Barry Jackson

Exploring Dolphins’ curious playing time decisions, and who graded out best and worst

“We got to move on for next week.” Reshad Jones said.

Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones talks to the media after their 59-10 lost against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL football game at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, September 8 2019, in Miami Gardens.
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Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones talks to the media after their 59-10 lost against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL football game at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, September 8 2019, in Miami Gardens.

A six-pack of Monday Miami Dolphins notes:

One longtime Dolphins starter (safety Reshad Jones) and another who was drafted with the thought that he would be a longtime starter (linebacker Raekwon McMillan) played well below half the defensive snaps in Sunday’s 59-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Though Jones started at safety alongside Bobby McCain, he played just 32 of 77 defensive snaps. Among other safeties, McCain played 59, Minkah Fitzpatrick 49, Walt Aikens 18 and Steven Parker 16.

Among linebackers, McMillan was on the field for just 22 defensive snaps, compared with 72 for Jerome Baker, 68 for Sam Eguaoven, 14 for James Crawford and 10 for Vince Biegel.

Other snap count allocations Sunday:

Cornerback: Eric Rowe played 72, Xavien Howard 71, Jomal Wiltz 15 and Chris Lammons 13.

Defensive tackles: Rookie Christian Wilkins logged 65 snaps, John Jenkins 47 and Davon Godchaux 45. A lot of Wilkins’ snaps came as an end in a 3-4 defense

Edge players/defensive ends: Charles Harris played 61, Avery Moss 47 and Jonathan Ledbetter 51. Harris started at linebacker, while Ledbetter — the undrafted rookie from Georgia — started at defensive end. Moss was claimed off waivers from the Giants last week.

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick played 45 of 50 snaps, with Josh Rosen playing the others.

Running back: Kenyan Drake played 27, Kalen Ballage 20 and Mark Walton 4.

Tight end: Mike Gesicki played 34, Nick O’Leary 20 and Durham Smythe 12.

Wide receiver: DeVante Parker played 38, Allen Hurns 25, Jakeem Grant 30 Preston Williams 21, and Albert Wilson 6. Wilson was limited by a calf injury.

Pro Football Focus said these were the Dolphins who graded out best on offense, in order: 1) Williams; 2) Parker; 3) Wilson; 4) guard Michael Deiter.

The four who graded out the worst on offense: 1) tackle Jesse Davis; 2) guard Danny Isidora; 3) tackle Julien Davenport; 4) Josh Rosen (only five snaps).

Pro Football Focus said these were the Dolphins who graded out best on defense: 1) tackle John Jenkins; 2) tackle Davon Godchaux; 3) end Jonathan Ledbetter; 4) safety Jones.

The four who graded out the worst on defense: 1) Aikens; 2) Rowe; 3) Wiltz; 4) Fitzpatrick.

The Dolphins’ coverage numbers were horrific. Rowe allowed all six passes thrown in his coverage area to be caught, for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzpatrick permitted all six thrown against him to be caught, for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Against Aikens, quarterbacks were 4 for 4 for 53 yards. Against Wiltz, it was 2 for 2 for 72 yards.

Dolphins rank toward the bottom of most positions on PFF’s rankings. Rowe is 84th of 87 cornerbacks, Fitzpatrick 63rd of 64 safeties, Wilkins 79 of 90 tackles; Eguavoen 64 of 70 linebackers, Davenport 56th and Davis 50th of 57 offensive tackles, Isidora 56th of 59 guards.

Davenport gave up a sack. Davis allowed four pressures.

The good news: Deiter played well and is 16th of 59 guards.

Pro Football Talk reported that several Dolphins have told their agents to try to engineer trades out of Miami. The Dolphins said Sunday night that nobody has asked for a trade, but there has been no outright denial of Florio’s report. As of Monday afternoon, The Miami Herald has not independently confirmed any player asking for a trade.

Kenyan Drake’s agent, Pat Dye, did not comment when asked via email if Drake has requested a trade.

One player who has not asked for a trade: cornerback Xavien Howard. The team has told him it values him and Howard said last week that he wants to remain with the Dolphins.

Minkah Fitzpatrick told reporters that he wasn’t aware of anyone who asked for a trade.

As expected, there was a steady stream of commentary of the Dolphins by NFL people on social media.

The Athletic’s business writer, Daniel Kaplan, said that CBS analyst and former Steelers Super Bowl winning Bill Cowher told him that “it’s not fair to the players to ask them [players] to commit themselves to you this year when your thinking is in two or three years’ time.”

Agent David Canter, who has represented many Dolphins over the years, said on Twitter: “Today’s Miami game is the answer to the penultimate question that’s been pondered for years. What happens when an NFL rosters plays a CFL roster in a real game?”

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