Here are my five key takeaways from last night’s game:
- QB Position Still Undecided: Coach Joe Philbin has reiterated a desire to name a starter by the third week of the preseason, but the Dolphins’ quarterback picture remains murky.
The Miami Dolphins have numerous positions up for grabs when the 2012 Training Camp opens on Friday, July 27, and one area of the team to focus on is the offensive line. Most fans would agree that center and the left side of the line of scrimmage is one of the strengths of this team, but the same cannot be said about the right side where no starters will return to the roster from last season.
In years past, they preferred hulking offensive linemen who could set the tone for a power rushing attack. But now, with the emphasis shifting to the passing game, the Dolphins will move to a zone blocking scheme.
Merling, who is entering his fifth season, all with the Dolphins, will look to compete for playing time on the defensive line. The Dolphins selected Merling the with the 32nd overall selection, the first pick in the second round 0f the 2008 draft.
No matter how much it will fly under a lot of fans’ radar, there’s no question that most teams around the NFL will be looking to upgrade their offensive lines this offseason. There are no official league-kept stats to judge the performance of offensive linemen and a lot of fans overlook the play in the trenches, but there’s no doubt this is a critical part of the formula for any team’s success.
Today the Dolphins cut their roster down to 53 players in advance of the start of the regular season. The roster moves were made in three different categories:
-20 players were waived. These are players with less than four years service time and they must pass through the waiver wire.
-Six players had their contracts terminated. These are veterans with four or more years in the league.
Earlier in the day, Coach Sparano told the media it takes a while for an offensive line to jell and become a good unit. The Finsiders broke down what Sparano meant and gave fans some reassuring analysis.
Coach Tony Sparano released his first depth chart of the 2011 season today and while a LOT will change between now and the regular season opener on September 12th, it’s always fun to see where guys stack up heading into pre-season game number one. Here are my notes and observations:
- QB: Chad Henne is the starter, with Matt Moore #2.
LB Karlos Dansby/OUT/Toe*
TE Anthony Fasano/OUT/Knee
T Lydon Murtha/OUT/Head
CB Nolan Carroll/QUESTIONABLE/Head (limited practice today)
*Late Friday afternoon, the team announced that Dansby has been placed on injured reserve.
The Dolphins were back at practice today as they get ready for Sunday’s season finale at New England. After practice, coach Tony Sparano met with the media and discussed several key issues, including what kind of effort he expects out of the Pats, who already have the #1 seed in the AFC wrapped up. Sparano said that he thinks they’ll try and come out to win their 14th game and that they are not a team that practices mediocrity.