Preseason football in South Florida: The constant threat of rain -- it's already showed. The humidity. The baseball infield.
Let's hang! There will be a live blog of the Dolphins' 2011 preseason home debut right here starting at 7:30. I'll come back in a little while and tell you which players -- other than Jake Long -- will not play tonight. I'll be interested to see whether/how long Will Allen plays tonight after missing most of the past 21 months with various injuries.
[Update: The Dolphins are announcing Jared Odrick replaces Randy Starks in the starting lineup tonight. Allen will not play. LB Austin Spitler, G Garrett Chisolm, T Ray Willis, OL Joe Berger, T Jake Long and TE Mickey Shuler are also scratched.]
Things to look for tonight -- other than Chad Henne's performance of course?
Dolphins linebackers versus Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey. The Dolphins are going to face very good tight end play in the regular season opener against New England. They have a history of struggling against tight ends in the past. Let's see how Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, and to some degree strong safety Yeremiah Bell fare tonight.
I want to see if Phillip Livas, who opened eyes last week with a 75-yard punt return, can show some consistency or if that was one-time luck. I'm not saying Livas needs to take another one to the house. I am saying he needs to show wiggle, ability to make the first guy miss consistently, and then acceleration past the second tackler. Blocking is supposed to take care of the rest.
I want to see if Matt Moore can show the spark again this week that he showed against Atlanta.
I want to see progress from center Mike Pouncey individually and then some clue that the offensive line is coming together as a group.
I want to see Anthony Fasano catch the ball rather than have the ball boink off his hands.
I want to see the front seven on defense stop the run, something they struggled to do last week at Atlanta.
And, obviously, I want to see a win. There is no substitute for victory.