« Thomas not practicing Wednesday, others limited | Main | Will Dolphins show out or fail to show up? »

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.

 

 

Comments