Camp From Hell Over – What to Watch: Dolphins Vs. Ravens

The Miami Dolphins training camp from hell is officially over. No more blistering hot sun, and no more injuries (fingers crossed). After losing yet another key player in CB Tony Lippett, who tore his Achilles tendon and will have season-ending surgery, the overall feeling closing out training camp in Davie, is well….. dismal.

With key and crucial injuries creating havoc within Miami’s 53 man roster, according to The Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins’ signed and released three players from the roster on Tuesday. Those  signings include baseball Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr.’s son, Trey Griffey. His physicality and size could be displayed on Thursday night when the Miami Dolphins take on the Baltimore Ravens.

Released:
WR Frances Owusu
WR Jordan Westerkamp
OT Kwayde Miller.

New:
WR Trey Griffey
WR Rashad Lawrence
OT Sean Hickey

On paper, yes, this is merely a preseason game. However, Miami will live and die on the next man up, meaning there are plenty of interesting position battles that will take place in Preseason Week 2.

What to watch for – Thursday night edition

It’s Cutler Time –

Welcome to the Jay Cutler Era. Strap in because it could be a very bumpy ride.

Head coach Adam Gase announced on Tuesday that veteran QB Jay Cutler will play in Preseason Week 2.

The Dolphins signed Cutler to a one-year, $10 million contract to replace injured QB Ryan Tannehill. With that signing, the odds seem highly in favor of the former Broncos and Bears starter to get the nod to start over backup Matt Moore when the season begins.

While Cutler will likely play less than 20 offensive snaps in his first home start at Hard Rock Stadium, the big question is this:

Can Cutler once more stay consistent under Adam Gase?

Keep an eye out for who Smokin’ Jay makes a connection with on his new WR core.

Who will step up at RB?

Long term, Kenyan Drakes potential concussion should not effect the depth at running back for the Miami Dolphins. However, at best, it’s not a good sign that both Miami backs suffered camp concussions, so I’m sure it’s still something weighing heavy on the minds of Dolphins coaches.

While Damien Williams will likely see the bulk of the carries in week  2, three rostered RBs are worth keeping an eye on.

My personal favorite undrafted signee, De’veon Smith and former Bucs RB Storm Johnson could likely be names you hear more of with strong performances against Baltimore.

Devante Parker

Devante Parker, who is now moving into his third season with the Miami Dolphins, had an incredible training camp, and seems poised to breakout in 2017.

Parker will likely only play a handful of snaps come Thursday night, and yet he’s the only receiver I’m concerned with watching. Why?

Because Cutler loves to target big receivers! That’s why!

Built similar to Cutler’s former No.1 target Alshon Jeffery, Devante Parker will likely see his numbers drastically increase, especially in redzone opportunities and targets. While it will be interesting to see who stands out as Cutler’s focal point for the offense, don’t be surprised if the University of Louisville standout becomes the most targeted receiver in Miami.

(Alshon Jeffery 2015: 9 GS, 954 receptions, 807 yards, 4 TDS)

BATTLE OF THE NIGHT:

Neville Hewitt Vs. Mike Hull

Fan Favorite Mike Hull should get the start as the Dolphins’ starting linebacker tonight. This will put a lot of pressure on the second year man. The Miami Dolphins are openly shopping veteran LBs, including former Dolphins starter Kelvin Sheppard. that being said, the job is Hull’s to be lost as it stands now.

As for Neville Hewitt, who is currently nursing an injury, he’s always been a player who stands out to me on both defense and special teams. While a bit undersized, the former safety turned LB can be disruptive in the pass game.  He also has a knack for sniffing out the run. If Hewitt can outperform Hull in the next few weeks, no questions asked, the job will likely become Hewitt’s.

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