Outside of their first team offense and defense, the Miami Dolphins did not look all that great against the Chicago Bears. A lot of that can be contributed to the amount of time the Bears left in their starters, but still, the Dolphins have a long way to go until they are ready for the regular season. Here is what I will be looking for against the Carolina Panthers.
The back-up running back race
Based off last game, Damien Williams should be the consensus number two running back behind Lamar Miller. He even split time with Miller on the team’s only first team offensive drive. Williams has great burst on the outside but lacks the ability to run inside the tackles. Jay Ajayi had a lot of buzz surrounding him after he was taken in the fifth round. He needs to start performing in these games in order to move up the depth chart. LaMichael James has had a great training camp so far, but will also need to prove he can get it done with the second team.
Brice McCain got burnt a lot against the Bears, and as a result had three penalties called against him. That is absolutely unacceptable if he wants to be a starter on this team. Will he bounce back? Will Jamar Taylor completely solidify the second cornerback position, leaving McCain destined to only man the slot?
Sturgis did make a field goal in the last game, but he also booted a kickoff out of bounds, which is NEVER okay. Will we get to see Andrew Franks attempt a field goal in this game, or maybe take over on kickoffs? Who will continue to return punts assuming the Dolphins sit Jarvis Landry? The Dolphins need a starting kicker to complete an otherwise stacked roster.
Rookies Getting Reps
It was great to see rookies like Mike Hull and Jordan Phillips make some plays in their first ever preseason action. How will these guys progress in game number two? Can Bobby McCain challenge Brice McCain? Who will emerge from Jeff Luc, Mike Hull and Zach Vigil as a potential second team linebacker? So many questions surrounding these talented rookies, but that’s what makes preseason so much fun!
For the final two days of training camp on August 19 and 20, the Dolphins will meet the Panthers at Wofford College for a joint practice. Stay tuned!
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