Friday, January 19, 2024

Rookie Watch – Game Day 5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rookie Watch Game Day 4 – Indianapolis Colts Review

Maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, but with that loss, post season football is already feeling like a distant memory, and with the talent on this team this is a tough pill to swallow. However, we did see some more of the same things in Las Vegas as we did last week, a quick start, a dull 2 ½ quarters of football and then a fast end, all of which was then too little too late.

With glaring opportunities, wide open receivers, and a run defence that has had gouges taken out of it, in a team full of young talent, it is hard to see exactly where the root of the issue lies, but we can now go into evaluation mode, especially into our rookies.

Rookie Watch – Jaylen Waddle – Wide Receiver #17

Last week Waddle got into an early start with 3 quick receptions, but then it was as if he disappeared of the face of the earth, probably due to poor quarterback play from Jacoby Brissett. Now it isn’t all doom and gloom, as it’s looking more likely that Tua Tagovailoa should be back next week against Jacksonville, so that chemistry could make a return. Combined with Will Fuller V going onto IR and out for the next 3 games at least, and Jakeem Grant sailing onto pastures new in Chicago, opportunities will be screaming for Waddle in the offence and potentially special teams too.

Going up against the defending Superbowl champions, there is no better way to see how we measure up. Against a cornerback room that could now have an up to speed Richard Sherman, life could be quite difficult for Waddle. Maybe it’s the hangover from 2 successive losses, but I fully expect less of an impact for Waddle this week than other weeks, due to quarterback play, poor offensive play calling and the sheer stature of our opponents. However, we could see a bright spark in the special teams if he returns punts.

Bold Prediction For The Game: 0 Receiving Touchdowns, 50 yards receiving.

Rookie Watch – Jaelen Phillips – Defensive End/Linebacker #15

He was so close! I’ve been saying it for 4 weeks now and it looks like the Phillips we saw in college. Some glimpses of dominance and he brought 6 quarterback pressures on just 22 pass rushing snaps. He finished the game with 2 total tackles, 3 quartback hits and half a sack, and he is second in pass rush win percentage for rookies through 4 weeks, only to Linebacker Micah Parsons, so it looks like he has finally turned a corner.

Now can he keep this good run of form going? Against Tampa Bay and a quarterback that isn’t known for being too fleet of foot, he will have to go through an offensive line that saw all 5 starters return. With 7 sacks allowed over 4 weeks, and 3.7 yards per rushing attempt, he may have his work cut out for him. If Miami have any chance in winning this game, this a match up that he and the rest of the defensive line will have to win

Bold Prediction For The Game: 0 Sacks, 1 solo tackle.

Rookie Watch – Liam Eichenberg – Offensive Line #74

The punches continue to roll for #74 as if it wasn’t for switching positions and moving to RT wasn’t hard enough (think about trying to write, eat and even wipe your butt with your non dominant hand), I still refuse to blame Liam for the offensive line woes, who arguably played better last week. But let’s be honest that wasn’t hard to beat over the past few weeks.

Things will still be hard as Eichenberg will be going out another stout defensive line that is headlined with the behemoth that is Vita Vea, life will still be hard for him until he gets acclimated to the position change, but this is all good learning experience for him, and hopefully after this tough slate of games, we can look onto Jacksonville with promise.

Bold Predicition For The Game:  2 pressures allowed. Not be the worst ranked offensive lineman in the game for the team.

Rookie Watch – Jevon Holland – Free Safety #22

Holland lost a few snaps to Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty as he only got 27% of the snaps last week, this may have been game specific as through 4 weeks Holland hasn’t done much to warrant being benched through his standout 4 weeks. Now with the injury to Byron Jones, this could see a shuffle in the defensive back room with McCourty looking likely to take more snaps at cornerback leaving some playing time to Holland.

With the explosive Bruce Arians offence, Tom Brady being the field general and the plethora of catching threats available, this will probably be the hardest match up of the season for the rookie, but one that I have full confidence that he can handle. I don’t see an interception this week, but in a team that has thrown 5 so far, it could be in the cards that we do see some turnover action, one of which Holland hopefully will take full advantage of.

Bold Prediction For The Game: 0 INT, 2 tackles.

And that will do us for another week of Rookie Watch! Let’s hope for a better match and outcome for our Miami Dolphins and that we get close to some more bold predictions! FINS UP!

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