Five Things To Watch As Miami Travels To Houston

Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas (33) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Miami Dolphins will be facing off against the Houston Texans this Saturday at 8 P.M in Miami’s third preseason game.

Miami currently holds a record of 1-1 during the exhibition season and is looking to continue improving upon a bad showing to open the season against Dallas.

 

Here are five things to keep an eye on come Saturday:

 

- WR Rishard Matthews – Matthews has finally returned to practice and will be looking to out-perform his fellow teammates vying for the 4th and 5th receiver positions. Matthews should be good to go come Saturday and should, in my opinion, play a huge role in the offense as the coaching staff will likely want to see where he is at physically and mentally. If Matthews does indeed shine against Houston, look for the 5th spot to come down to a BumphisMcNuttFuller battle.

 

- Which running back will shine this week? – During Miami’s first two preseason games both Jonas Gray and Mike Gillislee have shined. Both players looked great against both Dallas and Jacksonville. Gray is a bowling-ball type back who uses his power and strength to overpower defenders. Gillislee, on the other hand, is more of a complete back who not only has power but also has a nice burst of speed. If both players perform well again this week it will make GM Jeff Ireland’s job much harder come roster cuts.

 

- Will kicker Caleb Sturgis take the place kicking job and run with it? – Miami recently released K Dan Carpenter after five stellar seasons with the club. Sturgis was brought in as “competition” for Carpenter, but it was quite evident to most fans that Sturgis would eventually seize the job from Carpenter and his enormous salary at some point this season. Sturgis has looked good thus far through camp and one preseason game – nailed a beautiful 58-yard field goal attempt and booted every kick off out of the end-zone. Keep an eye on Sturgis this weekend.

 

- Will QB Ryan Tannehill finally connect with WR Mike Wallace? – When Miami faced Jacksonville, Miami’s biggest offseason acquisition, Mike Wallace, finally took the field. While it was exciting to see Wallace in Miami colors, it was disappointing that Wallace finished the night without a catch and without a target. This past week, Tannehill has been hooking up with Wallace on a regular basis. Hopefully he finds Wallace AT LEAST once during the game to give Miami fans something to talk about.

 

- How will the offensive line look this week? – Yes, I know the offensive line as a whole last week looked awful. But the starters actually looked pretty good after the first drive and a half. After G Josh Samuda was pulled – for an injury or for doing terrible depending on who you talk to – and G Nate Garner entered the game, the offense put together a beautiful drive resulting in a 22-yard touchdown to TE Dustin Keller. While that sounds all purdy and what not, Garner suffered an injury this week and will be out for quite some time. Don’t be too alarmed though, the offensive line received a boost by G John Jerry returning to practice. Jerry probably will not play Saturday but it’s definitely a good sign to see the big fella back out there. Once Jerry gets himself healthy and back into game shape, this offensive line should be fine.

 

Topics: Houston Texans, John Jerry, Miami Dolphins, Mike Wallace, Ryan Tannehill

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  • Johnny

    I really don’t think RB Gray has shined at all.. Yes , he carried the ball alot last game.. But averaged alittle more then 2yds per carry!!!

    • #1Dolphan

      I don’t know who your watching?, but Gray is doing his job, and most importantly scoring TD’S……….

      • TylerMcMullen

        You got it, man! Hey thanks for the read and the comment!

      • Johnny

        Producing what?? 1yd TDs?? Watch the game kid!! Just cause he got the bulk of the carries doesn’t mean he shined!!! The only reason he had the bulk is not to risk injury to Miller and Thimas.. Guys who will make this team!!! The fact:: Gray averaged alittle over 2 yds a carry!! Do you know that is bad?? A decent RB in the NFL should double that.. 4.3yds – 5yds a carry us ideal for a STARTING RB!!! Get real kid.. You should also read a book called “Take your Eyes Off the Ball” by Pat Kirwan… It will help people who doesn’t understand football what to look for… Different D schemes. tampa2 3-4, 4-3 . 1 high safety.. And points like a simple incompletion.. Is it the QB fault or maybe a bad route by the WR.. Or Oline which broke down forcing the QB to get the ball out faster then what was needed… Exactly what the books titles suggests… And Jerry did NOT PRACTICE WITH THE TEAM!!! Your suggesting he is back… Nuts he’s not ready.. He won’t play in Houston.. He did individual work and rehabb on the sidelines.. That does not suggest he’s ready… It’s progress..He’s still not ready to go “full go”
        In practice… Must be college kids writing these articles.. Listen, read… Learn…let me guess.. Your about 20yrs old??

        • TylerMcMullen

          The team isn’t looking for a starting running back, Johnny. The team is looking for a short-yardage back. And that’s how Gray is producing..Nobody ever said averaging less than 4 ypc was good..if you actually read my observation articles from the JAX game i pointed that out and actually had Gray as a disappointment…Nobody ever said Jerry was ready or that he went full go or that he will play against Houston..Jerry was at practice for the first time in quite a while..He was at PRACTICE..Maybe you should actually read the article rather than trying to attack the author for things you “think” they are saying, when in reality they haven’t said any of that nonsense.

          • Johnny

            Alot of RBs.. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for the kid.. Always root for the under-dog.. But.. FB and RB are different.. The FB should be a great blocker and pick up that 1 yard.. Like Lou Polite used too.. For Gray to make this team he must be a good blocker.. They can’t keep Gray AND Lane/and or Rod. And FB is a dying breed with TEs taking over the lead block.. Like a HB/FB/TE like Clay.. Only so many spots for RBs.. With Miller, Thomas, and Gillslee pretty much locked in.. Plus Clay is included in that position as a HB/FB.. There will be tough decisions to be made.. Hopefully Gray can get on the practice squad.. If not, maybe, just maybe make the 53 if he can prove he can lead block, protect QB AND pickup short yds.. He’s got to do more then just run for 2yds a carry.. You know??

          • TylerMcMullen

            Bottom line is Gray won’t make the team. He’s likely playing for a PS position. The team won’t move on from Thomas bc of his draft position, Miller will be the lead back and the team will keep Gillislee and Thigpen. Gray is a great story, but he’s PS material. Not game-squad material right yet. Does he have potential? Yes. We’ve seen it throughout the preseason. He has had his moments and is doing everything right for a 1st year kid. Yes, he’s basically a rookie. In reality he’s a form of this year’s Chris “7-11″ Hogan. Gives fans something to talk about. But has he been impressive thus far? Absolutely. Does he have a shot at the 53? Not likely but there is a very minute chance.

          • Johnny

            Finally!!!
            Agreed!!!

  • Johnny

    And Jerry didn’t practice full go either.. He was in pads today but worked alittle individual work and rehabbed on the sideline today… Next year (since camp has closed) you should send a beat reporter to the practices.. Get more accurate results.. Leading to accurate articles..

    • TylerMcMullen

      Jerry returned to practice this week. Simply what the article says. That IS accurate…. And Gray has shined. He’s been producing when it counts, in short yardage situations and on scoring opportunities. Thanks for the read and the comment, though.

      • Johnny

        Producing what?? 1yd TDs?? Watch the game kid!! Just cause he got the bulk of the carries doesn’t mean he shined!!! The only reason he had the bulk is not to risk injury to Miller and Thimas.. Guys who will make this team!!! The fact:: Gray averaged alittle over 2 yds a carry!! Do you know that is bad?? A decent RB in the NFL should double that.. 4.3yds – 5yds a carry us ideal for a STARTING RB!!! Get real kid.. You should also read a book called “Take your Eyes Off the Ball” by Pat Kirwan… It will help people who doesn’t understand football what to look for… Different D schemes. tampa2 3-4, 4-3 . 1 high safety.. And points like a simple incompletion.. Is it the QB fault or maybe a bad route by the WR.. Or Oline which broke down forcing the QB to get the ball out faster then what was needed… Exactly what the books titles suggests… And Jerry did NOT PRACTICE WITH THE TEAM!!! Your suggesting he is back… Nuts he’s not ready.. He won’t play in Houston.. He did individual work and rehabb on the sidelines.. That does not suggest he’s ready… It’s progress..He’s still not ready to go “full go”
        In practice… Must be college kids writing these articles.. Listen, read… Learn…

  • gofins60

    The problem I see is that the 5 starting o-linemen (whoever they will be) still have not played together due to injuries. With projected starters out, several back-ups have been in and out of the line-up. By the time that the 5 starters are all on the field together and trying to gel as a unit the season may have already started.

    With a tough first 5 games, Miami’s offense can not afford to start out slow due to problems with the o-line.

    • TylerMcMullen

      Way to hit the nail on the head, man. It’s all about consistency and gelling together. That’s why it’s super, super important that Jerry gets himself healthy and ready to go week 1. Once he gets himself together the only huge concern would be Martin, in my opinion. Thanks for the read and the comment!

  • Jcartwright67

    I hear you loud n clear on Tannehill-Wallace, “AT LEAST” once. I’d like to witness progress in many areas on the field but that little tid bit would make me feel all gooey! A precursor of what Sunday’s in September might be like!

    • TylerMcMullen

      I just want to see improvement. It would be HUGE in my opinion to see the team improve on a decent showing last week. I’m not saying they need to win, just improve in certain areas such as third and fourth down conversions, consistency in all areas and the turnover battle. They improve in those areas and maybe we see a bomb to Wallace, and I’ll be happy lol. Thanks for the read and the comment as always, J!