« Live blog of preseason home opener right here | Main | Ireland: 'Didn't feel like needed to' bring new starting QB »

The view from the pressbox on Fins-Panthers

It was by every definition a good outing for the Dolphins Friday night. The detractors might point to the Carolina Panthers being the NFL's worst team a year ago or scratching 16 players from this game, or starting a rookie quarterback.

I would point to a 20-10 victory in which the first team offense and defense looked good.

Great? No.

Good? Absolutely.

You cannot blame the Dolphins for the opponent's flaws.

"Yeah, this is just a chekpoint for us," Brandon Marshall said after making his preseason debut. "Every week you want to get better, we want to grow as an offense, we want to gel a little more as a team. We know our goal and we know where we want to be every week. We know where we want to be at the end of the season. It's important for us to not hang off the rafters when we win and not put our head in the dumpster when we lose. That pertains to every play, not just the game."

Fair perspective. It also brings up the fact that because coordinator Brian Daboll's offense is still so new to this group, you won't see their best work until "the end of the season," as Marshall said.

That means the Dolphins have to be good on offense early and rise to a higher level later on. It could happen.

The Dolphins showed improvement on several fronts:

The line blocking looked better than it did a week ago against Atlanta in that, hey, there were some holes this week when the first teamers were in the game! And Reggie Bush used them to his benefit.

Bush rushed eight times for 48 yards. He also caught two passes for 33 yards, a stellar 16.5 yard per catch average. As I wrote in my column for today's Miami Herald, Bush's Dolphins debut was not only successful but a thing that captured the imagination of fans starved for a playmaker. Please do a brother a favor and check out the column as that is how I feed my family and we ain't had no breakfast this morning yet.

One thing that did not make the final cut of the column that I will say here: Bush proved something last night. He proved all his work -- both during practice and afterward -- is paying off. He proved his got not only speed but defense-deflating toughness, which is a great combination.

What else does he have to prove?

I say the Dolphins should give him the rest of the preseason off. See you Sept. 12 against the Patriots.

Why?

I remind you Bush is Miami's most dynamic playmaker in that he doesn't rely on others as heavily to get his as does, say, Marshall. He has a history of getting hurt. The Dolphins are going to use him plenty during the season. Why waste a proven vet in preseason?

I also remind you that this preseason alone, running backs Ryan Williams, Mikel LeShoure, Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty have already suffered season-ending injuries. Why expose Bush to that in meaningless games? Why expose him to pulled groins, or tweaked ankles, or strained hamstrings in inconsequential games?

He gets plenty of carries in practice. He's involved in plenty of collisions in those. He then works overtime after practically every single practice. He's in great shape. He's not a rookie who has to adjust to the speed of the game. Lather him up, to use a Tony Sparano term, in practice where you can control the violence a bit. But in more preseason games?

Why risk him?

(Rant over).

The offensive line had a nice night last night except for the four penalties -- three of them on Lydon Murtha. Those can be drive killers and must be eliminated. Those are about discipline and being in the moment mentally. Not acceptable.

Chad Henne was good last night. That is the truth and that is what I will always try to give you. I'm not going to gush and tell you he was great because he wasn't. He was good. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards without a TD or INT.

The good: He got Brandon Marshall involved early and often. He kept plays alive both with his patience and shuffling in the pocket and with his feet, running downfield for a total of 20 yards. That part was outstanding. His accuracy was good on short to medium range passes. His shining moment, I thought, was on the play where protection broke down, the snap from center was high, he tipped it, caught it, he moved around, kept his eyes downfield, and found Anthony Fasano for a 38-yard completion. That kind of play from a quarterback can feel like a dagger to the heart of the defense. Excellent.

The not-good: He threw a first-quarter pass to Brian Hartline who had man coverage down the sideline that was inaccurate in that it was overthrown and out of bounds, but in so doing he missed an uncovered Brandon Marshall who lined up in the slot and was covered by NOBODY. If Henne had looked for Marshall, who was lined up inside of Hartline, that play would have gone for a 25-yard gain and possibly more. He missed a wide open Hartline in the second quarter on a post pattern around the goal line and threw instead to Daniel Thomas out of bounds on a pass that was almost intercepted. He missed Clyde Gates streaking wide open downfield for what might have been the play of the night -- a 63-yard bomb behind double coverage. (Great job by Gates blowing the top of the secondary on that one, but he can't throw the ball to himself, too.)

Nonetheless, Henne showed progress. That's important.

“I mean, obviously, we moved the ball pretty well down there, got some big plays in certain situations," Henne said. "I have to watch the film, there’s some mistakes out there we’ll correct them. It’s good to get a win at home and start a run that way and winning at home that’s pretty important to us right now.

"Definitely gives you confidence, especially at home. Previous years we haven’t won a lot of games at home and get off to a start path, we’re trying to build a tradition here where this is our home field and we want to take advantage and play well here and it’s a good step for that.”

It would be nice if Henne got some more help from his tight end. Fasano caught two passes but dropped another one right in his hands, same as he did last week. If Fasano is going to catch only 66 percent of the passes that hit him in the hands, that is not good. He's got to do some work on the jugs, something I've not seen him do.

Defensively, the Dolphins forced Carolina to punt seven times. That's good.

The Dolphins limited the Panthers to 25 percent conversion rate on third down. That's good.

Carolina only had 68 net rushing yards. That's great!

Miami's leading tacklers were inside linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby, who each had four tackles. That suggests the Dolphins didn't allow runners to reach the secondary and force, say, Yeremiah Bell, Miami's leading tackler the past couple of years, to make the tackle. It also suggests the Dolphins didn't need to bring Bell down into the tackle box to help against the run. Bell had only one tackle.

Yes, safety Reshad Jones also had four tackles, but he played primarily with the second team. Burnett and Dansby were done for the night by that time.

“The defense, that’s understandable we had to have a better performance than we did last week," Dansby said. "We were in front of the home crowd so were just trying to build something here, win our home games and just hit on all cylinders. We did that tonight we had fun and we were flying around because people were saying we were playing uninspired football, we saw the quotes...we saw everybody was talking about so we tried to give you a show today.”

Oh, the corners were dominant. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith locked down Carolina's WRs. No, Steve Smith did not play. Not their fault. They did work against the Carolina receivers they faced. 

Overall, we saw a team get better. The Dolphins made progress from their first preseason game to their second. If they continue to get better every week, things are going to be good in 2011. I hope.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e2015434ac5a01970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The view from the pressbox on Fins-Panthers:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Wow! No bashing right off the rip? Maybe the Jet trolls finally went home to worry about their own problems.....

Hey Debbie Downer,

When was the last time Los Delphines looked this good in their second pre-season game? Even Carpenter had a great tackle!

"The detractors might point to the Carolina Panthers being the NFL's worst team a year ago or scratching 16 players from the lineup in this game or starting a rookie quarterback."


Yeah man. Call me a detractor but how many guys are on a football team? Sounds like our 1's went again at most half their 1's. IMHO, should have been a bigger blowout. After watching NE blowout and destroy a better Tampa team, I'm not ready to get giddy.

I don't agree with Armando often but I agree with him that the team should pull Bush from the rest of the preseason games. He's ready. It's not worth the risk to have him out there any more in meaningless games. Let him work on things in practice and get ready for the season. The Chargers used to never play LT in preseason na dit never hurt him. I was one of the ones who was screaming hard for Ryan Williams or LeShoure to be drafted by this team and they are both done for the year. It's just not worth the risk.

I hope the haters keep hating on this team. It will be fun to see this team surprise people and fly under the radar. Keep it going Dolphins!

I hope the haters keep hating on this team. It will be fun to see this team surprise people and fly under the radar. Keep it going Dolphins!

Posted by: Craig M | August 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Another immature comment from the blog's biggest wussy who never owns up to what he says. Hoping for people to hate just so he can gloat afterwards? I was beyond that behavior when I was 9 years old.

Objective Fan,

Why don't you reveal your true identity instead of hiding behind numerous names...only one wuss in the room, pal. You telling me that's a mature way to go about your business?

Henne looked good, not great. Bottom line is colt mcoy looks better than henne. Qb is still going to be a big issue.

Why is it that any blogger that doesn't gloat 100% about everything is labeled a hater and troll on this blog?

Why is it that it's those that label others as haters and trolls quickly resort to name calling and bathroom humor?

Why is they they take any opinion that isn't gushing with approval as a personal attack?

Simply put, its a lack of maturity and inability to debate like adults.

Why don't you reveal your true identity instead of hiding behind numerous names...only one wuss in the room, pal. You telling me that's a mature way to go about your business?

Posted by: Craig M | August 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

It's an experiment to see if crybabies like you can stop for one second and try to just look at something with an open mind, actually consider why someone might have a different point of view, rather than attacking their name.

I see its a failed experiment.

Objective Fan,

You're not fooling anybody. We know exactly who you are. Take a look closing at the style of writing guys. The only question is how many other alias' does he have. Pretty sad really...

Keep bashing bud....that's the complete give away.

On a day when you should be celebrating a good performance from the Dolphins, you continue to bash those of us who have a little faith that brighter days are ahead.

Get some help bud...

Objective fans likes to do the exact same thing they complain about other people doing but merely paints it in a different shade. If you are so struck with disapproval by the people that blog here then why even acknowledge the posts?

A fine example of the mature Craig M wagging his tail about some rumor that hasn't even happened yet:


A report from the National Post this morning says that the Pats will cut Ocho and/or Haynesworth before the season starts. Show of hands from all those guys that lauded these moves from the Pats and how Ireland never does anything special. Hands up nice and high so we can all see them fellas....

On the same note....how's Plaxico Burress working out fellas? Yeah I thought so....try a little hot sauce on your crow....it's easier to get down.

Posted by: Craig M | August 14, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Objective Fan,

Maybe I'll tell you what I really think of Bush and watch you go off the deep end. Find another alias bud, it's too easy....

Objecttive Fan,

Make certain you take your meds today. I'm concerned what you might do after a good performance by the Dolphins last night. They're taking all your fun away.

Have a good day pal...

So, Armando, a good game by a QB earn 47 words of positives from you and 123 words of negatives from you. Interesting balance scheme.

Who was it who said yesterday that Young woould be signed as soon as he's released? Was it DB? Guaranteed, right? OK bud.....the clock's ticking. Let's see where he ends up....

Posted by: Craig M | July 28, 2011 at 05:27 PM


Young was signed one day after he was released, the very first day permissible by league rules. Now will he admit he was wrong? Of course not. He changes his story and says well he wasn't signed as a starter. Convenient.

The Dolphins did look good. I agree with Mando about Bush. I've seen enough, he doesn't need to play in anymore of these preseason games.
I would have liked to see them try a fade in the endzone to either Marshall or Wallace instead of 4 dive plays. But I get it that TS wants the O Line to get a little confidence.
Mando! Does Henne stay after practice and work on these deep routes with these guys? If he could improve with deeper routes it would open up the shorter routes alot. Until he does, the defenses will play a 20 yard field on them.

Better-yes, much needed improved performance. But lets not get too extremely happy yet for they beat the team with the worst record in the league, not to mention a rookie QB and coach. But now that we saw hope, dont stop. Please Mr. Ireland use your head. Bring in Mckinnie to solidfy and add depth to the line. Imagine Henne with maybe a few more seconds to assess and pass the ball. Also T>Owens is ou there. Give Henne another weapon. Imagine Marshal,TO, Bess, Hartline, and Bush. Wow!! What a headache for defenses to cover.

Good luck with that...

I'm going to go into the city and pickup women.
.
.

Jeff, you didn't count Mando's words about henne correctly.

And kinda anal of you to be counting Mando's words anyway. You need to get laid.

Holy hell!

Someone wants TO?

Wow, maybe yesddid and dishpan should get a room and invite henne over for a three way.

If you guys watched last nite and somehow think it means Henne is going to play that way every game, you are beyond imbeciles.

Wipe your mouth of yesdid's juice, dishpan.

Hello everyone.
I am new to this blog.
What do you think of Chad Henne as our quarterback?
I was wondering if we could begin a discussion about his strengths and weaknesses as well as probable stats by season's end.
Personal opinions are welcome too.
Thanks.

Why is it that any blogger that doesn't gloat 100% about everything is labeled a hater and troll on this blog?

Why is it that it's those that label others as haters and trolls quickly resort to name calling and bathroom humor?

Why is they they take any opinion that isn't gushing with approval as a personal attack?

Simply put, its a lack of maturity and inability to debate like adults.

Posted by: Objective Fan ( Cough cough SEMINOLE SAM)

There he goes again talking down to all of us. Hopefully someday we will all be as intelligent and insightful as you Sam. After all you know all and we're just a bunch of idiots for having hope.

Can I come to that henne three way?

four on the floor!

Paul, henne is not the worst QB in the NFL and he's nowhere near the best QB in the NFL. He's average. Mediocre.

Is that good enough? No.

He has trouble with the long bomb. He works hard. He showed he can run last night. I hope he learns to slide.

I'm not sure he's good enough,either way.

Call me pessimistic, doubious or whatever. I'll claim realistic. My 2 cents:
I'm truly happy that the Fins showed some NFL qualities in this game, and that gives me hope that the season will be watchable. A note on Armando's quote:
"Nonetheless, Henne showed progress. That's important." Important from the standpoint that the season is watchable. 'Progress' Is something that is expected/important in a year 2 QB. By Year 4 it's late, and assumed. Henne isn't a #1, he's a #2. Coaches know it, FO knows it - even some players know it. We're not super-bowl bound, and doubtful playoff bound. We deserve to be. We can be, with the right QB.
Not a hater. Henne's a great #2 option.
BTW, liking the D last night, and feeling justified in my Bush predictions (he IS the game-strategy changer as the check down man). Those alone keep us above water.
Best of luck in the season Fins!

JS, I agree wholeheartedly with every single point you made.

Dear Paul,

Chad Henne is rated as the league's # 1 quarterback by ESPN, Fox Sports and numerous blogsites.
Many pundits feel Mr. Henne will throw about 30 touchdowns this year to 7 interceptions.
On average, people are saying this is a 4000 yard quarterback easy.
With chad Henne at the helm, Las Vegas predicts 11 wins for Miami this year.

Hope this helps.

finman, ridiculous

Thanks FLPD.

And thank you too Finfan Man.

WOW..

I AGREE WITH (BIG GULP) MUST I SAY HIS NAME.

SIT BUSH.

SOME MAY SAY THAT CAROLINA STINKS.

WELL I SAY TO YOU IF WE BEAT SOME OF THOSE STINKY TEAMS LAST YEAR WE WOULD HAVE MADE THE PLAYOFFS.

BILLS, BROWNS, LIONS

WHILE BEATING TEAMS LIKE

PACKERS, JETS, STEELERS (WELL THEY STOLE ONE)

WE SEEM TO PLAY UP OR DOWN TO OUR COMPETION.

THIS COULD BE A SIGN THAT THAT IS OVER.

AND IF IT IS THEN WE WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS EVERY YEAR.

The Finfan Man |lol I hope your right but why set the bar low lets have 35 TD's and 4 Int's with 4500 yards

One vote for mediocre and one vote for elite.
Hope he falls somewhere in between.
Looks like Brandon Marshall will get 15 of those 30 touchdowns from Mr. Henne.

I didnt watch the game, but what Ive read, how does anyone believe Henne has improved when he constantly overthrows TD passes? 1 to Marshall, 1 or 2 to Harline and 1 to Gates. Thats three or two during one game. Thats improvement? 20-10 over a winless team with a rookie at QB looks like a lose. Well at least Henne didnt throw an int I guess thats something.

LoboNoches - okay!

Armando,

Your muted response to the game is disappointing. As a fan I was elated. That is the part you left out. As fans we should have all, a least, taken a big sigh of relief.

Granted, this is just our second pre-season game. No one knows what team will show up at any given post-lock out game, so far. Its never as good or as bad as it seems unite the film is watched.

But I hope Henne doesn't need to preform perfectly to get your respect.

Dragonfly13 Im not saying Henne is God he is far from it , but there isnt a QB in the League that doesnt over throw or under throw passes. All in all Henne did ell its his consistency that I want to see

THAT'S RIGHT COME ON AND GET ON THE HENNE BAND WAGON.

THERE'S STILL MORE ROOM.

paul in kentucky :) nice to meet ya welcome aboard the crazy train

Armando,
Off subject, I was noticing something that I wonder, honestly, what yours and other peoples thoughts were - if it's just me seeing it. Post-game comments from players like Henne talking about building a tradition (winning at home)... Sparano pumping his fist and celebrating like it's a playoff game.... Bush saying Henne looked like a really good quarterback.... Anyone else see awkward things here? One at a time I'll try to explain my issues:
1. Henne's comment: BUILDING a traditon here of winning? Dolphins HAVE a tradition of winning and are a storied franchise in the history books for a number of really great reasons. That tradition has been in jeopardy only recently. Don't act like winning is a new thing - it's the expected thing. Henne wouldn't have said that at Michigan when he was there. Expect more.
2. Tony, dude, calm down. You look like a rookie coach for the Panthers/Bengals (whoever) that just won his first playoff game. Act like you've been there, son -ESPECIALLY for pre-season.
3. Bush's comment: Henne looked like a really good quarterback. Surprised, are we? Looked like? As opposed to "is"? If someone said that to Manning (either one) he'd laugh, give a smug smile and say sarcastically "Thanks". Peyton would take it a step further and say, "There were even times when you looked like a really good running back, Reggie".
I worry a little.

Sometimes I wonder why LV takes away 3 points for every Dolphins home game.

HEY PAUL:

IF YOUR A FIN FAN YOU CAME TO THE WRONG PLACE

Thanks LoboNoches.

There are some comments here that make me wonder if this blog-site is what I was hoping for.
Anyway, here we go - yeehaw!

Will Henne ever be a good long ball thrower and does he need to?

It's only been two preseason games, but I see the same pattern. He'll throw one great long ball in stride and then the next ten long balls are off target.

LOL at JUSTIN!

I am new to this blog.
What do you think of Chad Henne as our quarterback?
I was wondering if we could begin a discussion about his strengths and weaknesses as well as probable stats by season's end.
Personal opinions are welcome too.
Thanks.

Posted by: paul in kentucky

Did some of you really fall for this from a blog regular who knows the Henne debate has been flaming away for months here? Funny.

Hey by the way, anyone have an opinion of Sparano as a head coach?

Ot is sad that the only person reporting 16 players from Carolina missed the game is this blog in what seems is a effort to denigrate last nines performance. Why??
Espn and AP reported a total of 6, 4 offense and 2 defense. So the o essentially played against their #1 defense.
Why is that not being said and credit given, yet in this article the ficticious number of 16 was used again.

Excuse some spelling last post.

One thing that I will add is this thought......

Mr. Bush is wearing #22.
That's the Merc's number.
You have big shoes to fill Mr. Bush!
I hope you don't disappoint.

JS:

WHAT ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT?

SPARANO IS HAPPY BECAUSE HE NEEDS A GREAT YEAR TO KEEP HIS JOB.

CHAD DOES LOOK BETTER AND LIKE I HAVE BEEN SAYING SINCE WE DRAFTED HIM HE NEEDS TIME TO GROW.

BUSH ONLY KNOWS WHAT HE HEARD ON ESPN.

MAYBE HE WATCHED SOME FILM HOWEVER CHAD'S A BETTER QB THAN HE WAS LAST YEAR.

AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT CHAD MEANT BY THAT TRADITION THING BUT MAYBE HE WANTS TO START HIS OWN WINNING TRADITION.

hi everyone.

i am new to the blog. does anyone have an opinion either way about how the dolphins will do this year?

thanks.
go fins.

paul in kentucky relax bud just take the best and leave the rest even the off topic rants on here are good for comedic relief lol

Henne SUCKED last night. Thank you, Armando, for pointing that out to tht Henne Supporters.

The offense left a lot of points on the field due to Henne and his inability to throw accurately or make the proper read. That won't cut it against a real team.

While the Peanut Gallery fights among themselves about Henne and their personal rants against one another, one thing stands out...the Miami Dolphins HAVE made progress! They were better this week than last week. And, in case you haven't noticed, the team is 2-0! Now, we have Tampa Bay and then Dallas in pre-season. Both teams had a winning record last year. In order to truely shut up his detractors, Henne must perform well in those games. Then, maybe, this blog will be about football once again and not the adolescent garbage that many of you spout showing how immature you really are!
Go Fins!

Then, maybe, this blog will be about football once again and not the adolescent garbage that many of you spout showing how immature you really are!
Go Fins!

Posted by: Tracy474 | August 20, 2011 at 11:46 AM

excuse me, but your own post read like adolescent garbage.

speaking of Mercs number why wasnt it retired or Warfields for that matter

Seminole Sam,

I am hardly a Henne supporter (I think he'a a bottom 5 QB in the league) but for you to make the claim that Salguero is backing up your assertion that Henne "sucked" last night is not just ludicrous but also an outright fabrication.

Here are Salguero's EXACT words:


"Chad Henne was good last night. That is the truth and that is what I will always try to give you. I'm not going to gush and tell you he was great because he wasn't. He was good. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards without a TD or INT."

Nowhere does he say Henne sucked. Nowhere does he agree with your assessment.

In the future, you'll be a lot more effective simply by making your own points without resorting to fabricated scenarios that aren;t based on truth.

1 2 3 4 »

The comments to this entry are closed.