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Five things we learned from the first week of Dolphins’ OTAs

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Tannehill is “back from the dead

We all remember last season when Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sitting in the cafeteria, watching helplessly as his teammates practiced on the field outside. It was a perfect representation of the 2017 season. After all, last season was a disaster without Tannehill at the helm. He is back and ready to go.

During his first press conference in quite sometime, Tannehill appeared to be in good spirits, telling reporters he was “back from the dead”. The entire season’s success rests solely on him and whether or not he can remain healthy after a re-occurring knee injury kept him out of football for the entirety of 2017.

He appears to be back to 100%, as he trotted out to the practice field for the first time in months. No knee brace was present.

In Tannehill We Trust

Xavien Howard + press coverage = shutdown cornerback

Very few rookies come into the NFL and make a seamless transition. It is even more rare to see at the cornerback position, which is why it was no surprise that Xavien Howard had his ups and downs as a rookie. But as we saw towards the end of 2017, Howard has the skill-set to become a true shutdown cornerback in the NFL. And being able to press coverage at the line of scrimmage, has a lot to do with that.

Howard told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

“I was pressing more towards the end of the season,” he said. “I was going to get my hands on the guys and stuff like that. Nothing [with] film. I stayed watching film. So really nothing [big], just changing my technique really. Coaches said they wanted us to put our hands on receivers.”

Although OTAs have just begun, it appears Xavien Howard is ready to take the next step towards becoming one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks.

Raekwon McMillan is going to be a stud

After an unfortunate ACL injury forced Raekwon McMillan to miss his entire rookie season, the team’s projected starting middle linebacker is back and ready to play. McMillan said all the right things during his time with the media and has continued to progress as a leader on and off the field. Several Dolphins’ beat writers reported McMillan was consistently lining players up in the right position, and showed a thorough understanding of Matt Burke’s defense.

Linebacker was a weakness in 2017, but looks to be a stronger unit from top to bottom with a healthy Mcmillan alongside Buckeyes’ teammate Jerome Baker. Rookie linebacker Quentin Poling, Chase Allen, and Stephone Anthony bring added depth to the unit.

Look for Raekwon McMillan to have a significant impact in 2018.

Reshad Jones is very happy with the Dolphins’ selection of Minkah Fitzpatrick

When Reshad Jones met with the media on Thursday, he was very blunt when asked his thoughts on Miami using the 11th-overall pick on safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

“It’s about time”, Jones said.

The addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick in the Dolphins’ secondary will improve the entire defense, and allow McDonald and Jones to do more things in the box. The three safeties could be among the league’s best by season’s end. Although McDonald’s future in Miami is uncertain, Jones and Fitzpatrick should be staples in the secondary for many years to come.

I think I speak on behalf of all Dolphin fans, when I say we hope Reshad Jones retires in Miami.

The CULTURE is real

  • Unlike year’s past, the entire roster was present for the first week of OTAs.
  • Newly acquired wide receiver, Albert Wilson lined up at several positions on offense.
  • Kenyan Drake has bulked up and is ready to take on an added workload in 2018.
  • Jordan Phillips looks “happier” and ready to take the next step in Suh’s departure.
  • Bobby McCain lined up as a boundary cornerback, hinting at a larger role in 2018.
  • Frank Gore continues to impress as a savvy veteran.
  • Tony Lippett is a full-participant.
  • Tannehill and McMillan pushed one another during their rehabilitation back to the football field.
  • Albert Wilson believes he’s the fastest man on the team, and has challenged Kenny Stills and Jakeem Grant to a race in front of the media.

Week two of OTAs begins on Tuesday, and we will have live coverage right here on The Phinsider.