The highlights and lowlights

As preseason games go, the Dolphins' 27-24 loss against Chicago Monday night in the Hall of Fame Game was pretty darn entertaining. But what's always more important in those games than the final result is who looked good and who didn't perform. So with that in mind, we offer the highs and lows of the preseason opener.

In general terms, the offense had a solid night overall in the passing game but the running game left much to be desired. The longest running play of the evening was a 10-yarder by Sammy Morris, but there also were a handful of runs for negative yardage.

In the battle of the quarterback, Gus Frerotte (11-of-17 for 143 yards with one touchdown) had much better numbers than A.J. Feeley, who was 4-for-7 for 37 yards. Here's the difference between the two as we see it: In terms of pure throwing ability, Feeley is right up there with Frerotte and he might even be better. But Feeley, like he did last year, just doesn't show good pocket presence and seems to start panicking in the face of pressure.

You're going to ask about Ricky Williams and the truth is his effort was uninspiring. He rushed for only 8 yards on five carries, although he didn't have a lot of room to run.

But let's now break down the highs and lows further.

The highs:

-- Coach Nick Saban told ABC's Michele Tafoya he liked what David Boston did in the first half, and for good reason. Boston looked like a difference-maker in his short time in the game, whether it was drawing a defensive penalty, or making a quick move to beat a defender after catching a short pass, or getting himself wide open.

-- Bryan Gilmore looked good, beyond his acrobatic touchdown catch toward the end of the first half.

-- Tight end Lorenzo Diamond looked like a quality pass catcher and given Donald Lee's inconsistency it wouldn't surprise if Diamond made the 53-man roster.

-- Of course, we have to mention backup linebacker Jason Glenn and his 27-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The lows:

For the most part, the run blocking was not impressive in the least. Also on the offensive ilne, newcomer Frank Middleton was flagged for a couple of penalties and left tackle Vernon Carey was beaten to the outside way too easily by Alex Brown on a play that resulted in Feeley getting sacked. Stockar McDougle also was beaten for a sack by former Dolphins defensive end Adewale Ogunleye.

-- The secondary was porous, as the Bears passed for almost 400 yards as a team. In particular, cornerback Reggie Howard was beaten deep a couple of times.

-- Tight end Donald Lee dropped two passes, continuing a trend where he flashes big-play ability but also shows a tremendous lack of consistency.

-- After making a nice throw to get the Dolphins in position to win the game, Brock Berlin failed to put any arch on a pass to Maurice Mann, who had gotten behind the secondary in the end zone and the result was a game-clinching interception for the Bears.

-- The Dolphins failed to convert on any of their first five third-down situations with Feeley and Frerotte at quarterback.


Dolphins Report Top Stories