Preseason Game 1 Observations

The big story of the Dolphins' preseason opener against Tampa Bay clearly was the quarterback position, what happened before the game with the news that David Garrard would be out for at least two weeks and during the game with the play of rookie Ryan Tannehill. But there were many other developments of note in the 20-7 loss.

• WR Chad Johnson had one ball thrown his way ... and dropped it. It came on a third down on the Dolphins' first drive of the game. Obviously can't have that. No, that one play doesn't mean Johnson is in danger of getting cut.

• Let's not make too much of Matt Moore's mediocre numbers. That drop by Johnson cost him his first drive and his third and final drive ended when he had a pass tipped at the line and it was intercepted. Bottom line: He wasn't nearly as bad as his numbers would suggest.

• The Dolphins didn't run the ball very much and they didn't run it very well. There was one nice burst by Reggie Bush up the middle where he made a nice juke move and that was it. Even while acknowledging you never should make too much of the first preseason game, let's just say it doesn't appear the ground game is going to be a strength on this team in 2012.

• Please tell me again how it was that Roberto Wallace was no higher than fourth team on the first depth. He looked very impressive against Tampa Bay.

• Then again, so did Julius Pruitt.

• Rookie tight end Michael Egnew finally made himself visible, but it looked like he was fighting every ball. Being a third-round pick, it would take a catastrophe for him not to make the team, though.

• Rookie Jonathan Martin got a lot of playing time at right tackle, staying in the game long after the rest of the starting offensive line had left the game. Martin looked good for the most part, although he was flagged for two false starts and he said after the game he was beaten in pass protection a couple of times.

• Again, it's only one game, but Lamar Miller looked awfully hesitant running the ball and on the two kickoff returns he had. Fellow rookie Rishard Matthews looked a lot more decisive in his kickoff returns, even though he doesn't have Miller's speed.

• Defensively, it wasn't a great night for Vontae Davis, who played with the second unit and promptly gave up a long completion when Tiquan Underwood got behind him.

• Fellow corner Sean Smith's failure to tackle Mike Williams after a short pass also cost the Dolphins about 10 yards. That's an area that's always been a weakness for Smith.

• The front seven is supposed to be the strength of the defense, but we saw very little against Tampa Bay. Then again, coordinator Kevin Coyle didn't do anything exotic and starting linebacker Kevin Burnett missed the game after returning from warmups in street clothes.

Overall, it wasn't exactly the kind of debut that's going to make anybody think the Dolphins can challenge for a playoff spot this season, but it was only one game and Tannehill did look very good.


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