The Miami Dolphins complete their preseason schedule tonight against the St.Louis Rams, and a lot of questions still remain. Entering the 2014-15 season, the team wants to change its mediocre ways and get back into the playoffs for the first time still 2010. If that is to happen, a lot of things must fall the Dolphins way, and a few areas must be solidified.
Through three preseason games, the Dolphins offense has run warm and cold, impressing early with a touchdown on their first drive against Atlanta, then most recently laying an egg against the Dallas Cowboys starters, a defense that may be the worst in football. The defense has performed more to expectations, good pass rush, not so great secondary work.
So what can we look for in in the last preseason contest, a game that is traditionally the least appetizing warm-up game? Let's take a look.
— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) August 26, 2014
1. Who is the Miami Dolphins kicker, and why is this still a question?
The Miami Dolphins were driving for a game-equalizing field goal in their last preseason game, but had a situation. Starter Caleb Sturgis was already out with a groin injury, and new kicker John Potter had injured himself earlier in the game, so the only option left was punter Brandon Fields. Problem is, Fields also holds on field goals, so you can figure out which part of that is the problem. Luckily for the Dolphins Brian Hartline wasn't forced into holding duty, as the Dolphins scored a touchdown to take the lead.
This week Potter is out, and kicker Jake Rogers is in. Caleb Sturgis may be back, but don't count on it, so the Dolphins have a decision to make. Count on Sturgis being healthy, so roll with Rogers entering the season, who has never taken a kick in his career. That's so Dolphins.
— DatHate.com™ (@Tito305Sports) August 27, 2014
2. Will Daniel Thomas show something in his first preseason action, and in turn, continue to prove he is a zombie.
This frickin' guy. Daniel Thomas has been banged up all preseason long, meanwhile backup Damien Willams continues to impress. The former Jeff Ireland draft pick seems to be healthy enough to give it a go in Thursday's preseason finale, and with Knowshon Moreno healthy and running well, his Dolphins career may be on the line. Can Daniel Thomas continue to somehow make the Dolphins roster, or will new GM Dennis Hickey give this zombie the double-tap?
Miami Dolphins pic.twitter.com/ohnGAUCxMV
— Bobby D. Cot (@BDelano38) August 25, 2014
3. Will the Dolphins carry just two quarterbacks?
With the release of Brady Quinn Tuesday, the Dolphins seem to be indicating they will enter the season with just two signal callers on their roster. No other quarterback the Dolphins carry looks like they will challenge Matt Moore for the backup-job behind Ryan Tannehill, and no one will come aboard this late in the week to play Thursday, but can the Dolphins roll the dice and get by with just two quarterbacks?
Brent Grimes has turned up the volume on the yellow shoes fad. Now he's trumped everyone with yellow sox. pic.twitter.com/gp824W0PYz
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 26, 2014
4. Which corner back will step up opposite Brent Grimes?
In my opinion one of the more underrated issues with the 2014 Miami Dolphins is their secondary depth. Behind Brent Grimes you have Cortland Finnegan and two second year unprovens in Will Davis and Jamaar Taylor -- that may not cut it against the elite competition the Dolphins face at the quarterback position this season. Finnegan is penciled in as the starting corner, but in 2014 teams need at a minimum four corners to get by, so can Davis and Taylor be those guys? If the sophomores prove to be not up to the task, expect the Dolphins to pick up some other teams cut corners, because without capable corners in the NFL, nothing else matters.
Phillip Wheeler 5 years, 26 million dollars. pic.twitter.com/wQquMBHKtl
— Chris Wittyngham (@1043Chris) August 23, 2014
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5. Can Phillip Wheeler do anything to show the Miami Dolphins didn't light $26 million-dollars on fire?
The Dolphins are still cleaning up Jeff Ireland's stink, and one of the smelliest things left behind is the expensive and less-than-capable linebacking core currently manning the starting unit, it's just not up to par. Ellerbe, Misi, and Wheeler all have underwhelmed in their time on the team, no matter what you read or hear. Rookie Jordan Tripp is making a case for playing time, which should tell you all you need to know about how the team is doing at the linebacker spot. Wheeler is the worst of the bunch, overpaid and unproductive to the point that Pro Football Focus routinely starts his post game grades with a emoticon shaking it's head. It's put up or shut up time for Wheeler and the rest of the Dolphins linebackers, or they will just become another name of bad player the Dolphins gave lots of money.