Connect with us

Miami Dolphins

Different Route, Same Destination – Dolphins Chargers Week 4 Recap

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Despite first lead, Miami’s second half woes, mistakes continue in 20-point home defeat

Sunday was one of firsts for Miami in this horrendous 2019 season. Josh Rosen threw his first touchdown as a Dolphin, and that score gave the home team its first lead of the year. The hot start wasn’t enough to overcome dropped passes, missed field goals, and an egregious turnover as Miami failed to cover another sizable spread.

 

Stat Dolphins Chargers
Total Yards 233 390
Rushing 72 79
Passing 161 311
Penalties 5 (53 yards) 10 (89 yards)
3rd/4thDown 5/11 (45.5%) 8/14 (57.1%)
Sacks For 1 5
TOP 22:24 37:36

 

The only thing Brian Flores can feasibly be asked to do this year is to conduct a smart, disciplined football team that plays hard. The Dolphins, in a league where flags are falling from the sky, are averaging just five infractions the last two games.

Penalties: check.

The playing hard part isn’t coming as easily, unfortunately. Several times in this game, players were opting not to pursue the ball carrier, easily falling off blocks, or going through the motions in general.

Miami ran the ball effectively early in the game. Chad O’Shea created a touchdown through a clever scheme that pulled coverage away from a Devante Parker wheel route. The offense continued to push the ball into Charger territory in that first half, but a pair of Jason Sanders’ misses kept Miami from capturing a half time lead.

Within a touchdown at the break, Miami came back out of the locker room the way it has all year — lifeless.

The Dolphins have been outscored 81-0 in the second half this season. The offense gained just 37 yards in that second half, only 12 of it through the air. Yuck.

Let’s start there in the position-by-position review.

Quarterback

For the first time this season, only one quarterback was necessary for Miami to finish the game. That feat comes on the heels of nearly every Dolphins fan giving into the Church of Tua Tagovailoa. Josh Rosen had his moments, the moments that will remind you why he was a top 10 pick in the draft, but he ultimately came up small in the most critical elements.

Even when Rosen is spinning it beautifully from a clean pocket, extending plays when the protection has been compromised, or engineering drives deep into the opponent’s territory, there remains so much in his game to nitpick.

The interception was atrocious. The sack at his own goal line was a miracle reception by Rosen’s knees from resulting a gift wrapped fumble touchdown. The late processing that causes a hitch in his delivery cost Miami a potential third-down conversion.

Each of these things all prevent Miami from taking his long-term prospects into consideration over the loaded 2020 class.

The all-22 review will show some encouraging moments, but it will also show you why Miami’s best bet is to either:

A.) Retain Rosen as a backup
B.) Flip him from a draft pick in the offseason

He’s playing well enough to get something in return.

Running Backs

Is the Kenyan Drake-Kalen Ballage debate over yet? It ought to be, by now. Drake, despite another fumble (which absolutely, positively cannot continue) was clearly the more dynamic back. He was decisive, shifty, and caught the football seamlessly out of the backfield.

Drake continues to be a liability in pass protection, but it’s Ballage that’s a concern in every other facet of the game. His best run of the season was negated by an offensive penalty, and he dropped another pass — a considerable detriment in this scheme.

Mark Walton earned some reps down the stretch, and looked to be the favored backup plan to Drake. Walton showcased his own passing game prowess, and broke a Charger defender’s ankles on a nifty cut back.

Wide Receivers

The problem with drops has reached epidemic levels. Preston Williams made two outstanding catches off ricochets, but didn’t demonstrate the same concentration on an easy slant over the middle. He’s dropped a pass in each of the last three games.

Devante Parker caught all four of his targets, including his first touchdown since last December. Jakeem Grant is becoming the forgotten man in the offense. He caught his only target of the day, a six-year gain on a hook-up route.

Tight Ends

The Dolphins clearly made it a point to run the football. The cost of that game plan was Mike Gesicki’s involvement. The second-year tight end didn’t see any passes thrown his way. Check back on the aftermath column for a look into his snap count, I suspect it went down significantly.

That means more work for Durham Smythe, who executed some lane-opening blocks. That’s his bread and butter. When the Dolphins run-game is cranking, Smythe is usually involved.

Offensive Line

It feels like forever since we were able to offer this much praise for a Dolphins offensive line. It started early with the right side grinding out big gaps for the Dolphins backs, as well as some downfield work in the screen game.

Evan Boehm has played well two weeks in a row and might be the answer to the question, “who is going to join Jesse Davis as the second survivor on this offensive line?” Boehm plays with a nasty mean-streak, he was integral in helping out Isaiah Prince in some pass protection double teams, and even got into space on a screen pass.

Joining Boehm on that screen pass was Center Daniel Kilgore. The veteran of the group has quietly been steady this year, including some impressive work within that early-game success on the ground.

Isaiah Prince had a difficult preseason, but he played far better than expectations in his first NFL start. He was blowing people off the ball, he was good enough in pass protection, and whacked Melvin Ingram into next week on this play.

Pass protection became an issue as the game wore on yet again. There appear to be some communication issues occurring off the left side with Michael Deiter and whoever has played next to him. Overload rushes are giving that side of the line more problems than it can handle.

Defensive Line

Taco Charlton is flashing a little bit early on as a Dolphin, specifically as a run defender. He picked up his second sack in as many weeks. He got to the quarterback beating a tight end and flattening the edge. His pass rush has been non-existent otherwise, but he’s been disruptive setting the edge against the run.

Dominating the run game is Davon Godchaux’s forte, and it was again in this one, but he put a bull rush on Mike Pouncey that still has the former Phin retreating.

Christian Wilkins did not have a good showing. It’s been a slow burn for the 13th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft so far. He’s learning to play more two-gap, read-and-react football opposed to winning with his quickness. Wilkins is notching a couple of wins every week, but not enough to feel terrific about the early development.

Linebackers

Raekwon McMillan has been the best player on the team through September — and I’m not sure it’s close. He was only a sub-package player the first three games, but he took over in many of Miami’s two-backer formations Sunday, displacing Sam Eguavoen (more on him in a moment).

McMillan was tremendous. He’s thirsty for contact, and shows it by blowing up blocks, quickly diagnosing the run and knifing in for punishing pops near the line-of-scrimmage.

Eguavoen’s dreadful start to the season continued against Los Angeles. He can’t defeat a block, he’s mostly useless as an edge run-defender, and the passing game strides he showed in camp are not there (blitzing or in coverage).

Jerome Baker isn’t at that level, but he’s playing bad football. Consistently caught in the wash against the run, not enough depth in his drops in coverage, and zero pass rush to speak of…all of that is one thing, but effort is another. Baker gave no effort on this play.

Defensive Backs

Eric Rowe was feasted on yet again. He has no discernible plan at the top of the route. His initial engagement and redirecting at the line of scrimmage is good enough, but the inability to transition at the top of the stem is utterly lacking.

Xavien Howard bounced back with a better showing, though he was hit with a pass interference call and surrendered a pair of catches. He followed Keenan Allen when the star receiver aligned in a plus-split. Allen only picked up 48 yards on the day.

Most of Los Angeles’ passing funneled through the short game (screens and dump offs to the backs), or designed concepts with the purpose of taking advantage of Miami’s tendencies. Tight ends leaking out for chunk gains, and Austin Eckler picking up 60 yards and a touchdown had more to do with the poor play of the linebackers.

Steven Parker was in position for the most part, Reshad Jones was a mixed bag, and I’ll have to look at the all-22 for a better overall evaluation of Chris Lammons, Johnson Bademosi, Walt Aikens and the rest of the gang.

Specialists

Jason Sanders has now missed three kicks in two weeks. I don’t know the first thing about kicking mechanics. I do know the job is mostly mental. Judging by the trajectory and flight path of his kicks, though, it looks like he just needs recalibration. He’s not shanking them or putting unnecessary draw on the kicks.

Recap

Call me crazy, but I’m excited to look at this all-22. We might’ve taken the first step towards some answers at some very important pieces heading into the offseason. I’ll focus on the work of the Boehm-Prince pairing, breakdown the coverage concepts with the new pieces in the secondary, and the excellent game of Raekwon McMillan.

Of course, every throw of Josh Rosen will go under the microscope in the charting project. A lot of the same issues are popping up. Those repeated mistakes have to make you think they are part of his DNA. At this point, Rosen is likely auditioning for someone else, as Miami searches to recoup the draft pick it spent on Josh.

Thankfully, the Dolphins got some help in the rebuild pursuit with road underdog Carolina pulling the upset in Houston.

Miami are on to the 2020 draft and it’s shaping up to look like two high selections (root for Cincinnati tomorrow night in Pittsburgh) and a mid-round pick from Houston.

To get ready for April’s revamping of the Dolphins roster, follow our college football scouting all season long, HERE on Locked On Dolphins. We break down the top quarterbacks and players at positions of need for Miami.

@WingfieldNFL

Advertisement
5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    donv

    September 30, 2019 at 1:20 am

    how much do you really hate Rosen or are you so infatuated with Tua that you are too blind to be objective about anyone. How would Tua have done playing in this game today. The reality is, Tua rarely has pressure, has receivers that are open by 3-4 yards and is playing for one of the best teams against woefully inferior teams most weeks. How do you project with any certainty what he will do in the nfl. His play against good competition has shown his weak points…them the facts baby.He may be good but lets tap the brakes on both players the draft is 7 months away and Rosen has 12 games yet to play. Let it all play out over time. I will trust Grier, Flores and their immense scouting resources, experience,wisdom. Rather than a bunch of twitter hacks and wannabe experts.

  2. Avatar

    Steve

    September 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I think the primary plan was for Rosen to be a back up. If they seriously viewed him as the franchise QB, they would not have been so concern about his contract when they traded for him.

  3. Avatar

    Marchcool

    September 30, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    This team suffers from an absolute lack of identity. I’d like to know for instance how many players of this roster have at least 5 years within the team. The only name that come to my mind right now is R.Jones, maybe B. McCain, but not even sure. And most of the starters have less than 3 years with this team.
    The fans don’t identify with those names.
    There are no leaders. All these players could play for a different team and it would be the same for them, perhaps even better.
    They play every given Sunday because they have to. They signed a contract. There’s no passion no nothing. Exactly mirroring his owner, a natural born loser as football concerns.

  4. Avatar

    donv

    September 30, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Travis, how much do you really hate Rosen or are you so infatuated with Tua that you are too blind to be objective about anyone. How would Tua have done playing in this game today. The reality is, Tua rarely has pressure, has receivers that are open by 3-4 yards and is playing for one of the best teams against woefully inferior teams most weeks. How do you project with any certainty what he will do in the nfl. His play against good competition has shown his weak points…them the facts baby.He may be good but lets tap the brakes on both players the draft is 7 months away and Rosen has 12 games yet to play. Let it all play out over time. I will trust Grier, Flores and their immense scouting resources, experience,wisdom. Rather than a bunch of twitter hacks and wannabe experts.

  5. Avatar

    don v

    October 2, 2019 at 12:01 am

    I have to disagree with your analysis of Rosen. At this point your so biased towards Tua as the next QB like Murray last year.It is nearly impossible to evaluate QB’s in college and project them to the NFL with any accuracy of 50% at best.Trying to compare college QB’s is hard especially when Tua plays for one of the best teams in college,is rarely pressured, his wide out’s are almost always open by a bunch. Even given all that, he has had his worse games against the best teams and it shows. Pump the brakes let them both finish their seasons and then decide.Your on record for over a year now saying you never liked Rosen. Besides your opinion really doesn’t matter, Grier with his scouting staff,resources, professionals along with Flores and his staff I trust much more than a wannabe tweeter with a podcast, who has shown a lack of objectivity and hyperbole many times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins – A Tale of Two Franchises

Jason Hrina

Published

on

Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Football is a team sport.

Wins don’t individually define a quarterback’s success.

Yet everyone agrees that the only way to win in the NFL is to have a quarterback that is better than (just about) every other franchise in the sport.

Once you have an upper-echelon quarterback, then you can talk about the nuances of creating a team. Whether it’s surrounding that quarterback with the proper talent, ensuring you’ve built the right scheme around them, or complimenting them with a staunch defense to complete a championship run, developing an entire roster means nothing if you don’t have a quarterback that can lead you to the playoffs.

38 years ago, the Miami Dolphins selected a quarterback that would revolutionize the NFL.

A man decades before his time, the immediate success Dan Marino brought us – after 13 championship-caliber years with Bob Griese – shielded us from the horrors of football purgatory. Maybe it’s this curse of #13 that has us clamoring for football relevance after almost 50 years without a Super Bowl Championship.

We watched our franchise devolve from the model of perfection to a team without an identity; floundering desperately to find a viable quarterback for two decades.

And with one swift decision, the Dolphins simultaneously expunged their football idiocy of years past and exhibited the type of football prowess that should lead them to salvation.

Image Credit: South Florida Sun Sentinel

As we’re destroying the team for wasting 2nd & 5th-round picks on Josh Rosen, we’re praising them for building the foundation for future success. Gone are these false prophets of yesteryear, as the real prodigy we’ve all been yearning for is one step closer to leading the helm.

Once Tua Tagovailoa was selected 5th-overall in the 2020 NFL draft, Rosen’s exile was cemented. He was never going to have an opportunity to make it here, it was always going to be Tua Tagovailoa backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick. The grizzly, 13-year veteran handles the nuances of a young football team while the young, energetic and extremely talented rookie spends valuable time learning and developing.

That move…that single transaction…will forever symbolize the moment the Miami Dolphins transitioned from football purgatory to football relevance.

The Purgatory We Built

No one remembers the cost of a successful trade.

Off the top of your head, what did the New York Giants trade to swap Philip Rivers for Eli Manning? How much did Carson Wentz cost the Philadelphia Eagles when they traded up for him? I bet you all remember the litany of picks the Washington Football Team paid for Robert Griffin III, or how badly the Chicago Bears missed on Mitch Trubisky when they gave up a bunch of picks to move up from #3 to #2.

It’s because mistakes are always magnified for franchises that fail. As a fan base, we’ve been groomed to remember all the negative aspects of our favorite football team, because that’s all we’ve known for the better half of our adult lives.

After trudging through this wasteland for so long, we are finally ready to move past all of the detrimental mistakes that have cost us 20+ years of our lives – including the Josh Rosen trade.

Sure, you have your classics like failing to draft (and then sign) Drew Brees, drafting Ronnie Brown over Aaron Rodgers with the 2nd-overall pick, drafting Jake Long over Matt Ryan with the 1st-overall pick, and trading a 2nd-round pick for A.J. Feeley.

It’s not that the Dolphins haven’t tried, it’s just that they have failed almost mightily when doing so.

I respect that Miami was aggressive in their pursuit of Josh Rosen – or for any of the other quarterbacks they’ve attempted to put under center – but their aggression was either misguided, ill-informed, or even desperate at best.

A year prior to Rosen’s draft-day trade, another draft-day trade was occurring – one that would transcend the Baltimore Ravens organization for the prolonged future. With the 32nd pick in the draft, the Ravens selected Lamar Jackson – a quarterback some Dolphins fans wanted with the team’s 11th-overall pick.

To move back into the first round and secure a quarterback with the 5th-year option, all Baltimore had to give up was an additional 2nd-round pick (see the full trade at the end of the article).

With their draft-day trade, the Baltimore Ravens landed an MVP.
With their draft-day trade, the Miami Dolphins landed a quarterback that was released for nothing.

Again, I don’t fault the Dolphins for being aggressive, but their pursuit was often awry.

The frustrating part of all of this may be that this team actually “spent” both in assets and money, they just didn’t seem to take that extra step at the right time.

Spending 2nd-round picks was fine 3 years in a row (with Chad Henne, John Beck and Pat White), but spending 2nd-round picks then became “too much” when they could have moved up in the 2017 draft to select Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson – instead, they stayed put at #22 and drafted Charles Harris.

Think about it, Miami’s best quarterbacks since Dan Marino were:

  • Castaway by the New York Jets (and subsequently got his shoulder destroyed like everyone predicted)
  • (Allegedly) Forced upon us by Stephen Ross because he knew what a new quarterback would inject into a flat-lining brand (ie: making $$)

Between Chad Pennington and Ryan Tannehill there is 1 playoff appearance and 0 playoff wins.

There are definitive reasons why the Dolphins are executing a rebuild in 2019-2020 – after attempting to rebuild numerous times already this century – and you can say that lots of it has to do with the Head Coaches that have been in place.

Watching Ryan Tannehill lead the Tennessee Titans to the AFC Championship came was the most-conflicted I’ve felt in a long time as a Dolphins fan. I was thrilled he was able to prove himself, but frustrated that my team was once again watching from the couch.

Heck, for all the praise we give Brian Flores, he couldn’t get Minkah Fitzpatrick to buy into his system – ultimately losing a near-Defensive MVP player to an organization that has been breathing success since the Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season.

Miami hasn’t lacked talent – it’s why they’re constantly hovering around 8-8. The problem is, they lack the most important piece on the football field combined with the right leader to mold them. Which explains why they constantly sit around 8-8.

The Future We Created

But thoughts of perpetual 8-8 seasons are a thing of the past. The Dolphins may have drafted their future franchise quarterback back in April, but they officially rolled out their #1 prize just a few days ago. Coincidentally, just 3 days after Rosen was released.

The timing is likely coincidental, but who says omens have to be a bad thing?

This Dolphins team is young (thanks to Chris Grier), determined (courtesy of Brian Flores’ mindset), talented (after accumulating so many draft picks) and they’re wise beyond their years.

With a bounty of draft picks at their disposal once again in 2021, and with a franchise quarterback seemingly set to take over by season’s end, the future for the Miami Dolphins looks EXTREMELY bright.

After most “experts” predicted the Dolphins would go nearly winless – some even calling for criminal investigations to be conducted – Flores showed off his leadership and led Miami to a 5-11 record.

If the worst roster in the NFL can win 5 games, what can an improved roster accomplish?

Last year, there were too many holes on the roster to count. Now, you’re desperate to find a missing piece. In 12 months, we’ve gone from cringe-worthy to dynasty-bound in some expert’s eyes.

So have the Dolphins finally returned to football relevance?

If this team really identified the right Head Coach, and if Tua’s hip can stay healthy, then there’s no reason why the Miami Dolphins aren’t about to embark on a successful crusade that takes the rest of the NFL by storm.

Earlier this year, we lost one of the greatest leaders to ever bless our organization. In honor of the all-time wins leader, the Miami Dolphins will wear a patch signifying Don Shula’s record-setting 347 career wins.

And who knows, maybe this renaissance is Shula’s last gift to an organization – and a community – that he spent his life already giving so much to. The symbolism would be all-too coincidental otherwise.

The Baltimore Ravens/Lamar Jackson Trade:

Yes, I understand every other team passed on Jackson. I also understand the Ravens passed on him once when they selected Hayden Hurst with the 25th-overall pick that year, but Baltimore has built a championship-caliber organization over the past two decades, while the Dolphins have accomplished one playoff win – I think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt here.

The Lamar Jackson trade can be broken down like this:

  • Baltimore traded pick 52 (2nd-round) to move up to 32nd-overall (1st)
  • Baltimore also sent Philadelphia pick 125 in the deal, but they received pick 132 in return – a downgrade of 7 spots in the 4th-round.
  • Otherwise, all Baltimore spent was a 2nd-round pick in 2019 (which ended up being pick #53).

Full trade:

Eagles Receive Picks: 52 (2nd), 125 (4th) and pick 53 (2nd) in the 2019 draft
Ravens Receive Picks: 32 (1st) and 132 (4th)

Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

There’s A Fine Line Between Being A Genius & Being Dumb in the NFL

Jason Hrina

Published

on

Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Think Brian Flores & Chris Grier aren’t smart?

After successfully navigating through all of the pre-draft smokescreens better than teenagers can survive the high school rumor mill, the Miami Dolphins are in a position to flourish for the next decade.

Yes, it’s something we’ve said before almost annually, but this time, there’s a clear foundation that will allow the roots of this franchise to prosper.

We’ve Heard This Before

Tony Sparano blossomed under the Bill Parcells‘ coaching tree in Dallas, bringing with him an aura of prominence and a pedigree for smash mouth football.

After a miraculous 10-game turnaround that took Miami from #1 overall in the draft to division winners, fans felt they had the proper leadership in place.

That was soon debunked when the Dolphins followed an 11-5 (2008) season with 7-9 (2009), 7-9 (2010) and 6-10 (2011). It’s not that any of us feel that Sparano was a bad coach, but it was more-than-evident that he was handicapped at the quarterback position.

The Dolphins go 11-5 in 2008 because their quarterback was the runner-up in the MVP race, and they falter to 7-9 after that because they decided to build around Chad Henne.

Good coach, but poor coaching decisions.

From there, the Dolphins hired one of the best human beings on the planet – Joe Philbin. The notorious problem with Philbin was: he couldn’t lead a football team.

Failing to rein in Vontae Davis‘ hangovers, everything regarding Richie Incognito, the Chad Ochocinco saga (check out this damning ESPN article from 2012, which gives you a glimpse into how the player’s felt about Philbin early on), and all of the Mike Wallace drama. Those football teams had some decent talent, yet were never better than a mediocre 8-8 in Philbin’s 4 years.

Great person, but terrible with people.

Adam Gase then took a 1-4 season and made the playoffs at 10-6. All the optimism surrounding Ryan Tannehill seemed justified, and we were ecstatic for the future. But we came to learn that Gase’s coaching talents resembled more of a glorified offensive coordinator, which left players feelings ostracized and without a sense of direction – especially those on defense.

Like Philbin, Gase wanted a group of players that followed him, rather than developing a strategy that tailored to his players’ strengths. He traded away (or failed to re-sign) productive players drafted by Grier in years past, just because he couldn’t handle them.

After a 10-6 start to his coaching career (2016), we watched our hopes dwindle to 6-10 (2017) – accompanied with $10m worth of embarrassing Jay Cutler highlights – and then 7-9 (2018) after the “quarterback guru” couldn’t get any production out of a 2019 Pro Bowl & AFC Championship quarterback in Ryan Tannehill.

Offensive visionary, but he couldn’t see past his own shortcomings.

So Why is This Different?

This would be the definition of insanity….if it meant that we were following the same trend.

Yes, we understand the eternal caveat that we won’t know for sure until we see the results, but after a successful 2019 – and a stellar 2020 draft that features plenty of starting potential – we’re not going too far out on a limb to say that they have our trust.

Going into a vital 2020 NFL draft where the team held 3 first-round picks, the Miami Dolphins’ future rested solely on the leis of Tua Tagovailoa. For months we were on edge, because, as Dolphins fans, we just figured they would screw it up. But once they secured their quarterback of the future, the plan was simple: protect him.

Not only was the plan to build a wall in front of him, but Grier and Flores identified that some of these positions take more time to develop than others. Rarely do offensive and defensive linemen jump right in and become dominant players. The difference between pancaking teenagers in college to moving a mountain-of-a-man in the NFL is colossal.

Rookies go through such a strenuous process to improve their draft stock – immediately after completing a full college season – that they are burned out by the time their rookie year is over. That’s exactly what happened to Michael Deiter towards the end of last season; it’s no surprise we see their performance start to slide after putting in so much work throughout the year.

Drafting Austin Jackson (18th-overall pick), Robert Hunt (39th), and Solomon Kindley (111th) means Miami is giving their rookies time to grow before being asked to protect their most-important asset since Dan Marino.

Instead of a trying to learn the nuances of the NFL with a rookie quarterback, they can learn how an offensive play is properly setup, executed and audibled under a veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

When it comes time to protect Tua Tagovailoa in 2021, they won’t have to worry if they understood the protection, if they’ll make a rookie mistake, or if they’ll naively and unintentionally do something embarrassing or costly. They’ll be able to focus on executing the play properly, giving Tua an ample amount of time to handle his own “rookie” adjustments.

With Raekwon Davis, the Dolphins acquire another player at a position that tends to need some time to grow. This move makes me wonder what the future holds for Davon Godchaux, who is expected to receive a very nice payday in free agency after this season, but for now, Miami can rely heavily on Godchaux and their 2019 1st-round pick, Christian Wilkins. Davis has the opportunity to learn under these two as he prepares to take on a much bigger role in 2021.

With their final 1st-round pick, Miami selected another young player at a cornerstone position. The adjustments rookie cornerbacks need to make when guarding an NFL receiver are somewhat substantial, and Noah Igbinoghene will be able to learn and make these adjustments while covering the opponent’s third or forth receiver – with the added security that he has an array of established and Pro Bowl veterans behind him.

This might hint at an ugly and somewhat inconsistent 2020 season, as roughly half of this roster is new to the team, but all of these young players will start to excel as Tua begins to transition into our full-time starting quarterback.

Which means the Miami Dolphins are ready to make a legitimate playoff run in 2021.

Is it possible all of these risks falter? Of course! Austin Jackson just turned 21 years old, and he wasn’t viewed as the best left tackle in college last season – he is a projection. Noah Igbinoghene wasn’t viewed as a 1st-round caliber cornerback, as most “experts” think he’s restricted to covering the slot rather than becoming a boundary corner. And then you have the general, inevitable fact that some of these picks just won’t pan out.

But we watched players like Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker, Raekwon McMillan, Vince Biegel and Nik Needham take the “next step” under Brian Flores stewardship. It only makes us wonder who he’ll coach up next.

Now that Flores is more-comfortable as a sophomore coach, and the team understands his “win no matter what” philosophy, Miami should naturally thrive in year two….right?

Like all of these other coaches before him, Flores is an absolute genius after year one. And like all those coaches before him, he’s one season away from looking like a dunce.

Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Waive TE Michael Roberts

Chris Kowalewski

Published

on

As the doors of the Dolphins’ training facility open to the newly signed rookie class, they close for another former Miami-hopeful after an active weekend of roster moves.

The Miami Dolphins have today waived TE Michael Roberts.

Roberts began his NFL career in 2017 out of Toledo as a 4th round pick of the Detroit Lions, possessing ideal measurements (6’5”, 265lb) for a playmaking TE.

A shoulder injury in December 2018 cut short Roberts’ time in Detroit and he was waived by the Lions following a failed physical as part of an attempted trade with the New England Patriots and subsequently waived quickly again after being picked up by the Green Bay Packers.

Roberts underwent reconstruction of the injured left shoulder in August 2019, having struggled both physically and mentally as his career path veered away from his dreams. Signed by the Dolphins in February 2020, it was hoped that Roberts could revive his NFL career in Miami’s TE room, competing with Durham Smythe for the TE2 spot behind Mike Gesicki.

At only 26 years old, it remains to be seen whether the young TE will be able to regain full health and return to the game, but the craziness of 2020 only puts further hurdles in his path as training camp rosters are reduced across the league to 80 players in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t expect Brian Flores and his staff to sit on their hands when it comes to competition – 2019 highlighted on a regularly churning roster of names being given a chance to succeed – and this approach is expected to continue at certain positions. As such, Saturday’s news that former Chicago Bears’ TE Adam Shaheen had been acquired by the Dolphins ensures that healthy competition can continue to spread through the roster, and proves the willingness of the front office to give chances to promising players who may not have achieved during their first NFL stop.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

LATEST

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending