The Miami Dolphins will start their preseason with a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday.
Head coach Brian Flores will be making his debut on the sideline and there will be new names on the field as well. New quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen are both expected to see time in this game. Fitzpatrick is currently listed as the starter on the depth chart, but that could change before the season begins.
Preseason games do not count in the standings, but they are still important for the players and the coaching staff. There are a few jobs up for grabs and the players will only have four games to show they deserve a spot. Thursday's game figures to feature mostly the reserves on Miami's depth chart.
Preston Williams could be a name to watch in this game. The 22-year old went undrafted and then signed with the Dolphins as a free agent. Miami has several names locked in at wide receiver already, but Williams is still vying for a slot on the 53-man roster. Williams attended Colorado State University and tallied 14 touchdowns during the 2018 season.
The starting quarterback assignment is Fitzpatrick's to lose and it may be easy for him to hold onto it. Miami signed the veteran to a two-year contract during the off-season, but that was before it landed Rosen. Fitzpatrick brings plenty of experience to Miami, with some success along the way. The 36-year old has a career-high 100.4 passer rating in 2018.
Rosen may see time to with the first unit, though it is not something Flores would commit to. In order to overtake Fitzpatrick on the depth chart, Rosen is going to need to show consistency from the start. During his time with Cleveland, the 22-year old had well-documented struggles. Even if he fails to win the starting job, Rosen could eventually wind up with the gig during the season.
Flores is an experienced coach, but this will be the first time he will serve as the man in charge. Before joining Miami, Flores served under Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots in a variety of roles. Flores picked up four Super Bowl rings while with New England, including the most recent championship game. That experience could be invaluable to Flores as he looks to cement his own legacy in Miami.
Dwyane Allen, Kiko Alonso, Jerome Baker, Eric Rowe, Raekwon McMillan and Reshad Jones are all listed as questionable on Miami's injury report. Mike Hull was placed on injured reserve earlier this week and will be out for the entire season.
Thursday's game will begin at 7:30 p.m.