Forward of final weekend’s Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears recreation, we took a have a look at 5 bubble gamers who might use a powerful efficiency for Miami within the first preseason recreation. This week, we transfer to preseason week two and issues begin to shift a bit of from bubble watch to getting starters prepared for the common season. There are nonetheless loads of room for bubble gamers to make an influence and pressure their method onto the regular-season roster, however it is usually time to begin to see what the 2021 model of the Dolphins might be.
As Miami prepares to host the Atlanta Falcons, we should always see the starters keep within the recreation a bit of longer and extra of a gameplan somewhat than a totally vanilla playbook centered extra on the basics than on making an attempt to take advantage of the opponent. This is not going to be precisely what the Dolphins will appear like within the common season, however will probably be nearer.
Reasonably than break down 5 gamers to observe tonight, we check out 5 place teams that must carry out on Saturday. A number of the gamers within the group are bubble gamers making an attempt to make that ever-important influence on the sport, whereas a few of the gamers are starters making their 2021 debut or making an attempt to place a nasty first preseason recreation behind them.
Tonight’s kickoff is at 7pm ET.
Offensive line – The offensive line struggled final week in opposition to the Bears, and they should present they’re rising collectively as a unit this week. It doesn’t have to be a strong brick wall in entrance of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa or a road-grader clearing the way in which down the sphere for the working backs, however the group wants to point out they aren’t far-off from turning into these two issues. Austin Jackson acquired away from his fundamentals and method final week, in accordance with head coach Brian Flores, and it led to repeated performs the place he ended up on his again with protections breaking down. He wants to point out that was the rust from the offseason and he’s higher than what occurred final Saturday. Liam Eichenberg didn’t play final week after working primarily because the beginning left guard in coaching camp. Solomon Kindley was strong, however was not nice filling in for Eichenberg; the Dolphins ought to need the 6-foot-4, 335 pound Kindley to say a beginning position as an enormous mauler in the course of the road, however he might not fairly be there but. Eichenberg, a beginning left sort out at Notre Dame, might transfer again exterior if Jackson continues to battle. The Dolphins traded for Greg Little eventually week’s 85-man roster deadline, so seeing how the workforce envisions utilizing the 2019 second-round choose from the Carolina Panthers will likely be one thing to observe.
Cornerbacks – This begins with the expectation that All-Professional cornerback Xavien Howard will make his debut. Any time Howard is on the sphere, it’s price watching. Will Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan shrink back from Howard? Will he problem him? Can Howard present the shape that made him the primary participant in 13 seasons to report double-digit interceptions final yr? If Howard is on the sphere, is Byron Jones additionally going to play? If Miami has each of their beginning cornerbacks on the sphere, does the cross rush grow to be simpler as Ryan seems for an open receiver solely to see these two blanketing gamers everywhere in the subject? Behind them, can Noah Igbinghene shake off the funk he has been in all summer season? Igbinoghene was a first-round choose final yr, however he’s getting buried on the depth chart proper now. Undrafted 2019 signing Nik Nedham has moved previous Igbinoghene, and continues to appear like an excellent third cornerback; Justin Coleman seems to be locked in because the nickel cornerback. Trill Williams will likely be somebody to observe tonight to see if the undrafted free agent with superb press-coverage talents can proceed to construct on a powerful coaching camp week.
Huge receivers – At this level, simply having a wholesome group of receivers who could make it by means of a recreation could be an enormous step ahead for Miami. It looks like day-after-day, one other receiver is sidelined with some ailment. Fortunately for the Dolphins, they’ve, eventually rely, 493 vast receivers on the roster this summer season. The Dolphins will seemingly be with out DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Albert Wilson once more this week, which leaves first-round draft choose Jaylen Waddle as the highest receiver on the sphere. Behind him, the workforce has a number of strong receivers who must show themselves to say a roster spot. Jakeem Grant, Kirk Merritt, and Mack Hollins all appear to have strengths that may make the workforce, but in addition have flaws that would maintain them again. Grant’s work as a returner in all probability offers him an early edge on that race. The place does Preston Williams, who simply returned from the Bodily Unable to Carry out checklist after a foot harm final yr, match into the depth chart?
Edge rushers – The Dolphins must create extra stress than they did in opposition to the Bears, however in a primary preseason recreation with no likelihood the workforce goes to tip their hand on the blitz packages they may use within the common season, that basically is just not a priority. This actually solely makes the checklist as a result of first-round choose Jaelan Phillips ought to make his debut tonight, so he’s price watching.
Operating backs – Myles Gaskin needs to be the starter, although Malcolm Brown really began final week. Salvon Ahmed has had an excellent coaching camp, and performed effectively in opposition to the Bears backups final week. Seventh-round choose Gerrid Doaks ought to issue into the combination as effectively. Can any of these 4 present the bottom recreation is just not as a lot of a priority because it appeared final week? A whole lot of that’s in all probability on the offensive line, however the Dolphins not making an aggressive transfer to handle the working again place within the offseason will proceed to be a storyline until considered one of these guys breaks out. Can Patrick Laird or Jordan Scarlett pressure themselves into the dialog? “We like all our backs,” Flores stated this week. “They’re all a bit of bit totally different. All of them have the power to play a number of downs. We’re going to attempt to use all of them. From Malcolm to Myles to Salvon. Patrick Laird has gone in there and completed some good issues. Scarlett has gone in there, he had a pair good runs final week. Doaks has gone in there and had some good runs. We attempt to use all of them.”