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Fins discuss pass protection, other issues; 20 Dolphins, Heat, Canes notes

### Only three offensive tackles in the league have allowed more than four sacks. And what do you know: Two of them –- Jonathan Martin and Tyson Clabo -– play for the Dolphins. Each has yielded six sacks. Seattle’s Paul McQuistan has permitted five; no other tackles have relinquished more than four.

Meanwhile, Martin remains the second-worst rated tackle in run blocking, ahead of only Baltimore’s Bryant McKinnie, according to Pro Football Focus.

Asked about being on a 77-sack pace, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman assumed the role of Mr. Optimism: “We’re a work in progress. I think it’ll all work itself out. We’re going to spend a lot of time this off week, looking at what some of our issues are, even more specifically than we already have.  We’re going to fix what needs to get fixed, and I’m pretty confident that we can do that."

Sherman blamed myriad issues: “There have been times where the back could have stepped up and picked a guy up in the hole, and didn’t. There have been times where our tackles didn’t come off on a twist, or whatever the case may be, Ryan (Tannehill) held the ball or we didn’t get anybody open.  It’s a cumulative effect and a collective effort that we’re dealing with.”

### Joe Philbin, asked about possibly turning to backups such as Nate Garner or Danny Watkins, answered he believes "in the guys we have." (Taken literally, that would include Garner and Watkins, though Philbin seemed to imply he likes his current starters. We'll see.) Sherman didn't advocate making changes, but suggested if they are going to be made, the bye week is the time to do it.

### Meanwhile, Sherman said he’s not worried about how the barrage of sacks will affect Ryan Tannehill mentally. “It’s funny, no, I don’t worry about mentally, the guy is as resilient a person, a competitor as I’ve been around,” he said.  “I’ve been around some pretty good ones, and he’s up there, he’s very resilient.  Physically after the game you ask him, ‘Oh I feel fine’ so he’s been able to handle that.”

### So why not roll out Tannehill more often to prevent sacks? “I think at times it does limit what you can do passing wise,” Sherman said. “You’re cutting the field in half for the most part. Horizontally it limits what you can do.”

### Former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli addressed the Dolphins' pass protection issues on NBC Sports Network today. "They spent a lot of dough," he said. "They should have addressed that offensive line in the offseason."

### Even with Cameron Wake able to play only three snaps because of his knee injury Sunday, rookie Dion Jordan (21 snaps) again played far less than Derrick Shelby (56). Starter Olivier Vernon logged 70 snaps.

Why isn’t Jordan getting more playing time?

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said it’s partly because the Ravens “ran a lot of two tight ends. Sometimes an extra tackle was in the game running the ball. So we went with our bigger people at times to defend the run. I thought it was fairly effective for us doing it that way. Dion wasn’t in some of those packages. We plan on utilizing him more.”

### The Dolphins have opted to use second-round rookie corner Jamar Taylor instead of third-round rookie corner Will Davis each of the past two games.

In the two games combined, Taylor has allowed all six passes thrown against him to be completed, for 127 yards.

Any thought to using Davis? “I want to get Will up and running, and I want to see him out there competing,” Coyle said. “Hopefully that will be real soon. Nothing is etched in stone going into the bye week in terms of who’s going to be up. Hopefully we are going to see more of him as we go forward.”

### Rookie linebacker Jelani Jenkins played 18 snaps Sunday (the only pass thrown in his coverage area was completed, for 8 yards), and Coyle said the Dolphins planned to use him even if Dannell Ellerbe hadn’t been limited to 16 snaps because of a shoulder injury.

"He’s been practicing really well,” Coyle said. “We think he’s a guy who is going to be able to see more time as the season progresses. We didn’t want to have to do it because of injury, but yet that was in the original plan.”

### Sherman defended the decision to spike the ball with over a minute left at the Baltimore 34, essentially wasting a first down play. Philbin said it was his decision to do that. “By spiking it, it gave us a chance to collect our thoughts," Sherman said. "We felt collectively that was the right thing to do.”

### Though Mike Pouncey was the only offensive lineman that didn’t allow a sack, PFF rated him the worst of the Dolphins’ five starting linemen for Sunday's game because of a very poor run-blocking grade. Besides giving up a sack, John Jerry also allowed four hurries. Martin and Clabo each gave up two sacks.

### The Dolphins have moved away from splitting playing time fairly evenly between Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Miller played 45 of the Dolphins’ 59 snaps Sunday, compared with 11 for Thomas. Marcus Thigpen played three.

As for the tight ends, Charles Clay logged 49, Dion Sims 11 and Michael Egnew 9.

### Good work defensively Sunday by Nolan Carroll; all five passes thrown in his coverage area were incomplete, though he also was charged with a questionable pass interference penalty. Brent Grimes, who spent a lot of the day shadowing Torrey Smith, allowed 5 of the 7 passes thrown against him to be completed, for 99 yards.

### Notable: Randy Starks (three QB hits, four hurries) and Philip Wheeler graded out the best of Dolphins defenders, according to PFF.... Tannehill was 7 for 11 for 116 yards when blitzed, and 14 of 29 for 191 yards when not blitzed.... Safety D.J. Campbell, who started four games for Carolina last season, was signed to the Dolphins' practice squad after an impressive workout Monday.


### In the Heat's win against Atlanta to open preseason Monday, Roger Mason Jr. took a solid first step in his bid for a roster spot, filling the boxscore with 14 points (3 for 4 on threes), six rebounds, four assists and a block in 27 minutes.

Because Mason and Michael Beasley don’t have guaranteed contracts, the Heat can keep both into January before deciding whether to keep either or both of them -– and thus guarantee their full salaries -– for the duration of the season.

### Beasley, who is somewhat limited by a calf injury, sat out –-- as did Greg Oden, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen. Dwyane Wade also sat out with what Erik Spoelstra termed “general leg soreness,” but it’s nothing serious. He has looked very good in camp.

### Chris Bosh stroked jumpers and flashed impressive spin moves en route to scoring 21 points (7 for 8 shooting) in 21 minutes.

### Eager to keep Ray Allen comfortable in his bench role, Spoelstra must decide whom to start this season when Wade is out –-- the role Mike Miller served last year during those occasional instances when he played at all. James Jones got that assignment Monday and scored six points, shooting 2 for 7. Mason and Rashard Lewis (11 points, 4 for 5 shooting) both shot well.

### Forward Eric Griffin’s athleticism is impressive -– he was the first player Mario Chalmers mentioned  last week when I asked who had impressed him –- but it’s difficult to see him sticking.

### Four-star North Carolina-based receiver Braxton Berrios, whom UM covets, announced he will choose among UM, Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee when he announces his decision at noon Saturday. UM also remains very much in the running for two other four-star receivers: Palm Beach Dwyer's Johnnie Dixon and Palm Beach Cardinal Newman's Travis Rudolph.

### Al Golden, speaking to WQAM’s Joe Rose today, about Seantrel Henderson, who is back after a one-game suspension: “We’re on the same page. I hope he takes ownership, is apologetic and contrite… It was a step backwards. In this particular instance, he wasn’t a great teammate.”

Buzz will return later this month. 


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Brian Kisch


Brian Kisch


Brian Kisch


Putney Swope


Based on my deep concerns regarding Barry's obvious kidnapping I have taken it upon myself to organize an elite team of bloggers to locate Barry, extricate him and punish his captors...this is top secret stuff!

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