tannehill be cleared for full activities? Medically, he is expected to be ready, but the coaching staff could look to limit him early in camp. Will his knee be ready? Will he hate answer that same question for the 8 millionth time? Tannehill will be the story throughout OTAs and veteran minicamp, and there is nothing else that can match that.

On a side note, Tannehill finding comfort with his new receiving corps, including Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola, and Mike Gesicki, will be another thing to watch early in the OTA process.

2. Raekwon McMillan

Although, McMillan’s story line could come close. The Dolphins were looking for their rookie second-round pick to man the middle of the defense in 2017. Instead, coverage on the opening kickoff of the preseason ended McMillan’s rookie year, and the Dolphins scrambled to adjust the linebackers. Now, coming into his second season, McMillan is again expected to be the middle linebacker for the team. Will he be fully cleared to play in the OTAs or will the team limit him? Will he be ready to take charge of the defense?

3. Uptempo Offense

This may end up being more of something we see during training camp and the preseason, but the Dolphins are looking to finally find the uptempo offense they have been trying to develop for years. They may not push the tempo early as they look to make sure everyone is on the same page of the playbook, but they should be looking to pick up the pace as early as possible to make the uptempo happen.

4. Rookies

Obviously, the rookies will be something to watch, because they always are. How does Minkah Fitzpatrick fit in with Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald? Will Jerome Baker be practicing with the starting linebackers? How does the kicking competition play out between Jason Sanders and Greg Joseph? Will any of the undrafted free agents jump out as early favorites to make the roster?

5. Backup Quarterback

Brock Osweiler. David Fales. Bryce Petty. None of those names jump out as top-level talent, but all of those players have upside and could claim their position as the backup for Tannehill. One of the three needs to take charge, and starting this week will really be their first chance to do that. The coaches have experience with Osweiler and Fales, so those two likely have the early lead in a competition that could take all summer to decide.