PASSING THOUGHTS

The Dolphins weren't able to establish their running game against Houston in the season opener, but that may have had as much to do with their failure to do much in the passing game. And that ultimately is the bigger concern with this team offensively.

You figure at some point Ricky Williams will get his yards, but the Dolphins will have trouble running the ball until they make opponents worry about their passing game.

That hasn't happened probably since the middle of last season, or after Jay Fiedler went down with his thumb injury in the Sunday night game at Denver.

Chris Chambers' stellar performance in the season opener was easily the most encouraging aspect of an otherwise dreary day, but the rest of the passing game was mediocre, from Fiedler to wide receiver Derrius Thompson, to tight end Randy McMichael to the blocking up front.

It seemed that outside of Chambers, the passing game consisted of dump-offs to Williams.

That won't get it done in the long run. The Dolphins have to be able to throw downfield some.

Now, we like Fiedler at quarterback, but we also know the Dolphins won't ever be able to a great down-the-field passing attack as long as he's in the lineup.

That said, the Dolphins need to focus on the intermediate passing game, which is what was serving them so well in the early part of last season.

That means a heavy dose of Thompson and McMichael, along with a few shots downfield to Chambers and the short throw to Chambers where he can make things happen with his athletic ability.

For all that to happen, the offensive line needs to improve because right now it's a mediocre unit at best.


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