- FB Vonta Leach set to visit Fins 3 time Pro Bowler Vonta Leach is set to visit with Miami.
- Fins sign OT Clabo Miami signs former Falcon OT Tyson Clabo to a 1 year deal
- Fins select CB Jamar Taylor Boise State CB Jamar Taylor is the Fins selection at the #54 pick
- Davone Bess traded to Browns Reports that WR Bess has indeed been traded to the Browns
5 Good’s & 5 Bad’s from Bucs/Dolphins game
In the words of Bill Parcells.. “This isn’t baseball. These guys hit back!”
I know. I know. It’s pre-season. This doesn’t matter. And, yes, you’re right. But there are a few layers of truth to be found in these games as Joe Philbin crafts his first 53-man roster.
I follow 5 core principles when it comes to Pre-season football:
1) Grade players on individual performances only.
2) Use individual performances to supplement your current knowledge, not replace it.
3) Pay special attention to players who have INCENTIVE to break out and earn respect.
4) The score is meaningless at all times.
5) Never grade an entire Offensive or Defense. Gameplans are hidden in pre-season, not showcased.
On to the game..
5 Best Performances:
1) QB Ryan Tannehill – On 2nd-and-Goal from the Bucs 7 at the end of Q2, Tannehill placed a franchise-caliber TD pass into Roberto Wallace’s breakbasket for a TD (overturned but shouldn’t have been). No Dolphins QB since you-know-who could’ve made such a throw, and it demonstrated everything Tannehill could be. This throw was low projectory, in the rain, and againstgood coverage. I’ll stick my comparison with Tannehill: a more mobile version of Carson Palmer.
2) FB Charles Clay – Reminds me of former Dolphin FB Keith Byars: great feel for the passing game, soft hands, good enough as a blocker. Caught a pair of 19-yard passes before hauling in an 11-yard TD for Tannehill.
3) WR Julius Pruitt – Naanee, Bess, Johnson, and Hartline are firmly atop the WR depth chart, forcing a heated battle for the final 1 or 2 spots on the 53-man roster. Pruitt has seized the opportunity so far in training camp, and did so again tonight with 6 catches. Has he spent the last 3 years perfecting his route running? It looked like it last night.
4) WR Roberto Wallace. – Wallace is an interesting challenge if Philbin is willing to invest the time. It’d be a shame to cut this 6-4, 222 pound athlete if he continues to improve in August. He played like he belonged tonight with 4 catches for 71 yards (which should’ve been 5-78-1).
5) DE Derrick Shelby – Shelby has outplayed 3rd Round rookie Olivier Vernon and FA signee Jamaal Westermann thus far in camp, and did so tonight as well. He won’t be a 10-sack guy, but his short-area quickness and violent hands will keep him in this league for a while.
5 Worst Performances:
1) OT Jonathan Martin – Martin is the one player I wanted to see play lights out football tonight. Instead, he looked like a timid rookie who needs to hit the weight room.
2) CB Sean Smith – Everything that has irritated me with Sean Smith over the last 3 years was exposed on one 17-yard catch by Mike Williams just nine minutes into the game. He gave up too much cushion to Williams on a 2nd-and-7 play, allowed him to catch the pass for an easy 1st down, then missed an open-field tackle. Kudos to Smith for earning Philbin’s respect this off-season, but it doesn’t change his three biggest limitations: he’s too damn big, he can’t change direction quickly in coverage, and is an atrocious tackler.
3) CB Vontae Davis – After being embarrased on Hard Knocks for poor conditioning, Vontae let #5 WR Tiquan Underwood get behind him on the very first play for 23 yards. Vontae, indeed, looks out of shape.
4) Pass-Rushing talent – Not a peep out of DE’s Olivier Vernon and Jamaal Westermann. Finding a pass rush threat opposite Cameron Wake is vital to the success of Kevin Coyle’s 4-3 Defense.
5) WR Chad Johnson – Following principle #2 above: “Use individual performances to supplement your current knowledge, not replace it.” Well, OK. I thought Chad Johnson should’ve been out of the league two years ago when he caught 67 passes for 831 yards at age 32.. His drop on 3rd-and-4 at the Bucs’ 31 on the first drive of the game changes nothing – he shouldn’t have been signed, and is a dangerous waste of a roster spot at 34 years old. Cut him. Now. And give those reps to the Roberto Wallaces and Juluis Pruitt’s of the team.
Thanks for reading,
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