Aug. 24, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons last night. Too bad he had no one on the other end to catch it.
The Miami Dolphins roster is starting to come together. Three of the four season games have been made, the first roster cut deadline is just 48 hours away, and the team has already started to let players go. However, it's the wide receiver mess that is the focus of most of the fans, and the media, attention.
Heading in to last night's game, four of the six wide receiver positions seemed to be locked up, with seven players still fighting for the final two. Davone Bess, Legedu Naanee, Brian Hartline, and Roberto Wallace seemed like locks to make the roster. Add in Julius Pruitt, who should make the roster based on special teams play, and the team really seemed to have things decided. Then, the madness that was the groups play last night happened, and the entire depth chart should again be considered open.
Right now, I would hand the starting positions to Davone Bess, because he earned it, and Brian Hartline, because he hasn't lost it. After that, everyone should still be fighting for a position.
Naanee, who was said to be having a great training camp, came out last night and look lethargic. He dropped passes, and just did not seem to get involved in the game. He made one catch for eight yards. And that's just the beginning.
Wallace was barely seen last night, not recording a catch. Clyde Gates made an appearance, catching one pass for 17 yards, and should have had a second long grab, but was out of bounds on the catch. Pruitt made one grab for nine yards, and could still make the roster as a special teamer. The only other wide receiver to make a catch last night was Rishard Matthews, who snagged one for five yards.
Maybe the biggest frustration was the lack of receiver (and tight end) ability to hold on to a pass when they got there hands on the ball. Seven ofquarterback Ryan Tannehill's incompletions last night came on drops.
Right now, something has to be done to fix the wide receivers. The new, pass first, west coast, jailbreak offense does not work if Tannehill is dropping back to throw it to a group of players who cannot either get open, or catch the ball when they are open. The team better hope they can work a trade, have a player drop out of the sky like Chad Pennington did, or one of the eleven players not named Bess can suddenly make a difference.
Don't be surprised if the Miami starters are in the game longer than expected this week, if only to try to find someone with some sort of chemistry with Tannehill.