Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PREVIEW: Pre-Season Game 4 - Miami vs New Orleans


Ah, the Dolphins versus the Saints.  This is the one we kind of wish was the week 3 matchup because it presents the biggest challenge in the pre-season and offers opportunities to see our biggest unknowns against their best quality competition.

The strength of the New Orleans Saints is their high-powered offense, which relies heavily on a stable of quick wide receivers getting open and dynamo QB, Drew Brees, taking the safest throws and racking up the yardage.
Despite this being the 4th pre-season game, there will still be plenty of competition out there.  The one thing the Saints don't lack is a bevy of talented wide receivers to test our young secondary.  Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, Marques Colston and Courtney Roby can be quite a handful for ANY secondary.  And even if Brees doesn't play much, former Dolphin QB Joey Harrington will get quite a few snaps.  New Orleans also has two of the oldest players in the NFL in QB Mark Brunell (38) and K John Carney (45).  If one of these guys gets rolled on in the game they might not get back up.

We'll also probably get our first taste of a team that has really stressed the Wildcat during the offseason.  They reportedly worked on it for extended periods on more than one day of practice. But don't expect them to run it offensively with Reggie Bush being injured yet again.  The question is can we run it against them.

On the other side of the ball, our tight ends and young crew of wide receivers will also have their hands full after New Orleans was worked during this off-season to improve their horrid pass defense.  They drafted Malcolm Jenkins in the 1st round and Chip Vaughn in the 2nd.  Via free agency they added Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper.  They held over their strongest players, Roman Harper and 2008 rookie Tracy Porter.

The Saint's 4-3 front includes notables like Charles Grant, Sedrick Ellis, Remi Ayodele (Akin's brother), and of course Johnathan Vilma, who has looked as spry as ever this pre-season.

The Dolphins and Saints both come into the match-up with a 3-0 record, and while the Dolphins have been winning by defense, the Saints have been using their offense as their difference-maker.  So expect the best game of the pre-season out of this one, because, let's face it, anything would be better than last week's lightning-delayed bore-drone of a game.
Here is what I'll be looking for:
  1. Our interior linebackers should have a field day in this one.  With both Reggie Bush (questionable) and Pierre Thomas (doubful) injured, the scrub running backs will be getting the workload here for the Saints.  This works in favor of William Kershaw to show he belongs on the 53.
  2. The Saints will not be starting their best defensive ends in Charles Grant and Will Smith as they will both be suspended for the first 4 games of the season due to the starcaps scandal.  However, they WILL play as reserves, so Chad Henne and/or Pat White will be going up against their top pass-rushers.  Considering Henne's poor maneuvers in game 3 and White's instincts to evacuate the pocket, it will be interesting to see if they both can show the patience and shiftiness that Pennington (and the greatest pocket passer of all-time, Dan Marino) shows in the pocket.  A split second more time could spring a receiver open or just allow an extra read and can be the difference between a coverage sack and a 30 yard gain.
  3. I want to see Patrick Turner and Brandon London on the field together.  We heard all these reports about this line-up during the off-season, but it's yet to be utilize in the pre-season.  Considering that they may well be fighting for a roster spot, it makes sense to give them as much opportunity here as possible.  And speaking of wide receivers, I don't want to see Ted Ginn returning kicks and/or playing more than one series.  Even if Sparano gives the first team 2 or 3 series, there's no reason why EVERY starter has to be out there that long.  With competition at WR and CB, they surely can rest Ginn and Will Allen.
  4. This is when the initial practice squad comes into focus.  While there'll undoubtedly be 'catches of the day' plucked from the waiver wire, it's fair to think at least 50% of the 8-man squad will be guys who have been here all summer (assuming they don't get plucked by other teams).  So even if they're not going to make the 53-man roster, this is a huge showcase for these young players.  J.D. Folsom, Ryan Baker, Will Billingsley, Mark Lewis, James Robinson, Lex Hilliard, John Nalbone, Andrew Gardner are the main focus here.  Hilliard and Lewis are the most likely to be poached, but it would be very difficult to slide either of them onto the roster, and definitely not both of them.  Robinson is an enigma.  He has played a lot of special teams during the pre-season, but I haven't noticed him even getting any reps on offense.  Still, Miami chose to keep him here until now, so you have to believe he is making an impression somewhere.  If Nalbone makes the roster over Haynos, then we won't have a TE on the PS off our squad.  Considering that this management regime likes to have an offensive lineman and a tight end on the P.S., they may have to look to the leftovers from waivers for these positions.
  5. Chad Pennington.  He will get to play the 1st quarter.  I expect to see him come out more focused and with the rust shaken off.  A ten-play drive to open the game for the Dolphins with a touchdown run up the middle would be enough for me as fake-Coach Sparano to say, 'OK, you're done for the night, Chad!'.
 So what is everyone else looking for from tomorrow's game?


  1. I'm just wondering if the fins keep a few guys because they know they will never reach our own PS.  Surely Hilliard and a few others will be picked off the FA list, and never see the PS in Miami.  That leaves open the possibility that some veterans will be gone when the cuts are made.

    I saw you try to sneak that stupid greatest QB list past us with your remark about Marino being the greatest pocket passer statement.  That list was lame.  There were some great QBs that never made the list.  Bert Jones comes to mind, Darrel Lamonica that's Lewinski's Dad right ? :)

  2. Love the NO mascot, Tin!

    I wanna see:

    a) OL
    b) RBs
    c) Brees vs. Miami D

  3. The Knight who says Ni!September 2, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    fake-Coach Sparano?

    I won't see this game so I hope the guys fighting for the last few spots get a good chance to compete and everyone comes out of the game healthy.

  4. I want to see Moses, Walden, Wake, Anderson.  Also, what receiver is going to lock the position opposite Ted.  Not sure which CB rookie is better

  5. well, tomorrow night, i am looking forward to seeing the game streamed on my laptop.  dont let me down tinbow  dont want to bust you up with a sandwich shooter.

    btw, if you get it done, will it be here on your site?

  6. well, yeah, but if you think it would better I'll post it on the Herald

  7. damn, you are talented.  thanks smart butt, i didnt know if there was some other site it you had that you streamed the game

  8. Nope it will be here.

  9. Tinshaker:
    I am looking forward to seeing a rain free game.  I am pulling for Haynos to make the final roster, so I hope to see some good stuff from him.

    Is it just me, or are there two comments boxes on here now?  I see two, but maybe I'm seeing double or something?  One for the blog topic, and then another at the very bottom. What is the other one for?

    Happy to see the game will be available here.  Much appreciated.  I tried the site that uk had mentioned when I was on vacation but it didn't work so well.  Not sure if it was the feed, the wifi at the hotel or the user's incompetence.  Probably a bit of all of it. 

    Lastly, stay away from the fires, if you are anywhere close.

  10. actually they did use london and turner together
    in the panthers game


    I'm looking forward to simply kickin back and APPRECIATING the GAME'S,
    the SEASON,and "OUR" PLAYERS/TEAM for the next 4+ mnths, (GOOD OR BAD)!!

    I need a break from weighing,and analyzing potential FIN prospect's stool samples!!

    Time (FOR ME) to just ENJOY the GAME'S ,and ALL of"OUR"53,
    KNOWING that they want to win more than any of us can possibly hope for/imagine!!
    WE need to realize they'll be trying their very best EVERY GAME to make THEIR/our work weeks more tolerable!!

    (I MIGHT post the above sentence EVERY WEEK),or @least a variation of!!
    If others can get away w'negative repitition,SOMEONE's gotta neutralize!!
    Why not me?? Hate me if you must!!

    I'll still be reading the STORIES,and tossing-in words of encouragement/pregame hopes!!
    NOT that anybodied care,listen to,or remember 3 hrs after the fact,(LOL)...

    However,once the season start's,and each game ends,
    (N O O O    O F F E N C E),BUT I'll no longer require fellow blogger's
    negativity on induvidual's or the TEAM/STAFF!!

    I'm quite capable of drawing my own conclusion's of games,and the 53 that I know,

    You gyz have @ it,it's MY choice whether or not I read,
    but I definately won't be reading fellow bloggers after losses!!
    once the 53/gameplans are established by a VP,GM,and HC that I've learned to
    appreciate,respect,and admire!!
    Of whom I have NO DOUBT of the fact
    that they'll do everything in their power to WIN EVERY GAME!!

    With that said,I'LL LOOK FORWARD TO, and WILL REQUIRE/NEED EVERYBODIES methods to their madness
    of evaluating o10's freeagents,and draft prospects!!

    THANK'S for ALL'S input that helped the offseason fly-by,soooo HAPPY the real games are upon us!!
    NOW,lets start sending POSITIVE VIBES in the direction of "OUR" MIAMI DOLPHINS!!  GO B PHINS!! :)

  12. It feels like football outside.  The weather has been cooler here all week.  More than likely will be going to the Herd's game on Saturday.  ugghh!  Marshall has to fire Mark Snyder!!! Now he has changed our helmets from white to green!!!  It's not exactly inspiring to know his game plan involves helmet color.  He needs to focus on winning some games.

    HA! Rich Rodriguez on local news.  WV fans are ROFL over what's happening @ Michigan.  I think that happens everywhere, but the fact that current players have turned on him tells me there's more to it than that.

    Sorry for my college football update.  I feel much better.   Now back to the Dolphins............

  13. Home SuperBowl 2010September 3, 2009 at 5:32 AM

    This is an absolutely outstanding job on game  day match up
    Informative information on our opponent U cannot get anywhere else
    This is what Dolfans want
    This by far is the best job on Dolphin game day coverage available to fans in any and all media

    If there ever was time for a shameless promotion, it would be today

  14. It's 7:25am here and it's 87 degrees and muggy. Now back to the music....

  15. Too bad I don't have time for that, busy day today, that's why I posted this
    yesterday instead of on game day like I usually do.
    but thanks for the positive feedback!

  16. Sounds good. Somehow I doubt you could resist commenting at least once a
    week though! ;)

  17. The Knight who says Ni!September 3, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    herd, it's been the same in NJ. Last week was still hot and we still used the A/C. It seemed as soon as September rolled in it dropped like 15 degrees and now it's cool at night and we haven't used the A/C all week. Total football weather. I'm psyched for next Sunday. I'll even take in the stupid Thursday game. : )

  18. Home SuperBowl 2010September 3, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    When will Knight have more on his blog? lol

  19. Come on 13 we know you need some time to cool off if the Dolphins lose.  The good thing is that won't happen but a few times this year.
    So after you get home from a long drive trying cool down a bit, come on back to Tins site and join in the conversation.  Unless you run out of gas somewhere in the everglades... :)  If that happens call me and I'll come and get you.

  20. herd check out the Sun Sentinel today there is story about about a father and son.  The son plays for Hollywood Hills High school and his father played for Marshall after the plane crash.  It's a nice story.  I try to keep up with HH because that's where I went to school.
    Go Spartans !!!l

  21. "If that happens call me and I'll come and get you."
    Sounds like an episode from the new season of Dexter....

  22. LMAO !!! I hold'ya to that Fang,LOL!!!
    Don't be telling the world I have anger management problems and a badd sense of direction,LOL!!

    Knew I shoulda kept that story to myself,LOL,(KIDN!!)

  23. I knew you would get a kick out of that the everglades remark and don't worry I won't say a word about who your anger management Doctor is.� Your secret is safe with me.
    We are off to Disney again for the weekend, our fantasy draft is Sunday and I'm putting the final touches on my preparation.� Maybe this year I'll do good in both leagues.� I've been getting killed in my Brothers league for the past 2 years after winning it in the first year.� Oh well.

  24. FUNNYSTUFFF, GOOD LUCK in your draft!!
    (Remember,after the top 5 or so QB's,most are pretty much equal,and several SHOULD still be there in the 5th).. I always gorge my rosters w'RB's/WR's b/4 considering a QB!!Unless a top 5 QB falls to the 3rd!! �I think PRivers is definately top 5 this yr,and got him in the 3rd in my local league,after AP,and RMoss.. But your in those screwy type scoring leagues,so the strategy is probably very different to my type leagues!!

    AGAIN,GOOD LUCK,and have a fun/safe holiday wkend!!