Greg Cote

What did we learn? Dolphins QB Jay Cutler looks debonair on the sideline

Dolphins quarterback Brandon Doughty (7) in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins play the Atlanta Falcons in the first preseason game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Aug. 10, 2017.
Dolphins quarterback Brandon Doughty (7) in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins play the Atlanta Falcons in the first preseason game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Aug. 10, 2017. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Our quick-thought, quick-read observations from Thursday night’s Miami Dolphins preseason opener vs. the visiting Atlanta Falcons:

The very early right knee injury to rookie middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan, designated starter, was the most significant occurrence of the night. Seemed not real serious, but he didn’t return. A week after Ryan Tannehill, a bit foreboding.

Keep reminding yourself the final score and who won matters little, if at all — even though Miami cam eout on top 23-20. Repeat after me and let’s turn it into a mantra or chant: “The 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins lost their preseason opener!” Wow, what a cumbersome chant!

You know it's a first preseason game when your late hero is David Fales, belying the pronunciation of his surname, and his TD throws are to Francis Owusu and Damore'ea Stringfellow.

It looked a terrible crowd, for which Dolfans earn points for discerning the difference between real football and August.

Jay Cutler looked debonair on the sideline, dominating inactivity. And he didn’t even need a cigarette.

Jermon Bushrod was the only one of five offensive-line starters to start, so don’t you dare judge the OL’s performance.

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins coach, is asked about rookie linebacker and 2nd round draft pick Raekown McMillan's injury in the teams first preseason game with the Atlanta Falcons.

Miami’s special-teams coach is hoping to slink into the building unnoticed, and hoping Thursday’s game-film malfunctions on replay.

Defensive end William Hayes, 32, the free agent additiuon, looked really fast. By contrast, didn’t hear No. 1 pick Charles Harris’ name called much.

Leonte Caroo (33-yard TD catch) and 5-6 Lilliputian Jakeem Grant give Fins some interesting depth at receiver.

Impressed that defensive star Ndamukong Suh started (his choice). Stopping the other guys all starts with him.

Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins DE, is impressed with the performance of the younger players in the team's first preseason game and also says it feels good hitting another color uniform.

It’s hard to think MarQueis Gray isn’t the second-best tight end on this squad after Julius Thomas, ahead of blocking sled Anthony Fasano.

How about Storm Johnson on that 44-yard kick return. Be good tape for him when, after being released, he’s looking for work.

Assuming McMillan’s knee will be OK, all in all a pretty good soft opening for the 2017 season.

But remember that chant:

“The 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins lost their preseason opener!”

The Miami Dolphins defeated the Atlanta Falcons to mark the start of the preseason schedule on Thurs., Aug. 10, 2017.

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