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Monday, August 24, 2009

Dolphins Game Aftermath

First, injury situations:

  • Jon Beason came out of the game in the first half, replaced by Dan Connor. MRI results weren't released by the team; Chris Mortensen from ESPN suggests it's a MCL tear and he'll be out 4-6 weeks, but Mortensen said that before any MRI. Beason believes it a sprain and he'd only miss 2 weeks of preseason.
  • Charles Godfrey broke bones in his hand. He was replaced by Quentin Teal. (Update - Godfrey had surgery, Fox states he's day to day. Would definitely miss the next two games, and is being replaced by Kevin Kaesviharn, former Bengal and Saint)
  • Jeff Otah went down, came out of the game to be replaced by Geoff Schwartz, and later re-entered the game. No tests were done, Otah is presumed to be fine.

Observations: Jake Delhomme looked sharper this week, hitting most of his targets. Only Mike Goodson's swing pass to the left flat was high, and was caught. Delhomme looked more in a rhythm, hit numberous receivers, and finished 5/7 for 47 yards.

The tight ends had a great game. Contrary to last week, Gary Barnidge didn't start; all three players got time with the first offense and Dante Rosario responded well, with three big receptions for 54 yards, and a good downfield block that helped spring Deangelo Williams on his TD run. Compared to last week, Rosario was brilliant - last week Rosario gave up a sack in pass protection and was fairly poor in overall play. Jeff King and Barnidge each brought down two balls, on out routes.

Matt Moore got the 2nd QB role this week, showing poise in the pocket and gunning downfield. One pass should've been intercepted (but wasn't), but Moore showed a willingness to make things happen. He needed to dump the ball off more to keep drives alive, which is where Josh McCown thrived, piloting a long scoring drive but not making any plays against the third string Miami defense. McCown was 7 for 12, for 61 yards, where Moore was 4/9 for 41.

Mike Goodson had 8 carries for 23 yards, at times looking explosive but not having a lot of success when not running outside. Goodson took the punishment and didn't lay the ball out, which was a start, but he needs to hit the hole faster and run inside better to remain a bigtime contributor.

Not much stood out at WR. Without Muhammad or Steve Smith, Dwayne Jarrett and Kenny Moore started; Jarrett failed to get a target. Ryne Robinson was the 3rd WR and got a few looks, but failed to do much with it. It's hard to remember much that happened with the WRs that was positive, with Ryne Robinson's 1 catch for 15 yards leading receivers.

The first offensive line blocked well, giving the QBs time and Deangelo Williams space to run; Geoff Schwartz didn't give up much run blocking but pass blocked poorly in relief of Otah. Schwartz, who came from a pass-first offense, still doesn't have quick enough feet to play RT on his own at this level.

Everette Brown collected another sack, on another fast outside move that batted the football away from Chad Henne. This time, however, instead of battling another rookie, this was Pro Bowl OT Jake Long. Brown didn't give up much to the powerful Brown. Hilee Taylor was all over the field but struggled against the run; Charles Johnson showed awareness and strength, not giving up much against the run and getting a good hit on Henne, but against backups Johnson still should be playing at a higher level.

Nick Hayden had a couple good pass plays, almost blocking a pass and getting near the quarterback twice. He has a good first step, knows what to do with his hands. But against the run, he won't just take the contact, and easily seems to vacate the hole he's supposed to cover. He doesn't look like he gains leverage well. Marlon Favorite does a much better job holding the point of attack but has no penetrating moves or ability, has a slow first step, and doesn't get off blocks well. Corvey Irvin looks solid but doesn't stand out right now, being beaten out by a former 6th rounded and the rookie undrafted Favorite.

James Anderson made plays this week, leading the team with 8 tackles. Last week got him press, but this week he actually made things happen, and laid some hard hits. Landon Johnson played while coming back from injury, but didn't impress. As always, Dan Connor made some punishing hits, including one to Ronnie Brown that ended up pushing Brown to the sideline to rest. Jeremy Leman looked off-cue this week, still looking like a heat-seeking missile but not pointed in the right direction.

Despite the mid-week comments, Dante Wesley played at corner. He was unremarkable there, which beat CJ Wilson who gave up a number of plays. Sherrod Martin looked solid late in the game tackling but gets turned around on his receivers somewhat often.

Carolina plays Miami again in the regular season, primetime November 19th at home. Carolina has never beaten Miami, and will get a great chance here.
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