Linebacker Channing Crowder showed flashes in his first two seasons, and maybe this is the first year he emerges as a star.
In the secondary, keep an eye on safety Yeremiah Bell, whose insertion into the starting lineup last year jump-started the defense and the team as a whole.
Finally, when Keith Traylor is right physically, he remains one of the best nose tackles in the league.
4)Is the offensive line potentially going to be a mess again this year? It seems like they are once again moving a lot of guys around.
Alain: That probably stands as the biggest question mark at this point. Already, the Dolphins have moved Rex Hadnot from center to guard, and Vernon Carey from right tackle to left tackle. The Hadnot move is fine, but Carey was the team's best offensive lineman last year and there's reason to wonder whether he can make a successful move to the left side. If he doesn't, then the Dolphins will have weakened not one, but two spots on the offensive line. The left guard spot is wide open right now, with the two main contenders for the job being veteran Chris Liwienski and rookie sixth-round pick Drew Mormino. If Mormino winds up winning the job -- and Cam Cameron has said he would rather be able to let Mormino develop for a year -- then the Dolphins would have two rookies starting on the offensive line because second-round pick Samson Satele probably will start at center. The Jets had two rookies starting on the offensive line last year, but both were first-round picks. So, yes, there is concern about the offensive line in Miami.
Alain: I think Booker can make a tremendous impact right away for the Dolphins, but not just as a true backup running back. Rather, I see him being used as a third-down specialist, maybe as an H-back along with Brown, and maybe as a kick returner at times. He will get some carries as well, but his lack of size limits the number of times he can be used in that role. As for Brown, he probably will be used more extensively in the passing game, so he might have a better all-around season.
The bottom line with Brown is that he's a very good, productive back, but he's not going to be a Tomlinson, a Tiki Barber or somebody like that. In fact, the best running back on the Dolphins roster is Ricky Williams, although he's probably no longer part of the team's plans. But a Brown-Booker combo should be good enough to give the Dolphins a competent running game.
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