DAVIE, Fla. -- New Miami Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron ran down the middle of the field with no fear and made a tough catch in traffic during red-zone drills Monday. Cameron also made a similar catch for a touchdown last week.
With most players, that would be expected and insignificant. But there is an underlying storyline with Cameron that is worth monitoring this season.
Cameron is trying to bounce back from a rough 2014 season where he suffered multiple concussions with the Cleveland Browns. As a result, Cameron missed six games and recorded 24 receptions for 484 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron was a Pro Bowler the season before with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Dolphins signed Cameron to a two-year contract this offseason with hopes that his concussion issues are in the rearview mirror. Head injuries are very difficult to project, but Cameron has made strong strides so far in organized team activities as Miami's starting tight end.
I asked Cameron how close is he to the Pro Bowl tight end he was two years ago. His response?
“Mentally and physically, I feel like I’m there,” Cameron told ESPN.com Monday. “That’s the goal, to be the best I can be physically. Right now I feel great.”
Cameron won’t know for sure until at least training camp. That is when the Dolphins will have some physical contact to test Cameron. Preseason and regular-season games obviously will provide a bigger test, as opponents are trying to deliver big blows over the middle.
But Cameron has been a bright spot for Miami this spring and summer. He is developing a good rapport with Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and made more plays as OTAs progressed.
“I think he feels good about the scheme on offense,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin explained. “He’s done a nice job. ... I like the progress that he’s making. Initially, he had a little bit of [issues] getting lined up, but he’s playing faster and things are clicking better. I’m really glad we have him.”
Miami is counting on Cameron to replace the lost production from former tight end Charles Clay, who signed a five-year, $38 million contract with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. Clay had 58 receptions for 605 yards. But Clay struggled at times in the red zone, evidenced by him having just three touchdowns, which is an area where Cameron can help.
The Dolphins led the NFL in red-zone trips last season but were ranked 21st in red-zone touchdowns. Cameron, who is 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, has done a good job using his size and athleticism.
Cameron could be a sleeper for the Dolphins -- and fantasy football owners -- as long as he stays healthy.
“I’m a bigger body,” Cameron said. “I also can get up there [jump] and make a play. It doesn’t have to be a perfect throw or anything. I can use my frame and get up there and make it happen.”