Say this for the Dolphins boss, when it comes to his QB decision, he’s gonna remain consistent. And, at this point for the upcoming 2018, he doesn’t have a lot of great options.
In a feature item for SI.com’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” Gase was interviewed by senior writer Albert Breer late last week about the Fins progress heading into his third season as head coach.
In the NFL, June is time to reset—for teams, players and the MMQB. @AlbertBreer’s Monday column runs through what to look for as minicamps kick off this week, from Tannehill, Brady and Gronk to the Lions' new mood and the Bears' new attack.https://t.co/hdI2r3vwkC pic.twitter.com/zZc8jXVPnJ
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) June 4, 2018
And while Breer is covering most of the key parts of the subtractions of Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry, and Mike Pouncey, as well as, the additions of Danny Amendola, Robert Quinn and drafting Minkah Fitzpatrick, still the #1 topic in every NFL market is the QB.
So, the item hones in on Gase’s repeated belief in signal caller Ryan Tannehill returning from his ACL surgery.
Now, we at F.F.I have well chronicled that Gase has publicly stated all throughout the off season that when training camp begins, barring a serious injury, Tannehill will be the starter in South Florida. The positive update is Tannehill has been fully cleared to practice during OTAs and their upcoming mini-camp, and he has looked and moved a lot like the Tannehill that was beginning to shine during the 2016 season, when he hurt the ACL originally.
So, of course, Gase clearly was going to repeat to Breer this past week, “he’s our guy,” just like he has to everyone else. And he did:
“Just being around him (Tannehill), this being my third year, the guy competes as hard as anyone I’ve been around, especially at that position. And it’s a good feeling as a coach when we’ve got him back out there.”
Now, something else revealing comes from Breer’s “MMQB” post. Gase gave more insight into the dynamic of having a QB that you still believe in, but the opportunity to grab one early on in this year’s draft. Again from Breer’s item:
Just before the Senior Bowl in January, the Miami coach sat down with Ryan Tannehill and explained how in the months ahead, no matter the final result, it may look an awful lot like Miami was gearing up to replace him.
“He was well aware of everything we were doing,” Gase said of Tannehill, as he drove home from the team facility on Friday. “He was good, never batted an eye. He focused on himself, he focused on making sure he was healthy for the spring. We wanted to make sure he’d be able to participate in everything. He didn’t have any setbacks. Everything went really smooth. At the end of the day, he’s focused on doing what he needs to.”
Breer went on write that Gase personally informed Tannehill of every step of the draft evaluation process, who they were looking at, having individual meetings with, etc. So, that Tannehill wasn’t caught off guard finding out from the media or online.
It did not happen.
Now, since the draft, the Fins have also signed former Jets draft pick and three year veteran Bryce Petty, who along with fellow veteran Brock Osweiler are there as the backups.
But, Gase remains focused on making Tannehill back into what they had in 2016.
For now, that’s still their plan.
Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay
Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.
It just looks and feels that way.
Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.
Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.
Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.
The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.
Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.
Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.
It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.
Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.
The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year they got off to a 3 – 0 start.
So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.
Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.
No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.
Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field
Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Here’s what to watch:
Dolphins defensive coordinator Burke under scrutiny
It has been a tough few weeks for the Dolphins all the way around, but specifically on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles are mounting. And when you throw in a player pouting and essentially pulling a mutiny on the sidelines last Sunday, it’s not good for the defensive coordinator.
That’s what happened a week ago when Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones refused to go back in the game on two occasions during the second half of the Dolphins close 13 – 6 win over the Jets. It’s been a big topic in South Florida for the last few days, and it obviously has defensive coordinator Matt Burke having to answer for what’s going on in the defense of meeting rooms, practices, etc.
Dolphins Live: Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke meets with the media. https://t.co/2145Fq3uaU
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 8, 2018
As the press continued to poke at him about the Jones situation, you could tell that Burke is over it, as is coach Adam Gase, and they want to move on for this week. However, Jones didn’t make that any easier, when he basically refused to apologize for not wanting to play.
And, moving past it may also be easier said than done, when the opponent is All-Pro quarterback and former League MVP Aaron Rodgers at his house, Lambeau Field.
Yes, the Dolphins have some pass rushers, and that would include second-year defensive end and former number 1 pick Charles Harris returning to practice this week after a calf injury, and he may be able to play. Veteran Cam Wake came alive pressuring Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold repeatedly, and registering a couple of sacks.
However, the defensive plays have been few and far between, as the Dolphins have lost four of the last five games.
That brings us back to Burke, who was elevated after coaching the linebackers in 2016, when Vance Joseph left Miami to become Denver’s head coach. After spending his entire pro career as a linebackers coach, this is his first opportunity to be the guy in charge of the defense.
So, he and Gase can get aggravated with the questioning of what we’re seeing, but the bottom line is: if the Dolphins defense doesn’t continue to step it up, like they did last week, there is going to be much more scrutiny of him.
The oddsmakers have the Dolphins as double-digit underdogs to Rodgers and the Pack.
Now, let’s see if Burke’s unit will rally together, play solidly and give Miami a chance to win Sunday.
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