What to Expect from the Dolphins

JagNation has spared no expense and left no stone unturned as we strive to get our loyal readers as prepared as possible for Saturday evening's all-important preseason tilt between the Miami Dolphins and your Jacksonville Jaguars. We found out from Dolphins head-honcho Tony Sparano who is going to play, what they are looking for, and how former Jaguar wide receiver Ernest Wilford is doing.

The Dolphins opened the Parcells-Sparano era with a 17-6 drubbing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Saturday. This Saturday, the Dolphins will be more prepared according to their coach.

"I think what we're going to do today is practice against ourselves," Sparano told reporters Wednesday. "We'll spend one extra day tomorrow; we have two practices so we'll look at Jacksonville a little bit tomorrow. Spend some time that way. So we'll prepare more this week certainly then we did last week, but still not a complete game plan."

The Jaguars friends from the south will use this game as an opportunity to evaluate the bottom end of their roster, as well as get prepared for a regular season in which they are trying to rebound from a disastrous 1-15 record.

"We look at this opportunity first of all to start to get the players ready to play, that we feel really comfortable with, that are going to be on our team," said Sparano. "Secondly, there's a bunch of bubble guys right now because there is competition going on here at a bunch of positions that obviously we need to see and continue to evaluate. Look, Jake Long is going to be on our team. At the end of this we need to get Jake Long ready to play more than the snaps that he played the other night. We've identified that, we know there's a bunch of guys that are here that are going to be here and they need to play more right now, they need to get more snaps. A guy like (Derek) Hagan needs to take more plays in a row. (Ted) Ginn needs to take more plays in a row right now. Then there are some bubble guys that are still trying to make this team, clearly. Nothing has been decided in those situations. At the end of this game the picture will be a lot clearer."

Sparano confirmed that running back Ronnie Brown will indeed suit up and play Saturday night, but he's not sure about newly acquired quarterback Chad Pennington

"I'm not sure where I'm going to go with it, but we're going to take a long look at it right now and it's going to be something comfortable, something that we feel. I don't want to put him in a situation where it's too much right away, right now, or at the same time we ask him to do too much because he doesn't have that information yet. We'll have to see where he is at the end of tomorrow and that will be the deciding factor."

Former Jaguars wide receiver Ernest Wilford has been on somewhat of a roller coaster ride ever since signing as a free agent with the Dolphins. Wilford experienced the financial windfall of a four-year, $13 million deal with $6 million guaranteed back in February. After the Dolphins first week of training camp, Wilford was demoted to second-string in favor of former second-round pick Derek Hagan. Wilford has seemed to bounce back in recent days, and caught the eye of his head coach in a positive way.

"I have seen some improvement. In fact the guy that I've seen improvement with, in the last couple of days has been (Ernest) Wilford. I thought Ernest has caught the ball the ball the last couple of days and you start to feel him a little bit more and he's made a few plays that way. I think the guys have made an effort to catch the ball a little bit better and they've spent some time out here, a little bit extra time that way, but we got a long way to go. We got to get it done in the games."

As most knowledgeable professional football fans know, preseason scores mean very little and teams usually aren't nearly as bad or as good as they look in the exhibition season. Saturday's game will be interesting for Jaguars fans as they will get to see the number one pick in the draft, Jake Long, controversial lightening rod Ricky Williams, and most importantly, this will be the final time Jaguars fans get to see their team at home until week two of the regular season when they take on the Buffalo Bills.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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