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Sights and sounds from Dolphins-Falcons

8/28/2010

Notes from the Miami Dolphins' 16-6 preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night in Sun Life Stadium ...

  • In the final dress rehearsal for Miami's starters -- unless coach Tony Sparano puts them on the field in next week's preseason finale out of principle -- the offense failed to generate much. The second-team wasn't any better. There has to be some uneasiness heading into the regular season.

  • The Dolphins haven't been connecting with Brandon Marshall. He had another drop Friday night, giving him four in three games. He and quarterback Chad Henne don't always seem to be on the same page, but that's to be expected. Marshall missed offseason workouts because of hip surgery. They have two weeks to work it out.

  • Marshall did make some nice plays and finished with three catches for 51 yards. But he was targeted eight times.

  • The Dolphins' leading rushers? Receiver Marlon Moore gained 12 yards on an end around, and quarterback Chad Pennington scrambled once for 9. Ronnie Brown had eight carries for 9 yards. Ricky Williams had four carries for 5 yards.

  • Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby makes coverage look easy. He's 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, but he can run with tight ends and backs.

  • Miami's best player was cornerback Vontae Davis, a fearless tackler. He finished with a game-high seven tackles, one for a loss, one forced fumble and three passes defensed.

  • Problem is, teams have an attractive target on the other side of the field from Davis. Sean Smith usually is over there. Jason Allen got the start Friday because Smith violated a team rule. Roddy White beat Allen for an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter and sprinted waaaaaaaaaaaaay behind Smith down the left sideline for what should have been a long touchdown, but Matt Ryan overthrew him.

  • Second-year quarterback Pat White received his first meaningful snaps of the preseason and looked pretty good against the Falcons' backups. White entered with 8:04 left in the game. He completed all four of his passes for 27 yards and had a 5-yard run.

  • Henne was razor sharp in last week's exhibition with the Jacksonville Jaguars but had a rough night against the Falcons. He was 10-of-23 for 123 yards and no touchdowns with an interception in the end zone. The Falcons sacked him only once, but applied plenty of pressure.

  • Henne had two shots at a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. First possession started with 1:43 left, went three-and-out and took 30 seconds off the clock. Thanks to an interception, the Dolphins got it back with 66 seconds left. Henne hit Marshall for 26 yards and again for 20 yards to give Miami first-and-goal from the 7 with 13 seconds left. Henne threw a pass to Anthony Fasano that was deflected by a linebacker and intercepted.

  • Another troubling stat: The Dolphins failed to convert six third downs and a fourth down before they finally moved the chains just before halftime. They converted one of nine third or fourth downs before Henne left in the third quarter.

  • This week's trade of Greg Camarillo opened a roster spot for another receiver to make the club. Moore, an undrafted rookie from Fresno State, could be the beneficiary. He had another strong showing. Patrick Turner, a third-round pick last year, had one catch for 10 yards.

  • Joey Haynos went down with a right foot injury in the second half and was carted off the field. The Dolphins remaining tight ends are Fasano, David Martin and John Nalbone. They waived Kory Sperry this week, and he was claimed by the Denver Broncos.

  • Miami's special teams were a mixed bag. They didn't allow a blocked punt for the first time in the preseason, but they were too forgiving on returns. The Falcons averaged 27.7 yards on three kickoff returns (Eric Weems had a long of 36 yards). Weems averaged 15 yards on four punt returns.