With the third week of the preseason upon us, the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to face off in Sun Life Stadium. Before the game starts tonight, we take a look at some of the top players to watch got the Dolphins' offense.
1. Charles Clay
With the loss of tight end Dustin Keller, Charles Clay moves into the starting tight end position. Can he step up and make the Dolphins offense whole again? Will he slide back into a primarily fullback role, while someone else (Michael Egnew, Dion Sims, Kyler Miller, Evan Rodriguez) takes over the tight end role? A lot of this season could be on Clay's shoulder now. How will he respond?
2. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill had established a chemistry with Keller, who was starting to look like the safety blanket for the passing game. Without the sure handedness of Keller to be the outlet as plays break down, Tannehill will now have to find another option What kind of decisions will he make? What kind of timing will he have, and will he rely on other options tonight, showing that the offense can still operate without Keller?
3. Daniel Thomas
The second string running back just won't give up on the idea that he is the starter. The team is treating Lamar Miller like a feature running back, but are publicly saying it's an open competition between the two. Thomas has been running hard all preseason, and has not been putting the ball on the ground. Will that continue? Can Thomas avoid the injuries that has plagued his career thus far?
4. John Jerry
Despite repeated attempts over the years by the Dolphins to replace him, Jerry continues to rise out of the embers of his career to reclaim a starting spot on the offensive line. That appears to be happening again this week as Jerry should move back to his starting right guard position, and the offensive line solidifies. If he is held out of the game, which is a possibility as he comes back from knee problems, Lance Louis could also move into the starting lineup, and would be someone to watch.
5. Brandon Gibson
Once again, the Keller injury's impact on the offense could be mitigated with a strong performance from third receiver, Gibson. Miami is going to give Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline their touches each game, but Gibson and Keller were likely to split targets. Now, with Keller out, Gibson should see a large number of those targets come to him. How will he respond?
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