The Dolphins at a glance

What's expected of the Dolphins this season

Few expect the Dolphins to seriously challenge Buffalo, the class of the AFC East. But as long as Dan Marino stays healthy, Miami should finish no worse than last season's 8-8 record.


Three Dolphins to watch

Marino is entering his 10th season, and should hold every significant career NFL passing record when he's through. No. 1 draft choice Marco Coleman, a linebacker, represents the Dolphins' finest hope for an improved pass rush. Wide receiver Mark Duper, even at 33, is still tough to cover.


Who has been having a good training camp?

Coleman and the Dolphins' other No. 1 draft choice, cornerback Troy Vincent, have been cited by coach Don Shula for their efforts at learning quickly. Vincent suffered a hamstring injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, and won't play.

What the Dolphins do well

The Dolphins have a playoff-caliber offense that should be better this season with the addition of running back Bobby Humphrey. The Dolphins also have one of the best kicking combinations in the NFL -- punter Reggie Roby led the NFL with a 45.7-yard average last season, and kicker Pete Stoyanovich set a club record with 121 points.

What the Dolphins don't do well

The Dolphins were awful against the run last year, ranking 27th of 28. Miami also has had problems starting the run, as well as stopping it. Last week, the Dolphins gained 47 yards on 31 attempts.

The Dolphins' Maryland connections

Shula, of course. Also, assistant head coach John Sandusky was an assistant with the Colts from 1959-72 and was head coach for part of 1972. Assistant coach Carl Taseff played on Colts teams from 1953 to 1961. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff was an assistant in Baltimore in 1982 and 1983. Linebacker Cliff Odom, who is unsigned and won't play tonight, played in Baltimore in 1982 and 1983. Cornerback J.B. Brown, tight end Ferrell Edmunds, guard Blaine Rose and defensive end Larry Webster all attended the University of Maryland.


(Scott Fowler covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald)