Miami Dolphins: Dion Sims

The Miami Dolphins (7-6) will travel to face the New England Patriots (10-3) in a must-win game for Miami.

Here is the team’s final injury report:

Out: G Nate Garner (illness), Anthony Johnson (ankle)

Doubtful: LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring)

Questionable: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Chris McCain (ankle), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)

Probable: DB Walt Aikens (illness), DE Dion Jordan (ankle), TE Dion Sims (neck), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Analysis: The Dolphins, as expected, will be very thin at linebacker. Misi and Jenkins are not expected to play. Miami will have a tough time defending Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Dolphins should be healthier in the secondary. Finnegan and Taylor are both questionable but practiced every day this week. So there is a strong chance one or both will play. This is a must-win game for Miami and the team needs all the healthy players it can get.

Morning take: Dolphins win ugly

December, 2, 2014
Dec 2
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Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Tuesday from around the Web: Morning take: Miami finally proved it can win ugly and close. The team now holds the final wild-card spot in the AFC with four games remaining.
Morning take: Wallace knows the urgency of this time of year. He went to the playoffs and a Super Bowl as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The offense must put its best foot forward.
Morning take: Sims is one of Miami’s most improved players in the second half of the season. He’s filled in well for the injured Charles Clay.
  • Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post provides his grades for the Dolphins’ win.
Morning take: This was a hard game to grade, because in many ways the Dolphins underachieved. But a win is a win, especially late in the year during crunch time.

Miami Dolphins film review

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
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The Miami Dolphins played a strong game in a losing effort to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

I went back to review the game film, and here are additional observations:
  • It’s clear Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill's trust has grown in rookie receiver Jarvis Landry. Tannehill looked to Landry in a lot of tight spots against Denver, even when Landry was covered. Landry won many of the battles. But the fourth-quarter interception was an example where Tannehill forced the ball to Landry in tight coverage. Landry had a game-high 11 targets and led the team with seven receptions and two touchdowns.
  • I agree with Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's assessment that his group wasn't physical enough. It was clear watching the game live that Miami's front seven was pushed around, and it also showed on tape. Denver's offensive line got stronger as the game wore on. You have to wonder if the altitude played a factor for Miami's defense, particularly in the fourth quarter when the Broncos scored 22 straight points.
  • The Dolphins made a big mistake by going away from the running game in the fourth quarter. They gained an early 14-3 lead by running the ball well. Miami had 74 rushing yards in its first three drives. However, Miami ran just three times in the final quarter, which contributed to Denver's comeback. The Dolphins finished with 97 rushing yards on 21 carries, which was a 4.6 yard average. Lamar Miller, in particular, had 59 rushing yards on 12 carries and could have used more opportunities.
  • Cornerback Jamar Taylor's play speed has improved from his rookie to Year 2. His first-quarter stop on third-and-5 behind the line of scrimmage was an impressive read-and-react play where Taylor saw the screen quickly and blew up the play. Taylor has two tackles for losses in his two starts, which is impressive for a young cornerback. Taylor will be day-to-day with a shoulder injury he suffered Sunday.
  • The rotation at left guard worked between Daryn Colledge and Shelley Smith. Colledge returned from a back injury and rotated with Smith approximately every two series. Both players held their own with reduced playing time. The offensive line continued to play well even after an injury to starting left tackle Ja'Wuan James.
  • Miami’s defense continues to struggle with pick plays and crossing routes. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was surgical on short passes. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Manning was 22-of-22 on passes of 5 yards or more. Most of those throws came across the middle of the field against the Dolphins’ linebackers and safety, which struggled in coverage.
  • The Dolphins got surprise contributions from backup receiver Brandon Gibson (five receptions, 42 yards) and backup tight end Dion Sims (four receptions, 31 yards). Both players stepped up with increased roles.
Miami Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay will be a game-time decision in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, a source tells ESPN.com.

Clay's status is in question following a recent hamstring injury he presumably suffered in practice this week. Clay practiced on Wednesday and a hamstring injury was not listed on the official injury report. However, he sat out Thursday due to a hamstring and a lingering knee injury that he's played through all season.

Clay is Miami's third-leading receiver with 39 receptions to go with 346 yards and two touchdowns. If Clay cannot suit up Sunday, backup tight end Dion Sims will start against the Broncos (7-3). Sims has nine receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown this season.
The Miami Dolphins allowed a season-high five sacks in Thursday’s 22-9 victory against the Buffalo Bills. Despite the win, pass protection is a huge area of concern, especially with the loss of Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert (knee) for the rest of the season.

After reviewing the game, here is what went wrong on those five sacks:

Sack No. 1: At 10:30 mark of the first quarter. First-and-10 at Buffalo 33

Clay
Analysis: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill offers a play-action fake to tailback Lamar Miller on the right, but two defenders do not bite. Tannehill is put in an awkward spot almost immediately after the fake. Buffalo's Jerry Hughes beats tight end Charles Clay, and Stefan Charles beats guard Shelley Smith. Charles gets to Tannehill first for minus-12 yards.

Fault: Clay and Smith

Sack No. 2: At 1:48 mark of the second quarter. Second-and-10 at the 50

Williams
Analysis: The Dolphins line up in a shotgun formation and leave right tackle Dallas Thomas one-on-one with defensive end Mario Williams. Thomas barely gets a hand on Williams, who uses a quick step outside and a swim move to accelerate to Tannehill.

Fault: Thomas

Sack No. 3: At 11:36 mark of the third quarter. First-and-15 at Miami 34

Analysis: Williams lines up very wide, which was perfect for Miami's play call. Williams doesn't bite on Tannehill's play-action fake. Dolphins tight end Dion Sims fails to get to Williams fast enough and Tannehill doesn’t have a chance. Sims misses his block, but that is a poor scheme to expect a backup tight end to block Williams one-on-one.

Fault: Sims

Sack No. 4: At 7:21 mark of the fourth quarter. Second-and-2 at Buffalo 49

Analysis: Williams lines up wide again, which puts him in a one-on-one matchup against Clay. Williams’ initial effort was stuffed, but he proves to be too strong for Clay on the second push. Thomas also fails to hold his block and allows Corbin Bryant to team with Williams to sandwich Tannehill.

Fault: Clay and Thomas

Sack No. 5: At 5:34 mark of the fourth quarter. Third-and-3 at Buffalo 32

Analysis: The Dolphins are trying to eat up clock and close out the Bills. But Williams gets one more surge with a bull-rush through Thomas to sack Tannehill. It's questionable that Miami's coaching staff continually blocked Williams one-on-one. That made it easy for Williams, who finished with 3.5 sacks in the game.

Fault: Thomas

Sack fault tally: Thomas 2.5, Clay 1.0, Sims 1.0, Smith 0.5
DETROIT – The Miami Dolphins (5-3) received some good injury news Sunday when the team made starting running back Lamar Miller active for its game against the Detroit Lions (6-2). Miller is Miami’s leading rusher with 518 yards and averages 4.9 yards per carry.

Here are Miami’s inactives for Sunday:
The Dolphins are looking for their fourth straight victory. Be sure to check out ESPN.com’s Dolphins page and on Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL for the latest Miami coverage throughout the day.
The Miami Dolphins (5-3) will travel Sunday to play the Detroit Lions (6-2) in a big game for both teams.

Here is a look at Miami’s final injury report:

Out: TE Dion Sims (toe)

Doubtful: G Daryn Colledge (back)

Questionable: RB Lamar Miller (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (ankle), DT Earl Mitchell (abdomen), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring), LB Kelvin Sheppard (hip/groin)

Probable: TE Charles Clay (knee), G Mike Pouncey (hip), LB Jordan Tripp (ankle), DT Anthony Johnson (back), LB Chris McCain (foot),

Analysis: The Dolphins had good participation in practice this week, and most are expected to play. The biggest concern is Miller, who has been limited throughout the week with a shoulder injury. Miller is a big part of Miami’s offense, and backups Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams would share the load if Miller cannot play Sunday. Colledge most likely will miss his second straight game, and backup Dallas Thomas expects to start at left guard. The Dolphins will have two games in four days, which will be taxing physically and mentally for the team. Miami will play its next game Thursday against the Buffalo Bills.
DAVIE, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins (5-3) began their preparation Tuesday for their big matchup against the Detroit Lions (6-2).

  Here are several notes and observations:
  • The Dolphins received some good injury news with starting running back Lamar Miller in practice Tuesday. Miller injured his shoulder in the third quarter of Sunday win over the San Diego Chargers and didn’t return to the game. Miller said after the game that he will be ready for the Lions and took a good step in that direction by practicing Tuesday. Miller is Miami’s leading rusher with 518 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Miami got more good news Tuesday with the return of starting guard Daryn Colledge. He missed his first game of the season last week with an illness and back injury. Backup Dallas Thomas started in place of Colledge against San Diego and performed well.
  • The Dolphins were without backup tight end Dion Sims. He sat out of Sunday’s game with a toe injury. Backup safety Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) also didn’t practice in the portion open to the media.
  • As expected, Miami head coach Joe Philbin was not at practice Tuesday. Philbin’s assistants ran practice while Philbin spends time with his family following the passing of his father. Philbin is expected to return to the Dolphins Wednesday night.
The Miami Dolphins (4-3) will host the San Diego Chargers (5-3) in a big game for both teams. Miami enters on a two-game winning streak, while San Diego has lost two in a row.

Here is a look at the final injury report for Miami:

Out: TE Dion Sims (toe)

Questionable: G Daryn Colledge (illness, back), LB Koa Misi (ankle)

Probable: TE Charles Clay (knee), LS John Denney (knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (neck), G Nate Garner (neck), LB Chris McCain (foot), C Mike Pouncey (hip), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Analysis: The Dolphins are very healthy to enter the midpoint of the season. Sims, Miami's backup tight end, will miss his first game of the season. Rookie Gator Hoskins will take some reps behind starting tight end Clay on Sunday. Colledge is a wild card, because he hasn't practiced all week. However, Colledge also is one of Miami's toughest players and said he's aiming to play. If Colledge cannot start, backup guard Dallas Thomas or Nate Garner will replace him. For the Chargers, running back Ryan Mathews (knee) has been ruled out, which is good news for Miami’s defense. Matthews gave the Dolphins trouble last season and rushed for 127 yards. San Diego linebacker Manti Te'o (foot) and cornerback Jason Verrett (shoulder) also were ruled out.

Miami Dolphins practice report

October, 30, 2014
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DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins (4-3) had their final practice of the week in preparation for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers (5-3).

Here are some thoughts on Thursday’s session:
  • Miami head coach Joe Philbin was not at practice Thursday because of a family matter. The Dolphins’ practice was run by Miami offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.
  • Dolphins starting guard Daryn Colledge (migraines) also was not present during the portion of practice open to the media. This is the third consecutive practice Colledge missed this week. Chances appear to be slim that Colledge plays Sunday against the Chargers. Miami is preparing backups Dallas Thomas and Nate Garner to fill in for Colledge.
  • Miami backup tight end Dion Sims (toe) is still wearing a boot and did not participate in the portion of practice available to the media Thursday. Sims’ status for Sunday’s game also is in doubt. Rookie Gator Hoskins is expected to take over the No. 2 tight-end role for Sims.
  • Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino watched practice again on Thursday. Marino has spent time this season tutoring Miami’s quarterbacks behind the scenes.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins (4-3) held their second practice of the week on Wednesday in preparation for the San Diego Chargers (5-3).

Here are some notes and observations from Miami’s session:
  • The Dolphins were without starting left guard Daryn Colledge and tight end Dion Sims for the second straight practice during the portion open to the media. Colledge suffered migraines in last week's win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Colledge told the Miami media Tuesday he's aiming to play Sunday but it’s evident he has yet to be medically cleared to practice.
  • Miami starting middle linebacker Koa Misi (ankle) and backup safety Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) practiced for the second straight day, which is a good sign for both players. Miami's defense was without Misi and Wilson against the Jaguars.
  • Dolphins safety Louis Delmas earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors Wednesday for his stellar performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Delmas intercepted Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown. Delmas also recovered a fumble and recorded two tackles in Miami’s win.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins (3-3) completed their second practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6).

Here is the full injury report for Miami:

Limited participation: S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring), LT Branden Albert (elbow), TE Charles Clay (knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (neck), WR Brandon Gibson (hamstring), CB Brent Grimes (groin), C Samson Satele (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (stinger)

Full participation: LS John Denny (knee), LB Philip Wheeler (shoulder)

Analysis: The Dolphins are in very good shape as every player on the roster participated Wednesday in their full-padded practiced. Wilson was the only major injury concern. He missed last week’s game against the Chicago Bears with a hamstring injury. But Wilson returned on Wednesday, which bodes well for his chances of playing Sunday. Grimes (groin) and Sims (stinger) were both injured against the Bears, but the ailments do not appear to be serious.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Friday from around the Web:
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel writes Dolphins backup defensive end Derrick Shelby continues to grow his role.
Morning take: Shelby has been a consistent performer off the bench for two seasons. He led the Dolphins with two sacks in Miami’s win over the Oakland Raiders.
  • Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post writes the Dolphins' tight ends are on the rise.
Morning take: Charles Clay's production hasn't been as strong as in previous years. But backup Dion Sims and Gator Hoskins have made a few plays. The Dolphins still need more consistency from this group.
  • Brian Coyle of the Dolphins team site writes receiver Mike Wallace is off to a fast start.
Morning take: Wallace is on pace for 80 receptions and 12 touchdowns this season under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Both would be career highs.
  • Surya Fernandez of Fox Sports Florida writes the Dolphins are embracing music in the locker room.
Morning take: Miami has been a more loose and relaxed bunch this year. The tension couldn’t get any worse after last year’s bullying scandal, but the group has moved on.
DAVIE, Fla. – Bill Lazor doesn’t hold back. That is one of the first things the Miami Dolphins players and media learned in his short time thus far with the team.

Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when Lazor was blunt in his assessment of Miami’s offense despite a stellar performance in a 33-20 win over the New England Patriots. The Dolphins scored more than 30 points for just the second time in 17 games, dating to last season. However, Lazor was laser focused on ways his group can improve.

"My No. 1 feeling is that we better get better fast, particularly in the passing game," the offensive coordinator said. "I feel like there were a lot of plays we should have made and didn’t make. Some might have been the throw or the decision. Some were dropped. ... I think we have to be better to win tighter games."

There were several passing plays Miami missed through the air that could have been big plays. Here are a few that come to mind:
  • Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace beat Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis in the first half by two steps. But the ball thrown by quarterback Ryan Tannehill was outside and Wallace made the would-be touchdown catch out of bounds.
  • Miami starting running back Lamar Miller was open on a swing pass inside the 10-yard line. Miller appeared to be heading for a touchdown, but he lost his footing after catching the ball and settled for a 3-yard gain.
  • Dolphins tight end Dion Sims got behind New England’s defense and dropped a would-be 28-yard touchdown pass at the 5:51 mark in the fourth quarter.

But the Dolphins did more things right on offense, which is why Miami walked away with a double-digit victory over the Patriots. The biggest reason was 191 rushing yards, which controlled the pace of the game in the Dolphins' favor. Miami was 7-of-13 on third-down conversions, and Lazor had high praise for the offensive line's performance.

However, Lazor pushed Miami’s offense hard since the offseason and that has contributed to the unit’s immediate improvement since last season. It appears Lazor won't change his approach even after a week of success.

Miami Dolphins Stock Watch

August, 26, 2014
Aug 26
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The Miami Dolphins are approaching their final preseason game of 2014 Thursday against the St. Louis Rams.

Here is a look at whose stock is rising and falling this week in Miami:

Rising

1. Knowshon Moreno, running back: Moreno had an impressive debut in last week’s 25-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Moreno rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries (6.4 yard average). He showed good vision, patience and strength to finish runs. Moreno has officially put his name in the conversation to be Miami’s starting running back in Week 1 against the New England Patriots despite missing much of training camp and the preseason.

Wake
2. Cameron Wake, defensive end: Wake was in regular-season form with a pair of sacks on Dallas starting quarterback Tony Romo. Wake had his way with Cowboys starting right tackle Doug Free, who had trouble keeping Wake out of the backfield Saturday night. Wake is expecting another double-digit sack season in 2014.

3. Shelley Smith, right guard: Smith didn’t dominate in his first start with the Dolphins. But he made several good blocks, and that might have been enough to secure the starting right guard position in Miami’s offense for the season opener. The Dolphins showed they have the capability to run the ball with Smith in the lineup. Moreno gained most of his yards running on the right side behind Smith and rookie right tackle Ja'Wuan James.

Falling

1. Dolphins special teams: What happened to Miami’s special teams Saturday? The group completely fell apart against the Cowboys, and it’s hard to determine if it was a one-game lapse or if multiple issues are on the horizon. The Dolphins gave up big kickoff returns, fumbled a punt return and gave up a blocked punt that was called back due to a Dallas penalty. To add to the bad day, Dolphins kicker John Potter also injured his hip and couldn’t finish the game. Miami’s third phase did not put on a winning performance. Special teams coach Darren Rizzi has a lot of work to do before the regular season.

2. First-team offense: The Dolphins have to score more than three points in six drives. There is simply no excuse. Miami’s starters put up plenty of yards but couldn’t convert it into points. The Dolphins had missed opportunities and careless turnovers, such as a fumble by tight end Dion Sims and quarterback Ryan Tannehill's interceptions into double coverage. Miami will have issues winning consistently this season if they consistently make these kinds of mistakes.

3. Dallas Thomas, right guard: With Smith’s ascension, Thomas’ stock drops and his chance of retaining his starting job does too. Thomas was rotated in with the first-team offense against Dallas and didn’t have a strong performance. He also struggled mightily against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second preseason game. Thomas needed to play above and beyond to get back in the starting conversation, and that simply didn't happen.

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