The Miami Dolphins continue into the second week of a four-game home stand as the 2016 NFL schedule moves to Week 6. The team, however, does not get any easier as they will meet their fourth 2015 Playoff team in the span of six weeks. This time, the team comes in the form of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We are working our way through the Dolphins’ 2016 schedule, posting team previews from each club as we go. Below, you will see Miami’s schedule, as well as links to the previews already completed and a link to the team’s SB Nation blog site.
(Note: We would recommend going ahead and joining the team sites for each of Miami’s 13 opponents this year if you are not already a member of their site. This will prevent you from running into any waiting period those sites may have established for membership, allowing you to join in pre-game discussions with their fans.)
Week 6 - vs. Pittsburgh Steelers team preview - Behind the Steel Curtain
Week 7 - vs. Buffalo Bills team preview - Buffalo Rumblings
Week 8 - BYE
Week 9 - vs. New York Jets team preview - Gang Green Nation
Week 10 - @ San Diego Chargers team preview - Bolts from the Blue
Week 11 - @ Los Angeles Rams team preview - Turf Show Times
Week 12 - vs. San Francisco 49ers team preview - Niners Nation
Week 13 - @ Baltimore Ravens team preview - Baltimore Beatdown
Week 14 - vs. Arizona Cardinals team preview - Revenge of the Birds
Week 15 - @ New York Jets team preview (Saturday) - Gang Green Nation
Week 16 - @ Buffalo Bills team preview (Saturday) - Buffalo Rumblings
On to Week 6. Thank you to the guys over at Behind the Steel Curtain for taking the time to continue the preview series:
Notable free agent additions: Ladarius Green, TE
Notable free agent departures: Antwon Blake, CB, Brandon Boykin, CB
Trades: None to date
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: Most would assume 1st round pick Artie Burns, CB, will be the main to step up, but the hope is he won’t be needed in 2016. The picks who are expected to truly make some plays are 2nd round pick Sean Davis, Safety out of Maryland, and Javon Hargraves, NT from South Carolina State. Both play positions which are extremely thin and could lend themselves to seeing a rookie with notable playing time.
Biggest offseason addition: No doubt the biggest addition was bringing in Ladarius Green. With Heath Miller calling it a career, Green will help mask some of the issues which are absent with Miller not in the fold anymore. Green has the size and speed to create mismatches down the middle of the field, something Miller lacked in his later years.
Other than Green, the Steelers’ ability to keep their own (Ramon Foster, LG, William Gay, CB, and Robert Golden, S) were huge additions this offseason.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The team’s secondary will certainly be the most talked about topic heading into training camp, but the team’s defense overall should be the biggest storyline. They were able to create turnovers in 2015, but their overall lack of pass defense (30th in the NFL) left the team hanging out to dry on more than one occasion.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: For the past two seasons, offensive coordinator Todd Haley has given the offense a goal of averaging 30 points per game. They failed to do so last year, without having Ben Roethlisberger under center for almost 6 full games. If everyone stays healthy, this could be one of the best offenses in team history, as well as in the NFL in the past decade.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Le’Veon Bell’s knee injury which ended his 2015 season early will be worth keeping an eye on, as well as an ankle injury which currently has Ladarius Green sidelined until training camp. Other than that, the Steelers have a relatively clean bill of health outside of the usual football maladies.