Today's Top 5: 8.23.17

Posted Aug 23, 2017

1. Game time: The Dolphins conducted their final preparations for the preseason game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field with a walk-through Wednesday. As the next-to-last preseason game, this is the one that serves as the so-called dress rehearsal for the start of the regular season. It’s the preseason game when the starters traditionally get their most playing time. Quarterback Jay Cutler likely will play most, if not all, of the first half and might even come out for a series after halftime. The game against Philadelphia also should mark the preseason debut for center Mike Pouncey, tackle Ja’Wuan James and safety Nate Allen. With Pouncey and James in the lineup, the game could provide a glimpse of the Dolphins’ starting offensive line for the Sept. 10 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2. Eye on Hard Knocks: The Dolphins and their fans can get an inside look at those Buccaneers’ training camp and preseason thanks to the annual HBO series “Hard Knocks.” Tampa Bay is the featured team this year and in the first three episodes we’ve learned about the Bucs’ iffy kicking situation and the leg laceration that has sidelined former Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes. There even was a reference to the Dolphins on this week’s episode when Coach Dirk Koetter addressed his players following a 12-8 preseason victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Koetter told his players to remember how tired they felt right after the game, pointing that it could be twice as bad Sept. 10 in Miami.

3. Marino’s still got it: Thanks to Twitter, Dolphins fans got a chance to see that 17 years after he ended his Hall of Fame career, Dan Marino still possesses his trademark quick release and pinpoint accuracy. Marino was shown at Hard Rock Stadium standing 15 feet from one of the goal posts when he answered a challenge and hit the crossbar with a strike.

4. Talkin’ about practice: The Dolphins didn’t get much of a break from the heat of South Florida for their practices with the Eagles because it was unusually hot in Philadelphia on Monday and Tuesday. That didn’t bother Cameron Wake a whole lot. The man doesn’t mind practicing in the heat. Doesn’t mind practicing, period. Wake didn’t hesitate to say he still enjoys training camp as much as ever, saying it’s chance to continue measuring himself and getting better. Head Coach Adam Gase said that’s one of the reason Wake has managed to maintain his level of success in the NFL.

5. Philadelphia story: Speaking of Gase, the visit to Philadelphia this week brought back memories of his interview with the Eagles when they were looking for a head coach last offseason. The Eagles liked Gase enough that they requested a second interview, but the Dolphins beat them to the punch and hired him in January 2016 to become the 12th head coach in franchise history. Clearly, this was one battle the Dolphins were happy to win against the Eagles.

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