The preseason is here, and I know many people don’t care for the preseason. I’m not one of them. Sure, the games don’t count, and most starters don’t play much at all but I think it’s a good chance to see your younger players and see how they do against live competition other than their own team. There’s no game-planning, and most things are pretty vanilla and basic, but you get a feel for what your team has and who could be on your roster, etc.
I felt last year not having a preseason hurt the Miami Dolphins, especially early in the year. With the Dolphins being a young football team, I thought there would be a lot of growing pains without a preseason, and they would struggle early. Sure, enough the Dolphins did struggle early with a 1-3 start and got better as the season went on. The Dolphins might have struggled either way; we will never know. For teams that have established rosters, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Buffalo Bills, the preseason is killing time until the regular season because they know their starters and most of who is going to make their roster.
Every year when training camp starts, I always like to read the training camp reports on the Dolphins every morning. I like to read on sites like the Sun-Sentinal and the Miami Herald about the teams’ progress, what players are doing well or struggling, the key position battles, and how the rookies are doing. I like to get a feel for things, but then after a while, I want to see how they are doing during the games to get ready for the season and draw my own conclusions. What positions are deep and what areas of the roster could be of concern going into the season are things I like to look at as well. I always follow all the moves in the off-season like any other fan, but then you want to see what the team put together.
This year I’m excited to see our new receiving core. I’ve read a lot about Albert Wilson being the MVP of training camp after opting out last year with COVID concerns and two years removed from his hip injury, and from what I’m reading, he’s back to his pre hip injury form. If that’s the case, watch out, but I want to see it. The Dolphins have other receivers vying for spots like Robert Foster, Mack Hollins, Lynn Bowden, and with the injuries to Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and Preston Williams, who will step up. I haven’t even mentioned Jaylen Waddle, but I know what he can do, and honestly, I don’t expect to see too much from him in the preseason opener.
I’m also curious to see how the offensive line looks in its first action, as well as who will lineup at what positions. I also want to see some of our rookies like Javon Holland and what he can bring to our secondary, Liam Eichenberg, and where he fits into the offensive line. The one area that might sound crazy that I want to see is our new punter, Michael Palardy. The reason is that the Dolphins let Matt Haack sign with the Buffalo Bills, and I thought he had been punting very well. Plus, Palardy hasn’t punted in a couple of years, so it’s a roll of the dice. I know punting isn’t a glamorous position, but special teams are 1/3 of the game and important with field position. I hope the Dolphins made the right move.
I can’t wait to see the new-look team as it’s just another step before the season opener in one month. All of the movement in the off-season to improve the team will be on display and gives us a chance to see what they can do even though the game doesn’t count, but we can see what we have and what we can expect or give us a glimpse of it.