Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fins still waiting for someone to step up at receiver

Photo: photo-gator, flickr 

Going into the preseason, the Miami Dolphins knew they were weak at the wide receiver position. But they hoped one of their young wideouts would emerge as a contributor to the offense in their exhibition opportunities.

Instead, through three preseason games, the Dolphins have learned they are actually worse off than previously thought.

Miami's receiving corps dropped a huge number of passes in last Friday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Normally the third exhibition game is when the starting offense simulates a regular-season situation, but as of now, none of Miami's young receivers could be considered a legitimate option when the actual games start.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman recognizes this problem.

“They haven’t helped matters,” he said of his young wideouts after the 23-6 loss, according to the Palm Beach Post. “And I wish they would say, ‘Hey, I’m the guy,’ and jump up from the table by having a knockout performance, and I don’t know how much clarity we’re going to have after the last ballgame.”

Legedu Naanee, who has reportedly had a good camp so far, dropped two balls in the game. Julius Pruitt, Marlon Moore and Marcus Thigpen all dropped a pass as well. Tight end Charles Clay had a pass ricochet off his hands and float deep into the secondary, which in most cases would be an interception.

The most egregious drops came from sure-handed tight end Anthony Fasano. He dropped three balls, including a would-be touchdown strike from Ryan Tannehill on a third-down play. The Dolphins had to settle for a field goal.

Tannehill played fairly well in his first game since being named the starting quarterback, but his final stat line of 11-for-27 and 112 yards suggests he struggled. His 37.9 passer rating was just as attributable to the poor play of his supporting cast as it was to his own inaccuracies.

The Dolphins are heading into a critical part of the preseason, when rosters must be cut from 90 to 53 players. Many receivers will be hitting the open market, and perhaps another team's sixth-best receiver could contribute in the talent-starved Miami offense.

In the coming days, the Dolphins will likely have some chances to inject new talent into their receiving corps either via the waiver wire or through a trade. What's certain is they have to do something.

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