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Buccaneers at Dolphins: Three positions to watch for Miami

The Miami Dolphins close out the Preseason tonight with a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What positions should be the focal point for Miami tonight?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations! You have officially made it through the offseason, through training camp, and, by the end of the night, through the Preseason. After tonight, the Miami Dolphins will have their final roster cuts remaining as the last major event before they officially begin the 2015 regular. What are the key positions to watch into tonight's contest, positions that still have the most to be decided for the Dolphins?


It feels like guard is one of the positions to watch every single week, but there is probably a reason for that: it is a position to watch every single week. Reports have indicated that the coaches are putting rookie Jamil Douglas ahead of Billy Turner at right guard, which we may see during this game. Even if the full first-team offensive line does not play tonight, extended snaps for Douglas and Turner are likely. The coaches have to decide who best fits the Miami starting five linemen, and this is their last chance to get a game-scenario evalutaion of the two players.


Another position that, at least since Louis Delmas was injured, has maintained its spot on the list of positions to watch. Tonight will solidify either Walt Aikens or Michael Thomas as the starter next to Reshad Jones. Most likely, Aikens holds on to his slight lead, with Thomas working as a reserve safety and cornerback for the Dolphins' defense, but he does have the talent to claim the starting position himself. Thomas almost fits the Jimmy Wilson, big nickel, cornerback/safety role for the Dolphins, something that could work to his benefit in seeing playing time this year, if he does not claim the starting spot outright.


The Dolphins appear to be comfortable with a starting linebacker group of Jelani Jenkins, Kelvin Sheppard, and Koa Misi, so there is not a lot of drama there. Behind those three, however, there is a lot to be decided. Where is Chris McCain, and can he flash the potential that had him penciled in as a potential starting strong side linebacker this year? Who comes out of the undrafted free agent group, with Zach Vigil, Mike Hull, and Jeff Luc all showing promise and potential? Could Neville Hewitt, another undrafted free agent linebacker, jump into the roster consideration level? How could/would the Dolphins split the group between the 53-man roster and the practice squad? A lot needs to be decided in the next few days, and tonight's game could tip the favor in one direction or the other for all of these players.