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1 posts from August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014

Things to expect versus the Buccaneers

The Dolphins are traveling to Tampa today and will play their second preseason game Saturday evening.

Ryan Tannehill will start at quarterback and play longer than he did versus Atlanta in the preseason-opener. Tannehill had 10 plays against the Falcons. Expect 15 or more plays for Tannehill, depending on how things go.

If he opens the game with another 10-play TD drive as they did against the Falcons, however, maybe coaches pull him again and continue to build on that confidence.

Unlike last week, Matt Moore is scheduled to play Saturday. He will get a lot of work and might go into the second half.

Running back Knowshon Moreno, who missed the first three weeks of camp and did not play in the scrimmage or preseason opener, is expected to miss Saturday's game as well. Coach Joe Philbin said he is "starting" to see glimpses of what Moreno has been in the running game but the player simply isn't there in the passing game yet. Next week.

Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline -- who both missed the preseason opener -- are ready to go for this one and will play with Tannehill and perhaps even when Moore is in the game.

Defensively, the Dolphins were atrocious tackling against Atlanta. The team worked on it a solid three days this past week. Can they improve their tackling?

You'll also see the team's plans for the nickel unit: Cornerback Cortland Finnegan will be moving inside to cover the slot receiver while Jamar Taylor and then Will Davis cover outside. Brent Grimes, obviously will be on the other side and expect Jimmy Wilson, who has previously been the nickel, to play at safety.

The reason Wilson is playing safety is Reshad Jones will be suspended four games in the regular season. This past week the Dolphins demoted Jones to second team safety. He'll play, but don't be surprised if it's with the reserves against Tampa Bay. (That's got to sting the proud player).

Keep your eyes on tight end Brett Brackett. He led the team in receptions and yards against Atlanta and, as I write in my column today, he makes as many plays as any other TE on the roster during practice. Brackett is a long shot, primarily because he has to improve this part of his game.

But he merits your attention.