Well, we've already learned today why the dolphin in the Miami Dolphins logo is wearing an "M" on its helmet instead of wearing the actual Dolphins logo. (WARNING: prolonged staring at the .gif inside the link has been known to induce vomiting and cause random screaming of "FINKEL IS EINHORN!")
But now, it's that time of week where we take a minute or 20 to answer some of the more pressing questions around the AFC East.
So let's get to some of the better questions in today's "Words With Frenz" mailbag!
@erikfrenz is Sterling Moore on the bubble?— michael destefano (@mtd10mm) August 24, 2012
Thanks for the question, Mike.
At present, cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington look like the top duo. With McCourty and Arrington inactive, cornerbacks Ras-I Dowling and Sterling Moore got the start against the Eagles. McCourty, Arrington and Dowling are locks for the roster.
The other two or three spots could come down to Moore, Alfonzo Dennard, Will Allen and Marquice Cole. Of those four, I would say Moore is the safest. He has underrated ball skills, and has a leg-up on the other three due to his experience with the defense last year. He played safety in his first game against the Jets, and moved to cornerback later, displaying the type of versatility that would make him a valuable asset to the secondary.
He has clearly earned the respect of his teammates, or else they wouldn't have given him such a flattering nickname as "7-Eleven" to indicate that he's always open.
If he can live up to his nickname against opposing defensive backs not wearing a Dolphins uniform and/or shorts and shells, he can definitely make the team and contribute. He had a couple of nice plays in the previous preseason game against the Panthers, with three receptions for 30 yards which included an impressive catch-and-run in which he broke a tackle from a Panthers defender and picked up extra yards—an important trait to have for wide receivers in the West Coast offense.
It's worth noting, as well, that this isn't the first impressive training camp Chris Hogan has ever had. He impressed with the 49ers, but was ultimately a victim of the final cut.
"The 49ers liked the size, athleticism and versatility of the 6-foot-1, 220-pound undrafted rookie from Monmouth," wrote Craig Massei of NinersDigest.com, "and those features kept him around to the final cut. But he was in no-man’s land with 10 receivers vying for five roster slots on cutdown Saturday."
There are quite a few receivers vying for the final one or two spots, but between Hogan, Marlon Moore, Clyde Gates, Rishard Matthews and Roberto Wallace, Hogan has done the most of them all to distinguish himself from the pack.
Ali, I think the answer lies in who gets the most opportunities.
The Jets are clearly going to gear the offense toward the ground and pound under offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, the same man who helped Reggie Bush reach his first 1,000-yard season as a running back in the NFL.
Now, the roles have been switched.
Bush is the best weapon on a pass-first team, which means he could be used as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, but also likely means defenses will key in on him. He will also likely split some time with fourth-round running back Lamar Miller, although the rookie still has some work to do (according to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post) in making the transition to running behind a zone-blocking offensive line.
The Jets offense isn't loaded with weapons, but Shonn Greene is the lead back in Sparano's offense, and even if he's only utilized on first and second down, the Jets' run-heavy style of offense will likely give him enough opportunities to surpass Bush.
Greene's smash-mouth style of running is likely to be an even better fit behind a man-blocking offensive line like the one the Jets will run than it was behind the zone-blocking offensive line under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Got room enough for one more.
@erikfrenz Final roster cuts do in a week, any big names U C not making the roster? & Jets R trying hard 2 block Mario, how many sacks wk1?— Yes We Chan! (@TWAN_585) August 24, 2012
Okay, a two-part question, maybe I have time for two more. Thanks, Twan.
The only big name I see in danger of making the roster is cornerback Terrence McGee. He's been injured for much of camp, and hasn't made significant progress (according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com) at any point in terms of his health.
He has even admitted concern over his roster spot to The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. This goes beyond his health, though; he has struggled in recent years, giving up a passer rating of 107.2 in 2011 and 97.9 in 2010.
With a youth movement in full swing at cornerback, it wouldn't shock me to see McGee miss the cut considering the circumstances.
As for Mario Williams' Week 1 sack count, when Wayne Hunter was the projected right tackle, I had the over-under at 2.5. Now, I'm not so sure. I'll have a better answer for you after I've seen newly minted starting right tackle Austin Howard in significant action.
Thanks for the questions, everyone! Further questions can be directed to me via Twitter or the comments below.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained first-hand.