- RB Moreno Injured Expected to be out at least a month. Fins resign RB Daniel Thomas
- Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Miami scored 23 unanswered points in the 2nd half to beat Pats
- Fins finish preseason with a win The Fins scored two TDs in the 4th quarter to beat the Rams 14-13
- Marino to join front office Miami has hired Marino as a special adviser to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel
Impressions Thus Far
Ah, the pre-season. A time when 32 fan bases imagine parades, and lollipops come February. Then the realities set in. Well, let’s correct that and say “perceived” realities. How can anyone actually form any firm opinions in games that are little more than glorified scrimmages?
At the risk of sounding like I know more than I actually do, I come away after four meaningless games with some observations.
- This season will hinge on Tannehill’s growth as a QB. His accuracy tested, and his ability to limit mistakes magnified.
- The coaches need to solve the TE position swiftly. This cannot drag on. The early schedule will not allow the players “time to develop.” If giving Gibson more opportunities is the answer then he needs to come through.
- The offensive line MUST protect their QB. Secondly, someone on the second team needs to prove they can fill in if needed. So far, the depth appears flawed.
- The defense must harass the opponents QB’s without the tendency to leave themselves exposed on the back end. Clemons is the “center fielder.” The angles he takes are concerning at best.
- This teamHAStoproduce in the Red Zone. Having a great defense, and solid kicker means nothing if you over rely on them.
- One of the RB’s needs to step up and provide the offense with a running threat.
Tannehill has looked impressive in the last 3 games. So much so that you get the feeling he actually is improving. He still holds the ball too long at times, and makes some throws look tougher then they are, but overall his accuracy has been acceptable. What you still need to see is execution both late game, and in pressure situations. Honestly though, there’s been little opportunity for that this preseason.
Losing Keller hurts the QB. He was experienced, and had the instincts the current TE’s lack. How the coaches choose to solve this is a big key in the offenses overall look. Wallace can open up the middle, but do we have a TE who can take advantage? As the roster currently stands it does not appear so. This means either a trade becomes mandatory, or Gibson will need to fill that role at the expense of predictability, and blocking skills.
Ah, the offensive line. This is an area of much debate. I know many will disagree, and tell me a good offensive line is not as important as it used to be. Well, I respectfully disagree. Especially, when you’ve got a young QB who is still feeling his way.
For this team, with it’s apparent lack of superstars on offense (The possible exception of the 60 million dollar man excluded), we’re going to need solid production from these five men. Certainly Incognito, and Pouncey are up to the challenge. Clabo appears to be a “decent” addition as well. Martin will need to prove it when the bullets count. As will whomever settles in at RG. (Jerry most likely)
Not too many people seem overly concerned about our secondary. I am. Grimes is playing well, no doubt. But, at 5′ 10″ is he not someone who will get out matched from time to time? I believe he will. The question is will he provide enough big plays to offset this? I’ve never been a huge Nolan Carroll fan. So maybe I am a little biased, but I just don’t see him consistently locking anyone down.
Will Davis has shown perhaps the best ball skills, but he’s also shown to be over aggressive. He needs reps, and experience. But, I am certain he’ll be a target for offensive coordinators if he see’s the field. Dimitri Patterson has been stellar since Miami acquired him late last year, but he’s played for four other teams. There’s a reason.
Jamar Taylor has played 37 snaps, 22 of which have been runs. So who knows what we’ve got there? One thing we do know is he needs to be healthy as if things go wrong for the above mentioned CB’s he may need to contribute more then he has to this point. Let’s hope he’s healthy, and up to the task.
Reshad Jones looks like a play maker, and will need to be for this secondary to excel. Clemons to me is a liability, albeit a slight one. Hopefully he becomes more instinctive in his pursuit angles.
Scoring in the red-zone has plagued this team for what seems like forever. Keller seemed like he could help solve that. Who on this roster can consistently become a red zone threat? I don’t have the answer. I imagine the team see’s Gibson as the frontrunner. I have my doubts.
As far as short yardage backs go, do we have one? Is this how Jonas Gray makes the roster? Will they rely on Thomas? Miller? Tannehill? Your guess is as good as mine.
Lastly, Lamar Miller has shown flashes, Daniel Thomas has shown flashes. Neither has shown the consistency you’d like to see in a runningback. One of these guys needs to step up for this team to make a playoff push.
Based on these observations, and taking the schedule into account. I see 7-9 wins as being a real possibility for this team. Are you seeing it the same? Join our message board and let’s discuss it!
Join us on our message board and share your thoughts at FinNation Forums
Join us on Twitter at @FinNation
Latest posts by Michael Fink (see all)
- The Early Cuts Are In For The Dolphin’s – Marino Is Back – Final Thoughts - August 27, 2014
- Why Tampa Is More Critical Then Game 3 For The Dolphins - August 14, 2014
- 2014 Dolphin Offseason Recap & Grade - August 9, 2014