New look, same old phins

Before phins news fans bring out the pitch forks and begin to crucify me for the ensuing comments, please know that I am not saying the sky is falling, and I understand that this was just the first preseason game. However, even though there was some signs of promise, they are still a long way from where phins news fans want their beloved Miami Dolphins to be.

Lets start with the good that came from the Tampa Bay game before we address the bad. First of all, I completely love the no huddle fast paced offense. It was a refreshing change, and will definitely catch a couple of defensive opponents gassing. Both QB’s Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill looked comfortable running the west coast style offense, and besides a few errant throws they combined for 21 of 33 passes completed for 246 yards passing, with 1TD and 1INT. RT also exhibited a nice touch on a couple of passes, which is encouraging, because we all know this was something that Robo Henne was always missing. Also the wide receiver position which, was originally though to be a big question mark coming into the season, especially with the trading of Brandon Marshall, appeared pretty comfortable in this new offense. The trio of Roberto Wallace, Julius Pruitt and TE/FB Charles Clay, showed excellent promise catching a combined 13 passes for 172 yards. If they can parlay this performance into the regular season games, the offense is going to be able to score more points than last season. Lastly at the end of the first half I liked the calm stoic demeanor of coach Philbin when he was managing the clock while deciding to go for it on 4th and goal. Even though they did not convert for the touchdown, he made sure that he did not leave any time on the clock for the Bucs.

Then there was some things that were very discouraging. First of all it was the same old Miami Dolphins, moving up the field and then stalling out when the got into the last third of the field. Also on big third down plays, no one stepped up to make a play and keep the drive going. For example Chad Johnson dropped a sure first down on a third down play, that resulted in having to settle for a field goal, which was subsequently shanked wide by Carpenter. (Carpenter missed both field goal attempts in the game.) This led to great field position for Tampa Bay, which they parlayed into a touchdown. In addition the Dolphins defense did not look too good at all. They gave up the usual big play on third down multiple times, which enabled the Bucs to keep their drives alive, which they parlayed into touchdowns twice. The secondary still looks like a huge liability in coverage, especially our safeties who still do not try to pick of passes at their highest point, but try to field them like punts. This was in full form when Jimmy Wilson allowed a 44 yard catch by Tiquan Underwood.

The offense looked sharp, but still stalled out when it counted, and could not score enough points. Whereas the defense looked to be behind the learning curve of the phins offense, and were still susceptible to giving up the big play. Luckily, this is only the first preseason game, so there is still time for improvement, however it appears that even with the new look, the Dolphins are still experiencing their typical miscues at the most inopportune moments.


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  • oavery

    These early preseason plays are not about the team performance, they are about player evaluation. The main useful information is that Tannehill with second and third string resources up against second and third string resources made accurate throws with zip and managed to pick up a blitz, change the play and make yardage. Moore did not have his finest day but I would not make too much of it. Loss of Garrard is bad, no doubt. The younger WR looked decent. The new offense looks promising. We are in a rebuilding period – made official when we traded Brandon Marshall, our best offensive player (>100 catches, >1400 yards, best WR since Clayton) – but the rebuilding seems to be progressing nicely. Chad Johnson dropping a ball that mattered is distressing – if he does not clean his act up and return to focusing seriously on football then we should just go with our younger WR and be done with him.
    The Defense showed no real star performance. Totally lackluster. Disturbing. Certainly not the kind of performance we were seeing under Nolan. Renews my worries about losing Nolan and getting Sherman.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Yes I agree with all your evaluations. I think the loss of Marshall is not the end of the world, because he dropped a lot of passes, mainly ones for TDs. I think the youngsters did show a lot of promise and our west coast style offense will not need a number one wr. But we will need receivers that can catch the ball on 3rd downs, ala Chad Johnson. Yes I was very upset when we lost Nolan, he is definitely a bigger loss than Marshall. The defense looked very porous. Even against the run which we are usually pretty stout against was concerning, I am wondering if in the end a 4-3 defense is not the most optimal for our Defense, which has been playing a 3-4 the last 3 years. What do you think. I also liked Charles Clay, check out the early article I wrote about him, I think he will have a break out year. If you enjoy our articles you can subscribe so that you will get an alert when ever we post a new article

    • A-ron

      Sherman is the offensive coordinator, Kevin Coyle is the Defensive coordinator.

  • oavery

    ERROR CORRECTION: I meant to note the concern with Coyle versus losing Nolan and mistakenly referred to Sherman, the OC, who is actually doing really well.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Yeah i was very excited about the look of our new offense. Loved the pace, reminds me of those high scoring offenses in college, minus the scoring (haha)

  • phinfreak

    You can judge the D performance much truer than the O. Our D could not stop the run – period. That doesnt change w scheme. It was plain vanilla run plays they couldnt stop.

    On offense, keep in mind Tampa D was also plain vanilla, so was ours for that matter. The problem is that the same ole problems w this roster continue to exist.

    QB play inconsistent and cant finish drives. WR talent is average at best w no true play maker.

    D is also on and off, the backfield cant stop when it has to nor make a play when its right in front of their face.

    Sorry, but I dont see any major differences in outcomes, perhaps style, but not results.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Yeah they were bad against the run, and blitz packages should make us a little better, but secondary is still a wisconsin piece of swiss cheese back there. We are terrible in the red zone and always fizzle out. Thats what I mean new look Dolphins, with same results

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