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Mike Sherman: 'We dropped 8 balls'

It's hard to pick starting receivers when they don't perform. It's hard to pick receivers to fill out the roster when they don't perform. It's hard to judge a rookie quarterback when receivers don't perform.

The Dolphins receivers are not performing this preseason, and didn't perform in the last preseason game against Atlanta.

I wrote Friday night the group dropped seven passes. Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman thinks it was at least eight. Maybe more, depending on how stringent one judges the plays.

That's terrible.

And that leads me to this: The Dolphins need to revamp. Rather than having faith in players that haven't earned it, they need to find replacements. They need to do the work that should have been done in the offseason and look elsewhere for receivers.

I suggested on twitter Friday that Miami contact Green Bay about James Jones and try to swing a trade for him. (Naysyaer alert in whiney voice: But Armando, James Jones isn't a star. But Armando, James Jones drops passes, too.)

Folks, James Jones would be Miami's best receiver today. Period.

I also think the Dolphins should be waiting to see what the Washington Redskins do at tight end because the rumors are the team may be ready to move on from Chris Cooley. (Naysayer alert in whiney voice: But Armando, Cooley gets hurt a lot. But Armando, he's not in his prime anymore.)

Cooley is a better pass-catching tight end than any player on the Miami roster and he could be a major help to a rookie QB that needs a go-to outlet.

Finally, the Dolphins better concoct whatever scheme skullduggery they must to get Reggie Bush more involved in the passing game. He's a better matchup against a linebacker than any receiver is against a corner or safety. And Bush has more dependable hands than most of Miami's receivers. So stick him out there in the slot. Use him in a bunch formation. Do whatever, but make him available to catch passes.

That's my two cents on a stormy Sunday morning.

This is what Sherman told the media Saturday:

(On quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s performance against the Atlanta Falcons) –“Well, obviously there was some…about four or five passes that he wishes he had back that weren’t as accurate as he’s capable of being. But if you eliminate those and you want to look at the game objectively like I did this morning, he did a lot of good things. We dropped about eight balls and maybe even more than that if you want to get sticky on it. If he cuts down a couple of those passes and have a couple dropped balls we pick up, I think he moves the ball, he moves the team and we feel a little bit better about it. He didn’t make a bad decision. All his decisions were very accurate and decisive. I thought his third drive with the team down the field, much like last week, should have resulted in a touchdown. Anthony (Fasano) will catch that ball nine times out of 10. I thought that was a very good drive. I thought he showed good tempo. And the thing about Ryan, once you tell him something, once he fixes it, he fixes it. So I think we’ll be much improved as we move along. Obviously, we have to get better in a hurry.”

(On how tough it will be to determine who makes the team among the receivers) – “Well, they haven’t helped matters. I wish they would say, ‘Hey, I’m the guy’ and jump up on the table by having a knockout performance and that hasn’t necessarily happened just yet. One week it’s one guy. The next week it’s the next guy, so forth and so on. I think we’ll keep (Davone) Bess. I can pretty much guarantee that, but there’s only one of him. We need to fill in the other spots. We’ve got some good guys. It’s just who we think will be there for the long term and who’s going to be there every day. You’re right, we do have some tough decisions to make and I don’t know how much more clarity we’re going to have after the last ball game, but hopefully we will."

(On if wide receiver Davone Bess’ spot on the roster is the only one guaranteed at this point in time) – “No, I think there’s a couple other guys in there. It doesn’t hurt for them to worry about who they are and if they want to…”

(On his thoughts on the best treatment for dropped passes) – “Well, you know, obviously the best treatment, in my mind, for dropped passes is just to re-focus in practice and put a lot of effort and time into it. We catch a lot of balls in practice and I don’t know if the rain was a distraction. They didn’t drop passes, so we can’t use that as an excuse. Receivers going in and out of the game, trying to evaluate guys, we have different guys in there all the time, so that’s a little bit of a distraction maybe for the quarterback. But just go back to work and re-focus on the tip of the ball and put it away. There’s no magical secret or I would have been down there after the first quarter and got it done.”

(On guard John Jerry showing improvement) – “He played very well last week. I thought he did some good things in the game. Going against his brother, obviously that’s quite a challenge whenever you can go against family members like that in the trenches. He did do some good things. His footwork was a little bit eschew at times, a little long in his stride, but we’ve got to clean that up this week. Overall, he did some good things.”

(On the state of the offensive line two week from the opener) –“You know, we still have some work to do. I’m concerned a lot about our depth and the backup offensive linemen are much like the receivers. Someone needs to jump in there and say, ‘Hey, keep me. I’m the guy you need to have here to back up these guys.’ I thought (Nate) Garner played well and did some good things in there when he was in there. (Josh) Samuda did some good things in there. A couple of guys expressed themselves in the game that they want to be the guy, but the depth is something definitely we’re concerned about and quality of depth. We all know that the season doesn’t go without getting somebody banged up or beat up. Some people have to step in. Hopefully, Artis (Hicks) can come back and add another viable candidate to that group.”

(On when game planning for the Houston Texans begins)– “It actually began last April. So we started breaking them down and doing things. I was watching them this summer when I was on vacation. So we’ve had an eye on them. Very good football team. Very well coached. They don’t make a whole lot of mistakes. They run the heck out of the football obviously as we know and they play very tenacious defense. Wade Phillips has done a great job bringing that defense around.”

(On how much action the starters might see on Wednesday against the Dallas Cowboys)– “I’ve got to check with Coach (Joe) Philbin on that. Certainly, getting closer to the game, you kind of back off a little bit. I would envision Ryan playing more and getting some snaps. Certainly, we have to be cautious with what we’re doing, but he needs more game reps. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get him some. It depends on, I don’t think Jake Long needs too much, Mike Pouncey, (Richie) Incognito probably are ready. I thought all three of those guys played pretty well in the game. (They) did a nice job.”

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