Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins Vs. Buccaneers: Five Things To Watch

This Saturday the Miami Dolphins will travel to Raymond James stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 2 of pre season.  The Dolphins lost their first pre season matchup 16-10 to the Atlanta Falcons, despite an impressive first drive led by QB Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins’ first team offense.  Here are five things to keep an eye out for heading into Saturday’s game against the Bucs.

1.  Brady Quinn’s first (and last?) action as a Miami Dolphin.

A lot of fans and analysts were shocked when the Miami Dolphins passed on Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn with the 9th overall selection in 2007.  Turns out WR Ted Ginn Jr. was a better choice, but only by a few kick and punt returns.  Seven seasons later, Brady Quinn will take the field as a Miami Dolphin after the ‘Phins waved third stringer Pat Devlin for the former Browns first round selection.  It will be interesting to see how Quinn plays and if he proved valuable enough to serve as a third or even second option behind Ryan Tannehill.  Let the experiment begin.

2. Miami’s ability and willingness to TACKLE.

I am frankly tired of the inability of some of our defensive members (a.k.a the entire linebacker corps) to tackle an opposing team’s player.  There have been countless times that this Dolphin defense has figured out a play only to still give up 8-10 yards by failing to tackle.  It isn’t that hard, and Kevin Coyle should devote every practice to technique until it is fixed.  It is a big problem and a bad one.  Some players like Randy Starks and Cameron Wake have figured it out, while specifically guys like Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe haven’t.  Hopefully Saturday is a step in the right direction.

3.  Important position battles.

Keep an eye on the following competitions.  The search for a starting cornerback opposite of Brent Grimes.  The return specialist contest between Marcus Thigpen, Jarvis Landry and the two D Williams.  The battle for the 4th and 5th wide out spot.  The role of the second tight end opposite of Charles Clay.  The entire offensive line.

4. Joe Philbin’s energy and attitude

Philbin has been constantly criticized for not being passionate and after last year’s “bullygate” scandal, his control over his team and the locker room.  I am anxious to see if this year is any different and if he will ignite a fire under what is an extremely talented team.  Philbin needs to step up and own this team and be the leader Stephen Ross is paying him to be.

5. Bill Lazor’s offense and how it continues to unfold.

So far we have seen VERY little of Bill Lazor’s offensive gameplan.  In fact, we have really only seen a couple plays, most likely from one set.  We will be seeing mostly second and third team players, but even these players will be running Lazor’s offense.  I am interested to see if Lazor unfolds another piece of the offensive puzzle, or dips into a new set or two.  So far, I am loving it.



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