MIAMI - Football is finally back.
New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel makes his NFL head coaching debut when the Dolphins play their 1st of 3 preseason games at Tampa Bay Saturday night. Some of the team's starters will not play while others will see brief game action.
This week's notes:
Tua Tagovailoa has had a steady training camp. He's likely to see time in the first home game next Saturday against Las Vegas.
Tyreek Hill has made plays every day in camp. He has also shown he can spark his teammates and carries a confidence the team has needed.
This is the unit that needs to come through this season for the offense to have success. It continues to work the same 5 starters since off-season practices and make steady improvements. Austin Jackson has been progressing at right tackle, a big positive sign.
Defense ready for the real season:
With everybody back and the team running the same scheme the defense has hit the ground running in training camp. In preseason games it will be key to see if the Dolphins can find some solid depth at linebacker and cornerback in particular.
Everybody loves the backup:
Usually the most popular guy in town is one of the backup quarterbacks. So far in camp 7th round draft pick Skylar Thompson has shown good zip on his passes. It wiill be interesting to see if he can continue that in the preseason and earn himself at least a practice squad spot.
One to watch:
Free agent Kion Crossen has been mostly a special teamer in his career. As a rookie he won the Super Bowl with New England.
Last season he played for the Giants. Crossen has shown well in camp at cornerback, so much so that safety Jevon Holland mentioned him by name as a player that did well in the joint practices with Tampa.
Crossen should see plenty of game action to show he can perhaps be an option on defense, not just special teams.
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