5 things to watch from Miami Dolphins on Sunday

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Aug 29, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen (37) tackles Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


Talented? Yes. Fast? Yes. Needs to do more? Absolutely. Last week Ryan Tannehill missed an open Kenny Stills on a deep pass but the Dolphins need to get him far more involved in the normal offense. Teams won’t consider Stills a threat until the Dolphins start making him one. Week one was rather disappointing for Stills who managed to catch only one pass. Stills entered the game as the 4th wide-receiver behind Rishard Matthews on the outside. Many believed that this was going to be the case given Still’s absence from most of training camp but 23 snaps for a 4th wide-receiver is still a lot and he wasn’t impressive.

Stills needs to find the chemistry with his quarterback for one but he also needs to do more with breaking his routes to create a throwing lane and space. He can’t simply be a deep ball threat or teams will not respect him underneath. With the protections problems Miami has, waiting for Stills to break open downfield isn’t going to be an option all the time. Add to that Tannehill’s struggles with the deep ball and Stills isn’t going to see many passes.


Overall the Dolphins wide-receivers were simply o.k. Jarvis Landry caught eight passes but didn’t reach the end zone offensively and while Rishard Matthews did get into the end zone he also dropped two very catchable balls in open space. Greg Jennings looked o.k. and was targeted only three times but he caught all the passes. Jennings isn’t the same receiver he used to be but he may be the best route runner the Dolphins have, including Landry.

The Dolphins may get more out of first round pick DeVante Parker this week. He was on the field for one snap last week but wasn’t thrown to. Parker is still learning the defensive reads and the system so his progress is going to have ups and downs but he has to get on the field first. The Dolphins will employ another set of Matthews, Jennings, Stills, and Landry against the Jaguars on Sunday and they need to play a bigger role in the offense.

Tannehill completed 16 of his 22 passes to receivers last Sunday and the rest went to either Jordan Cameron or the running backs. Miami needs to get their receivers more involved. While 16 isn’t a bad number it’s the where the throws were made that is the problem. Consider that Landry caught eight of those 16 and Matthews caught four.