Okay, so the Dolphins lost their pre-season opener 17-6. But winning or losing is not necessarily the objective of pre-season. It’s all about evaluation. And it’s about football season finally being here, dammit! Dolphins fans had been waiting since December to get the rather objectionable taste of a 1-15 season out of their mouths. And by “rather objectionable,” I mean “totally shitty.” Saturday night was like a giant wad of spearmint gum jammed into our mouths, as the Bill Parcells era got under way against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ricky Williams received the loudest ovation when he entered the game midway during the first half. He looked strong, fast, and lithe, gaining 31 yards on five carries. Rookies Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford looked solid, as the defensive pair seemed to be all over the ball on every play. Likewise, newly acquired ex-Cowboy defensive tackle Jason Ferguson seems to have shored up the defensive line, making the opposing running backs crap their pants in the process.
On the negative side of things, the offense is still as lethargic as ever. The first team couldn’t move the chains, and the receivers were dropping passes as if the ball had been smeared in Vaseline. And as far as the quarterbacks, it seems that rookie Chad Henne is clearly the future. Leading Miami to their only points on the night, Henne carried himself with the poise and confidence of a seasoned veteran. Also, he has a rocket for an arm, which is always a plus. While the Dolphins picked up ex-Jet Chad Pennington Friday to be their starter for this season, this team will be Henne’s team in the near future.
All in all, it was a game of many ups and downs with a lot of unanswered questions still lingering. But it was good to finally get Dolphins football back. 1-15 seems like a distant memory now. Hopefully.
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-- Chris Joseph