What to Watch in Dolphins vs. Jaguars Preseason Week 1
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There were plenty of storylines to come out of that game, but with such limited opportunities for the top players on the team, there are still plenty of questions left to be answered. The team has questions at left tackle, running back, defensive end, wide receiver and more.
So let's not waste our time. Here's a look at what to watch for in Friday night's preseason game.
Can Dion Jordan keep it going?
Jordan played 14 snaps last week, and he rushed the passer on just 10 of them, but he made an instant impact by getting to the quarterback with three pressures and by logging a successful tackle on a third-down running play.
We're not just interested in how well and how often he plays, but also in how the Dolphins use him. He was gearing up to drop into coverage on his third-down run tackle, but other than that one play, he was primarily crashing the line off the edge. Jordan was regarded for his versatility in rushing the passer and dropping into coverage.
The Dolphins probably won't open up the whole playbook with him in their second preseason game, but we could start to get a look at how the team will use him over the course of the season.
Battle for roster spots at wide receiver
We know Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson will all make the roster, but beyond that, there are questions as to who will be catching passes at receiver.
The Dolphins lost wide receiver Armon Binns to a torn ACL and MCL in the first week of training camp and are looking to receivers like Chad Bumphis, Marvin McNutt, Keenan Davis, Kenny Stafford, Jeff Fuller, Brian Tyms and others.
Those receivers are likely competing for about two or three roster spots.
Perhaps Bumphis earned a longer look with his performance last week, catching five of the seven passes thrown his way for 85 yards (17 yards per reception). He worked primarily out of the slot, running 33 of his 35 routes from inside. The Dolphins might also like to see their choices in terms of receivers that could fill a backup "X" (outside) receiver role.
Left tackle Jonathan Martin didn't perform awfully in the preseason opener, but he was up and down, as was to be expected.
The same can't be said for his backup, Dallas Thomas, who got off to a rough start by giving up a pressure on Ryan Tannehill and never recovered. He allowed three combined pressures on the quarterback, according to Pro Football Focus (one sack, one hit and one hurry), and was equally ineffective in the running game.
Unless Thomas improves, the Dolphins had better hope Martin stays healthy, because he's by far the best option the team has at left tackle.
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