Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

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Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by JMP on Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:21 am

Looking at the box score it seems like Gase is already in mid-season form: the starting offense scored zero points, Tannehill averaged just 6 yards per attempt, and the offense as a whole was 2-12 on 3rd downs and just 2 for 5 in the redzone and lost the time of possession battle.  And the defense recorded just 1 sack and 0 INTs, and allowed Jameis Winton, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin to combine for 37 completions on 47 attempts for a completion percentage of almost 79%.  DeVante Parker did nothing, future Hall of Famer (at least, the way Dolfans are talking about him...) Xavien Howard got torched twice on the Bucs' first two passes, and the first team defense that everyone has been raving about gave up a 6-play 57-yard TD drive on the Bucs's first possession.

On the plus side, the starting OL apparently didn't give up any QB pressures, so that's a good sign.

I haven't seen the game yet and I know it's the first pre-season game and there's no gameplanning and all that...but it sure seems like we're picking up exactly where we left off last season.

And - it sounds like LB Mike Hull - a key special teams player - could possibly be out for the season with a knee injury.


Last edited by JMP on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by CarsonChris on Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:32 am

Stills has his pregame protest perfected. What kind of garbage collector assembled this team?

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by white1 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:59 am

Underwhelming for sure. Gase admitted they were disappointed in the defensive effort also. However, a couple bright spots:

- Our 3rd round pick made a number of plays at LB. Ran with the ones in practice Sunday. Another player earning starting time with performance in the preseason.

- Fitzpatrick was active and made a couple of plays also. Not that I had much doubt. He is going to be a good player for us.

- Vincent Taylor has been very strong at DT in practice, and that continued in this game. Godchaux / Phillips are battling it out on one side. Seems to me that quietly Taylor is going to win the job on the other side. How nice if a low round pick actually pans out at a position of need.

Totally unrelated note: Did you see that catch Landry made in his preseason debut with the Browns! God damn.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by white1 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:04 am

I'll add one more "high point".

Ballage might turn into something at RB. He's got the juice. Needs to work on ball security and learn the offense (Tanny kicked him out of the huddle yesterday for missed assignment LOL!)


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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by JMP on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:10 am

Good stuff there, white.  I finally watched the whole game and I share most of your thoughts.

I know it's preseason, but this team looked pretty much the same as it has the past two seasons under Gase: slow start (down 16-3 halfway through the second quarter), can't score TDs, can't get first downs, can't convert in the red zone, can't defend the middle of the field, can't get INTs, allow opposing QBs to complete too many passes, etc.  

But at least there were some bright spots, as white pointed out.

The RBs as a whole all looked great.  Ballage was the highlight (minus the awful fumble, of course), and he looks like he could be a big weapon in the passing game.  Perry and even Howell also looked very good.  I definitely like the emphasis on using the backs as receivers - something we haven't done enough of in recent years.  

Tannehill moved around well, but missed two easy passes - both with a totally clean pocket.  Definitely looks rusty, and they're going to have to get him more work before the season starts.  Fales was mostly unimpressive, but on that one completion to Owusu he threw the best pass I saw all weekend - just a perfectly placed ball with zip on it, in coverage.  He is the clear #2 QB, with Osweiler stinking up the joint and Petty showing very little.

The starting OL was damn near perfect in pass pro, but things got noticeably worse with the backups in the game.  Depth at OL still appears to be a major issue - although Eric Smith did look pretty solid.  Asiata got pushed around a bit from what I saw...I think he'd be gone already if we hadn't wasted a draft pick on him.

I have mixed reviews on Baker and Fitzpatrick.  Baker is fast and active and seems to find the ball well, but I am not convinced he can shed blockers.  He made a couple of nice plays in the game, but with no blockers on him.  I want to see what he can do when he has to fight off a block.  Fitzpatrick showed good speed and excellent tackling ability, but I thought his coverage was pretty suspect.  That could be a result of the zone defense we seemed to be in all game, but I'd like to see him with tighter coverage.

Speaking of zone defense...Burke needs to remove all zone schemes from his playbook immediately.  It's embarrassing watching this team leave huge spaces wide open for offenses to exploit.  I am so sick of seeing the middle of the field wide open, and the huge hole that the defensive line alignment leaves in the middle...it's just a terrible look that is easy to exploit.

The starting DL looked very weak - no pass rush and terrible against the run.  Still nothing from Charles Harris.  The backups played much better, though.  And yes, Vince Taylor looked really good, as did Jonathan Woodard.  

I thought the corners and LBs played poorly overall.  Howard looked lost (again, possibly a function of zone), and the other corners really showed nothing.  Stephone Anthony played about as badly as a LB can play (terrible angles, couldn't find the ball) and McMillan and Alonso did nothing.  More than anything, McMillan really needs to step up and become the playmaking MLB we desperately need...but I just don't think he's up to the task.  Baker looks like he will quickly become our top LB, but I'm not sure that's a good thing.

The rookie kickers were not impressive, with Sanders missing a long FG and Joseph kicking a ball out of bounds on a kickoff.  

Overall, despite the few bright spots I am left with a "meh" feeling after preseason game one...this still looks like an outmatched boring team.  Hopefully things will improve as we move forward, but I really don't have a good feeling about this team.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by white1 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:43 am

Overall, despite the few bright spots I am left with a "meh" feeling after preseason game one...this still looks like an outmatched boring team. Hopefully things will improve as we move forward, but I really don't have a good feeling about this team.

I hear you. I guess that's where this team has taken me: I'm just not getting wrapped up in practice reports and preseason games anymore.

We've seen this team surprise both ways. Did not expect a playoff run in Gase year 1, and did not see last year's horrible season coming either.

I'm looking forward to the season, because by week 4 we'll know where our real strengths and weaknesses are on this squad. Until then I'm just looking to see who flashes some talent.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by JMP on Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:06 am

Definitely good to see the current draft class performing well so far - with Fitzpatrick, Ballage, Baker and the two TEs, this may be our best class in many, many years. That's the biggest takeaway so far. But ultimately, I think the coaching will be the Dolphins' undoing - particularly on defense.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by white1 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:14 am

But ultimately, I think the coaching will be the Dolphins' undoing - particularly on defense.

My confidence in Burke has never been lower. I agree with your thinking here.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by JMP on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:05 pm

white1 wrote:
But ultimately, I think the coaching will be the Dolphins' undoing - particularly on defense.

My confidence in Burke has never been lower.  I agree with your thinking here.  

Yeah, Burke doesn't seem to have any answers. I don't think he's qualified to be a coordinator.

As for the offense, Gase needs to show that he can get his players to start fast and score TDs. He has to find a way to convert third downs and score in the red zone. Having to come from behind week after week because of sluggish, lackluster starts is not a recipe for a winning season. We can't count on luck and miracle comebacks like we did in 2016...it's simply not sustainable. Gase has the players and coaches he wants now, so the excuses are gone. Time for results, not talk.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:18 pm

Literally just found out that only one team in franchise history had fewer INTs than last year's--which was only about half as many as 2016.

http://pfref.com/tiny/OPa8T

This team only makes the playoffs if their schedule is super-weak. Which does not appear to be the case this season. And it blows my mind how many coaches under 40 are doing far batter than Gase. Just look at where the Rams are now as opposed to the previous decade, for example. The 49ers started last season 0-9 and now look to have a much brighter future. Even the Chargers have loads more talent.

Even this draft class looking better than previous ones have in years will work against this team, as it will convince Tannenbaum--and Ross--that he really is a great GM.

Oh well. At least I'll be able to watch random people rebuild the Fins in Madden on Youtube. And do a far better job of it.

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Also, the Fins seem to realize they don't actually have two legit starting boundary CBs. I wonder how many picks Tannenbaum will wind up being fleeced out of for somebody's 4th stringer scratch

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2018/08/dolphins-shopping-cornerback-trade

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Re: Preseason game one - vs. Bucs

Post by JMP on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:09 pm

Too bad we didn't draft a corner.

Oh wait...we did. Cornell Armstrong. As soon as he was drafted I said he was a wasted pick and not NFL caliber, and I don't think I've heard his name mentioned once since then. I don't expect the #209 pick to steal a starting spot, but with a job open it would have been nice to hear at least something about a draft pick.

Major fail by the Phins overestimating the CB talent on the roster.

It's pretty obvious what is going to happen: either Tannenbaum will get fleeced in a trade for a crappy veteran corner, or, more likely, the Phins will move Bobby McCain to outside corner and #1 draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick will be the slot/nickel corner. Ugh.

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