Monday, August 31, 2015

Dolphins Cut 11 players

The Miami Dolphins trimmed their roster on Sunday and cut 11 players

DT Calvin Barnett
G Bryant Browning
WR LaRon Byrd
WR Kevin Cone
DE Ray Drew
WR Tyler McDonald
DE Kendall Montgomery
TE Gerell Robinson
CB Sammy Seamster
S Phillip Thomas
C/G J.D. Walton

No real surprises from the bunch to be honest. JD Walton is a bit of a surprise only because he was signed to replace Samson Satelle on the offensive line and be Mike Pouncey's back-up. And with Pouncey leaving the game Saturday night with an undisclosed knee injury the Dolphins are stating with the release of Walton that a) Pouncey is OK and this isn't serious and b) Sam Brenner has outplayed Walton and can handle being the back-up center. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

No Safety, No Problem? What’s the Future at Free Safety for Miami?

Walt Aikens
By: Justin Porreca
            Miami’s defense has the potential to be a top-ten defense, maybe even a top-five defense this season. As Ndamukong Suh said, Miami has the talent level to potentially be the number one defense this season. However, those predictions may have shifted slightly after the Dolphins lost veteran free safety Louis Delmas to another torn right ACL.
             Delmas tore his ACL last Wednesday during a joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. Delmas had previously tore it week 13 last season versus the Baltimore Ravens. Now Miami has to look to third-year pro, Michael Thomas and 2014 fourth-round draft choice, Walt Aikens.
            Miami knew the risk they were taking in opting to resign the injury-prone Delmas. His best NFL season was his rookie campaign for the Detroit Lions; after that Delmas was inconsistent and failed to stay on the field. He has the potential to be a stud-safety due to his physical abilities along with his intangibles, but he’s an inconsistent tackler and sometimes inconsistent in pass coverage. Plus, Delmas could never stay on the field long enough to fully show his star potential. Miami took a flier on resigning him in hopes he would come back 100 percent and be a key contributor to a vastly improved defense. That plan backfired and now the Dolphins have a major hole at free safety. Besides the guard position, this was the second biggest positional concern Miami had going into the 2015 season.
            With rumors swirling that Rishard Matthews is competing for a roster spot on the team with wide receiver compatriot, Matt Hazel, Miami would be wise to use Matthews as trade bait to pick up a safety. With Jordy Nelson out for the season and Randall Cobb injuring his shoulder, the Packers are in desperate need of quality receiver help. Instead of just letting Matthews walk for free, Miami could exchange him for one of the Packers many quality safeties. Micah Hyde would be the one of interest. A versatile talent, Hyde can play centerfield and line up man-to-man against opposing slot receivers. Hyde can also play as the nickel corner if needed.
            Another potential trading partner could be the Arizona Cardinals, who have four quality starting safeties on their roster: Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson. It’s unlikely that both Johnson and Jefferson will start in 2015 due to Mathieu being healthy and coming back into form and Bucannon shining as a rookie last season. This leaves one of the two solid safeties possibly on the trading block. With Arizona having an abundance of talented wide receivers, it’s difficult to know what Miami would have to give Arizona for one of their top-tier safeties.
            Luckily, Miami still has Reshad Jones to hold down the fort in the back half of the defense. A top-ten safety, Jones will have to be the centerfielder, playmaker and game-changer for the Dolphins defense this season. He will also have to pickup the slack for either Thomas or Aikens.
            Thomas should have the upper hand in the positional battle over Aikens due to his experience at the position. Aikens came out of Liberty as a cornerback and transitioned to the safety position. Thomas also has more experience in defensive coordinator, Kevin Coyle’s 4-3 system and has a better rapport with the coaching staff. Each of these two players have their strengths and weaknesses, and it will come down to the final two preseason games to determine who fills the void Delmas left.
            Back to Delmas, he was a bargain low profile signing, one-year, $2.25 million, especially given the fact that Miami had high hopes he would return to form and flash his true potential. The major signing of Suh left Miami cap strapped and unable to make a push for the best free safety on the market, Rahim Moore, formerly of the Denver Broncos. Moore ended up signing with the Houston Texans for 3-years, $12 million. Despite being a liability against the run and an inconsistent tackler, like Delmas, Moore excels in pass coverage. He’s a top-notch cover safety, accumulating four interceptions last season.
            Moore, playing along side Jones, would have been a major upgrade over Delmas. Jones would have been the playmaking, game changer playing in the box and Moore would have been the centerfielder, either playing deep or lining up man-to-man against the tight end or slot receiver. Moore would have increased Miami’s overall talent level and pass defense, which needed a slight upgrade. Unfortunately, the Dolphins couldn’t sign Moore and were left with the resigning’s of Delmas and Thomas at free safety.
            It’s unlikely that the Dolphins will look to bring back Delmas for a third season and Thomas was only signed to a one-year deal, this means Miami will need to look to either free agency or the draft to find their next top-tier free safety.
            Despite this being a very early look into the future of the Dolphins, especially without seeing how things play out with either Thomas or Aikens, they’re not the future and this is a positional hole Miami knew was an issue prior to training camp.
            Miami has three key free agents to resign next offseason that could put a hindrance on any plan to sign one of the top-tier free safeties on the market. Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller are both in contract years and if they continue to excel like last season, they will likely get their money. Derrick Shelby is the other notable free agent. He’s a solid rotational piece at defensive end that adds depth to Miami’s solid defensive line.
            If Miami can somehow come up with the funds to spend on a top-tier safety, although unlikely, they would have some very enticing options. Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers and Tashaun Gipson of the Cleveland Browns headline a loaded free safety class. It’s unknown whether or not these three players will receive the franchise tag, be resigned or allowed to test the market, what is known is that the price tag will be high and maybe too high for Miami’s price range.
            If Miami, due to resigning homegrown talent, are unable to sign a high profile free safety in free agency, they will need to look to the 2016 NFL draft.
            Two key prospects stand out at safety for next year’s draft, Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey and USC’s Su’a Cravens.
            Both are incredibly versatile talents that would bring a different talent package to Miami’s secondary. Cravens would be the better fit for Miami, being that he has the talent level to be either a strong safety or free safety. However, Cravens is a “tweener,” formerly playing safety, but now exceling at outside linebacker for the Trojans. He’s a solid athlete who is both a thumper and a playmaker in the box. His skillset and play resemble that of Kam Chancellor. Cravens isn’t afraid to lay a hit on someone, can drop back in coverage with tremendous fluidity, or line up man-to-man with the opposing tight end or slot receiver. He has average ball-hawking skills, but solid instincts and technique and good change of direction quickness.
            Cravens’ versatility would provide Miami with plenty of options. They could use him as the strong side linebacker, bolstering their weak linebacker unit, or as strong safety, moving Reshad Jones over to free safety, where he can be more of a playmaker and ball-hawk.
            As for Ramsey, he’s the more talented of the two safety prospects, having a much higher ceiling and a lot more room for growth and development. He’s a dual-position talent that started at free safety his true freshman season and switched from safety to corner game to game. Ramsey primarily played safety in his sophomore campaign, and this season he will try his hand at playing only cornerback, lining up one-on-one with the opposing teams number one wide receiver. However, Ramsey will have to prove that he can excel on the outside in man-to-man coverage.
            Ramsey compares closely to [Tyrann] Mathieu, however he doesn’t have all the baggage that came with Mathieu and he’s more talented, with a much higher ceiling. He, being Ramsey, is an extremely athletic player with great explosiveness and recovery speed. His burst allows him to be a frequent pass-rusher, similar to that of Reshad Jones. He can make plays all over the field, cover the slot receiver, cover the tight end and isn’t afraid to make a tackle. Ramsey is an aggressive playmaker and ball-hawk, but he’s prone to getting exposed because he let’s receivers get an initial jump on him, allowing them to get on the inside of the route so he can’t make a play on the ball. He has solid recovery speed, but doesn’t have change of direction quickness. He gets beat frequently in off-man coverage, his instincts need fine tuning and his technique and footwork can be sloppy at times.
             It’s uncertain whether or not he has shutdown corner abilities, but football fans will find out this season. Having two versatile, playmaking safeties in the secondary would be a blessing for Miami. Regardless, Cravens or Ramsey would be great, young additions to Miami’s secondary if they declare for the 2016 NFL draft and if Miami has the opportunity to snag them.

            The back half of Miami’s secondary may be a liability this season with either Aikens or Thomas playing free safety. They may exceed expectations, which would in turn strengthen Miami’s potentially dominant defense. However, if Miami wants to have a top-five defense throughout Suh’s tenure, with a formidable pass defense, they will need to address the free safety position.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Breaking News: Branden Albert Most Likely out Till Week 3

ESPN NFL Insider is reporting tonight that Branden Albert will most likely be out until Week 3 of the regular season.

That means either Jason Fox or Dallas Thomas will start the season at Left Tackle for the Dolphins.
It makes you wonder if it would be wiser for the Dolphins to keep Albert out until Week 5 and after the BYE week and the London trip. I mean if he is still a month away then the more time the better. They shouldn't rush him back and have another "Delmas situation."

The Dolphins offensive line has been a mess for 2+ years now dating back to the last years of Tony Sparano and entering 2015 not much has changed.


Good afternoon Dolphin Nation! I am excited to join the DolphinsTalk team and help to add some insight to a knowledgeable fan base. I have been following the team for over 20 years and have invested many sleepless nights into the mediocre fame this team has gained. This years season sets up to finally break through the mediocre barrier and bring some excitement back to this loyal fan base. The offseason moves targeted the foundation of our team and the draft added skilled players to crucial positions. Veterans have been added to coach along our young core and the coaches have made their vision simple. The pieces have been put into place and its time for everything to be left on the field. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Video: Dolphins News, Notes, and Nuggets

8/25 Injury update for the Dolphins

  • Dolphins Cornerback Jamar Taylor could be out up to 10-14 days due to a quadriceps injury he suffered against the Panthers. Hope is that he practices sometime next week at the earliest.
  • Dolphins safety Louis Delmas was officially placed on IR and will miss the entire season due to a torn ACL.
  • Jason Fox is out for Tuesday's practice due to a concussion. the timetable for his return is unknown, but should be soon.
  • Left Tackle Branden Albert is doing everything at practice on Tuesday and is no longer limited which is a good news for him and the Dolphins.
  • Koa Misi, Bobby Mccain, and Jay Ajayi are all practicing Tuesday as well, they all had lingering injuries. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dolphins vs Panthers recap

The Miami Dolphins dropped their second pre season game to the Carolina Panthers 31-30. While the score shows a loss, the game was lost by the 3rd and 4th stringers.

Ryan Tannehill was sharp all game, in fact started the game 7 for 7. He finished the night 12 for 15 for 102 yards and a touchdown. He also had a run of 11 yards on a nifty read option play. Tannehill had great pocket recognition with a collapsing pocket and hit Lamar Miller for a 36 yard completion that help set up the first score of the game, thanks to the 4th and goal penalty.

The Dolphins opened scoring with a 1 yard run from Damien Williams. After an interception by Jamar Taylor, Tannehill hit Williams for an 11 yard touchdown to open up a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Dolphins were poised to grab a 21-0 lead with the first stringers as Damien Williams leaped to the end zone but was called out of bounds. Joe Philbin challenged the play for a touchdown but was ruled a fumble and Carolina received a touchback. Terrible challenge but thankfully it is the pre season.

On the ensuing drive, Cam Newton, whose team struggled mightily against Miami's starting defense, drove the Panthers inside the 5 yard line. But, Miami stifled Newton and the Dolphins held a 14-0 lead as all starters were then pulled. Miami was led of course by Suh and great pressure up the middle. The secondary was solid for the most part even with the absence of Grimes.

Here are some takeaways from tonight's game:

1. The a first string offense keeps moving- Tannehill time after time moved the team down the field and finished the night with only 3 incompletions and a touchdown pass. The offensive line held up for the most part but at times were still shaky. Albert can't get back soon enough.

2. Starting defense stifles again- this starting unit could be very dangerous if all remain healthy and players step up to fill some time when it matters most. The defensive line is very deep and continuously put pressure on Cam Newton.

3. Depth concerns- this game was 21-9 when the 3rd and 4th stringers arrived and completely handed the game over to the Panthers. It happened last week vs Chicago and it happened again tonight. If injuries occur this team could be in serious trouble. In my opinion, look for the Dolphins to start scouring the waiver wire to fill some depth concerns.

While it was another loss, the starting units still looked great. Two more pre season games left with the Falcons coming to the newly renovated Sun Life Stadium next Saturday night. Kickoff is at 7 and will have a recap after the game.


Skyrocket or Plummet: Can Miami Start 2015 6-0?

By: Justin Porreca
            Flashy new signings, question marks at key positions and the hottest coaching seat in the NFL will headline the Miami Dolphins 2015 campaign. The 2014 season was marred with inconsistency, injuries and horrendous coaching decisions. However, all of the red flags that surround the Dolphins can temporarily disappear if they can dominate the first half of the season. Plus, judging by the talent level on the roster and the schedule, it’s feasible for Miami to get off to a solid start.
            Miami has one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, but if the schedule is thoroughly dissected, they have the easiest first half and the hardest second half. The combined record of Miami’s first six opponents is 31-65, a .322 winning percentage, however the second half tells a much different story. Miami’s final 10 opponents have a combined record of 95-65, a .594 winning percentage. The Jets and Giants are the only two teams Miami faces in the second half that had below .500 records in 2014. It would be an understatement to say Miami needs to capitalize on their first six games.
            Here’s a look at Miami’s first six opponents, how they fared in 2014 and how they look in 2015:
Week One: Washington Redskins
            The Redskins aren’t good, let alone average. Washington finished their 2014 campaign a dismal 4-12 with plenty of red flags at key positions, including quarterback. The Skins’ had the 13th ranked offense and 20th ranked defense in 2014, however those rankings are deceiving.
            The Redskins gave up the second-most sacks last season, 58, and were tied for the fourth-most interceptions thrown, 18. In addition to that, the Redskins started three different quarterbacks in 2014: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy.
            As for the Redskins defense, it didn’t get any better during the offseason. They loss Pro-Bowl edge-rusher, Brian Orakpo, and failed to replace him in free agency or through the draft. Washington now lacks a pass rush that last season failed to provide consistent pressure. In addition to that, Washington gave up the fourth-most points per game last season, 27.4, and was one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
            The quarterback carousel is still continuing in the nation’s capital, but it’s likely Miami will face the self-proclaimed “best quarterback in the NFL,” Griffin III. RG III in his nine games played last season was sacked 33 times and threw more picks than touchdowns. He still holds onto the ball too long, is unable to read the field, read the blitz and lacks the ability to step up in the pocket and extend plays. Even with another offseason to improve, Griffin III still looks the same, taking six hits on eight-drop backs Thursday night versus the Detroit Lions. Despite Redskins management using a high draft choice to bolster the offensive line to protect Griffin III, it’s still not enough.
            The fifth-pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Brandon Scherff, looked overwhelmed in pass-protection at right guard and was often overpowered at times. Miami should be looking at this and preparing to dominate the line of scrimmage. With RG III’s decision-making still incredibly slow and the Redskins offensive line still weak, the Dolphins should tee off and have a “sack-a-palooza.” Miami’s defense alone should win them this game at Washington week one.
Week Two: Jacksonville Jaguars
            Another pathetic organization, that continues to be embarrassing and shows no glimpses of potential or promise. Jacksonville finished their 2014 campaign a measly 3-13 with no real signs of improvement. The Jaguars finished as the second-worst offense (31st) and the seventh-worst defense (26th) in the league last season, and the Jaguars are relying on the arm of Blake Bortles to turn the franchise around.
            Jacksonville went out and spent big in free agency this offseason with the signings of tackle Jeremy Parnell, defensive tackle Jared Odrick and tight end Julius Thomas. However, the Jags need more than that to help their dismal offense and defense. The Jaguars gave up a league-high, 71 sacks and were also tied for the fourth-most interceptions thrown, 18.
            Jacksonville started the 2014 season with Chad Henne under-center and transitioned to their third-overall draft choice, Bortles. However, he struggled mightily, showed some glimpses, but for the most part failed to catch up with the NFL game speed. Now with more weapons, particularly healthier weapons, Bortles should be improved, but he’s still raw and inconsistent.
            Bortles, like RG III, is another quarterback that gets pummeled. Last season, he was sacked 55 times. Half of those sacks were because of a porous offensive line, but a lot of the sacks emanate from Bortles inability to make quick decisions in the pocket. Bortles will still, at the beginning of the season, be playing at a rookie level, making rookie mistakes, struggling with making decisions in the pocket and reading the blitz.
            The game against Jacksonville is another game where Miami’s above average defense should dominate and win it for them. Miami should steamroll a young and inexperienced Jaguars squad.
Week Three: Buffalo Bills
            The Bills have been the thorn in Miami’s side for the past two seasons, despite lacking a real threat at quarterback. Far and away the best defense in the division, with the best defensive line in the league, Buffalo is nothing but headaches for Miami. The Buffalo Bills finished the 2014 season 9-7 with serious playoff potential if they had a franchise quarterback, or even a quarterback that could be a game-manager. The Bills finished as the seventh-worst offense in the league (26th) and the number four-ranked defense in 2014. Again in 2015, the Bills will be relying solely on their defense to win them low-scoring ball games.
            The Bills brought back Pro Bowl edge-rusher, Jerry Hughes, to keep their dominate defensive line in tact, added a massive offensive threat in LeSean McCoy and bolstered their offensive line with the signing of troublemaker, Richie Incognito. Last season, Buffalo gave up 39 sacks and still have quite a few question marks on the offensive line. It’s still unknown if there will be any running lanes for McCoy and if he can replicate the same success he had in Philadelphia. McCoy will be shouldering a heavy load for the Bills and will be essentially carrying the entire offense on his back.
            As for the quarterback position, it’s still up in the air in Buffalo. It could be veteran Matt Cassel or relative unknown, Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has been eye-popping this preseason and looks to be winning the quarterback battle over Cassel, but with a solid defense carrying the offense Rex Ryan may look to a game-manager than a playmaker. If it’s Cassel, it’s a quarterback that’s slowing down, coming off a season-ending ankle injury, lacks accuracy and good decision-making skills.
            If Miami’s run defense has improved like it should have with the acquisition of Ndamukong Suh then they should be able to contain McCoy and force Cassel to try and make plays. This is where the pass-rush can tee off on Buffalo’s weak offensive line and force turnovers. However, the offense is not the threat, its Buffalo’s defensive line.
            Miami’s offensive line has been manhandled by Buffalo’s four-man front two seasons in a row. If Miami’s offensive line fails to stand its ground, gets over-powered and lets Tannehill get hurried and hit, it will result in another early season loss for Miami versus Buffalo. This will be Miami’s second hardest game among their first six based on Buffalo’s defense alone and may end up being a low-scoring defensive duel.
Week Four: New York Jets
            The new-look Jets, who still don’t look all that new, are now a huge divisional threat. This is also the same team that has spoiled Miami’s playoff aspirations two seasons in a row. The Jets were an abomination last year, finishing 2014 an embarrassing 4-12. New York finished with the 22nd ranked offense and the sixth-ranked defense. With the offense still pitiful, the Jets will again be relying on their stingy defense to win them ball games.
            The Jets had a drastic face-lift during the offseason. A new general manager, a new head coach and an overhaul of talented players via free agency headline the New York Jets 2015 campaign. Revis Island has comeback to the Big Apple, along with Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine to bolster a secondary that was atrocious last season. The Jets also added to their star-studded defensive line with the selection of Leonard Williams with the sixth pick in the draft. Despite the Jets having an anemic pass defense last season, their real issue was the offense.
            The Jets gave up the ninth-most sacks last season, 47, and only put up 17.7 points per game, fifth-worst in the league. Relying heavily on a ground-and-pound offensive attack, they had a putrid passing attack that hasn’t gotten any better through the offseason. Despite the addition of Brandon Marshall, the Jets still have Geno Smith at the helm. However, due to Smith’s broken jaw, Miami may end up playing back up, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Regardless, it’s not an upgrade to a position they’ve lacked stability at since the days of Chad Pennington, when he was healthy.
            With the potential of Fitzpatrick starting versus Miami, it’s unknown which side of him they will see. The consistent game-manager that can push the ball down the field without any turnovers or the inaccurate, turnover machine; it’s Jekyll and Hyde with Fitzpatrick. However, Miami needs to be more wary of the Jets running back by committee, ground-and-pound offensive style. The Jets running game chewed the Dolphins rush defense apart last season. With a vastly improved defensive front and a more tenacious attitude toward stopping the running, Miami should be able to shut down Chris Ivory and the Jets three-headed rushing attack. If they can manage that, the pass rush should be able to dominate the Jets shaky offensive line and create endless pressure on Fitzpatrick to force him into bad decisions.
            With Todd Bowles at the helm for the Jets now, the Dolphins will see a relatively similar defensive scheme that Rex Ryan had been running previously. However, Bowles changes up his defensive scheme week by week to accommodate each opponent. Also, the Jets secondary will be vastly improved under Bowles. Running an aggressive blitz scheme with man-to-man coverage, Miami will need to find ways to break the Jets defense down. This means that Tannehill will need to be better at reading the blitz at the line of scrimmage to change the play to avoid the all-out rush Bowles sends.
            This will easily be the Dolphins toughest test among their first six games. The Jets defense is up there with the Seattle Seahawks in terms of overall talent and skill and could end up being number one once the season is over. This game will most likely come down to the play of the defenses and which one can force turnovers and hold their ground.
Week Six: Tennessee Titans
            The Titans are young, raw and inexperienced and come into the season with a rookie quarterback leading the charge. The Titans finished the 2014 season with a 2-14 record, tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst in the league. Tennessee’s offense, along with their defense, was an abomination last year finishing as the fourth-worst offense (29th) and the sixth-worst defense (27th). With rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota under center this season, there aren’t high expectations in the Music City.
            The Titans upgraded the most important position on the field this offseason, quarterback, with the selection of Mariota with the number two pick. They also bolstered their running game with the selection of David Cobb in the fifth round and their pass-rush with the signing of Pro Bowl outside linebacker, Brian Orakpo. However, the Titans lost the anchor of their offensive line, All-Pro tackle Michael Roos, to retirement. Tennessee is relying on Taylor Lewan to come around this season to be a dominant blind-side protector for Mariota. The Titans gave up 50 sacks last season, sixth most in the league, and with a rookie quarterback the offensive line will need to play superbly to keep him from being flustered and making bad decisions.
            Despite Mariota not fitting the type of quarterback head coach Ken Whisenhunt desires, a statuesque figure in the pocket, he will likely be thrust into the starting role by week six. How well he will be performing by then is unknown, but it’s likely he’ll be playing like any other rookie quarterback, especially one that’s been coddled in a system for four years in Oregon.
            Mariota will likely deal with the same issues Bortles encountered last season: a porous offensive line, holding onto the ball too long, trouble reading the blitz and failing to adjust to the NFL game speed. Playing a rookie quarterback means blood in the water for Miami’s defense. The Dolphins defense should capitalize on Mariota’s rookie mistakes and with their anemic running game, led by Bishop Sankey, the Titans offense is not a threat to put up points. This is another game where Miami can rely solely on their defense to win them this game. The pass-rush should overwhelm Mariota and force him into decisions he will regret when he watches film the next day.
Week Seven: Houston Texans
            Oh the Houston Texans, the team Miami cannot seem to figure out. A whopping 0-7 versus Houston since the franchises inception in 2002, the Dolphins this time around should be able to crack the Texans code. On the back of the best defensive player in the league, JJ Watt, the Texans almost reached the playoffs last season after going 2-14 the season prior. Houston finished 2014 with a 9-7 record and the 17th best offense and 16th ranked defense. Houston may just be an average team that overachieved last season and judging by their predicament at quarterback that just might be the case.
            Houston mainly upgraded on defense in the offseason bringing in New England castaway Vince Wilfork, safety Rahim Moore and using their first round draft choice on Wake Forest cornerback, Kevin Johnson. However with the talent overhaul on the defense, the offense was left almost unscathed. Houston let All-Pro wide receiver, Andre Johnson, go to division-rival, the Indianapolis Colts, and they failed to address their glaring quarterback dilemma. Like the Redskins, the Texans also started three different quarterbacks last season: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett.
            Houston lost Fitzpatrick to the Jets in the offseason and signed Brian Hoyer in the process, whose just another glorified back-up quarterback. It’s still unknown as to who will be starting by week one and if that same guy will be starting by week seven, but what’s known is that they’re no threat. Luckily, the quarterback that is chosen to lead the Texans will be well protected. Houston gave up the fourth-fewest sacks last season (29). Houston was also the fifth-ranked rush offense last season, relying heavily on Arian Foster. However, Foster is out with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play versus Miami, leaving Alfred Blue to take the majority of the carries.
            It’s still unknown as to what Ryan Mallett can offer as a starting quarterback, but it’s well known what Brian Hoyer is, a game-manager. Miami would be fortunate to have Hoyer starting at quarterback over Mallett come week seven. Hoyer doesn’t take risks, doesn’t push the ball down the field, is not a vertical passing threat and opts to put the ball in the gut of his running back than in the air. Hoyer is a “safety first” quarterback, playing not to make a mistake, yet still makes poor decisions. With Arian Foster likely still out by then and the Texans having no real, viable threat at quarterback, Miami’s defense should capitalize on Houston’s offensive misfortunes.
            The Texans are fortunate to have a defense that can carry them which will be Miami’s biggest concern. Scoring points on a defense that has improved talent-wise compared to last season and has a solid defensive front that will pose problems for Miami’s below-average offensive line will be the main issue. In addition to that, Houston will also have a healthy Jadeveon Clowney to play opposite JJ Watt to increase the pass-rush. This is another game where Miami’s defense will have to be on it’s A-game to dominate a weak, under-manned offense. If the defense is stout, Miami can come away with another win and go into their week eight Thursday night showdown, versus the New England Patriots, 6-0 and play for AFC East supremacy.
            If Miami wants to make the playoffs this season and if Joe Philbin wants to keep his job the team needs to dominate this weak, early schedule. With four of Miami’s last ten games coming against playoff teams, Patriots (twice), Cowboys and Ravens, the Dolphins will need to win their first six games. Going 5-1 is still good and 4-2 is okay, but if Miami goes 3-3 it will be disappointing and pit them in a hole they may not be able to recover from.

            Miami’s going through the 2015 season with the title of “mediocre” being held over their head, but if they can dominate their early schedule and win some tough games in the back half, it could result in the franchises first playoff appearance since the beginning of the Sparano era in 2008.

Video: Best Beer Commercial Ever

Video: Adam Schein Thinks It Will Be a Big Year for the Miami Dolphins

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

VIDEO: Marino, Shula, Zach, and Jason Taylor Reflect on their Dolphins Careers

Video: Olivier Vernon vs Michael Oher fight

Here is a video of the fight that happend today during the joint practice with the Carolina Panthers.

Louis Delmas OUT For The Season

The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Dolphins safety  Louis Delmas tore the ACL in the same knee he injured last season and is done for the year. This joint practice with the Carolina Panthers has proven costly for both teams. The Panthers lost Kelvin Benjamin, one of their top receivers, also to a torn ACL.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Post game Dolphins @ Bears

Preseason game number one is in the books. The Dolphins fall to the Bears 27-10. What started out very promising turned to disaster in the second half. Let's start with the positives:

1. Ryan Tannehill- Two holding penalties didn't halt the drive. Tannehill was crisp, precise and smart with all of his throws leading up to a 2 yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry. That 14 play drive signaled the end for the starters.

2. Offensive line play 1st team- this has to be the surprise of the night, despite two holding penalties, the offense line gave Tannehill plenty of time as well as opened up big holes for Lamar Miller. I believe the flirtation with Mathis isn't over just yet due to the second and third string lines, which I will get into in a moment.

3. Suh- man was his presence felt early. First play from scrimmage, Kyle Long moved as he saw Suh and false start was called. LB had a clear path to the ball carrier and some carries went for losses. Suh did have his encroachment penalty called, but you take the bad with the good. 

4. Zack Bowman and Will Davis- both played well and figure to be fighting for a starting spot on the outside or the nickel. I hope both keep up the great work that was flashed tonight.

While there was plenty to love about the first 12 minutes of play, a lot was left to be desired afterwards. Here is the bad from the game tonight:

1. Mike Gillislee- the man is on the roster bubble and he had a bad game. A great run of 20 yards was negated after he was stripped of the football. Won't make the team if you cough up the rock 20 yards past the line of scrimmage.

2. Michael Bethel-Thompson/Josh Freeman- MBT was just awful other than the 35 yard pass to Byrd. He threw two picks inside the Dolphins 30 yard line which both went for scores. The turnovers really hurt and that really sealed the deal. Freeman also looked very shaky and missed a wide open Kevin Cone on 4th down which was Miami's last possession. I believe Miami will be in the market for a third string QB.

3. Anthony Johnson- three offsides in one possession. Enough said about that, he will be gone if he doesn't clean his act up. 

4. Jay Ajayi- can't block, won't play. He didn't sniff the field tonight and that is concerning. He needs to get better and prove he belongs as a back up to Miller.

The Evan Mathis watch is on. He will add depth to the OL and push Thomas, Turner to a reserve role which isn't a horrible idea, ONLY if they pursue him.

This game is one to forget and many fans are up in arms after the loss, but remember, the first string offense and defense were lights out vs the Bears and that's what counts the most. It is concerning that the backups were absolutely horrid and that needs to be addressed quick. Injuries happen all the time and these guys need to step up. A reminder Dolphins camp preview will air on Sirius XM 88 starting at noon this Sunday. Be sure to tune in to get an in depth look and predictions from the Sirius team. 

Next game: 8/22 @ Panthers

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