WHO HELPED THEMSELVES

Thursday night was the final audition for several Dolphins players trying to impress Coach Dave Wannstedt and earn a roster spot. We revisit the roster battles we mentioned before the game, complete with how we now see them unfolding.

FULLBACK — We said Obafemi Ayanbadejo had an almost insurmountable lead over Sedrick Irvin for the backup fullback job. Consider it done.

HALFBACK — The battle between Robert Edwards and Leonard Henry is as close as ever. Both players ran the ball well against the Saints on Thursday night. We'll give a slight edge here to Edwards, if for no other reason than the fact he came into the game in the first half as opposed to the second half for Henry.

TIGHT END — We mentioned that Marco Battaglia needed a good game to convince the Dolphins to keep four tight ends. Well, he had a good game. Will it be enough? Tough call, but we'll say the presence of a fourth running back in Charlie Rogers is going to cost Battaglia.

OFFENSIVE LINE — We said Greg Jerman and Billy Yates were fighting for one possible last spot along the offensive line. Neither one stood out one way or the other against the Saints, so we'll go with Yates on potential.

DEFENSIVE LINE — Otis Grigsby had a very good game against the Saints, and we say that's going to earn the fifth and final spot at defensive end.

LINEBACKER — We're still thinking Brendon Ayanbadejo will get the sixth and final linebacker spot, even though Justin Seaverns looked like he had a pretty good game against the Saints.

CORNERBACK — It looked like a battle between Alphonso Roundtree and Omare Lowe for the fifth and final cornerback spot, but it was rookie free agent Korey Banks who stole the show against the Saints. So where does that leave the competition? We're going to call it Roundtree by a nose over Banks, with Lowe a distant third.

PUNTER — We said Kevin Stemke needed a monster game to have any shot at beating out Mark Royals. Well, Stemke did the opposite. He was brutal. Battle over. Royals remains the punter.


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