Henne looked very sharp in what Sparano can no longer deny is a West Coast offense. He stayed on time and in rhythm. He looked downright decisive back there! And he was accurate with those short WC passes. (It's going to take me a while to get used to reading "WC" as "West Coast" instead of "Wildcat." And no, even I'm not old enough to read it as "water closet." You're thinking of Tex.)
I'm sure lots of Phinsiders are [re]watching the game today, and I'm sure lots of you will post much closer analyses of what happened, but I thought I'd jot down the things I noticed, anyway. I'll read them, even if nobody else does. :)
One play where I did see the timing off was a quick pass to Bess on Carolina's 30 with about 4:40 to play in the half. It was designed to be a very quick hitter, and set Bess up for some YAC. The ball was late, however, because Henne had to reach up to catch the snap. Pouncey's going to have to clean that up for a WC offense to stay on time.
Thrilled to see the running game pick up. The O-line provided much better holes in the middle than they did last week, and Bush got into and through them for quick yardage. Good stuff. Thomas showed a little bit of power on a couple of plays, which is good to finally see, and a nice cut on one run. And I saw Nate Garner make a crushing run block while he was spelling Murtha; the whole line did well on that play. Clay made a nice pickup in the backfield, too, which Nat Moore credited to Polite.
Both Marshall and Bush got heavily involved in the passing game, with Bush looking particularly good. Not much YAC from Marshall as I'd like to see. If Fasano would just catch the balls that hit him in the hands, he'd be a real weapon, because that man is hard to bring down when he's on the move.
The D looked much better than last week, too. Not a lot of pressure on the QB, but some, here and there. They stuffed the run well, and shut down the big play in the passing game. Kevin Burnett looked terrific in both phases of the game, and Dansby looked, well, like Dansby, which is about all you can ask of an ILB. It was nice to see those guys bringing down those TEs over the middle.
Griese made a great point, I thought, about how many snaps the first-team offense got in that first half. Something over 50, I think. That's a lot of good work for that unit, and it let them build some continuity under game conditions.
The not so good:
Not taking care of the football. I counted 5 times that guys either put the ball on the ground, or almost did. Some of them got whistled as down, some of them Carolina committed penalties on, and we didn't lose any of them, but the skill guys have got to take better care of the football, or I will break my foot off in their John Brown hindparts.
Speaking of penalties, we committed too many of them, especially Murtha.
Henne's accuracy on the longer passes still leaves a lot to be desired.
Having to go for it on 4th down to get it into the endzone from the 4? Not cool.
All in all, I'd say this was the sharpest the Dolphins' offense has looked since 2009. This Daboll guy, he's doing something right. Yes, it's preseason, yes, Carolina was bad last year, blah blah blah . . . but there was real reason for hope from this game.