The NFL offseason can seem slow for the average fan. Week 1 just never seems to come fast enough. But for the players inside the building, the offseason is fast-paced and full of challenges. They're learning new packages, meeting new coaches and teammates and settling into new roles and new lockers.
That's certainly the case for Miami Dolphins tackle Isaiah Wynn, whom the team signed Monday.
Wynn joins the Dolphins after spending his first five seasons in New England. The former first-round pick out of Georgia started 40 of his 43 games played with the Patriots and will add an experienced presence in the locker room.
"Definitely the coaching staff and the players, man," Wynn said when asked what attracted him to Miami. "They're definitely building something special, so I mean, who wouldn't want to be a part of it?"
Wynn was born in Tampa, Florida but raised in St. Petersburg and spends a lot of his time there during the offseason. After considering the on-field opportunities coupled with the chance to play closer to home, he said the decision to come to Miami was a “no-brainer.”
As you might imagine, Wynn is very familiar with the Dolphins' squad after spending the last half-decade in the same division. When reminiscing on what stood out from previous matchups with Miami, he mentioned the speed of the pass rush.
"I mean, these guys move and they're all strong," Wynn said. "So it's definitely something I look forward to, to be able to go against them in practice and hone-in on my skills and get better."
One of those pass-rushers he'll be competing with is defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who is looking forward to Wynn's contributions this season.
"Isaiah Wynn, I've had my battles with him," Ogbah said. "He's a good player and a good pickup for us. I'm excited to have him part of the team."
After playing in 16 games in 2020 and 17 in 2021, Ogbah's 2022 season was cut short in Week 9 when he suffered an injury. Now that he's recovered, Ogbah has his eyes set on an impactful 2023 under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
"Right now, I'm still trying to learn all of the plays, different spots and trying to learn the different schemes that he uses," he said. "I'm excited for (Coach Fangio). He's a great defensive mind and coach. I'm just excited to do my part to help this team win."
While Ogbah continues to get back to game-speed, he's also taking on a veteran role in practice, making sure the Dolphins' first-year players are soaking up as much knowledge as possible.
"I would say with these rookies, I think they're just willing to listen, learn and observe," he said. "You will see a little intimidation (in their first week in the building) because obviously they've never done this before and they've never been around a bunch of vets. But I would say they're willing to listen. They're asking questions. They're staying after. We're going through different drills with them. They just want to learn."
Both Wynn and Ogbah are ready to work and ready to help the Dolphins have a successful 2023 season.