Five questions for the Dolphins’ second preseason sport vs. the Raiders


Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) and coach Mike McDaniel discuss throughout follow at Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

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Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel was requested Wednesday what he’s most trying ahead to forward of his first sport at Hard Rock Stadium. He paused for a second

“I don’t know, the aqua seats?“ he deadpanned.

“I guess I would say the thing I’m most excited about is that connection between a fanbase that really supports and is invested into the team and a team that really wants to do right by the fanbase,” McDaniel later stated. “That should be fun, and I look forward to that this weekend and the rest of the season.”

After checking off one benchmark final week — his first sport as Dolphins head coach — McDaniel will test off one other together with his first dwelling sport when the staff hosts the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night time.

Here are 5 questions for the Dolphins’ second preseason sport:

Does Tua make his preseason debut?

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was considered one of a couple of dozen starters held out of the preseason opener towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When McDaniel final spoke to reporters earlier than Wednesday’s follow, he had not decided on Tagovailoa’s standing for Saturday. Tagovailoa later stated he hoped he received the chance to take just a few snaps with the first-team offense. If he does, it’ll possible be with out huge receiver Jaylen Waddle, who has missed the final three practices with an undisclosed harm, and left sort out Terron Armstead, who has additionally been held out of staff drills the final two classes. Still, as Tagovailoa acknowledged, it might be useful to get reside sport reps earlier than Week 1, particularly with new middle Connor Williams. McDaniel stated he’d be stunned if Tagovailoa didn’t play within the preseason, so Saturday might mark his debut within the new offensive scheme.

Can the Dolphins discover extra success on the bottom?

The Dolphins totaled simply 49 yards on 14 carries final week towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a determine that was propped by a pair of 20-yard runs. Tampa Bay usually dedicated eight defenders to cease the run and the tactic proved profitable. The potential presence of huge receiver Tyreek Hill — even when just for just a few performs — on the sphere might assist open up the bottom sport as defenses have to watch his velocity. Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert have been additionally held out of the preseason opener however might jumpstart the working sport after it did not take off towards the Buccaneers. Multiple gamers have stated mastering the timing and angles of the offensive line with the backs is the important thing to the surface zone scheme.

What can Bowden do for an encore?

Wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. noticed his inventory rise as a lot as any participant final week after catching three passes for 55 yards and one landing. Amid a quiet begin to camp and a report of commerce talks involving Bowden, McDaniel has praised the professionalism of the third-year participant, who had a superb follow Wednesday. Though he faces an uphill battle to make the roster, his expertise as a receiver — and potential returner — is unquestioned. Bowden noticed simply eight offensive snaps final week however made a case for extra taking part in time together with his efficiency in Tampa.

Which cornerback steps up?

Trill Williams’ season-ending harm was a disappointing growth for a younger cornerback pushing to be a prime reserve. His harm led to the staff’s signing of veteran nook Mackensie Alexander, who brings 25 video games of beginning expertise to the place room. Many of the Dolphins’ younger corners struggled within the preseason opener — Tampa Bay threw for 301 yards — they usually’ll want to offer extra constant play Saturday to reassure the staff of its depth. Byron Jones’ standing for Week 1 stays unsure, though McDaniel stated he’s “hopeful” about Jones’ availability for the season opener.

What different bubble gamers stand out?

While McDaniel stated he expects many veterans who sat out the preseason opener to play Saturday, a lot of the sport will as soon as once more characteristic dozens of gamers vying for one of many remaining roster spots remaining. Players reminiscent of defensive sort out Benito Jones and out of doors linebacker Darius Hodge stood out towards the Buccaneers and are proper within the combine for reserve spots on protection. On offense, backup spots on the offensive line nonetheless must be sorted out. With Armstead unlikely to play Saturday, Larnel Coleman and Kion Smith ought to as soon as once more see prolonged motion at sort out.

Daniel Oyefusi covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald. A local of Towson, Maryland, he graduated from the University of Maryland: College Park. Previously, he coated the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

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