Overall it is difficult to tell from a game this early. But we did have a good running percentage, and a good running defense for an entire game.
Short version, my biggest concern certainly after thinking they(Passing Defense) could be a strong part of our defense, was that TB's QB's completed 37/47 passes. Our #1 in practice, Howard, burnt(well, pass's completed) consecutively by excellent receivers. Surely playing Howard against Parker(& I have only heard they line up across from each other on most plays) on every play in practice is not good for either.
I think Howard can be a top level CB, with shut down capability completely dependent on how good he want's to be.
Parker.....from everything I've read, only eating chicken tenders, not listening to experts concerning hydration pre-contest, to not coming to the QB, or.....man, it goes on. I hope like heck he proves me wrong, but I'm convinced he will be gone after this year and in his entire career will have a few great/very good games, most likely against us because he will hold some personal blame against the Phins as to why his career was not top shelf. I would get something for him as soon as possible, certainly if tomorrow is an option. I'm not sure how the rookie salary cap figures into a situation like Parkers?
Cooper has better #'s & White, even though injury has played a roll(it did as well with Parker), barely has any #'s at all. Each was expected to be the ace receiver of their team.
I have good feelings watching Fitzpatrick & Ballage. However, that is a curiosity not to be answered for any of us(& something to build on as an Offensive Coordinator)!! Meaning I feel Gore will not play until regular season, so no one really knows how that 3-headed monster will/may/could dominate, making the passing game more open. Above all, there can be no 3-headed monster without an Offensive Line that communicates, cooperates, & stays healthy....& as our depth is a concern, it could make Smythe's # of plays more important than Gesicki's.
Lastly, even though the numbers turned out excellent for the Defense in the run game, it was a ways down the depth chart when things equalled up. So our DL & LBs still have a lot of thinking transferred into physical play in order to come close to a middle of the NFL type of year.
Nature of the beast=writing mostly about our rookies. Cannot tell if 4, 5, maybe even 6 of our draft class will have better than average rookie contributions compared across the league??!!?? That would either be a sure sign of keeping the staff that drafted them. A sure sign of how depleted our depth's are, or fill in answer here after season!?!?!?
If you think that is crazy let me talk out the side of my neck for a minute: Fitzpatrick is gonna play. Gesicki & Smythe are gonna play. Was Ballage's time tonight only given to avoid injury to a starter?? I don't think so!! I've heard Baker is not quite there, yet the best part of his game is tackling. Not sure if we need LB's that tackle.....yes I am!! Sanders or Joseph will play. Leaving Armstrong & Poling from the Draftees, & whomever if an UDFA plays his butt off!!
Again, it's very early to say what or if Rookies will do anything. But man it's a good feeling to allow yourself to believe the best will happen for the Dolphins this year; think that our Rookies can contribute a lot this year, and hope the same guys that drafted these will have enough foresight to keep doing it year after year!! Sooner rather than later we could actually be using Rounds 2-3 & 4 for Depth!!!
Okay, now to address penalties! Although there is nothing I can say that has not been said several times by some of the professional reporters!! I think of Shula & that is the FIRST thing that comes to mind! How did he do it?? Year after year his Dolphin teams were either #1, or usually in the top 5(I think; I BELIEVE!!) for LEAST PENALIZED TEAMS!!!! I am under the impression that many of these players do not understand the importance of not being penalized. The discipline & intensity it requires. As opposed to being "tense" & "undisciplined" which allows a smart QB to gain 5 yards or a first down just by using "inflection"=modulation of the voice; change in pitch or tone of voice. These small/minor(only in the way attention is paid to them are they small & minor) mental parts of the game are normally what separates Champions from .500 teams, veterans with long careers where physical attributes have become less dominant but the mental part of the game has increased.