The Miami Dolphins put their first showing on the field Friday during a 16-10 preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons. As with most exhibition games, there was good and bad to take away from this contest as Miami moves forward.
Here are some additional thoughts and observations from the Dolphins' preseason opener:
I'm still scratching my head as to why backup quarterback Seth Lobato played three and a half quarters. Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill led a near-perfect opening drive for a touchdown. So the coaching staff pulled Tannehill a little earlier than expected, which left plenty of playing time for backups Lobato and undrafted rookie Brock Jensen. However, Lobato played the rest of the game. The Dolphins got an extended look but Lobato mostly struggled. He was 14-of-28 passing for 124 yards and a lost fumble. Miami only scored three points while Lobato was in the game, and that was set up by a nice punt return by rookie receiver Jarvis Landry.
Speaking of which, Miami's special teams were solid. That should make special- teams coach Darren Rizzi very happy. The Dolphins got solid kick and punt returns from Marcus Thigpen and Landry, good punting from Pro Bowler Brandon Fields and forced a fumble that was overturned by a penalty. It was a strong start for Rizzi's group as he tries to find the right combination of players.
Dolphins rookie seventh-round pick Terrence Fede continues to make a push for the 53-man roster. The defensive end was active in the second half, recording two tackles (one for a loss) and a batted pass. Fede moves well for a lineman his size but needs to continue working on his technique. With Dion Jordan facing a four-game suspension, Fede has a chance to fill that roster spot as a backup defensive lineman.
Another rookie who showed well for himself was fifth-round pick Jordan Tripp. The middle linebacker was active to the football and finished with three tackles and a pass defense that was nearly intercepted in the fourth quarter. Tripp must show what he can do on defense and special teams in order to make the 53-man roster. Friday was a solid start.
Miami only suffered one significant injury in the game. Undrafted rookie running back Damien Williams was carted off the field after several players fell on his leg in the fourth quarter. Williams, up to this point, was having a solid training camp. The severity of the injury remains to be seen.