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Phinsider Radio show notes: 10 preseason takeaways about the Miami Dolphins

Farewell preseason, hello regular season.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Phinsider Radio show notes for Sept. 8, 2021.

Today marks the start of the regular season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night football. Meanwhile, the Dolphins will start the season in New England on Sunday.

The dress rehearsals and hollow training camp drama are in the rearview mirror. However, the preseason did give us an idea of what the Dolphins will do this season. Here are 10 takeaways we should carry into the regular season.

1. Miami’s playbook under George Godsey and Eric Studesville seems to make things easier on quarterbacks.

  • Tua Tagovailoa: 24/34 282 yards, long of 50, one touchdown and one interception
  • Jacoby Brissett: 14/18 166 yards, long of 29 and two touchdowns
  • Reid Sinnett: 30/45 401 yards three touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked 6 times in the preseason!

2. The team is keeping more receivers around than we could’ve expected.

  • Isaiah Ford is on the practice squad with Kirt Merritt.
  • Allen Hurns and Lynn Bowden Jr. are on injured reserve.
  • The team keeps six receivers on the active roster.
  • Where did all that receiver drama go about cutting good talent?

3. Tight end will be a big part of what this team wants to do.

  • Godsey is a tight ends coach.
  • Dolphins keeping five on the team.
  • The team broke tight end receiving yards and touchdown franchise records last season.

4. Tua 2020 and Tua 2021 are different people

  • Comfortable, confident… looks like he is a blackjack dealer tossing cards around.
  • Unlike 2020, we can see how the team’s offense can be successful.
  • Moving the football seemed like pulling teeth at times last season.

5. We learned that we still don’t know what Miamis vision is for the running back position.

  • Malcolm Brown listed as first string running back
  • Myles Gaskin’s biggest improvement since arriving in 2019 is in pass protection. “He’s not a guy that we have to take out in those situations.” — Brian Flores.

6. The front office trusts the development of Michael Dieter.

  • Matt Skura waved.
  • No more major competition.
  • Who can be that next guy to develop on the offensive line?
  • Liam Eichenberg is the second-string right tackle.
  • Solomon Kindley is listed as starting left guard.
  • Was Flores seeing if Eichenberg could take over somewhere?

7. Noah Igbinoghene’s development continues to be bumpy.

  • Should we be concerned that the 21-year-old continues to fall down the depth chart?
  • He has all the tools but still seems like a work in progress.
  • How big of a miss could this end up being with the talented group of linemen and running backs the team would have drafted instead?
  • Listed behind Byron Jones as a boundary receiver.
  • The best performance came against the Bengals, playing 67 snaps and allowing two catches on five targets.

8. Miami is LOADED with depth in the secondary.

  • Nik Needham looks even better than he did a season ago.
  • 79 PFF grade in week 1 on more than 20 coverage snaps
  • Needham played five snaps in the slot week 2 before hopping outside and it had plenty to do with Howard and Jones being in the game.
  • Needham is listed as a boundary receiver behind Xavien Howard.
  • Justin Coleman is listed as starting slot with Elijah Campbell behind him.
  • Who plays more snaps this season, Coleman or Needham?

9. Depth may lead to Miami’s success upfront.

  • A rotation of Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis and Zach Sieler.
  • John Jenkins and Adam Butler are proven players who could have an impact.
  • How much may we see the Duke Rileys, Brennan Scarlett and Sam Eguavoen each week?
  • Eguavoen led the league in sacks this preseason
  • Kyle Van Noy and Emmanual Ogbah played around 77 percent of snaps last season.
  • Christian Wilkins was 60 percent, Sieler and Davis were both just around 50 percent.
  • Jaelan Phillips is the third-string, but for how long?
  • Jerome Baker and Emmanuel Ogbah combined for 16 sacks last season.
  • The team was in the top third in sacks last season with 41.
  • Pitt was top with 56.

10. Miami’s secondary is vital against the pass (duh) AND the run.

  • Brandon Jones played almost 40 percent of snaps last season.
  • Nick Nedham played almost 60 percent of snaps last season.
  • The team decided to move on McKinney, saw enough value in healthy Elandon Roberts on the one-year deal.
  • Jevon Holland and Jason McCourty replace Bobby McCain.
  • Can Holland and Jones hold down big running teams?

Be sure to subscribe to Phinsider Radio on Spotify, ITunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Expect new episodes from Jake and Josh every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the season. Questions and comments can be directed to us on Twitter @Jmendel94 and @Houtz.