The first game has come and gone and I already miss Dolphins' football. Fortunately we don’t have to wait very long as the second preseason game is this Friday the 19th. With game number two slowly approaching us, I wanted to take a closer look at 5 players/units that need to step up their game to solidify their spots on this roster. Whether they have a roster spot locked in or they are battling to make this team, all these guys have something to prove in week 2 of the preseason.
1) The first-team Dolphins' defense
The obvious person who should be at the top of this list is Chad Henne. I, like most Dolphins fans, can recognize that there are going to be up and downs with Henne. Obviously, it would be nice for Chad to come out with a strong week to gain some confidence but whether Chad struggles or excels this team will live and die by him so it doesn’t really matter. Chad has a lot to prove to the fans, however, to the organization it is pretty clear that he is their guy now and there isn’t much that is going to change that.
That being said, the Dolphins' defense is suppose to be a top 5 unit this season. They looked more like the 25th ranked defense against Atlanta. Miami’s starting unit needs to show up vs. Carolina. I know it’s only the preseason, but there is no excuse for not having a strong outing against the Carolina offense this week.
2) Running backs Daniel Thomas and Kory Sheets
Thomas is obviously going to take this team and hopefully will become the full-time ball carrier for the Phins in the future, while Kory Sheets is going to struggle to make the roster, yet both have something to prove next week. Sheets came out on Friday night with a pretty poor showing. If he wants to make this team he is going to have to do something rather impressive in the second preseason game.
Daniel Thomas made one nice played hauling in a 25-yard pass in the flat. He didn’t really show much in the running game, however. The offensive line wasn’t really there against Atlanta but Thomas needs to prove to this team he can be a lead back to depend on.
3) Vernon Carey, Lydon J. Murtha, and Marc Colombo
The right tackle position is a big question mark this season. Last year the Dolphins run game struggled all year due to the offensive line. This year, the O-line didn’t get off to the greatest start and that’s largely due to the rith tackle position. Whoever ends up playing right guard is going to have to prove they can maintain top defensive lines. Hopefully, the O-Line will gain some stability when big Jake Long comes back.
4) Phillip Livas
You might be shocked that Livas is on this list because he impressed so many by electrifying them with a 75-yard punt return TD. BUT if Livas is going to make this team, he is going to have to do it AGAIN!
5) Will Allen
With lingering injuries and Benny Sapp’s strong play, it’s all but a certainty that Will Allen is going to be cut. Barring a miracle and an epic game (if he ever plays), Allen needs to prove he can contribute on this team still.
Side Note: Lou Polite's job is also most likely on the line and will need to step up his play.