Thursday, October 8, 2009

Orange You Glad You're Not A Jet Fan? - or - "When Channy Met Rexy" - UPDATED 10/9/09


Well here we are.  Season 2009 is in full swing as 'rivalry week' is upon us.  Every time an AFC East opponent plays the Patriots, the media pundits describe it as "[insert team name here'] is playing their biggest rivals this week".  But we all know who the Dolphins' biggest rival is.  The good old New York Titans!  Huh?

On the football side of things, our biggest rival is whomever is winning the division, so it could be either the Pats or the Jets at any given time.  And no, I did not forget the Bills.  I said whomever is winning the division.

So for the last season and now, the Jets are the ones with the targets on their backs.  But as far as the fans are concerned, the Jets are always our most hated rival, regardless of record.  And it really has little to do with the football.  It really has more to do with the personalities of the fans.  Miami is a leisurely place by nature and the fans tend to like doing things like go fishing, salsa dancing, or just lie out in the sun.  The Jets fans prefer pastimes like murder, mayhem, and the occasional incest.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fans who don't fit into the stereotype.  I, for one, prefer belly-dancing.  And not all Jets fans are murderers, obviously.  They would all end up killing each other, and forcing their kind to go extinct.  But the incestuous impregnations help with keeping the numbers up.   All in jest, folks, all in jest.

Anyway, let's get down to the serious business of football.  I want to get into a gameplan, and the paragraphs above were just filler to make sure Jets fans aren't reading this far into the post.  Again, I'm kidding.  But seriously, they have all run off to vandalize something by now.

Nothing would make me happier than to continue doing what we have been doing on Offense.  The last 3 weeks have shown that while we're not setting records, we can compete at a high level with any team.  Well, actually, I'd say we need to do the same against the Jets defense to prove it.  There's something I want to point out about the Jets defense and Rex Ryan.  It's very similar to the Baltimore defense.  I know that sounds blatantly obvious, but I don't mean schematically, though it is similar.  What I mean is that it's fast, reckless and without fear.  The Ravens D is the most penalized in the league, and I think Pittsburgh is in the top 3 as well.  That's because they play without fear, and fly around the field.  The Jets have adopted this policy, and while it hasn't resulted in sacks (yet), it has been disruptive.  A couple of readers have pointed out that the Saints were able to run the ball against the Jets last week.  Well, as someone who has Drew Brees on their FFL can tell you, the Saints HAD to run because the Jets completely shut down New Orleans' high-octane passing attack.  The good news is that we don't have a high-octane passing attack to start with.  The bad news is that without that passing attack, the run defense should be a lot easier for the Jets this week than it was last week.

GAMEPLAN

Offense - The Jets will come in thinking, no, believing they will stop our running game.  They respect our ability to run the ball, and will no doubt be focusing 90% of their practice time on stopping the Wildcat and putting bodies on the field to disrupt Ronnie Brown.  The Dolphins, in typical Dolphin fashion, will try to counter the extra run-defenders, by throwing the ball a lot.  I know it's going to happen.  I got that feeling like when a cat starts acting up before a thunderstorm hits.  

But what should happen is that Miami should not play in fear, or do a gross overhaul of the play-calling that's been working the last 3 weeks.  They should continue to press the run-first agenda.  In too many games, the Dolphins have shown that anytime they are down by 3 or more points they abandon the run altogether.  This would be the wrong thing to do because firstly, the play-action passing attack that is the most effective way to move the ball in the NFL...it don't work if you can't run the ball, or at least show that you are going to continue running the ball.  Secondly, while there is a long-shot that we could still turn this season around, we really won't get there unless we show that we can produce come-from-behind wins.  We shouldn't fear being down at half-time or in the 3rd quarter.  We should embrace the challenge.  Chad Henne needs that challenge.  

Two things I would change about last week's play-calling.  First, take more shots downfield.  I don't mean a lot, but we didn't do it at all last week, and we need to keep the Jets D on their toes.  There's no reason now why we can't run a few deep posts per game. Second, there's no reason why Ronnie Brown can't get more touches per game than he is now.  Sure, we're doing much better in that regard, but they are not throwing the ball to him and this is driving me crazy.  It's like having a wasted position at times.   Anytime he stays in for a block, and no one gets through the line, he should immediately turn around and open himself up to the check-down.  Use every receiver on the field.

Defense - As improved as the Jets are, I think our Defense should have a chance at a season defining performance here.  We had more sacks vs Buffalo than the Jets have had all year.  If we can replicate that, it probably means the downfield receivers will be taken out of the game.  Thomas Jones was a bad-ass last year but has been slow out the gate this year.  Ultimately the two biggest challenges here will be Dolphin-killer Leon Washington, and Rex Ryan.  We know what Washington can do, and our special teams play could be a huge factor in this game.  It will be hard to win field position against the Jets.  I suggest the Dolphins get the returner wrapped up, and THEN go for the ball.  No more solo swatting.  

And I choose Ryan as the other challenge because we know this guy and we know he will have something up his sleeve.  I suggest to you here, that his public assertion yesterday that Braylon Edwards will start the game on Monday, is part of his trickery.  Maybe he's serious about it and Sanchez will wear his arm out this week throwing extra reps to Edwards in an attempt to get some sort of bond going there.  But ultimately, I don't believe they will be ready, timing-wise, to kick-off their career connection this week.  I expect Edwards will be used primarily as a scare-tactic.  So I would cover him one-on-one.  And I wouldn't put Sean Smith on him all game.  I would put Vontae Davis in there at least half the time to jam him at the line.  He'll have enough on his plate trying to get adjusted without having the tough rookie trying to knock him out of his cleats.


FINALLY - This game will be played on the big National stage of Monday Night Football, and both teams will be dressed in their pea-cockiest of uniforms.  Serena Williams just became the #1 tennis player in the world.  J-Lo wore a fancy dress to the previous home-game.  Stephen Ross just won some award for something.  Emilio Estefan was appointed by President Obama to create a National Hispanic Museum.  Gloria Estefan is doing the national talk-show circuit.  Jimmy Buffet is a talent-less hack who makes sub-par beer but everyone still loves him.  And last week's coming out party vs Buffalo was barely televised.  

What does this all lead up to?  Well it's leads up to our biggest game of the season because it's Dolphins/Jets, it's Monday Night, and it's about time we start getting noticed for our ability to play football, rather than our B-list celebrity ownership.  We have this one opportunity to make a statement - that we are not dead and won't roll over.  We are the showcase game of the week, flying solo on Monday, and followed by the Bye week, a big win here could garner us two weeks of good press.  A loss could push us right off the NFL Network's pre-show meeting agenda for two weeks.  Not that we need any motivation to beat the Jets.  

10/9/09 Update
INJURY REPORT:

Dolphins
Probable: Akin Ayodele (back).
Questionable: Joey Porter (hamstring); Philip Merling (ankle).


NY Jets  
Probable:  Larry Izzo; Jim Leonhard; Bryan Thomas.
Questionable: Jerricho Cotchery; Kerry Rhodes; Lito Sheppard.
Doubtful: Donald Strickland; Damien Woody.



63 comments:

  1. Tin, I picture it this way, the O runs the ball all day long, the D goes after Sanchez like a jail break so that his main participation consists of running for his life! We've been making mistakes and will make some in this game. Hopefully, it's the "bend-but-don't-break" philosophy on Monday night. The Wildcat Passing Attack makes its debut and takes the Jets D where it doesn't want to go!

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  2. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Tin, well done as usual. I agree with the approach you're taking here and I hope we do that.

    I would expect us to stick with the running game early to try and slow down the blitzing. This might be the week where Ronnie get 4-6 receptions on screens or in the flat to counter the blitz. I agree with more deep attempts especially off play-action.

    As for Braylon Edwards, he wasn't even on the same page with Quinn or Anderson, two QBs he's been playing with for 3 years. How's he going to get up to speed within a week with a rookie QB?

    We need to stop the Jets running game and pressure Sanchez all night long and the game is ours.

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  3. We Have PlaymakersOctober 8, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    LOL @ Tins!!!  That was extremely funny & very well written.  Personally, I hate the Jets more than any team in all of professional sports (2nd-Boston Red Sox & 3rd are the Patriots).  I didn't know it was possible but now that Rex Ryan is their Coach, well, I hate them even more!!!  I'm not pleased that he has given this team an attitude & a swagger like they are on of the best football teams in the NFL.  While I don't think they are, he's definitely amped up that defense & has them looking like the Ravens did last year.  Although the Jets personnel on defense is not as skilled as the Ravens were last year, they're still a pretty formidable bunch. 

    You raised a great point about how we need to stick to the run & not force the passing game if we get behind.  IMO--I'm not sure we're good enough yet to get behind the Jets with their type of defensive play & still win.  I could be wrong but I get the feeling that Henning would start trying to have Henne do too much & that would be a recipe for disaster.  I also think that we need to include not just Ronnie but Ricky as well in the short passing game.  They're by far our two best offensive weapons so let's use them as much as possible.  This might also be an opportunity to surprise the Jets with Cobbs who has rarely been utilized so far this year. 

    I also agree that Edwards will be used primarily as a distraction & I think Vontae is the better choice of the two to frustrate him.  Will Allen is going to have his hands full with Cotchery who I think is a very good player so I'd like to see Smith spelling Allen to see how he looks covering a big WR.   As for who gets to cover Dustin Keller, this is a very difficult match-up for us.  He's more like a WR & not really a TE.  My guess is Culver but why not let Jason Allen take a couple of series against him.  Just a thought.

    As you know the best chance we have of winning this game is to not turn the ball over, establish the run & stick with it & to stop their RB's.   I'd also like to see us sprinkle in a few shots down the field whether it be Ginn or Hartline. 

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  4. The Dolphins run a running back screen? That would be a very lame drinking
    game...

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  5. I agree, and I think the whole Wildcat pass will be in the gameplan, but if
    I think that, and everyone else thinks that, the Jets probably think that as
    well and will be ready for it. If you look back at the 5 or 6 times we've
    tried it, each time the defense has gotten closer and closer to stopping
    it. When we ran it against the Falcons, they caught on and stayed deep,
    forcing the short pass to Haynos (still turned out to be a 21 yd gain, but
    mostly YAC)

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  6. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    You lost me.  :-E

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  7. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    By the way Sanchez looks gay in that picture. Not that there is anything wrong with that but WTF?

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  8. That was the most masculine photo I could find of him....

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  9. grr someone tell Mike Berardino that the Dolphins completed a pass out of
    the Wildcat in week 1 vs Falcons. I thought they had done the Cobbs play
    twice but the second one may have been in pre-season?

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  10. But he's real subtle - I'm not going to tell you what they were practicing,
    but 'by the way'...

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  11. I agree with our running game being the key to the game for us and due to problems with feeds I missed a lot of our first few series, but I read somewhere that Henning decided we should come out passing to loosen the Bills up and this is one of the reason we got our running game in synch. I'm not sure I fully buy into this argument, as they couldn't stop our running game period, but I wouldn't be amazed if this was repeated on Monday night. Fat-boy's D is much better at hurrying the QB and the secondary will cover better, but if the Yetis come into town with a gameplan to stop the run first, we might have some success with such an approach? I'd like us to ram it down their throats all game long, but I'm not sure we can do that. It is one of the things I am looking forward to seeing as it will be a good measure of where we are as an offence.
    As for the other side of the ball, I just hope we can keep up the formula of not giving up too many big plays. If we can do that, it gives our pass rush more of a chance to get lucky on third downs on a regular basis. Ditto giving up big plays on ST too.

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  12. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    A few people were all over that on the SS. Yes the other one was in the preseason.

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  13. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    LOL

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  14. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Well it's no secret that it's a possibility. Just don't give out the personnel and the formation etc.

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  15. I don't know what's going on today - I'm not getting any Twitter updates,
    and I'm barely getting any e-mail today...wondering if I'm having server
    issues. I didn't see any comments about the wildcat pass on the SS when I
    was there, but maybe the comments aren't updating for me either.

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  16. Oh you mean 'wildcat' and Cobbs Williams and Brown? I'm pretty sure the
    'possibility' is the only secret here. No, wrong word...i mean the
    PROBABILITY

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  17. Oh you mean 'wildcat' and Cobbs Williams and Brown? I'm pretty sure the
    'possibility' is the only secret here.

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  18. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    You never know. Who's throwing it and maybe someone else is out there.  ;)

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  19. On thing I do know....if it's Pat White then the called play is "mad
    scramble in circles with no planned point of attack" also known as the
    'White-Out'

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  20. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    LOL

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  21. Miami has been pretty balanced between the run and pass I see no reason to change that, it's working.  We are one of the best running teams in the NFL and do it not by running the ball 45 times a game.  So when we do run it works, why change what is working ?  I'd like to see us get Ronnie the ball more in the passing game, but we only have so many plays during a game with only one ball.

    I have no idea how the safeties are stoping the long passes and big plays down the field last week, but if thay do that again this week the Jets will go down for their second loss.  Miami can play with anyone one, and if they can keep those mistakes down we'll win this game.  They have weaknesses just as we do  We are very simular teams with one difference at this time we are beginning to play better, and finding ourselves.

    Besides I hate those Jet fans they remind me of a balloon.  Stick a pin in them and fly around the room as they deflate.

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  22. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    147 - 36.75 rushes per game and 116 - 29 pass attempts per game. I'll take it.

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  23. New to your blog, long time Fin-fan just wanted to let you know your stuff was hilarious and insightful.....will def keep reading

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  24. I agree that we should run the ball down their throat.

    We will see if Groves can do what he was brought here to do. He was brought in to handle Wilkford and Jenkins. I did not get to see the Chargers game so I do not know how Groves handled Nwagbuo.

    This week will be the first look that Henne will get at a 3-4 defense so that could be a challenge to him. Henne needs to help identify who is the blitzer and make adjustments.

    Lets limit the turnovers and we can be successful.

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  25. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Just remember Henne has been practicing against a 3-4 defense for 2 seasons now.  :)

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  26. I know that is true. Just pointing out that the game and practice are two different things. Hopefully that will help him out.

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  27. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    Had to share this picture someone posted on the SS.

    http://finsnation.com/2009/10/its-all-good-baby-1.html

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  28. Fang, we are number one in rush yards per game and we DO run it 45 times a
    game. LOL

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  29. Those numbers are off because we didn't run the ball at all in week 1. Last
    week we ran it 45 times. against the Colts we ran it 49 times. The more we
    run, the better we play.

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  30. Thanks Vorhesse. Welcome to the fold.

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  31. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    That's why they're averages.  :-P

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  32. great job tin, but i have to say.........'you have a cat, no man card for you'

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  33. Knight - that's hilarious. It just goes to show that Ryan's new diet is working - he looks like he's dropped 20-30lbs?

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  34. But the times we ran the ball more than 40 times, we looked dominant. When
    we ran for less than 40 we looked weak.

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  35. I actually don't have a cat. I don't like cats. That doesn't mean I've
    never seen one before.....

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  36. lol, oh not me i love cats, my favorite is the <span style=""><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Stir fried with teriyaki, ginger and broccoli.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Oh yeah and extra spicy <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span></span></span>

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  37. tin, i do have to point out an error on you article though.  you said that with the "<span style="">incestuous impregnations help"  the would keep up their numbers.   well i am no medical expert but i am pretty sure man on man incest cant cause pregancy. </span>

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  38. Wow, timely joke, as I just ate something similar for lunch....

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  39. I can't tell if that's a gay joke or if you don't know what 'incestuous'
    means....either way it's funny....lol

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  40. Fang - we gave up a 39 yard pass in the Bills game to TO that led to a FG and a 35 yard pass to Evans that led to a TD - it's those big plays that gobble up a chunk of yards quickly that worry me because our D has less opportunity to get the opponents off the field and they always seem to go back on their heels after giving one up. Still, if we limit big plays to 2 and the Jets to 10, I'll take that now thank-you very much.

    Loved your balloon analogy. So you think Jets fans are full of hot air and whine when they get let down? lol

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  41. You had to use spell check, no way did you spell broccoli right the first time. 

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  42. uh i think i know what it means but i guess you didnt get that i meant, jet fans incest is between men.  just not as funny when i have to spell it out

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  43. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    LOL, I thought you were going to say he looks like he lost 300-400 lbs.

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  44. broccoli and teriyaki, damn is my spalling tat bad.  to be honest it isnt i cant spell as much as i cant type and am to lazy to re-read my post for typos and miss spellings

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  45. Shhh!  You are going to offend fang.  I think he has a cat.  Isn't that what that his avatar creature is?

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  46. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Not all cats are the same. That's like saying I don't like chinese people.  ;)

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  47. tin, i do like that picture you put up of mark sanchez.  where did you find it, in homohottieofthemonth.com.  i mean the guy cant look any more gay. 

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  48. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Pretty good chance he doesn't know what it means. He is from Florida.

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  49. wait, wouldnt being from the south mean i know what it means

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  50. Knight, I'm thinking from that statement that you are a cat owner. 

    It's OK.  We have one too.

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  51. very true, some cats are better when made into general tao chicken over fried rice

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  52. Oh come on, don't all you guys stand around talking on the phone with your shirt pulled up, your hand in your pocket, ever so slightly pulling you pants down and....................where was I going with this? :-[

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  53. Are you saying that Chinese people are just like cats because they have
    slanted eyes? C'mon, Knight, I thought we were over this racist streak?

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  54. keep talking herdfan....keep talking....

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  55. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    No because they like to use cat in their food. LOL

    What I was trying to say is don't use a broad stroke to judge all cats and the same with people.  :)

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  56. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    No that would mean you know how to do it but not necessarily know what it's called or that it's wrong.  :-P

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  57. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    LOL, really!

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  58. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Yes we have a cat and I don't have to walk him.  :)

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  59. The Knight who says Ni!October 8, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Don't stop!  8-)

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  60. The internet is totally screwed up today.  I clicked on my usual link to the SS blog and ended up on what appears to be a Jest blog.  :(

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  61. Please don't pick on Mama Kitty she's a good cat, stupid but a good cat the same.  Plus she is not gay, that must get her a few points from everyone, and she will never wear green for any reason.

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  62. Getting to part of what you say above taking a few shots down the field.  I am wondering if the reason they don't do it is because of the dropped balls/missed opportunities.   I'm not a TGJr basher, I have trouble hating on any player on my team.  He has dropped a lot of 'em, or at least those are the ones that stand out to me.   You hear it over and over in the interviews with Sparano, things carrying over from practice to the playing field.  Maybe he isn't catching that many of them in practice either and they don't feel like they CAN do it in a game situation with any reasonable hope for a completion, or worse having an INT.  Just like the furor created yesterday when Omar was talking about TS getting on him in practice for not going after it.   You see it with other receivers on other teams, they jump and dive to make the play and he has trouble when it is literally IN HIS HANDS.  I'm not saying always, but still a lot more than it should be, IMO.  Whew!  I've been needing to get that out for a while now! 

    Oh, and I'm glad they are wearing the blue and gold colors, I can hate them all the more that way.  I bleed green for the Herd, so hating a team wearing what I consider 'Eer colors is second nature.   I have just noticed that the bye week coincides with the annual thrashing we get from them so at least I won't miss a Dolphins game. It's bad enough that I will miss Bridge Day, the annual BASE jumping extravaganza.

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  63. Sleepless in SeattleOctober 8, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    The Jets are an ugly team, I hate them. Go Fins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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