10 Thoughts on the Miami Dolphins
After losing in Buffalo Sunday, preparations for the Ravens have turned towards heading to South Beach this coming weekend. The Dolphins, who were rocked last night in New Orleans, are 3-1.
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1) Last year, Rookie QB’s Andrew Luck, RG3, and Russell Wilson garnered so much excitement; that fellow Rookie Ryan Tannehill basically operated in obscurity. Through a quarter of the 2013 season, Tannehill has shown development and is generating more buzz. Tannehill has thrown for 269 yards per game, and is completing 65.5% of his passing attempts. He is 18th overall in ESPN’s QBR Rankings. On the negative side, he has been picked 5 times, and has fumbled 6 times. Prior to the game last night, PhinNation looked at Tannehill’s statistical improvement. ESPN’s Bill Pollian shared why he is high on Tannehill here. This morning The Palm-Beach Post detailed some of Tannehill’s issues vs. the Saints.
2) Head Coach Joe Philbin is in his 2nd year with the Dolphins, after serving as the Packers Offensive Coordinator during the ’07 – ’11 seasons. NFL.com recently had an interesting look at Philbin.
3) Lamar Miller was drafted in the 4th round last year out of the University of Miami. Known as an elusive speedster, Miller is emerging as the starting RB. After just 3 yards in Week 1, he’s had at-least 62 yards each of the last 3 Weeks. His yards per carry has been strong each of the past 3 weeks, but he’s had no more than 14 carries. I’ve seen it mentioned that the carries are being limited because he is slight, but he has a couple of inches and lbs over the listed height and weight of Ray Rice. Miller has 5 receptions, averaging just 4.2 yards per catch. Miller’s backup is Daniel Thomas, a 2011 2nd rounder out of Kansas Sate. Thomas is averaging just 2.8 ypc on his 25 attempts on the year. The Miami Herald believes the run game needs more chances to provide the explosion that Philbin wants.
4) Tannehill has been sacked 18 times so far this year, tied for most in the league. Starting at LT is Jonathan Martin, a 2012 2nd rounder out of Stanford. The LG is 2012 Pro Bowler Richie Incognito. At Center is 2011 1st rounder Mike Pouncey. At RT is Tyson Clabo. Clabo, a 2010 Pro Bowler, signed with Miami this off-season. Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards through Week 3 can be found here.
5) Miami will enter Sunday 25th in Total Offense (19th Passing, 24th Rushing). The Dolphins are currently 26th in Total Defense (24th against the Pass, 10th against the Run).
6) After 4 years with the Steelers, Mike Wallace signed with Miami this off-season. Wallace has averaged 16.9 ypc for his career, but is averaging just 11.7 this year. His yards after the catch are also below his career average. In Week 2, he had 9 catches for 115 yards and a score vs. the Colts. In the other 3 weeks, he has 6 catches for just 61 total yards. Opposite of Wallace is Brian Hartline. Hartline had 1,083 yards on his 74 grabs last year. Known as a possession guy, Hartline averages a pretty strong 14.8 ypc for his career. Brandon Gibson had 51 catches for St. Louis last year, and is Miami’s 3rd WR.
6a) Charles Clay is an emerging weapon at TE. The 2011 6th round pick already has 20 catches for 245 yards, both totals exceeding his production from last year.
7) One issue Miami had last night was the absence of Cameron Wake, who left their Week 3 game with a knee injury. It is currently unknown if he will be available Sunday vs. Baltimore. The LDE is coming off of a 15 sack season. AT LDT is former Maryland Terrapin Randy Starks. Starks is a 2x Pro Bowler. RDT is split between 2010 1st rounder Jared Odrick, and 6’4, 340 lb Paul Soliai. Odrick is viewed as a 3-4 DE, who is adjusting to playing inside. Soliai regularly receives double-teams and is a run-stuffer. He is supposed to be a good athlete for his size. At RDE is 2012 3rd rounder Olivier Vernon. Miami’s 2013 1st round pick – Dion Jordan – is seeing his playing time increase each week. Right now the 6’6 260 lb DE is a pass rushing specialist on 3rd down.
8) Former Raven Dannell Ellerbe is the Dolphins MLB. Ellerbe has been dealing with a rib injury, but has played in all 4 games. Next to Ellerbe at RLB is Phillip Wheeler. Like Ellerbe, Wheeler received a large contract (5yrs $26M, $13M guaranteed) from Miami this off-season. Behind Wheeler is Maryland native Jelani Jenkins. Jenkins was a 4th rd pick this year with good promise.
9) Brent Grimes starts at LCB for Miami. The 2010 Pro Bowler was franchised by Atlanta last year, but tore his Achilles in Week 1, and signed as a Free Agent this off-season. Opposite of Grimes is another former Terp – Nolan Carroll, who now has 46 games under his belt. He left the game last night with an ankle injury. The Sun-Sentinel detailed Carroll’s career progression here. FS Reshad Jones signed a $29M extension ($15M guaranteed this off-season). Last season, Jones led the team in interceptions, was fourth in tackles and graded out as the NFL’s third-best safety, according to ProFootballFocus. The Sun-Sentinel recently fielded a question about Jones play this year. In May, PFF wrote that FS Chris Clemons was a ‘Secret Superstar.’ 2013 2nd rd CB Jamar Taylor saw his first action last night.
10) Marcus Thigpen is listed as a RB, but sees most of his time on Special Teams in the return game. He is seen as a play maker, and Miami is looking for ways to put the ball in his hands more often.