Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins have seen quite a few young players step up in 2014 and that has paved the way for them to take hold of extensive playing time on the field. The trickledown effect of that is that veterans are being pushed out of the way, but at the same time, are adding quality depth that hasn’t really been seen in Joe Philbin’s first two years as head coach.
We saw this first-hand on Sunday when wide receiver Brandon Gibson was a healthy scratch along with offensive lineman Shelley Smith. Philbin pretty much confirmed this when he said that he plays the best 46 on Sunday while adding there were no injuries to either player that would keep them out of the game.
Philbin agrees that the team has a lot of depth this year but also attributed it to being healthy and getting guys on the practice field as much as possible.
“I haven’t really stopped to think in comparison, but it seems to be that we’re healthier than we’ve been in a while. Again, I keep going back to practice, we’ve had more guys practicing. There was a while where, even on our 53, I can’t remember the weeks, probably might have been Buffalo, might have been Kansas City, (it) didn’t seem like we even had a lot of guys practicing. When you’re talking about inactives, it was like who we can get to the game, forget about who’s inactive. I think that helps. It just creates more competition.”
The Dolphins have been fortunate with injuries this season as they haven’t suffered too many major ones that keeps players out for a long period of time. In addition, it helps tremendously when young players step up and make an impact. We’ll see more of this as the season progresses and hopefully, the Dolphins can remain healthy so they can compete at a high level during the home stretch of the season.