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The Roster Bubble: Quarterback and running back

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With organized team activities getting underway today in Davie, I figured now is as good a time as ever to start highlighting some of the players who might be sitting on the roster bubble. Note that this series isn't going to discuss some of the training camp battles - such as the battle for the starting free safety spot. We will focus on those when training camp gets closer. After all, training camp is when things like starting spots get determined - not during OTAs.

But what OTAs can help do is begin to separate those who are fighting to make the 53 man roster. These sessions help the coaching staff see which players can process information quicker than others. They can see which players have been working hard this offseason to stay in shape and to improve themselves - key factors that can make the difference between making the final 53 and getting called in to turn in your playbook.

The first part of this series will focus on the quarterbacks and running backs.

Safe: Chad Henne, Chad Pennington
Bubble: Pat White, Tyler Thigpen

We know Chad Henne is the starter and CP10 will fit in somewhere on the Dolphins' depth chart. But does anyone think the Dolphins will actually keep four quarterbacks?

I don't think it's likely. But I have no idea what the end result here will be. Pat White had a disappointing rookie season - to say the least. Tyler Thigpen, meanwhile, came over in a trade last year and played surprisingly well back in week 17 against the Steelers - completing 4 of 8 passes for 83 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. If you ask me, it seems like Thigpen looks the part of an NFL quarterback. White? Not so much.

But White was a good passer at West Virginia, which is what confuses me so much about his season last year. How did the kid suddenly forget how to complete a pass?

The bottom line is that White was a top 45 pick last year while the Fins traded away a 5th round pick for Thigpen. The question is if that should matter at all. Are the Dolphins willing to give up just one year after spending a high pick on White?

Running Backs
Safe: Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Lousaka Polite
Bubble: Lex Hilliard, Kory Sheets

Brown, Williams, and Polite are obvious locks. Cobbs is another lock considering the various roles he can play and how he's one of Tony Sparano's favorite players. But depending on how Cobbs is recovering from his October ACL surgery, he could land on the PUP list to start camp. That could open the door for one of the other backs to shine.

Hilliard has spent two seasons in Miami so he knows the system. And he's shown flashes in his limited time. Sheets, meanwhile, was plucked from San Francisco's practice squad after Ronnie went down with his injury. He's got the speed and agility to be the kind of complimentary back that this offense lacks. If he can show an ability in the return game, that could help his case as well.

But if Cobbs is healthy by the end of camp, only one of the two listed on the roster bubble - at most - will have a shot to make the squad. That means both of these two (Hilliard and Sheets) need to make the most of their opportunities - beginning on Tuesday.

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