Wow! How long has it been since I’ve posted an image of Dolphins vs any other NFL team? One day you’re sweating in your car in New Jersey with the A/C blasting because it’s nearly 100 degrees outside (most likely 130-140 degrees in the car), and the next, the Dolphins are playing their first preseason game. Unbelievable! If you’re like me, and know most of you are (at least in this regard), you can’t wait to see this team suited up and playing football again. You want to see the dynamic between Tua and Hill, you want to see if the offensive line is for real, after all the personnel changes and position changes. You want to see this defense performing like they’ve been together for a while (they have!). So what are some of the things I’m interested in seeing besides the obvious ones I’ve already outlined? I’ll tell you.
I know WR’s Cedrick Wilson and Preston Williams have been stuffed down the depth chart, and some fans have already written them off. I’d love to see a healthy dose of both of those guys. WR’s 6’5 225 who can run, and make contested catches don’t get discarded unless they have personal issues, injury issues, or both. Williams has had both, but his salary of $1.3M is totally palatable if he’s got his head on straight and he’s healthy. We brought in Cedrick Wilson from the Cowboys because he had a great season with the Cowboys playing the greater majority of snaps in the slot. Keep in mind that last year, we had our TE Mike Gesicki in the slot often but in McD’s offense, that likely won’t be the case, so Wilson Jr. has a good shot of seeing lots of playing time. He’s a veteran who knows how to run routes, find soft spots and make plays. I hope “EZ” Erik Ezukanma is as great as fans hope he is, but until the lights are on, don’t put him ahead of Wilson Jr. just yet.
The depth at DL will be tested somewhat with the release of DE Adam Butler, who did not pass his physical. Porter Gustin (formerly of the Browns), and Owen Carney Jr. a rookie out of Illinois are the backups behind Emmanuel Ogbah, who will probably be quite limited in his snaps for obvious reasons, so we’ll get a look at if what we have is sufficient, or if we need to address this with another FA pickup. In the offensive trenches, we’ll probably see a couple of plays (if that) of our starting O-line, which is LT Terron Armstead, LG Liam Eichenberg, C Connor Williams, RG Robert Hunt and RT Austin Jackson. Besides the surprise of Connor Williams at center, this how I expected our O-line to be from the get-go.
I don’t think preseason game 1 will reveal all that much, but I’m still interested to see which RB starts, who gets the most action and in what situations. Which back gets the short yardage carries, which back is in on 3rd down etc. To me, the most important thing is staying injury free. If you have bad game, fix it and do better next game, just don’t get hurt. I would like to see Noah Igbinoghene show something positive, anything really. Just give me a pass break up, an INT, a strong tackle or forced fumble, give me something. We all hope the new O-line doesn’t resemble last year’s line at all. I’m curious to see Teddy B and Skylar Thompson, who should both get lots of playing time. Oh yeah, I want to see our offense with a FULLBACK!!! I want to see Hunter Long make a bit of a splash, show us a lil sumpin’. Will Durham Smythe be the next top 10 balanced TE in the NFL? How will our ST’s look with so many big departures and new additions? Will Mostert be an electric returner and will Hill get some action back there too? Lots to see tomorrow at 7:30PM if you can watch it live, or Sunday, 8/14 at 7AM Eastern time on NFLN. Enjoy the game! Football is BACK baby!!!