Miami Dolphins: Bang the Drum

Two weeks into preseason and what do we know?

Nothing. That is what we know.

Did you really expect anything more?

There is very little you can truly tell from limited snaps and vanilla schemes. Seeing the players competing is nice but it is best not to get too excited about anything you see. You should also not hit the panic button either.

So leading up to the third game what is there to do?

Bang The Drum

Every year we see players in the preseason that excite us. Players that we want to succeed. It does not necessarily mean they ascend to the starting lineup. We just want to see more.
We bang the drum for them. Much like during the draft there are players we would stand on a table calling for in preseason we all pick players we would pound the table, bang the drum for them to just be given the opportunity to impress.

I have two. One on offense, One on defense.

On offense it was actually real easy for me to decide. While many fans have fallen in love with Jakeem Grant I am not quite there yet. He is exciting and shiny but I still need to see more. My pick on offense is running back Isaiah Pead. He may have started as just a camp body, expected to be churned by the first cuts, but he refuses to go away. While it is a small sample size Pead has been more impressive than any other back on the roster. More chances with the ones are expected and if he continues to impress he can guarantee a roster spot. He may even work his way into the starting rotation.

Anyone who has read my columns over the last few years or who follows me on twitter should have a pretty good idea who my next pick is. Mike Hull. Second year linebacker from Penn State. Much like Isaiah Pead, Hull has looked better than most of the rest of the linebacking corps. Yes he is playing against the backups and he is still a little raw. That is true, but he is also making plays everytime he is given a chance. He deserves the call up. He should be the first linebacker off the bench and in time I believe he will be.

This Thursday in Orlando(and I will be there) I will be banging the drum for each of these men. What about you?


Fool’s Gold

We take a break from the regularly scheduled #PhilbinWatch to bring you this-Bwahahaha

This is no laughing matter…but sometimes to have to find the funny. Just to get through the day.

Miami fans are frustrated. The players are frustrated. The coaches damn well better be frustrated. This is not how the first quarter of the season was supposed to go.

It is not just the losses, it is the way the Dolphins are losing. Opposing quarterbacks and running backs are having career games against this defense, every single week. It is not just one team, one week. It is Every. Single. Week.

Ryan Tannehill is being slapped around like a red-headed stepchild. Lamar Miller might as well join the witness protection program for as often as we have seen him. The offensive line leaks like a sieve. Things have not gone well down in South Beach.

This is not the product we were sold during preseason.

In preseason the first team offense marched down the field, scoring at will. Everyone witnessed a fierce defense during those ‘practice’ games. How fierce? Matt Ryan, starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, looked like he wanted to retire after a quarter of having Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and company harass him. The starters looked fantastic. It was the depth that was a concern.

Fool’s Gold.

It looked like the real thing. It was not. This team has been much more representative of the struggling backups we saw than the impressive first team.

At the end of the day is that what this team really is?

Is it simply a collection of talented athletes, but not an actual team?

We do not want to see the fool’s gold any longer. Give us the fans, the players, the entire organization a team that lives up to the best of its abilities.

Let us see at least a glimpse of what we thought we saw before.


Miami Dolphins: Preseason Postscript

Thursday night the Miami Dolphins face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the last preseason game of the 2015 season. After that the games truly count.

For the majority of the players on each team there is nothing more to prove. The last game is an open tryout for other teams and practice squads. It is one last chance for the last few players on the 53 to make their mark.

For the players we will actually see during the season the work is already done.

There were questions to be answered this preseason:

How well would a nearly entirely new receiving corps work with franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill?

What effect with Ndamukong Suh have on the Dolphins defense?

Will the offensive line be good enough(especially at guard) to protect Tannehill?

Each of these questions have been answered and then some.

The first team offense has run like clockwork. Moving down the field and scoring in each of the preseason games. Tannehill is looking more like a seasoned veteran than a young player entering his fourth season. While we have not seen much out of first round draft pick Devante Parker(recovering from foot surgery) between a resurgent Rishard Matthews, second year star Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills the receiving corps looks as deep and talented as it has in years.

The offensive line has been a concern to say the least over the last few seasons. The last two season the Dolphins gave up 58 and 46 sacks respectively. That is simply too many hits on the quarterback to expect much prolonged success. During this preseason they have played without starting left tackle Brandon Albert and frankly they have not looked bad. The guards, a question for years, have held their own. Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and Jamil Douglas have competed over the two guard positions and the results are positive. Thomas and Douglas are the likely starters but nothing is set in stone. This is not to say that suddenly this is an all-pro line. Far from it. This is a competent line that should be good enough to reduce the sacks to a reasonable number.

Now we come to the man called Suh. Could he possibly live up to the massive contract he signed during the offseason? The early answer is yes. Against the Atlanta Falcons the defense, especially the front seven, abused quarterback Matt Ryan series after series to the point he looked relieved to take a seat. This line is fierce and rejuvenated. The best thing about Suh thus far is that he does not seem remotely satisfied in the success so far. That is what a leader does-he strives to be better tomorrow.

Beyond that depth is still lacking but that takes time. Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas look to be able to fill the role expected of injured Louis Delmas. UDFA rookie linebackers Zach Vigil and Mike Hull both look like diamonds in the rough, if only there is room on the roster for both players.

There are still minor questions to be answered. That will come with the final preseason game and the cut down to 53. Until then things look good.

In fact things look better than they have in years.