MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel still hasn’t revealed which starters will participate in Friday’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons. But if two days of joint practices with Atlanta are any gauge, every able-bodied member of the offense could use the work.
The Dolphins have had their three worst offensive performances in their last three practices, including last Saturday’s scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium that Tua Tagovailoa said Wednesday “wasn’t up to our standard.”
The latest struggle was Wednesday, which, as we detail in our Day 11 Miami Dolphins practice report, was the worst yet for a passing attack now down a couple of significant pieces.
Miami Dolphins Practice Report: Latest News From Training Camp
What Happened to Miami’s Offense?
McDaniel referred to Tuesday’s ugly offensive performance as “average.”
He probably has a stronger word for what the Dolphins put on tape during team drills against the Falcons Wednesday.
Before we get to that, some bad news for Dolphins fans: Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle suffered what appeared to be an injury to his right torso while making a catch Wednesday. He walked to the locker room under his own power but did not return.
With Waddle out and Raheem Mostert getting the day off with an undisclosed issue, Tagovailoa couldn’t get anything going. By our unofficial count, Tagovailoa completed 5 of 14 passes for 36 yards and threw a terrible pick across the middle on his last snap of the day (which, in his defense, was a must-score, two-minute situation).
Tagovailoa did have a touchdown pass to tight end Julian Hill in a red-zone drill, but he missed a wide-open River Cracraft moments earlier.
Dating back to the scrimmage, Tagovailoa has (unofficially) completed 30 of his last 59 passes in team drills for 291 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. That comes out to a 62.2 passer rating and a 4.9 yards-per-attempt average.
When asked point-blank to assess the offense at this stage of camp, Tagovailoa was diplomatic:
“Regardless of if it was the best day ever for the offense or it was the worst day ever for the offense, we got to keep growing, we got to continue to get better. There’s a lot of things we need to clean up, and I think, you know, we’re doing so in all these afternoon meetings.”
Tua Tagovailoa on the Miami Dolphins’ offense pic.twitter.com/CSPXUaAfBF
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 9, 2023
Mike White Surges To Lead In QB2 Battle
Remember all of those stories from last week about Skylar Thompson outplaying Mike White in the backup quarterback battle?
Well, that narrative has flipped this week, and not a moment too soon for White, who, based on the lopsided allocation of 11-on-11 reps this week, is likely to start the preseason opener Friday and play a ton of snaps.
White went 6 for 6 in team drills for 57 yards and a touchdown. Thompson was no slouch either, however, and had a throw of the day when he connected with De’Von Achane for a 25-yard touchdown strike on the last play of practice.
But overall, White has had the better of it — even if McDaniel is still a long way from naming a starter.
“He’s had a real cool couple of weeks, just getting used to everything,” McDaniel said of White. “The quarterback position, you’re in charge of the ball every play, and you have to tell everyone their assignment. There’s a lot that goes into that, which is one of the numerous reasons that I reserve judgment, because I’m such a level-minded adult, mature guy.
“With him, his personality off the bat, he exuded quarterback confidence and really developed relationships with his teammates. You’ve seen a steady progression of more and more plays and more and more confidence to operate within the timing of our specific offense. He’s doing a good job.”
McDaniel made sure to stress that no matter who starts Friday night, that player should not be viewed as the de facto QB2, and added that the order of appearance will probably flip when the Dolphins face the Texans in preseason Week 2.
More Training Camp News
- Christian Wilkins has been largely a spectator in practice this week. Why? It’s unclear. He’s in a contract year but has not given any indications that he was considering a hold-in.
- Along with Wilkins, the following Dolphins did little or no work in practice Wednesday: Mostert; DBs Jalen Ramsey, Keion Crossen, and Ethan Bonner; LB Malik Reed; and WR Braylon Sanders.
- Like Waddle, fullback Alec Ingold and cornerback Justin Bethel left practice Wednesday due to apparent injuries. No further updates were provided on any of those three.
- Some good Dolphins injury news: Terron Armstead was on the field for a half-dozen or so team snaps Wednesday. Armstead is still working his way back from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery.
- While the Dolphins and Falcons coaching staffs avoided a full-blown brawl this week, there were a couple of small skirmishes Wednesday. The first involved Dolphins linemen Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson and Falcons DE David Onyemata. The second came late in practice and involved Miami WR Robbie Chosen and Atlanta S Micah Abernathy.
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