Monday, August 30, 2010

Dolphins Roster: Chopping Block Edition

August 30, 2010

The fresh burst of fireworks and rumbles of football stadiums around the country will soon permeate as the regular season dawns upon us. And while this is arguably one of the most exciting times for sports fans all over, it is a nerve-wrecking time for borderline players on NFL teams. In this case, we look at the Miami Dolphins and their final roster moves, which will be trimmed to 53 players by the end of this week. Here are some notable players that will likely make the team and some that will be axed at week's end:

Making the Cut
  • Marlon Moore (WR): His thin stature may worry some, but his speed, agility and catching ability have all impressed the Dolphins coaching staff this preseason. Through the first three games he has tallied five receptions for 75 yards, excluding an end-around run for 12 yards versus the Atlanta Falcons. Preseason may not be the most competitive stage, but it definitely has proven Moore worthy of a roster spot in Miami. 
  • Patrick Turner (WR): While he possess the exact opposite physique of Marlon Moore (tall and bulky), his numbers have not been as astonishing as his fellow wide receiver. However, the sheer fact that Greg Camarillo and Ted Ginn Jr. are no longer in town gives Turner an opportunity to prove himself. Couple that with the lackluster performances from other borderline receivers on the active roster, and you've got Turner on the Dolphins 53-man roster. The coaching staff still sees potential from the 6'4 receiver, but are not ready to label him fourth on the depth chart. The fifth spot may be his eventual destination unless he proves otherwise in the final preseason game. (Latest: Turner was waived during the final preseason cuts on September 4th).
  • Ikaika Alama-Francis (DE): Here's a guy that was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, but has only started two games in the last three seasons. And after much development and proven work ethic, Alma-Francis has received first-team snaps during the preseason with the Dolphins. Both at defensive end (his primary position) and linebacker, Alma-Francis has received significant playing time thus far, which assures him a definite nod when Sparano evaluates his status with the team.  
Getting Chopped
  • Pat White (QB): The slender quarterback out of West Virginia may be seeing the last of his time in South Florida. Taking into account the reduced role of the Wildcat (now that Miami's passing game has received a boost) and the emergence of Tyler Thigpen as a more viable third stringer, White's value has taken a great hit. Unfortunately, his last taste of playing time may very well be the knockout blow he received in Miami's final 2009 regular season game. 
  • Joey Haynos (TE): After suffering a foot injury during one of Miami's preseason games, Haynos may find himself out of luck when the Dolphins begin to make cuts. The team may be reluctant to keep multiple injured players on the active roster, particularly when injured players like Will Allen and Nate Gardner are already favored to stay. Not to mention, David Martin's return may make Haynos expendable, with John Nalbone as the third reserve.
  • Montavious Stanley (DT): The Dolphins picked up this journeyman during the offseason - who has been on five teams during his six seasons in the NFL - with the hopes of adding depth to the defensive frontline. Contrary to expectations, his training camp and preseason efforts have not earned him a definitive spot on the team. The arrivals of Marques Douglas and Charles Grant have also diminished Stanley's value to the team. That leads many to believe that his services will not reside with the Dolphins in 2010, instead Lionel Dotson or Ryan Baker will take the final defensive line spot available.

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