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We have reached that time of the year Dolphin fans, when pseudo-meaningful football will be played, and huzzah for that! The season always seems to take over a year to come back around, but here it is, well nearly anyway.
As everyone knows this preseason game is the "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, where starters will play a full half at least, and many will play into the 3rd quarter, giving us a good look at what the team will look like going into the season, well nearly anyway.
The Dolphins have some significant players who are not playing right now, but no one would ever have thought that Jason Fox would be one of those names, at least on a secondary level. That's because Brandon Albert has not yet come back from last years injury, a very significant player, but Fox was filling that role until he came back, now Dallas Thomas will play LT for this game.
Did I mention that Thomas gave up 7 sacks in 5 games at RT last year? He was doing better at LG, but now that will be manned by Jamil Douglas, this years 4th round pick, who was not doing well at LG.
One of the regular posters on the site(Jammer) had a very funny solution, "roll out to the right on every play", you can't help but laugh, the best comedy is always grounded in reality.
There is a growing sentiment that Ryan Tannehill should not play in this game, started by Armando Salguero I believe, and I understand the sentiment, lets not get Tannehill injured. This will be a good test however, for the lineman, and for Tannehill, for all we know, this could be the starting line to begin the season.
There are also new WRs like Kenny Stills, and Greg Jennings, a new TE in Jordan Cameron(yes), or is it Cameron Jordan(no), why does there have to be 2 guys in the league with the same name only backwards? It's just confusing to us folks out here, but seriously, Tannehill has to get a feel for these new players, he hasn't got to work with Jennings or Stills much in games, and Stills has missed his fair share of practice as well. Getting a "rhythm" going with these players is very important.
This game means nothing in the standings, but it does mean a lot for a team that is trying to prepare for the season with a lot of new players, especially on offense, and considering how much Tannehill struggled to begin last year, I would think it's prudent to get him some "real" reps prior to the start of the season.
Just to be safe though, everyone light a candle for Ryan, it can't hurt.
I can't wait to watch some meaningful football saturday night, well nearly anyway.
Unfortunately, I missed most of the 1st half of the Miami-Carolina preseason game last night. By the time I tuned in, it was 14-0 with 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The Dolphins would end up losing the game 31-30, but once again, this was a game where the first team unit for the Dolphins came out and dominated.
QB Ryan Tannehill has been extremely sharp this preseason, and is 15-18 in the 2 games so far. You can tell that he is more comfortable in the 2nd year of Bill Lazor offense and it is showing on the field. The offensive line still remains a work in progress, especially the offensive guards as Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel pointed out last night. Miami will need to make a decision on if they want to make a run at FA OG Evan Mathis, who was in Seattle on Saturday to talk with the Seahawks. And I just read a tweet this morning from Omar Kelly stating the Dolphins are OUT of the Evan Mathis sweepstakes, so considering the source, take it for what it is worth.
What I have seen of this offensive line though, is that there is very little depth behind the starters right now. OLT Jason Fox left the game with what most are believing is a concussion. If he cannot play, and I don't believe Brandon Albert is ready to play, do you play Ryan Tannehill. The 3rd preseason game is the most game like preseason game, as team game plan for the team they will play, and the starters will play into the 2nd half. Miami has a decision to make possibly, depending on the status of Fox. My thoughts are that if Fox cannot play, you play Ryan that first series, maybe 2 and then get him out, depending on how the OL looks. You can't take a chance on getting him hurt.
I believe the Dolphins need to look at some of the veteran tackles that are still available, as Sam Baker and Jake Long are still out there. Yes, I realize Jake has not been able to stay healhty the last 3 years, but as a backup, he could provide top notch experience, and the same goes for Sam Baker. Right now, the OL depth leaves a LOT to be desired.
On the defensive side of the ball, I see the same thing. The first team goes out and control the game and even has a goal line stand. Then the 2nd and 3rd team guys come in and you have concerns about the depth, especially at linebacker. The secondary also had some injuries to be concerned about, as Jamar Taylor suffered a quad injury and Bobby McCain hurt his ankle. Both said they believe they are fine, but we will know more today after they have been examined more throughly. I thought CB Will Davis had a rough night, as he was beaten for completions a couple of times and missed tackles as well. Must add that Taylor had a nice interception and return, and I do believe if he can stay healthy, he will be the starter opposite of CB Brent Grimes.
Some players that flashed last night for me was WR Matt Hazel and DT AJ Francis. Christion Jones had a 46 yard kickoff return late in the game, and it would be nice to be able to take Jarvis Landry off the return teams and let him focus at wide receiver. I don't think there is any question that Damien Williams is the 2nd back in Miami, as he had 2 touchdown last night and should have had 3, if he had not lost control of the ball while diving for the pylon. I thought LaMichael James flashed last night as well.
Miami has some interesting questions to answer and some moves that may have to be made to sure up the depth on this team. Right now, I like what I see from the starters from Miami. They have been DOMINANT. It's the depth that has to be a major concern if you are a Miami fan, along with the OL issues still.