Tag: Robert Quinn

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

It’s just the preseason: Dolphins fall to Buccaneers 26-24

It’s just the preseason and worrying about anything that happened tonight in Miami Gardens is just that-it’s nothing.

Fans of the Dolphins are a passionate bunch and live and die with every snap of the football and sometimes they have a snap judgement or two. With 50,000 tickets sold, where did the fans go? It looked like only 20,000 showed up.

Surely, the Dolphins almost persevered 24-23, but the Dolphins reserves-numbers 75-90 on the roster had other plans and allowed a late game deciding drive resulting in a go-ahead late field goal.

Big highlights from tonight:

Ryan Tannehill can move in and out of the pocket rolling right and throwing with the same zip we saw at the end of his 2016 season. Tannehill finished 4 of 6 and led the Dolphins on a drive stalled by penalties and dropped passes. As Travis Wingfield of Locked on Dolphins, pointed out on Twitter-we can see Tannehill “climb the pocket” and get out of harms way.

However, what we saw of Tannehill was promising and it seemed like he was in sync with Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, and Kenyan Drake.

Things look promising and as the preseason gathers steam into the season, this game was a positive stepping stone to the future of the Dolphins offense, but Tannehill has to find a way to build on tonight and lead his offense-he needs to bang the table and demand the best from them.

Next, rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is the real deal and his range is incredible as a safety. Tonight, he showed what he can do by making tackles and breaking up passes. If DC Matt Burke can get Reshad Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the field at the same time, that would be huge for this defense and make teams run the ball instead of trying to throw deep. The Dolphins have linebackers that want to go to the ball and that could serve them well.

In terms of the backup QB job, Bryce Petty put himself in the conversation with some good touch and a touchdown drive where he found Isaiah Ford-Ford looked good, but he’s so far down the depth chart. Perhaps Gase and Co. put something together for him with the 1s in the next game. David Fales continued the steady climb to earning Gase’s trust with being the backup to Tannehill. Brock Osweiler on the other hand, he failed on so many levels going 10 of 21 and had several passes batted down at the line. Almost laughable.

However, defensively when Jordan Phillips and Davon Godchaux are battling for the DT starting job, you need to see a little more surrounding them. It seems like DE Jonathan Woodard showed something getting after the QB.

If I’m the coaches, I like the look of the corners overall. We saw Torry McTyer tonight and he’s been hyped to be the next starter opposite Xavien Howard, but we can’t be completely sure if he’s a 1 or a 2 until he gets to play against starters in the next few games.

Coaches overall need to lock down and lock in to getting tight end Mike Gesicki the ball. He’s the most athletic tight end in the NFL. Never mind Gronk and Kelcey, Gesicki is next to steal the limelight at the tight end position.

My hope is he gets more time with the 1s and not worry so much about his blocking issues. Have him run his routes and expand his capability a bit. He can handle getting more targets and the Dolphins need help in the red zone.

Coaches need to look at opening up a bit on defense and dial up the aggressiveness. Linebacker Jerome Baker flashed tonight and in my mind, he’s going to grab a job before week 5. Baker said things were slowing down for him which is a good thing. My main concern isn’t the vanilla look of the 4-3 defense-it’s mainly getting enough pressure on the QB. It can’t just be Wake every couple of plays-we need to see more from Harris and Quinn. Someone has to step up!

Here are 5 things we want to see next week:

1. More Tannehill and really get him going with 1s and 2s. He needs to play with the guys he’ll throw to on game day. With Tannehill back, coaches have to use every ounce of his ability to move the football and get touchdowns to open a drive. The offense has to work to get first downs and score touchdowns.

2. Improved defensive coverage. Matt Burke needs to dial up the attack and be the aggressor. The talent is there-it’s a matter of allocating it to the right guys. Find the right mix and this can be a dominant defense.

3. Give Jason Sanders more reps at kicker. Both he and Greg Joseph struggled on deep field goal tries, but it would be good to let Sanders kick on kickoffs. I’m not opposed to Dolphins letting this drag out and see if a kicker gets cut from another team and sign said kicker to push these guys.

4. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford. Get him in with the 1s. Get him the ball. See if he can get open and become the threat he was drafted to be.

5. Better o-line play. Tonight was ok with the 1s, but tough for the 2s. Dowell Loggains needs to help out with protections. O-Line needs to do their jobs. I didn’t like the pre-snap penalties across the board, but the holding penalties due to poor technique are awful and can’t happen in season.

All in all losing 26-24 and the Dolphins playing well in spots is nothing to worry about week one of the preseason.

Clean things up and the Dolphins have a good offense and a good defense-enough to compete with the big boys.

Photo credit: Phinsider.com

Dolphins free agency recap

With the 2018 NFL Draft upcoming in a week, we breakdown the Miami Dolphins free agency acquisitions by position.

Quarterback:

The Dolphins signed Brock Osweiler to an undisclosed contract. Osweiler who was traded to the Browns by the Texans last year on draft day, never suited up for the Browns during the season, but headed back to Denver with mixed results. While this signing drew the ire of several Dolfans, the move makes sense as head coach Adam Gase worked with Osweiler while as an assistant in Denver and frankly offers a chance for Osweiler to compete for the back up role. Unclear is how the Dolphins view Osweiler should they draft a quarterback. To me, Osweiler had his biggest season as he led the Broncos to the playoffs-spelling a broken down and essentially benched Peyton Manning for a time and earning a huge win-for home field advantage versus the New England Patriots in 2015. While Osweiler chased big money in Houston, he was later discarded for draft picks and ended up getting some playing time in Denver due to the uncertainty of the quarterback position. In addition David Fales was brought back to compete for a backup job. Fales has earned Adam Gase’s trust so it should be interesting who stays and who goes if the Dolphins draft a QB next week.

Running back: The Dolphins signed veteran running back Frank Gore. Gore returns to his roots in South Florida as he played football and attended Coral Gables High and played football at the University of Miami. What makes this move interesting is that Gase acquires a guy who still has some gas in the tank as a running back, but also can be a veteran leader for the running back room, something that hasn’t been present in the Gase era. While Gore brings an intensity on the field, as he has said, he will show Kenyan Drake how to be a “real pro” off the field. More importantly, the Dolphins feel that Gore has one good year left in him and getting that extra yard for the offense could be Gore’s strength in a nice one-two punch with Kenyan Drake.

Wide Receiver: The Dolphins brought in both Albert Wilson (Kansas City) and Danny Amendola (New England). After sending Jarvis Landry to the Browns via trade, the Dolphins have chosen to add two potential slot receivers with speed. First on Wilson-he spent most of his time in the shadows of Tyreke Hill, but Wilson burned the Dolphins secondary in their late season meeting and quite frankly brings an element that is critical for a slot receiver-speed. Wilson ran a 4.3 at the combine, but he could be a key cog in the Dolphins offensive attack and could make things rather exciting on game days. I believe Gase went for a true game-changing threat and was perhaps even more impressed at his ability to get open and run routes. As for Amendola being available, this was kind of a key bonus to Dolfans, but in reality the Dolphins now have a short yardage threat and a red zone weapon. Amendola has plenty left for the rest of the AFC and NFL opponents and is on the same page as Adam Gase and this offense. While the Dolphins paid a premium for his services to the tune of 6 million dollars, it shouldn’t hurt their cap standing in the the next few years. The Dolphins replaced one (Landry) with two proven and talented receivers-less the cost of Landry. Plus adding both Wilson and Amendola to the wide receiver corps of DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, and Leonte Carroo-the Dolphins have the depth needed for 16 games and beyond.

Tight end: While the Dolphins didn’t sign a new player at the position and they sent away Julius Thomas, they acquired AJ Derby late in the season. Derby has shown some toughness in goal line situations as well as in the passing game. However, this draft is full of tight ends, so I’d expect the Dolphins to address the position.

Center: The Dolphins didn’t sign a new Center as they traded a 7th round pick for Andrew Kilgore of the 49ers. Kilgore brings experience and since he was signed to a new deal back in February, the Dolphins have him locked up for a few years. Surely Mike Pouncey’s intensity will be missed, but not his lack of durability.

Guard: Josh Sitton was brought in to play left guard and be a mentor for Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins I believe struck gold with this move because guard was a huge need as Isaac Asiata wasn’t clearly game-ready for the NFL and the Dolphins went with a hodge-podge of different players.

Tackle: While it wasn’t a free agent acquisition, the Dolphins stayed the course and brought back Ja’Juan James as their starting right tackle. As James was placed on IR at midseason, it was imperative that the Dolphins shored up the position and are ready to roll with James for the next few seasons. James if anything was one of the key acquisitions from the Hickey-Philbin era that has worked out.

Defensive End: The Robert Quinn acquisition in a trade was by far the biggest offseason splash. The Dolphins added a savvy and capable veteran who gives the Dolphins some length and flexibility and can in plain language-get after the quarter back. While Quinn had 9.5 sacks last season-he dipped in his number of sacks due to a position switch from end to linebacker in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense. The fact that Quinn is in the defensive line room takes the pressure off of veteran leader-Cam Wake and brings another threat that teams will have to scheme for. While the cost of a 4th round pick was steep, getting a player of Quinn’s caliber was nothing short of brilliant between Gase, Grier, and Tannenbaum.

Of course come draft day next week, the Dolphins could pivot slightly from the same mantra that seems to dog the fans intelligence-that Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins starting quarterback.

We shall see what’s next for the Dolphins, but know this-they will address holes in their roster during this year’s draft and getting a QB might satisfy their most glaring need.

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post