Andy Cohen In The Morning appears on dolphins.com every Monday through Friday, except for the bye week, until the end of the season. The column will be posted each day at 6 a.m. Be sure to follow Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins
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There is one preseason game left, one more chance to form conclusions and finalize roster decisions. But it’s also now time to focus on what’s most important: Getting ready for the New England Patriots.
We are less than two weeks away from the season opener. There is a lot to prepare for. I’m guessing – just a hunch – that the vast majority of the game plan is already in place. Why, knowing Joe Philbin, he might have had a few assistants working on it about two hours after the schedule came out. Wouldn’t put it past him.
But the game plan is one thing; getting his players ready for a multitude of imposing challenges is another matter entirely. You think Tom Brady is already thinking about the Dolphins? You bet he is.
So, in my humble opinion, everything that happens from here on out – the practices, the meetings, the tape studies, the brainstorming sessions – will all have the Patriots in mind. Up until now, it’s been about finding answers, evaluating 90 players and introducing a new offensive system. Now, we take things to another level. Now, there is one singular undeniable purpose: Preparing for 1 p.m. on Sept. 7th.
So in light of what happened Saturday night against Dallas, in light of the roster decisions being made as I write this column and in light of the urgency of preparing for New England, I offer you an assortment of Monday morning opinions.
• No announcement has been made on the starting offensive line. But I like what the starting five did against Dallas and, in my mind, it appears likely now that this is the group we’ll see against the Patriots.
• If the Dolphins don’t have the league’s best back-up quarterback in Matt Moore, he is certainly in the conversation.
• The deep ball problems between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace remain a legitimate concern. Tannehill absolutely must improve that part of his game. The missed long ball connection against Dallas serves as yet another example.
• Whether you are talking about Damian Williams with an “a” or Damien Williams with an “e” they both have surprised a lot of people this summer. Does one D.W. make it? Does both? Some difficult decisions await.
• I’m not convinced yet that the Dolphins will have a consistently good running game, but I do feel a lot better after watching Knowshon Moreno break tackles and find small creases against the Cowboys.
• Too many special teams problems surfaced against the Cowboys. Needless to say special teams coach Darren Rizzi has a busy few weeks ahead of him.
• I’ve seen enough of second-year cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis to know this: Both are vastly improved and both will contribute a lot this season behind starters Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan.
• Like I’ve been saying all summer, cutting down this deep group of receivers will be one of Joe Philbin’s most agonizing challenges.
• Will a healthy kicker please step forward? And soon!
• So the preseason ends Thursday against the Rams. And then all thoughts can turn to New England, a season opener that will tell us so much about this football team.
(On Tuesday, AC in the AM takes a close look at cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan).
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.