NFL Preseason Preview - Miami (0-1) at Jacksonville (0-0)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - Miami hopes to right the ship after a sloppy performance in the Hall of Fame Game when it heads north for a Sunshine State showdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.
Dallas' Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle were the standout performers in the 50th edition of the Hall of Fame Game last Sunday as the Cowboys edged the Dolphins, 24-20, at Fawcett Stadium.
"I told the guys, this is training camp, we are still in training camp," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "We have a ton of stuff to work on. There is nothing we don't need work on that's not uncommon this time of year. I'm not panicked about it, but I'm concerned about every single thing on the football team."
Ryan Tannehill, the second-year quarterback who helped the Dolphins exceed expectations in 2012, played two series against Dallas, passing for just 11 yards on 2-of-5 throws.
Miami played without its two top wide receivers, prized offseason acquisition Mike Wallace as well as last season's top producer Brian Hartline, however. Chad Bumphis ended with five catches for 85 yards.
Lamar Miller, looking to win the Dolphins' starting running back job, didn't do much to help his cause early. He fumbled on Miami's first possession and it led to a Tanner 1-yard touchdown. Miami second-year defensive end Derrick Shelby had two sacks, his second stalling a 12-play Cowboys drive.
"There was definitely some things to correct," Tannehill said. "Obviously we have to get the handoff to start the game. That's inexcusable, but it hasn't been an issue at all leading up to that point. We have some small things to correct.
"It's a good start for us. Obviously we didn't come out, put up the numbers or score points like we wanted to, but if you look at what they threw at us and how we responded as a group I felt like it was a good start we can definitely build on."
Jacksonville will take the field on Friday for the first time under a new regime led by general manager David Caldwell and new head coach Gus Bradley, the former Seahawks' defensive coordinator.
A lot of the talk around the Jags has obviously centered on disappointing quarterback Blaine Gabbert and whether Caldwell or Bradley is ready to cut bait on the former Mizzou star just three years into his NFL career.
The other options, though, are veteran journeyman Chad Henne and the nondescript Mike Kafka, who was cut in New England to make room for Tim Tebow.
The 6-4, 233-pound Gabbert remains the only choice with a plus-ceiling as a player and is straight out of central casting when it comes to quarterbacks, but is running out of chances.
Another issue of importance for Jacksonville is the health of star running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who missed most of last season with a serious Lisfranc foot injury.
"I still have a lot to improve on, but as of right now, cutting and conditioning-wise, I feel like I'm right where I need to be," Jones-Drew told the Jaguars' web site.
The last time Jones-Drew returned from a serious injury (microfracture knee surgery) he led the NFL in rushing in 2011 and believes that process helped him mentally prepare this time around. MJD has been cleared for practice but the team will monitor his reps in training camp and the preseason, hoping to keep him fresh for the regular campaign.
"This is a different injury," he said. "There's no pain in my foot. I'm cutting great. There's no swelling. It's back to normal again. I just want to continue on that path but you have to be patient."
The preseason series between these two clubs is tied at four wins apiece, with Miami taking the last three contests.
08/08 13:04:17 ET
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