Long Way From Ready


Earlier tonight the Miami Dolphins took the field for the first time in 2010. Just before kick-off the sky decided it wanted a piece of the evening as it unleashed a deluge. As I sit here heading back to Orlando, my clothes still keep me damp. Much like the rain, the Phins 1st outing left me rahter cold as well. Pre-season or not, the Phins have a long way to go.

For the most part the on-field action occurred at the opposite end of the field so only after a replay of my DVR can I be for certain regarding what I am about to write about this game.

At first glance the defense seemed sluggish and often out of position. While the team looked good on downs one and two they once again fell flat on third down and had many fans hoping that had not seen any part of Mike Nolans’ vaunted defense.

While Miami caused a few turnovers don’t let that stat fool you. The rain kept the field moist even after it had stopped for good and the infield mud pit did it’s share trouble making. Aside from the Sean Smith INT, the fumble recoveries were nothing special outside of raising the fans to their feet a few times.

Starting on the offensive side of the ball it was easy to see who fell the hardest. Brandon Marshall looked horribly and he dropped two passes that were very well placed by Chad Henne. If Marshall was the ugly step child then Patrick Turner turned into the swan. Turner exploded tonight for the first time and while it’s pre-season, it confirms the reports from training camp. Turner is turning heads and fans cheered.

To me Turner put in a very solid performance. Catching some very good passes it was the way he attacked off the LOS that was impressive not allowing the corner to own him at the line. In addition Brian Hartline showed enough to fans to allow them to believe he will be as good in year two.

At QB both Henne and Thigpen left plays on the table. Henne didn’t play long enough to get a sense of his development but he still has little “touch” on touch passes. For his part Thigpen missed and missed often. On what easily could have been the biggest gain of the night , he missed a wide open Patrick Turner when the ball flew behind the receiver.

I can’t talk about the running game or offensive line because as stated above it was too far away to really form an opinion.
Defensively, most fans found themselves praying that was not Nolans’ defense. Too many big plays and too many potential big plays. Still, there were some bright spots.

Nolan Carroll is going to be a steal in this draft. He is good. Koa Misi needs to get to the QB, and the Dolphins front line line on D needs to do a better job of containing the QB. Way too much time in the pocket and allowing the QB to get outside extends the play far too many times, leading to first downs and extended drives.

For their part the safeties performed well in coverage but the secondary as a whole really seemed out of sink. Sean Smith took in an errant throw for an INT but that was the only real highlight outside of everything Nolan Carroll did.

Oddly missing was Karlos Dansby who’s name I don’t recall hearing. I will have to check on that. I did hear the name of Austin Spitler quite a bit.

All in all, it was a good win regardless of how ugly it was. For now I’m too tired to write or for that matter run spell checker. So I will leave the rest for another day! Hopefully a dry one because yes, I am still damp.