Saturday Night Lights: What We’ll Be Looking for vs. Tampa Bay

12 Aug

It’s almost here, Dolphin Nation, that simultaneously meaningless and meaningful first preseason game. I don’t care if it has no significance in the standings, or if many of the players on display will be pink-slipped in the coming weeks. Watching the Dolphins take the field for the first time is an emotional experience anyway, one that I look forward to every year.

So beyond the joy of finally seeing the aqua and orange gunning it across the field, there are a handful of players that we’ll be paying a little extra attention to come kickoff. Some names…

BRANDON MARSHALL – Well duh. This is of course an obvious one. The Beast may be the most gifted wide receiver ever to wear Dolphins colors. Though we may not see much of him, it will be great to see him make a grab or two.

CHAD HENNE – We’re believers, but let’s remember that our boy Chad has yet to play a full season, and is still somewhat of an unknown. We look forward to a couple of series getting reacquainted with our young gunslinger. Perhaps a little sample of the Henne-Marshall hookup we’ll be enjoying for the next several years?

RANDY STARKS – How will he hold up at the nose? This is one of the most pressing questions of the offseason. If he can’t hold his ground, expect opposing offenses to run right up the gut all season long.

CAMERON WAKE – Wake is set up to break some quarterbacks’ necks this year, and we’re excited to watch him fire off the edge a few times Saturday. Please enjoy the lovely video below of him single-handedly destroying Buffalo.

CHARLES GRANT – The guy is currently listed at 3rd on the first official depth chart, but is far too talented to stay buried. The Bottlenose thinks we lucked out bringing Grant into the fold.

IKE ALAMA-FRANCIS – The latest guy to earn the “diamond in the rough” label. He’s been impressive thus far, and moves very well for 275lbs. Currently penciled in behind unproven rookie Koa Misi at OLB, so if the Trifecta likes Ike he could be in line for some serious playing time.

NOLAN CARROLL, KOA MISI, JARED ODRICK, JOHN JERRY – Of course, the rookies will be under the microscope. Is Odrick immediate starter material? Will Misi be ready to replace JT opposite Wake? Will the star of Nolan Carroll continue to rise? Will John Jerry take the first live action step towards becoming a starter?

ALL THE KICK RETURNER CANDIDATES – Someone, anyone, make a play! There are about 50 names in the kick return mix. The job is there for the taking, as current KR1 Patrick Cobbs has underwhelmed in that role, and is coming off of a major knee injury. There are at least a couple of guys who absolutely need to make an impact on returns in order to cling to the final roster.

And of course there’s the one thing we don’t want to see Saturday, injuries. Let’s crack some skulls, start clarifying some depth chart matters, and stay healthy doing it. Football is upon us, Dolfans!


2 Responses to “Saturday Night Lights: What We’ll Be Looking for vs. Tampa Bay”

  1. joe August 12, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    I really am going to hope Nate Garner and Jake Grove FULLY recover the next two games, regardless of what happens against TB. We can’t afford to lose depth on the O-Line. I think it’s safe to say the CRISIS/EMERGENCY light is blinking- we lose another quality offensive linemen, we need to trade and get one or we are going to be suffering by leaving our defense on the field too long. That’s not good.

    • danewen August 12, 2010 at 7:02 am #

      Yes, hopefully plenty of time to get them all healed up, and maybe even get them some preseason action in the last game. The sweet spot, healthy and not rusty.

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