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Training Camp Preview: Wide Receivers
By on July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It all starts at 11:00 am on Friday with the beginning of training camp in Davie. This is the time and date players, coaches and fans have been waiting for throughout this long and frustrating off-season. There are plenty of positions to pay special attention to this training camp, but one of the most competitive spots to earn a spot on the roster just might be at wide receiver.

This position all starts with Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess. This combination showed last season how well a number two wide receiver can complement the alpha wide out. Davone’s numbers were career highs across the board, and will stay consistent because of the attention Marshall requires. The flexibility to move Davone inside or outside may give new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll the flexibility to be creative and get Marshall better match ups, especially in the red zone. Marshall’s presence needs to be more dominate in the scoring zone and his run after catch ability needs to re-emerge this year for this offense to be more productive.
 
This is where the position gets very interesting! Brian Hartline will be pushed in training camp all day, every day. He possesses all the speed and ability that the Miami Dolphins are looking for from that position. Injuries held Hartline back last year, as well as the inability to connect on the long ball. There’s not any doubt in my mind that Hartline can stretch the field and make big plays. There’s proof of that in his 14.3 yard per catch average last year, but it only resulted in one touchdown, and that needs to improve. Hartline’s competition will come from one of the new faces in a Dolphins uniform. All of South Florida is hoping that rookie Clyde Gates is what Miami has been missing in this offense. Gates has game changing speed and gears that only a few possess in the NFL. His emergence could lead to success in the vertical passing game and take pressure and coverage away from Marshall. By using Gates to stretch the field, it will open up windows for Bess and run after catch chances for Marshall. It will be a challenge for a rookie to come in and make a meaningful impact, but this is the threat the number three wide out position needs immediately.
 
Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace didn’t see much playing time last season, and will be fighting for a roster spot again this camp. They combined for 12 receptions and you could make the argument that Moore’s explosiveness might give him the edge over Wallace. His 57 yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders last season was the only touchdown reception over 50 yards for the Dolphins in 2010, and his run after catch seperation from the defense was nice to see! It might come down to not only catching the football, but how they can make a positive impact on special teams. This will be a battle between two talented receivers, and not only against each other, but versus the free agents that the Dolphins will sign over the next week or so.
 

Which wide receiver are you most interested in watching during training camp?

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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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Dolphin Dave says:

Davone Bess is my favorite player, but I can’t wait to see how Clyde develops!