The Miami Dolphins are getting ready to make their 2016 debut, facing off against the New York Giants in a Preseason Week 1 contest on Friday night. With their debut also comes the debut of our 2016 “Five Questions” series, where we get a chance to talk to the bloggers over at the Dolphins’ upcoming opponent’s SB Nation site, giving us a better look at that team. In this case, with the Giants game coming up, we turn to Big Blue View.
Ed Valentine, the Big Blue View editor-in-chief, answered my questions about the Giants:
Kevin: The starters likely will not play much during this game, since it is the first preseason game, which means we probably will not see much of former Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who signed this offseason with the Giants. How has he looked so far in camp?
Ed: Vernon has been a monster throughout camp. He has given second-year left tackle Ereck flowers fits. He has Giants fans salivating about him on one side and a productive Jason Pierre-Paul on the other.
Kevin: Eli Apple was a player on many Dolphins fans and analysts radar for Miami in the Draft. Obviously, the Giants took him off the board before Miami's pick. How is he transitioning to the NFL game?
Ed: Apple is a terrific talent with one major flaw -- he tends to clutch and grab too much. It's something the Giants are working hard to eliminate, but it will take time. The Giants have Dominiqu Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins and Leon Hall, so they shouldn't need to put a lot of pressure on Apple early. That's a good thing. He looks like a guy who will be very good, but it will take some time.
Kevin: It sounds like Victor Cruz is at least hobbled early in camp. For a player who has not played since 2014, that is not a good sign. How serious is it/how worried are you? Any other injury issues for the Giants thus far?
Ed: Cruz was healthy throughout camp until coming up with a sore groin on Tuesday. What I'm worried about with Cruz is that we have yet to see any real burst or explosion. After two serious leg injuries that's a concern. The Giants have a couple of guys banged up, but this is the healthiest they have been at this time of the season in several years. It's actually kind of scary how healthy they are.
Kevin: Assuming Eli Manning is not playing most of this game, the Dolphins will likely see a heavy dose of Ryan Nassib. Can you give us a scouting report on the former forth-round draft pick?
Ed: My favorite line I always use about Nassib is "looks good in a baseball cap." In three full seasons Nassib has yet to take a meaninful snap b/c Eli just keeps going, and going and going. Nassib can move and make plays with his legs, but he can also be erratic and indecisive -- which probably comes from his lack of playing time. Hey, the Giants other choice is Logan Thomas! You know the deal there.
Kevin: It is going to be strange to see the Giants this year and not see Tom Coughlin on the sidelines. What changes is Ben McAdoo bringing to the team and how is he adjusting to being a new head coach?
Ed: When McAdoo was hired the thing I said was that we needed to find out if the job was too big for him. It's not. Not by a long shot. McAdoo is fond of saying he is "comfortable in my own skin," and he has proven it. He has been unafraid to step out of Coughlin's shadow and do things his way. I think McAdoo is going to have a long, successful career as a head coach.