Dan Marino, Hall of Fame quarterback and Dolphins special advisor, has a new unofficial title:
Increasingly visible at the team's Davie practice facility, Marino has in recent weeks worked privately with Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore, watching game tape and making suggestions to the team's quarterbacks.
"He's around all the time, and he'll pop in [the meeting room]," Moore said. "We kind of sit in there and chat and talk about ball and other things. ... Obviously, he's one of the greatest of all time. It's definitely good to have him around, for sure."
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Added Tannehill: "He’s always pointing out little things on tape, receiver’s routes, or something I’m doing. He’s good at picking up little things and passing them along."
Marino has met with the players several times, both alone and with members of the coaching staff present. While Moore and Tannehill were light on specifics Wednesday, it's clear that the tutorials were not a one-time deal.
For Marino, it's the latest twist in a job whose description still seems a bit nebulous.
When he met briefly with reporters earlier this fall, Marino said that he will work on sponsorship, stadium and community initiatives and “be supportive on the football side.”
Marino added then: “So far, it’s been good.”
Yet his hands-on approach with Tannehill and Moore is a new – and intriguing – development. Marino is not only one of the best quarterbacks of all time, he's easily the most popular player in the team's 49-year history.
If he has any sage advice on how to fix the team's offense, now's the time to give it. The Dolphins are a frustrated bunch after Sunday's struggles in Jacksonville.
The team went without an offensive touchdown in the first half for the fourth time in seven games. Mike Wallace was still steamed two days later, resorting to profanity Tuesday when discussing the team's offense.
On Wednesday, Joe Philbin indicated that he had no issue with Wallace's pointed comments.
"I think he echoed a lot of things we said," Philbin said. "We want to be better. We want to be more explosive. We want to score more points. We’re here to build something special offensively. We are not there yet. We have a lot of work to do."
That work, most certainly, begins in the first half. Miami gained just three yards in its first three drives Sunday.
That's living dangerously, considering Miami's brutal November schedule. But when asked how to reverse the trend, Philbin was short on specifics.
"We have to do a better job," Philbin said. "I have to do a better job. We have to do a better job putting the players in a position to be successful. They have to do a better job executing."
Philbin added: "I don’t think it’s one thing. I’m being serious. If I thought it was a lousy pep-talk, I would give a better pep-talk. If I thought it was a bad pre-game warmup, I would do something different. Again, every week is different, and I’ve been in this a long time. ... I like the way we prepare for a game. I concur we have to do better, but I’m confident we will."
With the season nearly half-over, it better happen soon.
For Tannehill, Sunday presents a different benchmark: his 40th NFL start. Only four other Dolphins quarterbacks have started that many games for the team – Marino, Jay Fiedler, Bob Griese and David Woodley.
“I’m just focused on the things that I can improve every day, working in this offense and what I can do each and every play to execute,” Tannehill said. “It has gone by very fast. Gone by really fast. Been a great time and I see the opportunities this team has in front of us. We have a lot of football left.”
▪ Daryn Colledge remains sidelined by a head issue that manifested itself in the first drive of Sunday's game. He missed all of practice Wednesday with what the team called an illness; he is suffering from migraine headaches and a sinus infection.
Tight end Dion Sims, seen in a walking boot Wednesday, also missed the entirety of practice. He has a toe injury.
Six Dolphins were limited in their participation Wednesday: TE Charles Clay (knee); G Nate Garner (neck); LB Chris McCain (foot); LB Koa Misi (ankle); C Mike Pouncey (hip); S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring).
▪ Coming to Sunday's Dolphins-Chargers game: the Dolphins Style Lounge, a retail boutique offering free Dolphins “Fanicures.” The Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization will also honor female military members with a private event recognizing their service.