Lightning strikes Saturday evening forced the Dolphins’ annual scrimmage indoors.
The heavens did a favor to the hundreds of fans sent home. Because those prone to panicking about Miami’s offense were better off missing the scrimmage.
We could tell you how the Dolphins looked on that side of the football — and to be clear, it was bad — but we’ll leave it up to the team itself.
▪ Coach Adam Gase: “There was just no juice whatsoever. It was almost like a walk-through.”
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▪ Receiver Jarvis Landry: “We’ve got a lot of work to do. The defense came out with a lot of intensity and a lot of energy, and we’ve got to find ways to match that and even go above that.”
▪ Linebacker Kiko Alonso: “I think they maybe got one first down, so that’s a good day.”
Alonso was asked: Will you remind your offensive teammates of that?
“I don’t think we even need to,” he said. “I think they already know.”
They do indeed. And if they don’t, Gase will remind them of it first thing Monday.
Statistics don’t always tell the story. But in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage, they did a passable job.
The Dolphins indeed gained just one first down in eight series. Their offensive line surrendered at least five sacks. Ryan Tannehill averaged fewer than 4 yards per passing attempt. The Dolphins managed a mere 15 rushing yards on 10 carries.
They didn’t cross midfield the entire evening. Not the starters. Not the backups.
And if that’s not enough to ruin your breakfast, there’s this: The first-string offense didn’t face the starting defense once.
That means Tannehill and company couldn’t move the football against the backups.
“It’s one day out of training camp,” center Mike Pouncey said. “... I think our offense is going to be OK. I think this is just one day. ... Obviously, we only ran 10 plays [Saturday], and I hate to judge our offense on 10 plays.”
Gase, of course, would agree. But he was in no mood to sugarcoat the team’s failures late Saturday.
“It irritates me,” Gase said. “You get to practice one time a day, and you have a limited amount of practices, and how many times are you going to be in pads? I think it’s like 22 for the whole year. To not take advantage of that, it’s bothersome.”
How does he change that?
“I think when you get smacked in the mouth, you’ve got to step up. ... Somebody’s got to make a either make a play or we’ve got to stop the defensive line from penetrating or we’ve got to pop a run, complete a ball. Something.”
▪ The scrimmage was by far the low light of Pouncey’s day. He graduated from the University of Florida with a sociology degree early Saturday, flying to Gainesville in a chartered jet, walking with his class and then returning in time for practice.
“It meant the world to my parents for me to graduate from college,” Pouncey said. “It was just another accomplishment I can say that I earned.”
Pouncey took — and passed his last final Friday.
▪ Unofficial stats from Saturday: Tannehill completed 4 of 6 passes for 22 yards. ... Matt Moore was 1 of 4 for 6. ... Damien Williams was the team’s lone offensive bright spot, gaining 19 yards on three carries. ... Brandon Doughty threw an interception to A.J. Hendy. ... Andre Branch, Jordan Williams, Jason Jones and Chris McCain all had sacks. Cleyon Laing and Julius Warmsley combined for another.
▪ Receiver DeVante Parker missed his fourth consecutive practice with a hamstring injury. ... Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (quad), running back Kenyan Drake (hamstring) and defensive tackle Farrington Huguenin(ankle) were also sidelined. ... Ndamukong Suh returned to action after sitting out Friday with a minor back issue. ... Isaiah Pead (hamstring) was likewise back in pads.
▪ Pro wrestler the Big Show was among the VIPs on-hand for Saturday’s scrimmage. The behemoth (he’s 7 feet tall) lives in South Florida now, and has become a Dolphins fan. “I was hyped on the sidelines,” he said.