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The Jacksonville roundup before film study

Tony Sparano talked about looking at the game film at least four times during his post-game press conference but that's not happening until Tuesday morning. Tonight, this is how it looks without the benefit of film study:

*The Dolphins threw three passes to Ted Ginn in the span of one quarter. He caught two of those passes for 26 yards. But the attempts are more important because it showed a desire to find him that I didn't see last year. If Ginn is to have the breakout year everyone wants, he needs opportunities. It was good to see the Dolphins, particularly Chad Pennington who seemed to be looking for him, are willing to give him those opportunities. Ginn also had an end-around for 14 yards.

And yes, he noticed the ball came his way more than usual. "They took some chances, they threw some balls at me," Ginn said. "I just tried to come down with every ball that came my way."

*Eric Green struggled. He gave up three completions, including a 25-yard pass from Todd Bouman to former first-round bust Troy Williamson.

*Sean Smith was pretty good. Yes, he gave up a couple of short gains on slants. But he also had an interception in the end zone that showed when the football is in the air and it's him or the WR, pick him. The Dolphins have an open job at right cornerback. And Smith might not have won the job Monday night. But as I wrote in my column, he made the most impressive reach of all the contenders to snatch that job.

"As a cornerback, whenever that ball is in the air, you definitely want to come down with it, and to come down with my first NFL pick in the my first preseason game was pretty good," Smith said.

Smith has an infectious personality. I joked with him after the game, saying, "Well you have one game and one interception. That the way you see things going for you in your career?"

"Yeah," Smith said without missing a beat, "I figure I'll have an interception in every game I play ... except some games I'll have two interceptions because I have to make up for the bye weeks."

*The Red Zone offense was atrocious. "We have Red Zone rules," coach Tony Sparano said. "No sacks, no turnovers, no penalties. Those are our rules."

The Dolphins broke several of those rules. Jake Grove was called for a false start on third-and-goal from the Jacksonville 3 yard line. Ricky Williams was called for holding on first-and-10 from the Jacksonville 17.

*The Dolphins want to see more from Chad Henne. They want him to push Chad Pennington. Well, he had a better game although he had many more opportunities. Henne's 83.1 QB rating was the best of any QB in the game. He connected on a 33-yard TD to Ernest Wilford. He threw an interception also. "That one's on me," Henne said. "Just a poor decision by myself. You know, I kind of threw it blind. I was trying to throw it in the hole. I didn't really see the throw after I got hit."

And overall?

"I thought I did pretty good. I mean, like I said before, there's mistakes out there and I'll fix them and just keep getting better. But I think overall, I did pretty well. Managed the team, got some points on the board and that's what we need." 

*Miami's third-string quarterback Pat White was not terrible in his NFL preseason debut. But he wasn't good and that is being kind. Never mind the interception on his statistics line because that happened when a good pass hit a RB in the hands and bounded into a defender's arms. But he skipped two passes that should have been completed. And the most troubling thing is he continues to struggle getting out from under center.

I've written on this blog how White is clearly more comfortable out of the shotgun than under center. But I didn't realize how uncomfortable he really is under center until I watched him at game speed. He takes forever to get out from under center. For a player who relies on quickness, it's terrible to be slow on his dropbacks and setups because he's taking too long pulling out from the center. This must be addressed.

*Ernest Wilford did have that one catch for 33 yards and a touchdown. He made a defender miss along the home sideline to spring himself for the score. And then he capped it with an emphatic spike.

"There was a lot of frustration behind that spike," Wilford said.

*Finally, I was not pleased with the first-team offensive line. The fact is the Dolphins averaged only 2.6 yards per carry when the first line was in the game. The Jacksonville front won at the point of attack to the point where coach Jack Del Rio declared his team "extremely physical."

"Not well enough, point blank," guard Justin Smiley said. "We want to be known as an offense that can run between the tackles. You have to tip your hat to their defense. They did a really good job."

Please realize all this is said and done off the surface view of the game. I will bury myself in film study part of Tuesday and report back to you more in depth analysis when I'm done. That's why the blog is called, in part, in depth.


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Armando. don't interfere with my live blog .

Did Wilford save his job with that play?? I find it unlikely, but I guess you have to be happy for him. But is it really redemption if it happens in the Not-For-Real games?

From watching this game , i think miami leads the league with the most players with Dreadlocks. LOL !

Chris Williams did a pretty goood returning punts after the first couple of mistakes.

Ace. The defense looked solid. The OL pass protection was solid. The OL run blocking was disappointing.

What did you think of Pat White?

Ace , I thought he was ok. He did some good things out there. he's picking things up.

Henne was 7-11 for 93 yards, a TD, and an int. in the rain? I'll take that from him.
Would love to see what that cannon of his can do with Ted Ginn on the field. Hopefully we will get to see that one day... For now though, it seems this is Pennington's team.


I will catch up with you later.

didn't see the game. at work here in california. the avg yards per run certainly don't impress me. I'm concerned given the defenses we're up againist this year.

Good Night all.

I didn't watch the game; was following on MH blog before my class. "D" seems to be in regular season mode; the "O" is a work in progress.
I would say right now, the "D" may have to carry this team until the "O" becomes a more cohesive unit.
So I'll stand by the 9-7 or 8-8 Fins record this year.

OK upon further review

Given that it is the first game of pre season, I won't be critical, but...

I was not to happy with the first team O line in the first half. Grove was pretty much handled by Henderson. But keep in mind Henderson is probably the best or one of the best NT in the game. On one play Grove was stacked and shedded off by Henderson when Brown whent up the middle.

Long blew an assignment when he allowed a sack on one play.

But the player I though stood out in the brief time in...Donald Thomas, he just looks like he knows what hes doing on the contrary, Murphy looked lost and was beat on more than one occasion.

I was most impressed by the returns of Williams, especially after making a few early mental errors and having more than a few good run backs more like half a dozen.

Sean Smith looks like he belonged and Davis looks like he gots a lot to learn

sorry i didn't get back guys. i went to the bar and my friend tammy got a call that her 14 year old daughter commited suicide. i ask for everyone's prayer's dolphins fans and opposing teams blogger's prayer's to help her thru this devistating time in her life. thank you and God bless you all.

Is it me or does Vontae Davis have "BUST" written all over him!

He is Vernon Davis' brother........

vernon has shytty coaching and he plays on a bad team. vontae has a strong coaching structure aroud him. like someone said earlier surtain needed time before he became great.

Vonte Davis is far from bust status bro.
Check back here after 2 seasons, then we all will have a NFL resume' to legitimately judge him by, ok.

What a terrible reminder of Chad's "limits" in that terribly underthrown pass to Ginn when Ginn had beat his man on speed for a potential 80yd TD. Ginn would be a superstar by now if Marino was back there. :(

Armando, what are you talking about concerning White?? Skipped a few passes short? He threw 1 pass short. Every other pass hit hands. Yes he backs out from center slow, but it never cost him. He can learn that. But you can't teach what he has. Speed, vision, arm strength, and character.

sorry i didn't get back guys. i went to the bar and my friend tammy got a call that her 14 year old daughter commited suicide. i ask for everyone's prayer's dolphins fans and opposing teams blogger's prayer's to help her thru this devistating time in her life. thank you and God bless you all.

Posted by: sammo | August 18, 2009 at 01:42 AM

My family's prayers are w/Tammy and her family. No parent should have to bury their children.....especially to suicide (the unforgiven sin).

Armando, what are you talking about concerning White?? Skipped a few passes short? He threw 1 pass short. Every other pass hit hands. Yes he backs out from center slow, but it never cost him. He can learn that. But you can't teach what he has. Speed, vision, arm strength, and character.

Posted by: Jaison13 | August 18, 2009 at 03:24 AM

I agree, PW looked better than his stats indicate. He will get better from under center. I wonder if it would be posible hiding Chris Williams in the PS if he doesn't make the team. Also, how bout that Sean Smith!!!

I disagree with your assessment on Pat White. He put multiple balls on the money that were dropped. He is certainly a number 3 guy though.

Some of Mando's biggest rips are rookies.

I am as critical as anyone, but it was a solid first preseason game.


Yeah, O-line. Last years O-line was bad and I don't see any improvement. Sparano's background is O-line, right? I didn't see any gaps being opened.

Dolphins still can't run the ball. They haven't run the ball since The Perfect Season, or at least it feels that way.

How hard can it be in like 40 years to put together an offensive line??


White did a fine job. His first 3 passes were in the receivers hands and dropped. The int. was on the mark as well. He runs good. He'll be fine. V.Davis was a little to aggressive. S.Smith looks real good. First string o-line has to get better. Henne was ok, not spectacular. Turner was ok early, then had a couple of drops from White late. Ginn looks good. Williams was explosive on returns. He has some cubes on him. For a kid his size to run it like he did was very impressive. I'd like to see Hilliard play with first string.

Ron In Charlotte,

Being a bust is not hereditary....fool

It absolutely blows my mind sometimes what people will say... "Is it me or does Vontea Davis have Bust written all over him?"... DUDE!!! The kid... the rookie... in his 1st pro game EVER!... had a tough start... and you are ready to cash in his chips? Jeez, I hope you don't have kids... He also had a few nice defended passes... I was watching closely. One thing is for certain and Mando nailed it... Pat White has got to get out from under the center with a whole lot more authority. He was just taking a step back and the O-line line was already standing up... that is WAY slow!... they will have to drill him hard on that deal. He is a bunch of fun to watch run though... I love a QB who has wheels... give D's fits! This team has an elite defense within their grasp. Seen one of those before and they are close. The pre-season should help the offense jell a bit... just remember that you are seeing 100% "Plane Jane O" out there... they are not scheming these games at all. There is a huge difference between an offense with a "Plan" and an offense just trying to get a job. This team has talent... they are going to win games with that talent... but they will win even more because they have something many Dolphin teams did not in the past... Heart.


Was it really needed to mention "he unforgiven sin". WTF is wrong with you

Was it Nj?

very good C , but nj doesn't talk like that ,some one else has his name assigned to him ,every time nj is here last few weeks ACE AND ODINSEYE also here .

Sean Smith was awesome - Starter by 1st real game
Vontae - Mentally slow - he needs repetition to make it stick in his head
Green - stinks

Here are my thoughts on the game

1. Channing Crowder was all over the field. Closed the gaps on screen passes really quickly. I thought he was an interchangebale part but he may be one of the best 3-4 ILB's in the NFL.

2. Sean smith has composure and game. At 6"3 and with his speed he kind of reminds me of Nmadi Asamouagh. A little early but he's impressive

3. Ted Ginn Looks a lot better. More confident and decisive. His numbers will improve.

4. Cameron Wake will be a force. He's lightning quick off the ball and I even saw him successfully bullrush a few times

Pat White had a good game - his receivers couldn't catch balls he fired straight to them! He had one bad throw all night. Yes, he needs some polishing, but those things will come with time. Why are you always so negative when it comes to PW? Did you see the same game we saw?

pat white will be a human high light reel for miami! he zipped accurate passes to his wr's and evaded pressure quite well.

Player who impressed me:

Sean Smith
Tedd Ginn
Joey Porter
Chad Henne
Cameron Wake
J.D. Folsom
Jason Allen (yes, he did have an alright game even though he was playing against 3rd string)

Players who did not:

Anthony Armstrong
Patrick Turner
Vontae Davis

Former ESPN'r Salguero again off the mark. White had a decent game. 3 dropped passes that were in the reciever's hands. Yes, could have a been a bit quicker but 3rd team line and bad conditions. Ran the ball well. What the hell were you watching - Darlington getting all the pub?

I saw a top rate D-Line and an average O-Line.
That equals an 8-8 season.
Henne has an arm, but made mistakes that pro-bowl QB's don't, like throwing off your back foot in a driving rainstorm for a drive-ending INT>
PW needs lots of time to mature, he will be lucky to get into 2-4 games this year as a situational player.
Finally, our secondary which got torched last year seems to have filled in some holes, Smith is the real deal...so maybe its more like 10-6 this year. Go FINS!


Are you saying ace and odinseye are the same person as nj?


what make you say that was not the real nj here last night? Please educate us.

I was really impressed with Sean Smith. The only knock on him I've heard is that he's not very physical and doesn't tackle well.... but I saw him make a couple nice stops on run defense too... I think this kid is going to be good... He made every receiver he covered yesterday look like a midget...

Yes I stayed up past 1:30 a.m. to watch the replay on the NFL network. Here are my thoughts:

The Good:

1. Sean Smith. He smothered Tory Holt early on and great pick in the 2nd half. He had better position than the WR and showed great ball skills by diving for the int in the back of the endzone.

2. Ted Ginn. He was the best offensive player on the field in the 1st quater. Nice drag route over the middle, great hands on the seam route. Saved Pennington a pick on a floater in the flat(nullified by penalty) and his best play was the PI call on the long ball. He had beaten his man, Pennington seriously underthrew it, Ginn not only came back to break up an int but got the PI call as well. He also had a nice run on a reverse.

3. Jason Taylor, Joey Porter and Cameron Wake. These guys can rush the passer and did it well last night.

4. Ernest Wilfor, only 1 catch but it was a nice one. Using him as an H-back created a mis-match that Henne took advantage of.

The bad:

1. Vontae Davis. He looked like the menatally undisciplined head case he is rumored to be.

2. The run-blocking. Reverses can't be your best running play unless your the Bills playing against an Olivadotti coached defense.

3. Too many penalties, especially in the red-zone.

The So-So:

1. Chad Henne. Terrible throw on the int and had another that could have been picked. He also made a mental mistake in the red-zone that led to a false start and delay of game on the same play. Despite this he also made some really nice throws and generally moved the team well. His TD pass was a great read and good throw down the left side getting to Wilford before the DB could close on it. He also should have had another TD that Williams dropped.

2. Chad Pennington: Generally made good decisions and moved the offense but his lack of arm strength did show especially on the deep ball to Ginn. He also floated one out in the flat that Ginn made a great catch preventing an int.

3. Pat White. He actually looked better than I thought and was victimized by some drops. However, he still does not look all that comfortable in the pocket and his mechanics need work. Did show good athleticism with his running.

Wow, Your bias toward P. White is becoming QUITE EVIDENT. Take a look at how you phrased his outting as "not terrible". Completely failing to enlighten the average reader by emphasizing that his receivers had several "terrible" drops.
By the way Chad had an under throw and Henne tossed an INT, but you had no opinion on either it seems.
You need to do some soul searching my friend.


White also managed to do two things most QB's can't. Run away from pressure and fire a bullet going the opposite way.

I do understad last season there was a beck camp and a Henne camp. But a white vs henne is a much more fair fight. Now seeing him after hearing armundo rip him EVERY day? I wonder why he's getting roasted by you? Did he snub you at a media day? From what I saw, the only negative is his drops. But considering he took 95% of the snaps from the shotgun for four years. I'll not fault him seeing it's his 1st preseason game!!


I don't know why you are so hard on Pat White. To me there was more excitement when he was in at quarterback...more energy. He seemed more dangerous overall.

I thought Pat White looked really good actually. He needs to drop back further from under center, he still needs a little work but he should be fine.

It was nice to see the Phins again.

However, I thought Pat White looked terrible, as did Vontae Davis. The offensive line looked rough as well, and Grove, and every G got their butt kicked. How can you think that Thomas did well? Chad P was rushed all the time, RBs could not get yardage. I am beginning to think that we really could have used some OL early in the draft.

But it is only the first game... ask me in a month.

It does seem that once former espn'r salguero is snubbed by a player he is very biased against him....JT in the past and now white.

Tommy, did you just read the stats and make your judgement of white?
Every pass but one hit his receivers hands and the one that didn't, hit the dirt in front of the reciever while in the infield section of mud. Of the ones not caught only one would have been a tough catch, the others were in the chest of turner twice and in in 45's hand. He was never sacked. Everytime he ran it was for positive yards including two 1st downs.

just when you thought it was over, favre returns again... sheesh... will it ever end?

I have to say Armondo must not have seen Pat White play. Most of his passes hit recievers in the hand stalling drives. He skipped one pass while he was in the mud and being hurried. He did pretty solid and I have to say I liked what he did more then what I saw from Henne.

I saw two completly different offenses run yesterday and bases off this first game I wouldn't be suprised if White got a lot of playing time during the season in each game late in the third and early fourth to help wear down the defenses.

To put in a completly different quarterback and ask the defense to adjust late in the game will be a lot to ask for. Sorry to let the cat out of the bag.

You didn't let the cat out of the bag. The phins are gonna use White to catch and run the bubble screen 10 times a game, you know the play that made Wes welker famous.
Give PW the ball and some blockers in space 10 times a game and he should put up like 2000 yards for the season.
He was the most prolific college runner drafted.

Hey X-Factor,

Becareful of how you speak about Armando, because if FINHEAVENBLOWS! finds out about it he will trash you my friend. He will call you names like a child.

That goes for all of you posters that are saying things not in ageement with Armando. FINHEAVENBLOWS! will attack you with insults. I know because it happened to me because I disagreed with Armando ONCE!

If FINHEVENBLOWS doesnt get you...Armando will just delete your comments..

The Dolphins will run a "wildcat" with Pat and Ronnie and pennington on the field at the same time, and a spread offense with Pat running that. Now defenses will have to prepare for the wildcat, the spread, and our base offense all in one week. Alot for a defense to process. And Pat looked great. Rolling left and right and throwing. Turner catch a ball for pats sake! Hennepin never attempted to look down field. And Garrard got slammed on the ground 4 outta the 7 times he attempted to pass. God I love that!

I don't know what Pat White you were talking about. The one I saw played very well considering it was his first NFL game.

Give the kid a break. All the gloom written about him did not manifest itself last night.

It looks like he is a natural.


Yes, Pat White had some trouble getting off the center snap; however, his decision making and throws were not as bad as you pointed out, in my opinion.
The offensive line was ok in pass protection, but did struggle to open lines for Ricky (stronger than last year), and Ronnie (mmm...)
Lex Hilliard. I know it was against 3rd team defense, but......Lex Hilliard!!!

I'll tell you, if Chris Williams keeps returning kickoffs like he did yesterday, I hope they find a space for him. I know, I know...they need the space for bla, bla, bla. The point being, special teams can win games, and he could be that big play guy that we need. I wrote about a week ago about the concern I had about Williams being placed in the practice squad, then another team could get him, and we'd look like fools... I have a good feeling about this guy. I only hope that he can keep playing big and learn from his mistakes.

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