Preseason Game 2: Highlights and Lowlights

The Dolphins took some positive steps Friday night when they handled the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 27-3 victory at EverBank Field. As was the case after the preseason opener, it would be smart not to draw too many conclusions from this game, particularly considering the opposition was a Jacksonville team expected to struggle and missing key pieces on offense.

That said, there still were some positive and negative developments worthy of mention.


• K Caleb Sturgis — On his 24th birthday, Sturgis hardly could have asked for a better NFL debut after he watched Dan Carpenter handle the kicking chores against Dallas. The lighlight, of course, was a 58-yard field goal that showed off Sturgis' powerful leg. Sturgis also did a tremendous job on kickoffs, with his shortest effort landing about 6 yards deep into the end zone.

• RB Jonas Gray — While we wouldn't go crazy over Gray scoring two touchdowns because they both were short runs, Gray continues to show toughness when he runs. In fact, it's no stretch to suggest he's the Dolphins' best short-yardage runner right now. Whether that's enough to land him a roster spot is the question that remains.

• WR Marvin McNutt — The Dolphins' young receivers have taken turns looking impressive in practice, and McNutt came up big against Jacksonville after being shut out against Dallas. McNutt made a nice catch with his hands on a low pass from Matt Moore on third down in the second quarter and he later had a nice run on an end-around. At this point, it still would seem that McNutt is in the lead when it comes to one of the final roster spots at wide receiver.

• CB Will Davis — An interception and a third-down pass batted down at the line of scrimmage demonstrated the kind of playmaking ability Davis has been showing in practice for the past two weeks. The kid is putting himself in line to earn some playing time early in the regular season.

• TE Dustin Keller — I still haven't seen Keller drop a pass in practice this summer, and against Jacksonville he showed the kind of downfield receiving ability he brings to the offense. His touchdown catch was a nifty grab of a pass that wasn't necessarily that well thrown.

• The first-team defense — You couldn't ask for much more after the Dolphins' first-team defense held the Jaguars to one first down and 14 total yards in three possessions. That said, let's not go crazy just yet because the Jacksonville offense was missing its three best players (Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III).


• The kick returners — Rookie Mike Gillislee bobbles a kickoff and has to take a knee for a touchback. Chad Bumphis drops a punt, saved only by the fact the Dolphins recover the loose ball. Not good.

• The punt coverage — Yes, the Dolphins recovered two fumbles after Jacksonville muffed punts, but they also allowed two 22-yard returns. One came on a play where Brandon Fields outkicked his coverage, but there was no such excuse on the other one.

• The offensive line — The offense really looked out of sync on its first three drives and the biggest reason was mediocre pass protection. Without the benefit of reviewing coaches' film, it appeared as though Josh Samuda had a rough night at right guard.

• S Jimmy Wilson — There are roughness penalties that are the result of bad luck or a little bit of carelessness, but what Wilson did in hitting Jaguars QB Mike Kafka a good 3 yards out of bounds defied explanation. Wilson's roster spot probably is secure, but more plays like that might make the coaches reconsider.

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