Training camp officially begins tomorrow, and there’s a ton to be excited about if you’re a Miami Dolphins fan. Here are five offensive players I’m excited to watch progress throughout training camp and the 2022 NFL preseason.
Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa
some have pointed out that this 'oNE thROw wAs FrOm A FEw SeAsONs AgO,' so let me post these two throws from 2021. these throws were the longest of tua tagovailoa's career, and FWIW, both throws ranked #1 in air yards for that week. [ wk 11: 52.3 and wk 17: 55.08] @nextgenstats https://t.co/rHR4FiMViA pic.twitter.com/yBfPEngAUa— josh houtz (@houtz) May 11, 2022
This season is a make-or-break year for Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. And with the right coaching staff in place and an offseason where the team made massive moves to support their young quarterback, it seems like only a matter of time before the gunslinger from Tuscaloosa shows up once again. Over the next few weeks, I want to see Tua’s leadership on full display. I want him to earn that GIANT “C” patch and be one of the more vocal players on the field. I want to see highlight plays that showcase Tagovailoa’s new-and-improved arm strength. And watch his chemistry grow with Tyreek Hill, Cedrick Wilson, and some of the newer guys – while continuing to build what he already had with Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and Lynn Bowden. The sky is truly the limit for Tua Tagovailoa in 2022. But it’s all up to Tua whether or not he takes that next step.
(Spoiler Alert: He Will)
Wide Receiver, Lynn Bowden Jr.
Speaking of Lynn Bowden, he’s another player I’m intrigued to watch these next few weeks in camp. Bowden was one of my favorite players two years ago – I even wrote an article breaking down why he will have a big season in 2021. (Womp, Womp) Bowden’s versatility alone makes him an intriguing player. He can play quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. That doesn’t make him Deebo Samuel, but then again, maybe it does. Miami’s receiving corps got much better this season, and with only a limited number of spots, the time is now for LBJ to show this coaching staff and the world what he’s capable of. I believe he makes the 53-man roster, but I’ve been wrong before.
Center, Connor Williams
Cowboys’ primary backup center to begin season may be a starter. Saw some of this in spring: LG Connor Williams is taking reps at center. He could slide over in event of a Tyler Biadasz exit. The top reserve guard (perhaps Connor McGovern) would then enter at LG. pic.twitter.com/ofJ9QMpsT1— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) July 24, 2021
Leave it to the Dolphins to sign a very good left guard and immediately transition him to center – a position he never played in a real NFL game. Sure, he spent time taking reps at center in Dallas, and maybe there is something to it. But for this offensive line to be better than last season’s, the team will need to get much better play at the center position. Is Williams ready to be a starting center in the league? Is he prepared to call protections and get the line set pre-snap – while working in unison with the rest of the offensive line in a zone blocking scheme? I don’t have that answer, but do know he was a really good left guard.
Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill may be arguably the most explosive player the Dolphins have ever had, and he hasn’t even stepped on the field yet in a real game. That’s how good he is and how insane the expectations are after he signed a contract that made him the highest-paid wide receiver in football. Hill has been saying all the right things this offseason and instilling faith in his young quarterback. He’s been a leader both on and off the field. I want to see ALL the highlight plays and hear from the beat writers in attendance how ELITE he is and game-changing speed will be in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Expectations are huge for the Dolphins this season, and a large part of that is because the team landed Tyreek Hill.
Right Tackle Austin Jackson and Left Guard Liam Eichenberg
A lot of the Dolphins’ success this season will come down to how well some of Miami’s young offensive linemen transition into Mike McDaniel’s new outside zone run scheme. The two I’m most intrigued by and believe will either make or break Miami’s season are Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson. Jackson is currently slated to play right tackle, arguably the most important position with a left-handed QB like Tagovailoa. I’m on record as saying that should be Robert Hunt’s spot, sliding Jackson inside, but I get why they wouldn’t want to play musical chairs — kinda.
Eichenberg is currently slated to play left guard, sandwiched between Terron Armstead and Connor Williams. Will these two linemen take the next step, solidifying Miami’s offensive line for years to come — or at the very least — show some type of promise? That’s what I’m hoping to see over the next few weeks.
What players are you most excited to watch over the next few weeks? Do you think Tua Tagovailoa will take the next step in 2022? How will his chemistry with Tyreek Hill and Miami’s other wide receivers grow? What is your biggest concern with the offensive line? Let us know in the comments section below!