By Tyler McMullen @Direct_Snap on August 11, 2014
The Miami Dolphins dropped their preseason opener last Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 16-10. Miami opened the game strong, but eventually dropped the ball.
The team showed promise in many areas, but there are still many questions left to be answered. Here are the five biggest takeaways from Miami's preseason loss.
Miami's starting offensive line looked great to open the game Friday night. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the "surge" the right side of the line was able to get with two young players in RG Dallas Thomas and RT Ja'Wuan James (pictured). Both players struggled during training camp, but looked great Friday night. If the unit can continue to play as well as they did Friday night, Miami's offense may be able to get things going quickly in games.
Former third-overall pick Dion Jordan was supposed to be the team's No. 3 defensive end this season, coming in off the bench on third downs to generate a pass rush. But due to a four-game suspension and lackluster play thus far, there really is no dominant third defensive end on Miami's roster at the current moment. Jordan has been unable to surpass DEs Derrick Shelby and rookie Terrence Fede for that spot. Someone needs to step up in Week 2.
With TE Charles Clay sidelined, one of his back-ups are in a prime position to breakout and seize control of the No. 2 tight end spot on the depth chart. The question is who exactly will that be. Second-year TE Dion Sims was thought to be the team's No. 2 tight end, but he is a much better blocker than a receiver. Rookie Arthur Lynch has yet to make an impact. And every other tight end on the roster is beat up in some way, shape or form.
After Lamar Miller, there is a sharp drop off in terms of talent at the running back position on Miami's current roster. Sure the team has Knowshon Moreno to look forward to, but if Moreno cannot get himself into good enough shape to play Week 1 against New England, Miami is in trouble. The team gave RBs Mike Gillislee, Orleans Darkwa and Damian Williams a look Friday night and none of the three were too impressive.
Miam's young stud at QB, Ryan Tannehill, impressed during his first series of the preseason completing all six of his passes for 62 yards and one touchdown. Tannehill looked calm in the pocket and was quick to react, delivering the ball with confidence and accuracy. Miami's franchise QB looks much improved heading into the 2014 season and could help Miami push towards a playoff run out of the much improved AFC East division.
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