Well I got a few e-mails about Saturday night's game as well as about the upcoming game on Thursday in Kansas City. So let's hop to it.
With as poor as this offensive line played on Saturday, are you extremely worried that this season is going to go down the tubes in a hurry?
Let's not overreact. It was just the first preseason game with a line that hasn't really worked together because of the different combinations the coaching staff has used over the course of camp. But they did look horrible. Of Ronnie's 8 carries, he was hit behind the line or had to avoid a defender be hind the line in 5 of them. That simply isn't going to get it done and needs to improve.
But let's not press the panic button too quickly. This line is still a work in progress as the staff tries to figure out who is best at what spot and who will start. They've worked nearly every lineman except for Vernon Carey and Samson Satele at various positions so these guys are yet to get comfortable in one spot. Let's allow them another week or so to work things out and then revisit this issue following the 3rd preseason game. If there's been no improvement by then, that's when I'll begin to worry...or throw things...or break things...or all of the above. For now, let's wait and see.
Besides the crappy play of the offensive line, why else do you think the Dolphins first team offense only gained 60+ yards in the first half?
Well I think there are a few things. But the most important thing to remember here is that Cam Cameron said following the game that they only have about 40% of the offense installed and they played the entire game on Saturday without any using any shifts or putting guys in motion. Basically, they used a very stripped down offense just to get the team comfortable with the basics. Also, remember that Cam didn't gameplan for the game, so please don't start questioning Cam's offense or preparation.
But I think there were some other factors involved in the poor offensive play. The receivers, besides being fatigued as Cam said following the game, also didn't seem to be too comfortable in the offense and their timing with Trent Green was noticeably off. And speaking of Trent, I'm not too sure what to say about him. He moved around the pocket pretty well, especially for a 37 year old. But that's were the compliments end for Trent. His throws just looked very, very poor. They had no zip on them and most weren't very accurate. He also didn't show off that quick release that we've heard so much about and, in my view, he seemed to struggle making his reads.
But with all that said, I think that the biggest issue for the offense was the offensive line. And this offense will only be as successful as the big men up front allow it to be.
What are you hoping to see on Thursday night in Kansas City in terms of the offense?
Well, the easy answer here would be production. I'm going to be looking for more than just 60 yards of offense by the first team. But numbers aren't that important this time of year. I think that, more importantly, I'm going to want to see two things. The first is better blocking on the offensive line. I'm not looking for a great performance, as that is likely impossible. Instead, I just want to see progress. I want to see fewer defenders in the backfield and a few more holes for Ronnie in the running game. The second thing I'll be looking for is how Trent Green throws the ball. I'm really looking to see not just more accurate throws but also throws that don't look like dying ducks. I'm sick of seeing floaters being thrown. I want to see some zip. I'm aware Trent doesn't have the strongest arm, but it should be better than mine. And on Saturday night, that didn't look to be true. On Thursday, I want to see some zip, some touch, and some accuracy. That's the bottom line.
Which of the rookies (other than Ginn and Beck) are you most excited about?
Well, there are two. The first, like many would agree, is Abe Wright. The converted DE is playing exceptionally well as a pass rushing specialist from the OLB spot. He's got good speed and has good moves to get around the tackles. I'm excited to see how he progresses.
The second is Brandon Fields. The talk about his Reggie Roby-like leg has proven to be accurate. But the ability to drop it inside the 20 has been even more impressive. And with the offense looking as it is right now, Fields may be the most important player to take a snap from a center for the Dolphins (yes, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point).
That's it for this week. Be sure to send your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.