I try my best to not overreact during preseason, a task that is easier said than done. If you’re on Twitter, you have the pleasure of watching the game unfold with thousands of other Dolphin fans. Emotions run high, and a lot of regrettable things are said. But during this process there’s one thing we must remember, preseason is for evaluating players and getting the team ready for the regular season.
Next week’s game is the most important of the dress rehearsals and should showcase starters well into the second half. That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot to takeaway from the Dolphins 20-27 loss to the Panthers. Tannehill played late into the second quarter, as did a majority of the team’s first-team players.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the Dolphins second preseason game vs the Carolina Panthers.
Ryan Tannehill looked accurate and decisive
Adam Gase admitted his team would not show much during the preseason, but without starting wide receivers Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, Ryan Tannehill looked good. Tannehill finished the day 14/17 for 100 yards and looked sharp and decisive with his throws. It is clear that in year three with Adam Gase, Tannehill has a firm understanding of the offense.
Here, the Dolphins line up in 12 personnel (1 HB, 2 TEs). Playaction freezes the defense and a nice blitz pick up from Drake. gives Tannehill time to deliver a strike to Albert Wilson on the outside. As we saw in previous years, there are very few quarterbacks more efficient off playaction than Ryan Tannehill.
12 personnel. drake picks up the blitz, giving tannehill enough time to complete the pass to wilson on the outside. pic.twitter.com/ljmC5ZEkQw— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
In this play, Tannehill reads the defense and knows exactly where he’s going with the football. A nice route from Jakeem Grant on the outside, creates separation. Tannehill delivers a well placed ball and a toe tap from Grant results in positive yards. First down!
tannehill was slinging the rock and looked decisive all game. here’s a laser to grant at the sideline. nice throw and catch. pic.twitter.com/TNewsuRRDD— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
One more from Tannehill.
one more tannehill throw. obviously the playcalling was vanilla, but he knows exactly where he wants to go with the football. quick, precise pass to albert wilson. pic.twitter.com/kACVZemBNL— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
The offense will look very different in the regular season with both Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker in the starting line up. But I was very happy with what I saw from Tannehill.
Robert Quinn is a monster
Truth is, Matt Kalil probably should not be playing football anymore and there’s a good chance he’s going to get Cam Newton hurt if he continues to play this way. Nonetheless, Robert Quinn looked the part of a menacing pass rusher and opposite of Cameron Wake, will cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.
Robert Quinn looked explosive all game long. Here he uses his quick hands to shed the block, and then explodes around the tackle on his way to the quarterback. Quinn is a second away from forcing the fumble.
I get that matt kalil should be in a retirement home, but rob quinn looked unstoppable at times. pic.twitter.com/IknbWTjyos— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
This time he gets to Newton, but again looks explosive off the line of scrimmage. His speed and quickness is too much for Kalil, who never stands a chance.
quick off the line, avoids the chop from kalil, regains his balance and gets to the QB. this isn’t possible without good coverage downfield. pic.twitter.com/NOFRIWRsrW— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
Last one from Quinn, who again manhandles Matt Kalil and gets to Cam Newton for the sack. He won’t be going against old left tackles every week, but he looked every bit the part of a top defensive end. Could we be seeing a resurgence from Robert Quinn?
one more from rob quinn with some commentary from baby houtz. again, matt kalil is a fossil, but quinn had his way with the former pro bowl tackle. sack #2 pic.twitter.com/Kn61zhh4Y1— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
Growing pains for Raekwon McMillan
This is the most painful for me to type, because as we all know I’ve been a big fan of Raekwon McMillan since the beginning of time. Over the course of the first two preseason games, McMillan doesn’t look confident in himself or his knee. This is to be expected from a guy who has only played 2 1⁄2 quarters professionally, but we need to see more from the Dolphins starting middle linebacker moving forward.
In this play, McMillan gets washed out by the tight end. Aside from that, the entire defense looks lifeless and gives up a huge 71-yard run to Christian McCaffrey. Plays like this CAN NOT happen during the regular season.
For the most part, McMillan looked good in pass coverage. Although it is hard to know who had what assignment in this play, McMillan looked lost and was unable to recover. Easy touchdown.
idk what the assignment was here, but raekwon looked lost in coverage. hardest thing for me to watch is his recovery speed. which is why I believe the knee is more of an issue both mentally and physically, than we are led to believe. pic.twitter.com/EIAPlAXPSr— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
Here are two plays that show the good Raekwon McMillan.
here are two plays that show off the good raekwon mcmillan. first play he reads the screen perfectly, stopping cmc for negative yards. second he plays his zone perfect, stopping cmc for a short gain. we need to see more of this from our starting MLB pic.twitter.com/kAp7w8S0XQ— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
It is preseason and again, this is just his second appearance in a NFL game. There is plenty of time for him to get things right and develop into the middle linebacker the Dolphins and their fans hope he becomes.
Kenyan Drake is special
We all know the Dolphins have three quality running backs, who will all have a significant part in the workload. But there is one running back -who despite what a depth chart might say- is the clear cut starter. His name is Kenyan Drake and he has shown flashes of greatness early on in preseason.
Very few running backs can spin out of a tackle in the backfield, change direction, and use his speed and vision to break off a big run. Kenyan Drake is one of them.
Here’s another example of his vision and ability to use his speed to get to the outside. Drake has become a patient running back and coupled with his speed, has the potential to break off a big run at any time.
kenyan drake is going to have a big year in 2018. here, he uses his speed to get to the outside and nearly kills a man upon impact. pic.twitter.com/WVprKdjdvT— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
One more from Drake on a stretch to the outside. This was key during the Jay Ajayi Era in Miami. The only difference, Drake is patient and has the speed to get around the corner in a hurry. I can guarantee, you will see a lot of this in 2018.
love the patience on this stretch outside. solid blocking from aj derby. drake is going to thrive on these outside runs. pic.twitter.com/bJXWNW89pW— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
Bryce Petty deserves second-team reps
We are all aware if Tannehill goes down the season is over. But that doesn’t mean the team should remain complacent in their search for a viable back up behind #17. No one can argue David Fales has made significant strides since the last time we saw him in 2017. It would also be hard to argue that Brock Osweiler deserves to be on a NFL roster. Which leaves us to Bryce Petty, who has looked very good during his limited action in the first two preseason games.
Here are three reasons why he deserves a chance with the second-team and why he should absolutely be in a competition with David Fales. (descriptions are embedded)
1. shows poise in the pocket and delivers a nice throw to smythe in the middle of the field. pic.twitter.com/EuTKp4cRqD— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
2. has an understanding of the offense. here, he looks to the left before coming back to owusu at the sticks. nice ball placement where only his receiver can make the catch. takes a big hit that results in a roughing the passer. pic.twitter.com/cjgIfcHr5m— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
3. it might be the 4th quarter of a meaningless preseason game, but bryce petty does not care. he keeps his eyes downfield, before deciding to run. lays it all on the line for the touchdown. pic.twitter.com/kf3vt9GiNa— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
Give the man a chance!
- Chase Allen looked instinctive and could be pushing for more playing time with the #1’s
- Penalties remain a huge problem and killed several drives on Friday
- Bobby McCain did nice as CB2 opposite of Xavien Howard
- T.J McDonald is a liability in coverage
- Offensive line looked shaky and struggled at times in pass protection
- Jerome Baker continued to impress and should be a day-one starter
- Defensive tackle is still a work in progress
- Minkah Fitzpatrick looked natural at nickle, where he played a lot during his time at Alabama
- Did I mention Brock Osweiler should be cut?
- Xavien Howard had a nice interception and blanked Devin Funchess on a bad Pass interference call
here’s the interception by X. reshad jones does a good job of disguising the blitz. howard settles underneath in zone and newton just doesn’t see him. one of the easiest interceptions X will ever get. pic.twitter.com/1dX86i3gpO— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
X tossed funchess towel mid coverage. pass interference pic.twitter.com/FiUmtGBIYl— josh houtz (@houtz) August 19, 2018
This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!