Very important to keep in mind that the first game was really the first action against a different opponent other than each other and the coaches are just trying to see guys execute plays, all the while keeping it simple and vanilla so to speak, not giving any future opponents a real glimpse of what this offense and defense are going to do once the season starts. If you can do that, you probably won’t be so disappointed with what you see.
The first game showed some weakness with our O-line. Once again, not very concerned by that. It has nothing to with the lack of talent our O-line faces in practice against our own D-line (read that a few places), or that our O-line is fat, sloppy and overweight and slower than than last year (read that too). It’s preseason game one and we’re trying guys out at different spots and we all know synergy and continuity is something an O-line lives and dies by. Hard to have synergy with different people all over the place. That’s my take anyway. If the regular season begins and we’re in game 3 and this O-line looks slow, fat and lethargic I’ll let the worries commence.
The decisions at WR are going to be difficult, but Allen Hurns wrist injury just made one decision for them. He’s on IR and my guess is unless we get to get game 8 and we need him, he’ll probably never see action in a Dolphins uni. 2 of our WR’s are ST’s stalwarts and that cannot be overlooked. Jakeem Grant and Mack Hollins almost have to make the cuts because of that alone. Parker, Fuller and Wilson are the 3 vets that look to be locks, although I personally wouldn’t consider Wilson a lock. With the injuries that all 3 vets have endured, and how their spotty availability hurts the team, I wouldn’t consider him a lock. The question is, which young WR’s other than Waddle make the cut? Lynn Bowden Jr., who the Dolphins traded a 4th RD pick for last season would be one I think makes the roster. Preston Williams, the big 6’5 oft injured WR brings talent and size but also the injury bug too. Kirk Merritt has been having a nice 2021 so far but has to be a long shot. I think Ford faces astronomical odds of making the roster. Parker, Fuller, Waddle, Hollins, Grant and then pick one or two more. The rest of the preseason will decide that.
At RB, Salvon Ahmed has got some people giddy but I still think Myles Gaskin in the “lead back”. Not quite the same as Derrick Henry lead back in TEN but I consider him to the be the recipient of the most playing time. If Brown can give us the tough yards and grind out defenses, I think that could really limit Ahmed’s touches, although both Gaskin and Ahmed can catch out of the backfield equally as well, but I think Gaskin is the slightly better player.I don’t which young RB makes the roster out of Scarlett or Doaks or if the veteran Laird makes the cut. I guess the rest of the preseason will tell us the story there as well.
At TE, Gesicki is the clear choice with rookie Hunter Long hobbled by a leg injury and still sporting a thick knee brace. Smythe, Shaheen, Myarick, Tucker and Carter round out the depth there. I know some of you disagree but get Gesicki signed soon before he nets 70-80 catches for a 1000+ yards and 8 TD’s, because then the contract will be much higher than it will be now.
On defense, I really want to see our young OLB get more playing time. I’ve said it before he should be a big difference maker in our difference and if he’s not on the field, rookie Jaelan Phillips won’t be doing that. Hope to see him in action against Atlanta and hope to see good things. On the defensive side, Emmanuel Ogbah is the defense’s Gesicki. Sign him now before his contract is one we can’t afford. Shocked that LB Elandon Roberts is coming off the PUP (Good news!). Vince Biegel has been brought along slowly and despite being activated, I’d expect the same from Roberts.
I still hold to my prediction for the O-line as JACKSON – KINDLEY – DEITER – HUNT – EICHENBERG. Stay tuned. I look for Tua to have a nice game this week. The O-line will be better and the worries will subside. Want to see Phillips make a play or two that make us all think “Wow, this kid is gonna be something”. I want to see some tough, grinding runs from Brown, bullying would be tacklers for extra yards and then watch Gaskin and Ahmed come out looking like world class sprinters. I want to see more good things from Grant on returns and I want to see Gesicki and Waddle make some more big plays. I want positives, less negatives and of course no injuries!