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Dolphins at Bucs: Five things to watch

The Dolphins play their second preseason game at Tampa Bay tonight at 7:30. Follow me on twitter for in-game commentary, real-time updates and more.

I have five observations about the Dolphins that require significant attention between now and the time the regular season kicks offs because I believe they can affect the direction of the 2014 season.

The first is Dion Jordan. Jordan got off to a roaring start at training camp. But, as I write in my column, that has changed lately. He needs to show up, folks. He's the No. 3 overall pick. Guys aren't picked No. 3 to be special teams players and backups.

The second is the deep ball combination of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace. Both players repeatedly tell you the right thing -- it is getting better. I tell you the unvarnished truth of what I've seen in every single practice I've attended so far -- and I did not miss any training camp practices.

Tampa Bay allowed 238 passing yards per game last season. That was 22nd in the NFL. That's not good. Opposing QBs had an 88.9 QB rating against that defense last year. That's not very good. That was 22nd in the NFL.

There should be opportunities for Tannehill and Wallace to connect tonight.

Remember the offensive line worries of three weeks ago? I'm feeling a lot better about this group than I was then. They're coming together.

Are they going to be the Great Wall of South Florida?

Probably not.

Are they going to be a replay to the 2013 nightmare, giving up 58 sacks?

I think we're safe believing not. But watching them against Tampa Bay's solid front should be interesting.

I'm not thrilled about how the running back competition unfolded during training camp. That's because it never really unfolded.

Finally, I want to see more work for the starting linebacker corps. The company line is that moving Koa Misi to the middle and Dannell Ellerbe outside would be a major upgrade. That might still happen.

But right now, today, there is still much work and much growing to do because the first preseason game and practices have uncovered some issues.

The good news? Training camp just ended.

There are still two meaningful preseason games remaining, including tonight. (The final preseason game is a joke and everyone knows it.) So there's still a chance the issues I'm presenting get resolved.


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Game day!

Every preseason game is a joke. You can talk about "game planning" all day but the truth of the matter is that NO coach (including any in the Dolphins) opens up their playbook and reveals everything they will be attempting in the regular season. Nothing even remotely close to that, actually, and it's true of both sides of the ball.

Neither is either team putting much (if any) emphasis on actually winning the game. Why would they? It counts for NOTHING. Far more important to see your younger players perform than looking at a meaningless scoreboard, even if some fans will never understand that part.

Marv Levy was right years ago when he was so openly disdainful of preseason games that the NFL actually fined him once. Levy would rest EVERYBODY important to the Bills throughout the entire preseason and felt he got his actual valuable work done in camp.

I will be hoping for the one important thing tonight: NO INJURIES. Everything else is of little to no concern in what is nothing more than a glorified practice. It is NOT a game.

Clay = offensive version of Reshad Jones

1 n done

Posted by: SAM I AM | August 16, 2014 at 07:37 AM


So Clay Sucks.

I remember you saying the same BS last year when Keller went down. Clay Sucks we should have wasted a first round pick on a TE.

This year I just have it in the books. So at the end of the year we can feed you a big plate of Crow, to the name you will be using then.

I know you just love to be on the opposite end of every argument. Sometimes though, you should worry more about being right than coming off as a Lunatic Troll.

Wrong Fool!!!

Preseason is for player evaluations and for the teams to practice their Bread and Butter plays!!

Plus, if is for the fans who have been Jonesing for some real Football.

Heck, If College Football had Preseason, I would watch.

Mamdo,,,do you know anything about football,,,anything? INreference to Jordan, he's probably slowing down due to heat and training camp closing,,,,wait to see some game action before you and Florio get your panties in a wad. By the way, you two make a nice couple,,,,



Practices and runs plays they will never use!!

That is the Most Asinine Statement Ever uttered on this blog.

During a Scrimmage or Preseason game, you use all your Base plays!!

Agreed. You don't unleash the whole playbook.

But you practice your favorite plays.

Posted by: Dashi | August 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Come on Dashi these guys complain if the Fins serve the wrong flavour Mountain Dew at the stadium. They like to be contrary. They just like to disrupt conversation or irritate people. It gives them a sense of accomplishment they don't achieve otherwise in their sad pathetic lives, otherwise why would they do it?

ROI for them is supposedly pissing people off.

Fine. If you enjoy watching preseason football that's your right. I am simply talking about attaching undue importance to it, particularly winning or losing these "games" that are played in great portion by players who will NOT even be on the final roster of either team. Someone who attaches that much importance to a meaningless exhibition is a very special kind of stupid.

"Real" football for me begins when the games actually COUNT. These don't. And it's ludicrous that NFL teams charge their most loyal fans---season-ticket holders full face value for these practice games. They should give the tickets away.

Charles Clay is a tremendously talented guy who plays with the kind of effort you wish EVERYONE on the roster did.

So he's suddenly "bad" now because he's nursing an injury? God almighty.

"Sam I Am" now joins the (large) list of posters here to skip right past in the future.

PIN @10:36,

I agree with everything you said here.

I just feel that it is wrong to think teams don't practice their base plays.

I put no importance in the outcome either. Even though some troll here would be quick to jump up if the Fins lose.

And what the Leagues are doing, Charging for practice games is a huge middle finger to the fans. I heard, they added the games to season package. Meaning it is not even an option. You are getting charged for 10-games.

I would not mind seeing it cut down to 2 games, and adding the 2 games to the regular season.


It won't matter. Sam/YG/17-In-His-Ass will just switch names.

It is easy to figure out though. His hatred for Dashi will expose him sooner or later.

preseason is awesome. it's like that appetizer you get just before that big meal.


That is why now what I do is when he says something just extremely stupid, I repost it in blue.

So when the season is done we can go back and Fact Check.

He can do the same if he wants. Maybe it would give him more things to say Dashi is wrong about. Cause in 3 years blogging here he can only come up with about 5 things.

And none of them were just out there, like C.Clay is 1 and done.

now if you want to subtract 2 preseason games and add 2 to the season to make it 18. I'm alright with that too. It all equals out the same.

I'm not thrilled about how the running back competition unfolded during training camp. That's because it never really unfolded.


I was wrong and I don't want to admit it. Moreno Sucks!! L.Miller is pretty good!!

Who was saying Clay is 1 and done? stupidest comment ever.


The Gay Village Idiot Sam was the one.

Problem is he was wrong about Clay from the start!! And you know he will never admit it.

..Dashi..Why do you consider Jerry Garcia an overachiever? That dude was a master. He is an American musical treasure. In the same class as Miles, Coltrane, Dylan, Willie.

scam I am, huh. I otta.....

I predict 2 td drives from Tannehill tonight, weather they are run or pass in the redzone.

I don't know what to expect how about we just wait and see !!!!!!!!!!!

Dolphins 108 - bucs 3 yeah right

It is only preseason. It is more about getting timing down (including practice time) and not just between Tannehill and Wallace. It's about DBs getting in synch with each other, LBs working on their gap responsibilities and tackling (big issues there), o line learning to play as a unit, and getting fundemetals down, i.e footwork, hands / arms in place, and the rest.

I am still amazed over the consisitant hem and howing over the long ball timing and how that is covered. The long arching bomb is about a one evey four week play if everything else unfolds correctly. Watching football week in and week out the long scoring plays are not a result of a bomb but more so of short, medium, and intermediate routes which a WR breaks for ling yardage. Wallace, and the Fins offensive brain trust will hopefully exploit his speed on those type routes and then his YAC will pay dividends. I think this is what Lazor's offense is built to do. The seven yard drop and long heaves is not the stuff that makes up today's NFL offense. I think Mando amongst others is placing way to much emphisis on this kne facet of the overall playbook.

Dashi, charging full price for preseason games is (unfortunately) standard business practice across the NFL. I believe the ONLY team that doesn't require their season-ticket holders to include those "games" in their ticket package is the Packers---and good for them!

I had to carry them for years as a Dolphins season-ticket holder and while I always liked getting back to see my friends at the stadium it really frosted my ass to be paying that much good money for a PRACTICE whose final score meant nothing.

The NFL is hardly hurting for revenue. I think it would be great if teams simply gave their season ticket holders the OPTION (at a reduced price) of buying preseason tix and simply giving the rest away to disadvantaged kids or other worthwhile groups who would probably never get to any game (even a fake one) otherwise.

The sugar hill gang is going to sing the national anthem

everybody on the blog last night was comparing Garrapolo to Rodgers as he was behind favre at the time. I don't thinks so. but he will be better than Mallet for sure.

Say yoooooo

It's all about the trenches plain and simple you win the line of scrimmage you win the game

Our backups qbs suck so we will lose

Just to note here: While I attach very little meaning to preseason and am definitely in line with Marv Levy's old reasoning that a HEALTHY TEAM in September is most important, I will say there is one crucial thing going on specifically with the Dolphins and that would obviously be the OL.

Those guys DO need as much time playing together as possible since nobody in their right mind thinks you can just plug in five new starters and expect instant cohesion or consistency.

I'm cautiously optimistic the line will improve as the season progresses, but realistically I still expect them to struggle pretty badly at the outset. That group DOES need time on the field together...even at the risk of injury in a meaningless game.

Marc, If Tannehill gets us 2 td drives. that's all I care. and the D to get a couple 3 and outs.

Funny how what Mando has seen in camp is the COMPLETE opposite of what others are reporting.

Really hoping to see some improved linebacker play.


The other Jerry Garcia. The one that was the QB for the 49ers after Steve Young. He later played for the Bucs.

Much respect to the Musical Jerry Garcia.

What has clay done in his career? 7rd pick for a reason

As a Business Man, You have to admire how well the NFL is ran compared to other leagues. As a Consumer, I dislike how outrageous the in-game experience cost.

The NFL has a 16-game regular Season. Yet the SalaryCap is $120M a Team.

The NBA has 82-game regular season and a minimum 16 game postseason. And the Salary Cap is at $67M.

And basketball tickets are as expensive if not more expensive than most NFL games.

Dashi stop picking on me because I know more then you about the success of the Miami football dolphins. Think you'd be a better GM then me? hA! You would pick Tannehill. Give me blake double b Bortles any day son

And Johnny manz as the starter

Dashi ill k your a as football GM. Play me in fantasy football and I'll take manz as #1 pick and still crush you . Sorry excuse for NFL gm

Dashi is a

JEFF Garcia played for the 49ers.

JERRY Garcia was the thoroughly overrated guitarist in the thoroughly overrated Grateful Dead.

WHO...who...has been to MYANMAR??

We should all go there and buy colorful parasols and eat spicy stews and marmalades made from tropical fruits!!

I will go first and prepare straw mats and hug everyone tightly when you arrive.

...in MYANMAR!!!!!!!!!

Odds The fins put up more then 13 points tonite???

I understand that Jordan was the 3rd pick but I don't see DE as an overall weakness for this team or that the team is desperate for his return. I don't think Philbin wanted to take him in the first place. I just don't see this as a "problem" right now.

Odds The fins put up more then 13 points tonite???

Posted by: Cuban Menace


Who cares? Are you one of those idiots counting this as a real game?

Posted by: dave561 | August 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM


Ryan Mallet 121 QBR WOWZA!! The next Brady?

I love how the Miami Herald gang of writers is sloooowly realizing how bad Dion Jordan really is. Meanwhile, over at DolphinsTruth.com, we've been telling you and demonstrating why Jordan was a bust from Day One.

4th consecutive loss tonight....

trying to give him a little more slack but agree that Dion to this point has been disappointing......and I agree with some others here that the Fins picking him was sort of a head scratcher, because DE is not a weakness--so never terrible to have more pass rushers/young talent and the guy is a freak (and I still think he and OV is our DE duo maybe as soon as next year), but we certainly couldve addressed other needs with that pick (plus we traded up to get him to begin with)--but it doesnt seem like he's the most motivated kid, which is a huge issue for me.....seems a little disinterested.....I hope its just immaturity, because heart/intensity are not easy things to coach

Hi fellas,

The season is around the corner, this is my 2014 mock season:


Record: 11-5
Div: 4-2
Afc East: 1st (Champion)
MVP: Ryan Tannehill
Rookie of the year: James
Round we lost: Divisional
Probowlers (starters): Wallace, Vernon, L. Miller, Delmas.
Non starters: Landry, J. Taylor, Clay.


Superbowl: NE vs NO
Champion: NE
MVP: A. Rodgers
Rookie of the year: K. Benjamin (Car)
Coach of the year: Jim Caldeell (Det)


Oh cuban perfect timing because I have a Ted Ginn reference - lol

If the deep ball between Mike Wallace and Tannehill is "getting better"...
Then the league is in big trouble!

Who do you think Reevis is following week 1?

Ted got him - Mike will to.

Dion Jordan needs to show something tonight.

Coyle who = Bust ain't helping his cause.


One of them.

Nevertheless Bortles has already ascended into one of the top QB's in the league.

Posted by: Luis R. Alves | August 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM


love how folks label guys busts after 1 injury affected year......most are probably trolls I realize (wow, how pathetic.....dont Jets/Pats fans have anything else to do on a saturday?).....but the use of terms like "bust"......"elite" (another comical term).....is a joke--I think Jordan is like still 15 years.....he's a baby......let the kid grow up a little bit, get to year 3 or 4, before the term bust even enters the picture

Dion Jordan = Another Ireland bust

Dashi is a pompous negative narcissist.

Posted by: Luis R. Alves | August 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

What's in Your Kool-Aid????

Ha! Tannehill better than Bortles? Ha!


I know that it sounds like a joke but I really think that is going to happen!! My friends bully me too. LOL.

I'm not a gambler, but I can bet that we are going to win a playoff berth. The rest is just my optimistic way to reach the goal.


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