Five thoughts on the Dolphins workout against Tampa Bay in which the progress report doesn't look as good as the 20-14 win suggests
1. The running game is officially a concern now. The 2.5 yards rushing against a redone Atlanta defense made you wonder. But when you run for minus-five yards on nine carries in the first half with your top players it graduates to a concern. Lamar Miller ran three times for 3 yards. Damian Williams had four carries for no yards. Orleans Darkwa had two carries for minus-8 yards.
Knowshown Moreno didn't play Saturday. He wouldn't have been the difference with the way a very good Tampa Bay defensive line handled this work-in-progress Dolphins line.
"Penetration,'' Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "Way too much pentration."
2. Joe Philbin has said all along he wanted the offensive line to be set by now - "in a perfect world,'' he said after Saturday's game. This wasn't perfect. Expect rookie Billy Turner to get a longer look this week at right guard after the way Dallas Thomas was handled by Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy. Now, McCoy is perhaps the best tackle in the league. And the question will be how this line holds up against the great players they'll see - New England's Vince Wilfork, the Bills' Mario Williams, the Jets' entire defensive line and Detroits Ndamugkong Suh are there for seven of the games.
Of Thomas' play, Philbin said, "There are a couple of plays he has to block better."
3. Caleb Sturgis better stay healthy and start producing - fast. One of the under-the-radar issues last year was the inconsistent kicking game of the Dolphins. Well, Sturgis has some real competition now as John Potter kicked field goals of 48 and 51 yards. This is a real battle now. Philbin picked Sturgis over Dan Carpenter a year ago off the preaseason (and Carpenter's biigger contract0. Is the same going to repeat? Potter was a seventh-round pick of Buffalo in 2012. He had short, in-season stints with Buffalo and Washington in 2013.
4. It was a good night for Dolphins quarterbacks (that one play by McCoy notwithstanding). In a normal preseason, this probably would lead the thoughts from the night. Ryan Tannehill had a good night's work - nine of 14 for 110 yards and looking like he knew where he wanted to go with the ball in this new offense.Tannehill did not connect with Mike Wallace on a deep ball, which remains an issue. Matt Moore cemented the back-up job - if it was any question - wiith his 13-of-19 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown.
5. You wanted to see some impact from Dion Jordan. At least I did after last week's 30-play, one-assisted tackle performance in Atlanta. You saw more against Tampa Bay. He had a sack and a forced fumble against what were Bucs reserves. That's what he should do to reserves. You need to see more of it before he starts serving a four-game suspension for PEDs.
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