A six-pack of Dolphins nuggets on the eve of Dolphins-Bills:
• One player who has really helped his stock in the Dolphins’ eyes: impending free agent tight end Dion Sims, a skilled blocker who caught two touchdown passes last week.
For months, Adam Gase challenged him, privately and publicly, to be more consistent. Sims has done that, and the Dolphins want to re-sign him.
“He said, ‘Day in and day out, be the same guy,’” Sims said. “I’ve been that. I’ve been doing a good job. Matt [Moore] is looking for me, and I’m showcasing what I can do [as a receiver]. I’m sure people watching now know I’m a complete tight end. But people in the building already knew that.”
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• Former Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers said when he was serving as a voluntary Dolphins instructor this summer, he noticed that Gase told Jarvis Landry that Landry should tell him if he’s not getting the ball enough. “I would have loved having a coach [tell me that],” Chambers said.
Landry said he has never had a coach who did that and “it says a lot about the character of coach Gase and his openness to engage in conversation with his players and what we see and go back and tell him. And he'll make the change. It's something that we cherish and appreciate.”
• So how do you explain the Dolphins outscoring teams by 58 points in the second half and overtime after being outscored by 57 in the first half?
Multiple players mentioned defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s knack for halftime adjustments.
“We allow him to do what we does best – make calls and make corrections and he’s been doing it all year,” defensive end Andre Branch said.
• Per Elias, Moore’s four touchdown passes were the most ever thrown by a player who had gone at least four years between starts. Smart move by the Dolphins to sign him to a two-year deal, with $1.7 million due next season (reasonable for a good backup).
By the way, TJ Yates said he feels he could competently operate the offense if Moore is injured Saturday. Here’s how the process work: Yates is given the game plan and he then crosses out plays he’s not comfortable running. He gives his paperwork (with the crossed out plays) to QB coach Bo Hardegree, who gives it to Gase.
“There are less things crossed out this week,” he said, noting that he’s comfortable with at least 90 percent of the offense.
• Xavien Howard’s confidence was high this week after his terrific performance against the Jets. “I had confidence in my knee,” he said. “Whoever is in front of me is going to get it. Being out a long time, I was anxious to get back out there. I’ve got to play to my expectations. You can’t panic when the ball is in the air.”
He said Vance Joseph and the coaches have made him better in every area since being drafted out of Baylor.
• One surprise is how Dolphins’ TV ratings remain at historic lows despite the on-field turnaround. Between NBC-6 and NFL Network, Saturday night’s game was seen in 12.2 percent of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market homes with TV sets – much, much lower than what home teams typically draw in their home market…
CBS is sending Dolphins-Bills to just 8 percent of the country, and Patriots-Jets to 41 percent, because it believes viewers prefer to watch New England’s Tom Brady over any Dolphins or Bills. And Colts-Raiders is going to 40 percent late, partly because several markets need a 4 p.m. game instead of a 1 p.m. game.
For my Heat and UM notes today, including Goran Dragic denying a national report and a UM player mulling a transfer, please click here.