The next time the Miami Dolphins take the field it will be in week one of the regular season. A game that actually means something.
While preseason is known as “over-reaction season’ we are now entering the real deal. But with the Dolphins closing out pre season in style, what did we learn?
MIKE MCDANIEL WILL BE AGGRESSIVE WITH PLAYCALLING
On the opening play of the game Tua hit Tyreek Hill for 51-yards. It’s the kind of play Dolphins fans have been waiting for Tua to make regularly for the past two seasons. There were a number of times during the first quarter where Tua continued to take the longer option on layered play designs.
It was a very encouraging performance, albeit against Eagles backups. You can only beat what’s in front of you and Tua most definitely did that.
But the thing I’m taking from this game is coach McDaniel‘s understanding that the Dolphins HAVE to stretch the field. All the motion and misdirection won’t mean a thing if the Dolphins can’t back those corners and safeties off the ball.
By establishing the deep-shot early, the Dolphins opened up the run game. Exciting times are ahead.
SONY MICHEL MAY NOT MAKE THIS TEAM
Signed as a free-agent this spring Sony Michel knows the Dolphins scheme, but despite his touchdown on Saturday he’s looked a little stale in this offense. Fighting for that RB 4 spot with Gaskin and Ahmed, Michel looked the worse of the three.
His $1.75-million salary ($850k guaranteed) sure implies he’ll stick around, but he looked far less dynamic than the Dolphins other backs. It’s an interesting call for the new coaching staff, and one made harder if they’re looking to keep Skylar Thompson in the 53, but if I was making the call I would not be keeping Michel.
Whether running backs coach Eric Sudesville‘s familiarity with Ahmed and Gaskin plays a part is anyones guess. While neither had cemented themselves as a true number one, hence the signing of three running backs this spring, that familiarity may prove decisive at the tail-end of the running back room.
DOLPHINS CORNERS MAY BE PROTECTED BY A STELLAR DL
Christian Wilkins, Zach Seiler, Benito Jones, and Jaelan Phillips all looked incredible and destructive against the Eagles which could be exactly what this defensive backfield will need. Depth at the corner spot is noticeably thing, and with both Howard and Jones having something of an injury history, it is the one glaring weakness of this team (yes, it’s probably worse than the OL).
You have to be careful in preseason, especially when mostly playing against backups (third-string center, and ex-Dolphin, Cameron Tom certainly didn’t have a good game), this unit was destructive for it’s extended shift.
A lot of concerns about the defence will have been eased last night, with a lot of question over Josh Boyer seeming to be laid to rest. However, we will find out much more about Boyer, the corner depth, and just how dominant this DL group can be once the season gets underway.