Dolphins notes on a Thursday:
• Not only is Adam Gase allowing Ryan Tannehill to change plays at the line of scrimmage, he’s also permitting him to eliminate plays before the game.
“When I think about some of the things that he’s done really well, the fact that he’s open and that he makes suggestions and then if he doesn’t like something, he tells me,” Gase said this week. “That kind of communication is critical because the last thing I want to do is put him in a position to where he doesn’t like what I’m calling but he doesn’t say anything.
“But I haven’t seen that because he’s been pretty forward about things he doesn’t like and sometimes it hurts you when you’re calling plays because you really like something and then he crosses [the play] off and you’re like, ‘Ah!’ You know you felt like you really loved that play; but that’s what you need. You need that kind of dynamic because at least you know every play that’s being called, he’s basically checked his box of, ‘I’m good with it. I understand what I’m supposed to do.’ And when a guy is invested in the process, he wants to make a lot of the things really work well, especially when he gets his type of plays in there.”
• What does Gase think of Tannehill’s accuracy?
“I haven’t seen an issue with that since the beginning,” Gase said. “He’s been accurate. I know we’ve worked on some ball placement things occasionally. Sometimes what happens is just getting your feet right when you’re getting pushed in the pocket to get aligned with your throw, so every once in a while, we’ll have a missed throw.
“When you get some pressure sometimes and you have to slide, you may not be aligned. The one thing I’ve noticed with him, and I think everyone knows this, is that he’s not afraid to hang in there. He’ll have someone barreling down on him and he just stands in there and throws it. Sometimes that can cause inaccuracy. I know there are little things that he likes to work on that makes his ball placement better sometimes, but for the most part, I’ve seen a guy that hits his target a high percentage of the time.”
• Here’s my story today on the Dolphins receivers being tutored by three former NFL receivers, including Wes Welker.
One of those three, Chris Chambers, was invited by receivers coach Shawn Jefferson to be a guest coach whenever he wants. Here are Chamber’s full comments on Miami’s receivers (excluding Justin Hunter):
On DeVante Parker: “If he works, he should be unstoppable. He has hands, speed, size. You need bread and butter stuff for him. His hands look really consistent. You have to give him an opportunity to make plays. You have to get the ball in his area; if he doesn’t run route precisely, he still has an opportunity to make a play. He has to learn to get out of his route; the end of the route for taller guys, it’s tougher to bend their knees and bend down – he’s got to learn to get lower in and out of routes. He doesn’t want to give away routes. He has to stay low in and out of the cut. I emphasized that to him.”
On Jarvis Landry, who doesn’t want to be known as strictly a slot receiver: “He can be very effective outside; you look at guys like Marvin Harrison, he played outside and Landry is a lot thicker than him. They both have the same quickness and same hands. He can definitely play outside a little more, especially in the red zone. Landry’s hands are great. His demeanor is to be the best and dominate.”
On Kenny Stills: “He is a developing player, still trying to find a way to use his speed and quickness. He has both. Just a little inconsistent with his hands sometimes. Want to see more of that, being able to catch balls across the middle and break some tackles and not just be down-the-field good. He can separate really nice from the top of the route; has to be more consistent with that. If he can run good intermediate routes, that will set up his stuff down the field. Then his game will open.”
On Leonte Carroo: “He’s trying to find his way. Tremendous size, good quickness for his size. He’s thinking a little bit out there, trying to understand what’s going on. Time is going to tell with me. We know he can be physical.”
On Jakeem Grant: “He’s picking it up really fast. He’s in the slot, where he’s comfortable. He understands his quickness is superior. That’s what he has to use. He catches the ball very well. He’s an offensive weapon. It will be interesting how they develop using him. Reminds me of [running back] Darren Sproles a bit. I played with him. He was able to do some of the same things. Good short area space. Sproles was a little thicker.
The key is setting up his routes, not being too fast or too quick. [Grant] is so quick; he will beat his man on the first turn. But you have to set it up slower; makes the defender more hesitant so they don’t know where he’s going. You’re trying to make sure you don’t get hands on him. If he gets his hands on the ball with space, it’s going to be impressive. He’s the quickest and fastest guy. He’ll make an impact on special teams now.”
THIS AND THAT
Already with four new starters on the offensive line, the Seahawks learned today that rookie right guard Germain Ifedi will miss a few weeks with an ankle sprain. The Seahawks allowed 11 sacks in preseason, and there’s really no excuse for the Dolphins’ ballyhooed defensive line not to get the better of this matchup on Sunday.
• A lot of analysts are down on the Dolphins, but here’s an upbeat prediction from NFL Network’s Charley Casserly:
On Mario Williams, who had just 19 tackles in 15 games for Buffalo last season, Casserly said: “The new home is going to help him a lot. The career average is 10 sacks a year. I look for him to get back to double digit sacks. He’s [going to] force that tackle to turn on him; this guy is going to have double digit sacks this year.”
• And there’s this from CBS’ Boomer Esiason about Sunday’s game: “As a former quarterback, I kind of feel for Ryan Tannehill because he has been under a lot of different systems and there has been a lot of upheaval down there with their coaches. But now he has a guy that everybody believes is the quarterback whisperer in Adam Gase as a head coach.
“Now, there have been some growing pains already and you can see some of the confusion and some of the struggles that they have had in the preseason.
“I would say this is probably one of the most difficult opening games for one of the new coaches in the NFL. I mean, traveling all the way across the country, playing a great Seattle team that still has the speed and the great players that have taken them to the playoffs the last few years under Pete Carroll. This is going to be a difficult, difficult spot for Miami and Ryan Tannehill.
“The question is, can Miami’s defense keep the game somewhat close so the pressure is not all going to be on Ryan Tannehill to make plays against a formidable defense in the toughest stadium in all of the NFL to play?”
• Please click here for my column exploring ESPN’s overhaul of NFL talent, the brewing Skip Bayless feud at Fox and full NFL TV maps for Sunday. And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz