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Coaches digest the scrimmage buffet

The Dolphins coaching staff will meet today and go through Monday's night's scrimmage to see which players took steps forward and which stumbled as they prepare for three more days of practice starting Wednesday before they head to Canton, Ohio this weekend for the Hall of Fame game.

One of the issues the staff must manage is the wide receiver situation.

Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace were held out of the scrimmage. Hartline seemed to tweak a lower leg muscle, possibly a calf, in the warmups and drills prior to the scrimmage. Wallace was held out for an undetermined issue, although signs point to him also nursing some sort of minor injury. (Remember, the Dolphins do not comment on injuries and coach Joe Philbin didn't even address the media after the scrimmage. He addressed the crowd after many of them had already walked out. And he gave the media relations department two quotes about the scrimmage, neither of which addressed Wallace's absence. This, by the way, is not typical of NFL teams. Head coachess speak after practices and scrimmages and preseason games and regular season games and playoff games and Super Bowls. Win or lose).

At any rate, Philbin is expected to explain the Wallace absence Wednesday in some fashion because he is also not available to the media today -- a day off for the team.

It's really a shame about Wallace. No, I'm not too worried about the player's injury if that is what kept him out. Again, if he's injured it's minor. I'm sad for the franchise that is trying to increase a lagging season-ticket base and a growing disconnect from local fans. Last night the club had 22,876 interested fans in the stands -- more than the Patriots had at Gillette Stadium for a practice on the same night. All of those fans are potential season-ticket customers. I'm certain they all expected to see Ryan Tannehill (3 TD passes), Dion Jordan (one sack and one pressure), Cameron Wake and Mike Wallace.

And Wallace was only there to roam the sideline in his uniform but out of action. Shame.

That's not anyone's fault. It's just tough luck for the organization.

As to the rest of the wide receiver corps: Even as the team engages in talks about adding a body -- Laurent Robinson and Austin Collie are on the radar among others -- there will no doubt be a longer look at undrafted free agent acquisition Chad Bumphis.

Bumphis had two catches for 41 yards on Monday night. One of those was a 28-yard catch and run down the right sideline that showed both burst and field awareness. Bumphis has been mired on third and fourth teams so far in camp. If the scrimmage performance doesn't earn him more reps and perhaps some with the second team, it certainly puts him on the radar pior to the HOF game.

Bumphis wasn't the only back-of-the-roster type who caught the eyes of coaches:

AJ Francis, another undrafted rookie, was very active. He collected a sack. He batted a pass at the line of scrimmage. The Maryland kid showed up.

Will Davis, who frankly had struggled during practices, came through with a huge interception in the end zone during a goal line situation. (By the way, the Dolphins scored one of the TDs in goal line on  a pass and another run TD was questionable whether the runner got in although it was awarded. What's the point? I don't know).

The Dolphins are putting a huge emphasis on turnovers this season. Joe Philbin wants to be plus-16 this year as a starting point. The club was minus-10 last year. That means more turnovers for the defense. It's a great way to get in good graces.

And on offense a turnover is a good way to make a place in the doghouse.

Today, safety Kelcie McCray, Davis, defensive end Olivier Vernon, and Francis are in good graces. Mcray returned his interception of a Matt Moore pass 50 yards for a TD. Vernon had a sack and caused a fumble that Randy Starks recovered. Francis batted a pass that offered another interception opportunity. And, of course, Davis not only saved a touchdown but got the ball back with his interception.

By the way, this turnover emphasis is real. Consider what defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said:

“We constantly look for better ways of teaching, from little things like we’ve got footballs hanging from the walls in every defensive meeting room that they have to go in, when they walk in and out of the meeting rooms, they’re stripping and punching, just reminders," he said.

" We’ve shown them tape from around the league of teams that cause the most fumbles, how they were caused, what situations we may have had an opportunity to strip the ball and we didn’t.  We’ve talked about sacks, sack fumbles, we got a lot of sacks, but we didn’t get a lot of sack fumbles.  We like to believe there were opportunities at times last year to get a fumble as well as a sack, so we’ve showed them players throughout the league who have done that consistently and it’s an awareness factor. 

"So we’ve looked at the teams that create the most fumbles last year, it was New England, Chicago, and Cincinnati, we’ve studied every one of those fumbles, we’ve showed them those things on tape, and hopefully it will start to translate onto our play."

Conversely, losing turnovers is a no-no. So who's in the doghouse today?

Mike Gillislee was good against second- and third-team competition running the ball. He rushed for 21 yards on six carries. But he had a fumble that he lost. And he dropped a pass that would have gone for a first down.

Quarterbacks Moore and Pat Devlin also made key mistakes that turned otherwise mediocre nights into a problem. Neither threw a TD pass. Neither looked exceedingly comfortable. Both threw interceptions that cost his team TDs. Devlin's interception obviously was in the end zone. And Moore's interception was returned for a TD. Moore also had a fumble so two turnovers for him. Yuck.

Ryan Tannehill, meanwhile, played a lot better than he's been practicing. He threw three touchdowns without and interception and that was without his two top wide receivers available. He completed 8 of 11 passes for 72 yards. His throw to Dustin Keller for a TD was a thing of beauty in that it was placed where only the TE could catch it for the score.

You know that mantra Philbin has about everyone is fighting for a job and there are no starters? It's doesn't apply at QB.

 

Comments

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I agree with ETF my call was franchise Jake to either get something for him in trade or keep him this year and see how he plays. Franchising Starks was the wrong move as there was plenty of options for replacing Starks not so many for replacing Jake.

Return back to form
? He progressively got worse from the day he signed and now has to wear straps and pulleys to keep his shoulders together and a brace on his knee. The dude is moments away from another injury. Tony Boselli anyone? Thank God we got rid of his bloated salary.

I disagree Truth...if JL was even half of what he was his first couple years in the league then I agree...but he is not...so why pay someone like that and BANK on them returning to a form they have not been at in 3 years...if this is how GMs ran thier teams...the state of the NFL would be sad...You can't pay aging...injury prone vets top dollar...especially under the new CBA...and expect them to return to their prime...thats why its called their PRIME...cuz once it's gone...its gone...I'd rather BANK on a young player with promise...

JL also got the signed the BIGGEST CONTRACT of any OLman in HISTORY when Miami drafted him #1 overall...He didn't live up to his contract...and he should have acknowledged that he didn't...and gave the team that gave him that contract in the first place...a break...He didn't...he wanted to be a baby and show his arse...so...good luck in St. Louis Mr. Long...

Belichick put his team in danger for the first time in ten years. He allowed Tom Brady's favorite target and best friend to go and play with Peyton Manning. He produced a horrible draft. He drafted a known thug with a drug riddled and violent past in the 4th round, paid him millions, to sit the bench,,,,IN PRISON. Now scrambling to replace him. Signed a meathead moron in Gronkowski who takes the Patriots money out to clubs with a bad forearm that he then starts breakdancing on and low and behold his arm is injured again weeks later. The guy is as dumb as a box of rocks and is now injury prone.

Here's a list of Tom Brady's receivers, I'm sure he's thanking Belichick for this oversight.
Danny Amendola Josh Boyce Kenbrell Thompkins
Aaron Dobson Julian Edelman Michael Jenkins Kamar Aiken
Scary right?

jm wuld have fell 2 the 4th rd. if irecorn didn't reach.

And Branden Albert was worth the money he is making, Jake Long is not. Of course Reid kept him. The plan all along was to keep Jake until he retired but when your highest paid player hasn't played a full season in over two years because of recurring injuries you can't give him a raise and sign him to a long extension. Well you can't if you're smart, if you're dumb as s$#t it would be the perfect move.

jordans ego is going trew the roof playing against jm.
lol

Henne, Long, Bush, Smith

How could we have got compensation for them? No one in the world wanted Bush and the other three were going to be free agents at the end of the season and the entire league knew it. How are you going to make a trade in season with tier 2 players when every team in the league knows they can wait? Come on man, be real.

thenne just sent a memo to goodelle to request wearing a red jersy all season long.
lol

This is a BAD football team.

theene went to j phil and said he will take less shots being a wr.
lol

People like 2 watt are starting to sound real stupid hating on Tannehill.

ANYONE WHO CAN'T TELL TANNEHILL IS PROGRESSING IS JUST PLAIN DUMB!

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