Miami Dolphins prepare for pre-season game three rehearsal
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins will be playing football tonight against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. The dress rehearsal game for the season is important.
Tonight’s Miami Dolphins game is important for many reasons not just because it is a “dress rehearsal” for the 2019 season kick-off. Hosting the Jaguars in Miami, the Dolphins are hoping to get more clarity on their roster as the final cuts loom on the horizon.
Teams will need to trim their rosters to 53 on August 30th, next Friday. With two games remaining in the pre-season, tonight game is important to veterans and rookies alike as they try to make the right impressions on the coaching staff.
Perhaps the biggest question, at least for Dolphins fans, is who will win the starting quarterback job. Tonight, Ryan Fitzpatrick will start the game but it is unclear if he will play into the third quarter as most starters do in week three. Miami hasn’t decided on a starting QB for the regular season and the competition between Fitz and Josh Rosen is close. While Brian Flores hasn’t tipped his hand in the decision yet, many feel that with Fitzpatrick starting tonight, it’s clearer that he will be starting the season.
Roster competition is all over the field with veterans in danger of losing their jobs to younger players, including John Denney who is trying to hold on for at least one more season in the NFL.
Tonight’s game may or may not give fans an idea of what we can expect in the regular season. The Dolphins have been playing things pretty close to the hip with schemes and play calling. One thing we can look at however is Charles Harris.
Last week Harris had a pretty good game against the Falcons. It was a bit of a surprise to see him getting pocket pressure and even a sack. Now he will need to show that he can do it with some consistency. We should see Harris on the field a lot tonight and we will get a good idea of what he can do or if we are going to see the same old Harris.
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Another area that will be interesting is at running back where Patrick Laird is making a good impression. It is not likely to see Laird early in the game but Flores has said his approach to pre-season games, even preseason game three, is not a traditional one.
Getting Laird involved with at least the second-team unit would be a good way to evaluate him against similar depth talent on the Jaguars. He is competing with Myles Gaskin, who should not have a problem making the roster, and Mark Walton who is no lock to make the team.
Through two preseason games it has been about evaluating players in different situations but tonight really is the game that starts to distance the players who will make the team and those that will not. By next week’s fourth preseason game, coaches should have an idea of who will make it and focus on practice squad evaluations and final low-end players that could make up the bottom of the roster.