Despite grabbing the first preseason win of head coach Joe Philbin’s tenure with the Miami Dolphins (pause for parade), there are a few things fans and critics a like have to remember: we’re not there yet, but we’re moving.
This train is moving and it’s moving in the right direction.
The starting offense had a slow start against Jacksonville — taking three series for quarterback Ryan Tannehill to move the ball — but it eventually happened. Tannehill made some big time throws to tight end Dustin Keller. That means the throws are there.
Watching Chad Henne play for the Jaguars — and his constant check downs down the field amongst other issues — remind us how far we’ve come. Remember when the Dolphins would have a chance for one last drive and Henne would lead us to the center of the field instead of the sidelines? Yeah well he did it again last night for Jacksonville. Just remember where we were a few years ago.
It has been slow, it has been painful, and it has often not been fun, but we’re moving. All aboard the aqua and orange train because we’re moving.
Some will argue the offense wasn’t clicking, others will point to the shaky offensive line (I too point to that), and the national media worries about the $60 million man in wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Wallace has yet to record a catch in preseason play and reports from training camp say that Tannehill just connected on a long 40-yard TD pass with Wallace late last week. Critics say: after several weeks of practice they just connected? One long TD pass is only a few practices away from many long TD passes.
What do these things tell us? They tell us that we’re close. The big chunk yardage plays are on the horizon and the offense is slowly progressing. The offensive line — though nothing to write home about on Friday — showed improvement from the first preseason game against Dallas.
Keller appears to be the safety blanket tight ends are always meant to be. Running back Lamar Miller has had limited action, but has been solid in his opportunities. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but things are coming together.
It’s also important to remember that offenses always take longer to click and find a rhythm than defenses. Ah and the defense—the biggest reason for the optimism.
Despite only a few snaps, with the starters against Jacksonville, it’s clear that this unit is the real deal. They looked great and there was already a huge tackling improvement from the first preseason game to the second.
Soon the offense will catch up to the defense and all our hope will be placed on offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and what he can do with his long time student, Ryan Tannehill, and the pieces the organization has positioned around him. Give it time everyone, but in the mean time take a breath because this train is going to the right place.
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