The Miami Dolphins held an open, intrasquad scrimmage last night, with their preseason opener a mere six days away. Unfortunately for the fans, free agent addition Mike Wallace sat out the scrimmage, as did last season’s leading receiver Brian Hartline.
Earlier in the week, wideout Armon Binns was lost for the season when he tore his ACL and MCL, and second-year wideout Rishard Matthews also missed the practice due to an undisclosed injury. So, second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t have his full complement of targets for this run.
And it showed. The first-team offense struggled to move the ball against the first-team defense, recording just one first down on their first four drives. As the scrimmage continued though, Tannehill found success in the red zone. Tannehill finished the night going 9-for-13 for 75 yards and three touchdowns, unofficially. His longest TD went 24 yards to H-back Charles Clay. The QB also found new TE Dustin Keller for a TD in the red zone.
One of the bigger concerns coming into camp was the ability of the revamped offensive line to hold up and protect Tannehill and create space for the running game, and, due in part to some early injuries and a general shuffling of players, the o-line didn’t do anything to alleviate those concerns.
The defense had more would-be sacks than could be counted during the scrimmage. Even though Pro Bowl DE Cameron Wake had a quiet night, starting safety Reshad Jones had two sacks, DE Olivier Vernon had a strip sack, and rookie Dion Jordan had at least one sack. (Jordan was close to a second sack, but it’s being credited to Koa Misi since the QBs couldn’t actually be hit.) Vernon’s forced fumble was just one of the turnovers the defense forced. The D forced a fumble by rookie RB Mike Gillislee, and had interceptions of Matt Moore (a pick-6 by safety Kelcie McCray) and Pat Devlin (an INT in the end zone by rookie Will Davis to end the scrimmage).
Overall, the defense shined. The Dolphins may sport a Top-5 D-line, which will help a secondary in flux and a stable of new LBs, but the struggles of the O-line are concerning. The running game was non-existent, as no holes could be created by the O-line, and the fact that Tannehill was missing four of his top five wideouts should temper the doubt swirling around the first-team offense’s inability to move the ball.
- Miami Dolphins Training Camp Primer (dlfwriting.com)