Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
Davis Has Possibly Earned the Nickleback Job
Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that Will Davis is the front-runner to land the nickleback position.
Per Beasley: "He has been steadier in practice this year and has done enough in the minds of coaches to move past Jamar Taylor for the nickel corner job—at least for the time being."
Davis has impressed the Dolphins throughout training camp and the preseason, as he's not getting beat on plays as often as he was last season. In fact, it's been the opposite, as Pro Football Focus has Davis thus far graded at 5.6 for the preseason, which is the highest among cornerbacks.
Clay "Optimistic" About Return
Charles Clay has struggled with a knee injury throughout the preseason, but according to James Walker of ESPN.com, the tight end is optimistic about his return.
Clay and the Dolphins won't decide if he will return Saturday night against the Cowboys until later on Friday. However, he has practiced in full all week, and Clay told Walker that he does feel ready, saying:
I feel good. It felt good to get back out there and get the timing and things back down with the quarterbacks. Mentally, I’ve been getting myself prepared. But just being able to get out there and physically being able to run through everything is a good feeling.
Clay is integral to the Dolphins offense this year, specifically with his pass-catching abilities. It would be nice to see him work with the offense against the Cowboys on Saturday, but his overall health should be the most important consideration.
Daniel Thomas, Caleb Sturgis on the Hot Seat
Hal Habib of The Palm Beach Post wrote early Friday that running back Daniel Thomas and kicker Caleb Sturgis are possibly in danger of being released by the Dolphins if they don't turn things around.
On Sturgis, Habib wrote:
Nobody thought much a couple of weeks ago when the Dolphins signed Danny Hrapmann. Just a body to kick in one exhibition while Sturgis’ groin heals, we thought. But then, a week later, Miami dropped Hrapmann and brought in John Potter, who made kicks from 48 and 51 yards last week. Package that with the fact Sturgis started off sizzling as a rookie last year before cooling off (for an overall so-so season), and that this is his second straight camp with groin issues, and you’d be naive to think that Sturgis still has this thing locked up. I suspect coach Joe Philbin would not mind if the offense stalls around the 30- or 35-yard line against Dallas just to give Potter another look from distance under pressure.
Meanwhile, Habib had this to say about Thomas:
[Thomas] Has a career 3.6 average. A power back who has averaged 2 1/2 touchdown runs per season. And he has missed considerable time this camp due to injury. Thomas seems like the kind of player who makes coaches say, “We know what he can do” when they really mean, “We also know what he can’t do.” He’s not bad; he’s not great. If the Dolphins keep only three backs, I can see Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno being backed up by free agent Damien Williams, who’s comparable to Thomas but could offer more promise down the road.
The situations between the two are different. Sturgis is only in his second year and started off his rookie year well. However, this is the second straight preseason dealing with a groin injury, as Habib notes, which should lead to some questions about his offseason conditioning. The battle between him and Potter should continue through the fourth preseason game against the Rams.
As for Thomas, he is what he is—which sadly for him is mediocre. I believed that the Dolphins should've released him last year after training camp, as he has consistently underperformed.
With Damien Williams doing well, this should give the Dolphins some incentive to release Thomas, who isn't particularly needed if they have a healthy Knowshon Moreno (who has had knee issues this preseason).