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Week 7: Dolphins at Jaguars
Before training camp began we were all excited about what Lazor could do with RB Knowshon Moreno and WR Mike Wallace. With Lazor's version of the Chip Kelly offense, we were hoping for somewhat of a version of LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Well, something close anyways.
Knowshon Moreno is recovering at a snail's pace.
Knowshon Moreno was a former first round pick of the Broncos, and had a very good year last year. If you had him on your fantasy league then you were very happy with him despite Air-Manning being the main focus of the Broncos.
Unfortunately, 5 weeks after getting his knee scoped he does not look to be anywhere near ready to play. In fact, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald is reporting that he may miss the entire preseason. Lamar Miller has gotten most of the snaps in that time and has looked good. He's working hard and shows flashes of being a good fit in this new offense, but from I am hearing Miller needs better consistency and focus. Let's keep in mind that the fantasy gurus were telling us last year that Miller was going to be a baller. Let's just hope that this is the year that he shows that he is our playmaker.
Luckily for Moreno, Coach Philben hasn't liked to give the rock to just one back. That's a head scratcher since Miller was clearly better than Daniel Thomas and we kept hearing they were "equal". Talk about a botched up job of brain-washing the fans. This is the internet age and we fans see a lot more tape on our Dolphins and know a lot more than coaches give us credit for.
Mike Wallace pulled his hammy.
One person that new OC was excited about is Mike Wallace. In fact, he has put him in many different offensive packages that mimicked what the Eagles did with DeSean Jackson last year. The reports were very favorable, but perhaps he is being used a little too much as he pulled his hamstring and is in danger of missing our first preseason game.
I am sure he will be fine by the start of the season, but right now the deep pass between he and Ryan Tannehill is nonexistent. That will only get bet with repetition, but with Miami's offensive line having issues with a very good Dolphins defense, the passes are not connecting with Wallace.
Backup Center Sam Brenner has a lower leg injury
The Dolphins are still having serious problems at center despite the fact that Coach Philben thinks they'll get it resolved. As I talked about a couple weeks ago, losing Mike Pouncey is a serious loss to an offensive line that was not a cohesive unit last year. It is such a shame that Jake Long's body could not keep up with the constant pounding as he would have been a major mainstay at LT for us for many years. His leadership was definitely missed last year.
So, the Dolphins felt that they could go with Shelly Smith at center, but he has had several botches with the ball exchange with his quarterback. Backup center Sam Brenner has a lower leg injury. Now the Dolphins are turning to Nate Garner who subbed in for Pouncey the last two games of the year. While he didn't do a terrible job, keep in mind that the offense was ineffective in those games and lost to our rival divisional foes and did not make the playoffs despite the fact that we were in control of our destiny.
With 5 new starters on our offensive line this year, things have got to get better if the Dolphins hope to control the clock. The Dolphins have Brandon Albert at LT, newly signed Daryn Colledge at LG, and rookie Ja’Wuan James set at RT, but their RG and C positions do not have a starter. At RG we have last year's 3rd round pick Dallas Thomas battling it out with rookie Billy Turner. Neither one has proven to be consistent yet. Turner may need another year to develop, but I feel he will eventually be our RG.
“I’ve been really impressed [with Ja'Wuan James]. He has some obvious rookie growing pains or learning curve. But talk about a great attitude, a great work ethic and a very talented individual! He’s done very well up to [now]. Very optimistic with Ja’Wuan.” (OL Coach Benton)
What I think will happen is that the Dolphins will eventually add Samson Satele at C and move Shelly Smith to RG. If that were to happen then I would have more confidence that Lazor's offense will take off this year.
DE Dion Jordan will have an outstanding year.
Once he gets past his 4 game suspension, Dion should look like the most improved Dolphin. He's gained muscle mass, and this is because his work ethic has been outstanding. I think all the cry baby fans that we have will be eating their criticism for trading up to the overall #3 position last year to get him.
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