Whether Gase is being direct or coy, one thing is clear, the Dolphins have been practicing as if they were playing the Buccaneers the past couple of weeks.
Some of the reasons are defensive and offensive.
For one, the defense needs to be ready for what quarterback Jameis Winston presents a defense. What to defend and how to defend become the two import aspects of beating Jameis Winston whether that be deep or his ability to scramble and extend plays. Both DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans present matchup issues for Miami.
The Dolphins have never faced Winston other than in the preseason so playing him week one will prove an interesting matchup with a lack of depth at corner and some unknowns in how Reshad Jones will communicate with Byron Maxwell.
However, the Dolphins have a ton of material on Winston from his mental makeup and his tendencies via HBO’s Hard Knocks.
While that might not seem like a ton, ask JJ Watt if he enjoyed using that to his advantage to basically call out the Dolphins snap counts and single handedly take over a game and disrupt the rhythm of then rookie Ryan Tannehill in 2012 during their week one visit to Houston.
Offensively, the Dolphins have to be concerned with a couple of mishaps that occurred in week three of the preseason versus the Eagles. Sure both teams had a healthy familiarity for each other after practicing all week in joint practices, but quarterback Jay Cutler had a couple of series where he nearly threw a pick and another where he lost a fumble while being sacked.
Could the Dolphins be worried about Gerald McCoy of Tampa?
Will Brent Grimes as a part of the Bucs master plan-surprise attack the Dolphins’ Cutler with a corner blitz?
As Gase intimated, the players have been practicing a series of plays that they’ll use or won’t use versus Tampa Bay.
The question is, will the Dolphins stop the run and shut down Jameis Winston?
They’ll have to do something big because Tampa Bay surely has the offensive weapons to make this a long day for the Dolphins defense.