EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSMiami) — Preseason football can be like going to the dentist — you know as soon as you get it over with, things begin to feel much better.
Four weeks to go until they count and the Miami Dolphins are making their 2016 debut in New Jersey versus the New York Giants Friday night, August 12th.
Miami is 6-0 against New York all-time in the preseason but while it may be the only time when scores don’t matter, this time of the year is especially exciting for teams like the Dolphins who are rebuilding.
Starting at the top, new head coach Adam Gase will have the brightest spotlight shining on him this year. Dolphins brass got rid of fan favorite Dan Campbell, who did a commendable job taking over after Joe Philbin was fired. Fans will likely not give Gase a large leash should the team appear like another 8-8 squad. Or worse.
But the offseason has been positive, including a bit of luck when 1st round draft pick Laremy Tunsil fell into Miami’s lap following a leaked video apparently showing him smoking out of a gas mask bong. Tunsil is currently on the 2nd team depth chart as a guard but is expected to be starting week 1 in Seattle.
GM Chris Grier also added some much-needed depth to the defense. With trades acquiring LB Kiko Alonso and CB Byron Maxwell, along with the signing of DE Mario Williams, Miami is hoping this veteran group, along with playmakers Reshad Jones, Ndamukong Suh and a healthy Cameron Wake — and a new look “Wide-9” scheme — can stop giving up the big plays and get off the field quicker.
The running game is questionable with youngster Jay Ajayi at the top of the depth chart but adding All-Pro Arian Foster will balance the role and could give the Dolphins the type of game breaker they haven’t had since Ricky Williams. Wideouts Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are all exciting talents but obviously, it’ll be up to Ryan Tannehill to have the breakthrough fans have been waiting for as the team’s first quarterback taken in the 1st round since 1983. He should see some snaps tonight.
New York went heavy on defense signing former Dolphins DE Oliver Vernon, ex-Cane CB Janoris Jenkins, CB Leon Hall, and grabbing CB Eli Apple with their 1st round pick. The Giants finished in the top 10 in both scoring and total offense in 2015 and will look to get a boost from a healthy Victor Cruz at receiver opposite human highlight reel Odell Beckham, Jr.
Don’t miss the game, only on CBS4 at 7 p.m. est. or listen on WQAM.