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The post-mortem from preseason opening loss

After Sunday night's 24-20 loss to the Cowboys, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin did his postgame press conference out on the field, by the end zone. As a group of reporters surrounded him for his four-minute talk, a nearby fan yelled over at the top of his lungs:

"Breaking news," the fan yelled, "the Dolphins still suck."

I wouldn't go that far nor would I make assumptions on a season or even a preaseason based on this preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

But on this night the Dolphins definitely didn't present much of a counter-argument against that heckler.

They didn't just lose this one 24-20, but lost it ugly. They played poorly, they played sloopy, and they got beat. Not a good recipe for turning the thing around in time to start the season fast.

"I told the team I thought we would play better," coach Joe Philbin said. "That's obviously not the way you want to start any football game, I don't care if it's preseason, Game 1, the Super Bowl or any game in between."

The start was ugly. Lamar Miller fumbled on the first offensive play.

The Cowboys recovered inside the Dolphins 10 yard line and scored.

The galling thing?

The defense that started for Dallas was missing every defensive starter in the lineup save one. Yes, coach Jason Garrett sat practically everyone and still won.

"I told our team we've talked a lot about taking the ball away. We've talked a lot about ball security. We spent a lot of practice time but it didn't show up on the field today. We have to go back to work and get that corrected. That's the reason we lost the game and that's what's going to turn this program around more than anything else is us doing a much, much better job in that category."

Yes, it was a bad start for Miller, who is trying to replace Reggie Bush, but he recovered a little bit. He finished with two carries for 21 yards.

"I had to make up for it and look forward to the next play," Miller said. "I was trying to move the chains and help the football team."

Miller added the team, "can only get better."

Obviously. The Dolphins lost the turnover margin, 2-0. One of those was a 75-yard interception return TD by reserve linebacker Devonte Holloman, who picked off Matt Moore. The pick goes on Moore's stat sheet, but the problem was that rookie receiver Chad Bumphis sat down in the zone when Moore was expecting him to run through.

"It was a bad read on my part," Bumphis said. "That one's on me. But I'm going to learn from that and that miscommunication won't happen again."

Bumphis wasn't bad otherwise. He caught five passes for 85 yards to lead the team. Michael Egnew had four catches for 52 yards but had a drop. Keenan Davis had three catches for 48 yards and a TD.

"Keenan Davis made a couple of plays," Philbin said. "Bumphis has caught the ball in practice ... The kid gets open and he catches the ball."

Moore finished the game with 19 completions on 29 attempts for 238 yards. He played most of the second quarter but was forced back in the game in the fourth quarter when third-stringer Pat Devlin "got nicked," according to Philbin.

Dolphins05 rmattsacked jwrI'm sure Moore loved the idea of coming back in the game. He was sacked once (which you see courtesy a photo by Joe Rimkus) and hit hard on multiple occasions as the second-team line -- particularly reserve left tackle Dallas Thomas -- seemed to struggle. Frankly, I'm wondering if Thomas has the quickness to play left tackle. If he does, he didn't show it tonight.

It looked like Devlin took a shot that had him a little glassy-eyed in the locker room afterward.

Speaking of quarterbacks, starter Ryan Tannehill completed two of five passes for 1 yards. His 47.9 QB rating was the lowest of the Miami QBs. His inability to connect on a couple of simple slant throws to WRs showed either his lack or work with those receivers, or a twinge of inaccuracy or both.

Afterward, Tannehill conceded the Dolphins looked ugly.

"It wasn't our cleanest game, wasn't our best game," he said. "I'm glad we can get that one out of the way early. We have four more preseason games before we get into the regular season. So hopefully this was our sloppy game."

The leading rusher on the night for Miami was Jonas Gray. He rushed for 41 yards on seven carries. Gray missed all of last season as he rehabilitated a knee injury from his Notre Dame days. 

"This was a reassurance that my knee is 100 percent," he said.


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By the time the fins could put anything together including an accidental score off a deflection. Dallas had got down to putting in players from the local high school lol. They even wanted to protect their 3rd string from injury.

Oh and if that oline don't get it together tannehill is going to be in a body cast.... That was truly a disgraceful performance

Accuracy does not improve. I stand by my statement. It can get marginally better. Yet accuracy from a quarterback is a lot like a left hook in boxing, guys either have it or they don't. You can't go by numbers when it comes to accuracy. Matt Ryan may have better receivers to throw to, perhaps the same could be said of Elway. Maybe they threw more higher percentage passes underneath. Numbers don't always tell the story. Anyone can throw short passes, it's the intermediate and deep routes that matter. Tannehill missed a ton of open receivers last year. It cost the Phins no less than two games when he missed receivers in the closing moments (Jets 1st game and @ the Bills). Thus far he has shown the same type of inaccuracy. Practice, repetition etc... this may improve it some, but a player won't go from being as inconsistent as Tannehill was a year ago to being Tom Brady, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Chad Pennington accurate. Ain't gonna happen...this means he ain't good enough. Also 3200 yards is nothing in today's NFL...teams were conceeding yardage to the Dolphins a year ago, because the Dolphins were often behind two scores because Tannehill couldn't move the team, and they had no playmakers, so the underneath passes were there all season long. Expect Tennebust to continue throwing behind receivers. Accuracy doesn't improve...


It is just preseason, our starters on offense didn't play much or some at all, nothing to be worried about.
Only thing for me was the left tackle position that did look weak no matter who was there, if they can't get that
fixed then they will have to chip with a tight end to give Tannehill time to throw down field

17 is right. People can call this a meaningless preseason game, and it is, but it is ALSO just another example thrown into the pile of ineptitude that this team has given us over the years. It's more of the same. Maybe it's meaningless. Maybe the dolphins end up winning the Super Bowl. But for now it's just another lackluster performance from a perennial disappointment of a team.

i know its the 1st preseason- but I just don't like that they didn't look prepared mentally to play

I know last night was the first game...... But we had glaring problems,,,,,this is not a team with a few corrections away from being good. This team is a product of poor coaching and poor ownership..... Sorry but there won't be any improvement this yr:((((( maybe if we're lucky and ohhh I don't know maybe replace tannehill with Moore 4-12 at best... Really looks like a jets knock off team to me..... (As in not quite as good)

Miller(despite the fumble, get it out the system)and Jordan I am excited about!

I guess you cannot fix everything in 1 year. I believe the main aim this year is to put pressure on Brady and hopefully win the Division. The pass rushers are now there, the blitzing LBs are there. Now, can we do it? Remains to be seen.

OL IS a concern but I believe it's too late to improve it drastically this Year. We are going to have to depend on a very aggressive D.

The turnovers and not creating turnovers was and continues to be the issue. We were missing about as many starters as Dallas and yet the broadcast crew doesnt even mention it. Dallas ran for a bunch of yards against a defensive front that didnt include Starks, Odrick or Vernon and continued to ran against that side of the line. Tannehill's timing was off but without Hartline and Wallace, that isnt surprising. This will only give the coaches more of an opportunity to preach the importance of turnover ratio.

That #52 whiffed on some tackles and #87 seems lost as all hell.

Those are excuses, pal. We admit none of those here.

Man, that's a bad break for my boy Devlin.

Ireland not resigning Long is going to be the Achilles heel of this team. Martin is not ready & no matter how open Wallace/Hartline get if the QB has 2 secs to throw wont matter. I agree that Long wasn't the same LT he was years ago, but a declining Long is 10x better than Martin

After that horrible end of the world preseason loss last night and seeing our starters on the field for about 10 plays. I would like to knee jerk overreact and jump to following conclusions with deep sarcasm.
1. Tannehill is a bust after going 2 for 5.
2. Miller is no Reggie Bush
3. LT Martin stinks. He gave up a pressure.
4. Fire Philbin he didn't have the team mentally prepared.
5. This is a product of poor coaching and poor ownership.

to be con't...

dads like darkoak thinks we are in year two of rebuild.

Try 13 years of rebuild. You guys are content with such tiny incremental steps to nowhere.

We sucked. Plain and simple. Call it for what it was.

You people are hilarious!!!!! Firstly, why are you banging on J. Martin? He didn't even give up one single hurry and on one play, he took his opponent to the ground with little effort. Secondly, Lamar M. had a fumble (is he known for that?) but he also had a 10.5 yard average on his other two carries.Thirdly, the coaches didn't game-plan for this game, they were trying to see if players belonged on the team. Fourthly, how many starters didn't even suit up? I'm a homer, but I don't get overly excited about pre-season wins and losses so I'm going to go have a cup of coffee and relax.

@Fire Philbin, t-hill does not have an accuracy problem, it's a timing issue. That's where practice will help. When he understands his receivers route running tendencies his timing will get better and the completion percentage will go up. He's throwing to a whole new set of receivers, we can't expect perfection in 5 attempts.

I'm not the biggest tannehill fan, but if he improves his timing and works on his pocket presence things will get better. To me his biggest problem is pocket awareness, with time that should get better (I hope).

Hats off to Jeff Ireland for assembling such a deep and talented team. Don't worry about the offensive line. As busy as Jeff Ireland is, he will address it in next years draft. Unless, of course, he can trade up again with a couple picks and find someone who can contribute on special teams.

no we are 12 hours past our 1st preseason game loss after about 10 plays with our starters that played. If you guys can jump to all those conclusions based off that...well you're smarter than me for sure. Damn beer googles!

And let's not forget the Fins gave them TWO touchdowns (which may not have happened with the starters) so lose those 14 points and it's 20-10. Whoopie. A pre-season game. It's football finally.

I love to see all the negative comments from fans who seem to the think the SKY IS FALLING due to the first preseason game. Guys, it was sloppy, it was ugly but MOST of the STARTERS on the field are not giving their full effort. Their goal? JUST DON't GET HURT!!!!

I realize its just the meaningless & quite boring hall of fame game. But this team, like most teams only go as far as their Q.B's can take them. Love Tannehill's poise, character, arm strength & wheels. But, he keeps showing me how inaccurate he is. Doesn't matter who we sign, if the Q.B cant put it where needs to be!

The Fins have the league's worst record over the first four games since the '04 season, winning just 25% of them in that span.


Still think their annual pathetic preseasons are meaningless?

So, I just said that the game is not something to panic about but it is something for players and coaches to LEARN from.

Here is what I learned from it:

1) Chemistry and rythm are really off - RB/QB fumble, QB/WR several passes behind WR's on slants, OLINE looked sloppy on several plays, CB/S several blown coverages.

2) I thought J. Martin looked fine on the few plays he was in BUT D. Thomas is not a starting left tackle in the NFL. Maybe a back up G at best. They need to get a LT in place as a backup and they need to get him in quickly. D. Thomas = Damaged QB's.

3) I wasn't impressed by the LB's last night. Wheeler got beat on several passes in the first searies. Misi looked bad. I don't even know if Ellerbe played because I didn't hear his name at all. I want to see much more from them in the next few weeks.

4) Jordan looked good on a few plays but average on otehrs. Again, this could be that it's early preseason and he is not going 100% every play. But I don't want to see that week one.

5) Johas Gray looked healthy and played solid. I'd keep him if he keeps showing like that over the next 4 preasaon games. Happy to see he is healthy. I could see him getting 3-7 carrier per game. Gillislie didn't show much to me at all and neither did Thomas.j Interested to see how this plays out.

6) Egnew got open and made some solid catches. Keller did little but I expected that. Sims is HUGE and I can't wait to see him play more in preseason.

7) Several of the backup WR's looked decent. Bumphis and Allen flashed several times. Fuller made a few catches but doesn't seem to get open that often. Good to know there are a few guys that can step up when Wallace and/or Hartline can't go.

One thing that does bother me...For godsakes can all our players stop saying they need to improve on every bad play or mistake. It's very redundant and excuse making to make more mistakes. We all know they need to improve and get better on a daily basis.

AND...is why they practice on a daily basis because we all know...hell everyone knows since the beginning of football every player needs to improve and get better.

The only concerns that I have from this game is the lt spot and tannehills accuracy. Miami fumbled in the red zone and had a mix up that resulted in a pick six when miami was in scoring range. Miami gave away 14 points. Other than that they showed more depth and speed at most positions. They held dallas to under 100 passing yards. And out gained dallas by 200 yards. I can't remember the last time a miami secondary gave up less than 100 yards passing and the 170 rushing yards mean nothing to me since the proven run stoppers. Starks odrick Vernon ellerbe didn't play.

Scariest thing? The Cboys played without Tony Romo, Demarcus Ware, Shaun Lee, and other starters. Oh boy Ware would've had 3 sacks alone had he played against Martin. I'm not even gonna mention this worthless third round pick Thomas. But I will say, another slow, overgrown slug. I surely hope this is not a sign of the 2013 season or its gonna be ugly.

Ryan Tannehill = Another Ireland bust

Who the heck is coaching this crappy team?

Best thing to say this morning is thank God we have 4 more PreSeason games. These will be necessary to remind the team they are starting the regular Season in a month. Time to step it up and clear the cobwebs.

Miami played without, Starks odrick Vernon hartline Wallace ellerbe and out gained dallas by 200 yards and held dallas to 96 passing yards and gave them 14 of their 24 points on two turnovers that were more bad breaks than trends. A fumble by miller on his first carry which was more nerves than a trend since miller is known for never fumbling and a pick six when miami was about to score because the wr sat down in the zone coverage and the qb thought he would keep running a miscommunication that is easily fixed.

This game was to look at young guys and backups and special team players only. Neither team cared about winning or losing that is why neither team played any player that they consider important when the season starts

Ireland brought us another Chad Henne. YIKES!

Can we get Jake Long back? Or Reggie Bush?

In what decade do we get a real GM?

Posted by: Just Curious | August 05, 2013 at 08:45 AM

Probably next year if all these moves made don't improve the team any. However, there is zero connection between one bad Pre-Season game and the regular Season. So nothing can be said about the GM regarding what the team will do this year.

Please keep in mind the this with the new CBA this is the first real contact the team has had the whole offseason. Did the team look good?? NO. Will they get wayyy better by week 1?? YES. My only concern is the oline. I personally think they will get it together by week 1

I recall three years ago when Henne was our starting QB and we sucked in all 4 pre-season games.

Then we open against the Pats and Henne loses in a shoot-out with Brady, but he tossed 425 yards and a few TD's.

The starters will be ready for week 1.

I do have concerns about Tannehill's accuracy and predict the teams success rides on that accuracy...
It's not rocket science folks

A meaningless preseason game where both teams sat every player that was any good. Means we have no talent, no gm and need a new coach. We also need the same jake long and Reggie bush combo that leads us to a losing record every year. Smh.
The only thing both teams wanted to do was get out of the game without injury and see the rookies and find who will make the team as special teams players. Gray was the leading rusher and bumphis was the leading wr neither will be on the team when the season starts and the tds were caught by Davis a guy we picked to be a camp body who has no chance of making the team and miller the fifth te who will be cut also

The good - The Uniforms
The bad - Dallas Thomas
The Ugly - Everything else Dolphins related




The 1970 Houston Oilers looked terrible last night.
The heckler was the only one reporting the truth.
Can't wait to see the attendance at the first home game. Pathetic, just like Ms. Ross and FIRELAND.

The Dolphins have 5 preseason games. By the 4th and 5th games we'll know exactly the kind of regular season this team will have. One thing is for sure, turnovers-prone team=loosing season. The fact is this, ugly start. There is enough time to correct and improve things. Every team will do the same. Don't expect more than 10 wins, though. Looking at the schedule, I think that 9-7 would be more realistic if we stay optimistic. 10-6 if the team develops a real chemistry between the players and manage to handle the close games in 4th qtr. We'll see.

Lets focus on the issue here, Tannehill fails time after time I don’t understand why the coaching staff hand him the starting job. Make him earn it because clearly his performance dosen’t earn a starting QB on any NFL team, I think clearly hes proven hes not an NFL starting QB

Tannehills lack of accuracy is glaring. How come no one on the Dolphins noticed it BEFORE the draft?

It was a pre-season game with back up players that will not even have a Doplhin uniform on come Sept,so chil out and wait until the regular season starts before you start claiming the saeson is another bust.

very poor tackling


The new uniforms are a disgrace. We looked like we were bathed in radiation the way the jerseys glowed.

Got news for the management...that logo looks like a smeared bug on TV. It will disappear in bright sunlight.

Again, another ham-handed effort by the owner.

The blue pant stripes are just awful.

I need ORANGE.

Here's the reality of T-Hill last night. 2 of 5 passing means we has T-Hill accuracy concerns? Really? Think Hard...I'll break it down below.

Pass 1. Tannehill to Mcnutt first pass. Mcnutt has both outstretched hands on the ball is nearly caught nearly and fumbled too. Hardly uncatchable.
Pass 2. T-Hill throws ball left of target. Mcnutt gets a hand on the ball. Ball was late.
Pass 3. pocket collapses T-Hill avoids sack wisely throws the ball away.
Pass 4. T-Hill throws a dart right on target to Keller.
Pass 5. T-Hill throws slant right on target to Gibson.
Bottom line...I'd be concerned if each and every game was only 10 minutes long. So save me the dramatic the is sky falling posts.

I understand we were missing starters. I get that. But, Dallas had 1 starter on Defense. They're 2nd & 3rd teams were better than our 1st string offense.

Call it preseason or whatever you want but, these are the facts. And they are troubling.

In a game that is essentially simulated to look at individual players, the Dolphins offense couldn't move the ball on reserve cowboy defensive scrubs.

There scrubs were better than our best. Ireland strikes again.

Shula and Dave make no sense.

Please explain the accuracy issue play from last night?

Or are you just another silly Troll?

Or are you blaming Tannehill for McNutt?

Everyones been raving about Hartline and Tannehills chemistry and you bumbs still talking accuracy.

I watched 5 min of the second qt. In that 5 min. I saw lazy attempts to run the ball, lazy attempt to catch the ball, and blocking was dismal. And they've been practicing for two weeks, not to mention OTA's the Dolphins look worse then Ive ever seen them,,,more inept then ever. Realize its only week two in preseason but damn the rookies look like sh** and RB, LT, is going to be a real problem. Is it coaching, or players,,,or both? Dallas Thomas is terrible, how did he get drafted?
30 seconds was enough for me, how did some of you watch the entire debacle. If Philbin was making an attempt to make the league believe the Dolphins were lazy, and talentless, well, he accomplished his mission.

And those uniforms made the players look like dance hall girls. That ugly wussey green has to go not to mention that wussey looking blue stripe down the middle of the helmet. "If you look good you play good",,,Burt Renolds,,,Longest Yard. Whoever designed or color coordinated those uni's should be fired. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly.

We have so many idiot fans. The number of people who do not even understand what the first preseason game is about. The number of people who think tannehill is clearly a bust after starting 16 games as a rookie throwing for 3300 yards and winning 7 games having his team 2 ot losses from a winning season. The number of people who do not appreciate an owner willing to spend money to get a winning team. People who hate Ireland when he has given us the most offensive and defensive talent we have had since 86 probably. We have had Marino led offenses with no run game or d or great defenses with Gadsden as our best offensive weapon or Ricky running every play with Fiedler and a nonexistent passing game. Ireland gave soprano the type of players that fit his system but poor coaching and a faulty system combined with henne not developing resulted in a 7-9 team. In only his second year with philbin Ireland has given this coach talented young players that fit his system. Ireland has done an incredible job adding talent youth and speed all over the place. Now it is on tanne to develop and philbin to coach. Ross and Ireland have done everything a coaching staff can ask of them

If people looked closely, the play where Tanny threw behind mcnutt on the slant(not the one he almost caught & fumbled), it was because the safety was inside & the CB was on mcnutts back trailing.

If tanny had put the ball on target, it was a pick 6.

Some people simply need to look beyond the result of an errand pass to see why it occurred.

I have provided a realistic perspective above regarding T-Hill. Who wants to talk about it and say he has accuracy problems based off that? And don't blame that fumble on T-hill either. It was was right in the gut for Miller.

Here's the real areas of concern to work on this week. Must get all the starting offense on the field together for timing and chemistry. The tackling was poor from the defense. We got shredded by back up tailbacks because we gave up too many broken tackles and guys over running the play.


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