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Today's Top 5: 8.18.17

Posted Aug 18, 2017

1. Parker praise: Quarterback Jay Cutler threw out an interesting name Thursday night when he was asked if DeVante Parker reminded him of any wide receiver he’s had as a teammate during his 11-year NFL career. Cutler responded by saying Parker was a faster Alshon Jeffery. The 6-4, 230-pound Eagles wideout played with Cutler in Chicago from 2012-16 and had 1,000-yard seasons in 2013 and 2014. In the one season when Adam Gase was Cutler’s offensive coordinator, Jeffery finished with 807 yards, but that’s because injuries limited him to nine games. Jeffery’s per-game average of 89.7 yards that season actually was the highest of his career, even higher than the 88.8 he posted in 2013 when he made the Pro Bowl with a career-high 1,421 receiving yards. This is one more example of why expectations are high for Parker in his third season with the Dolphins.

2. Savoring the moment: Rookie third-round pick Cordrea Tankersley had his first interception in a Dolphins uniform Thursday night, and it made no difference to him that it came in a preseason game. Tankersley said he was holding on to the ball “for dear life” after the pick, which was upheld after video review, and was handed the ball after the game. The interception exemplified the kind of playmaking ability Tankersley showed at Clemson, where he had nine picks over the past two seasons.

3. O-line in flux: The Dolphins again did some mixing and matching along the offensive line, with starting center Mike Pouncey and right tackle Ja’Wuan James both kept out of the game. The starting offensive line had Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, Jesse Davis at left guard, Jake Brendel at center, Jermon Bushrod at right guard and Sam Young at right tackle. Center Kraig Urbik was expected to play, but also was kept out, which was part of the reason Davis started at guard instead of either Urbik or Anthony Steen. Head Coach Adam Gase explained he wanted to have a center available for every snap, which meant putting Brendel and Steen on the field at different times. The one starting position seemingly up for grabs on the offensive line is left guard, where the first-team player on the depth chart is Ted Larsen, who is expected to miss a significant amount of time because of a biceps injury. The third preseason game might provide more clarity when it comes to that battle.

4. Snap counts: It’s interesting to note that Davis not only started against Baltimore, he played every offensive snap for the second consecutive preseason game. Davis played 19 more snaps than any other Dolphins offensive player; Young played 38 snaps. On defense, linebacker Chase Allen had the most snaps, with 59 out of Baltimore’s 80 offensive plays. Among players with starting experience, safety Michael Thomas led the way with 40 snaps and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips played 37 snaps. Former CFL linebacker Deon Lacey led the way in special teams plays with 21.

5. Looking ahead: The Dolphins will fly to Philadelphia on Sunday in preparation for their two days of joint practices with the Eagles on Monday and Tuesday. The teams will face each other in a preseason game Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field at 7 p.m. NFL Network will televise the game live.

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