ReFo: MIA @ JAX, Preseason Wk 1
On Friday night, Jacksonville officially ushered in a new era with former Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley taking over as head coach. Bradley hopes to provide a quick turnaround for the Jaguars and it first starts with finding the best 53 players to take the field.
Miami has already started that process. Competing in last week’s Hall of Fame game gave this franchise an idea of where certain players are in their development and how they would fare in live game action. Both teams are hoping to have a great year and become the surprise team of the 2013 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars — Three Performances of Note
Where is Robinson?
Listed as just an ‘offensive weapon’, many wondered how offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch would use former Michigan qurterback Denard Robinson. In 21 offensive snaps, Robinson mostly lined up in the backfield as a traditional running back but also played QB in a wildcat package and even split out wide a couple of times. Robinson has a unique skill set and Fisch is trying to find the most effective way to use him. His grade of -0.2 says that they are still experimenting and figuring out what he will be able to do best at this level.
Sen’Derrick Marks the Spot
Jacksonville disrupted Miami’s passing game for much of the first quarter thanks in part to defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. Marks (+2.5) tallied a sack and three hurries on only 10 pass-rushing snaps (he put in 16 plays of work in all). The former Tennessee Titan is fitting right in to Bradley’s defense and looks like he will be a nice addition to the Jaguars’ front four. Right defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith didn’t look too shabby, either. On 28 plays of work, Smith was consistent in both the pass (0.3) and run (0.3) games and had a healthy overall grade of +1.2. If he’s able to keep this up, Jacksonville will have some unexpected depth at the DT position.
Henne Out to an Early Lead
In the ongoing battle for Jacksonville’s starting quarterback spot, Chad Henne definitely looked the part during his first outing of the season. Henne had good command of the offense and led Jacksonville down the field for its only score of the game. Going 8-for-11 for 87 yards, Henne logged, by far, the best grade of any Jacksonville QB with a +1.5 mark. Blaine Gabbert’s brief outing was ended by an interception, leaving him with a pedestrian 0.0 grade on 17 snaps. Down the depth chart, youngsters Mike Kafka (-0.8) and Matt Scott (-1.3) continued a fight of their own — this one for clipboard duty as the No. 3 guy. Both, however, struggled to find rhythm against the Dolphins’ backup defensive players.
Miami Dolphins — Three Performances of Note
After a pretty bad showing in the Hall of Fame game (-1.5), right guard Josh Samuda had yet another bad performance against the Jaguars. Samuda (-2.3) gave up two QB hurries, a sack and was constantly outworked by his opponent, namely Sen’Derrick Marks. Samuda is currently first on the depth chart but another bad week could bump him down to second team behind Chandler Burden (+0.6) or Sam Brenner (-0.7). On the flip side, Pro Bowl left guard Richie Incognito held steady with a +1.6 overall grade on 19 snaps.
Did Miami Strike Gold With Keller?
It’s early, but Dustin Keller was brought to Miami to help the passing game and that’s exactly what he did in this contest. Keller (+1.4) played 11 snaps and was only targeted twice, but he made his presence felt and ended the game with two catches for 46 yards and a TD. Most importantly, he showed that he will be able to help this offense get vertical. Behind Keller is a battle for the second TE spot between Dion Sims and Michael Egnew. Neither player separated themselves in the game with a great performance, but both showed the ability to do what’s needed of them in this offense.
Depth at CB?
Miami’s starting cornerback spots are set with Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall but there was pretty good play from the guys behind them on the depth chart. Will Davis, R.J. Stanford and Julian Posey all put up positive grades. Davis had the highest pass coverage rating (+1.3) and highest overall grade (+1.8) of any Dolphin defender, progressing from his -1.6 grade in week 1. Both Stanford (+1.2) and Posey (+1.3) tallied pass breakups and had above average coverage grades.
– Jacksonville played the first team offensive line for 32 plays together in its first preseason game to give both Henne and Gabbert ample time to make plays. First-round pick Luke Joeckel played well, logging the highest run blocking grade (+1.6) of any lineman in Friday’s game and giving up just the one QB hit (though it was of a rude ‘welcome to the league’ variety at the hands of Cameron Wake).
– WLB Brandon M. Marshall had the highest grade for a linebacker in this game at +2.4 and the highest run defense grade of any defender (+2.2)
– On 28 of his 39 drop-backs, Miami QB Matt Moore let the ball go in 2.5 seconds or less and recorded a passer rating of 94.0 while doing so. On the other 11, his rating fell to 72.7.
The game ball goes to Sen’Derrick Marks. It seemed like he was in the backfield of every snap of his 16 plays.
Follow Rashawn on Twitter: @RashawnFranklin.