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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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Its okay though...just make sure all you haters post pics of the Tannehill and Jordan jerseys you buy in the next couple years...

Nothing good will happen with this team until 2 years after Ireland is fired.

Philbin and Sherman out smarted a few teams and pulled of some wins when it didn't look like they would win...Special Teams was HUGE for us last year...Minus Carp...

but they also lost some games they could have won...by doing dumb stuff...like throwing out of their own endzone with a Rookie QB....or not Running Bush....and sitting Miller...when he was getting about 8 yards a pop...

Philbin and crew are a scratch right now...

Every year the homers predict a good season and every year their hopes are crushed. Its friggin hilarious how dumb they are!


Even if the starters don't play it is still game day.

How can they be a scratch when they exceeded expectations by several games last year and may have won more if there was a more accurate longer range K in place??? Not running Miller more was a product of him just not being quite ready for those duties at the NFL level...remember they drafted Miller and Vernon a year earlier than they probably should have been drafted...

When Mando says, "...Matt Moore could probably be starting for some teams..." he is referring to Odin Lloyd's team that still has a roster spot to fill.

Miami has 2 QB on their team that are better than 2 others teams in this divisions day 1 starters...arguably they have the 2nd and 3rd best QB in the division!!!

They didn't EXCEED my expectations...

I wanted 11-5....

cake schedule....

what you should be saying...is that they aren't a scratch because they didn't break even...8-8....

they managed 7-9....

and Ireland has been here for EVER...

Matt Moore could start for the Bills. But then again, I probably could.
On a side note, I did some internet searching and could not find a single site that had Dion Jordan listed as the best player in the 2013 draft.
I know Florida is a gateway for drugs into this country, but WTF are you all smoking down there?

Matt Moore SHOULD be starting for the Fins. He is far better than TanneBust.



Every year the homers predict a good season and every year their hopes are crushed. Its friggin hilarious how dumb they are!

Posted by: Realist | August 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM




Notice that none of the homers bet. They'd be stone broke! LMAO!

Ah well your expectations at 11-5...were not exceeded...I like the 11-5 expectations though...that is very realistic for this year...we were billed at 4-12 last year...7-9 or 8-8 this year...puts us at 10-6 in my book...I know the schedule was more favorable last year but strength of schedule before the season starts is a crock of shyt in my opinion...teams rise...teams fall...teams play better than their record...and they play worse...

10.6 in the name for the 10-6 season...it wont change...so if I eat it...I eat it...but there it is!!!

Agree 100%, Mandy. But knowing Philbin, he'll probably start 'em all anyway and someone will be done for the season.

I'm not usually a Mando basher and I appreciate this blog, but what's up with the infrequency of new posts and the lack of news? The season is about to start!

4-12 in the name for the 4-12 season...it wont change...so if I eat it...I eat it...but there it is!!!

Everyone in the league loves Philbin...accolades across the board on not only his coaching and sructure...but his talent evaluation abilities as well...any bashing on Philbin is unwarranted and inaccurate...

Including preseason Philbin is 8-16 as a HC. Wasnt Sparano a lot better than that?

Lets hope so Jack...

and trust me...I am NOT bashing Philbin....I wanted the guy to be the MAN here..over Fisher...or anybody else...

Yesterday...I told Craig M...Philbin should get 4 years before we even begin to think about his dismissal..

but....year one (imo)...not as I had hoped....perhaps I need to adjust my expectations...

I have no predictions as of yet...Keller was a Killer...and I am still reeling from that...

Have you met my friend Dashi, he is a fan also.

evry1 luved wanny 2.

From what I've seen, Philbin is a good coach. You do not need a great coach to win. If that were the case Bellicheat would never have won a SB. What teams need is talent, and a coach who is good enough not to f it up. I think Philbin is plenty good enough. Thank God we don't have Rex Ryan as coach.

5th consecutive losing season coming up. Count on it. The talent and experience level is still poor from the owner, GM, HC, QB, to the rest of the players. 2 good players is not nearly enough to make a good team. 5-11 or 6-10 tops.
Posted by: Realist | August 29, 2013 at 09:29 AM
and this is y the 1st o shuld play all 4 q's 2nite.
'cuz the suxx.

I didnt have any expectations for the 12/13 season...10-6 for 13/14...
I had no expectations because I could tell from the start 12/13 was mainly an evaluation year for Phibin and Co. to see what they already had...I thought this was a great move...too many times I watch the new coach come in and immediately blow up the roster and bring in his "own guys"...not with Philbin...has there been even the slightest GB roll over...like there was with Dallas??? None... I never thought Tannehill would start...but he did...never really thought we'd win even 7 games...but we did...Tannehills very good rookie year got overshadowed by the pistol/read option storm that took over the league last year...look for that system to take a step back this year...while Tannehill steps forward...

mass, tubby rex was 2 plays away from to straight sb's.
4-2 in rd. p/o's.
he did sumting right.

jack, being 32 out 32 on 3rd downs like thenne is,forward is the only way he can go.

when was the last time the phins played late in2 jan.?

The last time we played late in 2 January was also the first and only time that a QB cried in his post Super Bowl interview.

the feeling
the feeling,
having an afc champ. game @ the joe.

Seems the experts are picking us for another losing season. Sigh. My main concern is, except for Clabo, we have the exact some OL as we had at the end of last year and it was horrible. If you want to retard a QB's progress, have him running for his life all the time.
And I have to correct myself on Jordan - alot of experts did have him in top 5 of draft, just not number 1.

It is a curious fact that we play 2 Teams during the Season that we also played in pre-Season, TB and NO. Even advantage, as they know us a bit more than other Teams and we, them.

Who said Jordan was the best player in the draft? That was always the two OTs. But he was not a rach at 3 by anyone's estimations ... maybe by magazines printed 6 months before the draft ...

Moore could start for the Jets, Bills, Raiders, Jacksonville... maybe browns.

maybe cards


Some good posts this morning.

I think all things considered, Philbin and company got a passing grade from me last year. 7-9, with a rookie QB, no real threats at WR and brand new coaches was a pretty good accomplishment. Take into account a couple of Dan Carpenter misses and we should really have been 9-7. I saw a lot more positives last year than under Sparano the last two years.

I need to see the same kind of progress this year. I think anything less than 9-7 will be a disappointment. The Bills and Jets are ripe for the picking. That should be 4 wins right there. Now we need to find another 5 wins. Not saying the team HAS to make the playoffs this year but anything short of 9-7 would be a failure.

I think most folks argue he was the best DEFENSIVE player in the draft...and the others argue Ireland is an idiot...

Good fun...

Bo, Mando has nothing to post anymore besides opinion. Nobody tells him anything anymore .. at least that's what he tells us

Philbin? You want to know how good a staff he put in place? Look at how much the players they drafted last year and in the not so distant future have grown. That shows the abilities of a coach. Mine that piece of coal.

after D line what position has the most depth?.... my guess DB if rookies pan out but what about the LB?

We are just starting to realize that Philbin isnt much of a coach.


Looking forward to the draft Sunday. I got a couple of tips from a friend of mine this morning. Couple of sleepers to look at. Have to see if the computer lets me add them.

Some guy named Calvin Johnson.....I doubt anyone's even heard of him.

If Tannehill carries forward his preseason, what about QB?

But DBs are pretty good on paper.

WR is also three deep strong and in their primes.

Tannehill couldnt start for the Browns. Weeden is playing very well.

Craig, but that RB from Minnesota on your list. He didn't run much in preaseason so people will have forgot about him. SHHH!

We are just starting to realize that Philbin isnt much of a coach.
Posted by: Jack! | August 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Fake Jack!...obviously

try again...

The Dolphins are 3-1 in Madden 25 online on my PS3 so far...does that mean anything??? Other than I am the shyt!!!


If Tannehill carries forward his preseason, what about QB?
But DBs are pretty good on paper.
WR is also three deep strong and in their primes.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto |

john beck, all pro p/s qb.

The Dullfins play golf in January. Its on their schedule lol

? jan. then what have they been doing on sun's the past 4 losing seasons.?.
it looks like they were playing golf then.

Phins have been 11-5 only twice in the last twenty years yet some of the idiots here think that this team is going to win 11 games. Dolphins fans are some of the dumbest if not the dumbest fans in the NFL. Can't wait to read the comments when the team starts 2-4. Losers.

Ireland/Ross will never post a winning season.

Gee if Dan Carpenter would have hit those two field goals the Dolphins would have won two more games. How does this nonsense pass for logic in some people's minds ? Could it be because they're STUPID ? If Carpenter hits even one of those field goals maybe the Dolphins lose the rest of their games by twenty points. How the F do you know how the rest of the season would have turned out ? It certainly would not have been EXACTLY the same. Christ the people who are football junkie idiots are morons.

Phins won't sweep the Bills and the Jets, divisional games are hard to win. When was the last time the Dolphins swept both of those teams ? 1977 ? Get real...

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