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2017 Training Camp Preview:TEs

Posted Jul 8, 2017

Players on the roster: Julius Thomas, Anthony Fasano, MarQueis Gray, Thomas Duarte, Chris Pantale.

Offseason transactions: Signed Chris Pantale to a futures contract (Jan. 10). … placed the exclusive-rights tender on Thomas Duarte (March 8) … acquired Julius Thomas in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars (March 9) … signed Anthony Fasano as an unrestricted free agent (March 9) … signed Thomas Duarte to his exclusive-rights tender (April 13).

What stood out in the spring:

John Congemi: It was easy for me to notice the 12-year veteran Anthony Fasano because he was catching everything that was thrown in his direction. Fasano has picked up the new offensive system quickly and should be a great addition both as a catching tight end and helping the in-line blocking for the running game.

Alain Poupart: Let’s face it, Julius Thomas was the signature acquisition of the offseason on offense for the Dolphins and nothing that happened during the offseason program should have dampened the enthusiasm for what he could mean to the passing game. Thomas didn’t waste much time making his presence felt in the meeting rooms and on the field.

Training camp focus:

John Congemi: The big question for me is, can Julius Thomas be the “go to guy” in this offense? Thomas hasn't had much luck lately staying healthy and he seems like the type of player that needs to be one hundred percent to be productive. Hopefully he gets off to a fast start in camp and can sustain that level over the regular season.

Alain Poupart: The Dolphins’ situation at this position appears pretty set with Thomas, Anthony Fasano and MarQueis Gray, so the key in training camp will be for Thomas to continue building chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, a process that began during the spring.

Player to watch:

John Congemi: The one player who has made strides in his overall game is second-year tight end Thomas Duarte. I'm still not completely convinced exactly where Duarte fits in this offense, but at least he's now making plays in the passing game and that alone should allow him to challenge for a roster spot this season.

Alain Poupart: It would be easy to go with Thomas again here, but it also will be interesting to see what kind of progress Thomas Duarte has made since the end of last season. The 2016 seventh-round pick was an effective receiver at UCLA, but he wasn’t ready as a rookie last year to contribute after making the transition to being a pure tight end.