- Fins cut Grimes The Fins release CB Brent Grimes, freeing $6.5 million in cap space
- Mario Williams signed DE Mario Williams signs a 2 years deal with the Fins
- Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins swap 1st round picks with the Eagles for CB Maxwell and LB Alonso
- Adam Gase hired Coach Gase was hired as head coach of the Dolphins
There are still many questions left to be answered in both the starting units, and the key reserve roles. Game 3 you want to get your starters generally a series into the second half which means after this game you want to know who your starters are going to be come September 7th.
There’s still some doubt in many areas of the team. We’ll look at some of those here.
The other thing you’ll want to see is consistency from Ryan Tannehill. That doesn’t mean a repeat performance, but he needs to show he can continue to move the offense against a better defense then he faced last week. You’ll also want to see the defense come out and tackle better, and be more disciplined penalty-wise.
The line will work itself out, and there is little reason to think Satele will not win the center job, but someone at RG needs to stand out. Jason Fox at back up tackle needs to improve, or his roster spot could be in jeopardy.
We need to continue to see Jarvis Landry, and Marcus Thigpen return kicks, and punts. You also need to see if Thigpen can excel from the receiver position to secure a spot on the final 53.
Who is going to prove they belong in the logjam of Tight ends? Sims would appear to be a lock to start in place of Clay, but who is #3? Will it be Kyle Miller? Brett Brackett? Arthur Lynch? Herald Hoskins, or Michael Egnew?
Will Phillip Wheeler have a better game then he did last Friday against Atlanta? Or will Miami finally ease Jordan, or Jenkins into the role? If not, does Freeny earn additional playing time? Does McCain?
The slot positions on both sides of the ball seem to be in question. On offense, will Landry beat out Gibson? Or will Matthews rise up and make a case to take that spot? Both Gibson, and Matthews looked good for the short time they played last week. Landry looked better returning kicks then he did from the receiver position. It’s nothing to be too alarmed about as he should be a lock to make the final 53.
On defense, with Jones being out it is forcing Miami to move Jimmy Wilson from the slot CB position back to safety. This opens up the slot position for grabs. During this past week the team has inserted Finnegan, but it should be noted he struggled in the slot while playing for the Rams. It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue his solid camp inside. If not, Jamar Taylor, or Will Davis are waiting in the wings. Speaking of Wilson, who is backing him up? This team is not deep at the safety position. Could Michael Thomas, or Don Jones be counted on if forced to play? Can Kovacs get into the mix? Can Aikens?
How about backup QB? Can Quinn move the team or can Matt Moore get back onto the field and fight for his job? Can Labato improve over a dismal game he had last week? Will he even get the chance if Moore can play?
At RB Lamar seems to be almost assured of holding onto his #1 position, but what is going to happen behind him? How serious was Damien Williams injury? Will Mike Gillislee show something that makes you think he can play at this level?
So yes, with all the injuries, and suspensions the Dolphins have a great number of uncertainties going into week 2 of the preseason, and getting the right answers is critical going into next weeks game.
Let’s start with the obvious. The quarterback, Ryan Tannahill is entering his 3rd season, and albeit slight, he’s shown improvement fairly steadily. With Bill Lazor coming in he’ll have that knowledge at his disposal that is vital to further progress.
Lazor has worked for Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, Mike Holgrem, Jim Mora, Jr, and lastly Chip Kelly. Interestingly, he has a degree in human development. He’ll need it. That’s a solid group of offensive minds from which to draw from. There is also a common denominator. All these coaches knew the importance of the running game. Everyone is focusing on Lazor bringing an up-tempo, Chip Kelly offense here, and he should, but the key to me, and Ryan’s progression will be a running threat.
To provide this Miami added Knowshon Moreno, to compete with, and possibly split time with Lamar Miller, and potentially Daniel Thomas if the light finally comes on for him. If Miami is successful in forcing the defense to respect the running game you’ll see players like Hartline, and Clay all of a sudden have space to break open. You’ll see Wallace single covered. You’ll see more points.
The number one priority coming into this past off season was to construct an offensive line that would make everyone forget the nightmare of 2013.
Dennis Hickey was hired as GM, and while it was apparent he was not Miami’s first, second, or third choice he’s fit right in and hit the ground running.
Hickey went out and quickly signed the best LT available in Brandon Albert to a 5 year, 47 million dollar contract. Did he overpay? Probably, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It was apparent since early in the 2013 season Albert was the apple of the Dolphins eye, and Albert felt the same about the team. So what’s a few extra million for a player who truly wants to be here, was a pro-bowler, and has that thing everyone keeps talking about called high character? It was a no brainer. The one risk, and it’s a big one is he’s got to remain healthy.
We’re a little over a week away from the NFL draft, and while Dennis Hickey will have his hands full trying to find ways to improve the overall roster, the key to this season is already a part of it. Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins, as everyone knows, were in great position to make the playoffs last season, and fell flat on their rear ends in the last two weeks losing to both the Bills, and Jets.
The defense did not play its best football as stopping the run continued to be a challenge. But, the offense did not put the defense in position to win. You can win with a defense that gives up some ground yardage provided you have an offense that can move the ball. Those 3 and outs kill you when the other team can out ball control you. Both the Bills, and Jets did exactly that.
The real issue, the real reason we lost was the ineffectiveness of #17, and his surrounding cast.
I believe the Dolphins should in fact draft a QB in May’s draft. Don’t leave, hear me out.
This is been a pretty heated debate since the story broke. Jason La Canfora wrote an article which had several interesting topics related to the Dolphins. We’ll address the above topic here. You can read his thoughts at the link below.
Omar Kelly the team beat writer for the Sun Sentinel also addressed this issue in his weekly Question, and Answer segment in the paper. You can read his thoughts here.
I’ll give excerpts from each writer’s article, and then give you my own thoughts.
La Confora writes, “He definitely wants to push Tannehill more,” said one source who has spoken to Philbin about the quarterbacks, “and if he doesn’t see improvement he said he might go to Moore at some point. He definitely has a lot of faith in Moore, and they’re paying him a lot of money.”
Omar Kelly writes, “The Dolphins didn’t utilize Tannehill’s athleticism as much in 2012 and his pocket presence regressed. And not all Continue reading
Sunday’s Week 13 matchup with the Jets was on that saw the Dolphins enter the game with a significant talent advantage. It was one of those games they should dominate, the defense allowing practically nothing and the offense doing plenty to win. Amazingly, the Jekyll & Hyde Dolphins actually did just that, soundly defeating an opponent they should, even if it took a little while to get going.
It was actually such through domination that I won’t have as much to say here, because the defense practically sleep-walked through the victory. That being said, here are my observations from the win over the Jets.
- Ryan Tannehill was good in this one, if not quite as good as he should have been. He and the offense struggled to do much early in the game, and a few bad throws by Tannehill or bad calls by Mike Sherman delayed much of the Dolphins’ scoring. Overall though, I thought Tannehill did a great job making reads, hitting his open receivers and sensing the pressure while getting rid of the ball quickly. It’s the kind of performance Continue reading