Barry Jackson

Dolphins players bemoan offense; UM’s Diaz bemoans coverage breakdowns

Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Some Dolphins and some Canes on a Wednesday:

• Several of the Dolphins’ key offensive pieces made clear on Wednesday that what we’ve seen from this offense through two games isn’t acceptable.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” receiver Jarvis Landry said of a team that ranks 30th in points per game (12.5), 32nd and last in yards per play, 28th in rushing yards per game, 29th in passing yards per play and 32nd in third-down efficiency.

“The biggest thing for us is finding a way to put points on the board even if it’s only three points [on an early drive],” Landry added. “We need to find a way to get better plays on first and second down. We haven’t played up to our potential. It helps [that] coach is open to suggestions.”

Adam Gase has been particularly frustrated with mental errors, one player said.

The mission of the receivers, Landry said, “is find a way to get open for Jay Cutler and win one on one matchups.”

Cutler took accountability for his poor play against the Jets.

“Offensively, we have to play better and that starts with me,” he said. “[Gase] went a little stronger on us. He’s a passionate guy. We feel we should do better.”

Tight end Julius Thomas, who has only 43 yards in receptions through two games, said: “It's been a pretty big transition, not just for myself but for the offense in general. I'm not going to be overly concerned with myself.”

Thomas said “everyone has a passion and desire to be good at what we do. It will happen. We have the talent we need. I know for him having an efficient, successful amazing offense is highly important.”

Right guard Jermon Bushrod was angry with himself for a couple of poor blocks Sunday. “I am so much better than a couple plays,” he said. “Out of character for me.”

The offensive linemen were subjected to a film session of every running play in the Jets game and “it wasn’t easy to watch,” Bushrod said.

Here’s my six-pack of Dolphins personnel notes from Wednesday midday, including some upsetting stuff about how quarterbacks do when they play the Dolphins.


A few items from UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s press briefing on Wednesday:

• On criticism of cornerback Dee Delaney: “It’s so easy at times to see from the stands or TV and it always looks like one guy was the guy. We don’t ever air our issues in public. So what sometimes looked like were his plays were not always his plays. So as long as we know that, understand that our mentality is to make our last game our worst game, find a way to improve, focus on what’s real, what’s in front of you.”

• Still, Diaz was irked by UM’s pass defense at times against Toledo.

“We had some egregious coverage busts, things we had not done in a year-and-a-half. You look at why that happened - a lot of varying reasons. Is it coaching, personnel things or does a lot have to do when you watch us in the second quarter, late in the second quarter, where we’re just holding on. Because it became systematic. If it was one guy … but when we have linebackers, corners, safeties not executing, not covering anybody. We just had a guy standing out there.”

And he said “third down defense [was] very disappointing. Some of that was early execution, new personnel in new places learning their way.”

• The good news, Diaz said: “If we continue to play great run defense I know we can fix our coverages, know we can get better on the back end and we anticipate getting better on the back end. We knew we’d be inexperienced - when we were inexperienced in the front last year our experienced back end covered up for a lot of their mistakes. When you’re inexperienced in the back end there’s nothing to cover up, right? You’re kind of exposed back there. We’ll get better, had a better week of practice this week.”