2020 Miami Dolphins Training Camp: Opening Week

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As we kick off the start of the 2020 Dolphins training camp, many questions remain for fans. The Miami Dolphins have yet to officially announce if fans will even be allowed to attend regular-season games or if there will only be a limited capacity.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores answered questions, via Zoom, from the local media to address questions surrounding the season and the team.  And of course, the health of their first-round draft pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, was at the top of everyone’s list.

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Miami Dolphins lay the foundation on day one of the 2020 NFL Draft

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft with three picks in the first round, the Miami Dolphins were poised to make some noise. There were rumors swirling all day about the Dolphins moving up to secure a quarterback or offensive lineman. But, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier held fast.

The Miami Dolphins didn’t flinch and grabbed Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. Despite his season ending hip injury he suffered in November 2019, Tagovailoa has been on the Dolphins radar all year.  Grier said the team felt comfortable with his health. Coach Brian Flores then added that Tagovailoa was the guy they felt at the end of the day would be the best fit for the Dolphins.

After landing their quarterback, the Dolphins went back to work.  Having a left handed quarterback meant that Miami would need a right tackle to protect his blind side. With the 18th pick Miami went with USC tackle Austin Jackson.  Interesting fact, in the summer of 2019 Jackson donated bone marrow to his younger sister. Which already speaks volumes of the young man.

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Dolphins GM Chris Grier talks draft.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

As the 2020 senior bowl comes to a close, the Miami Dolphins took full advantage of being able to speak and watch several draft prospects as they prepare for the 2020 NFL draft.

With the Dolphins holding 3 picks in the first round, the pressure is on Dolphins GM Chris Grier and this staff to deliver. After 10 years of mediocracy, Dolphins fans have voiced their displeasure to owner Stephen Ross, who all but admitted that this year was about stripping and rebuilding a winning franchise.

We had a chance to speak with Chris Grier in between day 2 practices at Ladd Pebble Stadium. I was one of many looking for answers to exactly what positions the Dolphins could be scouting. And if you know anything about Chris Grier, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to play poker with him.

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The new Ryan Tannehill?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When Ryan Tannehill was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2012 draft, fans were very excited. Then, after a few years, that excitement started to wear off as most thought Tannehill wasn’t living up to his promise.

Fast forward to 2019 and he is on a new team and playing fantastic football. The questions become; was the problem in Miami Tannehill’s ability, was it coaching, and what does the future hold for him?

Tannehill played for Miami for 7 seasons but missed 2017 due to injury. In that time, his best years came in 2014 and 2015 when he threw for over 4,000 yards a season. He was a consistently average quarterback, dependable, but not the star many thought he could be, leading the team to the playoffs just one time.

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Panthers fire Rivera – Who’s next?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

In news that shocked me this week, the Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.If a guy can coach a team to 5-7 while their star quarterback (Cam Newton) has been out since week 2, is any coach safe in this league?

It seems as if once one team fires their head coach before the season ends, a couple of others decide to follow suit. Who else could be on the head coach chopping block before the end of the year?

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Week 11 AFC East matchup: Dolphins vs Bills preview

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The Miami Dolphins are riding a two-game winning streak and about to face there in-division rival, the Buffalo Bills.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who has always stayed committed to saying this team is being coached and rebuilt to win. There is no “tank” in this man’s mind what-so-ever. Never has been.

Being around Coach Flores after several games told me, without question, that all the tank talk was media-driven. He has made it clear time and time again that his goal is to win here…eventually. He knows how this process works, and right now you are seeing this first hand.

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Midterm Review: the 2019 NFL’s eight “Rookie” head coaches

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.

In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.

Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…

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Dolphins hang tough against Bills in Fitzpatrick’s return

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

One week after bringing the Dolphins so close to their first victory of the season, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took the field for his return trip back to Buffalo. Fitzpatrick, who is very familiar with the setting as he played for Buffalo during the 2009-2012 season, understands how hard it can be on opposing teams to play here.

He was asked after the game on how it was playing here.

Coming back here, what’s this cauldron like? It there a level of comfort to come back here because you started out here, or discomfort because of the noise? “It was a strange feeling every time I’m here and it’s a strange feeling walking into the stadium – there’s so many good memories. This place is so special to me as a player and as an opponent I guess, but it brings up great memories and a lot of memories that carry a lot of weight and emotion to them.”

Dolphins came in looking to build off some of their success during last week’s near-win and, hopefully, with Fitzpatrick bringing some of his “FitzMagic” back into this offense.

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Dolphins drop a close one to Redskins.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

All tanking talk aside, the Dolphins actually put themselves into a position to win their week 6 game. With under a minute to go in the fourth quarter, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game with the Dolphins down by 7. He did so after starting QB Josh Rosen was benched in the 3rd quarter.

Fitzpatrick drove the Dolphins down the field to a potentially tying touchdown. With only seconds left. Fitzpatrick found wide receiver DeVante Parker in the back of the end zone. With no hesitating what so ever. The Dolphins offense stayed out on the field, setting up for a potential winning 2 point conversion.

By the reaction of the crowd at Hard Rock Stadium, all seemed on board with the call. As Fitzpatrick took the snap and tried to hit running back Kenyan Drake on a quick slant. Drake bobbled and dropped the ball, failing to get the 2 points and the win.

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The Miami Dolphins: A Tale of Two Halves

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens

All too familiar for Miami Dolphins fans. Instead of quoting A Tale of Two Cities, however, we have the tale of two halves. It’s a question that many Dolphins fans are asking.

What exactly happens to this team at halftime?

Through the first two-quarters of play, the Dolphins have been managing to score a few points. They’ve been putting some drives together, letting quarterback Josh Rosen find his rhythm. They even manage to keep the game close until halftime. At times they stayed somewhat competitive and looking like they might come out of the locker room and continue to build off that success.

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