Big Dave wrote:
Unfortunately coaches go by what they see in practice and if players such as Fuller do not play as well as their starters the coaches are hesitant to play them. They know this team has to almost play perfect on offense to beat most teams. At 5-7 I think playing it safe isn't going to help us going forward.
I made it clear that I was a big fan of the idea of bringing in Fuller. He was Tannehill's #1 target in college. I knew he had a case of the drops (kind of like Marshall), but at the same time he was still productive. I was hoping he'd be able because of his size and strength to find a nice on the offense and get in as our 3rd or 4th receiver. But that clearly hasn't been the case to my dissappointment.
I think you might be right Big Dave, I think playing it safe with regards to certain players and certain parts of the system has led to this team missing out on certain opportunities. We've been very hesitant to bring in too many rookies.
We've already got Tannehill and Martin starting on offense, Lane plays a lot too. We've been playing Shelby and Vernon a lot on defense as well. So in that regard I think they're simply looking to avoid having too many rookies playing at once. But if we should happen to loose this week, then yes, I think it's time to start letting these kids really go after it and see what we've got. In the final week or two I'd love to see Tannehill, Martin, Lane, Miller, and Matthews all on the field at the same time. Maybe even Fuller if he earns it. We need to know what we have going into the offseason. The only way we'll know is if we play the guys.
Next years draft and free agency are crucial. Philbin, Sherman, and Coyle are going to have to keep replacing the Sparano era players and bringing in their guys. I think we're not even 50% of the way there in terms of having the new staff's players in there. I think we're two more years/drafts away from having a complete roster full of Philbin's guys. Does that translate into success/wins? I don't know just yet. I like what I've seen in certain aspects with this new group, but I'm still reserving harsh judgement until after they're midway into the 2nd season. By then I think we'll really start to see this roster/system take root.