Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fix What Is Broken

Heading into the 2009 season, hopes were high that the Dolphins Defense would be significantly better than it was in 2008.  So far, it hasn't been.  And that doesn't sit well with myself and other fans, because we can see the problems.  And the Dolphins management is acting like there isn't a problem.  

Just like we could see that we needed to run the ball with force and determination, and the Dolphins management seemed unwilling to try it in week 1, was hugely successful with it in week 2, then abandoned it after only a quarter (a successful quarter in terms of time management) in week 3.  I think the issue here lies more on the ideas of the coordinators and the UPPER management than on Head Coach, Tony Sparano, but ultimately, he'll be the one to lose his job and take the blame if things don't turn around.  

So here are my 'inside tips' that only we fans seem to know.  Maybe the Dolphins coaching staff can find something helpful in the paragraphs below.
  • The core defensive line is doing a good job.  Ferguson, Starks, Merling, and Langford have looked stout and have been sure tacklers.  Maybe, just maybe, you should show the film of how they are moving in tight spaces and wrapping up ball-carriers, to your linebackers, corners and safeties, who can't seem to get in the right gaps, or tackle people when they are in position.  Instead of using Jason Taylor as an example, use someone who's actually getting the job done. 
  • Gibril Wilson is slow, aims to 'pop' receivers instead of wrapping them up, and does not play deep enough, possibly because he's scared he's too slow to recover.  But he's getting the ball thrown over his head.  The free safety is supposed to keep the ball in front of him.  The fact he keeps getting thrown over the top of his head, means Pasqualoni isn't correcting him.  If he is correcting him, Wilson isn't learning the lesson.  One of these two needs to be benched and I vote for whomever the guilty party is.  Considering the other facets of the defense that aren't working, I'm leaning more towards Pasqualoni at the moment.
  • Will Allen is not a slot corner.  He's very good on the outside, but he cannot track across the field.  I've seen it, you've seen it, the Dolphins have tons of game film showing this.  Yet they still continue to move him inside on nickel downs alternating him with Nate Jones., another guy who seems to get lost in the middle of the field. There is no reason why Jason Allen has not been given more than a baby's handful of reps.  As a converted Safety, he is much better at covering the middle and has the speed to hold up to the quick slant.  
  • So much was made of the overload of talent at outside line-backer.  It was sooo good that we collectively dismissed Matt Roth's injury as a distraction rather than a major cause for concern.  Once the roster was whittled down, we figured we would have a ton of fresh bodies circulating in and out, providing consistent pressure on opposing QBs.  But that's not how the Dolphins seem to want to do it.  They'd rather have Joey Porter and Jason Taylor do it all on their own.  Forget Wake.  Forget Moses.  Forget Walden.  And I really wish they would forget Charlie Anderson, who shouldn't have even made the roster.  Since we were already down Matt Roth, we should have kept someone like Tearrius George or Orion Martin to help beef up the strong side.  When the Dolphins realize that Cameron Wake and Quentin Moses can rush the QB as well, maybe JT won't get run all over like he has been.  At some point you have to be realistic and see that your superstar isn't playing at a high enough level, and probably can't handle the rep count.
  • The Rookies.  The Dolphins like to talk about not rushing a player through developmental stages, etc.  But they don't walk the walk.  Davone Bess, Jake Long, Donald Thomas, Philip Merling, Kendall Langford, amongst others were first year starters in 2008.  And look how that turned out.  In 2009, they only Sean Smith has gotten any significant playing time with 1st round pick Vontae Davis coming in distant second.  Turner, Hartline,  Gardner, Nalbone, Clemons, and Wake have barely touched the field or not dressed for games at all.  Well I have to say something to the NFL geniuses out there.  Rookies can and DO make impacts, often significant ones.  And the only way to make sure they don't get 'scared' is to put them in the game.  Has Will Allen looked good this season?  Has Gibril Wilson?  Has Anthony Fasano?  Has Greg Camarillo?  Has Vernon Carey?  Has Jason Taylor?  Let's be honest, none of these guys has looked like starters out there.  I'm not saying bench them and start the rookies, but surely the vets could do with a break on the rep count.  I noticed they used Nate Garner in the San Diego game, and he looked pretty damn good, better than he probably ever has.  Better, I dare say, than Vernon Carey.  But at the same time, on 3rd and goal from the 2 yard line, Nate Garner officially got more NFL pass route running in a game than Patrick Turner and John Nalbone combined.  This paragraph is about both the defense and the offense, but the core thought here is that the Dolphins management is so busy trying to fool people, keep things secret, and 'protect' their rookies, they've forgotten to line up our guys versus their guys, and play football.
So what I'm saying here, is that things do need to change, but I'm not confident that the changes made are going to be the logical ones.  Because we haven't seen a whole lot of logic so far.

Coming up on Thursday we get back to having some fun, as our first opportunity of the season to  actually bash an opponent (at least on paper) occurs.  It's the Buffalo Bills, people!  If we can't beat them, we should join the new Arena League.


  1. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    At this point how can anyone argue with what you're saying? When things aren't going so well increase the competition and try something a little different. You don't have to make wholesale changes but mix it up a little bit and see if you can find a spark.

    One thing I'd like to see in the next game is Henne attempt 4-5 passes down the field. Obviously I want to see him complete them, or even just one or two of them. Even if they all fall incomplete at least take a shot at it. I'd rather see that than see Bess catch 4-5 passes at or behind the LOS and gain 4-5 yards each time. Opposing defenses will give us that all day. You might as well just run the ball then.


    Rookie statements are spot on
    Rooks need to get reps
    FA vets look real bad, except Grove

    Ted Ginn has been a dismal failure when we need him most
    Because our  #1 WR  Ginn has been a failure
    Does not mean U guys have to slam  a sure handed slot receiver Bess

    Bess ran 11 yards rushing on one play against San Diego from behind  LOS
    Bess did not average 4-5 Yds per catch against San Diego this is more  Bullshit
    Bess averaged  7.7 Yds per catch (7.7 Yds with completing 100% of catches will move the ball downfield for a score)
    Bess has caught 100% of balls thrown his way in all 3 games
    Bess hustles harder than any of are current dressed receivers and is improving his YAC

    Because Ginn sucks so bad and drops all the big, important catches evry game this season
    Why are we attacking Bess, AGAIN

    We need a new #1 WR because Ginn sucks!
    Tried to go to Ginn 6 times this game
    Ginn got nothing
    He is a F!@#!@! Loser!

    4 Receiving TDs in 36 NFL games for a Receiver who is suppose to get behind safeties and score TDs
    Ginn Sucks!

    We dont need to attack Bess , who is doing his job!

  3. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    Home, relax. I'm not bashing Bess but he's very limited and when you realize that you won't take it so personally. He's not as quick or as fast as Welker or Chrebet so stop comparing him to them. Bess has now played in 20 games. I think it's pretty clear what he is. I'm not down on Bess as much as I am the play calling of how we get him the ball and go to it too often in my opinion. I'd rather just run the ball most of those times.

    The problem with Ginn is he's never been a #1 WR. We don't have one. Ginn would be a better #2 as the vertical threat. That's really what he is. Camarillo is not a #1 either. Hartline isn't yet and may never be and the same goes for Turner. We don't have a #1 WR at the moment. We also don't appear to have much of a receiving threat at TE either.

  4. Once again, the question of why we can trash one player and not
    another...it's all opinion. When Bess scores a TD, then we can talk. And
    why shouldn't he catch every screen pass thrown to him? Plus I think you'll
    find his YAC average has actually gone DOWN, not up. I'm not trashing on
    him, I'm simply saying he is not our best option for number 1 receiver. You
    didn't say anything about his speed or punt returns?

  5. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Now we know why Bess wasn't drafted. His upside is no more than a decent slot WR.

  6. Tin you are a much better writter than I am.  This is exactly what I have been trying to say since training camp.  The Dolphin brass brought the trifecta in here to change the team.  Yet I see the same old tired approch that has failed in the past.

    If the trifecta does not believe in their draft picks and putting them on the field then why did they bring them here ?  I am sick and tired of us drafting young talent and seeing them beef up the special teams !!!  Put them on the damn field and lets see what happens.  Either that or don't draft the ones they did.

  7. Thanks, Fang, that reminds me, I gave your piece to my wife and never got it

  8. Yes, every other team puts their draft picks on the field and most of the
    time it works out for them. It worked out for us in 2008 too, so I don't
    understand the hesitation.

  9. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    Well to be fair, White, Hartline, Smith and Davis have gotten on the field so I'm not sure what you guys are trying to say? We are playing rookies, and a lot of young guys from last year as well.

  10. phew thank gawd someone else is bashing Ginn today, don't want to get my hand slapped again. ;)
    all joking aside, I don't dislike Ginn, I just don't think he or any of the receivers and/or TEs are getting the job done with receiving. What do we do from here? I am hoping that Sparano comes up with something, although, how pulling a receiver out of his hat at this point in the season would be tricky.

    I am just curious is Turner THAT bad at running routes or separation that we cannot put him in? How else are we really to see?

    Pascahochawhatever does not really impress me. The schemes do not seem to confuse the defenses and there does not really seem to be any adjustments. One thing I loved about Shula was at halftime there would be adjustments, I swear it does not seem like we have had a coach consistently do that since then...but then again it might just be the 0-3 negative nelly in me right now.

    I don't know, usually I am much better at being vocal about things, but these first three games have drained me and my enthusiasm. I will always be a finfan but damn with the exception of  last year, since Marino has left it has been a hard road to travel down at times.

  11. I have to say, I am not a ginn fan, but dang you really put it out there. Maybe if we had someone to compliment him on the other side and draw some coverage away...."maybe" we would see him shine?? maybe?? dammit Tin has me defending ginn..how in the hell did that happen ? ;)

  12. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    Slush, we're all wondering what the hell is going on with our WRs and TEs. I mean we know they're not great but they made plays last year. What's the problem this year?

  13. Knight, We have barely played Davis, despite Allen and Jones struggling, and
    Pat White has what 6 snaps in 3 games? and not the best use of him either
    most of those snaps. Hartline has not played that much on offense at all in
    the regular season. But the point is we struggled at safety, yet we have a
    good fast sure tackler in clemons, and we struggled at passrushing, yet we
    have Wake getting more pressure than JT, but they don't want to cut any of
    JTs reps, which is working against them more than anything.

  14. Alright, next step is getting you to remove your top, right? (cracks

  15. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    I've seen Davis out there. He played 30 plays in the first game and that was the week he hurt is knee so the coaches are obviously not concerned about putting him out there. I understand what you're saying about Wake and even Clemons but it's only been 3 games. They can't play Clemons when he's inactive. Maybe that will change sooner rather than later. 

    We might see Wake in there sooner than later because Porter has a hamstring injury.

    As for White, I know his plays have been limited but they're taking baby steps with him which I understand.

    Hartline does have 4 catches which is one more than Fasano and has almost as many yards as Camarillo.

  16. "Hartline does have 4 catches which is one more than Fasano and has almost
    as many yards as Camarillo."
    I better put him on my fantasy team then....

  17. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Who's taking her top off?

  18. ummmm I meant to say confuse the "offenses" when talking about the Dcoordinator...

  19. That's ok, all will be forgiven once the top comes off, lol jk

  20. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    Is Slush 'herd' or someone new?

  21. You have such a way with the ladies, Knight. :P
    She is a new commenter here but not new blog lurker...was on SS for a while

  22. Very well articulated.  Thank you for venting the brunt of my frustration for me. 

    The pass rush from the OLB's has been virtually non-existent this year .  I like our young DE's but unless we can have an OLB affect the opposing QB our secondary is going to get ripped.  In listening to Sparano's soundbyte I know he's going to bench a few starters b/c he has to.  I know the trifecta & I  were hoping that G. Wilson would be the answer at FS but after 3 games, he's proven to be a bad signing.  BTW--This does happen with every team.  There are no guarantees in FA.  However, considering that the last two drafts have been better than any since JJ says all you need to say about this team.  More work to do. 

  23. LOL @ Tins!!!

  24. There are plenty of WR's that HAVE been drafted that aren't even that!!!  Cut the guy some slack.  Bess is a good football player.

  25. i just hate it when people talk bad about ginn.  it makes me want to cry sniff sniff

  26. Come on Slush....Everyone else is doing it.  LOL!!!!

  27. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    I apologize Slush. I don't remember her from the SS. I thought the name was based on some alcoholic drink, the pink ribbon being for breast cancer awareness and herd's in the boobie business so... LOL

  28. knight,

    you mean your not, hell i thought every man loved being in the middle of boobie business

  29. I've been spending the last 30 minutes trying to enlarge "We NEED Playmakers" photo...is that wrong?

    Jack Gunn

  30. what top, she has on a top?  were we suppose to get dressed to blog here

  31. Tin,

    too your point that Bess's YAC has declined...I believe it has to do with the fact that the opposing defense is stacking the box because there is no fear of the deep ball.  Knight side it spot on; that we should throw deep a few times a game regardless of if we complete a pass or not.  It will keep them honest!

    Jack Gunn

  32. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    ffr, the problem is that there is more blame to go around than just Ginn. That's what I find unfair about it. Look at the numbers of our WRs and TEs. To blame one guy is looking for a reason to blame one guy.

  33. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    No it's not wrong but it probably doesn't work without blowing up and looking like crap. LOL

  34. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Why do I get the feeling ffr walks around with a leopard bikini bottom like the one Eddie wore in Clark's dream sequence in 'Christmas Vacation'? LOL

  35. I was thinking for it to be virtually the same coaching staff things are very different this year.  Every week it was get it done or get out of town.   Now it seems they can languish without too much difficulty, Sparano looks defeated, dejected, WORRIED.  There is something going on, my 'trouble' radar has been going off for a while.  So what could put Sparano in that kind of mentality and also cause them not to bring in new talent?  I think Steven Ross is out of cash! Could explain all this and why he is a celebrity minority owner whore that he is, all wrapped up in one explanation.  How's that for starting a rumor? ;)

  36. oh man, thanks for the visual....

  37. knight,

    i was just playing.  i have refrained from the ginn talk the last few days for just that reason.  all our wr's and te's have sucked.  besides ginn is what he is and nothing is going to change that.  all we can hope for is somehow him and henne find a connections and they both shine

    by the way wqam was just saying the fins signed thigpen as a back up qb, anyone know anything about this

  38. Whore...does that mean Jenna Jameson would consider some type of ownership stake with the Dolphins?  Awesome, now that would be a great move by Mr. Ross!!!

    Jack Gunn

  39. anyone hearing anything about the fins signing thigpin?

  40. http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/09/dolphins-have-acquired-new-qb.html

  41. Stop it!  That is one of my all time favorite movies! 

  42. knight, very good, so i guess tony would say 'knight is really feeling ffr'

  43. great idea!  she can then deploy her talents on the opposing teams before game time to wear them out before the game.

    either that or let her be in charge of cheerleaders

  44. I think it would have to be just the cheerleaders.  I think she is on the record as only doing the girls now.

  45. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    That's one of everyone's favorite movies because it's hilarious.

  46. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    uhhh... not exactly. *DONT_KNOW*

  47. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    Yeah because she's married or has a steady boyfriend. So girl on girl action doesn't make him jealous.

  48. I have stessed this point with my brother also.  I don't think we fans know how bad the team was in 07, and 2 years is not nearly long enough to fix all the problems.  With a limited amount of draft picks the trifecta have not been able to get a quality team on the field fast enough for us.

    He believes at this time they "the trifecta" have made mistakes.  This years goofs have been bigger than last years though.  We released a few players that should have been kept, and kept some that should have been let go.  Then we have brought in FAs that we should have stayed away from.

    Last year we had only 1 FA that was a flop "Wilford", this year we can name a few of them, and this team can not afford that many failures.  When we look at this team and see it's the veterans that are not playing well, we question the judgement of our talent scouts and that lays at the feet of Parcells and Ireland.

  49. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    You gave Fang's piece to your wife and never got it back?  *DONT_KNOW*

  50. oh well, guess it will just have to be cheerleaders, guess i am going to have to get some more chains for my sofa.

  51. The Knight who says Ni!September 29, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    You do have to start hitting on some of them or they won't pay much attention then either. When Tavarius Jackson was starting for the Vikings he threw a few bombs per game but he was inaccurate so opposing defenses didn't concern themselves with it.