I didn't expect too much out of the Dolphin's first pre-season game last night. In fact it went about how I expected. It was nothing more than a glorified practice. There was good, there was bad. Nothing to make me think the sky is falling. It's a time to learn a new system, a time to get used to new teammates and a time to make mistakes and learn from them.
Of course everyone is focusing on QB Chad Henne. With 11 practices under his belt in a new offensive scheme, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he looked as bad as some people are making it out to be. His first interception hit TE Anthony Fassano in the hands. A good TE would have caught that ball. His second interception was a ball he should have thrown a little higher, but Brent Grimes still had to leap and make a good play on it. His 44 yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline was a beautiful pass. Hit Hartline in stride.
Next week the top pick in the 2011 draft Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers come to Miami. Of course the focus once again will be on Chad Henne, as it should be. Will we see improvement or regression? The second and third pre-season games should tell the story.
Now I'm not going to be a Henne apologist, but I'm going to wait and see how he progresses during the pre-season before I start calling for his head. I have to laugh because some people want to dismiss his TD pass because it came against the Falcons second team defense. Then you have those same people saying how great Matt Moore looked. Well, didn't Moore's success also come against the Falcon's second team defense? Probably some of their third team defense also. I didn't watch the second half.
On defense, I believe the full compliment of starters were only in for the first series. I don't think Paul Soliai, Vonte Davis and Sean Smith were in after the first series. They looked like they were ready for the season to start after that first series! I will agree with my colleague Mike Oliva on Benny Sapp. I think he pretty much put an end to Will Allen's time in Miami with his play last night. Another guy I though looked good was 7th round pick Jimmy Wilson. He seemed to be around the ball quite a bit.
Next week the top pick in the 2011 draft Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers come to town. Of course the focus will be on Chad Henne, as it should be. Will we see improvement or regression? The second and third pre-season games usually tell the tale.