So if this is the new and improved Robert Quinn, the Dolphins fleeced the Los Angeles Rams.
After a quiet preseason opener, Quinn was nearly unstoppable against the Panthers on Friday, beating left tackle Matt Kalil for two sacks.
Miami’s pass rush in general was much improved Friday, repeatedly getting pressure on Cam Newton, who holds the ball much longer than Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who picked the Dolphins apart the week before.
Quinn, who had 19 sacks in 2013, has been excellent in practice since the day he arrived, and on Friday it showed up on the field.
The Dolphins acquired Quinn, whose effectiveness has been limited by injuries and scheme in recent years, for a fourth-round draft pick.
He wasn’t the only one doing the harassing Friday.
Davon Godchaux also sacked Newton on a two-point conversion, and Cameron Wake got pressure late in the first half, prompting a throwaway.
With Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid out of the league, Kenny Stills has become of the more recognizable faces of the NFL’s protest against racial inequality during the national anthem.
But Stills did not make the trip here for Friday’s game, leaving fellow receiver Albert Wilson as the only Dolphins player to kneel.
Quinn again raised his fist in protest during the anthem.
Wilson explained his decision to kneel last week:
“I’m on a platform that I have the right to protest,” he said. “It’s a peaceful protest.
“We’re not harming anybody. We just want people to continue to know what’s going on.”
Odds and ends
▪ The following Dolphins players did not dress for Friday’s games: Stills, wide receiver DeVante Parker, running back Frank Gore, running back Kalen Ballage, corneback Tony Lippett, linebacker Mike Hull, tight end MarQueis Gray, defensive end William Hayes and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
Wilson started for Stills. Jakeem Grant started for Parker. Drake started at running back. Jerome Baker started at outside linebacker. Godchaux started at defensive tackle. Mike Gesicki started for Gray.
▪ Wake and safety Reshad Jones made their 2018 debuts Friday. Neither played against the Buccaneers (coach’s decision).
▪ Jason Sanders, who is battling Greg Joseph for the Dolphins’ kicker job, was good on field-goal attempts of 42 and 29 yards in the first half. Joseph countered by connecting on his first attempt, a 54-yarder.
▪ Defensive tackle Kendall Langford took snaps with the first team Friday — just three days after signing with the Dolphins.
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