Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat Devlin (7) throws against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins’ Pat Devlin Delivers


The Miami Dolphins had their ups and downs last night, and displayed jitters and mistakes that are to be expected in the first preseason game of the year.  While the game does not count towards Miami’s 2013-2014 campaign, it would be foolish to say that yesterday’s game, or preseason games in general, do not matter.  For the coaches it is a way to try new formations and groups of players together to see who works best as a unit (like the offensive line).  For the starters it is about warming up the gears and beginning to start thinking in the football mindset again.  For the players on the fringe of making the 53 man roster, it is a chance to prove themselves worthy and to separate themselves from each other to impress the coaching staff.   And for fans and amateur analysts, it is about evaluating each and every aspect of the game and hopefully spotting a diamond in the preseason rough.  Last night, third string QB Pat Devlin was my diamond.

Recently, I wrote an article praising QB Matt Moore for being one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks.  Yes, Moore struggled last night, but he was also playing with Miami’s second and third string linemen.  Seeing that Miami has enough issues with their starting five anchors (Pouncey and Incognito excluded), I think we should give Moore a break on this one.  Furthermore, after what I saw last night, I believe the Dolphins have one of the league’s best third-string quarterbacks in Devlin.

Devlin patiently waited until the second half to play but ended up playing the majority of the half.   He completed 8 of his 13 passes for 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions.  By no means incredible numbers, but not bad for a little under two quarters.  The stat that sticks out the most to me was Devlin’s 0 interceptions, meaning he took care of the ball.  Devlin’s one really bad throw of the night came on a fade to WR Chad Bumphis on the right sideline in Cowboy territory.  Devlin overthrew Bumphis (who should have been running harder to make a play on the ball) and the ball was intercepted out of bounds by DB Micah Pellerin.

Besides that one slip up, Devlin was all professional.  He showed the intangibles needed to be a starting NFL quarterback in this league.  He quickly progressed through his reads, checked down if everything else was covered, and most importantly he felt pressure and stepped up in the pocket.  On one play, Devlin failed to find an open receiver, felt the pocket collapsing, and took off up the middle for a 14 yard pickup and a Miami first down.  It is awareness and intelligence that make NFL quarterbacks great, and Devlin showed both of these attributes last night.

Devlin also threw Miami’s lone touchdown of the game to WR Keenan Davis. On 4th and Goal from the Dallas 5 yard line, Devlin fired a bullet to Davis on a slant.  The timing and accuracy of the throw could not have been more perfect, and Devlin hit Davis right on the chest.  The play was one of the highlights of the game in my opinion, and capped off a beautifully engineered drive by Miami’s young gunslinger.

It is easy to use the first preseason game to complain about a team’s problems, or to simply say “It’s preseason, it doesn’t even matter.”  But in reality there is too much going on not to watch.  It is the one chance for fans to watch hungry young players battle it out for a roster spot before being shipped off to another city to fight for a spot on another team.  It is an opportunity to observe a Division III quarterback from Monmouth College, only to learn that he holds the NCAA record for all time career passing touchdowns and is a YouTube sensation.  It is also a chance to see the future of an organization.  Yes, Matt Moore just signed a two year extension and is still one of the best backup QB’s in the league with tons of experience as a starter.  Yes, Pat Devlin is still maturing and has yet to play a snap with the first string.  Yes, this is Ryan Tannehill’s team and will remain his team throughout his time in Miami.  But all of that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these next four preseason games watching my diamond shine.



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Tags: Miami Dolphins Pat Devlin

  • Trevor O’Connell

    Agree with you on this, I’ve liked devlins accuracy from the start and his arm strength is coming along nicely.

    • Eric Roddy

      Devlin looked pretty darn good last night. Wish we could see him with the first team against a first team defense to see how he would do. Almost zero doubt in my mind he will be a backup or starter next season somewhere. Thanks for the read and comment Trevor

  • gofins60

    This game was the first time that I was able to see Devlin play, and I like him better than Moore. Moore is a good back-up, but IMO will never be a good starting QB.

    • Eric Roddy

      At this point, the only thing Moore has that Devlin doesnt is real in game experience when it counts. Miami is blessed to have 3 able quarterbacks. If only we had the bodies needed to protect them. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • James Johnston

        While there is no real game time to compare, Matt Moore does not SEEM to throw as many interceptions. Agreed Devlin plays with 3rd and 4th stringers, but his interceptions during practice (and we saw a glimpse of this during the game) are concernging to me. Other intangibles seem to be great with Devlin. I feel Devlin is a great 3rd but second, I am not so sure just yet. I guess we are lucky to be in this position of QB depth.

        • Eric Roddy

          Matt Moore at best is a great game manager. He does not have the arm strength or throwing repertoire to be a GREAT quarterback. But when you’re starting QB goes down, it doesn’t hurt to have a great game manager which is exactly what the coaching staff adjusts to in that crisis. Devlin has the potential to move past being a game manager with the risk of throwing picks. It just happens, look at Bradford and Romo. They are game-winners who throw at least a pick a game. Thanks for commenting and reading James! fins up!

    • Paulmatthew22

      I liked Devlin alott more also,.Matt Moore fumbled a snap on 3rd down ruining a drive I believe that Devlin would have fared better in,.I have never been a Matt Moore fan,.He doesnt move well at all,.That was painfully obvious when he rolled out at the 5 yd line and took a sack back to the 20 yd line

      • Eric Roddy

        Moore’s movement may not be as bad as you think. Granted, he had an awful couple plays on Sunday night but you have to remember that offensive line he is playing with isn’t even as good as our first string (which is already subpar). Give Moore time to get the gears going. thanks for commenting!

  • Tom Gervais Cayley

    Moore didn’t look to struggle to me. 280 plus yards and a td. The pick should have been caught it hit bumphis in both hands.

    • Tom Gervais Cayley

      Devlin is no where near as good as Moore . That being said he had a solid outing vs 4th stringers yes

      • Eric Roddy

        I agree with you Tom, Devlin isn’t as good as Moore. Moore has had WAY more experience than Devlin probably ever will in his career. But as a backup, I think Devlin is the answer after this year. As for Moore’s pic last night, that’s been the story of this franchise for the past 5 years. Wide Receivers dropping perfectly good passes ha! Thanks for reading and commenting

  • Trevor O’Connell

    Just got done re-watching the first half, as I suspected it wasn’t as bad as some were reporting. The zone scheme is coming along everybody’s getting to the second level, but the guys left behind 1on1 aren’t holding their blocks very well yet.
    Miller is awesome, simms has potential, tannehill didn’t play bad 2 of his Inc. Looked like a drop and a bad read by the receiver. Pass pro looks Ok except for Thomas who looks a bit flat footed.
    The fins had 76 offensive plays to the cowboys 53.
    24 first downs to 17
    Both teams were as bad as each other on third downs and miami had 31 mins possession, 421 yards to 266 for the cowboys.
    Apart from the two turnovers and good movement against miami’s DT’s which allowed them to run well, the cowboys did not have a good day against miami in my opinion!
    Clean up a few things and win the turnover battle and we could have ourselves a decent team here.

    • Eric Roddy

      Last night as I was watching I was thrilled with everyone except Dallas
      Thomas, but he’s a rookie who was playing out of position. Lots to look forward to this year!

  • tpl

    It’ll be interesting to see if Devlin beats out Moore for the backup QB job. Reports are Philbin likes Devlin.

    • Eric Roddy

      It also doesn’t hurt that moore is way more expensive than Devlin haha. I think we can expect to see Devlin as a backup either next year or year free next when moored deal is over

      • tpl

        I’m hoping Devlin gets some time Friday with the second string offense. Maybe Miami can trade moore if Devlin beats him out.

        • Eric Roddy

          Well said, only time will tell. I’d like to get at least a third or fourth round or maybe a veteran tackle!

  • Andrew Austin

    Wow! This article was just cute! you’re a very talented writer though!