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Dolphins vs Bills - Week 2 - Matchup Breakdown
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It felt like forever, but the NFL season is finally back; and right out of the gate the Miami Dolphins face the long standing champions of the AFC East, the New England Patriots. The last time these two teams faced off in Miami, the Dolphins seale...
The Dolphins’ Week 3 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys ended in a shootout between backup quarterbacks Matt Moore and Dustin Vaughan, but since it is the preseason, the 25-20 victory was of little importance. The third week of the preseason is th...
Oscar Hazell was born in raised in London having been introduced to American football aged nine by a neighbour from Boston. This was during the terminal years of The London Monarchs of NFL Europe, where I got the chance to play both flag football and have never looked back since. Naturally my neighbour was a Patriots fan, I was very confident at the time (1997) that I would be on the winning side more often than not by supporting the Miami Dolphins. The rest is history, I’m sorry if I was at all to blame. The limited acess to the game in the UK made my fasination for it even stronger and elements such as the play design and the draft have fasinated me. I have been evaluating draft classes since 2011 and have a soft spot for flexion.
Terrence Fede has been somewhat of a stalwart at FinDepth as he was featured in our pre-draft article on day three and UDFA targets. He shined in week one of preseason with the largest workload of any Dolphin with 41 snaps on defense, all of which came from the left defensive end position. Below are 7 plays in which Fede flashed traits previously only seen at Marist College while giving us the first indication that they could translate to the success at the NFL level. We'll also look from some of these elements to be further worked on as he goes into tonight’s game at Tampa.
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Fede's 1st snap was vs. Jake Matthews, the sixth overall pick for the Falcons, playing at Right tackle. Fede had the advantage of Shelby dropping Matthews on the floor the play before. However, Fede does a good job off moving from inside out to force Matthews to have a wide step to keep his balance. This allows Fede a chance to get a hand into Yate's throwing motion. As he gets to the QB a tick late, the chip from the TE at the start of the play may have been just enough to slow Fede's progress. Nonetheless, an impressive first snap.
This next one is a great play by Fede. A common knock on athletic rush-ends is the question of whether they can contribute on all 3 downs or not. Here we see Fede set the edge vs an inline TE and a pulling RG. He sets the edge and doesn't allow Devonta Freeman any room to run. Fede then disengages and an assists on the tackle. On this very promising play, Fede shows that the more he can offer in all aspects of the position, the better chance he has to contribute early and often in his rookie year.
This tackle on Freeman shows Fede's ability to locate the ball; a trait which impressed me while he was at Marist. Physically this is an easy match up vs the TE. However, the awareness to read the RB, disengage the TE, and then flash the athleticism and strength needed to arm tackle Freeman as he heads towards the 2nd level (with Matthews already blocking on the 2nd level) is very much worth noting. These past two plays came back to back; the Falcons ceased to run to their right, in the direction of Fede, after them.
Now we fast forward to the fourth quarter as Fede had a dry spell in the third due partially to the Falcons running away from him and due to facing a fresh Schraeder at RT. However, the biggest issue was Fede's high pad level, something that was prominent on his pre-NFL tape. In college he could overcome this issue with his superior strength and athleticism against lesser talent. Fede struggled for periods in the 3rd quarter when the Olinemen would get their hands inside his body. This was made easier by the height he comes off the snap at, creating a large target to hit him at, while placing him at an instant disadvantage. For me, this is the area I want to see the most development in Fede's game over the preseason and over the next year if he really wants to make the most of his natural ability.
As we enter the fourth quarter we get another example of Fede's ability to find the ball reading the pass in flat. Again, he shows his agility while he extends to arm tackle. This would have been a six-yard loss if the catch had been brought in.
Here is our first example of a counter move by Fede. At Marist, he primarily lined up at right defensive end and would use this Clowney-esque over swim move inside of the left tackle he would face. Here we see the opposite with Fede lined up over the right tackle. Faking inside then swimming over the head of the right tackle, he sends him off balance, which allows him quick passage towards the QB.
The above play is a great demonstration of what happens when Fede uses a good pad level. Coming off the ball low and getting under the RG's pads, he drives him back into the QB. By getting so low and driving up, this stops the LG from being able to reset his feet and anchor. The result in this pressure is an overthrow with the ball coming out off-time.
The first step quickness and snap anticipation here is really impressive, both of which are very desirable traits to have in a defensive lineman. After the snap, we see Fede use his hands quite well to hinder the right tackle from engaging and we again see that over swim move. Here, Fede shows a slight tendency to rush a bit too wide, allowing the tackle and QB a little more room than optimal. However, Fede still hurried the QB while making him step up and make a poor throw.
Overall, I was very impressed by Fede's first outing in Aqua. I was particularly encouraged by how well his skill set, strength, and quickness translated to this next level in the NFL. That transition is one area which is often the most worrisome regarding a small-school prospect. With Fede leading the defensive snap count in Preseason Game 1, I expect that we'll see lot more of him over the next 3 weeks. I hope his second, third, and fourth impressions are as good as his first.
Preseason Week 1 Preview: Dolphins vs Falcons
We get our first look at the 2014 Miami Dolphins this Friday. Accordingly, here is a quick rundown of some key positional questions that we will be looking for answers to, areas of player development to watch for, and the competition the Falcons offer to evaluate the Dolphins talent and schemes. Read on past the break.
As fans and analysts have continued to make their own mock drafts, teams across the league have also been playing out possible scenarios that could occur over the next few days. Every pick has an associated effect on the next and so planning out many possibilities is used to try and lessen the surprise. Here, I lay out 7 possibilities for the Dolphins using several different philosophies and approaches to what could come of a most unpredictable process.
The third day of the draft may not be full of the big names or have instant impact players, but it is where teams churn over of their roster with specialists, developmental and teams players. All of whom will make huge impacts on the 53 man roster come game-day. We have taken a look at some prospects likely to be drafted in the third day, or go undrafted, that the Dolphins have shown interest in. We look at what they offer short term and long term and how they fit the final roster.
From the time the NFL Combine closes until Draft day, NFL teams are accorded the right to host a potential draftee at their facility. The ground rules are simple:
Along with these visits, teams have scouts and coaches across the country to interview prospects and attend prodays. Read on below to see which prospects the Miami Dolphins have shown interest in.
This piece will be the first of a series that will look at the Miami Dolphins roster at several positions in an attempt to isolate and highlight some of the physical and athletic tendencies that the team shows in roster construction. In addition to players currently on the roster, we will also take a look at previous players on the roster during Joe Philbin’s tenure as head coach, players drafted in Tampa Bay during Dennis Hickey’s time as the dIrelandctor of player personnel and dIrelandctor of college scouting, and players drafted during Kevin Coyle’s time as the corner back and then defensive back coach with the Cincinnati Bengals.