Thursday, August 27, 2009

PREVIEW: Pre-Season Game 3 - Miami vs Tampa Bay

VS.

So, this should be exciting, two Florida teams battling it out for State supremacy, right? Yeah, get real, Tinshaker, this ain't no stomp in the swamp or panhandle scalping. In-state rivalries are reserved for the college game. No one cares about Tampa Bay or Jacksonville when you're a Miami Dolphin fan. Of course, we do play both teams twice this year, so in a way, it's like the other Florida teams have joined our division temporarily. Sure, the first pair of games are just for practice, but the last thing you want to do is lose a game to either one. I don't know about you, but after a certain 62 - 7 loss, I never want to lose to Jacksonville again. In fact, the Dolphins only lost to them that one time. Tampa Bay and Miami, however are tied in head-to-head matchups with four a piece, and while the pre-season game doesn't officially count, a win would give me a warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction.

You see, I lived in Miami during the early and mid-90s while Buffalo and Dallas were perennial Super Bowlers. And then I moved to Tampa, and had to watch an annual turd of a team win the Super Bowl and have to deal with this bizarro world of living in a Super Bowl city.


So, naturally I have a distaste for anything Buccaneer, even to the point that I hate the fact that my beloved alma mater plays in the same stadium as them. It doesn't help that they tore down the stadium where USF played it's first season and I attended their first home game, an 80-3 blowout during which the Florida Marlins were winning the World Series (I remember watching the football game in person while a bunch of us huddled over a portable tv to see the baseball action). At half-time, a band called Sister Hazel performed their soon-to-be smash hit 'All For You'. After the game, we all partied, and I ended up getting laid. In a word, a pretty perfect night for a college kid, and a memory that could've been relived any time I would drive past that stadium. Instead, they tore it down to build the parking lot for Raymond James Stadium.

But I digress. This game will:

A. Showcase our first team offense and defense for at least the first half, giving them more time to gel and to get rhythm going.

B. Provide Coach Sparano with enough film to make an informed decision on who the starting wide receivers will be (my prediction is Ginn and Camarillo with Bess in the 3 WR set), and who the starting CB will be (honestly, I think it's 50/50 right now between Smith and Davis).

C. Be a blow-out. With several of Tampa Bay's starters out of this game due to injury or court date, and our starters staying in the game for longer, not to mention the fact that ONCE AGAIN the Bucs don't know who their starting QB is (or even which ones will be on the team come tomorrow), I see this being one of those games where if we play up to our standards, this SHOULD be a cake-walk. Tampa Bay has always been a hodge-podge mess of a team that is really only as good as it's players. For a while there they had all the best players in the league and that translated to success. Once those players left, the bubble burst and they have been inconsistent ever since.

Things to look for:

1. Tampa Bay's QBs. With 3 of the 4 TB quarterbacks currently on the trade block, and the possibility that whoever doesn't get traded being the starter, expect these guys to 'try too hard' and make mistakes. They are in the pressure cooker right now, and if we can apply some pressure of our own, good things will happen.

2. Our Offensive Line. Tampa did register 7 sacks so far in pre-season but only one has been by a starter. They are struggling to get a pass rush going from the linebacker position. Look for our starters to own the line of scrimmage and to keep our QBs upright. I'm sure Jake Long wants to have a strong game to recover from last week.

3. The Running Backs. There's two big stories here. First, that Cadillac Williams is once again returning from major knee surgery, a year after doing the same from the same injury but to the other knee. So this guy is running on TWO bad knees. The crowd is going to erupt when he comes out of the tunnel. The other big story here is that Lex Hilliard will get a chance to run behind the first team o-line against first team defenders. If he can continue his fine pre-season against this level of competition, the Dolphins will likely try to make space for him on the roster. If he falters, things will go back to normal with a 3 tailback crew.

4. The Line-backers. I have to admit, this position is giving me nightmares on my project 53-man roster. I honestly don't think I can wrap this area up until I know the make-up of the rest of the team. I don't know if I can justify keeping 4 inside linebackers, so I need to see if Kershaw or Folsom is as good on special teams as they need to be to make the roster. At the moment I'm leaning more to keeping both Walden and Moses as my Roth-insurance.

5. Kick Returns. Ted Ginn Jr. is going to be back returning punts and kicks tonight along with Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Anthony Armstrong. This is basically Armstrong's last chance. It's Hartline's best opportunity to work his way into being active on game days. And it's the Coaches best opportunity to see if one of these guys steps up enough to allow Ginn to concentrate on being a receiver, or if he's just too valuable as a return man to take him out of that position. It should be an interesting evening.



Those are my points for tonight's game, which, by the way, is NATIONALLY TELEVISED on FOX, so everyone will have the opportunity to watch it. It's weird watching two Florida teams on local west coast TV, but I'm not complaining. The replay is on NFL network on Friday about midday.

I know some fans were worried that the Dolphins game would be interrupted by Michael Vick going 3 and out, but NFL Network's Rich Eisen has just tweeted this: "FOX has nat'l window w/MIA@TB @ 8ET so NFLN has Vick live-look ins from 7-8."  So nothing to fear Dolfans, the game should be presented in it's entirety. 

I will have the laptop nearby during the game but will also have a 3 year old stunt performer jumping on my head, so expect a slight delay between any posts ;)

58 comments:

  1. chip chip and a spot of tea. i wander how it would feel to run on to bad knees. guess we will see how he is doing. is it me or does adam shefeter(i think thats how you spell) look like a half human half mouse/rat which ever is uglier?

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  2. Not only that but he's become a total ass since moving to ESPN. What kind
    of idiot leave the NFL Network to go to ESPN?
    Oh well it could be worse, his replacement, Jason LaCanfora (or whatever his
    name is) looks like a mouse mouse, no human involved.

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  3. That Jason guy creeps me out soemtimes to. What's Adam doing to be an ass? i don't kno if u read NFL.com chats But anyway that Jason guy was putting the songs he was listening to at the end off his answer. Lol weirdo! Did you notice he is all over the patsies jock strap?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. everyone there is all over the pats jockstrap.
    right now I'm listening to Enya.

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  5. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Tin, we should win this game pretty easily. It's only preseason but I think we'll be too much for the Bucs QBs and they don't really have a powerful OL and running game to rely on. The only way we lose is if we play sloppy.

    That Peter Mehlmans's video shot is becoming haunting like Crowder on the SS. 

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  6. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    I like Enya, I have two of her records.

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  7. The ads are supposed to change but that one's been around for several days
    hasn't it? lol who is peter mehlman?

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  8. I used to have several of her cds when I was a teenager...but it started
    sounding cheesy to me. I prefer Dead Can Dance

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  9. Lol I wish they would let us listen to music damn AT&T won't let me listen to my music while I help their custs. But were you referring to NFL or espn when you said there on jockstrap? I think they both are personally but that could jus come from my burning desire to punch any pats fan in the face when I see them walking round dolphin land with their homosexual jerseys of the pretty boy Brady. Sorry just I hate the pats and jets no so much bills. Didn't mean to rant. Kinda curious how Adam is being ass?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  10. Good day to u knight! Are you ready for the dolphins to whoop some pirate ass and as tin say walk the plank?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  11. I don't really know, I literally do not watch ESPN, haven't done so, other
    than college football, for the better part of a decade. But I read all
    kinds of things about him on ProFootballTalk after the change of address.
    And, yes, you're right, they're both Pats lovers. Though I think NFL
    Network has an extra-marital thing going on with the Giants.

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  12. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    I love Dead Can Dance. I have two of their records as well. I want to start a musical project with some musicians I know that uses similar worldly instruments and ideas without being a complete rip off. Something kind of tribal and atmospheric.

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  13. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    Hey alex, I am. I think we win this game pretty easily.

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  14. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    I don't know, that's the name on it.

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  15. Tin,
    That's funny cause I can't watch those shows ether anymore. I used to be able to stomach NFL network but after two years and they still just doubt anybody who's teams name don't ryhme with cheatriots or the defiants lol couldn't think of one for gaints. But they never give our beloved fins any love. Do you like Jamie dukes at all? Everything is gonna be alright- Bob Marley
    Sent from my iPhone

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  16. I'd be up for that if I lived in Jersey. I don't think it's possible to
    rip-off a band that rips off folk music from other countries....

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  17. Knight,
    Hopefully when we ge. Done with them they be walking round banging on a frying pan say bring out your dead!(picture Cadillac holding sore knees and leftwich needing help walking cause he can't escape the arathc of jp and jt) lol what are you looking forward to?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  18. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    LOL, true. I have 'Toward the Within', the live one and 'Within the Realm of a Dying Sun'. Some of the tunes from this one are on the live album.

    What do you play Tin? I think I remember you saying guitar once.

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  19. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    'Watermark' the first track on Watermark is to me one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. It combines a sound of sadness and beauty all at once. It has always blown me away. I get chills every time I listen to it.

    Shepherd Moons is the other record I have and again the first track 'Shepherd Moons' has similar qualities reminding me of winter and nature. I can't explain it exactly.

    I know what you mean, some of her stuff does get a bit cheesy. But she has so much music to choose from.

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  20. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    In the preseason I always look forward to watching the rookies and younger players to see how they're developing. This year the OL has my focus because I think that's the key to us staying on top and winning our division again.

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  21. I thought Jamie was pretty good for awhile but he started to get really
    pompous lately. The one thing "The Network' has going for it is that they
    have good hosts. Rich Eisen, Fran Charles, Paul Burmeister, and of course,
    Steve Sabol. Not a better host crew in football.
    Pretty good reporters too.
    The 'analysts' are hit and miss. I like Charles Davis in small doses (as
    long as he isn't trying to be funny he's good), and Tom Waddle is usually
    good, but some of the athletes...I can't listen to Deion with a straight
    face, he's so insincere, and Dukes, Faulk, Woodson and Sapp are usually
    trying to out-shout each other with out thinking before they speak.
    Rule of thumb, coaches make terrible TV personalities and I NEVER EVER EVER
    want to hear anything related to football come out of the mouth of a fired
    front office guy. Take it as a warning now Millen and Lombardi...it is my
    life's quest to unplug any microphones placed in front of you, to block any
    websites with blogs by you, and to make sure you never ever ever work with
    my team, the Miami Dolphins.
    The End.

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  22. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Because of Eli Manning and the fact that they beat the Pats two years ago.

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  23. "I have 'Toward the Within', the live one"
    That's the best one, IMO. I love when American Dreaming kicks in. I play
    guitar and sing mostly, but my first instrument was steel drum, which was
    then followed by vibraphone. If I ever get the time I want to learn the
    banjo.

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  24. Cool cool do you think the sack long gave up to brown was troubling in the sense it's what they say he has trouble with( speed rusher) or you think big Jake will prove shit happens lol I think he will
    Sent from my iPhone

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  25. oh yeah, they squirt a little anytime someone say the word 'Manning'

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  26. Lol millennshould never in his life try and speak again. I can agree with your asessment. It's pretty bad that your best quality is your host. Only time I like Deion is when he is talking bout dolphin highlights. What bout them playbook guys bald weiner and sharpie?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  27. I don't think he has a huge issue with speed rushers, at least not anymore
    than anyone else. They like to make a big deal over who he'll face this
    year, but last year he faced a few impressive players like Mario Williams
    last year and made the pro-bowl as a rookie. Let's not forget he practices
    against guys like Joey Porter, Jason Taylor, and Cameron Wake.
    I really believe when people start looking to complain about their star
    player, it's because they're running out of other things to complain about,
    which means the team is getting better.

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  28. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    American Dreaming is an awesome tune. The 12-string acoustic sounds so rich. Toward the Within is a great album. They play so well on it. I love the vocals. More chills from Lisa Gerrard.

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  29. oh they're terrible. Baldinger can't even walk across the studio, have you
    seen how he glides across the floor? And whoever decided to give Sharpe a
    job on TV should've been fired.

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  30. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    LMFAO!

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  31. In your opion what would jp, jt, wake be consider as? Speed rusher, strength or what?
    Sent from my iPhone

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  32. agreed.
    The Jets just signed Anthony Kimble to replace Shonn Greene.

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  33. I would classify them all as speed rushers, although I prefer to call Taylor
    a 'finesse' rusher. In the end it really doesn't matter what you call them,
    they have to change it up during the game. There were a couple of sacks by
    Joey last year where he just bull-rushed the Tackle and won.

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  34. Who's are best passrusher in your eyes jt or jp? Yea I kno jt has way more sacks but the question still stands
    Sent from my iPhone

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  35. I agree although I never really liked porter until he became a fin. Think Roth is out of a job this year!!!!!
    Sent from my iPhone

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  36. what do you mean he glides lol. is he th nest coming of christ lol. sharpe just reminds me of mr ed.

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  37. no, more like the old vampire in Bram Stoker's Dracula

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  38. Lol
    Sent from my iPhone

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  39. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    Tom Waddle has an annoying speaking voice. He sounds like he's trying real hard to pronounce every word properly and he comes off a little pompous at times as well.

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  40. true, but I could've sworn you were just describing Mike Mayock....

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  41. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Wow... what depth they have. They had a deep draft this year. LOL

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  42. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    The thing is all these guys who are racking up sacks every year, who are they getting them against? The LT who shuts down or out the speed rushers of today are a very rare breed.

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  43. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    He walks like he's sliding in his socks. I've seen that too. LOL

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  44. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Him too but I like Mayock a little bit.

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  45. Mayock's ok in small doses but he stretches he's a bit reptilian in his
    mannerisms and it freaks me out a bit. Reminds me of a gecko...

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  46. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    I just realized that you're using the old Bucs logo and colors that make them look even worse. LOL

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  47. oh come on, the pirate delicately nibbling on the dagger is hot!

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  48. between the wink, the earring, the giant feather, the bronze skin and the
    phallic symbol in the way too perfect teeth (especially for a pirate), it's
    a miracle this logo was approved.

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  49. Im ready to watch some Bucs tails get beat.

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  50. Hey Vernon Gholston is going to start for the Jets.....

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  51. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    The wink is awesome. LOL

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  52. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    Oh my!

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  53. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    I thought Gholston was still not impressing?

    Tin, will you be blogging during the game?

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  54. Knight, check it out
    http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/08/live-chat.html

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  55. The Knight who says Ni!August 27, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Tin, I saw it. I'll check in from time to time, like when they go to commercial and at halftime etc.

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  56. The Knight who says Ni!August 28, 2009 at 6:52 AM

    I had to bail on the live chat.

    My thoughts on the game. The team looked a little sluggish. Maybe they were tired from playing 3 games in 10 days or whatever it was. The game plan looked very vanilla on both sides of the ball. It seemed to be a game to get the starters a lot of reps together more than anything else.

    On defense there wasn't much pass rush early on and not enough tight coverage but overall the defense didn't give up much and haven't the entire preseason.

    The offense needs some more time to build some chemistry. The OL is still trying to gel and the QBs are still trying to get used to so many young WRs.

    To go on the road and not play all that well and still win is impressive. Let's get through the 4th preseason game without any injuries and let's get the real thing started! 

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  57. http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/08/re-cap-dolphins-vs-bucs-or-i-think-ive.html

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