The Miami Dolphins preseason kicks off this Thursday. Here is a quick rundown of things to watch for.
Fans can hardly wait for their favorite team to kick off the preseason and the Miami Dolphins season officially starts on Thursday, August 9. Wins and losses don’t mean much in the preseason, however, if you know what to watch for there is plenty of meaningful and consequential things happening all over the field. We’ll let you know what you need to be looking out for.\
The most important aspect of this game may be how the cornerbacks play. While Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain are locked into their roles, the second outside corner position is very much up in the air. The preseason may decide the winner of this battle.
Cordrea Tankersley and Tony Lippett were battling this out in camp when Torry McTyer stepped up and perhaps stole the job out from under them. Watch how these three guys play. It will be crucial for the season.
Wide Receiver Battle
The wide receiver battle will something to keep a close eye on as well. This doesn’t apply so much to Week 1 starters because I don’t expect many of the potential starters to play much at all.
Don’t expect to see very much of Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Danny Amendola or even Albert Wilson. Nonetheless, behind Jakeem Grant there are three guys that will be battling for a roster spot. Isaiah Ford, Rashawn Scott, and Leonte Carroo.
Despite having much more invested in him, it looks like Carroo may be a lost cause. Ford and Scott have been standouts in camp and will look to translate that to the field this Thursday.
It will be important to see how the linebackers play and we may get to see pretty much everyone a decent amount with exception of Kiko Alonso.
Although Raekwon McMillan is locked into a starting job they will likely want to see what “The Chef” is cooking with after missing all of his rookie season with a torn ACL in this same game last year. Chase Allen, Stephone Anthony and Jerome Baker will all be looking to show out and earn that third starting job along with Alonso and McMillan.
T.J. McDonald and Minkah Fitzpatrick are both vying for a starting safety job in theory, but not really. Both guys are quite versatile and it will be very interesting to see how Miami uses them.
There has been some talk that McDonald could step up and play some linebacker this season. Fitz could also slide in as a slot corner. Aside from just wanting to see the No. 1 draft pick, it will be fun seeing if the team gets creative.
The Young Tight End
Mike Gesicki is the Dolphins new version of Jimmy Graham and he’s looked like it in camp. Both as an unstoppable red zone threat and an incomprehensibly bad blocker.
I’m more concerned with him as a pass-catcher at the moment. They are going to throw this kid a jump ball and he’s going to put on a show when they do. I’m willing to bet on that.
The Defensive Line Maturation
Youth on the defensive line. Last year’s first-round pick Charles Harris should have an opportunity to display his development as a pass rusher and the Dolphins need him to step up this year.
The more important but less exciting thing to watch will be Jordan Phillips and Davon Godchaux at defensive tackle. They are battling for a starting job and it has been going back and forth at training camp. Both guys have flashed major talent.
The spot we hope never matters
Lastly, the position battle everyone hopes never matters. The backup quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is expected to play and it will be nice to see but don’t count on him playing more than a series or two at most and they will not put him in harm’s way.
David Fales, Brock Osweiler, and dark horse Bryce Petty will all get a chance to make their case for the No. 2 job and a roster spot. After the past two seasons, Dolphin fans painfully know how much this battle could matter.