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Miami Dolphins

New Browns WR Jarvis Landry can’t leave Dolphins behind

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A season ago, Jarvis Landry was one of the bright spots in a largely poor 2017 Dolphins season. The fourth year wide receiver was once again, a Pro Bowl level player, but he was seeking a new lucrative long term contract.

And, the Miami Dolphins didn’t think he was worth the money.

After putting the one year “Franchise Tag” on Landry to restrict his free agency, the Fins brass was never really serious about giving him a bunch of guaranteed dollars. Between VP of Football Mike Tannenbaum, GM Chris Grier and coach Adam Gase, they decided that Landry was not an elite-big play receiver. And basically, let everybody know it.

Then, in the end, they traded him for just a third round pick this year (and a future pick) to the Browns, of all teams. However, Cleveland vindicated Landry’s belief that he is one of the top receivers in the NFL by giving him $47 million guaranteed.

So, understandably, Landry, new team and massive dollars in hand, is now in the mood to unload on his former employer.

Landry will likely be a prominent figure on the upcoming HBO training camp series “Hard Knocks” that is following the Browns this Summer. The first episode is coming next week

In advance of that series of shows, he talked exclusively to SI.com late this week about his contract squabbles and his relationship with coach Adam Gase, etc.

When asked about the seemingly insulting contract offers from Miami,

“I was hurt by it,” Landry said. “I became the face of the franchise in Miami, and I don’t think they wanted me to be that. The respect was just never there.”

And Landry didn’t hold back on what he believes were the biggest shortcomings for Gase: his design, play calling and basically being unapproachable on changing, the last two years. Here’s more from Ben Baskin’s item for SI:

As the losses piled up for the Dolphins, Landry says he frequently stopped in Adam Gase’s office to plead with the coach. He was basically running only four routes—two in-breaking, two out-breaking, all shallow—and knew he could contribute more. “When I’d go to talk to [Gase] about it, he’d curse me out,” he says. “ ‘Why are you telling me how to do my job?’ It got to the point where the environment was just awful.” (Through a Dolphins spokesman, Gase declined to comment.)

So, obviously, there is acrimony there.

And Landry, now with a fresh start (albeit with a disastrous team in Cleveland), still feels compelled to spout off about the Dolphins.

And in fairness Miami believes they have Landry’s “slot replacement,” at a much more friendly price, in free agent signee Danny Amendola.

So, we are about to find out who was right about Landry’s abilities, whether he was worth a big contract and whether the Dolphins have replaced him or not?

In the meantime, don’t expect Landry to shy away from taking aim from Northeast Ohio towards Gase and his former team.

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Miami Dolphins

Gameday- Dolphins host Raiders looking to remain unbeaten

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Who:  Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Spread: Dolphins by 3 (Courtesy Vegasinsider.com)

Miami has opened by winning the first two games for the first time since 2013 and now has a golden opportunity to get to 3 – 0 today. Here’s what we’re watching

Progression of Ryan Tannehill

Coming off a solid start by spreading the ball around to numerous receivers, Ryan Tannehill will look to keep it up. The Raiders defense is obviously reeling after the trading of Khalil Mack on the eve of the season, and Tannehill may be able to take advantage of the Oakland secondary.

Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson as the deep threats could do significant damage later today. Look for coach Adam Gase and coordinator Dowell Loggains to test them early.

Does Derek Carr follow up last week’s performance?

Oakland’s 5th Year quarterback was tremendous for much of the Denver game a week ago, completing 23 of his first 24 passes. With the Raiders getting acclimated to Jon Gruden’s new offense and terminology, it’s still obvious they want to get the ball out of Carr’s hand quickly with short throws.

Another part of Oakland’s offensive success is the early running of Marshawn Lynch, who is questionable for this game with an injured shoulder. They would like to set up play action with Lynch or backup running back Jalen Richard. If Miami can stuff the run, it will help greatly in stopping the Raiders attack.

Dolphins defense continues its optimistic play?

Whether it was surviving the two lengthy weather delays two weeks ago against the Titans with key sacks and takeaways, or last week in New York with frustrating rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Miami has been able to make plays at times.

That needs to continue on Sunday. Safety Reshad Jones will be a game-time decision with his injured shoulder and that could affect their defensive scheme for coordinator Matt Burke.

If Miami’s pass rushers, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Etc can get to Carr it will make life easier at Hard Rock Stadium.

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Miami Dolphins

Jon Gruden’s returns to Florida already in coaching turmoil

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It may be premature to say that the “second honeymoon” for Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders is already over, but another defeat Sunday, and it likely is.

The Raiders are clearly struggling after dropping their second straight game last week in heartbreaking fashion against the Broncos in Denver. Oakland controlled most of the game and Derek Carr was outstanding, completing 23 of his first 24 passes on the day.

However, in the end Case Keenum rallied the Broncos and when Brandon McManus’ last-second field goal went through, the smirking critics of “Chucky” were already “sticking their chests out” about his NFL return.

Without question, some of this is self-inflicted, as Gruden clearly did not want to pay and therefore keep, linebacker Khalil Mack for the Raiders. And yes, they got a bounty of draft picks in return, but Mack has been nothing short of sensational as a pass rusher in two games in Chicago, and the Raiders defense is again mediocre-at-best.

So, that brings us to Sunday. And even though Gruden has been living in the Tampa Bay area while doing Monday Night Football for ESPN, this is the first time that he’s back coaching a game in the state since the final regular-season game of 2008. That day, ironically his Buccaneers lost to the Raiders completing a four-game losing collapse and costing his team a playoff spot-ultimately Gruden his job with the Bucs.

Now, the Raiders have come all the way East to Miami to play the 2 – 0 Dolphins. And while Gruden is in absolutely no jeopardy of losing his job, at least not until year 3 or 4 if it’s not working, owner Mark Davis didn’t make this shockwave multimillion-dollar hire to have the Raiders be one of the worst teams in the NFL.

Clearly, there was going to be some learning curve for Gruden with his new staff and new players. However, with a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback like Carr the belief was the Raiders would be solid, if not a wild card playoff contender.

It hasn’t shaped up that way as of yet.

The good news for Raider fans is: no one is going to outwork Gruden at trying to get it right.

The bad news is: the Raiders may not have enough overall talent to overcome that above-mentioned learning curve and digging themselves an 0-3 hole start 2018.

And the Fins, may be about to deal “Raider Nation” their latest lost Sunday.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins got contributions everywhere in Sunday win

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of questions and plenty of reasons to doubt the Dolphins roster makeup, as 2018 was  getting underway.

However, two games in, the Fins have been impressive, and earned their way to an unbeaten start. Their latest effort Sunday at The Meadowlands against AFC East rival Jets saw numerous players new and old step up.

Whether it was TJ McDonald’s early interception of New York rookie QB Sam Darnold, or Kenyan Drake weaving through the Jets front seven for the early score a short time later, Miami set the tone.

And then, when Kiko Alonso knocked the ball free from Jets receiver Robby Anderson and Raekwon McMillan recovered it, it was new free agent receiver Albert Wilson capitalizing here:

It went for a 29-yard touchdown from QB Ryan Tannehill and Miami had command at that point at 14-0.

Tannehill spread the ball around to seven different receivers, and even found reserve A.J. Derby for a 19 yard touchdown, as the lead ballooned to 20-0 nothing.

Darnold ended with some decent yardage and a couple of second-half touchdowns, but the Dolphins registered four sacks and had three total takeaways to help put this one away.

Even ageless veteran Frank Gore got into the act. This as, the 35 year old moved into fourth place on NFL all-time rushing list trailing only Hall of Famers Barry Sanders Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

And late in the game caught a dump off pass from Tannehill and weaved through the Jet defense to pick up 3rd and 19, move the chains and allow Miami to run the clock out.

So the 2018 Dolphins don’t have Jay Cutler, Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and some of the others from a team that struggled last year.

However, their new faces stepped in and stepped up Sunday on the road.

And Miami is now 2 – 0 for the first time since 2013, and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

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