After an intrasquad scrimmage, in which the Dolphins defense dominated the offense, is it too early to worry about the offense?
This past week, the Dolphins supposedly conducted an intrasquad scrimmage; this event went unseen by most, since bad weather caused the glorified practice to be held underneath the widely detested practice bubble, away from the view of disappointed fans who showed up to watch the event. Reports from those who witnessed the scrimmage indicate that the defense, particularly the defensive line, absolutely dominated the offense, with as many as four sacks being credited to the defense. The offense supposedly had only one first down.
Head coach, Adam Gase, the offensive mastermind, had to tip his cap to defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph, whose charges were able to get to the quarterbacks without much need to blitz, from both the base 4-3 defense as well as the “wide-9” front. Gase did not seem to be much interested in the wonderful performance of his defense, perhaps betraying that he is more emotionally invested in the offense, and his project, quarterback Ryan Tannehill. According to the Palm Beach Post, Tannehill threw 6 passes, and completed 4 of them, compiling 22 yards. The team rushed for 15 yards on 10 carries. What makes these stats seem especially pathetic (or exciting, from the defense’s perspective) is that the first team offense reportedly faced the second team defense. Gase described the offense as “sleepwalking” through the scrimmage.
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Perhaps the Dolphins should be concerned, but in my recollection, the defense usually is ahead of the offense at this point of the preseason. The practices so far and this scrimmage are really just auditions. NBA great Allen Iverson would certainly be amused over the handwringing that takes place on the part of fans who get overly invested in these practices. Since no Dolphins have been seriously injured so far (remember Yatil Green anyone?), we should just be satisfied that the coaches are pushing the team much harder than they were under Joe Philbin’s coaching staff, and that the defense may be special this year. And if Gase has his way, the offense will be right there with them once the games count.
The Dolphins are heading to my hometown of New York this week, to face the Giants on Friday, August 12th at 7PM, so the offense will soon get the opportunity to redeem themselves against former Dolphin, Olivier Vernon, and his new teammates. The last time these two teams played, in a Monday night game played in Miami on December 14, 2015, the Giants beat the Dolphins 31-24, according to the Pro Football Reference website. That game was memorable for being the first head to head matchup between former college teammates, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. While Landry had a pretty good game, “OBJ” was on fire that night, catching 7 catches for 166 yards, and two touchdowns, including an 84 yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter that sealed the victory.