The Miami Dolphins will play some football tonight and while it may seem meaningless, it really is far from it. Tonight you should be watching these guys.
When the Miami Dolphins take the field tonight for their first pre-season game of the season, expectations won’t be high but the excitement should be. The Dolphins are rebuilding and that alone can be exciting.
In the overall scheme of things, tonight’s game is meaningless unless of course, you are a player trying to make the roster or win a starting job. To those players, tonight and the next three are very important.
The coaches want to see if the players are absorbing the work they have been putting in. Whether or not the players are understanding the schemes and playbook as well as their assignments. Are they tough, soft, or in need of more conditioning? All of those questions can be answered through pre-season.
The question for fans, however, is different, what players should you be watching and why? It’s a subjective question but we will try to help you out with these five guys that should be a focal point for you.
Naturally. Rosen won’t run early with the other starters but he may see time with the first unit after Ryan Fitzpatrick takes a seat. Fitzpatrick should be watched as well but Rosen is going to draw far more scrutiny and he needs to show the coaches that the competition for who starts should be open.
Rosen has made strides over the last two weeks but until they are witnessed in a game situation, practices are just that. Tonight is a more dressed up practice but it is a game and Rosen needs to display that he has a handle on the playbook and make smart decisions.
Dieter has said that he still has a lot to learn and a long way to go but he is the penciled in first-team left guard and he needs to show that he can handle the job. In fact, the entire offensive line will be watched closely tonight as it is one of the weakest units on the roster. Dieter, however, is going to be watched more closely because he is a rookie who needs to help anchor the left side. Then again the right side of the line needs to be watched closely as well.
McCain has taken all of his camp reps at safety and will start tonight with Reshad Jones injured. He will get a lot of playing time and needs to show that the off-season work he has put in has paid off. It will be interesting to see McCain have a good game and what that means moving forward into the season.
McCain could be a big player in the Dolphins secondary but he will need to play well in the preseason contests to show the coaches he can handle a week to week role, perhaps even a starting one.
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Whoever plays corner opposite Howard
Xavien Howard won’t likely see much playing time tonight but that is o.k. It’s really the other side of the field that needs to be monitored. Eric Rowe seems to be the penciled in starter but his camp has not been perfect. There is a competition on that side of the field so seeing Rowe step up in a game situation could answer some questions heading into the season.
To be more specific, the Dolphins pass rush is in question so how the Dolphins will get pressure on the QB is a big topic that has been discussed quite a bit over the course of training camp. The Dolphins are very thin at defensive end where Charles Harris is the starter.
Miami must get in position to put pressure on the quarterback. Where and who that comes from is important. Andrew Van Ginkel, the Dolphins young rookie is going to see a lot of playing time and he could be used in various positions behind the line of scrimmage.
While putting pressure on the QB is a must, so is stopping the run. Miami has ranked pretty low on the NFL boards in stopping the run the last few years and it is time to change that. Coaches will get the looks they need over the next four weeks.