Camp Battles – LB

Oh yeah!!!  This is the unit that has me excited, because we haven’t had good play at MLB in a while, and this year, Raekwon McMillan is back and ready to be the tackling machine we have missed.  I’m not going to count T.J. McDonald, or Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Reshad Jones in this article, but we know they all will be rotating in on passing downs and basically playing nickel LB, whether they officially call it that or not.  These 2 things, Raekwon being there to stop run plays, and the combination of the safeties and LB Jerome Baker in coverage make me feel much more confident about our defense going forward.   The need for Kiko Alonso to be the guy in coverage is now over, and the Dolphins will be in better hands for it.  We’ve seen enough of him unsuccessfully chasing players catching footballs and being a good 5 yards behind them.

We currently have 10 LB’s on the roster, but once we get down to the serious cuts, we’ll probably have only six remaining.  Let’s look at what we have, and who I think sticks, and who I think doesn’t.

Kiko Alonso – LB  6’3 239  28YO

Alonso has been a steady performer the Dolphins.  He played and started in 15 games in 2016, and all 16 games in 2017.  Although he struggles in coverage, he’s been a good player for us.  Last year Alonso finished with 115 total tackles (79 solo), along with 2 sacks and 2 FF’s.  Kiko will be playing mostly on the weak side which I think is exactly where he belongs.  In 2016, he had the huge INT and TD return for 60 yards.  I think he’s a little under appreciated here, but he’s been a solid, dependable player.

____________________________________________________

Raekwon McMillan – LB  6’2 248  22YO

Raekwon was injured in the season opener covering the first punt of the year as he collided with teammate Deon Lacey.  He tore his ACL, but he is now fully recovered and ready to take the reins of this defense as the defensive signal caller, the MLB.  The big 250 LB ran a 4.6 40 at the combine, and he had a very nice career at Ohio St.  I think McMillan will be the difference maker in this LB corps.  Last year Chase Allen and Mike Hull filled in some, and while Allen flashed some, I don’t think he made the impact that McMillan will for us this season.  He’s already shown he’s ready as even early in practices in OTA’s, McMillan was adjusting the defense and putting players in the appropriate position.

____________________________________________________

Stephone Anthony – LB 6’3 245  26YO

The SLB is less set in stone than the WLB and MLB spots are.  At the moment, Stephone Anthony is manning the SLB spot, but he may face some competition from rookie Jerome Baker, and possibly even Chase Allen.  The former 1st RD pick (#31) of the New Orleans Saints started out as a MLB, but the Saints coaches felt the strain of the mental aspects of the game lessened his play, so they tried to work him at OLB, but after a promising rookie season, his play fell off and then so did his playing time, which made him expendable for a 5th RD pick last season.  He will be given every chance to win the job, but he’s going to have to show a little something, because the 5th we spent on acquiring pales when compared to the 3rd we spent on Jerome Baker.  This may be the last chance for Anthony to be a starter.

____________________________________________________

Terrence Garvin – LB  6’3 242  27YO

Garvin is basically a ST’s standout.  He can also provide depth, but Garvin’s meal ticket is his special teams prowess.  Garvin has played for the 3 NFL teams, and at each stop, he’s been the ST’s ace.  Garvin was signed in 2013 by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an UDFA.  He played 3 seasons for the Steelers, and then was picked up by the Redskins in 2016.  Last season he played for the Seattle Seahawks.  Garvin has started only 4 games in his 5 year career.

___________________________________________________

Mike Hull  – LB  6’0 235  27YO

Hull was signed as an UDFA here in MIA in 2015.  Hull appeared in only 3 games as a rookie in 2015, but played in all 16 games in both ’16 and ’17, with 4 starts.  Hull plays special teams, so he that’s where his value is, plus he can play MLB in a pinch, but just don’t expect a lot.  He will continue to be a special teams player and a backup if he makes the cut.

__________________________________________________

Jerome Baker – LB  6’1 229  21YO

Baker was our 3rd RD pick (#73) in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Baker now gives us 2 LB’s drafted from Ohio State (Raekwon McMillan).  His strengths are Kiko Alonso’s weakness, but Kiko’s strength is Jerome Baker’s weakness.  Kiko is tough playing the run, while Baker struggles to beat and shed blocks in the run game, and gets wiped out too often.  Baker’s strength is pass coverage, where he is a bit above average in that regard, and that’s Kiko’s weak point, he doesn’t cover well.  A combo of these 2 players would be ideal, but Baker could eventually replace Kiko on the weak side, or he can also displace Stephone Anthony on the strong side.  In order to do either of the two, Baker is going to have show more toughness beating blocks and making tough tackles, and continue to show development as a coverage LB.  It’s likely Baker is more of a depth player and ST’s player his rookie year, but a strong showing in TC and preseason games could change that quickly.  He also will likely get to play some nickel or dime LB if he proves competent in the preseason

_________________________________________________

Chase Allen – LB  6’3 250  25YO

Allen was signed in 2017 as an UDFA.  Allen appeared in all 16 games, and was forced to start 4 games due to injuries (McMillan) and cuts (Maualuga).  Allen definitely flashed some ability finishing with 33 total tackles (24 solo) along with a FF.  He will continue to be a ST’s player, and can provide adequate depth at any of the LB positions.

_________________________________________________

Quentin Poling – LB  6’1 235  24YO

Poling was Miami’s 7th RD pick in the 2018 NFL draft (#227).  He is another athletic player, somewhat in the mold of Jerome Baker, but Poling played at Ohio, not Ohio State.  He’s a decent cover LB, and likes to chase and tackle.  At Ohio, Poling made 43.5 tackles behind the LOS, in addition to 18 sacks, and 7 INT’s.  He will have to continue to make those type of plays in the preseason to make the cut.  The best chance for Poling to make it would be if the Dolphins don’t see enough from Stephone Anthony, which is a possibility.  Right now I’d give him an outside shot, but if Hull or Anthony or Allen are cut, that could give Poling the in.

________________________________________________

Frank Ginda – LB  6’0 245  21YO

 

Frank Ginda was signed a week ago as an UDFA.    he was signed right after LB Mike McCray unexpectedly decided to retire from the NFL.  Ginda was a fine player at San Jose St.  Last season, Ginda finished with 173 total tackles (94 solo) which led the NCAA in tackles. He shows good instincts, and always flows to the ball.  He needs to work on shedding tackles, but Ginda is a player.  He’s somewhat of a longshot, but if he can show the same type of play he had at San Jose St, he might be a surprise roster invitee.

________________________________________________

So that’s the LB’s, and again, I’m pretty enthusiastic about this group.  I can’t wait to see Raekwon manning the middle, and I’m encouraged that if Stephone Anthony doesn’t step up his game, the Dolphins have at least 2-3 guys that can replace him and give us something.

 

 

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1,400 Responses to Camp Battles – LB

  1. steveccnv says:

    I dont think we hit anywhere near the O numbers you guys are posting, because the D is going to be really good, so the O won’t need to take much risk. Low scoring the first 2 weeks until our O finds their groove week 3 against the LV Raiders.

  2. steveccnv says:

    Mando has a podcast coming out tomorrow. Hes going to talk about the rookie that’s been the most impressive. Hint: he catches TDs in the redzone.

    I’m thinking Smythe

  3. D says:

    steveccnv says:
    August 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Only 150 -175 yards a game? Is that all, 2400 to 2800 yards on the ground, lol. 3165 is the all time record and that Pat’s team didn’t pass.
    ————————————————–
    Didnt mean every game, just saying i could see us getting that if everything is clicking.

    • D says:

      You are right those as an average thats a bit too optimistic, but i think my receiving/passing number are in the realm of possible, again, if things go according to plan this year. I think though if th defense is forcing a bunch of 3 and outs, the offense by default will have a lot of opportunity to get big numbers because they will hopefully be n the field a lot and we will be dominating TOP

  4. son of a son of a shula says:

    To me the key number for the offense is 25 and that’s being modest. If we average under 25 points a game we’re screwed and I don’t see one of those defenses that’s one of the all time greats. Gotta score and score a lot.

  5. wyoming85 says:

    Ouch!

  6. Mike E. says:

    What’s really impressive about Mike is how quick he is, that 4.1 20 YD shuttle is crazy fast, especially for a 6’6 250.

  7. son of a son of a shula says:

    I just checked and I’ll be able to see the game live on TV. I’m anxious to see a lot of guys especially the rookies.

    • Mike E. says:

      That’s great! You just earned the responsibility of telling us everything play by play!

      • stangerx says:

        You figure Tanny will play one series, but Gesicki should get a lot of play time, least in the 2nd half as the 5th TE on the depth chart. 🙂

  8. wyoming85 says:

  9. 13kvFINS says:

    New RB via Gase explanation, New Training facility @ Hard Rock, and more!!!

    https://www.miamidolphins.com/news/top-news-dolphins-sign-rb-announce-new-facility

    GOFINS!!!

  10. Rockphin says:

    I got stuck on the last page watching a very disturbing video of fingers dancing….

  11. Rockphin says:

    steveccnv says:
    August 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Mando has a podcast coming out tomorrow. Hes going to talk about the rookie that’s been the most impressive. Hint: he catches TDs in the redzone.

    I’m thinking Smythe

    ROFLMAO! Thank you, that was funny. GO SMYTHE!

  12. Rockphin says:

    Can’t get a Smythe jersey yet on the team website.

  13. Rockphin says:

    Ajayi jerseys are still available. They are $59.99……

  14. Rockphin says:

    Landry jerseys are marked down from $149.99 to $89.00. WTF? LOL

  15. son of a son of a shula says:

    Mike, I type to damned slow. By the time I type Drake for 1.8 to the left we will have punted already.

  16. wyoming85 says:

  17. ElephantRider says:

    Rock

    Are those last year’s colors that are marked down?

  18. mf13ss says:

    Didn’t Brian and I TELL Y’ALL about Mike Gesicki?!! Glad to see the rest of y’all falling in line, albeit over a year late to the party!!! 😀
    #PSU

  19. mf13ss says:

    ————
    Didn’t know that Renaldo Hill was one of our Secondary coaches. That’s GRAND for Minkah (from Saban to the Phins)!!! Renaldo, of course, played for Saban back in their Michigan State days… before being reunited in Miami.

  20. wyoming85 says:

  21. mf13ss says:

    Wyoming, Rockphin, and ALL others who post what’s going on in real time,

    THANK YOU! When I’m at work, it’s SO much easier to just come here and read it… rather than go through Twitter timelines and news sites to get the data I’d like to see.

    Y’ALL ROCK!!!

  22. mf13ss says:

  23. wyoming85 says:

  24. 13kvFINS says:

    How much for Baker Teal Jersey 55 ??

    • wyoming85 says:

      Jerome Baker Miami Dolphins Men’s Game Alternate Nike Jersey – Aqua
      $79.99

      • 13kvFINS says:

        Thanks Wyo, (said it before, can’t get info any quicker than here)!!!

        Bout time to retire my White 54, Teal 99, & 13 !!!

        GOFINS!!!

  25. mf13ss says:

  26. Tim Knight says:

    Good to hear a guy like McTyer jumping the depth chart, that makes the competition better. It doesn’t always mean the other guys are playing bad and they’re still in the mix as well.

  27. Tim Knight says:

    Steve, I have a good feeling about the DEF as well. We have talent and depth. Young players are the key to it getting to another level.

    • steveccnv says:

      Could be the reason the O looks bad in camp.

      • Tim Knight says:

        The offense wins some too but I think it would be a bad sign if our offense was tearing the defense up. The offense is getting good competition because of the depth and not just say 5-6 guys on defense.

      • 13kvFINS says:

        Other D’s will have less than a weeks prep for our O..

        Our D has been against our O forever,
        their hip to what every alignment means
        and/or to every shifts purpose,

        while our D is studly to boot !!!

        GOFINS!!!

      • steveccnv says:

        The D also plays like its 3-10 on every play, they just rush the passer

      • D says:

        I am kinda studly thanks for noticing

  28. Randy says:

    You can’t use TC to judge how good or bad either side of the ball is. It’s not real football. Even in a scrimmage, it’s a controlled, managed and orchestrated situation. Look at basic execution and assignment knowledge. That’s about it.

    • Tim Knight says:

      TC is where it starts with fundamentals and mano-a-mano competition. This is when players step up or get left behind. It’s the first look at who is showing up and who is not. By the end of TC and the PS it could change a bit and that factors into the final 53 and the practice squad. I feel this team is deeper than in recent years both on paper and in performance thus far. That could change in a few weeks though. I really want to see the cuts be difficult. Makes for a better team.

  29. Phindog says:

    Rock.. You can go to the pro shop at the Fest and they will customize any Jersey with what you want on the spot…

  30. 13kvFINS says:

    DAMNN, The Browns don’t house or feed their rookies???

    Baker says “”””most position groups do dinners and stuff and make the rookies pay for it, (((but not here, not the Cleveland Browns))””” with a disgusted tone as his next sentence is “””I had to get an RV”””

    Baker Mayfield who didn’t come across as being too happy about it had to buy an RV (that he couldn’t afford pre-signing of contract),
    while brass management seemed kinda pushy about Baker hurrying up and signing…

    Then Browns brass are telling THE NUMBER ONE OVERALL PICK/future face of the franchise aker Mayfield how to go about using the RV’s toilet,
    and that he’ll have to go to Walmart to pick up the toilet tabs that break down the bulk of what’s put in toilet…

    Are you frickenkidding me???
    LMAO!!!

    NO WONDER WHY 14 HATES WHERE HE ENDED UP!!!
    Can you imagine if he had been drafted there???

    “”Yo rookie Landry while you’re out picking up bleach for your hair,
    Howbout picking yourself up some urinal cakes & toilet bleach
    but first go by the septic pumping station”””

    LMAOROF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LIFE IS GOOD IN MIAMI,
    GOFINS!!!

  31. 13kvFINS says:

    HARD KNOCKS

    Made a big deal bout Landry one handed catches, showed a bunch’a MIAMI catches with one hand even though the second hand was totally available, stupid..

    He made a one handed catch in the scrimmage, nothing special, a deflection that happened to hit his hand hanging by his side cuz he thougt it was gonna be a pick

    and the (more than once) phoney ass GM & buncha players act as if he walked on water

    Lot of the coaches seemed phoney, Haley, DC Gregg (Bounty-Gate) Williams,
    Seemed pretty dysfunctional to me

    The one handed bandit himself came off severely phoney in many instances
    as the star of the show… “””We’re blessed with this talent to bless others with, bless’Em””” Musta said bless’Em 100 times, and in most cases it was as an intended burn to whom he just beat, then he in WR room giving a weak ass Fuck filled motivational speech, what a KOOK !!!

    Browns facilities, building, furniture, etc pretty fricken weak IMHO!!!

  32. Rockphin says:

    Today is my 49th Birthday and I am not digging it!

    I mean the end of the day I guess it’s better than not turning 49….

  33. olddolphan says:

    ROCK: Congrats on your 49th birthday!! My daughters are 54 and 51 years old, you young pup!!
    ————————-
    The TAMPA BAY TIMES is reporting former Fin Brent Grimes will not play in tonight’s game. NO WORD yet on his “illustrious wife” who has threatened to send a “special message” to the Dolphins franchise.
    Gee, I wonder what that could be???

  34. bookman11 says:

    Happy Birthday Rock!!

  35. son of a son of a shula says:

    Happy Birthday Rock

  36. Rockphin says:

    thanks guys! I made the mistake of making a huge deal out of the office manager’s birthday (against her wishes) back in June and it is payback at the office today. There are Happy Birthday Martin signs printed out and taped all over the office and if I pull one down there is a replacement up in seconds.

  37. steveccnv says:

    Happy birthday Rock, now it’s time to bust your baaawls for telling us it’s your birthday.

  38. Mike E. says:

    Happy Birthday Rock! just 49 eh, that’s cool, still under the big 50, which really doesn’t mean squat anyway. It’s just numbers bud, enjoy your day man!

  39. Rockphin says:

    Thanks for the well wishes guys. I need to go to work now for a few hours. Catch up later.

  40. pheloniusphish says:

    Rock Ages. Or maybe Aged Rock.

  41. Mike E. says:

    NEW BLOG UP!!!

  42. steveccnv says:

    Looks like we’re taking Drew Locke, QB Missouri with the 5th pick in the 2019 draft.

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