Preseason Finale Observations

Some random thoughts while watching the preseason finale against St. Louis, which served as more proof that four preseason games is entirely too many.

• Even though it couldn't have pleased the fans in attendance, the decision to hold out several starters -- including every significant player on the roster -- was a good one made by Nick Saban. Guys like Daunte Culpepper, Ronnie Brown and Co. really didn't need another tune-up before next week's regular season opener.

• Fair or not, Kelly Campbell might have sealed his fate when he had to leave the game because of a quad injury. This was his first preseason appearance, and now the feeling really is that he might not be someone the Dolphins can count on.

• On the other hand, Marcus Vick sure made a case for landing a roster spot. Vick had a strong night at wide receiver, and his ability to take a snap gives the Dolphins the opportunity to run a couple of gadget plays.

• We will go into the regular season with absolutely no confidence in the Dolphins' ability to produce a long return. The Dolphins had no explosiveness last season and they showed none whatsoever in the preseason. Against the Rams, for example, the longest punt return was 4 yards and the longest kickoff return was 24 yards. Yuck!

Olindo Mare is heading to the Pro Bowl. He concluded a fantastic preseason Thursday with five field goals and four touchbacks, including one where his kickoff actually went through the uprights. Impressive stuff.

• Saban will have some tough cuts to make along the defensive line, particularly after Kevin Vickerson's impressive showing against the Rams. Let's see, you have Jason Taylor, Kevin Carter, Vonnie Holliday, Keith Traylor, Dan Wilkinson, David Bowens, Matt Roth, Jeff Zgonina, Fred Evans and Vickerson. That's 10. The Dolphins probably won't keep that many. The hope is that the Dolphins can trade one of them -- maybe Zgonina -- and get a draft pick out of it. If not, then a pretty good player will have to be let go.

Jason Allen didn't have a bad game against the Rams, but he also did nothing of note and we continue to wonder exactly how much the Dolphins will be able to get out of him early in the regular season. Don't be surprised if he's inactive in the season opener.

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