The Miami Dolphins will be traveling upstate a bit to Jacksonville, Florida to face off against the Jaguars in Miami’s second of five preseason games. While it’s likely that both teams will not play their starters for more than a series or two, there are a few interesting things to keep an eye on tomorrow evening.
1. What receiver will step up? – Last Sunday it was obvious Miami clearly still has issues at the wide receiver position. Sure the team has Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline – both of which have returned to practice recently – but the team literally has no depth after it’s top three receivers (the third being Brandon Gibson). While undrafted rookie Chad Bumphis did step up and play “balls to the walls” he also made a crucial rookie mistake leading to a pick-six. Will Bumphis prove his worth for the second straight game? Will Marvin McNutt and Brian Tyms step up and actually catch the ball? Will Jeff Fuller receive more targets after having a good week of practice? Will Keenan Davis pick up where he left off?
2. Can we see more from the corners? – Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall opened the Hall of Fame game for Miami at the corner position. Although, in nickel situations Marshall slid to the nickel position and Dimitri Patterson took over for Marshall opposite Grimes. Honestly, I would like to see more of Patterson out there. Patterson has had a good week of practice according to the coaching staff, therefore he could see extended time on the field. Keep an eye out for Nolan Carroll also. If Carroll plays he could be in the mix for the starting position opposite Grimes, also – I can’t believe I just typed that..
3. Will the offensive line rebound? – It’s no secret, Miami’s offensive line sucked against Dallas. Jonathan Martin, you sucked too. Yes, I understand that the players were a little rusty and “it was the Hall of Fame game, dude”. But it was not a good thing to see last week. Josh Samuda was being pushed backward all game. Martin looked awful and sluggish. Dallas Thomas was being thrown around like a ragdoll. I could go on all day. This group has got to gel together and grow up quickly. Yes, it’s a young group but in order for this offense to get on track, the offensive line needs to be in tip-top shape. (Hopefully in that fourth preseason game we see Martin – Cog – Pouncey – Jerry/Louis/Samuda – Clabo all gel together and give Tannehill some time to throw)
4. More of Dion Jordan? – Okay, okay this may seem a little biased but I feel like Miami made out like bandits in their draft day trade with the Oakland Raiders. Especially after watching Jordan against Dallas. This kid looks like the real deal. Once Jordan gets a year or two under his belt to bulk up a bit, we could be looking at the best defensive end tandem in the entire league. Now that I got that out of the way, yes he looked great. But we need to see more. Jordan did an excellent job in applying pressure to the quarterback and hustling on every snap. That being said, he needs to continue to progress and finish every play to the best of his ability. We definitely saw some flashes of stardom, though.
5. Mike Wallace? – As of right now all indications are that Wallace could see a few snaps against Jacksonville. Truth be told, I don’t know if that is the best decision. After all, he is dealing with a nagging groin injury. While I would love to see Miami’s new shiny toy for a series, I do not want the team to rush him back into action and risk severely injuring him – would be a HUGE blow to this offense. Just keep an eye out for how this all plays out…
6. Did we learn how to tackle? – The tackling against Dallas was atrocious. The team looked like a pee-wee football team trying to tackle professionals. Again, I’m not trying to take anything away from Dallas’ tail backs, they ran hard and came to play. But, come on now. This defense needs to become fearless and hit somebody, darn it! It will definitely be interesting to see if Miami can wrap up shifty weapons such as Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders. That is definitely something I will be watching.
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night at 7 P.M. Eastern time to watch your Miami Dolphins face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars.