Final impressions from the game

There's no need to rehash the ugliness that was the Dolphins' 17-3 loss at Pittsburgh Saturday night, but it's worth looking back at some of the most noteworthy developments. And that goes beyond the obvious problems of committing eight turnovers, including a ridiculous seven lost fumbles.

So here are a few observations:

-- Kudos to Randy McMichael. No, not for his play, which is nothing short of brutal, but rather for standing up and talking to the media afterward instead of ducking out, which players have done in the past under similar circumstances. McMichael didn't make excuses for his poor performance -- which included a lost fumble, a missed block that led to a sack, and three dropped passes -- and vowed to make sure it never happens again.

-- The offensive line obviously was a major problem, both in the running game and in the ability to pick up Pittsburgh blitzes. Coach Nick Saban was obviously not impressed, considering he made changes to the first-team offensive line at practice on Monday, moving Vernon Carey to left to right tackle, inserted Damion McIntosh at left tackle, and dropping right tackle Stockar McDougle to the second team.

-- A.J. Feeley's numbers looked very good on the surface, but it must be pointed out that his 16-for-20 performance was built mostly on short passes. That's proven by the fact his longest completion was good for only 12 yards. The truth is Feeley was OK, but we can't get past his mismanagement of the two-minute drill. The big problem here is that he kept throwing short passes, which forced the Dolphins to burn their last two timeouts. Then, on third-and-4 from the Pittsburgh 40-yard line with 20 seconds left, Feeley threw short to Lamar Gordon, who tackles in the middle of the field short of the first down. The result: Feeley couldn't spike the ball because it was fourth down, there was no time to bring in Olindo Mare for a field-goal attempt and the half ended. Ugh.

-- David Boston led the team with five catches, which anyone could have seen by the final stats. But what's impressive is he continues to make the first tackler miss. He has solidly worked his way to the No. 3 wideout job.

-- We love the idea of the Dolphins throwing deep, but we're hoping they won't do it quite as much as they did with Gus Frerotte at quarterback last Saturday. It's one thing if it worked, but the Dolphins had no success whatsoever going deep except for a 42-yard completion to Wes Welker. Frerotte tried a few other shots downfield, including third-down plays, and the percentage wasn't nearly good enough. Again, it's possible the Dolphins are just working on the long ball because it's the preseason, but we'll have to see on that one.

-- Defensively, there's every reason to be confident, although Sam Madison needs to be a better job in run support. For the second time in three games, he was the main culprit on a long run by an opponent. Madison will never be a great run defender because he's not very physical, but he can't allow himself to get out of position as easily as he's done.

Other than that, pretty good on defense. We very much like the depth along the defensive line. Vonnie Holliday was very impressive against Pittsburgh.

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