Jacksonville Preseason Game Observations

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano no doubt will be unhappy about his team giving up two late touchdowns to turn a 19-0 lead into a 19-14 victory, but Saturday night's preseason game also brought a lot of positives. Here are some observations from the game.

-- Ricky Williams continues to look awesome. The more we watch him play, the more impressed we are with his instincts at running back. This is nothing new, really, but it's just good to see it again. Don't be surprised if he winds up as the starting running back on this team, even though Ronnie Brown still will get a lot of playing time regardless.

-- Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. made two nice catches over the middle against Jacksonville, looking very much like a No. 1 receiver on those two plays. If he can do that in the regular season and show he's not just a down-the-field threat, then the Dolphins might have something there.

-- On the subject of wide receivers, just how far has Ernest Wilford fallen. He not only was demoted to the second team this week, against Jacksonville he also played behind rookie free agent Davone Bess. Wilford caught the balls thrown his way on Saturday, but didn't make much happen.

-- We still Bess and the way he seems to always get open, but if he wants to make the 53-man roster he's got to cut out the penalties. He had two against Jacksonville.

-- Tight end Sean Ryan was signed by the Dolphins' new regime as a free agent to help the special teams, and he figured to have an edge to make the team because he played in Dallas a few years back. But he has shown really poor hands in practice and dropped another ball against Jacksonville.

-- Offensive tackle Jake Long made a rookie mistake against Jacksonville when he allowed a Jaguars a defensive end to slip inside of him by trying to get to the outside too quickly, but overall the first overall pick was very impressive.

-- If you don't think Chad Pennington isn't going to make a difference for the Dolphins, watch a tape of the Jacksonville game. The guy just knows how to play quarterback.

-- What does it say about John Beck and Josh McCown that neither played a snap against Jacksonville? Not sure, but we still see no way the Dolphins are keeping four quarterbacks.

-- In the former Dolphins department, Cleo Lemon still has a strong arm and he still stares down his receivers. Don't be surprised if he gets beaten out for the No. 2 job in Jacksonville by Todd Bouman, who led the Jaguars' two touchdown drives against Miami.

-- For all the talk of the Dolphins special teams supposedly being better because of the offseason additions, we have yet to see that materialize in the preseason. The Dolphins gave up a long punt return against Tampa Bay and then gave up a long kickoff return against Jacksonville.

-- Very interesting to see Sparano get in the face of some of his players after plays, one example being Chad Henne in the second half. Henne, incidentally, didn't look as good as he did against Tampa Bay, but he still did enough good things to sustain the feeling that he eventually will become a very good NFL quarterback.

-- Cornerback Travis Daniels, who is no lock to make the team, had a rough night. He was badly beaten on a play where he played way too far off the receiver and then caught a break on a third-down pass when he again was badly beaten but the receiver dropped the ball.


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