The Great Unknowns

Ricky Williams had a rare chat with reporters at his locker on Friday afternoon before he abruptly ended the session when he got frustrated by a question. But before he walked away, Williams — as he often does — made an interesting point with a simple comment.

"Preseason is preseason," he said. "You guys have no idea what the Miami Dolphins look like."

How true.

We don't know what the Dolphins look like because teams just don't do much in the preseason in terms of disguising offensive or defensive scheme, because they don't go deep into the playbook at all, because they rarely game-plan for an opponent, and because of the obvious fact that the front-line players just don't play very much.

So we can look at the Dolphins' preseason performance and recognize that it wasn't impressive, particularly the last two efforts against Atlanta and Dallas.

But what did those games really mean when it comes to trying to figure out how good the Dolphins will be in 2010? Very little, if anything at all.

Offensively, the Dolphins didn't run the ball very well in the preseason, which was troubling in light of all the changes that have been made up front.

Think about it, the Dolphins will open the season with nine offensive linemen on the roster and only three of them — Jake Long, Vernon Carey and Joe Berger — were with the team at this time last year.

Except for Dallas castoffs Cory Procter and Pat McQuistan, as well as Richie Incognito, the rest of the line is made up of unproven commodities. That doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

Again, we just don't know how good (or bad) this offensive line will be.

There are a bunch of question marks on defense as well, mostly in the secondary.

There haven't been nearly as many changes back there, but the season will open with the Dolphins having two new starters — Chris Clemons and Jason Allen. While Sparano has talked up those two players throughout camp and the preseason, we need to remember that Sparano always is complimentary of his players and the truth is we just don't know how those two will pan out.

We can only hope for the best, but we just don't know.

When the schedule first came out, this opener at Buffalo looked like the perfect setup for the Dolphins to finally get off to a fast start, but the Dolphins truthfully have gone from a team that looked as though it could challenge the Jets and Patriots for the AFC East title to a team that easily could start off 0-1.

Again, we just don't know. The answers will start coming on Sunday.

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