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PS3: Dolphins lose, but offense lives

Aaaliberty      Tampa Bay wins 31-28, but here's how the preseason is so weird. I was much more impressed with Miami in this first loss than I had been in the two wins. You? The passing game looked sharp, and included Ted Ginn and Lorenzo Booker in it. They even trotted a Statue of Liberty play out of mothballs. Cam Cameron hasn't shown much of his playbook yet, but it looks like this offense could be fun -- which a Dolphin offense hasn't been for a long while.

     You'd find my game column here. Who or what impressed you or didn't in the game? And did anything change in the way you see this team or this season?

     In-game ramble:

     10:36 p.m. -- Bucs back up, 31-28, late. Keep repeating to yourself: "This is NOT the Dolphins' first-team defense, this is NOT the..."

     10:23 p.m. -- John Beck's second touchdown pass has Miami up with 10 minutes left. QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY!!!

     10:08 p.m. -- Bucs up 24-21 now as Dolphin defensive starters continue out of the game.

     9:37 p.m. -- Rookie John Beck's TD pass to P.K. Sam puts Dolphins up, 21-17. Dolphins' best offensive showing of the preseason so far.

     9:13 p.m. -- Bucs short FG in last minute of half vs. Dolphin backups. Game has become the standard August subfest with most starters now gone. I'll not be updating here as frequently in the second half. Will be occupied instead doing what I do when not blogging, which is writing for the newspaper. (You remember newspapers, kids, right? If not, ask Gramps). Writing throughout the second half will be necessary in order to meet the deadline assigned by my editor, Marquis de Sade.

     8:38 p.m. -- Cleo Lemon in for Trent Green. Still say Green and the first-team offense would benefit from playing together for more of these fake games. Lemon has completed a couple of nice passes. QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY!!

     8:35 p.m. -- Bucs tie it, 14-14, on a 26-yard TD pass from Jeff Garcia to Joey Galloway. What I said a few minutes ago about Miami being on the way to a 3-0 exhibition record? I now deny saying it.

     8:16 p.m. Dolphins up, 14-7, after an 11-yard scoring run by Jesse Chatman, set up by a Matt Roth interception. First quarter ends seconds later. Miami on way to 3-0 exhibition record. Do we trust what we are seeing?

     8:06 p.m. -- Miami, 7-7, on a 1-yard TD pass from Trent Green to TE David Martin. They're playing that annoying song! Impressive 73-yard drive. Ronnie Brown looked sharp, Green too, and Ted Ginn had a couple of catches. Brown returned the kickoff. Which (not to be too technical) would seem to make him the kick returner. Crowd has filled in nicely, for a fake game.   

     7:50 p.m. -- Ouch. Trent Green just had a floaty little screen pass to Ronnie Brown intercepted and returned for a short touchdown on Miami's second play from scrimmage. Not all Trent. Brown went at it passively and sort of let Cato June snatch it from him.

     7:38 p.m. -- And we're underway! The Marlins' infield is still on the field. Hope that doesn't mean the Dolphins are destined to commit a bunch of errors.

    7:26 p.m. -- The pregame invocation just ended. I believe the Dolphins are the last NFL team that still does a pregame let-us-pray thing. Are we OK with that? By the way: Not sure about those green jackets the Dolphin Alumni wear. They look like they raided the coat room at Augusta National. 

     7:17 p.m. -- The teams have left the field. Tension building. Cam Cameron's longtime friend, Bobby Knight, is a special guest tonight. Cannot confirm, but sources tell me Knight is presently giving the Dolphins a pregame peptalk consisting of mostly berating players and throwing folding metal chairs.

     7:08 p.m. -- The atmosphere here at Hurricane Stadium is e-lectric. Nothing beats NFL preseason football. I'd estimate there are at least 62,000 empty orange seats. Hey, I thought the Marlins were out of town! 

     6:40 p.m. -- Our first live dispatch of the night. Dolphins dominating pregame warmups. Actor Jimmy Smits is in the house pimping his new TV show. It is called "Cane." Wonder if that means it's about to announce it is switching networks?

     Pre-game post:

     Dolphin fake-game No. 3 is tonight and we're hoping for a few sprinkles or a little syrup in that vanilla offense they've been showing. Not a lot. Just an indication the attack will be more potent and varied than we've seen so far.

Aaadolphs Aaatbbucs     By the way, which is a more embarrassing logo: a perturbed-looking dolphin wearing a helmet? Or a fey pirate who looks like he's on the way to a costume party at a leather bar?

     Inviting comments here before, during and of course after tonight's game.