Sunday, August 25, 2013
What to watch revisited: Miami Dolphins
By James Walker
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins completed their fourth game of the preseason in a 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was the important "dress rehearsal" game for Miami, which will now begin to turn most of its attention toward preparation for the regular season.
Before the game I highlighted three keys to watch for the Dolphins. Here is a recap of how the team fared in those areas:
1. Who emerges at tight end? With starting tight end Dustin Keller (knee) out for the season, the Dolphins didn’t gain any clarity Saturday night at the tight end position. Charles Clay got the start and had a shaky game. He struggled to get open and had just one reception for 5 yards. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill targeted Clay six times in the game without much success. Dion Sims also had one reception for 18 yards in the second half. This position remains a work in progress with the regular season right around the corner.
2. Lamar Miller’s workload: Miller entered with just nine carries in the first three preseason games. Miller got his biggest workload of the preseason Saturday against a good run defense with the Buccaneers. Miller rushed for 35 yards on eight carries. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but much of it was gained on a 20-yard run. With Daniel Thomas (seven carries, 3 yards) struggling, Miller secured the starting job for the Dolphins to start the regular season.
3. John Jerry’s progress: Jerry, Miami’s projected starting guard, made his preseason debut for the Dolphins on Saturday. Jerry is returning from a knee injury he suffered in the first week of training camp. He only played in the first quarter and had mixed results. The Dolphins didn’t want to put too much on Jerry’s plate right away. But he has plenty of strides to make before the start of the regular season.