5 Things To Watch For During Miami Dolphins 2014 Preseason Opener

5 Things to Watch for in Miami Dolphins' Preseason Opener

Miami Dolphins Preseason 2014
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The Miami Dolphins officially open their 2014 preseason schedule against the Atlanta Falcons this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. EST. Miami has done an excellent job this offseason and is primed to compete for a Wild Card spot in the AFC this season.

While the starters likely will only see a series or two, here are five things to watch in Miami's preseason opener.

5. Which Cortland Finnegan Shows Up?

Cortland Finnegan
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5. Which Cortland Finnegan Shows Up?

Cortland Finnegan
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Finnegan has looked phenomenal thus far working opposite Brent Grimes in practices for Miami, but we finally get to see the former Pro Bowl corner go against receivers he hasn't seen every day for the past two weeks. Finnegan has been a ball-hawk during practices, which is something Miami could certainly use in the secondary. That being said, he was absolutely awful last season in St. Louis, leading to his release. Which Finnegan shows up?

4. Miami's Defensive Line Rotation

Earl Mitchell
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4. Miami's Defensive Line Rotation

Earl Mitchell
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To no surprise, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and Randy Starks will start the season at their respective LDE, RDE and DT positions, but there are some intriguing player battles to watch along Miami's defensive line. DTs Jared Odrick and Earl Mitchell will battle for the starting position next to Starks, while AJ Francis and Anthony Johnson will battle for the fourth DT position. And who exactly is the third DE? Derrick Shelby or Dion Jordan?

3. Who Steps Up Behind TE Charles Clay?

Dion Sims
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3. Who Steps Up Behind TE Charles Clay?

Dion Sims
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Miami has some serious depth concerns at the tight end position. While Charles Clay is a great target and arguably the best offensive weapon Miami has, there is little to no depth behind him in terms of proven talent. Dion Sims is incredibly inconsistent. Arthur Lynch is just a rookie. Gator Hoskins is an undrafted rookie. Kyle Miller has done nothing during his tenure in the league. And Michael Egnew is, well, Michael Egnew.

2. Who is the No. 3 Running Back?

Mike Gillislee
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2. Who is the No. 3 Running Back?

Mike GIllislee
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Tight end is not the only position Miami is lacking depth in as the running back position is looking incredibly weak behind Miller and Moreno. Daniel Thomas has looked lackluster thus far through two weeks of camp, but two youngsters in Mike Gillislee and Damien Williams have looked intriguing and should be the focal point during the first two games of the preseason for Miami. The team needs to see if there's any upside there.

1. How Does the Offense Look?

Mike Wallace
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1. How Does the Offense Look?

Mike Wallace
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Bringing in former Philadelphia Eagles' QB coach Bill Lazor was step one in the process of turning Miami's offense into a high-powered attack, but step two is putting it all together. The team went out and reworked the entire offensive line after allowing a league-high 58 sacks in 2013. QB Ryan Tannehill has a ton of talent to work with in this offense. How does the offense gel so far, and how fast is it going to be in 2014?


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