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Tannehill, starting defense should sit Thursday night

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin declined to say this week whether his starters would play in Thursday's preseason-finale against New Orleans at Sun Life Stadium. Throughout the preseason Philbin has deftly avoided telling his plans for using players in the preseason by saying he won't "finalize" the plans until the day before the game -- which is always coincidently a day he doesn't have any media obligations outside the television broadcasters.

So don't ask me if quarterback Ryan Tannehill is playing in Thursday night's game and, if so, how much.

Don't ask if Cameron Wake is going to play and, if so, how much.

You may, however, ask whether Tannehill and Wake and those folks should play.

Here's my answer: NO WAY!

Here's my other answer: What for?

Here's my third answer: Are you nuts?

Here's my fourth answer: I would play some starters but not others.

I would not play Tannehill. I would not play Mike Wallace. I would not play Brian Hartline. I would not play Brandon Gibson.

That group has had a good enough camp and plenty of time to work in controlled practice conditions that they don't need to be exposed to a freak injury in a meaningless final preseason game 10 days prior to the start of the season.

In four preseason games, Tannehill has completed 34 of 56 passes (60.7 percent) for 377 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. That's an outstanding preseason and it shows significant progress from last preseason when he completed 41 of 78 passes (52.6 percent) for 414 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Personally, I've seen all I need to see from Tannehill this preseason. He's good. There is no issue he needs to solve that can be solved Thursday night. He and his receivers can use some more time together but that's precisely the reason you don't play any of them.

The truth is even a minor injury to one of the receivers, such as a groin pull or tweaking the hamstring or a calf injury, could set the program back as it will certainly cost practice snaps and possibly affect availability for the opener. Why risk that?

And if Tannehill gets injured, how would that feel? The fact is every other AFC East team has had quarterback injuries or at least a quarterback injury scare this preseason. The Dolphins are the only team immune so far.

The Jets had Geno Smith injure his ankle and Mark Sanchez is still day-to-day with a bruised shoulder. The Bills lost Kevin Kolb to a concussion and E.J. Manuel had to have minor knee surgery. Even all of New England held its collective breath for one evening this preseason when Tom Brady got his knee rolled into during a dual practice with Tampa Bay.

So it makes zero sense for the Dolphins to risk adding Tannehill to that list for the mere benefit of playing, at most, a series against New Orleans. The risk far outweighs the reward.

Now, those rules don't apply to other starters, in my opinion.

I would, for example, play the starting offensive line as a unit. They need the work together as John Jerry has been there only two weeks and one preseason series. It would be good to get him another series or two with his starting mates.

It also is necessary because if you're not playing Tannehill, you're going with Matt Moore and I wouldn't want to increase Moore's chances of getting injured in the meaningless preseason finale while playing behind reserve linemen.

The fact is Moore is also very valuable (I refer you to the 2012 game at New York) and I want him whole for the start of the season. Moore has taken enough punishment already behind mostly reserve linemen, taking some vicious hits and getting sacked a team-high six times this preseason. I'd start him and play him behind the starting offensive line.

By the way, Moore hasn't had a good preseason. He's only completed 55 percent of his passes, has thrown more interceptions (2) than TDs (1) and his passer rating is 64.2. So he could use the work and the confidence boost against the Saints' turnstile defense.

So starting Moore behind the staring offensive line makes sense on every level.

It also makes sense for Moore to throw to the young corps of tight ends, who need work very badly, and the reserve receivers, who are playing for a roster spot.

I also do not use either Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas. Yes, it can be argued both need more work. But if that's the argument, I would say that reflects on the coaching because the Dolphins have already played four preseason games and you shouldn't be still searching for answers to a starting running back competition in the fifth preseason game only 10 days before the regular season.

If Miller and Thomas need more work, they should have gotten more carries earlier in the preseason.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are looking for a No. 3 running back. Both Mike Gillislee and Jonas Gray are still on the team. Have at it, boys.

On defense, I don't play my starters. I sit all of them. I'm good.

Night off.

Everyone knows the Dolphins defense has been good for years under multiple defensive coordinators and this year should be no different. The unit has had a very good preseason. There is nothing to prove.

Let the backups who are still fighting for roster spots get their fill of snaps this game. It would give the coaching staff more evidence on which to make their final roster decisions. And if an unfortunate injury happens, you are dealing with a reserve player instead of a key starter.

Another reason it makes no sense to use the starting defense? They wouldn't be much tested anyway. You see, quarterback Drew Brees is not going to play for the Saints Thursday night.

Coach Sean Payton, who led the team to the Super Bowl XLIV championship, made that announcement days ago.




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For some reason I found reading this to be cathartic...


re: Evan Rodriquez ...he is listed @ 6'2" and 239 lbs

...with Jevorski Lane gone...if Rodriquez makes the final squad..my guess is that he will be used at FB..

...especially if Jonas Gray goes to the Practice Squad...

Someone has to go from the RB group....Right now besides Miller, Thomas, Gilislee and Gray, there is Thigpen and Rodriguez....can't see the Coaches keeping all SIX!!!

....and then there is Clay......Yikes!!!!

Sit both Tannehill and Moore, let Devlin shine!

Ho Ho!

you guys are funny/13-3 thats comical almost if it wasnt sad delusions of granduer. they split with the bills and jets even as bad as they are the fins aint that much better and they also play buf in dec on the road(in snow)dont forget/the pats no way they beat them.brady could have my sister , a snail ,and turtle as his wr and still wouldnt matter.new orleans and atlanta is going to blow em out/no chance.clevland will be favored so to lose would not be an upset except in fin fans minds.baltimore,pitt,cincy will be a steep challenge and theyre QBs are better than ours(all losses).carolina,san diego,tampa will be no push overs. somwhere in between 5-11 and 8-8 at best

or more easily put think about the QB match up every game/or ask yourself if you were anothers team fan would you fear the fins

I keep seeing these comments attacking Mando's attitude regarding Philbin's bunker mentality. You remember Parcells, right?
This what the owner said just a year ago... He “told everyone he didn’t like the way the Dolphins had been doing business.” He said that the “Kremlin mentality of secrecy at all costs had to cease.” Ross wanted the Dolphins to be “as transparent with fans as possible as long as it didn’t hinder the team’s competitive edge.”
Philbin might want to remember who's signing his paycheck. Might buy him a year or two if we don't make the playoffs soon.

5 things to watch during tomorrow's Game. Nothingx5.

OK lit my first cigar of the night and I'm thinking about predicting the wins/losses for this season. Barring injuries to THILL, Wallace, Gibson, Hartline, Solai, Grimes, Wake and Odrick....Here are my predictions...10-6 with a chance at 11-5.

I appreciate many will find this optimistic but I truly believe in this team and the progress they will make this year.

Sep. 8 at Cleveland Win
Sep. 15 at Indianapolis Win (will come down to turnovers)
Sep. 22 Atlanta Loss (will keep it close, but they pull it out in the end)
Sep. 30 at New Orleans Loss (wouldn't be surprised with a Win here though)
Oct. 6 Baltimore Loss (I think this will be won/lost by less than a TD)
Oct. 20 Buffalo Win (Hot Mess in Buffalo)
Oct. 27 at New England Loss (Brady at home...not ready for that just yet)
Oct. 31 Cincinnati 8:25 Win (I don't buy into Dalton)
Nov. 11 at Tampa Bay Win (I don't buy into Freeman)
Nov. 17 San Diego Win (cross country with a mediocre squad...all right Miami)
Nov. 24 Carolina Win (just don't think Cam will deliver against the Miami D)
Dec. 1 at N.Y. Jets Loss (The Wets!!)
Dec. 8 at Pittsburgh Loss (Tough to win in Pittsburgh late in the year)
Dec. 15 New England Win (Wake and Jordan have a combined 5 sacks!!)
Dec. 22 at Buffalo Win (Love winning in December!)
Dec. 29 N.Y. Jets Win (The Wets!!!)

The FLORIDA GATORS Will Own No Life Stadium Sept. 7th. !!!

Well, right or wrong, I have to give Coach Joe his props...it's his way or the highway...regardless of what the owner says about transparency.....

...maybe it gets him fired, maybe he don't know diddely,
but he's his own man.....got to respect that..

like the Bed Bug said in Pope of greenwich Village.."You got bawls...that I don't get mad at"...

Here are my player predictions for the season:

THILL - 13 TD's and 8 INT's >3,800 passing yds and 3 running TD's
Wallace - 5 TD's and 1,000 total receiving yds
Hartline - 3 TD's and >800 yds
Gibson - 3 TD's and >1,000 yds
Clay - 2 TD's and >600 yds
Sims - 1 TD and 400 yds
Egnew - modest improvement only (not on the team next year)
Miller - > 700 rushing yards 4 TD's (no receiving TD's)
Thomas - 500 rushing yards; 4 TD's (no receiving TD's)
Gray - short yardage back
Gillislee - not much time on the field other than special teams
Martin - proves himself as a solid LT (gives up 6 sacks)
Clabo - good RT all year (gives up 5 sacks)
Incognito - Pro Bowl
Pouncey - Pro Bowl
Jerry - Hurt by game 3 and Samuda replaces him but he gives up 5 sacks

Wake - >15 sacks
Odrick - 6 sacks - Pro Bowl
Solai - 1 sack - Pro Bowl
Vernon - 6 sacks
Jordan - gets going game 3 or 4 splitting time with Vernon and Misi (5 sacks)
Starks - gets only 2 sacks - no Pro Bowl
Wheeler - 2nd most tackles
Ellerbe - Leads team in tackles
Misi - solid job at run support and finishes with 2 sacks
Clemmons - #3 in total tackles - gets burned 3 times for long TD's - 1 INT
Jones - 3 INT's
Grimes - 5 INT's
Patterson - decent job as #2 CB but no INT's
Carroll - gets picked on weeks 1-5 and replaced as Nickel CB
Rookie CB's - split time after week 5 as the nickel - combine for 2 INT's

Thigpen - does solid job as returner but no TD's
Sturgis - does great job on kick off's and makes >85% of his field goals
Fields - Pro Bowl - FINALLY!

A positive entry about Tannehill and the offensive skill group? I've been here since 2007 and I believe this si teh first I read.. and no I don't blame Mando for the entire period...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | August 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Mark did you catch the dig at the end about Philbin? Saying Peyton announced days ago his starter wouldn't play in the last game. "Coach Sean Payton, who led the team to the Super Bowl XLIV championship, made that announcement days ago."

Well screw it then, if Peyton won a super bowl doing it his way that must be the rule. Philbin will never be a great coach because he doesn't share information with the media like super bowl winning coach Peyton does (ha). Philbin should be more like Sean P. and share his plans with the media. He's doing it his way but his way is wrong because this other guy had a few good seasons doing it differently. pffft

Dear Joe Philbin please start acting more like the coach from New Orleans. We know most coaches have different ways of doing things but we don't like your way. That means we the local media will make backhanded comments about anything you do because you haven't won at this level yet. You haven't proven yourself worthy to us so who in the heck do you think you are with your rules. ESPECIALLY the not discussing injuries rule. That one really makes us mad. None of our readers give two craps about specifics on injuries but since you won't tell us it's now a big deal.

We are all truly hoping you lose and get fired. That way we can hopefully get a coach who will tell us everything that is going on so we can then print it for a bunch of people who don't care.

Based upon my 10-6 win/loss prediction and my guesses on player contributions....

Defense finishes top 8
Defense finishes top 5 in sacks
Team averages only 17 points per game (but still finishes 10-6)
Turnover margin will be +5 or better
Team finishes one of the best in penalties
THILL leads team to 3 4th QTR come from behind victories
Team losses 3 games as other teams come from behind
They lose 2 games by more than 14 points
Makes playoffs (likely as Wildcard) and loses in Round 1 by less than 10 points.
Philbin, Sherman and Coyles given their due by the national media for the progress made as a combined coaching staff.

But seriously, besides the obvious dig at the coach, the story or entry (whatever) was great. I agree with the part about the football players and what is going on regarding the last preseason game. I don't care about nor do I agree with the pi#@ing match the media seem to be engaging in with our head coach. Grow up already.

I love Philbin's approach. No nonsense, close to the vest, consistent demeanor. Football purest.

Works for New England, Green Bay and other successful franchises.

This team needs Consistency, Work Ethic, and Balance. I love it!

jpao, you have Tannehill averaging less than 1 td a game. If your stats bear fruit we will be looking for a new qb next season or at the very least real competition.

I see Tanehill throwing at least 20 tds. Crossing my fingers.

Disagree....If he has 3,800 yds and more TD's than INT's it's a success. With this defense all they need him to be year two is an effective game manager. Think SB winning Ravens with Trent Dilfer.

Now I truly hope he has 20 or more TD's that would be a huge bonus and likely mean at least one playoff win. That would be major progress that I just don't expect to see from him this year. Next year though...for sure.

How many of us were just dying to know all of jpao's predictions?

How many remembered even one of them?

jpao, that's right. I didn't think of it that way. Armando is busting on Philbin because he plays it close to the vest. Uses Sean Peyton as an example of a winning coach who is open with the media. And arguing that since Peyton acts that way and won why doesn't Philbin act like that?

If we're using examples lets use some more. Green Bay, New England (good points there jpao) are two teams who have been winning for well over a decade and their coaches don't tell the media squat. It's just so silly and I'm so tired of the south Florida media giving up on our coaches before they even start their second year.
Same thing happened with Tony after he brought the team to the playoffs.

The media insist on making the coaches jobs harder by asking questions they said they won't answer (WASTING THEIR TIME) and comparing them with other coaches who have won (Unfair/unequal comparisons considering Tannehill is a second year project and Brees is a vet on his way out who has broken multiple nfl records!).

So excuse me if I don't shed a tear that Philbin is making the reporters jobs harder. I guess it's a two way street.

Yes jpao, Tannehill can be a game manager like Dilfer but he has so much more upside than Dilfer ever had. You scared me at first because I thought you were saying you believed Tannehill would never be better than Dilfer. But you were just saying he needs some more time. Phew! We would have had a debate there! :) But I can get on board with next year being his true break out season. Still hoping for around 20 tds. We will see soon enough, go Phins!!!!!

I'm out jpao. You have some troll trying to get you to respond to him and I'm not sticking around for the nonsense. If you're still here, please ignore him. Good talking to you.

Everybody knows that in pre-Season(and otherwise) Teams communicate with each others, - Hey, Sean, are you gonna play Brees? - No, Joe, just our backups. - Oh, alright, I'll seat down Tannehill. But we need to play our starting Oline a bit longer. - OK, Coach, I'll keep my D in there then. You 2 posters here and Armando didn't know that? I'm sure you do. It is True.

Yo Oscar..have you ever considered working for the CIA? They need good transcripters like you..

or should I have said transcribers?..

I think it is transcribers, Buster.

....and i thought everyone here realized that Armando knows everything !!??!!

Oh , okay , transcribers then....so have you? Or at least a screen writer !!!

Nahh, I don't need the $$$. I am an Independent.

Aha...I should have known that ....

Exactly Oscar. Lotta fans deluding themselves thinking there are 'secret' plans involved when there really ain't. Some of these HCs are paranoid for no particular reason, others just hate being questioned. A few enjoy it.

You guys are as silly as Armando going on about what Philbin wouldn't say. Do you think Philbin or Ross really gives a rat's asssss? Even Ross's nonsense about transparency was nothing but shmoozing the crowd.

Of all coaches to compare, Sean Bounty Payton sure wasn't very transparent with Mr. Goodell.

Armando pretty much attracts bloggers as dumb as he is.


Every employee at the MH not named Armando gets 2 weeks paid vacation per year. Mando gets a 2 month layoff.

The Dolphins gave all of thier accredited reporters a list of the players that they cut. Mando did not get the list and so he let the names out one at a time probably as he got them from the custodian.

Great article Armando....couldn't agree more!!

Hey if there are any bloggers out there with BIG ears and little mouths, let me know asap. Knee pads provided.

You guys are as silly as Armando going on about what Philbin wouldn't say.

Posted by: Guppy Gossip | August 28, 2013 at 08:04 PM

I take exception to that statement.....I don't believe Oscar is anywhere near as silly as Armando !!!!

Whaaa....Coach Philbin won't tell me anything....Whaaa....I have to actually work at reporting....Whaaa....Whay am I such a terrible reporter...Whaaa......

I was hoping our first game would be against a division rival or one of the power teams. My thinking was that our team having so many new players, we could catch them off guard since they wouldn't have much worthwhile tape to go on.

Clevaland? It seemed like a wasted first game. Now however, I've changed my mind. It's a perfect litmus test. If we are indeed a much improved team like the consensus believes, we should win this game handily. Not necessarily a blow out, those are not that common. But we should be in control of the game. The teams will to win has to show up. We should look like the better team period.

Therefore there is much more drama here than meets the eye. A win, and well that was expected, how will they do against a good team? But a loss? A loss against Cleveland who should be lower than us on every level other than starting RB? A loss here will sound the alarms loud and clear. A loss could put doubt in the minds of every coach and player on the team. No, it won't be the end of the world or the end of the season, but it will be an early telltale sign.

Checkout South Park

You know you write like Hemmingway: short, concise sentences. Hey!! Are you Hemmingway's ghost !!!! Holy Toledo!!!!

jpao.....just got back on, nice job! Granted it's speculation but it took time and seems well thought out. If it's true and I realize the predictability is difficult, it translates to a 10 win season. Sincerely hope your right!!!!

What stood out was your conservative evaluation of T-hill. Hope it will be better but.....

Looking forward to the blog fantasy draft. I just helped a buddy with his draft it was funny how it played out.


If we lose to Cleveland it will be a disaster.

Hemmingway...Not overly concerned about Cleveland unless we revert to form and lay the ball on the ground on a consistant manner. Our strength is defense that they can't match. Our offense should be better then theirs if for no other reason then we can control their strength, their running game. Weeden and their recievers don't scare anybody.

Tannehill, starting defense should sit Thursday night??

Tannehill should be sitting for the opener too. Start Matt Moore!

Mark in NJ...what you are inferring is that Moore is a better choice than T-Hill....if you are correct, we need to find another QB in a hurry, because Matt would be a step backward...

Ross, Ireland, Philbin and the Dolphins hate the fans and media.

Isn't NJ where the Jets play? Tough part of the country to recognize a decent QB!

Matt Moore will take us further than Tannehill. He is a top 10-12 QB.

I don't think your right but only time will tell. I certainly hope your wrong but on the other hand we've had false prophets masquerading as QBs many times before.

The average blogger here is far too dumb to realize who is posting nonsense with the sole intention to provoke. 90% of the posts here are trash because of this.

I never imagined the majority of the population could be so easily deceived.

Polititions LOVE people like you.

If anyone can convince a person that the truth is in his word regardless of content it's you Rush!!!!

Tannehill's Greatest Achilles Heels:

1. Starring down receivers
2. Managing pocket
3. Will take more sacks in 2013; holding ball too long
4. Throws behind receivers on slants

Yes, Taneehill has made some 2013 progress, but the list includes none of these. These are the 4 primary reasons why Tannehill's 2013 season will be up and down.

Tannehill's performance chart should read like an ekg chart for the coming season. 7-9 with 6-6 being a miracle. Get your December mocks ready.

Lets go Heat..................................


Prog you are responding to people who don't believe a word of the nonsense they drool. They are bored and look for suckers to respond. Like you.

Try to pay atttention.

I just read a report on CNBC saying 75% of all high school grads are failing the ACT tests, which measure chances of success in college and the work force. Reading this blog, no surprise.

Staring down receivers? What, you have 50 zoom binoculars monitoring his eyes? Did you know eyes can move without the head moving?

Another dumb fan that confuses fantasy with reality.

Like Sanchez, we will go 1-2 more seasons with Tannehill before convinced he's a bust in the making. Thus far, he hasn't shown improvement n the most important of critical areas. Coddling him isn't going to force it to happen.

Fins should be in market to spend 2014's 1st rd pick at qb again. For God's sake I hope it isn't on an inexperienced starting qb again. I just hope 7-9 is enough for Ross to pull the plug on the Ireland experiment.

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