Heading into the NFL offseason, one of the greatest weaknesses on the Miami Dolphins roster remains at inside linebacker. Veterans Elandon Roberts, Duke Riley, and Sam Eguavoen are headed to free agency, leaving only Jerome Baker and Channing Tindall on the active roster. However, one of those players, head coach Mike McDaniel expects to take a ‘big leap’ in 2023.
During his press conference at the 2023 NFL scouting combine, McDaniel was asked about Channing Tindall and what he expects from the second-year linebacker this upcoming season. Here’s what McDaniel said:
“I’m expecting a big offseason and a big jump in Year 2. Channing knows that. He has that expectation for himself. He worked very diligently. But I think it’s a matter of him really being able to visualize and really carry out all assignments within the defensive structure that I know he’s really mandating for himself to take another step. I think he did a great job with the reps that he had, and the scout team, during the year for practice. He did develop. But we’re excited about this next year opportunity to really take advantage of some opportunities he will have.”
Tindall, the former third-round pick out of Georgia, didn’t see the field much in 2022. According to Pro Football Reference, Tindall was on the field for only nine defensive snaps in his rookie season. He was primarily a special teams player, playing 167 snaps (40%) of Miami’s special team snaps. There was that one time they tried to use him as a spy versus the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields, but that didn’t end well.
channing tindall's five defensive snaps vs. pic.twitter.com/KfEyCzBBin— josh houtz (@houtz) November 12, 2022
This season, the defense as a unit looks to improve with new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio running the show. Could we see Tindall take the next step in 2023, as Coach McDaniel expects? I think so.
After all, the player we saw in college looked the part of an NFL linebacker (IMO). Sure, some said he was a little small, but during his time in the SEC, he showed sideline-to-sideline range and played like his hair was on fire. He was a good fit vs. the run and serviceable vs. the pass. He even showed some skills off the EDGE as a pass rusher. Maybe some of this was a testament to his supporting cast, but IMO, the tape from college showed a player that can start on Sundays.
He even showed a little bit of this potential back in the preseason.
#dolphins rookie LB channing tindall recorded 6 tackles, 1 forced fumble, & a sack in saturday's 48-10 win over the eagles. tindall is fast AF & always finds a way to the football. he's also shown he can be a disrupter off the edge and isn't scared to bring the BOOM, like P.O.D. pic.twitter.com/2WuxhpcQNU— josh houtz (@houtz) August 29, 2022
Ultimately, no player is the same, and the learning curve from college to the pros differs. But with the right approach in his second season and Vic Fangio’s guidance, Tindall should take the next step in 2023. And for a Dolphins team that desperately needs playmakers in the middle of their defense, Tindall could be everything they hoped for and more. #YEAROFTHEJUMP
What are your thoughts on Channing Tindall heading into his second season with the Dolphins? Do you think he’s a good fit in Vic Fangio’s defense? Who else should general manager Chris Grier bring in to help Miami’s linebacking corps? Are you watching the 2023 NFL Combine? Let us know in the comments section below!