Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars: 6 Things to Watch For

Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins prior to taking the field to start the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

 

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 MartinCogPounceyJerry/Louis/SamudaClabo 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.

Topics: Chad Bumphis, Dion Jordan, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Mike Wallace

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  • Karen Smeltzer

    Martin didn’t suck that bad he got a passing grade from pff!!

    • TylerMcMullen

      He played 10 snaps. Did you watch the same game I did? He was slow, sluggish, and was being thrown around. He had two solid blocks. He sucked. Thanks for the read and the comment, Karen.

  • tpl

    Bumphis needs to have a good game against the Jags. I’m not sure Patterson makes the team if Davis and Taylor look good. I am hoping to see Sturgis kick a long field goal or two. I agree, I’d hold Wallace out, and make sure his injury is healed. Its only preseason, and the rookie WRs can use the work. I also want to see no turnovers.

    • TylerMcMullen

      No turnovers is key. Even if the team score 40 points and wins big, if they turn the ball over two or three times it’s a disappointing game. Agreed Bumphis needs to have another good game. While everyone is high on him, I need a bigger sample size before I hand him the 4th receiver spot. Patterson has all but locked up his spot as of right now. Unless he begins sucking and getting burnt left and right, he will be on the 53 man roster. He’s actually a favorite of many of Miami’s beat-writers to start opposite Grimes currently over Marshall. One thing I did not throw in there, keep an eye on Marcus Thigpen. He will not only see time in the back field but will also see some extended time at receiver. Don’t sleep on Thigpen this year as one of Miami’s best offensive weapons nobody has heard about. Thanks for the read and the comment as always!

      • tpl

        Yeah, if Thigpen can learn to play WR, that saves a roster spot for someone else. Just like Clay playing TE and FB. Shades of Jim Jensen, not that either are in his caliber.

        • TylerMcMullen

          Thiggy is already getting looks there in practice and looks quite good. Although he told Jesse Agler of the Finsiders his heart will always be at running back as he’s been playing that position since he was 9 years old, he looks forward to contributing any way possible.

  • gofins60

    I think that the defense will be solid this year; it’s the offense that worries me! I want to see the starting offense march down the field and score a TD tonight against Jacksonville’s starting defense. Since Miami started practice a week ahead of the Jags, then they should have no problem moving the ball. If they go 3 and out, then someone needs to answer for it… even if it is pre-season. On Sunday night, Dallas looked ready to play, while Miami did not. Coaching problem?

    • TylerMcMullen

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a first drive touchdown also. Hell, I would even settle for a field goal, to be quite honest. Just some points to show some promise. The defense WILL be elite this year. The offense has the potential to put up a massive amount of points. Whether or not they do depends on that offensive line. And I wouldn’t blame it on coaching quite yet. If Miami comes out and plays that way again tonight, then we may have something to talk about. Thanks for the read and the comment!