- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The surprising Miami Dolphins (3-3) are tied for first place in the AFC East.
Here are three things Miami should accomplish during its bye week:
No. 1: Continue to develop Tannehill
Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is doing relatively well in his first six starts. He has thrown for 1,454 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. But more than his statistics, Tannehill is showing great poise and the ability to make quick reads and handle pressure. He is playing faster than a typical rookie and doesn’t appear overwhelmed. This two-week break is a good chance to get some extra work in the film room and point out Tannehill’s mistakes. The rookie should be even better coming out of the bye in two weeks when the Dolphins travel to face the Jets.
No. 2: Nurse injuries
The Dolphins have been fortunate so far not to suffer any significant injuries this season. But they do have some players banged up. Starting cornerback Richard Marshall (back) has missed the past two games with a back injury. The Dolphins are counting on two weeks of rest to get Marshall back in the lineup. Backup running back Daniel Thomas also missed Week 6 with a concussion and will try to return for Week 8 against the Jets. Starting tailback Reggie Bush has played through a knee injury and will get two weeks to rest.
No. 3: Get Gaffney up to speed
The Dolphins need as much depth at receiver as possible. That is why the team signed veteran free agent Jabar Gaffney earlier this month. Gaffney was released by the New England Patriots this summer and is continuing to learn Miami’s offense. He’s been inactive since signing with the Dolphins. Miami could definitely use Gaffney, either as a slot receiver or on the outside. These two weeks will be crucial for Gaffney to learn so he can eventually contribute. A trio of Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and Gaffney could be a decent group in the second half of the season.