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Football returns to the front burner today

At approximately 2:45 p.m. on Friday the Dolphins can get back to thinking about football. Thank you, Jesus!

After a couple of weeks that weren't necessarily all about football, but rather raised issues about sensitivity and arrogance and vision, we get back discussing football today. Dolphins coaches this afternoon will take eight draft picks, maybe eight or nine undrafted free agents, maybe a dozen tryout players, and some others onto the field for an afternoon practice.

So let's discuss football, shall we?

First thing to look for today? Mike Nolan, the Dolphins new defensive coordinator.

I'll be interested to hear about his style on the field ... Is he a yeller or a mild-mannered teacher? I'll be eager to hear what position he pays closest attention to on defense. Remember Nick Saban used to concentrate almost exclusively on the defensive backs?

I'll be interested to hear how exactly the Dolphins line up on defense. Yes, I know it's just a rookie camp but the alignments should be the same as the ones Nolan will or has already installed for the veterans.

As so many of Miami's draft picks were defensive players, the focus is going to have to be on defense.

Can Koa Misi cover? After playing mostly defensive end in college, is he really a fine OLB candidate like the Dolphins believe he is? (Let's hope!)

Is Reshad Jones instinctive enough, smart enough, agile enough, fast enough to play free safety? Or is he more of a strong safety?

Is A.J. Edds really as good in coverage as everyone says. Remember he had like 78 interceptions in college (actually 7) so this is supposed to be his ticket to plays in the nickel package.

Does weakside linebacker Chris McCoy have the explosive ability to pass-rush that the Dolphins say he does? Where does he get it from? Is it strength, an amazing first step, great technique, what?

Can Nolan Carroll stay healthy? And is he a viable candidate to compete for spot on the roster as a fourth cornerback or perhaps a special teams contributor? Can he catch punts and kickoffs well enough that he might become a return option?

Finally, Jared Odrick will be on display. It's hard to judge what a lineman can do in a minicamp setting. I'm not that sophisticated. Tony Sparano is that sophisticated. He'll find something interesting about Odrick, learn something, tweak something.

How about that? Football.