What to look for

The last preseason game represents the last chance for young players to make their case to be included on the 53-man roster. But in the Dolphins' case, there's actually more at stake Thursday night when they take on the Atlanta Falcons at Dolphins Stadium. Here, then, are five things to watch during the game.

1. The quarterback battle -- Coach Nick Saban said Tuesday he would have liked to have settled this a month ago, but neither Gus Frerotte nor A.J. Feeley has done enough to merit getting the call yet. Frerotte has started the last three games, but struggled in the last two, and the Dolphins resumed splitting snaps between Frerotte and Feeley this week. As of Thursday morning, we still didn't know who would start at quarterback. Thursday night's game will be just one piece of the puzzle to make a final choice, but Saban could be swayed if one clearly outplays the other against the Falcons.

2. Run, Ronnie, run -- Top pick Ronnie Brown got a rather small dose of action against the Bucs, but we expect him to get plenty of work against the Falcons, particularly in light of Ricky Williams' upcoming suspension.

3. The offensive line -- The starters won't play much against Atlanta, but it would be nice to see the offensive line build on the fine performance it put together against Tammpa Bay.

Travis' time -- Rookie Travis Daniels has slipped to second behind Reggie Howard on the depth chart at left cornerback and he's coming off a rough outing against Tampa Bay. In Daniels' defense, he has been battling a hamstring injury and the truth is he probably has greater upside than Howard. So it will be interesting to see how Daniels bounces back against Atlanta.

5. Making their pitch -- This is the last chance for several young players on the so-called bubble to make an impression and show they deserve to be on the 53-man roster. In a lot of cases, most of the decisions have been made, but that's not to say someone can't make the coaches reconsider with a strong outing. Players who fall into the category of needing a strong game would include WR Derrius Thompson, G Taylor Whitley, C Alonzo Ephraim, TE Donald Lee, S Tony Bua, DT Reggie Rhodes and CBs Deandre Eiland and Kris Richard.


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