The mantra always is that “pre season games mean nothing. ” And while it is correct, it has no bearing on your season standings, to many players trying to achieve their life long dreams, it means everything. Tonight’s game means a great deal to plenty of players. A couple in particular I’ll be watching for.
1. Jonathan Martin. He has definitely not had a good week. Between twitter and various blogs and websites, it has been said that Martin has been “owned” by or “manhandled” by several defensive players. Most notably Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan. I realize that the starters are scheduled to play only a series or two, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the O line got more, especially Martin. He needs to show he is up to the task of protecting Tannehill’s blind side or panic may set in quickly among Dolphins nation.
2. Michael Egnew. He needs to show something, anything to justify a roster spot. Egnew is not only fighting for a roster spot, he may very well be fighting for his NFL career. For his sake, he should take advantage of the extra pre season game and prove that he can play in the NFL.
3. Dan Carpenter and Caleb Sturgis. I think it is Sturgis’s job to lose. The question is can Carpenter out kick him and make the coaching staff think twice about letting him go.
4. Any wide receiver not named Wallace or Hartline or Gibson. Someone needs to take hold of the #4 WR role that was vacated when Armon Binns went down with a season ending knee injury. Rishard Matthews is still banged up, leaving the door wide open for someone to take a roster spot or two. Marvin McNutt has had a good camp. The Dolphins just signed Julius Pruitt and Keenan Davis. And am I the only one waiting for Jeff Fuller step up and finally show something?
5. Dion Jordan. No he does not need to worry about his roster spot, I just want to see him in a Dolphins uniform. I want to see why Ireland and company considered him the player in draft that they would regret not getting. The early reports have been very good
Truth be told, I could name at least 10 other players I am keeping a close eye on tonight. I cannot remember being this excited for a pre season football game. I cannot even imagine how the players feel right now. To many of them, this game is huge.
Carl C. Crowley