AC In The AM: Search For Winning Formula Continues

With the Los Angeles – don’t call them San Diego – Chargers coming to town this weekend and with some positives to try and build upon from the Cowboys game, we offer this Tuesday morning dose of perspective to swallow down with that hot cup of coffee.

  • Make corrections. Move on. Forget about last week. Focus on this week. That’s been the directive through the first three weeks of the season and it will be no different heading into Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
  • Brian Flores stood before the media Monday afternoon and his message was clear. Eliminate some of those mistakes and good things will happen. ”We’re close to stringing some good plays together,” he said. “These players want to win. They want to do well. They play hard. If we stay in the present and do well in practice, I think in time things will turn.”
  • Meanwhile, I am encouraged by much of what I saw from Josh Rosen against the Cowboys, especially in the first half. The good was clearly his accuracy on several mid range passes, his ability to maneuver out of trouble and just his general overall feel for the position. He deserved to have four or five more completions and a couple of them certainly could have resulted in touchdowns. But you can’t harp on what might have been. Rosen was ineffective for much of the second half and that certainly took away from what we saw early on. Still, the talent and the upside were evident and now it’s about taking what we saw against the Cowboys and finding a greater level of consistency.
  • Rosen needs to get more help from his receivers. I can easily envision the identity of this offense becoming Rosen and his two tall, athletic receivers in Preston Williams and DeVante Parker. I mean you can’t teach 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4 and as we saw against the Cowboys, both players are mismatches waiting to happen. But as good as Williams and Parker were at times, the dropped passes need to be eliminated, or significantly reduced, for either player to take his career to another level.
  • Replay that one-handed catch by Parker in the first quarter and you’ll see everything this former No. 1 pick is capable of being.
  • It’s easy to overlook in the big scheme of things, but Ryan Fitzpatrick came in for part of a series when Rosen was in concussion protocol and made an outstanding play, first scrambling around, which isn’t easy to do at 36 years old, and then connecting with Williams for a 25-yard gain. Regardless of whether he’s starting or not, you’ve got to admire how Fitzpatrick is always prepared to step in.
  • My most pressing concern at this precise moment? An offensive line that continues to be hit by injuries, causing week-to-week changes and seriously curtailing any hopes of building a level of continuity among the starting five. The latest to go down against the Cowboys was left tackle Jesse Davis and right guard Danny Isidora. As of Monday, it was too early to know whether either can play Sunday against the Chargers. I will say that rookie Michael Deiter did a solid job moving over from left guard to replace Davis, not an easy switch.
  • Only a few days after joining the team, defensive end Taco Charlton, a former No. 1 pick, not only played Sunday against his former team, he registered the only sack of the game for the Dolphins. I’m anxious to see what he can do after a few more days of practice. Keep in mind one of the goals this season is developing players who can be long-term contributors. That includes former No. 1 picks from other teams, players like Charlton, who are looking for a second chance.
  • As each games goes by, Bobby McCain is looking more and more comfortable at free safety.
  • He’s in his eighth NFL season and playing for his fifth team and, yes, that was cornerback Johnson Bademosi making a nice tackle on a third-and-seven play Sunday, forcing a Cowboys’ punt. Bademosi came to the Dolphins from Houston as part of the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade and has done some good things early on, none more attention getting than that third down stop.
  • No player on this team works harder on his catching skills than Jakeem Grant, which is why it is hard to explain his recent drops, both as a receiver and a kick returner. I anticipate some late days on the practice field this week for Grant.
  • A story that keeps on giving: Linebacker Sam Eguavoen, playing near his home of Garland, Texas, led the Dolphins with eight tackles Sunday and he played every defensive snap. “Every game for me is a blessing,” said Eguavoen, a former CFL player and one of the feel-good stories of the summer.
  • Our thoughts are with Dolphins’ wide receiver Allen Hurns as he recovers from a concussion suffered against the Cowboys on a scary full-speed hit by safety Jeff Heath. How crazy is it that Hurns gets injured on the same field where he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in last year’s playoffs? My guess is he’s probably seen enough of that stadium for a while.
  • And now we turn our thoughts to Sunday’s game against the Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium and another important measuring stick for a team that continues to search for answers.

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