The season is officially underway after the players haven taken to the field. In just a few days the first preseason game will be played and in about a month the official NFL season will kickoff. Until that time, teams like Miami have to undergo the dreaded task of taking a group of young talented athletes and cutting them in half (figuratively, of course) to find out who will be the final 53 to make the roster.
My idea was to divide all our players into a handful of certain categories:
BLUE CHIP, RED CHIP, UPPER ECHELON, Starters, Reserves, On the Cusp & Happy Trails.
A description after the jump...
- BLUE CHIP- The cream of the crop; these guys are within the best 10 players at their position in the entire NFL. Pro-bowl caliber players who would be elite performers on any NFL roster.
- RED CHIP- These are your studs. Typically the play-makers on your team who are in the TOP 15 players at their position in the entire NFL. These guys can easily make the pro-bowl with a good season, and would be starters on almost EVERY team in the league.
- UPPER ECHELON- this group is made up of solid players who are made of consistent veterans or young guys who can easily be the future and turn into a RED or BLUE CHIP player in the following years. These players are major assets to your team and their leadership as starters is crucial for your team's overall success.
Those 3 categories are your "LOCKS". These guys will undoubtedly make your roster barring some crazy scenario such as a trade or a freak injury (*knocks on wood*). Simply put, if your team does well OR if it plays like crap, the credit may rest on many of these players shoulders'.
But that's only 15 players, Einstein. Well, now here comes the interesting part. Throughout training camp and preseason we will take a look at the remainder of the roster and collectively work together to try and attempt to fill every single player into the remaining 4 spots:
- Starters- These guys will start at their position. However, their play dictates if they can move up into any of the (3) top categories, or ultimately move down to a reserve role, or worse. Ultimately, solid, unspectacular play will keep them in this category unless they play poorly.
- Reserves- These guys are poised to make the team. These players may have a certain skill set that allows them to be solid depth to the starters. However, just like the starters, good play could warrant them increased playing time, while poor play may have them packing their bags.
- On The Cusp- Players who are grinding for a chance to be a Miami Dolphin. Most likely will not be looking for a starting position, but will have to bust their ass in order to become a reserve. A few big plays in practice or a preseason game could be the difference.
- Happy Trails- Training Camp Fillers. Players in this spot are doubtful to make the roster. These players will have to work effortlessly just to move into the position to be considered for a final roster spot. Thanks for playing!
The idea is to introduce you to this idea and revisit this post after EVERY preseason game. Many players should "move" either up ( ^ ) or down ( v ) and jump from category to category as their play dictates where they stand. I am guessing that the top 3 categories should remain relatively unchanged. I'm sure Kevin and the rest of the great guys on here will provide their depth chart takes as well, but this post is merely complementary and relies on YOUR votes, comments, and input, in order to run correctly! Please help me by letting me know your opinions, your corrections to the player pool, and your take on the hottest training camp battles. I will make the changes to the 7 categories based on YOUR input!
If you like the idea, REC this post to keep it visible for the preseason. Like I mentioned, it will be updated after every preseason game and hopefully give us the best idea on who's starting, who's staying and who's going! Plus, it's just another place to talk Miami football while all of us are sitting at the edge of our seats waiting for the final whistle to blow. The best part is that nobody has any excuse to not be up to date with most of the training camp issues, because all you need is HBO; Hard Knocks starts this Tuesday, August 7th at 10 PM Eastern Time!
The player pool is below: Feel free to browse and agree, disagree and mostly vote in the poll! Looking forward to an awesome camp and awesome season! Go Fins!
Players placed on how they stand at this very instant. Keep in that mind all "undecided" players will be placed into one of the following categories after the first preseason game. Players are undecided based on age, experience, competition or lack of overall roster knowledge. Don't worry, things should shape up shortly!
-On The Cusp-
Les Brown (R)
Chandler Burden (R)
BJ Cunningham (R)
Michael Egnew (R)
Jeff Fuller (R)
David Garrard (FA)
Jonas Gray (RB)
Artis Hicks (FA)
Chris Hogan (R)
Chad Johnson (FA)
Josh Kaddu (R)
Richard Marshall (FA)
Jonathan Martin (R)
Rishard Mathews (R)
Lamar Miller (R)
Legedu Naanee (FA)
Kheeston Randall (R)
Eric Steinbach (FA)
Ryan Tannehill (R)
Olivier Vernon (R)
Jamaal Westerman (FA)