The Dolphins play their first home game of 2011 against the Carolina Panthers, as the Fish look to clip the Cats and get off to a fast start at Sun Life Stadium–even if it’s only an exhibition.
After a 2010 that saw the Dolphins go 1-7 at home, the fans would love nothing more than to be able to leave the building with smiles on their faces for the first time in a long time.
The Dolphins are coming off of a 28-23 win at Atlanta in the preseason opener last Friday night, while the Panthers doubled up the Giants 20-10 on Saturday. Expect to see Jason Taylor, Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush all out on the field for the Dolphins after they sat out last week for precautionary reasons. On the other side, the Panthers will promote Cam Newton, the #1 overall pick in April’s draft, to make his first career start.
Despite the hopes of a home win, the preseason is mostly about talent evaluation, and so we’ve asked Kim Bokamper, Keith Sims and John Congemi to each name three players that they’ll be paying special attention to in tonight’s game:
- Reggie Bush: Why? Because he’s Reggie Bush. I can’t wait to see what he looks like in a Dolphins uniform.
- Chad Henne: He’s got to stay away from the interceptions and you’ve got to see improvement from him or all of a sudden you’re going to have a quarterback battle on your hands.
- Jimmy Wilson: Can he sustain the level of play that he had last week? If he does, we might be looking at our third cornerback on this football team when the season rolls around.
- Phillip Livas: Is he a one-game wonder or will he really push for a roster spot? Another big game Friday night and he’s going to make it very tough for Coach Sparano to keep him off the final 53!
- Vernon Carey: We all know he had to move inside to guard from tackle. Now we need to find out if he is the answer at RG or are the Dolphins going to continue to shuffle the 0-line, something that I’m not too big on.
- Brandon Marshall: With the crazy offseason and the revelation of his disorder, Marshall needs to be the force as the #1 WR that this Dolphins team has craved for years. Even though he had a solid year last season, he needs to be an impact Pro Bowler that the Fins traded two second round picks to bring to South Florida.
- Chad Henne: I will be looking for chemistry with Brandon Marshall and his overall command of this new offensive system. I’m hoping to see him play a clean first half!
- Daniel Thomas: I would like to see what Thomas can do with some running room! I know that he can catch the football out of the backfield, but I’m hoping to see the downhill, one-cut back have some daylight to run through. He ran physically against Atlanta without success and hopefully he will have more room to roam against Carolina.
- Reggie Bush: In his first action in a Miami Dolphins uniform, I’m looking for Reggie not only to catch the football underneath, but also see his speed and quickness in the running game.
Which player are you most interested in seeing tonight?
- Reggie Bush (44%)
- Chad Henne (27%)
- Jimmy Wilson (8%)
- Someone Else (7%)
- Brandon Marshall (6%)
- Jason Taylor (5%)
- Phillip Livas (3%)
- Vernon Carey (0%)
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.