We are moments away from the opening of the 2012 preseason for the Miami Dolphins. Friday night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come calling. Two teams from Florida, two teams debuting new regimes. In this article we will note a few things to look for when the Dolphins are on offense (defense article is HERE)
The main place to start is of course QB. So far David Garrard is listed as the #1 guy. This was earned through his experience in the west-coast offense, and his impressive training camp play to date. Garrard has shown an ability to grasp the offense, and understand his role regarding game management. The thing here is that last years starter Matt Moore is a significantly better in-game QB, than practice QB. Rookie Ryan Tannehill is coming on strong too, so for Moore to remain a part of the QB competition he will need to shine in these preseason games. Tannehill’s debut should be fun. The Buccs secondary is a potentially weak unit, vulnerable to big plays/big yards. Not a lot of depth there. At safety we will see rookie Mark Barron start, and fellow rookie Lavonte David will get a lot of time at outside linebacker too. These two will both be legit NFL players going forward.
Miami has running backs that need to prove their worth in order to get carries as the depth chart is looking deep. Reggie Bush is the main man, but second year man Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller will battle for playing time. Toss in Steve Slaton as a long-shot looking for carries too. Running the football was e-a-s-y against the 2011 Buccs. New front 7 coach Bryan Cox (yes indeed, that Bryan Cox) is charged with ratcheting up this groups effort up to the next level. The Buccs are looking for depth on the defensive-line, and they surely need third year man Gerald McCoy to step his game up (Cox will be all over McCoy). Butch Davis is on board for the Buccs too. We can expect a much more aggressive and nasty 2012 Buccs defense. Pressure will be on center Mike Pouncey to help maintain the middle. We will watch the remade right side of the line, especially rookie Jonathan Martin (he will start).
We will get our first glimpse of the different formations/strategies that new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman will bring. We will watch to see if Bush sees time as a slot WR. We will see our first look at how they want to utilize their fullback. One thing I hope we see is a few red-zone looks for TE Anthony Fasano. I have mentioned before Miami is 11-5 all-time when Fasano catches a TD pass. He can be very effective (remember the last good Dolphins season was 2008, and that year Chad Pennington and Fasano were a terrific combo)
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