With Chad Johnson having been dismissed from the team, the Dolphins receiving corps is missing more than a colorful character in the locker room they are missing a veteran.
Already a young group, the 11 remaining wide receivers include three who have played more than two seasons in the NFL. One of those three, Brian Hartline, is injured and, according to coach Joe Philbin, the 25-year-old could be under pressure to make the team.
As a coach you want to prepare players for a competition, and part of that is repetition, physical conditioning, etc., Philbin said. Hopefully, I know [Hartline is] itching to get going, so at some point it will be a factor. I dont know exactly when, but there will be [concern] if he cant work.
This lack of proven players among the receivers could prove to be an opportunity for some of the lesser-known receivers on the squad, including Roberto Wallace. Wallace, who had four catches for 71 yards on Friday, was moved up from the fourth string to the third string on the latest depth chart.
Philbin also would not rule out general manager Jeff Ireland trying to bring somebody else in to fill the void left by Johnson.
Im sure Jeff and his staff are considering anybody and everybody, Philbin said. Right now, obviously as a coaching staff, [we like the] guys that we have and were confident that we are going to get good receiver play here.
THIS AND THAT
The Dolphins released their weekly depth chart Monday afternoon, revealing that Matt Moore and not Ryan Tannehill currently is occupying the first-string spot that was left open after the previously named started David Garrard underwent surgery last week.
How much stock to put into the quarterback change remains to be seen. During Mondays press conference Philbin claimed he did not even remember what the latest depth chart showed in regards to the quarterback position.
I dont know, did we make a switch? Philbin asked one of the Dolphins staff members during the press conference. Its irrelevant now. Were in the preseason. We havent named anybody, and like I said, the more important thing is about how they practice. How they practice will determine, to a degree, who gets the reps.
• Alluding to Tannehill, Philbin said that for the season opener he would not start a quarterback if that passer regardless of future potential was not the best fit on that day.
Were going to start the guy on Sept. 9 that gives the Miami Dolphins the best chance to win that particular game, Philbin said. Thats what I believe. We owe it to our players; were not looking down the road to the Rams game or the Seahawks game or the Bills game.
• No changes to the depth chart were made to the first-team defense. Richard Marshall and Chris Clemons, two of the more surprising starters last week, retained their spots at the cornerback and safety position, respectively.
• Working as a defensive coordinator for the first time on Friday, Kevin Coyle said that during last weeks preseason game the defense had some problems, but improved upon them as the game went on.
We had a couple miss fits in the run game, Coyle said. The communication wasnt what it needed to be, but, as the game went on, I was very pleased. When our seconds got in the game, the intensity level, the execution level, was terrific. They had four three-and-outs in the second half.