OK, so here we are, the most important game of the 2017 season to date. Some, not all of the starters will be playing not only the entire 1st half of this game, but some will play into the 3rd quarter as well. Game 3 of the preseason is the so called Dress Rehearsal, and this will give the coaches a much better idea how the starters look, and where the team is at.
This game will not include heavy duty strategizing, at least not as far as the game plan is concerned. Neither team is going to show their true personalities, and will follow a basic vanilla gameplan. It’s all about execution. Who’s doing things right, who isn’t, and most likely, guys that aren’t doing it right will be executed. Well, not really, but they might be cut with a poor showing.
QB Jay Cutler had an excellent practice yesterday with the Eagles, and hopefully, set the tone for tomorrow’s game. It would be nice to see Cutler excel tomorrow, I think that could really boost not only his confidence, but also his teammates. For Cutler to look good, he’s going to need help from that shaky O-line. I believe OG/C Kraig Urbik is injured and out for tomorrow’s game, so that means OT/OG Jesse Davis will probably play LG, and Jake Brendel will probably play C, with Jermon Bushrod playing RG, and of course, the bookends will be LT Laremy Tunsil and RT Ja’Wuan James. We need this unit to look solid, to protect Cutler, and to give the RB’s running lanes.
On the defensive side, it’s a whole different story. We so desperately need for everyone to stay healthy. Newly acquired MLB Rey Maualuga will not be playing, but the Dolphins would really like to see some guys step up. The CB battle should be fierce, even with the season ending injury to CB Tony Lippett, we still have good talent there. Maxwell, Howard, Verner, Tankersley, McCain, Pitts, Aikens and Thomas give the Dolphins pretty good depth.
At LB, will Mike Hull be able to make the right calls, and even more importantly, not get washed out and make tackles? I’m not worried about Timmons and Alonso, but it would be nice for Hull to be stout against the run, even though we now have Maulauga. I’d also love to Godchaux continue to impress, and push Jordan Phillips back into the rotation. Phillips looks hungry all the time, but is he hungry to keep his starting spot? We’ll see tomorrow. I like what we have on the D-line, with our additions of DE William Hayes, and of course Charles Harris. I think Harris will just keep getting better and better as the year goes on, as they limit his snaps early on, and then slowly increase his workload. He’s mostly going to be a pass rush specialist this season, and with the current depth, that’s perfect.
I want to see the run game clicking, I want see Cutler upright and throwing accurate passes for scores, and I want to see this defense look tough. Our defense last year was kind, I want to see some mean. Don’t give opposing RB’s second chances, and sometimes 3rd chances, make the tackle! I want God-show to be all up in the backfield of the Eagles, disrupting everything. I want Hull stopping RB’s dead! I want Howard, Maxwell and All-Terrain shutting things down. Hey, it’s only preseason, but like a crystal ball, it’ll show you some things to come. I think we’ll have a better idea of what our team really is, and I hope for all of our sakes, it’s not like the oddsmakers say, that we’re a 7 win team.
GO DOLPHINS! Stay healthy!