Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin has some work left to do before the regular season begins on September 9.
The Miami Dolphins dropped their third straight preseason game this season, losing to the Atlanta Falcons 23-6. There were several aspects to the game that were positive, and probably just as many that still are worrisome for Miami, with just one preseason game remaining before the regular season.
The Dolphins first team defense stepped up today and played a lot better than the first two games. Cameron Wake returned this week, and was able to get in for a sack-and-a-half, with Matt Ryan being pressured regularly tonight. The linebackers played well, especially considering Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby both did not play this week. The secondary is still shaky, with the cornerbacks allowing too many receivers to break open, but as a whole, the defense seemed to round into shape tonight.
The running game also made an appearance during the game, the first time it has appeared this preseason. While it was nothing spectacular, the team clearly wanted to get Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas involved in the offense, and they did well when handed the ball.
The struggles with the team came in the passing game. Ryan Tannehill made some mistakes during the game, but he's a rookie. He's going to make rookie mistakes, but at other times, Tannehill looked solid. We are going to have to take the good with the bad for a little while with Tannehill, so patience is going to be the key with the rookie.
However, the wide receivers need to spend the next week doing nothing but Juggs machine work. At some point, someone not named Davone Bess has to make a catch. My biggest disappointment of this game was tight end Anthony Fasano, who surprisingly forgot how to catch. He clearly had a Tannehill touchdown pass, and dropped it in the endzone.
All offseason and preseason, all everyone has talked about is how horrible the Dolphins wide receivers are. Tonight, they showed exactly that. Legedu Naanee, Marlon Moore, Roberto Wallace, Clyde Gate, Julius Pruitt, well...everyone not named Bess were exactly what everyone expects from the team.
If the Dolphins are going to succeed this year, the wide receivers are clearly the weak link that has to be solved.
We will have more coverage of the game tomorrow.