Camp Countdown: Players on the Spot

Training Camp 2008 is scheduled to begin with the first practice on Saturday morning, and it figures to be an intriguing summer for the Dolphins. We take a look at the Dolphins heading into camp by breaking down the team by position with an analysis of the biggest issue at each spot and a projection of the roster battles. This installment looks at the players on the spot.

As one might imagine from a team coming off a 1-15 season, there are quite a few players who will need to step up in training camp for the Dolphins.

QB John Beck: A year after being a second-round pick, Beck already is facing a crucial camp. Face it, if he can't beat out journeyman Josh McCown or rookie Chad Henne this summer, what future does he really have with the Dolphins?

RB Ricky Williams: Williams looked really, really good in the offseason, but his track record always will have many wondering how long it is before he bolts on the team or gets suspended again. There's not a whole lot he can do about it, either, other than going out and performing like he did in 2002 and 2003.

RB Ronnie Brown: Brown is in a delication situation. On the one hand, you hope he can build on his breakthrough 2007 performance, but you also don't want him to rush things and have any kind of setback in his recovery from last year's torn ACL.

WR Ted Ginn Jr.: The question of whether Ginn ever can become a pure No. 1 receiver in the NFL will be out there until he starts producing on a consistent basis. And that starts with a good camp.

WR Derek Hagan: The former third-round pick has been massively inconsistent in his first two seasons, and he might not get many more chances if that doesn't change.

TE David Martin: At the risk of being harsh, Martin was a flop last year after arriving as a free agent from Green Bay. He needs to be impressive in camp, and early in camp, otherwise it's not just his starting job that could be in jeopardy -- but his roster spot as well.

T Jake Long: Anytime you're the first overall pick in the draft, there's going to be a lot of scrutiny. Long represents the big hope for a dominant offensive line in the future, so he needs to become good quickly.

DE Matt Roth: We already addressed Roth's situation a while back, but it bears repeating. He might be a former second-round pick, but Roth also is facing a crucial training camp. He doesn't have the ideal dimensions to play defensive end in a 3-4 and he's probably not quick enough to line up at outside linebacker. Add to that the Dolphins selecting two defensive ends in the first three rounds of the draft, and Roth is under a lot of pressure to perform.

OLB Joey Porter: Porter got off to a very slow start last season, in part because of an August knee surgery and in part because he wasn't used the right way. That's supposed to change this season, which means Porter will be left to do what he does best: rush the passer. He needs to deliver in a big way to help compensate for the loss of Jason Taylor.

ILB Channing Crowder: Crowder always has carried the tag of a promising player, but the truth is he has been far from a difference-maker in his first three seasons. It's time for that to change.

FS Jason Allen: The former first-round pick made some plays at the end of last year, but the jury is still out on exactly what kind of NFL player he can become. He very well could be fighting for a starting job, but at the same time his roster spot is far from locked.

K Jay Feely: Feely is coming off a tremendous season in terms of his field goal kicking, but his outspoken nature doesn't play well with the new regime who would prefer their players -- kickers especially -- to be seen rather than heard. If he struggles in camp, that just might be enough for a change to be made at the position.

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