Game 1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Phllip Livas provided spark in the return game.  The 5’7″ and 179 pound rookie WR out of Louisiana Tech was quick and agile and was not afraid to make contact — he didn’t run out of bounds like someone I remember.  He returned a punt for a 75 yard TD.  I hope that he gets to handle most of the kicks in the next game to see more of his stuff.

A.J. Edds had a good game at ILB.  After missing rookie season last year due to an injury, Edds produced six tackles and one sack.  He mostly played on the second team defense, but A.J. appears to have a bright future.  I hope he gets some time with the first team defense along side of Dansby.  The Phins could use the help.

Jimmy Wilson had a good game at DB.  The 5’11″ and 185 pound rookie out of Montana seemed to be all over the field with some highlight hits.  He had four tackles and one sack largely playing on the third team defense.  I hope he gets some time with the first team defense at safety.  The Phins could really use the help there.

Matt Moore had a good game at QB.  However, I don’t think we have a QB controversy — not yet.  Moore played well with respectable numbers — 11 out of 18 for 123 yards (61.8%) with 2 TDs and 1 INT.  Mostly, he was running for his life because of poor OL play.  But, he threw the ball downfield putting his WRs in good position to make good YACs.  He brought the team back for the victory.

THE BAD

First team ILBs could not make any plays to stop the Falcons running game on their second drive.  They did not fill the holes opened up in the DL.  FA acquisition Kevin Burnett had no tackles and Dansby only had two.  I hope this was just an indication that Dansby and Burnett need some time to develop some chemistry. 

First team DBs could not make any plays to stop the Falcons passing attack on their second drive.  I saw Vonte Davis on several plays lazily jogging after WRs who were making YACs.  The Falcons gained a lot of YACs.  I hope Mike Nolan lights a fire under some of their butts.

THE UGLY

Chad Henne was, well, he was the same old Chad Henne.  Out of his first four passes, he completed one to a Dolphin and two to Falcons.  Many analysts say that the first INT was not his fault — Fasano should have caught the ball.  I did not see it that way.  It was typical Henne not properly leading his receiver — there was space and a passing lane to do so.  I noted that, out of almost all of his eight passing attempts, Henne was fixed on the primarly target — he twittered the defense where he was going with the ball — typical Henne.  On his second interception, he was fixed on Bess from the snap of the ball.  Bess was double covered, while Wallace on the other side of the field was in single coverage.  I really wonder if Henne will ever learn how to properly lead receivers and consistently look off coverage.

All Offensive Lineman played awful — seemed like none of them were noteworthy of positive play.  Tony Sparano, the supposed guru of the offensive line, has put together another group of guys that cannot open any holes for the RBs.  I felt sorry for all the Dolphin RBs who literally had nowhere to run.  I wrote many articles during the NFL Draft about the Dolphins taking a left guard like Moffitt or even Boren.  Or, the Dolphins need to go out and acquire a top notch FA.  But, no!  Sparano chose to get tackles — a Cowboy retread and an often injured Seahawk.  Believe it or not, the only guard the Dolphins acquired was a UFAR who they immediately put on the PUP list because of offseason surgery.  I just don’t understand why Jeff Ireland doesn’t go out and get a top notch guard.  We have needed one for years.  Let’s hope that Jake Long comes off the PUP list in a hurry to add some sense of leadership to the OL.

The first pre-season game raised more questions, than provided answers.  The Dolphins have a lot of work to do.  I sincerely hope they find some answers real quick.  There are many tools in the box for the Dolphins to have a good season.  I think all they need to find is decent QB play and dominating play at left guard.

 

What’s your thoughts on the first game?

 

 

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Topics: A.J.Edds, Anthony Fasano, Atlanta Falcons, Chad Henne, Jake Long, Jeff Ireland, Jimmy Wilson, Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins, NFL, NFL Free Agency, Phillip LIvas, Tony Sparano, Vonte Davis

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  • fins4ever

    I would not call Tony Sparano a guru of anything. The only time the o line was decent was before he started tinkering with it. It has been downhill ever since.

    If this guy is a guru of the o line, I am the second coming of Jesus Christ!

  • stevehoffart

    I saw some good signs from Donald Thomas. Although it was hard to see any dynamic running because of the poor O-Line play and the fact he only carried 4 times. He did hit the line hard, no dancing a la Ronnie Brown.

    Gates looked pretty good in limited action, Edds did look great, and Trusnik had some bounce in his game.

    I do have to say that, although I know the most of the Phin writers here have a hate on for Henne, Fasano most definitely should have caught that ball. I’m not concerned about his timing in terms of leading the receivers, 1st game! You did mention he locks on a target early and you nailed that. He stares down every throw like he only has one receiver. That will need to improve, but I will wait for Game 1 when he will again have 0TD and 0INT.

  • fins4ever

    The support for Henne on most any sites are pretty evenly split. You either have faith or not. For me, I do, but he really needs to stop locking in on one guy or he will never develop into anything except an interception machine.

  • Henneneedstime

    Let’s settle down on Henne staring down receivers. He was missing his biggest and security blanket in Marshall. Wait until r. Bush steps in and all the defensive schemes have to Acct for him. One thing that was not mentioned is that dolphins seem to have 5 or 6 recievers that are all ready to make plays this year. Give Henne some time with the new offense and insert Reggie you will see a different Henne.

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  • phinfandan

    I’m all for not making any rash decisions after the 1st preseason game, but let’s be honest with ourselves. All you hear about from the coaches is how he has studied the playbook, coordinated all of the practices during the lock out and was becoming a go to man for all the answers from his team mates. Someone explain to me how a QB with only a week of knowledge of the playbook out played him or played him even depending on your take. I’m not calling for him to be removed yet or that all of a sudden Matt Moore should be splitting reps, but I expected more from Henne.

    I’ll admit that on some plays we can’t tell 100% if it was Henne or a receivers fault. I just feel that he is zooming in on his targets and everyone can see it. He really does need to work on that. What I did like from the game was that they were attacking the defense and stretching the field albeit the 2nd or 3rd stringers.

    The real bright spot was Livas. Every time he touched the ball he exploded. I really hope he has a good camp and makes the 53. I also hope to see all of the starters next week for a couple of quarters. i want to see what we can do when we have a real game plan and all of our weapons on the field. Hopefully Jake can make into a game before the regular season starts. I do feel that all of the backs we have can make a real difference as well. Go Dolphins!!!!!

  • Lespaul

    Great assessment and mostly on point with what I saw. I would also add that Odrick looked OK, but really got pushed around. He did make one nice tackle for a loss. The middle of the D got man handled. Thats not good considering the way this division runs the ball. Looks like the Patriots have a very nice ground game in the works. The o-line was definitely the weakest spot and will crush this team if they do not get it fixed. Given the talent in the division I see the Dolphins competing for third place. I just cannot see them winning the division and depending on how well Sanchez plays, the Fins are in for a rough year at keeping the third place spot. We already know what type of QB Henne is and will become. He has a college record and 3+ years of NFL experience that paints this picture quite clear. The INT’s are self made and were what kept him from winning at Michigan and will be what keeps him from winning in Miami. Everything I see is in his head and how he reads the field and processes it. This may never work out for him and he may never catch on. The brain trust in Miami should have picked Mallet for insurance and trade value if it came down to it. Not having confidence in a starting qb that can WIN may well have doomed this team for this year.