Unfortunately, for the fans, the scheduled 40-play scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium was called off because of the rain. Instead, the Dolphins were able to practice outdoors at the teams training facility a little later in the evening.
Even though the session was open to the public, the announcement came right before the workout so most fans who were planning on coming out tonight probably weren’t able to make it up to Davie. A disappointing break for the fans, but nonetheless there was plenty to talk about on the field tonight.
10 sacks: Nolan’s scheme that good or is O-line that bad?
I tend to think the media likes to blow things out of proportion this time of year, but the interior of the Dolphins’ offensive line is really starting to worry me. Yes, I am excited for the progress Nolan has made with this defense so far, as the pressure is seemingly coming from everywhere, but let’s be honest, there is no way these exotic blitzes should be this affective.
The O-line reportedly conceded 10 sacks tonight, with Karlos Dansby leading all defenders with three. Hopefully, that is a sign of things to come from Dansby, who brings play-making ability to the inside linebacker position, but bluntly speaking, the guy isn’t suddenly Lawrence Taylor. The scheme and the player have to get some credit, but in reality the interior of the O-line is probably in far worse shape than we thought.
My two cents: get a starting lineup nailed down, stick with it the rest of camp, and let the group gel properly. Let the debate begin on who those three players should be, and that is a topic for another post, but the bottom line is getting things settled needs to happen sooner rather than later.
As for tonight’s lineup, Nate Garner spent both practices today at first-team left guard, John Jerry was, once again, at right guard, and Joe Berger manned starting center, as Jake Grove continues to miss time with what is now being diagnosed as a bone bruise on his knee.
Running game shows some signs
Finally, a positive report about the offense. Ronnie Brown reportedly had some nice runs tonight, and the running game as a whole apparently looked pretty solid. So where has the ground attack been all camp, you may ask? Well, the Dolphins really haven’t featured the ground game much in 11 on 11 drills, likely because they want to keep Ronnie and Ricky fresh and healthy and, really, they already know what they are getting there, which is one of the best running back duo’s in the game.
Once again, this is also a big reason why I think the offensive struggles have been slighly overblown. Last I checked this is still a run-first team, and because they aren’t pounding the ball, like they most definitely will come September, it’s next to impossible to get an accurate feel for this offense.
Randy Starks moving to nose still looks like a smart move
Yes, the whole defense was getting in on the quarterback pressure tonight, but Randy Starks reportedly beating the double-team to get to Henne is still encouraging considering how much is riding on Starks’ move inside. Everyone is expecting Starks’ pass rush production to drop off at nose tackle, but his ability to collapse the pocket should provide a much improved interior pass rush.
How he plays the run, and his ability to command two blockers at all times will define the position change, though. According to the Sun-Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, Starks is shedding blocks better than Jason Ferguson ever did. So far, so good.