MIAMI (CBSSports) — Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is clearly disappointed with what he’s seen from the team’s receivers.
“Well, they haven’t helped matters. I wish they would say, ‘Hey, I’m the guy’ and jump up on the table by having a knockout performance and that hasn’t necessarily happened just yet,” Sherman said.
Sherman continued: “One week it’s one guy. The next week it’s the next guy, so forth and so on. I think we’ll keep (Davone) Bess. I can pretty much guarantee that, but there’s only one of him. We need to fill in the other spots. We’ve got some good guys. It’s just who we think will be there for the long term and who’s going to be there every day. You’re right, we do have some tough decisions to make and I don’t know how much more clarity we’re going to have after the last ball game, but hopefully we will.”
Miami’s defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to produce a 99.9 cumulative passer rating during the team’s three exhibition losses.
There is absolutely no way this defense can survive that kind of stellar quarterback play for a 16-game span. And not all of the Dolphins’ struggles against the Buccaneers, Panthers and Falcons can be blamed on the backups, and roster long shots.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was the only starting quarterback who had issues scoring touchdowns on the Dolphins’ starting defense, and he still produced a 107.9 passer rating.
For comparison sake, the Dolphins have a cumulative passer rating of 61.2 during the preseason.
Six months and nearly 50 pounds ago, Jorvorskie Lane was moving couches in an Ashley Furniture warehouse in College Station, Tex., not far from the site of his glory years as star tailback for the Texas A&M Aggies.
These days the fullback is on the verge of earning a spot on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster. Lane, who was a late camp invite, has quickly risen up the Dolphins depth chart, earning a starting role.
Lane gained one yard on his lone carry, and caught one pass for 10 yards. He’s also a key special teams contributor.
“Coach (Mike) Sherman is putting a lot on my shoulders; he’s putting me in a great situation to succeed and I’m going to take full advantage of it,” said Lane, 25, who has dropped from 304 pounds to 257 since February.
“After I played the (2010) season in the Indoor Football League, I worked out, waiting for this shot. That furniture warehouse wasn’t me. My first love is football, so I kept the dream alive and never gave up,” added Lane.
Despite playing a dying position in an up-tempo West Coast offense, Lane will occasionally be asked to open lanes for halfbacks, catch passes in the flat and run in short-yardage situations.
“I love to bang, so the fullback transition is nothing for me,” Lane said. “I need to get lower in my run blocking, but my strength is being a big body to get people out of the way.”
What to do with veteran quarterback David Garrard is one of the bigger decisions the Dolphins have to make on Friday when the 53-man roster must be produced.
Miami could opt to carry Garrard, a nine-year veteran, on the 53-man roster and wait for his surgically repaired left knee to heal enough for him to push for a backup role, and possibly the starting spot he initially held before the injury.
But if the organization prefers to go the fiscal route, the Dolphins could release Garrard with an injury settlement and part ways with the team’s most polished quarterback.
Garrard was given a $1 million signing bonus to ink a deal with Miami. He also received a $100,000 workout bonus.
This decision will come down to whether or not the Dolphins feel they can survive with Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore being the only quarterbacks on the roster. If Garrard survives Friday’s cut, he’s essentially on the team all year considering his $2.25 million contract would become fully guaranteed.
Releasing Garrard would send a disturbing message to the Dolphins’ locker room because many inside the organization believe Tannehill needs his wisdom and guidance, and the locker room could use his leadership.