The Miami Dolphins will wrap up their second week of training camp with a scrimmage under the Friday night lights of FIU Stadium. Position battles are waging. Players are trying to prove they deserve a roster spot. With his roster spot already guaranteed, free agent tight end Jordan Cameron is out to prove that the Dolphins got the Pro Bowl tight end he was in 2013.
The Dolphins acquired Cameron back in March in what turned out to be a crazy free agency period for the team. First the reports were Cameron resigned with the Cleveland Browns, the team that drafted him, and then all of a sudden he was a Miami Dolphin.
His signing was followed by mixed feelings. The Dolphins had just lost fan favorite and ascending player Charles Clay in a free agency stare down with the Buffalo Bills. Cameron missed six games last year with his third concussions in two years. I briefly started getting flashbacks of former Dolphins quarterback Trent “Noodlehead” Green floppin’ around Sun Life Stadium. (In all seriousness, concussions are no joke and steps need to be taken to protect the players. Like the Dolphins are doing with the sports science department.)
But then you look at Cameron’s 2013 numbers, the year he went to the Pro Bowl, and he’s clearly an upgrade. He had 80 catches for 917 yards and 7 touchdowns. His 80 receptions were the third-most among NFL tight ends and 917 receiving yards were the second-most by a tight end.
"Jordan's a little bit bigger than Charles," teammate and fellow tight end Dion Sims said. "They're both great players. They're their own players. They're in different categories. But I think it's really a size matchup with Jordan. He creates mismatches."
When asked at his introductory press conference if he thought he could return to Pro Bowl form he said emphatically,
He went on to say, “The system is similar to the system I had two years ago when I played on the Pro Bowl. And a lot of the success you have in the NFL is the system you’re in and the quarterback and those two things are here.”
Cameron has cited multiple times that the quarterback and the system were the two primary reasons why he decided to join the Dolphins.
"It's a vertical attack," he said. "You're really running routes down the field. You get to use your speed and your athleticism to get open. I think that's what I do best."
And I think it’s going to be precisely because of the quarterback why Cameron will be successful in 2015. When Cameron went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 he played with three different quarterbacks; Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer. Not exactly world beaters. This year Cameron will have stability at the quarterback position.
Head coach Joe Philbin likes what Cameron can bring to the offense.
"He's got good hands, I like his size, I think he's got a good understanding and I think he feels good about the system that we have here and how we can utilize him in some of the passing concepts that we typically utilize with our tight end."
The only problem I have with Cameron is his blocking; pass and run. He was ranked 43rd and 54th respectively out of 64 tight ends in 2013 according to ProFootball Focus. (2013 was his last full season.) Fortunately for the Dolphins, Sims is an excellent blocker. Cameron’s roll is going to be to stretch the field and get open in the red zone.
"In my mind I know I can play," Cameron said, "I know I can be a Pro Bowl player. I'm trying to help this team win. Right now I'm not going to set any goals and tell you what I'm going to do in the season. Right now I'm getting better at my craft and that's the only thing I'm focusing on."
Oh and about those concussions? Cameron has this to say about those,
“If it was a concern for me I wouldn’t be here right now.”
This story was written by Carlos A. Hernandez. Follow him on Twitter: @LosDez
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