I have been extremely dismissive of this final pre-season game tonight. Before we get into this piece, let’s touch on three things I want to look for:
1.) Xavien Howard – He’s been anointed the defacto starter week one in Seattle and I find the message to be a bit mixed. Here you’ve made Laremy Tunsil beat out the far inferior Dallas Thomas, and the first sign of Howard practicing earns him the job over Tony Lippett? He must be something special.
2.) Kenyan Drake – I liked the idea of starting him on boomerang IR (designated to return) but apparently that’s not an option – let’s see what he can do against some fourth stringers.
3.) Hard Rock Stadium – It’s rather anti-climactic opening the newly renovated building with Zac Dysert as your starting quarterback, but it’ll be some much needed eye candy, nonetheless.
If you’ve followed the blog throughout the pre-season, you’re used to lengthy posts detailing nearly every snap of the games. That process will continue as the games become real but first, this roster needs to have the fat trimmed.
I could’ve waited for the game to conclude tonight but I find very little useful about this game and I’m betting most jobs have been decided already.
Cut down day is Saturday and 22 men will be given the worst news they have received as a professional. Here is the Write Travis Write 53 man roster prediction:
Quarterback (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Zac Dysert
Running Back (4): Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi, Isaiah Pead, Kenyan Drake
Receiver (6): Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo, Griff Whalen
Offensive Line (8): Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod, Ja’Wuan James,
Billy Turner, Anthony Steen, Dallas Thomas
Tight End (3): Jordan Cameron, Dion Sims, Dominique Jones
Defensive End (5): Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones, Andre Branch, Terrance Fede
Defensive Tackle (5): Ndamukong Suh, Earl Mitchell, Jordan Phillips, Julius Warmsley, Chris Jones
Linebacker (6): Koa Misi, Kiko Alonso, Jelani Jenkins, Spencer Paysinger, Neville Hewitt, Mike Hull
Cornerback (5): Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Tony Lippett, Chris Culliver
Safety (5): Reshad Jones, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Michael Thomas, Walt Aikens, A.J Hendy
Specialists (3): Andrew Franks, Matt Darr, John Denney
Practice Squad (8): QB Brandon Doughty, WR Rashawn Scott, TE Thomas Duarte, DT DeAndre Coleman, LB James Burgess, LB Tyler Gray, CB Lafayette Pitts, CB Jordan Lucas
I do wonder what the plan with Dion Jordan will be or if I even believe of the ailments he’s reporting at this point. Terrance Fede could be a candidate for boomerang IR but the Chris McCain trade must mean he’s ready for an earlier return. Chris Culliver will be one of the eight that doesn’t dress until he’s healthy.
This group is a little different than what I expected it to look like. Of course, there could be an addition or two coming over from other teams across the league. Geoff Schwartz was released from the Lions earlier this week and would be a no-brainer swap out for Dallas Thomas. Mike Hull’s job might be in jeopardy depending on what the linebacker market looks like come cut day.
This is Adam Gase’s first NFL roster. He has his fingerprints on it, but there should be even more dramatic changes made by this time next year.
On Monday, I will be posting a comprehensive team preview of the 2016 Miami Dolphins. It will cover a positional breakdown, statistical projections for every player, and a breakdown of the schedule. Its manifesto length will give you everything you need to know about the upcoming season as well as a final record prediction.
Buckle those chin-straps, Dolphins fans. Football is back.
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Have a safe Labor Day, everyone.