Richard Marshall started and Kevin Burnett sat. But of all the news involving the Dolphins new-look defense Friday, none was more significant than this:
Dan Orlovsky, a career backup, carved up the Dolphins starting 11.
It was a trying start to the Kevin Coyle era, as Miami surrendered 186 yards and two long touchdown drives in the first half alone.
As expected, Marshall started in place of demoted cornerback Vontae Davis. But no matter who was in Miamis secondary, Buccaneers receivers seemed to make catches.
The nights signature moment: When Tiquan Underwood pulled in a 44-yard bomb from Orlovsky, despite double-coverage from Jimmy Wilson and Sean Smith. That set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Doug Martin, one of six third-down conversions (out of eight tries) by Tampa Bay before halftime. Orlovsky was 7 of 7 for 89 first-half yards.
On one of the two times Miami made a third-down stop in the first half, the Bucs went for it anyway, with LeGarrette Blount plunging into the end zone from 1 yard out.
The Dolphins were a bit short-handed Friday, playing without Burnett, who watched the game in street clothes (even though he wasnt an official scratch). Gary Guyton started in his place.
The lone bright spot on defense: Jason Trusnik, who made a drive-stopping tackle in the open field. Trusnik also recovered a fumble in punt coverage.
This and that
• The Dolphins will take advantage of the leagues option of counting fewer seats sold in order to lift the weekly TV blackout, the team announced Friday. That means the club now has to sell 51,000 tickets 72 hours before kickoff rather than the 61,000 it previously had to sell for the game to be on TV.
The NFL allows teams to discount up to 15 percent of its stadium capacity in determining a sellout. The manifested number of tickets the Dolphins will now have to sell is 51,000. While the team can continue to sell all of its 75,000 tickets to fill Sun Life, only 65,000 will count as the manifested capacity.
Last year, the Dolphins had to purchase their own tickets to at least five of their eight home games to ensure a home sellout. There is a trade-off. While the club can still sell all 75,000 seats, the NFL will collect a bigger chunk of the windfall from the sale of seats above those manifested.
The move suggests the Dolphins envision trouble selling seats again in Joe Philbins first year. However, the team is actually ahead of last years season-ticket sales pace of 42,370, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said Friday.
• The Dolphins scratches: quarterback David Garrard (knee); wide receivers Clyde Gates (leg) and Brian Hartline (leg); running back Marcus Thigpen (leg); safety Kelcie McCray (foot); and guard Ray Feinga (illness).
• Jake Long, Karlos Dansby and John Denney were the captains.
• Former University of Miami star Lamar Miller was the deep returner for the opening kickoff.