1. I believe Ryan Tannehill will be just fine as an NFL quarterback if he has enough help around him. I've said it, written it, stayed with it for a while now. He has the brains, the arm, the mobility, the work ethic - everything you want. And he's looking more and more comfortable in this new offense. But some critical thinking should apply to his game and that means not getting carried away with any of these preseason quarterback numbers - and that goes league-wide right now.
Last regular season, Philadelphia's Nick Foles led the league with a 119.2 quarterback rating. Seventeen quarterbacks have a higher rating right now in preseason. starting with Tony Romo (158.3), Ben Roethlisberger (151.4), Colt McCoy (150.4), Kelly Clemens (146.8) and Andy Dalton (144.4)
Tannehill has a 117.1 rating - and ranks 22nd in preseason after two games.
Yes, the sample size is too small to mean anything. And defenses aren't doing much beyond the basic. But what's also skewing numbers this preseason is the NFL's strict enforcement of defensive holding, illegal contact and hands to the face - penalties that are directed at defensive backs on receivers.
Last regular season, teams averaged 6.1 penalties a game. This preseason, it's 9.5. The Dolphins are right in this story as they've had nine and 12 penalties in their first two games.
None of this is to say Tannehill isn't having a good preseason. It's just to say temper his good preseason numbers by seeing what's going on league-wide right now.
2. Expect to see more of linebackers Jordan Tripp and Chris McCain coming up. The Dolphins need to have some options if this current linebacking trio doesn't perform. McCain played a more prominent role against Tampa Bay. Another option would be to move Tripp into the middle and Koa Misi back to outside. It's getting a little late to experiment if you consider opening week is coming up. Then again, you have to do what's best.
3. Same thought for the guards. Shelley Smith at left guard and Billy Turner at right guard should get extended looks coming up. This line will have problems against an elite player like Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy. Most offensive lines do. But the minus-5 yards rushing in the first half was a concern on top of the 2.5-yard average in the Atlanta game.
4. You saw double of what the Dolphins lack Saturday night with Tampa Bay's two, 6-5, athletic receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Safety Jimmy Wilson bounced off Jackson, who then ran to the goal line (where Brent Grimes knocked out the ball). Jackson beat the 5-9 Grimes, perhaps the Dolphins' best player, in the end zone. Big bodies like that at receiver is something the Dolphins lack.
5. The Patriots just had mid-week practices with and a preseason game against Philadelphia. No doubt Bill Belichick picked good friend and Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly's mind about his offense, which Bill Lazor has brought a lot of to the Dolphins. In other words, the Dolphins won't have as much a strategic surprise with this new offense in the opening games as they might have had.