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2 posts from December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013

Should Dolphins pick on Dee Milliner and can they?

At times like this ripping off Shakespeare seems appropriate: To pick on Dee Milliner or not to pick on Dee Milliner? That is the question.

The last time the Dolphins played the New York Jets signaled perhaps the worst day Milliner, the Jets' first-round pick, has had since coming into the NFL. He missed three tackles, he gave up at least four catches for 74 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Brian Hartline on which he missed the tackle after the catch.

Milliner was benched in the third quarter.

So should the Dolphins go after the rookie again on Sunday when they need to do good work on passing downs?

Well, the answer might be a little disturbing to Dolphins fans.

To begin with, Milliner has recovered quite well from that bad outing.

He's only missed two tackles in the three games since that one, has five big stops and has graded out with a plus-grade in each game. Last week Milliner collected his first NFL interception and had five passes defensed against Cleveland.

"He's playing more comfortable, more confident," coach Joe Philbin said.

Great but it's one thing to play well against the Browns. Why wouldn't the Dolphins, who have proven they can beat Milliner go after him?

Well, it seems the Dolphins offense itself is one impediment.

"Our offense is not so much about picking on a guy," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "You kind of go through your progression and if you have a matchup you take the play. I don't think we completely focus on singling out any one person."

That's fine when everything is equal. But sometimes things are not equal. Sometimes teams suffer injuries and the player on the field is a weak link. Sometimes a player has lost confidence. Sometimes a player is slowed by an injury and still trying to play through. Sometimes an inexperienced player is simply struggling.

In these rare instances it would be good to single out a person.

 

 

Thomas not practicing Wednesday, others limited

Many NFL teams did not practice on Wednesday because it was Christmas. Nonetheless, those team had to submit an injury report to the NFL that is an estimation of what would happen if the team had practiced.

According to the NFL's Wednesday injury report the New York Jets did not practice. The same report indicates the Dolphins did practice on Wednesday, although coach Joe Philbin said on Tuesday he was giving the players the day off.

I'll try to get this cleared up Thursday morning.

[Update: The Dolphins say they did not practice Wednesday. Must be some schedule misunderstanding between the Dolphins and the league. So Miami did not practice.]

At any rate this is the official injury report for Wednesday...

NEW YORK JETS at MIAMI DOLPHINS

JETS (The New York Jets did not conduct a practice on Wednesday).

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Ellis Lankster (jaw), TE Kellen Winslow (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
LB Quinton Coples (shoulder), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), WR Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring), DT Sheldon Richardson (finger, shoulder).

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
DT Kenrick Ellis (back), T Austin Howard (knee), RB Chris Ivory (quadricep, ankle), WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow), C Nick Mangold (toe), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (wrist)
 
DOLPHINS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
RB Daniel Thomas (ankle).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
 S Chris Clemons (knee, hamstring), WR Brian Hartline (knee), LB Koa Misi (triceps), WR Marlon Moore (wrist), DT Jared Odrick (wrist), DT Paul Soliai (ankle).

And below is the injury report for the other game that matters to the Dolphins.  Also, the Chargers and Chiefs game is important to the Dolphins but practice for both teams was not complete at the time the NFL generated the report. 

BALTIMORE RAVENS at CINCINNATI BENGALS

RAVENS (Baltimore did not practice on Wednesday).

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
G Gino Gradkowski (knee), CB Asa Jackson (thigh), DT Arthur Jones (concussion)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), LB Albert McClellan (neck), RB Ray Rice (thigh), WR Torrey Smith (thigh).

BENGALS (Cincinnati did not conduct a practice on Wednesday).

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
 LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), TE Tyler Eifert (neck), CB Terence Newman (knee), TE Alex Smith (concussion), DT Devon Still (back).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle), LB Vincent Rey (ankle), T Andre Smith (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
LB James Harrison (concussion)