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Preseason results meaningless, performances meaningful

Repeat after me: It's only the preseason. It's only the preseason. It's only the preseason.

There. That should give some solace about the fact the Dolphins are so far pretty bad this preseason. If you remember that preseason greatness does not necessarily translate to regular-season greatness and preseason struggles don't always continue in the regular-season, that should get your through the next couple of weeks.

A team's won-loss record is irrelevant to, well, everything. Poor teams with outstanding reserves, guys that either won't be on the team or won't play a lot in the regular-season, often win in the preseason. Good teams that rest their stars often lose in the preseason. Young teams, regardless of how loaded they prove themselves to be, often lose in the preseason. Teams with new offensive and defensive systems often struggle in the preseason as they get comfortable with the schemes.

Feel better?

Well, let me balance that surge of optimism. The preseason is a good indicator about where a team is at that point in time It can be an accurate snapshot in time of individuals and personnel groupings.

It can tell you how far young players have come and how far they must yet go. It can tell you if there is visible improvement week to week.

So forget that Miami is 0-2 this preseason. But do not dismiss the idea that there are problems that are showing up consistently.

One of those issues for the entire team is there have been no consistent playmakers among the starters. None. Not on offense or defense.

Defense, in particular, has been troubling because aside from the fact big plays have been missing, I've seen a lot of missed tackles and the team isn't winning on third down.

"We haven't stopped anybody," Joe Philbin said after the most recent Carolina loss. "We haven't tackled real well, we haven't gotten off the field on third down. We haven't gotten a good pass rush. I mean, I guess I better stop there."

By the way, the Dolphins have blitzed in the preseason, at least last week. But there can be more pass-rush generated by blitzes in the regular season. That's good. This isn't: Any team that must create its pass-rush with blitzes exposes itself eventually in the back end to big plays. The gamble can be worth it if there are stars in the secondary, but if there are not, that can be trouble.

I also look for invididual young starting players' abilities early in the season.

Said another way, it is unlikely that right tackle Jonathan Martin, for example, will struggle in the preseason (as he has) and suddenly become dominant in the regular-season opener. Or by the second game. Or perhaps by the third game.

It takes a while for players to grow. And the regular-season typically is tougher on young players initially than the preseason. They are often ill-prepared to deliver that higher gear that the regular-season requires, at least initially.

And so if you think Martin will suddenly become a fortress in time to face the Houston Texans, I'd say dial back on the expectations.

Similarly, the preseason does offer an important snapshot of what one can expect from certain positiions on the team. This preseason, for example, has pulled back the curtain on how troubled the Dolphins are at wide receiver and tight end.

The receivers who are having trouble separating from defenders in the preseason, will not suddenly be able to do it in the regular season. It simply will not happen. Players that are dropping passes in the preseason don't suddenly start catching them in the regular season.

(An aside: You'll notice Miami's wide receiver issues is generally not about dropping passes. This group typically catches the passes thrown, with a couple of notable exceptions. But the greater and more concerning problem to me is these guys don't really get open quickly and consistently. They either don't separate or don't find soft spots in the zone to sit down. I don't know what it is because I am not a coach and don't pretend to be one, but something is obviously lacking.)

I'm also concerned about Miami's tight ends. Anthony Fasano is the starter and that's fine. He is typically a C+ to B- player, depending on the game. He's a good blocker. He is a good enough receiver. But he doesn't worry a defense down the seam. He isn't a player the opposing defensive coordinator worries too much about. He's not part of the problem. But unfortunately, in most games, he's not the solution.

That is why the Dolphins drafted Charles Clay last year and Michael Egnew this year. Unfortunately, Egnew has had a terrible first NFL camp. He's not ready and he doesn't look to be getting better results as the weeks have progressed. He's obviously putting a lot of pressure on himself.

Clay has the potential to be a threat in the red zone and down the seam. But he's inconsistent as heck. He has one great practice and then disappears. He has one good preseason game and then disappears the next. Clay is very inconsistent so far. It was that way last year and it remains that way now.

And until one of these two or someone else added to the roster gets it and delivers some help, the Miami struggles in the red zone and down the middle of the field will continue to plague the offense.

Of course, things can still change. Remember? This is only preseason.

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Comments

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Flipper, it's ok if you back out. I know losing 10 grand to you would mean being homeless and giving up your cat poo infested trailer.

And that arm length thing is an excuse. Cordy Glenn is the same height as Martin, benched a crazy 31 times. That is true NFL strength for an upper body. ( You think his arms are that much shorter than martin's enough to account for 11 reps difference? I mean, 11 reps is huge, that's even more reps than your old fat self could muster up in one set.

Go on showing everyone your stupidity and ignorance.

And please note overall that bench press is not the best indicator of athleticism and total body strength for an athelte. Most of the strength comes from the core and legs. the best tool coming out of a bench press for a lineman is the initial punch he could use to thwart a pass rusher in his tracks. but footwork and core strength is much more important.)

Not sure where you guys saw that I said Fasano is the best TE in the game. He's definitely not that. I'm saying he might be capable of being better than he has been in the passing game because he wasn't used much there. I doubt that 40% stat is accurate. AND, he might be what you say, but he's the best TE on this team, so for the sake of the offense, they better figure out how to use him (or else this seemingly long year is going to be much, much longer).

Actually I do remember him.(Showing my age)

DC,

Im willing to bet bet that this guy at your gym has average arm length at best. Guys with short to average arm lengths are usually the best benchers. But dont confuse these types(shorter arm lengths)neccessarily means they are stronger than guys with much longer arm lengths.

It only means they have much shorter distances to push the weight, usually resulting in more reps with less fatigue. Also, if you bench all of the time you naturally begin to have the ability to increase your reps.

Well said Mando. You always want to see some kind of progress from your players, especially from your vets. I just don't see ANYTHING from this group to give me ANY hope! Pre-season or not. Sooooo sad!

Ok, so I re-read my post on Fasano, and I see it was the "consistent" line that got you guys. Should have explained better. What I meant is that Fasano/Bess are the most reliable receivers on this team (I can't add Hartline because who knows when he'll suit up). For Bess, that's a compliment. For Fasano, that's more of a knock on the other receivers, because I agree, he's not setting the world on fire in his pass game. But like I said, right now, he's the best we got.

DC, I agree with that. Fasano had better step up.

Mak In Toronto,

Did you tape measure Cordy Glen's armlength? Of course you havent, so you have zero to back up that argument. I know plenty nof guys my exact same height, some with shorter armlength, some longer.

How do you suppose a nba player like at 6'9 Kevin Durant has the wingspan of a 7'4 enter. Height doesnt always dertermine arm length. Just like having the greater armstrength doesnt determine which player has the better nfl advantage.

Everyone in the nfl has better than averave strength. Its technique, not who's the strongest that rues the day. No one in the nfl is "GROSSLY" stronger thn his counterpart. Therefore, technique iscritically essential.

you little fos fuc-, take your time with your posts

I'am Able to do 12ounce arm curls and when I really want a work-out I'll curl 16 ouncers.

Check out the latest article about the nonexistent Miami Dolphins Defense. What happend to this unit???
http://phinsnews.com/what-happened-to-the-defense/

Mando. Tell us something we already know,
We know its the preseason preseason preseason!!! But you did agree with us something with out you noticing Mando, and that is Jeff Ireland is the worst talent evaluator in the NFL thanks for pointing that out to us but we knew that already, there is more Busts. On this team than c o c k s. LOL

Fire Ireland and get a real GM who knows how to evaluate talent and draft impact players.

Flipper, the more you talk, the more ignorant you sound so please take a timeout.

Cordy Glenn arm length - 35.75
Johnathan martin - 34.00

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2012/OT

Bottom line is the kid does not have NFL caliber upper body strength. the arm length thing was something made up by the front office to keep bloggers and fans quiet.

Now as far as the time spent in the gym increasing your bench - well duh - of course. that's the point - the kid hasn't done it yet - needs at least a year of NFL caliber weight training to get up to par.

Now i agree that bench is not the biggest factor in this kid being a success but the fact that this is the NFl where only the best athletes play, you better measure up to your opponent in as many ways as possible. You can't afford to give away edges. You have to be bigger, faster, stronger, more athletic than your opponent. You have any idea how many ends are saying, man, I'm just going to bull rush this kid, he has no punch. I guarantee you Odrick at almost 300 lbs is doing it every day in practice.


Actually YG, you're right, the guy is tiny (shorter than me, and I'm 5'9"). Short, stocky arms. So that probably helps him. Also his chest looks disproportionate to his body.

Now Dashi, fos et al, claim thet they knew from the beginning that Pat Devlin has potential to become a good QB. Bull....

I guess most here are watchers and not observers of the Miami Dolphins Football Team....

so what, preseason is meaningless...never knew that*lol*...so miami OFFICIALLY can only lose up to 16 games a year that really count...not seeing the point to this article..i mean unless people honestly dont follow football or for that matter this team that closely....which then would make sense!!!

Here, for you et al fos, Miami will beat Tennessee. Jake Locker sucks big dic-.

paul ludec. his bro.

Everybody & their mother knows the knock on Martin coming out was that his strength was a concern.

If you watch the tape, without a blind homer eye, it's EVIDENT Martin is NOT strong enough right now. That's why he's getting tossed around like a rag doll. He IS NOT AN NFL CALIBER TACKLE RIGHT NOW.

You two dolts talking about flying to have a bench press marathon are idiots.

Stick to the facts & you won't bicker like a pair of old menopausal lesbians!

"We haven't stopped anybody," Joe Philbin said after the most recent Carolina loss. "We haven't tackled real well, we haven't gotten off the field on third down. We haven't gotten a good pass rush. I mean, I guess I better stop there."

If the defense doesn't pick it up REAL soon this will be the 3rd consecutive season where the defense starts the season getting carved up & looking unprepared to play.

ire = blind homer.

If the defense doesn't pick it up REAL soon this will be the 3rd consecutive season where the defense starts the season getting carved up & looking unprepared to play.

Posted by: We Have RB's | August 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Maybe then people can stop blaming the coaching staffs & start Blaming the GM for assembling this group of lemons.

We could have had Eric Winston on the right side of our O-line but Ireland passed on this beastly free agent so he could address it in the draft.

Well here we are and it appears as though Martin is picking up where Colombo left off last year.

...Swinging Door!

If I'm Tannehill, I'm rolling to my LEFT on every play until they shore up the right side.

Truth and all other bloggers. Sorry for the bickering posts this morning. Not really the happiest of people on Monday morning but this Flipper dude really turns my crank. Guess he brings out the worst in me. he acts like he's an expert in all subjects but is ignorant in all. And to top it off he gets personal.

Like Truth says, it's apparent that martin lacks the strength. I mean it's not even close - he has leyman's strength and that doesn't cut it in the NFL. But yet instead of providing insight - to oppose my views he posts personal attacks. I know i should ignore but I just can't stand this guy. i mean, I'd like to shoot him for sport.

I would really hope to see this chris hogan get a fair shot winning a WR job with at least some play with ones this week if anything, i mean all i hear is that this kid gets open alot and yet what the F#CK is miami doing playing him with the third or second string units...SERIOUSLY??....

They need to spend less time with a guy that should'nt make this team in les moore and more time with a guy that obviously is capable of providing need at a very desperate position...Its not like miami has a star caliber go to guy so why not give this kid a chance at the very least!!!

"And so if you think Martin will suddenly become a fortress in time to face the Houston Texans, I'd say dial back on the expectations."

I don't think ANYONE expects that he won't struggle but I believe he'll be an improvement over Columbo who was clearly washed up. With that said no one should expect Tannehill not to struggle when he gets the nod to be the starter. It doesn't help Tannehill that he has BY FAR the worst WR corp in the NFL. It's embarrassing when Davone Bess is your best & most accomplished WR. Bess is a good but not great slot WR. The limitation on Bess is that he never produces a big play.


The one area I do trust Philbin in is the O-line.

Martin will have his growing pains just like everyone else this year on this team...and anybody who believes differently with respect might as well believe every word of *truth* that comes out of ross's mouth during any type of presser with the media...just sayin!!!

LOL At Mark, Loved that qoute "I'd like to shot him for sport"
A friend of mine said the same thing about women, He said "If it wasnt for that furry patch of hair we'd be hunting women for sport".

"Maybe then people can stop blaming the coaching staffs & start Blaming the GM for assembling this group of lemons."

Truth,

It's a sad fact that Ross can't hide from. Since this team is FAR from competing for a playoff spot I really don't understand why we're paying big money to players like Wake & Dansby who are over 30??? By the time this team is ready to make a push assuming Tannehill is the guy we still need better WR's, better CB's, better Safeties guys & by that time Dansby & Wake are going to be on the downside of their careers. Why waste the money??? If I were Ross I wouldn't but then again I would have fired Sparano & Ireland before last season.

After last season there's no reason why Vontae Davis shouldn't have been traded before the draft. Nolan Caroll has passed him as the nickel CB???? Are you kidding me. Vontae is just taking up a roster space.

Carroll didn't replace Davis as the Nickel DB. Davis comes in as an outside DB in the Nickel & Marshall covers the slot.

Carroll is utter dog sh*t. If he ever replaces ANYONE, then you know this team has reached rock bottom.

We could have had Eric Winston on the right side of our O-line but Ireland passed on this beastly free agent so he could address it in the draft.

Well here we are and it appears as though Martin is picking up where Colombo left off last year.

...Swinging Door!

If I'm Tannehill, I'm rolling to my LEFT on every play until they shore up the right side.

NHPhin,

Look at the roster. Ownership can say whatever they want but this offense is being rebuilt from scratch. This offense is a MAJOR work in a progress. This team needs to have younger & cheaper players developed from within.

Martin is a rookie LT playing RT for the first time. I'm not ready to quit on a kid they just drafted in April who hasn't even played in a real game yet.

"Carroll didn't replace Davis as the Nickel DB. Davis comes in as an outside DB in the Nickel & Marshall covers the slot.

Carroll is utter dog sh*t. If he ever replaces ANYONE, then you know this team has reached rock bottom."

Truth,

That's not what was reported from the Herald from the Carolina game.

RB...agreed, we are in total REBUILD MODE.
I posted this yesterday so everyone can set realistic expectations on this season.

I'm predicting a 4 or 5 win season based on what I've seen and was just venting on passing on Winston, I realize his asking price was tops for that position.

All the veterans appear to be playing soft and uninspired. Either they don't care, don't want to risk injury during the preseason, or believe their positions are secure.

I don't think J Martin is ever going to be the answer (could be wrong), and T has not given anyone any reason why he shouldn't start right now. Good arm. Good mobility. He is only going to get better.

Key defensive players will be back soon.

I say we are going to jell sometime in the middle of the season if not sooner. We will avoid stupid losses like last year, and have a decent touchdown ratio in the red zone.

I say we pick up four more wins as compared to last year. Instead of 6 & 10 we will be 10 & 6.

WInning breeds winning and Ireland breeds pigs

0 and 6 going in to the bye week will hopefully be enough to get Ireland and his scouts fired.

We can only hope......

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