You Tell Me: What Do You Think About the Miami Dolphins And Their Fixation On Players From Dallas?

Today I wanted to do a "You Tell Me" on the Miami Dolphins consistently signing players from the Dallas Cowboys.

What I want to know is what do you think about it? Do you like that Sparano and Ireland have their own little pipeline from Dallas, or does it concern you that they aren't looking for other options enough?

I am doing some research about how many players have come to Miami from Dallas, and I want to know your thoughts on it out of curiosity.

Thanks for stopping by, and let me know.
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There is Hope for Chad Henne

Why can some QBs get the ball in the endzone while others cannot? Many folks have been saying coaching is Chad Henne’s issue. I don't agree, but there is a small chance Henne could fix his redzone issues. Many times QBs sit behind a guy who has already learned the secrets, Aaron Rodgers is a good example, but Henne must figure it out on his own.

It is critically important for football teams, at any level, to keep the QB pipeline full. QBs learn more from watching the guy in front of them because coaching cannot prepare them for live bullets. Keeping the pipeline full is the reason Don Shula drafted a QB every year. Since Shula, the Miami Dolphins have not followed this mantra and the results are indicative of their struggles at QB.

The hardest thing for QBs to learn is to slow down in critical situations. Many times phantom pressure is a product of wanting to make too much happen or a mandate to run the exact play. I see this with Chad Henne, while being stoic off the field; he plays with rigid emotion on it. He locks on to play calls and does not allow the game to dictate his options. I believe Dan Henning stunted his growth by eliminating audibles as part of the offense. Henne is far behind this critical learning curve.

QBs who understand every aspect of the play know, sometimes the primary guy is not going to be there and they have to improvise. This does not necessarily mean running around and creating chaos, it means creating time in the framework of the play. Near the endzone it means finding a guy who is close to an open space and throwing him open. To do that, a QB must abandon the exact play, not force the ball to a spot, but rather throw the ball to an opening near a receiver.

Chad Henne must make this leap… I personally don’t think Henne is stupid, but I do believe he has problems controlling his emotions at critical times. A coach has a hard time instilling this “cool hand Luke” into the player, but watching and learning from a guy who has been there, does. Chad Pennington didn’t get that done with Henne and I think it was because Pennington didn’t want to teach as much as he wanted to play.

In my opinion, to resurrect the Dolphins this season, Chad Henne has to start looking outside the play call and start looking to throw his receivers open. He has to gain control of the emotions that lead him to throw uncatchable passes when a nice little flip would do the trick.

If Henne understands this issue and looks at open spaces instead of rigid play calling, he could turn the Dolphins’ season around. To get there comes from learning and consistency, not just on Henne’s part but also on the offense as a whole. Coaches like McCarthy, Reid and Belichick have established systems and their QBs along with the rest of the offense had the opportunity to grow and know their assignments. Ocho-Cinco is an example of new players not fitting in when they do not understand the nuances of the offense.

The Dolphins have not had the consistency and success that comes from longevity in a system. If Henne and the offense are still learning, it is hard to get to the next level. Henne must throw to an open spot as the field shortens and demands improvisation. This is what they mean when they say, “the game slows down.” When a single step in the pocket buys time, or leads to a sack.

Can Henne do it? I have serious doubts, but if he understands his weakness, he has the opportunity to fix it.

Is Tony Sparano Too Soft on the Miami Dolphins Players?

I have heard some of you guys briefly mention that you think that Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano is too soft on his players.

While I don't think that a coach should be excessively tough, I also don't think that he should be too soft, and I have to say that I think Sparano seems to be too soft at times. Take this quote by Sparano earlier this afternoon for example. When talking about Brandon Marshall's three "supposed" dropped passes in the end zone this season Tony said this (per Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel):
"You can call some of them drops. I call some of them hard catches"
I understand that Sparano is trying to defend his player, but come on. This is a little ridiculous. Receivers are taught that if the ball hits their hands that they are supposed to catch it. Last I checked, you either caught the ball or you dropped it, nothing in between.

Is this quote a big deal? No, not really, but my fear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is very possible that other Dolphins hear something similar to this when they mess up too. I have no proof of this because I don't hear Coach Sparano talking to his players, so I am speculating here, but I don't think that I am very far off from the truth.

Do you guys remember when Ricky Williams criticized Sparano's coaching style, saying that he paid too much attention to making sure players avoided mistakes at all costs? Well maybe Sparano tried to change his coaching style to be more relaxed and ended up being way too relaxed.

I don't know. This is just me trying to figure out what is going wrong with this team, because I thought that they were WAY better than what they have shown.

Thanks for reading, and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jason Taylor Believes that Chad Henne is More Talented than Mark Sanchez

During an interview yesterday with NBC Miami, Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor said that he believed that Dolphins QB Chad Henne is more talented than New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez.

Here is exactly what he said in the interview:
"We need to grow and we need to continue to change, and I think Chad has grown immensely since I left here a year ago. I saw a kid in New York, Mark Sanchez, that is young, I don't think he's as talented as Chad Henne."
While I agree with Taylor that Henne is more talented than Sanchez, I don't think that he is a better quarterback. Sanchez knows how to win games, and Henne hasn't shown that he does. I know that a lot of you guys are going to strongly disagree with me on this one, but I stand behind what I say. Henne isn't great at winning games and putting together game winning drives and Sanchez is pretty good at it.

I believe absolutely that Henne has a better arm and is a more talented quarterback, but he, for whatever reason, doesn't know how to win games from behind and/or finish teams off when he is ahead, and for that reason I consider Henne to be not as good of a quarterback as Sanchez.

I'm going to keep this one a little short because I know that there will be a lot of discussion and I want you guys to focus most of your time on that discussion.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

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So what do you think?

Did anyone see the show NFL 32 Monday? If not, I will fill you in.

It seems there is quite a bit going on in Miami's locker room. According to NFL 32 there was a wide range of emotions behind closed doors after the Browns game. It was reported that Karlos Dansby was going off yelling (they didn't say at who or what it was about) and Reggie Bush was sitting at his locker talking calmly about the game. Reggie Bush also chirped to the Media that the team hasn't been having very good practices leading up to the games.

I can understand why Dansby was upset, what I don't understand is why Bush wasn't as upset as Dansby, and why Reggie would say something about the practices to the media. I'm not sure if any of that locker room stuff means a thing come game day. In today's world in the NFL does it mean anything if there is a rift in the locker room? I am not saying that there is because I don't know.

When the team looks to have more talent than in the past few years, and they start the season off with 3 losses. It seems to me something is wrong somewhere. If it were something as simple as players not getting along wouldn't they be able to fix that?

Stephen Ross Leaves Tony Sparano Out to Dry

Dolphin fans all over the country have been asking the same question three weeks into the season, what’s wrong with the Dolphins? The team does not seem to be playing with fire. The team looks unprepared, making untimely mistakes in critical situations. Speculation hovers between Chad Henne not being an NFL QB and Tony Sparano not being an NFL coach. All these indicators seem to point to a coach going through the motions with his future already determined.

The blunder Stephen Ross made chasing Jim Harbaugh after last season may have deep repercussions with the current coaching staff. Jeff Ireland accompanied Ross on his foolish adventure and in doing so; he lost the trust of his coach. The bottom line is, Ross made the decision to fire Sparano and keep Ireland even though it didn’t come off. Ross, roundly criticized for trying to hire a coach while still having one under contract, let Sparano know his true thoughts.

At that point Ross, forced to back off a coaching change, signed Sparano to an extension. The damage was done. Sparano knew not only his owner, but his GM had betrayed him. He asked the GM to bring in competition for Chad Henne at the QB position, but his wishes went unheard. Tony Sparano was hung out to dry. He knew it and unfortunately, everyone in the locker room knows it as well.

Tony Sparano may have felt in his heart during those trying moments he should walk away, but his pride would not let him. Sparano knew when the air cleared from Ross’ error in trying to hire Harbaugh, he would be out of a job. His only hope at redemption was to coach the Dolphins into the playoffs while the wheels of deceit and change were spinning behind his back.

Leadership starts at the top and filters down, Ross and Ireland had deceived their coach and then expected him to be the leader they had proved incapable of being. Not finding a QB to compete with Henne further solidified the coach’s feeling that the leadership wanted the eventual coach to make his own choice. Whether any of this is true does not matter because the seeds of discontent were sowed in the Miami Locker room.

If Stephen Ross was willing to go after Jim Harbaugh on the sleigh, what was to stop him from clandestine meetings with John Gruden? Maybe Gruden wanted to make the Glazers pay the final year of the salary they owed him when they fired him in Tampa and then move on to Miami. What if there was already a sweetheart deal waiting for Gruden? What if Gruden said, don’t bring in Kyle Orton, let me figure it out when I get there.

All this is pure speculation but once the owner opened Pandora’s Box the chain of leadership from owner, to GM, to coach, to player was broken. Whether any of the speculation has a shred of truth means nothing, what is important is the owner and GM did not treat the coach with respect. Without this firm base of unified commitment, the chain of command is broken and the Dolphins now look like a team that is broke.

Ross may look to his coach or QB as his problem, perhaps closer study the mirror would be a better place to start. Unfortunately, for suffering Dolphin fans, the team will continue to flounder until the leadership chain is restored.

What Is Wrong With This Miami Dolphins Team?

No matter what, the Miami Dolphins always find a way to lose.

It doesn't matter if they are playing the New England Patriots and allow Tom Brady to throw for over 500 yards. It doesn't matter if they are playing the Houston Texans and give away a very winnable game. It doesn't even matter if they play a team that they should clearly be better than in the Cleveland Browns.

No, it doesn't matter because there is a good chance that the Dolphins are going to find a way to lose.

What I'm having trouble with is the fact that I can't really pinpoint the problem with this team. There are so many different problems that there isn't one that I can really blame the loss on. Should I blame this loss on our spotty defense? Our inability to score touchdowns in the red zone? Our missed and blocked field goals? Our coaches pure delight when we have to settle for field goals? Our lack of any sort of killer instinct that puts teams away? Our costly fumbles by both backs? Our inability to force turnovers? Our inability to just win no matter the cost and no matter the method? This team's apparent lack of passion and desire? This team's inability to put together a complete game?

I mean, it is just ridiculous. I hate to say this because I like Tony Sparano, but I just don't think that he is cut out to coach this team. The Dolphins are going to keep him for at least this week, but beyond that is questionable. I believe that he and Jeff Ireland need to go. I don't feel like a lot of our players are the problem. I actually think that we are a very talented team. We just need better leadership.

I really hate talking like this three weeks into the season, but I can't help but feel like it is already over.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think. Am I right that this season is pretty much over or not?

Suck for Luck anyone?

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Cleveland QB Shows Dolphins How to Win.

Once again, the Dolphins came up short. Most fans will fixate on a defense that could not hold the Browns on the game winning drive, but the inability of the Dolphin offense to step-up in critical situations led to the defeat. Squandered scoring opportunities and a pathetic final drive proved Miami’s undoing. Chad Henne does not have the mental tools or leadership skills to win in the NFL and the Dolphins season is over as a result.

Needing only ten yards to drive the team into field goal range with 45 seconds left, Henne gained nothing and turned the ball over on downs. Inside the redzone Henne stared down his receivers, never scanned the field and threw uncatchable passes. The statistics will indicate a decent performance, but the scoreboard shows otherwise.

Jeff Ireland’s inability to bring in a QB to challenge Henne leaves the Dolphins with no other option but to continue losing. It is beginning to look like Ireland has set Tony Sparano up to fail and the true losers are the Dolphin fans. Steven Ross will feel the need to do something and it will cost Sparano his job, but Ross’ fellow Michigan alumnus is the true culprit.

When the team needed a true leader to carry the day, the QB failed. Pundits will argue that Henne threw great passes to Brian Hartline, but moving the ball between the twenties means nothing in the NFL. When the Dolphins were near the endzone Henne looked like he was hoping something would happen. Henne’s job is to make something happen, and he failed, again.

The defense did not hold the Browns in the final two minutes and like the offense, no leader stepped up and made a difference. The players’ only meeting did nothing to inspire the team and again the coaches will take the blame for a group of players that rolled over on the field.

The Dolphin players have no heart and it starts with Henne…

The Dolphins will continue to lose until they find a QB with the talent and leadership skills necessary to compete in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns Live Chat

Let's see what happens this week.

Here is a link to the game: click here

The Keys to a Miami Victory Over the Browns

Turnovers and defense will be the keys to the Miami Dolphins beating the Cleveland Browns. Two games into the season and the Dolphins have created one turnover. The Cleveland Browns have the potential to be explosive and it is up to the Miami defense to make them one-dimensional.

The lack of turnovers is an indication the Miami defense is not making the kind of hits that dislodge the football. It is also an indication the defense is not getting enough pressure on the QB to force him into making bad decisions that result in interceptions. Defenses feed off big plays, the kind of plays that give the offense a short field and momentum.

Pressure starts from the front seven and so far this season they have not stepped up. The Dolphins have only four sacks and have not been applying the type pressure needed to make opposing QBs uncomfortable in the pocket. Two of the best offenses in the NFL have attacked the Dolphins and the in-game adjustments have been a step behind at recognizing personnel packages in relation to play calling. In other words, our pass defense has been on the field against running personnel and our run defense in passing situations.

Cleveland presents less of a challenge in the passing game than New England or Houston but with Peyton Hillis the Browns running game has the potential to dominate. Miami must take Cleveland out of its running game early and force them to become one-dimensional throwing the ball. This will only came from making devastating hits that jar the football loose. So far this season Miami has played a passive defense, not using blitzes or stunts to disrupt the offense. Mike Nolan has placed so much emphasis on not giving up big plays that QBs have had enough time to do just that.

It is time for the Miami defense to pin back its ears and come after the Cleveland Browns. The strategies so far have not worked, doing the same thing and expecting different results not only defines insanity, but ignorance as well. Attacking defenses may be more prone to giving up big plays but they are also more prone to making them. There so much pressure on the Dolphins to win, the only option is to sellout now because Sparano may not get many more opportunities.

This is a pivotal game for the Dolphins. In only week three, it seems early to proclaim this as a make or break game, but starting 0 and 3 virtually eliminates Miami’s chances of making the playoffs. For the Dolphins, this is a must win game. The Miami offense has shown the ability to move the ball and its troubles in the redzone will end this week. That places the onus for this game, and perhaps the entire season, on the shoulders of the defense.

The players’ only, meeting this week was not a slight on the coaching staff, as some have suggested. Without being behind those closed doors, the summation here is, the veteran leaders in the locker room told the players, “it’s do or die time for the Dolphins.” Getting rid of vocal players like Channing Crowder may promote the Parcells’ philosophy of media silence, but it also removes those guys from the locker room.

The players’ only meeting gave rise to new leadership among the Dolphin players and it would be very interesting to know who those players are and what they said. If Chad Henne is ever to move from average to good, it will start by the team believing he is the leader an NFL QB must be. Dolphin fans will know unequivocally whether this team has the heart and soul to compete or will lay down in 2011. The soul may be on the offense but the heart must come from the defense and that unit must come out with reckless abandon to bring home a victory.

The Dolphin season is not over… The team will prove it with a break out, defining win against the Browns.

Behind Enemy Lines: What Browns Sites Are Saying About Cleveland's Game Against The Miami Dolphins

Gary suggested this great idea to me, and I am going to try and do it every Saturday now because I think it is a very interesting idea and a great alternative to traditional game previews.

What I am going to do is check out fan sites for the teams that we are playing, and post what they put for their keys to the game against the Miami Dolphins. That way we can get their perspective of the Dolphins and what they think that they need to do well to beat Miami.

As you should know, the Miami Dolphins are on the road to play the Cleveland Browns tomorrow. The 1-1 Browns are coming off of a win against the Colts. From what I gather, people in Cleveland think that they have a good shot to win, but they think pretty highly of Chad Henne and the Dolphins offense. Here are some of the things they had to say.

This excerpt from Cleveland Sports 360 posted by LG:
"The Cleveland Browns defense featuring Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin are going to have their hands full trying to contain Miami QB Chad Henne this Sunday. Henne comes into the game with more rushing yards than Reggie Bush the Dolphins running back. So far this season Henne has rushed the ball 10 times for 85 yards and one touchdown for a 8.5 yard average. Letting this guy get lose could create a problem."
I find this quote pretty funny because I have never thought of Henne as a very fast guy, but I guess it is kind of true that he can break for a nice gain running the ball.

This excerpt from Bleacher Report written by Samantha Bunten:
"The hype about Miami's ground game going into this season was all about the ever-overrated Reggie Bush (evidently still plagued by the Heisman Curse even though he had to give his back), but the guy who should scare the Browns is Daniel Thomas.

What should scare the Browns even more is that their defense has struggled against the run so far this season. Thus far in 2011, they've ceded a 24th-ranked 248 yards to opposing rushers. Not great, particularly since they've faced two teams who aren't known for having especially exceptional ground games. "
Samantha obviously recognizes what Thomas can bring to the table. I don't know if she watched the game against Houston, but he did well against the Texans 17th best run defense so there is a good chance that he does really well against the Browns defense.

Here are a few excerpts from Waiting For Next Year. In this article they start with "The Browns Will Win If..."

This first one is from Daniel Wolf:
"…they can continue putting the ball into running back Peyton Hillis’ and wide receiver Josh Cribbs’ hands. Hillis is like any other big and bruising rusher and the more touches he gets in a game, the stronger he becomes. Cribbs, on the other hand, has been talking about how he doesn’t care what position he plays anymore and he simply wants the ball in his hands. Whether it’s receiver, running back, heck…even line him up as a tight end since he can block well…just get him the ball more."

This next one is by Craig:
"…they can get their pass rush going on Chad Henne. I absolutely love his stable of weapons. I saw Brandon Marshall torch the Colts live once when he was still with the Broncos and it was absolutely incredible to see. The Broncos lost the game, mind you, but Brandon Marshall had 21 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns in that game. Twenty-one receptions. So the Browns better not give Chad Henne time. After Marshall, I also really respect Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano, Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush as guys who could collectively give the Browns’ defense fits this weekend if they have to hold pass coverage too long."

And a last one by Rick:
"…they put together a full game. So far on the season, the Browns have played decent football for 3 out of 8 quarters. Somehow they still had a shot to win both. It’s time the Browns were able to focus out of the gate and move the ball on their first drive. Playing from behind is not a recipe for consistent success in this league. Cleveland needs pressure from the front four again, giving Henne less time to throw and Marshall less time to get open. I think they have it in them."

So there you have it. The Browns are obviously more worried about our offense and they want to run the ball a lot. Let us hope that our offense is playing well and that our defense wraps up the ball-carrier, because if they don't then it could be a long day.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know your thoughts below.

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How Many More Losses Do You Think It Takes Before Tony Sparano Loses His Job?

I want to pose this question because while I don't want it to happen, there is a very real possibility that it might happen.

My question is, how many more losses do you think Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross will be able to tolerate before he fires Tony Sparano?

If the Dolphins lose this Sunday do you see Ross firing him afterwards? What about if they lose next week against the Chargers? Would he get the axe then?

I want you guys to tell me what you think it will take for Sparano to be fired. I obviously don't want Sparano to be fired because that would probably mean the end of the season for Miami, but Ross isn't pleased and he is going to want to see some wins pretty soon.

I personally think that it will take a loss during each of these next two weeks for him to be gone. As long as he wins one of the games I think he will be alright for a little while, but if he can't win then I can definitely see Stephen Ross having enough and deciding to let him go.

That's all I've got for now. I'm really sorry to cut today's post so short, but I have a busy rest of the day and need to finish this up. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think it will take for Stephen Ross to fire Tony.

Another Week... More Dolphins Roster Changes

Hello Dol-Fans!

Another week (Week 3)… another loss (0 – 2)… and more Dolphins Roster changes in attempts to find a winning formula. The question buzzing in my head is, do they (the Miami Front Office) really believe these new players can immediately contribute?

Igor Olshansky can be a disruptive force along the Defensive line, and he definitely has the prototypical size you look for in a D-Lineman. He’s not much of a pass rusher as evidenced by his sack stats (1.5 in 2010, and 12.5 in his 8 year career), but he’s a sure tackler (39 in 2010) and will use his big body to force plays back inside. Transition time for a D-lineman typically isn’t lengthy, so of the two new players… he should have the most immediate impact. Expect to see him lined up primarily on running downs and possibly subbing in at DT in a pinch.

The acquisition of CB Nate Jones is a bit of a head scratcher. He’s in his second stint with the Dolphins now, and I can only assume they’ll be using him for positional depth at this point. With Sean Smith and Vontae Davis securely locked in their starting roles, and Will Allen also resigned to shore-up the Nickel role, I don’t foresee Jones having much playing time soon. Like Olshansky, he’s a good tackler (57 in 2010) but his coverage skills are average (3 PD’s in 2010), and is susceptible to being burned by speedier WR’s.

All in all, I believe Miami acquired two solid players for the Defense, though I really question their potential to dramatically contribute immediately.

What do you think?

A Dolphins Loss This Sunday Could Spell the End for Sparano

Hello Dol-Fans!

A volcanic explosion is brewing under our beloved Dolphins team, and even more so under Head Coach (HC) Tony Sparano’s already scorching hot seat.

At 0 – 2, the team has yet to perform up to expectation, and it’s only a matter of time before Majority Owner Steven Ross pulls the trigger. Should Miami lose in Cleveland Sunday, I’d put money on the odds that Sparano’s looking for work by Monday.

Ross has already proved he’s willing to entertain this idea last offseason, when attempting to lure John Harbaugh to South Beach then shockingly extended Sparano’s contract. I have no doubt that with a former HC (now DC) Mike Nolan already on staff, the possibility making such a dramatic and swift move is very likely, should he deem it necessary.

In the infamous words of our President, “let me be clear…” I don’t wish our team bad fortunes this week; quite the contrary! I’m extremely anxious for our boys to break into the “W column” this season. I’m also a realist, and Steven Ross has invested way too much money to continue to see his investment sink.

What do you think?

What are Your Thoughts About Jason Taylor Speaking to the Miami Dolphins After The Houston Loss?

I figured that I would do something similar to a "You Tell Me" on this one because I want to know what you guys think about this, but I am going to share my opinion as well, so I didn't want to call it a "You Tell Me."

Basically, Jason Taylor told the Miami Dolphins that they needed to practice better and with more intensity. He said that they have been playing in games like they have been practicing, and he wanted that to change. For the full story go to the Miami Herald's post here, but for the purpose of this discussion all you need to know is that he called out the team on their practicing habits.

So what I want to know is, do you guys like that Taylor is calling out his teammates like this, or do you not?

To me it doesn't really seem like that hard of a question because I completely support what Taylor is trying to do, but there are some people who don't like it. So, I want to know what you guys think and why.

This, to me, is a player who sees a real problem with the team and is doing what he can to fix it. He is (I believe) the oldest player on the Dolphins roster, and he knows what he is talking about. No, he hasn't been a winner throughout his entire career, but he was with the Jets last year when they went to the AFC Championship game, and he got a taste of what a winning team looks and practices like.

It must have been surprising for him to come back to Miami and see how different the atmosphere is during practices because, let's face it, the Jets are just better at winning games, and I am willing to bet that that starts at their practices. The Jets mentality as a team is that they are going to win. You don't get that feeling when you are watching the Dolphins. With Miami you never know that there is a good chance that they are somehow going to pull it out like you do with New York. I hate to say it, but that is just how it is, and until that changes the Jets will be competing in the playoffs and the Dolphins won't.

I think that Miami can still turn it around, though. This season isn't over, and hopefully Taylor's speech will be enough to give Miami the push they need. Maybe he can even give Coach Tony some pointers about what the Jets did to be able to win.

Thanks for reading, and as always please leave your reactions below.

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Miami Dolphins "Can't Touch Us" Throwback Video

With all of the frustration of these past two weeks, I figured that I would put this video up for you guys to watch.


Hopefully you guys enjoyed. I am going to try and put something up later today, so stay tuned for that was well.

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The Dolphins are Rudderless without Leadership at QB

The Dolphins performance against the Texans brought out the intense emotions of Miami fans from around country. The once proud Dolphins are finding it increasingly difficult to regain the fire that has made them one of the most beloved franchises in the NFL. The Ownership hoped giving away some ten thousand tickets would fill the stadium and bring back the home field advantage, but it was not to be.

History has shown the key to long-term success in the NFL comes from leadership at the QB position. Take QB out of the equation and parity in the NFL becomes apparent. There are athletes at some positions playing a higher level, but for the most part, talent in the league is associated with winning. Players on teams that go to the playoffs see their value rise, while players on teams with losing records lose value unless they are among the few elites. The pattern repeats at the franchise level.

Teams like Baltimore with Trent Dilfer or Tampa Bay with Brad Johnson went on to Superbowl victories, and the reason came from uncommon leadership. Ray Lewis brought swagger to the Ravens, while Derrick Brookes and Warren Sapp led a dominate Bucs defense. Yet even those two teams could not sustain success because they lacked leadership at QB.

There is no need to waste space listing the number of great teams associated with great QBs, just as there is no need for the reams of paper needed to list the bad teams associated with bad QBs. This is not rocket science, leadership in the NFL revolves around the QB, and it is what differentiates bad, good, and great. In the few instances where this has not held true there have been rare leaders at other positions.

With leadership comes identity, with leadership comes a common thread, a rallying point; this is missing on the Miami Dolphins. The players on this team do not believe in the person they all know is the key to their success and not one charismatic player can make up for that missing ingredient. A coach with a flamboyant personality can bring a team close, but he too will fail in the end.

There is no need to single out a culprit or criticize an individual, it is a simple fact, either the team has the player or they do not. Time does not make these men. Coaching and learning can bring about greatness in players who have the gift of leadership, but it is not something that matures with age or is a fabrication of psychology. The will to win is inside the person, they have it or they do not.

On the football field, it relates to scoring, finding a way to get the ball to right guy amid the chaos and pressure that would stifle those without the gift. This is the reason we are willing to go to games and pay the exorbitant prices. We go to see the gift, the brilliance in someone else; we do not have in ourselves.

An owner who believes he can buy fans into a stadium to witness the orange carpet laid out for celebrities has completely missed the point. Football fans show up when they can witness the fire in Dan Marino’s eyes and know he is about to march his team, against all odds, down the field and beat the other team. The heart and soul of a football team is the guy behind the center who the fans and the players believe can raise them to victory.

If a player does not show this gift early, the chances of him ever showing it are slim. When a team continues to flounder, unaware of what seems obvious, then the fans lose faith. No celebrities, no giveaways and probably not even a coach can make up for a team without a leader at the critical position. Looking in any other direction is either not understanding the game or being unwilling to accept what is apparent.

This is the NFL. This is the reason fans go to games. Watch enviously as Sports Center shows Tom Brady from every imaginable angle and remember when it was Dan Marino. Maybe that will give Miami a clue as to why they are slowly losing one of the most loyal fan bases in the NFL.

Keep Drafting a QB until the true leader shows up. It will not take four years to figure it out… The gift is apparent from the beginning.

Those who aspire to become great coaches may appreciate information on sports
psychology programs.

As Disappointing as This Season Has Been So Far for the Miami Dolphins, It Isn't Over Yet

Update: The Dolphins have cut Larry Johnson. I guess they are satisfied with the way Daniel Thomas played on Sunday.

I know that the last two weeks have been incredibly frustrating for us Miami Dolphins fans. Miami is 0-2, and now that our offense seems to have become somewhat successful our defense has faltered.

It really seems like it is one thing after another with the Dolphins, but I want to assure you, it isn't all over yet. Are there a lot of things that Miami needs to fix? Absolutely, but the Dolphins are only 0-2. They have been in this situation just a few years ago and they went 11-5 that year.

If the Dolphins can fix the defense (which shouldn't be too too hard because it is practically the same group as last year) and figure out how to score when they are in the red zone, then they should be able to pull together and make a run for the playoffs.

Another concern that I had that I know a lot of you noticed is the fact that Miami didn't seem to play with any fire or desire against the Texans on Sunday. They didn't really seem to play with a lot of intensity, and it showed with a loss that could have just as easily been a win if they were really fired up.

Say what you want, but this team really isn't that bad. They just went up against two great offenses. We won't have many more games like that, and if our defense can get better and our offense can learn to score, then we will be just fine.

Trust me, I know how frustrating it is. I was at the game burning up in the heat that made me more fiery than the players themselves. I'm just saying to give it a few more games. Apparently Jason Taylor has given a speech to the players about how poorly they have been practicing, and hopefully that will be the kick that they need to start going. Maybe they will understand that they need to play with intensity, because if they do then they could end up being a great team this year.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know your thoughts.

Be sure to check out the newly added forums. I think that we can have some great discussions on there, so please take a minute to click on the forums tab at the top of the page and join one or start your own discussion.

I have also finally created a Dolphin Shout Facebook page. Please take a second to like the page using the like button right below this paragraph. I am trying to grow Dolphin Shout as much as possible, and I figured that Facebook was the best next step to take.

Follow DolphinShout on Twitter

Fans Conditioned.

Are we fans Conditioned to losing ? I think we are. Over the past week we have been talking about fan support or lack there of.

Personally I don't think there is a lack of support. What I do think is we want so much for our favourite players to succeed that we don't see they are not playing very well. We support them no matter what !! Even if that means we are losing games that are winnable.

So it's all right to lose because they are still our team, and our favourite player/s look good to us. We are conditioned to lose. It has been so long since we have had a really good team, being average is good enough. We can look back and say well we are better than 5 years ago. So we use that as a crutch and defend what have. Thinking that if we change, things will be worse once again. Basically we go year after year with the same record, playing up to or down to the competition week to week. The losing has conditioned the fans as well as the team.

Check Out The Dolphin Shout Forums

Hey guys.

I have just added a forum to Dolphin Shout so that you guys can start and maintain your own discussions about the Miami Dolphins over multiple days.

Hopefully this works out well. Be sure to go on over and say whatever you would like. You can start your own topic or comment on another person's topic. It is very easy to do, and hopefully you guys will enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by. To get to the forum just click on the "Forums" tab above.

Without a QB The Dolphins will Continue to Lose

I don’t usually write in the first person because it is not an analysis of the facts, it is an emotional dissertation of one’s feelings. These are my feelings after watching the Dolphins play against the Texans. Emotion or lack there of, is the reason Miami lost this game. The team came out flat again, the coaches were unable to get this team fired up yet again.

Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland did nothing with the QB position in the off-season. They decided to live or die with Chad Henne and now, they will be looking for jobs. I refrained from criticizing Henne because QBs take several years to understand the nuances of the NFL game. I refrained from criticizing Sparano because NFL coaches are only as good as their QB. Well, the Dolphins chose Henne and it is too late now to realize he will never be a great NFL QB.

The Dolphins drove the ball up and down the field only to fall victim of a QB who could not come off his primary receiver in the most critical area of the field. Henne made plays, the coach will come out and defend Henne, and what else can he do, but the bumbled field goals should never have happened. Henne threw uncatchable passes, he locked on to receivers instead of making a progression, and he allowed himself to be sacked in the redzone.

The redzone is where great QBs make a living, sorry, that’s just the way it is. Great QBs find a way to get the ball to the open guy and Chad Henne is not a great QB. He never will be. I have spent three years hoping Henne would learn, but there is no learning how to win. Winners find a way to get the ball in the endzone. I don’t care about arm strength, I don’t care about talent, it’s about the will to win and Henne does not have it. It is not going to happen and shame on Sparano for not recognizing his NFL head coaching life was tied at the hip with the QB he selected.

Houston is one of the top offenses in the NFL and they are going to score points. Being relegated to lame field goals game after game simply leads to losing. I don’t see this changing; I don’t see some miraculous change in a QB who cannot get the ball in the endzone. It all points to a team that will be no better than 500, and never will be until they can score touchdowns.

I consider myself one of the true diehard Dolphin fans and I’ll continue with the misery of being one, but I will not do so in silence. Tony Sparano made the choice of sticking with Henne and now he must pay the price. The problem is, there is no other option and we, as Dolphin fans can only wait once again, for next year. Wait for a new coach, a new QB, knowing change only leads to more waiting… I miss you Don Shula.

Miami Dolphins vs Houston Texans Live Game Chat

Here we are. It's time for the Dolphins to get a win.

Here is a link to the game: click here

The Miami Dolphins Need to Play for 60 Minutes

The Texans present a mental challenge for the Dolphins and it is time Miami broke the losing streak. Miami has lost to the Texans 6 times by an average of less than 3 points. This game reeks of a breakout by Miami. There is no logical reason for the Houston dominance. There is no natural rivalry, there are no division implications, and the truth is Miami has beaten themselves in many of these games.

The key to this game is simple; eliminate the critical mistakes that have allowed the Texans to win games they should have lost. This is a team Miami can score on, with Brandon Marshall taking advantage of smallish corner backs. Forcing Mario Williams to cover Anthony Fasano can slow down his pass rush.

There is no elaborate plan needed for this game, aggressive, hard-nosed, mistake free football will beat the Texans. Miami needs to dictate the pace of the game from on onset. The Dolphins have left Houston hanging around in past games and they have lost many times in the final minute. Starting fast has not helped the Dolphins when they have let down in the final minutes.

60 minutes of aggressive football and the Dolphins will win.

You Tell Me: What are the Keys to the Miami Dolphins Beating the Houston Texans?

I am at Web Weekend in Miami, so I am going to keep this short and put up a "You Tell Me."

So, you tell me, what are the keys to the Miami Dolphins beating Houston?

Also, give me your predictions for the game and who you think will really play well.

Thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry that I had to keep this short, but I am enjoying my time here at Web Weekend. Now let me hear your thoughts.

The Dolphin Defense was Ugly - The Coaching was Bad

Analyzing the ugly play of the defense, in a previous post, began a backward look at the good, the bad and ugly. This post will analyze the bad. The “bad,” falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff for allowing Bill Belichick to outwit them the past four years. The answer, doesn’t come from trying to find a weakness in the Patriots, it comes from self-examination.

Great coaches all have one thing in common; they study themselves as much as they study their opponent. They know their own weaknesses better than their opponent does. With that knowledge, they can accurately predict what the opponent will try to exploit. The Dolphins were unaware the game plan to generate a pass rush without blitzing or stunting could be mitigated by a two tight end hurry-up passing game.

Benny Sapp became the scapegoat for what was supposedly poor play in the secondary. By cutting Sapp, the Dolphins exposed to coaches like Belichick, they still don’t understand why they lost. Cutting a corner back does not fix the root of a problem that schematically gave Tom Brady the time to pick the secondary apart.

The talk all week has been about a lack of talent and depth in the Dolphin secondary. Only a lack of introspect would lead to the conclusion the secondary could stop Brady within the framework of a poor game plan. There is no secondary in the NFL that will stop Brady when he has enough time to scan the entire field and even return to receivers after breaking off patterns.

Bill Belichick knew his offensive line would be determined as a weakness by his opponent. He knew the Dolphins had strength and depth on the defensive line. He knew the Dolphins would conclude they could get pressure without blitzing and they would try to maximize coverage. By knowing his weakness, he was able to accurately guess his opponent’s game plan.

With this knowledge, Belichick no longer had to worry about offensive line adjustments caused by exotic blitzes or stunts. He no longer had to worry about backs picking up linebackers or tight ends forced to block blitzing safeties and corners. He installed a hurry-up offense with simple blocking assignments geared at stopping the defensive line. It should not be surprising a rookie tackle was able to handle Cameron Wake, when Wake was his only worry.

The Dolphins made protecting Brady easy. Instead of exploiting the opponent’s weakness with aggression, they took the passive approach of trying to beat Brady with coverage. They further exacerbated this mistake by not realizing it was a mistake and making the proper adjustments. The brain trust envisioned Brady making big plays on an aggressive defense, was worse than Brady making plays on a passive defense. The key theme to this entire analysis is, “Brady making plays.”

Around the league and on every NFL related TV program, the common conclusion all analysts share is, beating Tom Brady requires pressure and pre-snap confusion. The Dolphins chose a passive game plan that accomplished neither of those things. The coaches can blame players like Benny Sapp, but bad coaching and poor game planning are the true culprits. Coaching against the likes of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is no easy task and this analysis does not insinuate the Dolphins have bad coaches. They just had a bad plan.

Belichick is a master and the best we can do in life is to learn from the masters. Belichick spends as much time learning about his own team as he does learning about his opponent. Through this introspect he is able to project himself into the mind of his opposition. This enables him to accurately predict his opponent’s game plan. It also allows him change his tendencies and fool his adversaries.

The bottom line is, Brady is going to score points whether it’s through big plays or long marches, the only sure way to stop him is to plant him on his backside. The Dolphins knew the Patriot offensive line did not match-up well against with the Dolphin defensive line. Not expecting Belichick to know this as well, led to the poor decision of using a passive game plan, without blitzing, and thinking Belichick would not have a plan for it.

To counter, Belichick installed a two tight end hurry up passing game that caught the Dolphins in a base defense. Instead of dictating the flow of the game by using the strength of its front seven, the Dolphins were trapped on their heals. Belichick made a plan to mitigate the Dolphin front seven and worse he ran them into the ground. By analyzing there own strengths the Dolphins could have predicted Belichick’s options. Knowing those options would have presented a different picture and more than likely a better game plan.

The Dolphin offense cranked it up and the Dolphin defense cranked it down. It won’t happen again. Mike Nolan is an excellent coach and he is probably kicking himself worse than any analyst possibly could. Look for the Dolphin defense to come out against the Texans like a pod of angry porpoise attacking a shark. The Patriots didn’t really expose a weakness because there are few teams with the depth and skill of the Patriot tight ends. The lesson learned is, aggressive beats passive, on the football field, every time.

We Need to Show Our Support as Miami Dolphins Fans

One thing that has stayed pretty consistent during these past few seasons is a large portion of the Miami Dolphins fan base has been negative and unsupportive of their team, which we can't have. We need to support our team, and show them that we believe in them instead of acting like they don't deserve us.

Fans are obviously going to be passionate. I'm not saying don't be passionate about your team. Is it fine to get mad at specific players or the team as a whole for making mistakes? Sure it is, but you need to continue supporting them. The players need our support. Insulting them on twitter or however else you can contact them doesn't help any. Most other teams in the NFL have great fans that support them. Why can't we have it like that in Miami?

I'm not going to lie. I wasn't exactly too supportive during the beginning of this past offseason. My main disagreements were the hiring Brian Daboll and passing up of Ryan Mallett in the NFL Draft. I just assumed that those moves were only going to hurt the team, but that's the thing. I was wrong and they weren't. Bringing in Daboll has been great for the offense and Chad Henne looks like the quarterback we all hoped he could be last year, so we don't need Mallett.

I am not an NFL coach, scout, or general manager, and I am assuming that most of you aren't either. I am a blogger that likes to talk about my team and discuss whatever they do. I don't have any actual connections with the Miami Dolphins. Most of you are fans that are just as passionate as me and want to talk about your team as well. So, unless we are being paid to do the jobs of the people we talk down to, we should be supportive of what they do and assume that they are doing what is best for the team, because they know infinitely more than us about everything that goes on.

Do coaches, scouts, and general managers get it right every time? Of course not, but I am willing to bet that they would get it right more often than any of us. Some of us may really know football, but I doubt that any of us are as good as the men being paid by NFL teams. These guys are the best in the world. They'll make mistakes, but their chances of making mistakes are much lower than anyone else's chances.

So, I am calling you guys to join me in supporting our team, not putting them down. We have a great team, they just need our support. Our offense is playing really, really well, and our defense is much better than they showed against New England. What's not to like?

We have a great chance to make the playoffs this year. Just look at the schedule that I have a link to at the top of the page. I can see a lot of games that we have a great chance of winning, and we have a good shot at winning the rest. If the Dolphins defense can play like they did last year, then Miami can play against anyone else in the league. Miami's defense had one of its worst defensive performances in probably the history of the team and they still only lost to arguably the most efficient offense in the NFL by two touchdowns. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound too bad.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think. I am going to be going down to Miami this weekend to watch the Dolphins against the Texans, so I can't guarantee that I will be able to post every day, but I will do my best.

What Is the Dolphins Strength Now?

Hello Dol-Fans!

While Miami’s Offense showed some flashes of brilliance in “Primetime” last Monday night, the Defense surprisingly collapsed! The supposed “strength” of the ‘Fins team, was outplayed virtually the entire game, and even more distressing…appeared pitifully out of shape down the stretch.

Even the crudest football fan, could easily identify and diagnose the colossal blunders and problem areas in the game, so what has the Front Office/Coaching Staff done to fix it? They released CB Benny Sapp, and replaced him with recentlyreleased CB Will Allen. Let’s be honest… they never should’ve released Will Allen in the first place, but does this really solve the monumental problem areas heading into Week 2? Unfortunately, there’s not a clear Yes or No answer to this question; it’s both! Let’s start with the Yes part. Will Allen is a better “Cover Corner” and provides a knowledgeable veteran presence in the Nickel. The No part of the answer, is that he’s not a great tackler, nor does he offer much by way of pressuring/pass rushing.

HC Tony Sparano said the decision to release Allen was due to health concerns they had about him during the Pre Season, and Sapp was the healthier of the two, therefore they kept Sapp. Apparently, that was the wrong decision… considering how many times Sapp looked like a sap in coverage. Shocker; not!

I applaud the Organization for coming to their senses and resigning Will Allen however, major concerns about the pass rush (or lack thereof) remain. How will that the addressed and corrected? Suggestion - more frequently change the frontseven look and attempt to disguise the Blitzer. They also need to be more creative by adding a Safety or Corner into the pass rushing mix on obvious passing downs/situations and dialing up the pressure.

In short… the Defense was “too vanilla” last Monday, and paid the price. Let’s hope they add some Tabasco to it this week, and renew the Strength of the Dolphins team.

What do you think?

Miami's Running Game

Hello Dol-Fans!

One definitive lesson we all learned from the Week 1, is that Miami clearly cannot continue sending RB Reggie Bush up the middle. His sub par 3.5yd/carry average was indicative of this, and frankly… I was surprised it was that high. This should’ve been obvious to anyone who knows anything about Reggie, but I digress.

Hey Mr. Daboll, he’s (Bush) a perimeter guy; stop trying to kill him and Offensive drives by deploying this inane tactic!

Ahem, on a more positive note… RB Daniel Thomas and FB/TE/H-Back Charles Clay were full participants in practice yesterday, which hopefully translates into them making their Dolphins debuts on Sunday. If this holds true… our beloved boys from South Beach will have a two-headed monster of thumpers (at 6’1”, 230lbs. and 6’3”, 239 lbs. respectively) to pound the rock between the Tackles, and allow Reggie to hit the corners as he’s intended to do. This can dramatically improve the Offense and their ability to control the game clock, pick-up crucial 1st Downs, score, and most importantly… keep the Texans Offense off the field!

Go ‘Fins Go!

ESPN First Take, out of touch !!!

Dana Jacobson and Skip Bayless of ESPN first take made a fleeting comment about Chad Henne not getting the ball into the endzone against the Patriots this past week. Are they kidding me ?

I have done my share of pointing out Henne's faults. There is simply no facts to base what they said about Henne on today's show. Henne scored 2 TDs passing and ran another one in for a score. He hit Brandon Marshall at the goal line with a pass that Brandon dropped after Marshall ran a pattern that was not deep enough to score on anyway.

Miami took advantage of the only play the defense made in the entire game when he converted Odrick's interception into a TD pass to Hartline. There is absolutely no way this loss can be hung on Chad Henne. His passer rating was over 93, with 417 yards passing 2 TDs, and a meaningless pick with seconds to go in a 14 point loss. If it weren't for that interception his passer rating would have been about 110. This is simply uninformed bias reporting.

This loss is on the defense. I don't care who we play. If our defence gives up 622 yards the team is going to lose. There are no excuses for that type of performance, none.

Miami Dolphins Re-sign CB Will Allen

In an obvious attempt to fix the problem that was the Miami Dolphins defense Monday night, the Dolphins have re-signed CB Will Allen, who they just recently cut. This is according to Pro Football Talk.

I am glad they did this, because Miami's corners were hurting against the Patriots and Allen makes them significantly better.

I'm keeping this short because I am posting from my phone. I just wanted to let you guys know.

Let me know what you think below in the comments.

The Dolphins Versus the Patriots - The Good - The Bad - The Ugly

Beginning by working backward over the course of a week, the first of a three part series starts with the ugly…

There were many reasons to be disappointed in the Miami Dolphins loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night, but there were equal reasons for optimism. The Patriot offensive game plan to crank up the pace bewildered the Dolphin defense. The use of WRs disguised as TEs left the Dolphins incapable of responding.

The Miami game plan to rush only 3 or 4 and drop the rest into coverage gave Tom Brady enough time to exploit the Miami secondary at will. The lack of conditioning on the Dolphin side of the ball was evident. It is obvious; the Patriots spent the entire training camp in the hurry-up offense. Being in the same offense and in possession of the playbook also gave the Patriots a distinct advantage coming into this season.

When Steven Ross petitioned the NFL to eliminate one o’clock games in Miami, it’s doubtful he envisioned opening against the Patriots on Monday night. The Dolphins are the first among many teams that will have trouble with this NE offense. Belichick has taken a page from Shula or Dungy, by deciding to ride on the back of his QB, and see where it will take him.

It goes without saying the Patriot offense revolves around Tom Brady but this version has taken that to a new level. Using a two TE set as a base passing formation is a brilliant scheme. To the defense it looks like a running formation, it is not. Showing what looks like a run formation traps the defense in its base package and then the Patriots switch immediately to a hurry-up offense not allowing the defense to substitute.

The NE offense, pre-conditioned for the rapid-fire attack limited Miami's ability to substitute, and effectively ran the Dolphins ragged. Once the heat and exhaustion overcame Miami, Brady took advantage of reserves forced into action by the fatigued starters. When Bill Belichick has six months to game plan, there is certain to be a dazzling outcome. Miami was unfortunate in having the first glimpse at what will be keeping defensive coordinators around the league awake at night.

Miami was not prepared, but it is doubtful any team could have envisioned this offense prior to seeing it. For that reason, the Dolphin faithful should temper their criticism and realize the first game of the season was against the best offense in the NFL. Miami actually kept the game close until the very end and that leads to some reasons for optimism.

Miami Dolphins Defense Collapses In Loss To Patriots

The Miami Dolphins defense played horribly Monday night, allowing Tom Brady to throw for 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 loss to the Patriots.

What was so frustrating was the fact that the offense, and Chad Henne in particular, played really well against New England. Henne threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception, but that was just him throwing the ball towards the end zone as the clock expired. I want you guys to think about that for a moment. Henne threw for over 416 yards. In any other game Henne's 400+ yards would have been the main story, but because of our defense Tom Brady will be talked about for breaking the Patriots franchise record for passing yards.

If Brady hadn't broken his career high for passing yards in this game, Henne's 416 would have been higher than Tom Brady's previous career high of 410. I might be overreacting a little bit, but I think we really may have found our franchise quarterback.

But that is beside the point. Winning is the point, and the Dolphins lost the game because of an absolutely terrible defensive outing. Brady consistently picked Miami's defense apart, which was supposed to be one of the best in the NFL. He wore them out drive after drive and made them look like the Miami Dolphins defense of two years ago. New England tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez combined for 189 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Wes Welker alone had eight receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

I hate how we just can't seem to beat the Patriots. When our offense finally starts clicking and it looks like we have a chance to beat New England, they destroy our defense and make us look like crap again. Miami needs to figure out what went wrong today and fix it quickly before next Sunday against the Texans.

Thanks for reading, and let me hear your thoughts.

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots Live Game Chat

Hey guys, it is finally here.

In case you can't get the game, here is a link to it: click here. If that one doesn't work just click on one of the other options above the video.

It's Time For The Miami Dolphins To Shock The Football World

First, I would like to take a minute to recognize anyone who actively serves as a firefighter, policeman, or is in active duty with the United States military. Thank you for what you do to keep us safe. I also want to recognize anyone who lost someone during the 9/11 attacks. They are in a better place now. Lastly, I would like for us all to take a second to remember the brave men and women of the NYPD and NYFD who gave their lives on that to day try and help others. They are real heroes, and it is important that we never forget them, because they deserve all of our gratitude.

Now, we are mere days away from the Miami Dolphins season opener at home against the New England Patriots on Monday night. After what seemed like a longer than normal offseason because of the lockout we finally have football back again, and the Dolphins are kicking it off on Monday night in front of the whole nation.

None of the "experts" are picking Miami to win, and as far as anyone outside of Miami is concerned the Patriots are going to run away with this game.

I mean, why wouldn't they expect anything else? The Patriots killed the Dolphins in their two matchups last season. The Patriots seem to only have improved this offseason with the additions of Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. Miami only seems to have gotten worse. They have replaced Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams with a supposed injury prone back in Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas, they "missed out" on Kyle Orton and instead signed Matt Moore to compete with Chad Henne, they had the Jim Harbaugh mess, their star wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, their new offensive coordinator's offense was ranked worse last year than the OC he replaced, and they only won one home game last year.

To everyone who hasn't been following the Dolphins closely, the situation in Miami seems like a jumbled mess. Sure, it makes sense that they think Miami will be wiped out.

The thing is, they won't be wiped out. In fact, the Miami Dolphins have a really good chance to win this game.

Chad Henne has been looking great this offseason. He has taken command of the offense and he doesn't have to worry about his offensive coordinator holding him back anymore. He and Brandon Marshall have started to develop a strong connection. He no longer tucks the ball and runs at the slightest sign of pressure. He continues to look down the field trying to make a play. Last season my main complaint with Henne was his lack of progression, but that is no longer a problem. He has developed incredibly since the end of last year. He is a completely different quarterback, and I really look forward to watching the film from this year compared to last year. The differences will be very easy to spot, and it will be fun to see how much he has improved.

Reggie Bush has been terribly underrated by everyone around the NFL this summer. It seems like people have forgotten what he is capable of doing when he is catching the ball out of the backfield, which is what his primary job will be. He will be a huge and integral part of this offense if he can stay healthy.

Miami's receivers are among the most underrated in the NFL. They have Brandon Marshall, Roberto Wallace (mini-Marshall), Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, and Clyde Gates. I will be honest and say that I am not a big Brian Hartline fan, but I still think that he is an important part of the Dolphins receiving corps. Each of those receivers has a specific talent that makes them valuable, and the combination of all of them makes for a great receiving group.

What might be the Dolphins biggest strength is their defense. Tom Brady may be among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but I can guarantee you that he won't be able to pass all over Miami's defense on Monday. The Dolphins have one of the best CB tandems, one of the best defensive lines, and a great group of linebackers. They were a top ranked defense last year, and they have only gotten better.

One overlooked thing in Miami's favor is the fact that Daboll's offense was able to successfully beat the Patriots 34-14 last season, which was one of only two New England losses in the regular season. That had to be a big reason that the Dolphins hired Daboll, because this is a huge game and I think that Stephen Ross and Tony Sparano realized that.

Even more than last year, Chad Henne has all of the tools that he needs to succeed. This game (and this season) is on Henne, and we will see what he can do now that he has what he needs to be successful.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think about all of this.

Can the Miami Dolphins Beat the Patriots?

Shutting down the Patriot offense is a tall order and it begins by pressuring Tom Brady. Pressuring Brady does not come from the mad-dog blitzes most people relate to pressuring a QB. Rex Ryan may be a jackass, but he’s a hell-of-a defensive mind and there are lessons to learn from his Patriot’s game plan. Ryan, known for innovative blitzes, went against his tendencies.

Brady is a master at the pre-snap read; it’s what makes him a great QB. Brady can look at a defensive alignment, put a couple guys in motion and know exactly what match-ups are in his favor. If the play called in the huddle is bad, Brady will change it once he recognizes the defense. The trick to beating Brady is pre-snap confusion and Ryan figured it out.

We’ve heard the term “amoeba defense,” but what does it mean and how does it work? The amoeba defense is actually a gimmick. The defensive call is the same as it would be normally, but the defensive players start in different spots then where their assignments will be at the snap of the ball. A 2 deep is still a 2 deep, a 4 quarters is still a 4 quarters, a safety blitz is still a safety blitz.

What the amoeba does is mitigate the ability of the QB to get a pre-snap read. Think about Brady looking confused against the Jets in the playoffs. Brady is not a guy who is going to extend plays with his athletic ability. Brady’s game is based on reading defenses and getting the ball to the right guy. Take away the read and Brady is now, human. This is how to beat Tom Brady; once he hesitates, the pressure will get him.

The reason Bill Belichick signed Albert Haynesworth is to match-up with the power running game of the Jets and the Dolphins. He needed another big body in the middle with Vince Wilfork to clog the running lanes. Great plan for stopping the power running game but the Dolphins have other intentions and for once, they may be a step ahead of Belichick.

While the Patriots were planning for the Jets, the Dolphins set their sights on the Patriots. Dan Henning was perhaps the most predictable OC in the NFL. His attempt at being unpredictable was to run the wildcat. The wildcat was unusual in its debut, but once diagnosed; the inability to pass from the formation turned it into a joke.

Last year’s off-set “I” formation with 2 TEs telegraphing the run now is now a one back set with a single tight end. Last year’s static formations will now find Brandon Marshall in motion to the slot with Hartline on the same side. Did Hartline ever line up on the same side with Marshall last year?

If the Patriots double Marshall, they leave Hartline in single coverage. Bush will drop into the H-back slot behind the tackle, now we have match-up problems because a LB will have to cover Bush. These were situations the Patriots did not have to deal with when Henning was the OC, they will have to deal with them now. Consider, there is no mention of Davone Bess or Anthony Fasano...

Like anything in life, confidence is the difference between being average and being great. This is a team game and great teams have confidence in each other. The greatest coach in NFL history and two hall of fame QBs spoiled Miami. That legacy has placed an incredible burden on all the teams and players that have followed.

Tony Sparano has come to grips with this and Chad Henne has lived through the constant criticism. The feeling coming into this season is to believe in themselves, have the fire in their belly to put to rest the ghosts of the past. More than anything else, the Miami Dolphins have to believe they can win this game and it will propel them into a new legacy.

I believe the Dolphins will beat the Patriots!

Do you believe?

Paul's 5 Keys to the Miami Dolphins Beating the New England Patriots

The Miami Dolphins will open the season at home this Monday against the Patriots, and I wanted to share with you guys five keys that I think will be crucial if the Dolphins want to beat New England in prime time.

I'm going to keep the introduction short because I have a more in-depth talk about the game scheduled for Sunday, so be sure to come back on Sunday and check that out. Here's what I have for now, though:

1. Pressure Tom Brady
This is the most important thing for Miami to worry about on Monday. If the Dolphins can pressure Brady to make mistakes, then they have a great shot at winning. Remember Super Bowl XLII? Remember how the Giants pressured Tom Brady and forced him out of his comfort zone that he had established during the Patriots 18 previous wins that season? Remember how the Giants won that game in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NFL? I sure do, and I want Miami to try and duplicate that performance. Yes, it will be on a little bit smaller stage, but it is still a huge game and it would be an upset of similar proportions.

2. Chad Henne must control the offense
This is a close second in terms of importance. Henne needs to completely take over his offense and be prepared for whatever New England throws his way. He controls the outcome of this game more than anyone else on the Dolphins. If he plays good, mistake-free football like he has done so far this year then Miami can come out with a win. If he reverts to how he played last season and makes multiple big mistakes, then there is no way the Dolphins can win. He has to play his best if Miami wants a chance to win. It is that simple.

3. The Offensive Line had better hold up
I hate that we still have to worry about this. Miami's offensive line should be much better by now, but the right side of the line has just been a problem. Marc Colombo and Vernon Carey haven't played great this offseason, and it has me worried. They need to hold up their side of the line or the Patriots will be pressuring Henne all day, and that will result in a lot of problems.

4. Reggie Bush needs to be a factor
I don't know if most people realize how important Reggie Bush is to the Miami Dolphins offense. I really do think that Miami's playcalling and schemes will revolve around Bush's ability to catch the ball and to take a man out of the play because that man will be covering Bush. Is he great at running between the tackles? Not especially, but that is why the Dolphins drafted Daniel Thomas (instead of Ryan Mallett I might add) and added Larry Johnson. Bush will be used primarily as a receiver and as a distraction, not as a pound-it-out back.

5. Keep special teams out of the focus
I'm sure that you guys remember last year when Miami's special teams absolutely fell apart against New England. That cannot happen again if the Dolphins want any chance at all to win. What would be ideal is if we didn't hear anything at all about special teams during the game. They just need to do their jobs and allow Miami's offense and defense to win the game.

Thanks for reading, and please share your own keys to beating New England below.


Through good times and bad, always remember how fortunate we are to have one 3 hour opportunity on each and every week-end between August and January to be appreciative of the entertainment that OUR BELOVED MIAMI DOLPHINS bring to our lives!!



March 3

Minneapolis lawyer Joseph Robbie meets AFL Commissioner Joe Foss in Washington, and Foss advises Robbie to apply for an expansion franchise in Miami.

May 6

Joseph Robbie meets Miami Mayor Robert King High to ascertain the availability of the Orange Bowl stadium, and the mayor agrees to invite the AFL to Miami.

June 7

AFL Executive Committee votes to expand in 1966 at a meeting in Monmouth Park, N.J.

August 16

AFL awards its first expansion franchise to Joseph Robbie and television star Danny Thomas for $7.5 million..

October 8

Dolphins Name
Mariners, Marauders, Mustangs, Missiles, Moons, Sharks, Suns none of those other names suggested to the American Football League expansion franchise in 1965 could raise a fin to the runaway winner.

"Dolphins" was submitted by 622 entrants in a contest which attracted 19,843 entries and more than a thousand different names. The dozen finalists were delivered to a seven-member screening committee of local media.

The bottle-nosed dolphin, an intelligent creature with an irresistible built-in grin, has inspired wonder for centuries. Plutarch observed 1,900 years ago that the dolphin "is the only creature who loves man for his own sake."

"The dolphin is one of the fastest and smartest creatures of the sea," Joe Robbie said in announcing the team name on October 8, 1965. "Dolphins can attack and kill a shark or a whale. Sailors say bad luck will come to anyone who harms one of them."
Dare'Ye Patriots ??


September 2

Joe Auer returns opening kickoff 95 yards for Dolphin TD in first ever regular-season game, but Oakland wins, 23-14, at Orange Bowl before 26,776 spectators.

October 16

Dolphins end string of nine losses (four in pre-season) by defeating Denver, 24-7, for the first win in franchise history.

October 23

Miami earns the club's first road win with a 20-13 decision over Houston at Rice Stadium.""

1966/70 - 2010
Winning record vs 25 of the other 31 NFL teams!!
Only Oakland and Houston with 6 & 5 more wins(respectively)than we have on them have a distinct winning advantage over us, AND we beat Houston (as stated above) in Houston on August 23 1966 but it doesn't count because it was pre-NFL!!

In 45yrs the Dolphins lost only 7 regular season road games more than they've won..

In 45yrs the Dolphins forced us to endure only 11 losing seasons
(5 in the last 7 and 4 during the expansion years 66 - 69) with a couple others scattered about..

In 45yrs unlike any other franchise, practically half of our seasons resulted in Playoff appearances!!

Several other cities put in their 1965 bids for an expansion franchise!!
We might have ended-up rooting for the Idaho Spuds, the Utah Mormons, or any one of "" more than a thousand different other team names""?? No Dis-respect intended!!
Win or lose, through good and bad, how can one not be appreciative of how fortunate we truly are as Miami Dolphin fans!!

Now.. I understand that our team has had a severely rough past five or so years, while fan morale is low, but I'd like to suggest that in spite of it all our Dolphins have remained a team of high class and character that will fight with all their hearts to the the final whistle in trying to bring happiness to our souls!!THANKS to the Miami Dolphins for their existence along with all the memories, past, present, future, and again someday well into February!!

I myself as a 6 - 10 year old member of the 1965 - 69 PeeWee league Miami Dolphins had the privilege of witnessing all the above Dolphin fortune as well as many other in equatable historical accomplishments, however I do feel for those of you who haven't!! There haven't been many discouraging years along the way until of late due to unforeseen circumstances (Ricky's walk-about, Nick Saban, and Cam Cameron).. The Miami Dolphins truly have been a magical organization from day one in exhibiting humbleness, heart, class, character, and a strong desire to win each & every game in honor of themselves as well as their fans!! I'll personally promise every Dolphin fan on the planet that this organization will return to prominence in the near future so that all who've yet to witness the Dolphin aura, as well as future generations will one day be as passionately proud as I am of YOUR MIAMI DOLPHINS!!

Even better-yet, no-matter their imperfections, how-bout we as humans pretend to be as intelligent as porpoises, and ""love the Dolphins for their own sake""!!

There it is, my 46 year passionate fling of purpose with a porpoise..
THANK-YOU for an open-minded reading, in hopes of reminding Fin-fans everywhere that we have been, are, and even through tough times will forever be the one and only Magical Miami Dolphins!!

Now let's go kick the UN-appreciated cheatin Patriots teabags into their throats!!

Part II Miami Dolphin Roster - Defense & Special Teams

Mike Nolan's Miami Dolphins defense ranked 6th in 2010 and is poised to climb higher in 2011. Free agent acquisition Kevin Burnett steps in for released veteran Channing Crowder at ILB, as the Dolphins return 10 starters from 2010.

The Dolphin defensive line may be the deepest in the NFL. Any of six players could be starters on most NFL teams, Lankford, Soliai, Starks, Odrick, Merling, McDaniel, with Ryan Baker in the mix. The depth will give the Dolphins the ability to swap linemen at will as situational pass rushers and run stuffers. It would not be surprising to see the Dolphins trade one of these players if the right opportunity arises.

At Linebacker, replacing the underachieving Crowder with Burnett is a definite upgrade in the middle. Burnett and Dansby are both considered coverage LBs. The Patriots are loaded with TEs and slot receivers in an offense designed to exploit plodding LBs, that problem has now been addressed. On the outside, Misi is a good all around LB and the Dolphins welcomed back Jason Taylor as a situational pass rusher opposite the dynamic Cameron Wake.

The secondary returns all its starters from a year ago. On the corners Vontae Davis has proclaimed Sean Smith and himself as the best tandem in the league. A cornerback without confidence should be looking for another profession and Davis is full of it. Smith tends to play a quieter game, his lanky frame and exceptional speed find him in position to make plays on the ball, but this year he needs to turn those plays into interceptions. Yeremiah Bell is a veteran team captain at strong safety and Chris Clemons has solidified himself at free safety.

Coming into the draft the Dolphins were looking to fortify the offensive leaving fewer opportunities for rookie, or FA defensive players to make an impact. As predicted, 7th round pick Jimmy Wilson showed the aggressive play that landed him on the roster. FA Linebackers Jason Trusnik acquired from the Browns and Marvin Mitchell from the Saints excel as core special teams players. NT Frank Kearse went to the practice squad after initially making the team. A move used to make room for TE Will Yeatman, sniped from the Patriots.

The lack of roster moves on the defensive side points to stability not seen in Miami for a number of years. Overall Jeff Ireland and his crew have done a great job of evaluating and acquiring defensive talent. The original blueprint called for a QB, someone to protect him and then defense, defense, defense, until the unit was complete. It is safe to say the Dolphins have manned the defense and are now looking to finish off the offense.

Wilson, Trusnik, Mitchell and Yeatman strengthen the special teams. There was a lot of speculation Will Allen was a contract casualty, but Allen was released because he did not contribute on special teams. Nolan Carroll was not lighting things up at the corner in the pre-season, but he too is a core special teams player. A.J. Edds may have played a little better than Austin Spitler, but Spitler’s play on special teams won him a spot, with Edds landing on the practice squad. Sapp and Culver won positions in the nickel and dime packages. Along with Alama-Francis their special teams prowess kept them on the roster. Reshad Jones fought it out with Chris Clemons for the free safety but he too has value on special teams.

The Dolphins made a concerted effort to impact special teams with the players not on the starting roster. It is obvious special teams coach Darren Rizzi influenced the final roster moves. Losing Patrick Cobbs as a core special team player hurt the Dolphins, but Cobbs did not fit in the new offense. Once again, not re-signing Cobbs shows that Tony Sparano has no intention of reverting to his old conservative ways.

What are your thoughts on the Dolphin roster? Is the team ready to compete in 2011?

It's a New Year for the Miami Dolphins

So here we are, after an interesting off season to say the least. Since the end of last season Boss Ross tried to replace Tony Sparano, flying out with Jeff Ireland, Bill Peterson in tow to secure a new head coach. Once Harbaugh turned him away, he came back home with his tail between his legs and gave TS a raise. Good for Tony, dumb for Ross.

We then we went through a "lockout", which pretty much meant the billionaire owners didn't like the millionaire players making that much money playing a game.

Tony Sparano finally canned the dinosaur Offensive Coordinator and brought in Daboll. Tony also seemed to find a brain (I guess he made a visit to the land of Oz). Tony didn't replace Chad Henne? Maybe he received the wrong brain from the Wizard? Or maybe Daboll suggested Henne wasn't the problem and the search was called off.

In any event we are days away from the real season, and we sure open up with a doozee. We are about to find out if Henne and Company can play 4 quarters against the best players in the World of Professional Football. Will the lock out shortened off season hurt the team, will Tony manage the games better, will Daboll use the Wild Cat, will Henne finally get it, will the offensive line be any better, will Reggie Bush be any more than a 3rd down back, and will Thomas and Hilliard be better than Brown and Williams in the backfield.

Most of all will the changes help the team move forward. I sure hope they do, I am tired of seeing nearly the same results year after year. I'm not getting any younger as the years roll past.

Peter King Predicts Miami Dolphins To Go 6-10

I am a big fan of Peter King and his "Monday Morning Quarterback" segment, but I think that he is way off on this one. Not only did he predict the Miami Dolphins to go 6-10 this year in his NFL preview for Sports Illustrated, he also predicted them to be last in the AFC East behind the Pats, Jets, and the Bills.

Really? The Bills? I know that a lot of people don't expect Miami to be great this season, but does he honestly think that they will be worse than Buffalo? I'm assuming that he hasn't watched any of the Dolphins preseason games, because Henne has looked really good.

What I like the least is that he is basing his argument on the fact that Reggie Bush hasn't been a great regular starter. He doesn't even talk about Daniel Thomas. I know that Thomas isn't considered the starter, but it isn't like Bush will be taking every hand-off up the middle. Thomas will be getting a lot of those, and Bush will be used a lot more to just catch the ball.

He only briefly mentions Chad Henne, and nowhere in there does he mention how good he has looked this year. It annoys me that when Henne finally does start doing well he doesn't get credit for it.

Oh well, the Dolphins will just have to shock the common fan when they beat the Patriots a week from today.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

Analyzing the Final Miami Dolphin Roster

Analyzing the Miami Dolphins cut-down to 53 is an excellent indicator where the team is headed in 2011. This analysis will breakdown the offense, where most of the changes in Miami have occurred. A later post will be dedicated to the defense…

Brian Daboll will be given the opportunity to show what his offense can do and the ball is going to be in the air a lot in 2011. Keeping only two TEs and cutting Larry Johnson was telling, but showing Lousaka Polite the door proved, Miami is not looking back. Only Bush, Thomas and Hilliard remain at the running back position, with Charles Clay as a hybrid FB-HB-TE.

Tony Sparano may have feared he would revert back to his conservative ways had he kept more RBs and TEs around. He chose to cut ties with his old conservative style and proved it with the players and positions remaining on the Dolphin roster. The Dolphins no longer have a true FB and are only suiting to start one TE, Anthony Fasano, with Jeron Mastrud as a reserve. By keeping 6 WRs the Dolphin offense has now joined the modern NFL.

A closer look at the OL would also indicate the direction the Dolphins have chosen. Long, Incognito, Pouncey, Carey and Columbo are not a great combination of run blockers but as pass blockers they may surprise people. The only lineman capable of pulling on this team is Mike Pouncey, but pulling guards are passé in the NFL. The reason is, the passing game requires linemen that work better while backing up and the traditional running game requires blockers that fire off.

To facilitate the running game with back-peddling pass blockers, teams like Denver began what is now called zone blocking. Zone blocking is based on sealing off areas and allowing over-pursuit to create cutback lanes. To a traditional coach it is almost blasphemy because defensive players are intentionally left unblocked. It is difficult for a defensive coordinator tell his players to maintain lanes and stay disciplined in one sentence, and to fly to the football in the next. The zone scheme uses the natural tendencies of the defense to create running lanes without pulls or traps.

The Dolphins will be a passing team. The personnel dictates more 3, 4 and 5 receiver sets with one back and a TE on a wing as an H-back. A lot will be asked of Chad Henne who, after three years in a super conservative offense, will be told to let it fly. Speculation had the Dolphins pursuing every available QB during the off-season, only to see them keep two on the final roster. Pat Devlin will probably remain on the practice squad.

All of the players drafted by the Dolphins made the squad this year and John Jerry managed to hold on even after a disappointing pre-season. The Dolphins kept 3 tackles, 4 guards, with Joe Berger backing up Mike Pouncey at center. Lydon Murtha was placed on injured reserve with a torn toe ligament. Murtha showed the most upside of any backup, but he is gone for the season. Ray Feinga and Nate Garner are the remaining backup linemen.

Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore made the squad, both showing flashes of becoming starting NFL WRs. Philip Livas became a casualty of the new NFL kickoff rules which will lead to fewer kick returns and has devalued the need for a kick returner. There are bound to be changes as the personnel department looks at the players cut by other teams or poaches practice squads.

One thing for certain can be said about Tony Sparano, when he makes a decision and builds a plan around it, he does not go halfway. The Dolphins offensive squad is now built for the passing game and like going from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense, the personnel has changed with it. For the Dolphins there is no going back, the personnel are no longer here to revert to the running game.

Tony Sparano is all in with his knew look offense…

What say you Fin fans, are you all in???