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Miami Dolphins offense ‘sleepwalking’ through scrimmage

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NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins held an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday night, and the defense showed up to play. The offense, it showed up just to frustrate head coach Adam Gase. On a night when the quarterbacks went, according to unofficial stats from the Palm Beach Post’s Hal Habib, a combined 6-for-14 for 32 yards with an interception (Brandon Doughty) and the running game picked up 15 yards on 10 carries, “frustrating” might be coach speak for a little harsher attitude toward the offense.

“The first thing you notice is the intensity level,” Gase said of the team on Saturday. “I think the last time we were in [the practice bubble], we had probably the best practice that I had seen in a while as far as intensity, just the way the guys were flying around (and) the hitting. This (practice), the defense went to another level. They took it even more than what they did last time. And then offensively, there was just no juice whatsoever. It was almost just like a walkthrough.”

Heading into an off day, the offense clearly gave Gase, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and the rest of the offensive staff plenty to watch on Sunday. “It will be interesting when I go back and watch it,” Gase continued. “(I’ll) just kind of take a peek at it tonight and see assignment-wise first, but there just was no juice.”

Gase turned to what has to change attitude-wise for the offense. “I think when you get smacked in the mouth, you got to have guys step up,” he explained. “Not all the time is it going to be vocally, but somebody’s got to either make a play or we’ve got to stop the defensive line from penetrating, we’ve got to pop a run, we’ve got to complete a ball – something.”

Miami’s offense picked up just one first down in eight possessions.

“I think it was just the whole group,” Gase continued, speaking of if there was any individual who was not ready for the scrimmage. “It just seemed like everybody was just sleepwalking a little bit. It was a little surprising to me. That was something I did not expect from our offensive players.”

The unofficial stats had Andre Brand, Jason Jones, and Jordan Williams each recording a sack, with Julius Warmsley and Cleyon Laing splitting another. The offense settled for six field goal attempts, with Andrew Franks connecting on all three of his attempts and rookie Marshall Koehn finishing the day 2-for-3 on his attempts.

“Obviously, today, we didn’t come out with the right mindset to compete against these guys, and it showed,” Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey said after practice. The defense played really well today and they deserve all the credit.”

The good news for Pouncey was earlier in the day, he took part in the University of Florida’s graduation ceremony, finishing his degree in sociology.

“I think our offense is going to be okay,” he added. “I think this is just one day. You guys have been out at training camp all training camp and seen the progress our offense has had.”

Gase is expecting more out of his offense, and he is clearly not happy about the performance on Saturday. “It irritates me. You get to practice one time a day and you get a limited amount of practices and how many times you get to be in pads. I think it’s like 22 (padded practices) for the whole year. To not take advantage of that, that’s bothersome.”

The Dolphins will be back on the field on Monday, and the offense has to come out with a better performance than what they did in the scrimmage. A first-year head coach, and a head coach who is seen as an offensive genius, is not going to put up with lackluster, “sleepwalking” performances for long.