A six-pack of Miami Dolphins notes on a Thursday:
The most enjoyable a part of this Dolphins begin past Tua Tagovailoa’s epic sport on Sunday?
Imagining the probabilities of this Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle receiver tandem.
Hill is first within the league in receiving yards with 284, Waddle third at 240. (Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs is second with 270.)
It’s a small pattern measurement, however Waddle has seemingly taken a step from superb NFL receiver to an elite one, or is nicely on his option to that.
So has Hill, his good friend and teammate, pushed Waddle to be even higher?
“Just having a guy like that playing alongside him, you’ve just got to up your game,” Waddle mentioned. “Seeing him go out there and make plays. How he approaches the game. You have no choice but to improve.”
Waddle has 15 receptions, and his 16.0 common tops his 9.8 common of a 12 months in the past. (Yes, it’s a small pattern measurement.)
Hill drawing double protection is of course going to assist Waddle.
How do they complement one another?
“You have got to respect Cheetah, as dominant as he is,” Waddle mentioned. “Defenses have got to respect him. He opens up a lot, not just for me, but for other guys, tight ends, running game. You always have to be accountable for a guy like that.”
Dolphins receiver River Cracraft put it this fashion:
“They are similar athletes with their speed, but they’re unique in their own way. Jay has got that explosive quick twitch. Obviously you would say the same thing about Tyreek… They’re different receivers. Having them both out there, the threat is so high.
“It’s like you can get it from any angle and from either guy and if they’re on the same side, how are you supposed to play that? To me, it would be really tough as a defense.”
Both the Bills and Dolphins have well-regarded cornerbacks on the bodily unable to carry out record: Byron Jones for the Dolphins and Tre’Davious White for Buffalo. Both are out Sunday.
Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, who missed apply Wednesday with a groin damage, was requested if he’s able to go Sunday after working towards right this moment: “Yeah, I feel good,” he mentioned. Cornerbacks coach Sam Madison mentioned he’s not involved about Howard’s availability.
Howard, defensive deal with Raekwon Davis (knee) and receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (ribs) have been restricted in Thursday’s apply.
Tight ends Hunter Long (ankle) and Cethan Carter (concussion) remained sidelined Thursday, as did left deal with Terron Armstead (toe).
But it might be stunning if Armstead missed the Bills sport; offensive line coach Matt Applebaum mentioned he was “pretty confident” that Armstead would play final Sunday with the identical toe damage.
The Bills have a number of vital accidents.
Starting safeties Micah Hyde (neck) and Jordan Poyer (foot) didn’t apply Thursday. Cornerback Dane Jackson (neck) and defensive deal with Jordan Phillips (hamstring) additionally didn’t apply.
Starting receiver Gabe Davis (ankle) mentioned he’s “100 percent” optimistic about taking part in Sunday.
Jaelan Phillips has no sacks up to now this season, however he has graded out nicely towards the run (an space he emphasised) and had a robust 31 % go rush win fee on Sunday towards Baltimore, per ESPN’s Seth Walder.
Phillips all the time has admired Bills Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller and plans to go to his go rush camp subsequent offseason.
He’s shut with Bills and former UM defensive finish Greg Rousseau (who has two sacks this season), however they by no means make any bets with one another and don’t discuss the week earlier than the groups play.
The Dolphins had solely two sacks within the two video games towards the Bills final season. Besides learning tape of the Bills’ first two video games this season (lopsided wins towards the Rams and Titans), Phillips mentioned the Dolphins are watching these two 2021 video games: “They are going to repeat certain plays that worked well against us in the past but they’re also going to have new things.”
Nik Needham mentioned Dolphins coaches didn’t instantly clarify to him why he was benched at halftime and changed by Kader Kohou, however he’s advantageous with that.
“It wasn’t surprising,” he mentioned of taking part in solely three defensive snaps within the second half.
Coaches ultimately advised him it was a “matchup” difficulty and Needham didn’t quibble: “Coaches know what they’re doing.”
Needham isn’t happy with how he’s taking part in.
“I need to do a little bit better and be more consistent in my technique,” he mentioned. “That’s what’s lacking.”
He has been requested to play lots on the boundary within the absence of injured Byron Jones. He performed primarily within the slot final season.
“Just getting back used to the outside world and corner island [is an adjustment],” he mentioned. “I’ve been in the slot for a couple years. Now just getting back used to that [boundary] role and getting more comfortable out there. I think I can play way better than I have the last couple weeks and I plan on doing that this week.”
Though Liam Eichenberg’s Pro Football Focus grades aren’t nice, he hasn’t given up a sack in two weeks and performed nicely on Sunday in his second regular-season sport at left guard.
Eichenberg mentioned it’s too early to know his greatest place however “I do enjoy playing guard. I enjoy it a lot. I’m focused on improving at that position. I’ve loved it so far. I think it will be a good fit for me.”
He mentioned new offensive line coach Matt Applebaum “does a great job of communicating and explaining and pushing us to improve on our technique.”
And Eichenberg mentioned it’s serving to that offensive coordinator Frank Smith has offensive line teaching expertise .
“When you have guys who have coached the offensive line and understand and are on the same page, it generates a better communication,” Eichenberg mentioned. “Frank understands it from the offensive line position; it’s just not understanding it from quarterback or running back position. He understands everything that goes into making that play work. It’s extremely beneficial having an offensive coordinator that was an o-line coach.”
Players actually like how the road is being coached. “These guys are great; they’re patient and understanding and understand everyone is different,” mentioned Greg Little, who performed nicely at proper deal with towards Baltimore.
Also key: Armstead has been going above and past to assist the youthful offensive linemen.
“Every vet doesn’t help the way he does,” Little mentioned. “He showed you how to watch film. He’s like another coach.”
Quick stuff: Cracraft mentioned he retrieved the soccer he caught for his first NFL landing and can preserve it at dwelling by his mattress…
Offensive coordinator Frank Smith had an amusing description on Tagovailoa’s two deep landing passes to Hill: “John Harbaugh said [one] was a busted coverage; the other was situation where [Ravens cornerback] Marcus Peters wasn’t thinking, ‘he’s going to go downtown on me.’ He had a business decision to make. Fortunately, [Hill] was able to run past him.”..
For these with no subscription to Amazon Prime: Channel 39 will televise subsequent Thursday’s Dolphins-Bengals sport on free tv in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, however the sport gained’t be televised on any broadcast or cable community in Palm Beach County.
This story was initially revealed September 22, 2022 4:27 PM.
Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.
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