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The Miami Dolphins answers you seek

Next week is the final exam for the Miami Dolphins players.

The Dolphins will hold its three-day minicamp Tuesday through Thursday, giving the players and coaches a final run of the offense and defense they've installed this offseason.

It is the conclusion of the offseason program, and the final opportunity for starters to cement themselves in their spots, backups to apply heat to the starters, and long shots to catch the coaching staff's eye before training camp opens in late July.

It is also your final chance to learn a little about the team's 90-player training camp roster. The media will be there for all three days - and the Sun-Sentinel will provide you your usual blow-by-blow, play-by-play - so no need to fret.

But before we get to next week's minicamp your instructor handed out a pop quiz on twitter earlier today. You've challenged me on the last two- saying they were easy - so I tightened the screws a little.

Here are the answers in case you're curious to see how you've performed on the Pop Quiz. One follower got nine right, which was impressive. I'd say eight right and you're really for this year's AP course.

Q1: Name the six players competing for the slot receiver roles?

Brandon Gibson, who is still rehabbing his ACL tear, Rishard Matthews, Jarvis Landry, tailback Marcus Thigpen, Damian Williams and undrafted rookie Rantavious Wooten. Armon Binns has played in the slot (back in 2012), but I haven't seen him work inside during these OTAs. Wooten has caught some eyeballs in OTAs and could be pushing for a practice squad spot, if not more.

Q2: Why does Lamar Miller fit this Dolphins offense better than Mike Sherman’s schemes and approach?

Because Miller’s speed allows him to make the stretch runs that fuel the east-west aspect of a spread offense. Miller's better runs last year feature him getting outside the tackles, which is a staple of his skill set. The problem is Miller has to do a better job catching the ball and blocking to be a three-down tailback.

Q3: Which tight ends are traditional, and which tight ends fit the H-back mold?

Dion Sims, Arthur Lynch and Kyle Miller are the traditional tight ends. Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and Harold Hoskins are the H-backs. Clay is clearly a starter. Egnew and Sims are battling for the No. 2 spot, and it appears Lynch and Hoskins are making a move up the depth chart. Hoskins worked with the second-team offense last week. Was that an aberration, or is this undrafted rookie from Marshall impressing the coaching staff?

Q4: Which two players are working as the backup nickel cornerback to Jimmy Wilson?

Jamar Taylor is being groomed as Wilson’s backup at nickel. He played the position some at Boise State. Former Bucs cornerback Anthony Gaitor was signed this month to play the position. I'll allow Jalil Brown to be mentioned since I discussed him being used in the nickel last week.

Q5: What is Bill Lazor consistently asking for during practice?

Lazor is consistently asking for the Dolphins offense to push the "tempo," speeding up the process of everything - getting to the huddle, coming out the huddle, motions, pre-snap reads - in this new offense.

Q6: Why might Koa Misi excel as the Dolphins' new inside linebacker?

Because Misi is reliable and dependable, and typically does exactly what he’s asked to do by his coaches. Misi is the Chad Henne of linebackers. He's very Robotic, and easy to program. If you tell him to do something expect it will be done, which means new linebacker coach Mark Duffner, who is very respected in NFL circles, could make this work.

Q7: What’s the difference physically in Dion Jordan compared to last year?

Jordan, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, has put on at least 15 pounds of muscle, and his shoulder is now stronger. The improvements should help the defensive end defend the run better, but we won't really be able to tell this until the Dolphins put some pads on.

Q8: What is the motivation behind putting players in motion of this new offense?

It allows the offense to read if the defense is in man or zone coverage, and motions could possibly cause a communication/assignment breakdown on defense. Breakdowns are generally what leads to big plays in the passing game.

Q9: What position’s development and depth should make Dolphins fans a bit uncomfortable?

The team’s safety play hasn’t been sharp during OTAs that the media witnesses, and depth behind Reshad Jones, Louis Delmas and Jimmy Wilson is a bit sketchy. Will Reshad Jones regain his 2012 form, or will he remain the lackluster safety he was in 2013. Can Delmas finally stay healthy, and could Wilson push for playing time as a safety by making impact plays in practice? Also, are Don Jones, Michael Thomas and Jordan Kovacs good enough to start in the NFL. Back in 2007 the Dolphins went through seven safeties because of injuries that season. This position need to find at least four safeties this team can count on.

Q10: Name the three backup linebackers who are working inside behind Koa Misi.

Jason Trusnik, Jordan Tripp and Andrew Wilson are the three backups in the middle. Trusnik, a special teams standout, can play any linebacker position, and he'll likely move outside once the 53 is narrowed down, and there are les bodies in camp. Tripps, the fifth-round pick from Montana, is learning to play inside for the first time in his football career. Wilson, who played inside linebacker at Missouri, is presently a practice squad option for the Dolphins.

JUST A HEADS UP to those who are fans of my radio work. I'll be doing a WQAM (560AM) radio show on Saturday from 11-2 p.m. talking South Florida sports, and we'll have Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller on as our guest.

G.G.G.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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