Training camp is the best part of the offseason, it's the part where actual football is so close you can taste it, and it gives an excellent preview and sneak peek into what the team you root for will be able to do once the season starts. But until then, there's really nothing to do but examine the roster on paper.
And so we shall.
We'll go position by position until we run out, but by then training camp will literally be just around the corner, and I'll start my usual routine of giving daily updates as the team goes through their practices. Make sure to follow me @LuisDSung on Twitter for those updates.
But enough about that, let's get started with the preview, and we're starting where the majority of the free world spends 99.9% of the time focusing on: the quarterback position.
The time for questioning Ryan Tannehill's future as the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback should be over, but naturally, this is still not the case for some fans of the team.
Since the arguments defending Tannehill and explaining why he's been given a hard time in his first five seasons as an NFL quarterback have been stated ad nauseum over the past several weeks, I won't bore everyone with the story. What I will say is that they are valid and all but one sign points to Tannehill having his best season ever in 2017.
In his first season with Adam Gase as his head coach, Tannehill set career-highs in completion percentage (67.1), yards per attempt (7.7), and of course that ever so popular statistic: passer rating (93.5). He also could have potentially reached greater numbers in total yards, but his season-ending knee injury limited him to only 13 games.
But the uncertainty regarding Tannehill's durability after the knee injury is essentially the only red flag that's left for the 28-year old QB. He's proven to be able to throw the deep ball effectively, reaching an astonishing 61% completion percentage on throws that traveled more than 20 yards in the air, which was second to only the Raiders' Derek Carr in 2016.
So what should be expected from Tannehill in 2017? Well, with any luck, his numbers will go up due to simply playing all 16 games, and with the return of his best weapons along with a few new ones, the sky's the limit for the former Texas A&M alumnus. He was playing some of his best football under Gase before he got hurt, and it's now time for him to pick up where he left off.
Is it even possible to talk about Matt Moore without bringing up the constant outcries by those few remaining Tannehill detractors who insist that the former 2011 team MVP would be a much better option as the starting quarterback than Tannehill?
Well the answer is yes, but I did it anyway, so now it's out of the way regardless.
Moore is entering his 11th season in the NFL, and will be 33 come August 9th. After Tannehill went down with his knee injury, it was Moore who got the call to hold down the fort, and he did an excellent job, helping the Dolphins finish the season 2-1 in his three starts, and racking up eight touchdowns as opposed to three interceptions.
He's a gunslinger and one of the best backups in the NFL, and after his performance last season filling in for Tannehill, there's no more questioning his worth to the Dolphins. He is and likely will be the backup in Miami for the foreseeable future, and Moore has even stated that he is perfectly content with that role.
Next we have Brandon Doughty, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft as head coach Adam Gase's "pet project," similarly to the way Joe Philbin treated Pat Devlin for many years during his tenure as the Dolphins head coach.
As a former star at Western Kentucky, Doughty showed potential in camp and in the preseason, gaining praise from coach Gase for being able to find completions where even he didn't see any. However, he wasn't able to gain enough trust in his rookie season to gain an active roster spot after the loss of Ryan Tannehill, as the team instead signed free agent T.J. Yates to backup Matt Moore.
Now though, Doughty is more seasoned and will have another chance to prove himself in camp and the preseason. Though it's unlikely he'll be able to overtake Moore as the team's primary backup after Moore's 2017 performance, anything is possible, and Doughty's accuracy and instincts could earn him a spot on the active roster, and certainly a practice squad slot if nothing else.
David Fales fills out the final spot on the roster as the team's fourth quarterback and is likely nothing more than a training camp arm.
Though he does have a connection with Adam Gase going for him, as he played under him in Chicago while Gase was the acting offensive coordinator. That likely won't go very far for him though, as he doesn't have a particularly impressive resume.
He'll likely be a scout team arm in camp and might be able to push Doughty for a third-string spot, but there won't be much to see from Fales.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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