NFL Nation: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan pressured St. Louis Rams quarterback Garrett Gilbert on the final drive Thursday to help seal Miami’s 14-13 preseason victory. But after the final snap and in the locker room, reality set in for the Dolphins that Jordan will not be available for the next month while he serves his four-game suspension.

Joseph
Jordan
Jordan tested positive for a banned substance this summer. Friday marks the official start of his suspension, and Jordan must stay away from the team and the facility for the next four games.

The 2013 No. 3 overall pick had two tackles and a quarterback pressure in Miami’s preseason finale and showed flashes of what the Dolphins are missing. Jordan will miss games against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.

"I mean, it’s really tough," Jordan said. "Missing out on all the work that I put in leading up to this point. My guys are heading into the season with a big game and I’m not going to be able to be there. I mean, it’s unfortunate but at the same time, I mean, I understand the situation I’m in and I got to deal with the consequences."

Jordan vows to stay in shape and continue to work on his game. He mentioned the potential of working out with an independent defensive line coach during his suspension if it is within the rules. Jordan cannot work with anyone from the Dolphins organization for the next four weeks.

Jordan showed growth in some areas in training camp and the preseason. But the second-year defensive end still must refine his game to be an every-down defensive lineman.

The suspension loomed over Jordan for weeks, but to his credit he didn’t go into the tank and had a productive summer.

"I understood going into these first four games what the deal was," Jordan said. "I had to make these snaps count at game time and at practice. I then had to make sure I rose my level of play. So when I do step away, I mean, I at least put something in."

In addition to Jordan, starting safety Reshad Jones also is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Miami Dolphins' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
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Examining the Miami Dolphins' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin kept three quarterbacks his first two years. But expect that streak to end, as Seth Lobato didn't show enough to be Miami's No. 3.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

Williams, an undrafted free agent, had a good camp and preseason to unseat Miami draft bust Daniel Thomas.

RECEIVERS (7)

Seven is probably too many receivers. But Thigpen only counts as a kick returner.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

The Dolphins are thin behind Clay. Hoskins outlasted Michael Egnew and injured rookie Arthur Lynch.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)

This group still has something to prove. The sooner Pouncey can get back on the field, the better.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

No issues here. The Dolphins are deep in the trenches.

LINEBACKERS (7)

I'm still not sure the switch between Ellerbe and Misi will drastically improve this unit. We will find out soon enough.

CORNERBACKS (4)

This group has experience in the starting lineup and youth on the second team.

SAFETIES (5)
Reshad Jones' four-game suspension opened up a spot for a bubble player at safety.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Sturgis' groin injury is concerning. But he has 10 days to get healthy before the regular season.

MNF moments, No. 10: Bears' only '85 loss

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
9:30
AM ET
Nat Moore AP Images/Doug Jennings
To celebrate the 45th season of "Monday Night Football," a panel of ESPN.com contributors has selected the 45 most memorable moments in MNF history. Follow along as we reveal one per day and count down to this season's MNF debut.

No. 10: Dolphins 38, Bears 24 | Dec. 2, 1985


The 1985 Chicago Bears were one of the most dominant teams in NFL history. Including the playoffs and a 36-point victory in Super Bowl XX, that team won 18 games by an average of 19.6 points.

But there was one blemish on the Bears' record that season, and it happened on "Monday Night Football" against a franchise whose name is synonymous with perfection.

Members of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins were in attendance when the 12-0 Bears traveled to Miami in Week 13. On the game's first possession, Miami quarterback Dan Marino hit Nat Moore for a 33-yard touchdown. The Bears hadn't allowed a point in two straight games, or a touchdown in 13 straight quarters, prior to the score.

Marino would lead the Dolphins to 31 points by halftime, a total no other team could amass over a full game against the '85 Bears. The Bears would forget the loss quickly, allowing just 43 points over their final six games, including the Super Bowl.

But on that December night, the '72 Dolphins could rest easy knowing they would remain the only unbeaten team in NFL history.

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 28, 2014
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MIAMI – If something happens this season to Ryan Tannehill, the Miami Dolphins have reason to feel secure in their backup quarterback. Eight-year veteran Matt Moore capped a strong preseason Thursday in a 14-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams.


Moore was 5-of-8 passing (62.5 percent) for 38 yards in just one quarter of play. But most importantly Moore finished the exhibition season 30-of-46 passing (65.2 percent) for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in three games.

Tannehill and many other starters did not play Thursday as they rest for Miami’s regular-season opener Sept. 7 against the New England Patriots. Tannehill is durable and started all 32 games his first two seasons. But Moore also showed this preseason that he’s capable and ready this year if called upon.

Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' final preseason game:
  • Thursday was a huge game for Miami backup running back Daniel Thomas. The former second-round pick is on the roster bubble after suffering a hamstring injury, and other rookie running backs (Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa) have shown flashes. Thomas rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown against St. Louis' backups. The Dolphins will have an interesting decision to make on whether Thomas did enough to make Miami’s 53-man roster. The Dolphins have to make their final cuts by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
  • Dolphins kick returner and receiver Marcus Thigpen was another player who was injured this preseason and needed a good showing while on the roster bubble. He produced a mixed bag. First, Thigpen had an awful bobbled punt in the second quarter; he fumbled it twice and nearly turned over the ball. Then, Thigpen had a nice 32-yard punt return in the second half. Backup receivers Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams are both capable of splitting the return duties, which will make the roster decision with Thigpen interesting.
  • Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan started his first preseason game, one that marked his final game action until October following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Jordan recorded two tackles against the Rams. Rookie linebacker Chris McCain registered two sacks and should make the 53-man roster after a strong preseason and training camp.
  • Injuries are always a concern in this final preseason game. Miami rookie linebacker Jordan Tripp, who has been a bright spot in training camp, suffered a chest injury in the first quarter. He was taken to the locker room with trainers and did not return to the field. Other than that, the Dolphins exited the game in good health.

W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 28, 2014
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The Miami Dolphins (2-1) will host the St. Louis Rams (1-2) on Thursday night (7 ET) at Sun Life Stadium.

1. Bubble watch: This will be an important game for several key Dolphins who are on the roster bubble. Running back Daniel Thomas, receiver/kick returner Marcus Thigpen and defensive back Don Jones are among the bigger names who should be nervous entering Thursday’s game. Miami still needs to cut 22 players before Saturday and these three must prove themselves against St. Louis to avoid the chopping block.

2. Special teams: After last week’s poor performance, the Dolphins have a lot of questions on special teams. For starters, Miami kicker Caleb Sturgis is expected to return from a groin injury. Sturgis must prove he’s ready for Week 1. The Dolphins' coverage teams also gave up big returns and Brandon Fields had a punt blocked that was called back due to a penalty. Miami's third phase, as a whole, needs a much better showing in the final preseason game.

3. Quiet homecoming: Partially because it's preseason, there has been virtually no fanfare for Jake Long's first return to Miami since leaving in 2013 as a free agent. Long was a former No. 1 overall pick for the Dolphins in 2008 and had six productive years in Miami. But Long suffered through various injuries the past few years, and the Dolphins no longer believed he was worth the price tag. Thursday will mark Long’s first game in Miami since departing as a free agent.
DAVIE, Fla. -- Many of the current Miami Dolphins were children when quarterback Dan Marino dominated the football scene in South Florida. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was still working his way up the coaching ranks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Marino remains the best and most popular player in franchise history, and last weekend the team hired the Hall of Famer as a "special advisor." The reaction from players and coaches has been positive.

"I'm elated that he's part of the organization," Philbin said this week. "He's always kind of been an unofficial part of the organization. I had a chance to visit with him earlier today. He's excited about it. I'm sure there are a lot of things he can contribute to the organization in whatever roles Steve (Ross) and those that are in charge want that to be. He's always welcome here."

Marino's role with the Dolphins has not been defined publicly. There was no fanfare about the hire other than a news release, and there wasn't a news conference that allowed the media to ask Marino questions about his new job.

What is known is Marino will work in a variety of capacities. As time goes on, we will most likely know more about his role in Miami.

"I don't know. I don't know exactly what his role even is," Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill admitted. "No one has really even told me that. But, if he's open to some time, I'd love to pick his brain a little bit."

Regardless of his role, hiring Marino is a big win for the players. It's a rare resource to have a Hall of Famer who has been in current Dolphins' shoes readily available. Marino brings instant credibility as a person who's played the tough quarterback position as good as anyone in NFL history.

"Any time you have a guy like that just being around the organization is positive for you," Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said. "He's a legend, so any time he can come into this building and see a guy like that around is going to motivate you and help you play. You know he's going always to give you a couple of tips and nuggets, so that's always good."

MNF moments, No. 12: Cosell and Lennon

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
9:30
AM ET
CosellAP Photo/Richard Drew
To celebrate the 45th season of "Monday Night Football," a panel of ESPN.com contributors has selected the 45 most memorable moments in MNF history. Follow along as we reveal one per day and count down to this season's MNF debut.

No. 12: Dolphins 16, Patriots 13, OT | Dec. 8, 1980


With three seconds left in a 13-13 game, New England Patriots kicker John Smith headed out to attempt a game-winning field goal. There were significant playoff implications for the 8-5 Patriots, who hadn't beaten the Miami Dolphins on the road since 1969.

"John Smith is on the line," Frank Gifford said before asking broadcast partner Howard Cosell to break the news. "And I don't care what's on the line, Howard, you've got to say what we know in the booth."

Twenty-seven seconds later, no one was thinking about Smith's kick as Cosell announced to the world that former Beatle John Lennon had been killed outside his New York apartment. Cosell's professional tone belied his friendship with Lennon, who had visited the booth six years earlier to promote his and former bandmate Ringo Starr's new albums.

Cosell finished perhaps his most notable call with a perspective shared by his audience: "Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which in duty bound we have to take."

Few remember that Smith's field goal attempt was blocked and the Dolphins won in overtime.

Miami Dolphins cut-down analysis

August, 26, 2014
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Most significant move: Miami Dolphins quarterback Brady Quinn was the biggest release in terms of name recognition. The former 2007 first-round pick joined Miami about two weeks ago but was put in a rough spot to learn a new offense months after everyone else. Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore played well once Quinn arrived. Receiver Armon Binns also was a quality player who was cut but has a chance to help out another team. The Dolphins have a lot of depth at wide receiver.

Pouncey factor: The Dolphins' toughest roster decision this week doesn't involve cutting a player. Miami must decide by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET whether to save a roster spot for injured Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey or put him on the physically unable to perform list, which would guarantee he sits the first six games of the regular season. Pouncey had major hip surgery this summer and missed all of training camp and the preseason. The initial prognosis for Pouncey was to miss four to seven games. However, Pouncey has looked strong in rehab and believes he’s ahead of schedule. The Dolphins will get a firm medical update on Pouncey this week to decide how much time off he needs.

What’s next: The Dolphins will host the St. Louis Rams on Thursday at Sun Life Stadium. Then Miami will have to cut 22 more players on Saturday to get to its final 53-man roster.

Dolphins’ cuts: QB Brady Quinn, WR Armon Binns, TE Arthur Lynch, DT A.J. Francis, RB Mike Gillislee, TE Brett Brackett, CB Steven Clarke, DE Rakim Cox, DT Cory Grissom, C Tyler Larsen, WR Ryan Spadola, K John Potter, OT Steven Baker, S Demetrius Wright.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins finished their final practice in preparation for Thursday’s preseason final against the St. Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium.

Sturgis
Here are some notes and observations:
  • Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis returned to practice on Tuesday. His kicks looked strong and he didn’t show any ill effects from his groin injury. Miami has had injury issues at the kicker position, but it appears Sturgis is on his way back to the field. “All initial reports are positive,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “We’ll see once he warms up [Thursday] if we can get him out there.”
  • Philbin was not as forthright with the playing time of his starters Thursday, particularly his starting offense. It remains unknown if starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Co. will play against the Rams. Last year, Tannehill did not play in the final preseason game. But last week, Miami’s offense struggled to put points on the board against the Dallas Cowboys in the third preseason game as the Dolphins’ starters scored just three points in six possessions. Miami may want to get its first-team offense some confidence before its Week 1 showdown against the rival New England Patriots.
  • Miami backup running back Daniel Thomas said he’s ready to make his preseason debut against St. Louis. Thomas missed some of training camp and the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. Since then, Miami rookie running backs Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa have stepped up and played, which has put Thomas’ roster spot in jeopardy. Thursday’s preseason game may be Thomas’ last chance to impress. “It’s pretty important,” Thomas admitted. “I haven’t gone out there in a while. So I just want to show coaches that my hamstring is good, I’m feeling good and I’m ready to play good.”
  • There were dual “Play of the Day” candidates in practice. The first big play was Tannehill throwing a 30-plus-yard touchdown to speedy receiver Mike Wallace in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. There has been a lot of chatter about Tannehill and Wallace’s inability to connect on big plays, and that was a nice connection. The second play of the day was a pick-six by safety Reshad Jones off quarterback Brady Quinn in team drills.
  • The Dolphins are currently at 86 players. They have to make 11 cuts to get down to 75 players by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog will provide a cut-down analysis Tuesday evening once the team makes it decision.
MIAMI -- Can one strong preseason game supersede an entire offseason and training camp?

That is the dilemma currently facing the Miami Dolphins with running backs Knowshon Moreno and incumbent starter Lamar Miller.

Moreno
Moreno made an impressive Miami debut Saturday night during a 25-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He led all rushers with 64 yards on 10 carries (6.4-yard average). Moreno also showed good vision, burst and the ability to finish runs in his first game of 2014. These are things Miller struggled with this during the previous two preseason games.

However, Miller has been the most consistent running back in practices, dating back to organized team activities in the spring. Miller also has been the healthier tailback -- and the most available. Moreno struggled this spring on a gimpy knee and wasn't in the best of shape. He’s only now rounding into form in late August following recent knee surgery.

But Moreno’s performance against Dallas certainly was enough to make Miami’s coaching staff rethink their depth chart at running back. Should Moreno be the starter in Week 1 of the regular season?

“We haven’t released anything,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said after the game of his tailback situation. “We’re still evaluating right up until we name our starter. I thought [Moreno] played well.”

This is certainly an interesting situation for the Dolphins. When they released their first official depth chart this summer, Moreno was listed as the fourth running back. Some of it was a farce because he hadn’t done much in training camp up until that point. But Moreno, at best, was the No. 2 running back heading into Miami’s third preseason game.

Now, expect a lot of chatter in South Florida about making Moreno the No. 1 running back. He’s coming off a career year in 2013 with the AFC champion Denver Broncos and showed some of that form against Dallas. Meanwhile, Miller didn’t flourish in his first season as a starter last year and remains a question mark.

“I can’t control where I am on the depth chart,” Moreno explained. “That’s all about the coaches, and they have to do those things. I just have to come out and prepare and get ready for each games. I think all us running backs are prepared to be No. 1.”

Starter or not, expect Moreno to be a key cog in Miami’s offense. He brings a physical element to the Dolphins they haven’t had since Ricky Williams.

The Dolphins will use the next 10 days of practices to make the call on their starting running back before they host the New England Patriots Sept. 7 in the regular-season opener.

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
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MIAMI -- Until Saturday night, the Miami Dolphins were left to wonder what their running game looks like at full strength under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Miami had gone without Knowshon Moreno, a key free-agent pickup, the entire preseason due to knee surgery.

But Moreno made an impressive 2014 debut in Saturday's 25-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Moreno rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries (good for a 6.4-yard average) in his Dolphins debut. Moreno ran strong between the tackles and added a new dimension to the Dolphins' offense. He showed good vision, burst through the hole, and wasn't afraid to punish defenders at the end of runs.

Moreno is competing with incumbent starter Lamar Miller (34 rushing yards) and perhaps closed the distance with this preseason performance. Miami hopes Moreno's output Saturday is a taste of things to come in the regular season.

Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' third preseason game:
  • It was a mixed bag from Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed 13-of-21 passes for 119 yards and one interception in the dress rehearsal game. The third-year quarterback did a decent job of moving the Dolphins' offense down the field, but sloppy play kept points off the board. Tannehill threw his interception into double coverage while Miami was driving down the field in the third quarter on his final throw of the night. Tannehill also completed a pass to tight end Dion Sims, who fumbled the ball in the first half to stall another drive.
  • The Dolphins’ starting defense held up well against a talented and dangerous Cowboys’ offense. Miami held Dallas’ offense to just six points in the first half when starters were on the field. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looked befuddled at times by Miami’s defense. Romo was 10-of-18 passing for 87 yards in the game and was sacked three times. Dolphins starting defensive ends Cameron Wake (two sacks) and Olivier Vernon (one sack) got to Romo.
  • In addition to Moreno, Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay also made his 2014 debut. Clay tweaked his knee during Miami's team scrimmage earlier this month and missed the first two preseason games. Clay played in the first quarter and recorded one reception for 18 yards.
  • The Dolphins still have a lot of work to do on special teams. Dallas reeled off big returns Saturday, including a 50-yard kickoff return from Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris in the first quarter. Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry also fumbled a punt return that he later recovered. The Dolphins also had a punt blocked, but it was called back due to a Dallas penalty. On top of that, Miami kicker John Potter also injured his hip in the first half and didn't finish the game. Punter Brandon Fields performed kickoffs in the second half. It was a rough night for Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi, who certainly has a lot to talk about with his group next week.
  • Miami starting middle linebacker Koa Misi was a late scratch Saturday night with a shoulder injury. He practiced during the week but was held out against Dallas. The Dolphins started backup linebacker Jason Trusnik in place of Misi. Dolphins kick returner Marcus Thigpen, kicker Caleb Sturgis and running backs Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee were also among the key players who didn’t suit up for Miami Saturday night.

W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
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The Miami Dolphins (1-1) will host the Dallas Cowboys (0-2) on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.


1. Offensive production: The Dolphins' offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has shown a mixed bag during the first two weeks of the preseason. The passing game and tempo have been upgrades from what we've seen last season. However, the running game is virtually non-existent thus far. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 75 percent (15-for-20) of his passes and is playing faster and more decisive football. The passing game under Lazor has been sharp. But the offensive line is getting little push in the running game. The Dolphins had minus-5 yards in the first half last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and must improve their production on the ground.

2. Healthy returns: Running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) and tight end Charles Clay (knee) have practiced all week for the Dolphins. There is a good chance one or both will make their 2014 debut Saturday against Dallas. Moreno and Clay are expected to play major roles in Miami's offense this season. Clay was a steady force over the middle last year with 69 receptions. Moreno also is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2013 with the Denver Broncos. Clay, in particular, said he feels ready to play against Dallas. But the final call Saturday will be up to the medical staff.

3. Change at right guard: Free-agent signing Shelley Smith will get his first start in a Dolphins uniform Saturday at right guard. Smith replaces the struggling Dallas Thomas, who was manhandled last week by Tampa Bay Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Right guard is the final spot on the offensive line that is still up for grabs. Smith, who signed a $5.5 million contract in March, has a chance to solidify that spot with a strong performance against the Cowboys.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins completed their final practice in preparation for Saturday’s third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are some notes and observations on Thursday’s session:
  • Dolphins tight end Charles Clay completed a full week of practice and is optimistic about his chances of playing against Dallas. Clay missed the first two preseason games with a knee injury. But he returned to practice this week with no setbacks. Clay told me he feels ready, but the final decision probably won’t be made by the team until Friday. “I feel good,” Clay said. “It felt good to get back out there and get the timing and things back down with the quarterbacks. Mentally, I’ve been getting myself prepared. But just being able to get out there and physically being able to run through everything is a good feeling.”
  • Thursday’s practice was a light walk-through. The team stayed inside the entire time and practiced in shorts and no pads. There was virtually little contact and the practice took approximately one hour.
  • Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said they will game plan for the Cowboys more than any preseason opponent. Because it is a dress rehearsal, Miami also simulated a regular-season week where the team will put in a specific plan for an opponent. “The game plan is in, every part of it is in,” Philbin said after practice. “So guys get a chance to kind of let it sink in and get ready to perform on Saturday night.”
  • In terms of injuries, kickoff return specialist Marcus Thigpen (hamstring), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring), cornerback Jalil Brown (thigh) and kicker Caleb Sturgis (groin) were the key players who didn’t practice Thursday. There is a good chance these players won’t suit up Saturday against Dallas.
  • The Dolphins will have a day off Friday before playing the Cowboys Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Miami will wrap up its preseason on Aug. 28 against the St. Louis Rams.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins will play their third and most important preseason game Saturday when they host the Dallas Cowboys.

Tannehill
All eyes nationally will be on the high-profile Cowboys and stars such as quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant. But for Miami, this team is focused on taking another important step forward before its Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the AFC East rival New England Patriots.

Saturday could be the final time key starters play in the exhibition season. Most coaches prefer to use the fourth preseason game to let the backups determine the final roster spots.

"It’s the most game-like," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of the third preseason game. "It’s the game where the starters will get the most playing time out of the entire preseason. It doesn’t really count, but it matters, it matters to us and the progression we make as a team as far as getting better. It’s our last chance before we play for real."

Tannehill has made steady progress throughout training camp and the preseason, which is good news for the Dolphins. He started training camp with a rocky start, including one stretch early where he threw six interceptions in two practices. It was part of the growing pains of learning a new offense under Bill Lazor.

However, Tannehill has been solid in the second half of training camp and the preseason. He completed all six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons and was 9-of-14 passing last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tannehill is completing 75 percent of his passes during the preseason and playing faster and more decisive.

Tannehill and the offense are showing early signs of growth compared to last season. This unit was 27th in the NFL in 2013. If Miami’s offense can rise to the middle of the pack, the Dolphins could be dangerous when paired with a talented defense.

"I’m excited about this team," Tannehill said. "I’m excited about the players we have first and foremost, I’m excited about the offense we have and the meshing of the two. I think it’s a good fit, the personnel we have is a good fit for this offense."

Miami Dolphins' projected roster

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
8:00
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Examining the Miami Dolphins' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

It remains to be seen if Miami keeps three quarterbacks. But the addition of Quinn, a former first-round pick, makes this an interesting decision.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

Williams returned from injury and showed toughness. Health permitting, he could steal a roster spot the next few weeks from veteran tailback Daniel Thomas.

RECEIVERS (6)

All these receivers have a chance to be productive. Should the Dolphins consider a trade here to help another position?

TIGHT ENDS (3)

The third tight end spot remains in the air. Brackett, Arthur Lynch and Michael Egnew are all close.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)

The Dolphins still haven't decided on their starting five, particularly at right guard.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

Fede and Johnson have both made their presence felt and should make the 53-man roster.

LINEBACKERS (7)

I still don't have a ton of confidence in this group. This could be a weakness on the team.

CORNERBACKS (4)

The Dolphins must stay healthy here. But they also have some safeties with position flexibility.

SAFETIES (5)

It's Wilson's time to shine in the starting lineup with Reshad Jones' four-game suspension looming.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Sturgis' groin injury is making things interesting. Free-agent pickup John Potter kicked well against Tampa Bay.

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