Tag: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Dolphins with a strong first half, win 20-12 over the NY Jets

The golden arm.

The golden boy from SoCal.

Sam Darnold, the star in the making threw for over 300 yards, one touchdown and drove the Jets to three scores and still lost.

Oh Darnold is the real deal and he’ll be real good a year or two from now.

Probably playoff good.

However, the Dolphins didn’t want to see his potential today, but were on a mission to squash it.

The Miami Dolphins defense, taking up where they left off last year, forced a fumble, had two interceptions, and featured a defense that flew to the football.

Lead by Kiko Alonso, no one was safe in the middle of the field and with that spark, guys just went out and made plays.

Rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick made it hell for Darnold to complete passes deep and snuffed out the short passes and screens.

After a TJ McDonald interception and opportunistic return inside the 20, the Dolphins scored from six yards out as Kenyan Drake found a hole and powered to the end zone.

As the Dolphins took the first lead of the game, the turnover game became infectious as Kiko Alonso forced a fumble and Raekwon McMillan pounced on it.

On the ensuing drive, at the Jets 29 yard line, Tannehill with some serious pressure on the outside found Albert Wilson on a drag route and managed to juke his way past a diving Buster Skrine down the sideline for the score.

Dolphins up 14-0.

Jets 0.

Continue reading “Dolphins with a strong first half, win 20-12 over the NY Jets”

5 questions with Antwan Staley of USA Today’s Dolphins Wire

This week, we had an incredible opportunity to chat with Antwan Staley of Dolphins Wire, part of USA Today’s NFL team coverage.

On the eve of today’s game versus the Tennessee Titans, here’s what Antwan had to say about the Dolphins upcoming season:

FF: Who has been the most improved player on offense and defense heading into this season?

AS: On offense, that is hard to say considering the team’s first string had so limited work during the preseason. I know Kenyan Drake looked impressive but he also did at the end of last season.

Defensively, I would have to go with Vincent Taylor as he has grown so much since the team drafted him. I expect him to be a contributor stopping the run this year.

FF: Which rookie will have a lasting impact on the Dolphins season?

AS: Definitely, have to go with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Sure, Gesicki will flash at times and he could become a star, but I think Fitzpatrick could be a big-time player during the first game of the season.

FF: Where do you see Tannehill this season in terms of performance versus his 2016 campaign? What has changed since his injury?

AS: I still see Tannehill as the same quarterback that he was prior to the injury. Sure He may have some rustiness because he hasn’t played a regular season game in 21 months, but Tannehill can definitely return to the form that he was prior to the ACL injuries he suffered.

FF: Elaborate if you will about Coach Gase’s status beyond 2018. Is he safe if he doesn’t post a winning record?

AS: I believe Adam Gase will be back in 2019 barring a 3-13 or worst finish. Now if the Dolphins don’t get into the playoffs, Gase will definitely be on the hot seat entering the 2019 campaign as Stephen Ross is determined to turn the Dolphins into a winner. His patience is starting to run thin as it is as he questioned some of the moves Gase and the Dolphins front office made during the offseason.

FF: Finally: What’s your record prediction and why for the Miami Dolphins?

AS: I have the Dolphins going 7-9 this year. While I think Tannehill will be fine, they’re still too many questions on both sides of the ball. Not sure if the offensive line will be as good as people expect. Also, the Dolphins run defense appears it is going to be an issue all year with the absence of Suh. While it wouldn’t shock me to see the Dolphins win nine games, I think everything would need to go right for that to happen.

While I would predict 8-8, Antwan is correct in his prediction that the Dolphins will have to have a little luck in their side to eek out a few more wins.

We thank Antwan Staley for his time and conversation and be sure to follow Antwan @antwanstaley, catch him on the radio on WQAM Miami, and on various Miami Dolphins fansite podcasts.

Will anyone listen to coach Gase about his Dolphins?

The Miami Dolphins season is about to start and head coach Adam Gase is tired of saying how great his team is.

Gase finally feels, that after two seasons, he has the best team in the locker room, the field, and finally one that has guys that want to sleep less than he does by staying late and grinding.

While some NFL teams have made offseason moves and some splashy coaching hires, the Miami Dolphins added veterans that can start right away and mentor some of the younger talent that’s up and coming.

Gase went and got Frank Gore to mentor Kenyan Drake-not that Drake needs it, but I’m sure he will benefit from it as a starter and as he said early in the process-how to be a pro.

Danny Amendola was brought in to give Tannehill more options after the Dolphins traded Jarvis Landry.

Amendola brings a security check down all over the field. As long as he stays healthy, he’s dependable and he’ll mentor guys like Jakeem Grant-staying late and working at his craft.

In addition, Gase decided that the Dolphins would benefit from doing more with less by focusing on Davone Godchaux and Jordan Phillips as rotating defensive tackles while adding pieces to surround the middle-trading for Robert Quinn on the outside. Suh who?

However, the big question remains: Have the Dolphins improved?

If there is any indication of improvement-nothing is more evident than the play of Ryan Tannehill this preseason who has shown a comfort with all of his receivers.

No longer are people-fans and pundits alike worried about his health, but about how high is his ceiling.

With Adam Gase singing his praise and the front office not drafting a quarterback, but a jack of all trades defensive player in Minkah Fitzpatrick, it’s no secret this is Tannehill’s type of team and he is their leader.

I truly believe Tannehill will have to play well-above his 2016 season averages before the injury and be more consistent-making better reads and making better throws.

Tannehill, in a sense has to play better in weeks 1-4 to give the Dolphins a strong chance to be a contender down the stretch.

We need to see a complete body of work from Ryan Tannehill and Gase believing in him could demonstrate a strong playoff push come December.

While Gase hasn’t earned anything yet other than a 16-16 record, a playoff appearance in 2016 with two quarterbacks and a stellar running game, 2018 gives Gase a chance to finally cement his blue print off the field to become the standard on the field.

The bar is set high for Gase in his mind-the Dolphins identity hinges on early success.

A fight to the finish-the Dolphins are all about finding a way to finish and finishing strong.

Their identity should be more than apparent-always grinding, just like their coach even if there are those who don’t believe him just yet.

Photo Credit: Sun-Sentinel