Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 7/13/12
To get you fully prepared for the unofficial start of the 2012 NFL season, we're ranking every team from worst to first in the weeks leading up to the opening of training camps. Every day, we'll be previewing two teams, one from each conference, analyzing them from top to bottom and giving you all you need to know to be an informed fan. What's the major storyline heading into camp? What's the key training camp battle to watch? Who's the young guy to watch? Is there any hope? Today's two teams: the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins. No. 26 Miami Dolphins Training camp site: Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla. Training camp start date: July 27 BetOnline preseason Super Bowl odds: 44-1 What I like about you: There's a new regime in Miami. The Dolphins have an upbeat first-time coach in Joe Philbin, a good front seven for a new 4-3 scheme and an offensive coordinator with a track record of NFL success, Mike Sherman. What I dont like about you: There isnt a surefire NFL starter among the three competing for the quarterback job. The defensive backfield has some question marks. And the receivers leave a lot to be desired. Burning question: Does general manager Jeff Ireland have a rabbit in his hat, or is he clueless? There have been a lot of swings and misses in Miami the past few years. Jim Harbaugh was a swing and a miss. Peyton Manning, apparently, was a swing and a miss. And, according to every Dolphins fan under the sun, quarterback Ryan Tannehill the teams first-round draft pick in April is already a swing and a miss. But as someone who has seen Giants fans question Jerry Reese not once but twice before Super Bowl campaigns, Im going to wait before joining the masses in killing Ireland for another confusing albeit quiet offseason. New coach, new quarterback and a few new pieces well see what comes of the 2012 Dolphins and, ultimately, Irelands reputation. Key training camp battle: Right tackle, Jonathan Martin vs. Lydon Murtha: Sure, theres a three-way battle for the starting quarterback job (Tannehill, Matt Moore, David Garrard), and, yes, there are about a dozen receivers in camp trying to grab that No. 1 wideout spot. I like the battle at right tackle. Martin slipped to the middle of the second round, a shocker for many draftniks who had him slotted in as a top-20 talent. Capable of playing either side of the line, Martins a smart player with good pass-blocking capabilities. He wasnt as athletic or as strong as some had hoped and did himself no favors with a few underwhelming pre-draft workouts. Murtha was expected to start a season ago but missed the whole season because of a nagging toe injury. Both being young Murthas in only his fourth year this should be a good one to watch, even if Hard Knocks doesnt give it much airtime. The new veteran in town: Richard Marshall, cornerback: Go wild over Chad Ochocinco if you wish, but the bigger free-agent signing in Miami this offseason was the inking of Marshall to a three-year, 16 million deal. Now entering his seventh season, Marshall had, arguably, his best year as a pro in 2011, starring for the surprising Cardinals defense. A longtime starter in Carolina before Arizona, he likely wont start the season in front of either Sean Smith or Vontae Davis, but he could serve as a veteran presence and key third corner in the D. Versatile and capable of even playing safety if asked to, Marshall will be on the field aplenty. Young gun: Michael Egnew, tight end: Anthony Fasano will start at tight end and serve as the blocking force in running situations, but Egnews an intriguing addition to the Dolphins' offense. He had 90 catches two seasons ago at Missouri and, though he likely wont block a lick, he can cause fits across the middle as one of those new-breed 6-foot-5 pass-catching tight ends. Theres a recent history of big pass-catching Mizzou tight ends struggling in the NFL (Chase Coffman, Martin Rucker), but Egnew could be the exception. Talented kid, and one whom Sherman knows from going up against him in the Big 12. Schrager prediction: I was in the minority on this one, but I actually really liked the Dolphins' 2012 draft and think Tannehill could have a nice future as a pro. Im just not sure 2012 is the season we see him shine. This was a competitive team once it broke out of its early-season slump that started winning some games in October and November, and a lot of the guys who had big years a season ago are back with the right attitudes in 2012. I dont see the Dolphins contending for a playoff spot, but I think theyll be better than expected, regardless of who ends up being the quarterback. Final prediction: Fourth place, AFC East No. 25 Seattle Seahawks Training camp site: Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. Training camp start: July 28 BetOnline preseason Super Bowl odds: 50-1 What I like about you: The Seahawks brought back three key free agents defensive tackle Red Bryant, running back Marshawn Lynch and offensive tackle Breno Giacomini and went and upgraded at quarterback, tight end and in the pass rush. They also have three Pro Bowl defensive backs. Looking top to bottom, they didnt lose any key performers. What I dont like about you: Theres a quarterback controversy and were not even in August. Seattles expecting a lot out of wide receiver Sidney Rice, a guy whos coming off two shoulder surgeries. And the pass rush though improved doesnt exactly have Julius Peppers or Jared Allen coming off the edge. Burning question: So, whos the starting quarterback? A year after inking Tarvaris Jackson to a fairly lucrative deal (and Jackson played well at times last year), the Seattle front office inked Matt Flynn to a three-year, 19 million deal this offseason. Oh, and then the Seahawks drafted a very popular, very capable quarterback when they took Russell Wilson in the third round. They cant all start. Coach Pete Carroll says the best man will earn the gig, but three-way quarterback battles rarely benefit any of the competitors. Key training camp battle: Quarterback, Matt Flynn vs. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Russell Wilson vs. Josh Portis: Portis really doesnt stand a shot at the starting gig, but the coaching staff is enamored with his versatility, and theres a good chance he makes the squad. The excitement and college success Wilson brings to the table reminds me of what Tim Tebow brought to Denver that natural charisma and Wilson can actually throw a football. In the end, though, it will be between Flynn and Jackson. And I have a feeling were going to see both of them over the course of the season. At the very least, it will make for a heck of a battle in July and August. New veteran in town: Kellen Winslow, tight end: Having been traded from the Buccaneers in the offseason, Winslow joins his third team and serves as a wild card in the Seahawks' offense. If healthy and focused, he could be a major target across the middle and a guy whom either Flynn or Jackson (or Wilson?) relies on. He averaged 73 receptions a year the past three seasons in Tampa Bay, despite injuries and spotty quarterback play from Josh Freeman. Winslow never has played on a playoff team but has come close twice. He would love to get there in Seattle. Young gun: Richard Sherman, cornerback: Sherman came out of basically nowhere last season to have a tremendous rookie campaign. Watching some of Seattles better performances on film, Sherman pops off the screen. A more-than-capable cover corner, he has good speed and great ball awareness. Kam Chancellor got a lot of headlines, Earl Thomas is a stud and big Brandon Browner is a fan favorite, but Richard Sherman could be the very best of that young, talented Seahawks defensive backfield. Schrager prediction: There really is a lot to like about the Seahawks their star-studded defensive backfield, the running attack, the home-field advantage with the 12th man but in the end, Im still not sold they have the talent in the front seven on defense or the passing game necessary to compete for the playoffs. Flynn has looked good the two times yes, two times weve seen him in NFL regular-season games, but he hasnt seen anything like the 49ers or Cardinals defenses. The NFC West is always wide open, and theres a chance the Seahawks click this year. But I see them more as a six- or seven-win team than a nine- or 10-win one. Final prediction: Third place, NFC West
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker