Note: We'll be updating this blog with Dolphins news and press conference comments throughout the day.
First, a look at the six roster moves today:
The Dolphins have added undrafted Purdue rookie running back/kickoff returner Raheem Mostert from Philadelphia's practice squad, according to his agent, Brett Tessler. Mostert averaged 26 yards per return on 88 kickoff returns in his college career, including a nation-lead 33.5 yards per return as a freshman in 2012.
Mostert has a very good chance to be the Dolphins' kick returner Sunday if he performs well in practice. He replaces LaMike James, who was cut earlier today after fumbling a kickoff on Sunday.
Mostert averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 136 career rushing attempts at Purdue, including 5.7 last season.
He led the NFL in total yards in preseason for the Eagles and averaged 32.4 yards on five kickoff returns.
The Dolphins cut Jonas Gray to make room for Moshert, but Gray will be re-signed to the practice squad, according to agent Sean Stellato.
To replace James, the Dolphins promoted tight end Jake Stoneburner from the practice squad.
The Dolphins need a second healthy tight end on the roster, to supplement starter Jordan Cameron, because Dion Sims sustained a concussion early in Sunday's game. Joe Philbin said it is too early to know how long Sims will be out. He must pass the NFL's concussion protocol to be cleared to play.
Stoneburner, who was released in the last round of cuts, "is smart, can do a lot of different things," Philbin said. "Knows the offense well. Has good hands. Catches the ball well."
James and Jarvis Landry were involved in an altercation at the start of a special teams meeting last week (please see the last blog for our scoop on that), but Philbin said nothing off-field figured into the decision to release James.
Landry, who scored on a 69-yard punt return on Sunday, is expected to continue handling punts.
Miami also cut guard Sam Brenner, who was on the 53-man roster, and re-signed Jacques McClendon, who had been released on Friday for financial reasons.
The Dolphins would have been obligated to pay McClendon his entire $745,000 salary this season if he had been on the roster at 4 p.m. Saturday. Now, if he's cut again, he won't be paid for anything more after that point.
Brenner will return to the Dolphins' practice squad if he's not claimed by another team off waivers.
### Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said middle linebacker is now an open competition between Kelvin Sheppard and undrafted rookie Zach Vigil. Both played 19 snaps Sunday, by design.
"We felt they both did a lot of good things in preseason," Coyle said today. "We let them know they both would be sharing time. They split the number of reps. Both did a good job. We’re building some depth there. a veteran player that played well and a young player that hung tough. We will play the best players as the season involves. We will give them a chance to establish who may be the starter."
### Ndamukong Suh had two tackles in his first game and Coyle said "he can play better. He knows that. He was amped up, wanting to really do well, took him a little to get settled down. They tried to scheme us. They didn’t run at Ndamukong. They ran away and when they did they had people down on his legs, cutting and chopping him. As the game wore on, he did better."
### Reshad Jones, who missed a few plays late in the game with a hamstring injury, said he's feeling fine.
### It's too early to tell if Olivier Vernon will miss time with an ankle injury. He wasn't at full strength Monday but wasn't wearing a boot, either.
"He got leg whipped in the shin," Coyle said. "As he tried to maintain his balance, his foot hit a strange way. He’s a tough guy and wanted to come back out there but we could see he wasn’t himself."
### Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor blamed himself for Miami's red zone delay of game penalty that pushed the Dolphins back to the 10 yard line on a third down in the second half. The Dolphins had to settle for a field goal. Lazor said he didn't get the play in quickly enough.
### DeVante Parker, coming off June foot surgery, played only one snap. What does Philbin need to see from Parker to incorporate him more in the game plan?
"That comfort level for everybody, for him for us," Philbin said. "That rhythm, the anticipation, trust versus certain coverages. He’s moving better and better each time he’s on the field."
### Lazor said Rishard Matthews "earned" his starting job. But he also said he wishes Kenny Stills had played more than his 23 snaps. Matthews had 45. (See below more snap count info.)
### Coyle, on his run defense Sunday:
"There were a lot of little things we need to address. Part of it was the anxiousness to go out there the first game. Sometimes you can overdo some things. We’ve got to get off blocks. They did a good job on the backside of plays --- low blocking, chop blocking, cut blocking on the backside of plays and we didn’t play that very well in the first half.
There were way too many 5 yard runs, 6 yard runs and we didn’t tackle as well. There were times we made [contact] after 3 yards, and he squirmed and it was second and four instead of second and seven. We’ve got to play better across the board. Our players know that. We’ve got our share of [improvements] to make."
### Philbin said Branden Albert, playing for the first time since a major knee injury last November, showed a little "rust" but "I was encouraged by his movement."
11 a.m. report: The Dolphins presumed Ndamukong Suh would be the panacea for a run defense that relinquished 121 yards per game last season (24th in the league) and a gruesome 165 yards per game over the final six.
Suh’s presence assuredly will help, but the Dolphins’ run defense Sunday in Washington wasn’t remotely better than a year ago.
The Dolphins were steamrolled for 161 yards on the ground, more than twice as many as the 69 yards rushing per game that the Suh-led Lions allowed last season on average, a figure that led the league. Of the 28 NFL teams that began their seasons before Monday night, only Green Bay permitted more yards on the ground than Miami in Week 1.
There were myriad issues Sunday which led to the Redskins averaging 4.4 yards per carry (seventh-worst among teams that had played a game before Monday): Defensive linemen sealed off on blocks, uninspired middle linebacker play, missed tackles, among others. On multiple occasions, the Dolphins were victimized by legal cut blocks, in which offensive linemen hit a players’ knees.
The Redskins had 15 rushing attempts that gained five yards or more, which is unacceptably high from Miami’s perspective.
A review of the tape showed that nine of those 15 went to the opposite side of Suh, who was double-teamed at times. Another happened with Suh out of the game and another was a sweep to Suh’s side, but far enough away from Suh that he wouldn’t have been expected to make the tackle.
That means four of 15 runs that gained five or more yards were run in the general area of Suh. On one of them, a six-yard gain by Alfred Morris, Suh was tossed to the ground and Reshad Jones missed a tackle. On two other six-yard runs by Morris, Suh was simply sealed off, rendered a non-factor on the play because of good blocking. Middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard was in position to make the tackle but couldn’t on one of those two plays. And on the fourth, a third-and long, Matt Jones ripped off eight yards, with Suh blocked effectively and Cameron Wake missing a tackle.
But what about the other 11 runs of five yards or more? Examining those:
### On the run with Suh out of the game, CJ Mosley couldn’t dislodge quickly enough from a block, and Morris gained six yards.
### On the sweep to Suh’s side (a five-yard run by Jones), Wake was sealed off and Jelani Jenkins missed a tackle.
### On the nine runs of five yards or more that were run to the side opposite of Suh, several factors contributed. Earl Mitchell couldn’t dislodge from blocks on five of those plays, was tossed to the ground on another and simply ran by the play on another.
Olivier Vernon also was sealed off on four of those five plays, and Terrence Fede couldn’t get free from a block on two others. Zach Vigil took a poor angle on one of those plays, an 11-yard run. Jordan Phillips couldn’t dislodge quickly enough on one of those plays, a 10-yard run by Morris.
Nine of the 15 runs of five yards or more happened in the first half. The run defense was somewhat better in the second half, but the Redskins sill ran for 67 yards in the second half. The good news: The Dolphins held the Redskins scoreless in the second half, and that's the most significant statistic.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
### The Dolphins made an NFL-high 68 trips inside the red zone last season but scored touchdowns only 51 percent of the time, ranking 21st in the league.
The Dolphins’ red zone work was even worse on Sunday, with Miami scoring 10 points on three trips inside the Redskins’ 20.
On Miami’s first sojourn inside the 20, Damien Williams was stopped short on a fourth and 1 when Ryan Kerrigan ran unabated to tackle him and Dallas Thomas couldn’t hold a block on Jason Hatcher.
The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their second trip inside the red zone, on Ryan Tannehill’s four-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews.
But on their third trip inside the Redskins’ 20, Miami had to settle for a field goal even after having a first and goal from the 3. Tannehill was largely to blame for that. Flushed from the pocket, he unwisely threw a short pass to Jarvis Landry – which lost seven yards – instead of throwing it away. After Tannehill ran for five yards on the next play, Miami had a delay of game penalty, pushing the ball back to the 10. On third and goal, Tannehill threw a short pass to Landry, which took the ball to the three. Miami then settled for Andrew Franks' field goal to tie the score at 10.
### Notable offensive snap counts: Every starting offensive lineman played all 57 snaps except Branden Albert, who missed two plays after sustaining a blow to the head. Doctors determined he did not have a concussion and he returned to the game…
With Dion Sims limited to three snaps because of a concussion, Jordan Cameron played 56 of 57 snaps and offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach played seven snaps, five of them at tight end.
Among receivers, Jarvis Landry played 54 of the 57 snaps, Rishard Matthews 45, Greg Jennings 39, Kenny Stills 23 and DeVante Parker just one.
Among running backs, Lamar Miller had 46 snaps, Damien Williams 13.
### From Pro Football Focus’ grading of the game: Though he appeared to play decently, right guard Jamil Douglas was given Miami’s worst grade, a minus 4.7. Right tackle Ju’Wuan James was given Miami’s best grade (a plus 2.2)….
PFF said Dallas Thomas allowed two of the Redskins’ four sacks. Mike Pouncey yielded one and Tannehill also allowed one by taking too much time to throw…
On throws of 20 yards or more, Tannehill was 2 for 6 for 54 yards. Cameron’s diving catch accounted for part of that yardage…
Tannehill was 5 for 6 for 34 yards when blitzed (129.9 rating) and 17 for 28 for 192 yards (81.2 rating) when he wasn’t.
### Landry was targeted the most of any Dolphins receiver and caught 8 of 12 balls thrown to him for 53 yards. Matthews was thrown five passes and caught four for 34 yards, dropping the other.
Jennings and Stills were each targeted three times, with Jennings catching one and Stills catching one (Tannehill misfired on a potential TD thrown to Stills).
### Notable defensive snap counts: Brent Grimes, Brice McCain and Jelani Jenkins played all 79 defensive snaps. Among Miami’s safeties, Reshad Jones missed four snaps because of a hamstring injury late in the game. Walt Aikens played 60 and Michael Thomas 23….
The Dolphins used only three cornerbacks on defense, with Jamar Taylor logging 46 snaps as the third corner….
The Dolphins split middle linebacker snaps evenly between Sheppard and Vigil, with each logging 19 snaps. Koa Misi played 73 of Miami’s 79 snaps and Spencer Paysinger played one snap…
Suh, who played 82 percent of the Lions’ defensive snaps last season, played 85 percent Sunday (67 of 79). Mitchell also played 67, CJ Mosley 12 and Jordan Phillips 11….
Among defensive ends, Wake played 58, Vernon 30 (he missed a lot of time with an ankle injury), Fede 38 and Derrick Shelby 33.
### From PFF’s grading of the game: PFF gave Suh a minus .1…. Vernon had PFF’s worst grade for a Dolphins defender (minus 3.5)… Grimes had the best grade (2.6)… PFF gave Sheppard and Vigil the same grade --- minus .3.
### Taylor was targeted eight times and allowed seven completions, for 54 yards… McCain allowed three of four passes thrown against him to be caught for 49 yards but also made spectacular interception… Grimes was very good (two of five completed against him, for 22 yards, and an interception)… According to PFF, Miami’s safeties allowed only six yards of completions against them. Outstanding.
### NBC made a big deal of Ndamukong Suh grazing the head of Alfred Morris when Suh got up off the ground after tackling Morris, with Mike Florio suggesting that Suh could be suspended.
But the NFL said Monday that Suh did nothing wrong and won’t face any disciplinary action. Michael Signora told our Adam Beasley that the play was reviewed by the league’s senior football operations staff and “while there was contact between the players, Suh’s action was not deemed a kick.”
Please check back after 3 p.m. for highlights from the Dolphins coordinators' mid-afternoon press conferences.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz