Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All I Want For Christmas Is A Sense Of Calm

After Sunday's devastating loss to the Titans, it now would take a couple of miracles for the Dolphins to make the playoffs.  I'm not holding my breath, instead treating that outside possibility as just that.  I won't focus on it heading into the final two games of the season.  Instead I have set other goals for this team of 2009.  And they are laid out below.

It's always been my belief throughout the year that this year's roster was, and still is, significantly better than 2008's version, and miles better than 2007s.  But I can't really prove that with our current record.  Still, I think the following is solid evidence in favor of my argument.   
 
First, we have lost 7 games.  In those 7 losses, we have turned the ball over 18 times.  Take aways caused ever single one of those losses.  And at least half of those turnovers were fumbles by Fasano, Williams, and Bess, all considered to be the more sure-handed players on the team heading into the 2009 season.  Take even half of these turnovers away and we could have a dramatically different record right now.  Something more in line with 12-2 than 7-7.

Secondly, our star player, and offensive focal point, Ronnie Brown went on injured reserve, yet our running game has barely been affected.  Our best defensive plug in the middle, Jason Ferguson, also on injured reserve, yet our run defense did not have a huge drop off.  These things are not due to coaching tricks or band-aids, but due to a solid roster full of depth, something we haven'[t had for a long time.  The patchwork offensive line has gotten better as the year has gone on, unlike last year when we had similar injury issues, and seemed to be shaky on every other play.

Third, our coaches have seemed to be doing hard drugs for much of the year.  I would say the Jacksonville game was the first time I didn't have more than a dozen moments of 'WTF?!?!' in response to an offensive play call or defensive strategy.  There certainly were plenty in the Tennessee game (the sudden re-instating of the Wildcat, the Pitter-Putter-Pat-Cat-Heart-Attack, the absolutely lackluster beginning to the 2nd half - I guess there were no inspirational half-time speeches in the locker room, etc).  Yes they came back to tie it up, but they missed two opportunities for scores, first because they wouldn't go for a FG at the end of the first half (which in retrospect would have given them the win), instead forcing the throw and causing a turnover, and coming out of the locker room, I believe they had a 3 and out.  These are ultimately down to the coaches getting away from good football.  It's not a drag race, it's a chess match.  You gotta always be setting up the NEXT move, not just trying to get a checkmate in as few moves as possible.  3rd and manageable, Henning.

Despite this impatient, lackluster, and sometimes saboteurish effort by the Dolphins coaching staff, the players have more or less done a good, solid job most of the time.  I know some people think I'm placing blame in the wrong place by blaming the coaches, but keep in mind, this is the staff that called a full-back dive on 3rd and a long 3 on Sunday.  They must have forgotten this is the NFL, not pee-wee football. 

But back to my original point.  No matter who you choose to blame for the Dolphins shortcomings this year, keep in mind that it's better to be disappointed in your team just missing out on the playoffs, and coming in 2nd, than to be worried if they'll even get a win (2007) or who the hell is going to play QB (2008), or how we will replace our pro-bowl pass rusher (wake for porter).  The truth is, we complain about anything we can get our hands on, and I'm sure during the 1972 season, some of you yelled at your TV, spit expletives at a ref, cursed a player for fumbling the ball, or said to a buddy that "Griese is not the answer".  Truth is, part of being a sports fan is to hold your team up to unreasonably high standards.  It would be fantastic if religious people (I'm not one of them) held up their gods to the same standards.  I would love to see a born-again Christian yell out that Jesus was a prick for dropping the ball and allowing thousands of innocent people to die in a tsunami or mudslide.  But it seems the sports teams are wanted to be held accountable more-so than gods, accountants, and politicians.  

Personally, I think the Dolphins have had a better season than all three.

43 comments:

  1. Hi Tin!  Yup! The players are playing hard, but the coaching staff leaves more to be desired. The defensive coordinator, where in the NFL is his resume to build and lead a defense... oh wait, he was a tight end coach in Dallas for one year! That's a big problem, he evidently got his job with connections rather than ability!

    Henning should retire... Sparano needs to calm down on the sidelines and become more calculating on ever-evolving game strategy... I know, I know... it's all part of the Parcells Experience.

    2010 Draft, here we come!

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  2. <span>Hi Tin!  Yup! File this under bitching and griping! </span>

    <span>The players are playing hard, but the coaching staff leaves more to be desired. The defensive coordinator, where in the NFL is his resume to build and lead a defense... oh wait, he was a tight end coach in Dallas for one year! That's a big problem, he evidently got his job with connections rather than ability! 
     
    Henning should retire... Sparano needs to calm down on the sidelines and become more calculating on ever-evolving game strategy... I know, I know... it's all part of the Parcells Experience and taking the bad with the good!
     
    2010 Draft, here we come!</span>

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  3. What are the chances we can trade Pat White for a 7th round draft pick?

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  4. I'm unemployed, excommunicated, and bankrupt but what really gets me is the Dolphins!!

    Great write up Tin, was really dissappointed with the game, but you have to admire how we came back.  Looking forward to taking on some (potentially) good teams at home and seeing how we respond.  Even though we still have a chance with a Patriots meltdown, I would like to see some younger players out there....Clemons, Turner, Nalbone, Sheets.....I have faith in Sparano, in my mind he's a keeper, but a shakeup with coordinaters seems appropriate.  Maybe promoting some assistants, Bowles maybe.

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  5. Really! Was this guy drafted for nothing more than gimmickry? Trade him and Ginn!

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  6. Defensive Line Coach – Kacy Rodgers

    Inside Linebackers Coach – George Edwards

    Both of these Miami coaches have better D credentials than PP!

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  7. I'd rather have someone who is already a coordinator or a college head coach
    take over. I do think there's legitimate argument for promoting David Lee,
    though.

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  8. PP was a college head coach, so was NS! Lee should be promoted to offensive coordinator, right?

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  9. oh, cheap shot.  i'll remember that.  wait till herd see's you said accoutants are not held in as high of standards as sports teams.  LOL

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  10. Did he say that, really?  I USUALLY read, but with all the gloom and doom, I didn't.  Staying positive here, NO MATTER WHAT!! 

    And I'm not really an accountant anymore...I don't know what you would call what I do here, but they never taught me any of it in college!

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  11. have you ever been told 'great game' after tax season? lol

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  12. or even worse, 'oh my god, you blew it! you suck!'

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  13. Hang on, I didn't say anything bad about accountants, I simply said people
    care more about what their sports team does than what accountants,
    politicians, and 'god' does.

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  14. <span>'or even worse, 'oh my god, you blew it! you suck!'</span>
    <span></span>
    <span></span>
    <span>lmao, well, </span>aaahhh, well, hmmmm, let's see, yeah, it wasnt told that but i have used those words. 

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  15. <span>lmao, well, </span>aaahhh, well, hmmmm, let's see, yeah, i wasnt told that, but i have used those words. 

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  16. I think we are going to make a deep playoff run next year. If we have another good draft, like the first two, in two years I'm comfortable with super bowl expectations. And this team is so much fun to watch. I was ready to abandon the game, but they have built so much faith in me that I did not, and they made that game entertaining at the very least. 

    I also think coaching is a learning experience. Last year, it seemed sparano made all the right calls. he has made his share of mistakes this season. but generally, the players seem to get better every week, you can see that the coaches get the best out of our young talent. I think the more experience you get, the smarter decisions you make in similar situations in the future. sparano seems like he evolves as a coach. 

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  17. Seriosly gotta love your write ups....from WTF (did you actually cuss there Tin ;) ) to the hard drugs, to the <span>Pitter-Putter-Pat-Cat-Heart-Attack...it is not just an enjoyable read, but a hit the nail on the head read. </span>
    <span></span> 
    <span>I agree something needs to be done with the coordinators. Who in essense is responsible for that on this team? Is it Sparano or Parcells? </span>
    <span></span> 
    <span>One thing I do wonder about, is Henne. I will admit he has an arm. His accuracy could be better, but I am not sure if that is our receivers and their routes or our QB's arm. My question is, sometimes he is careful with the ball almost to the point where you want to scream throw the damn thing or he is wildly throwing three INTS in one game. Twice this year he has. Does he get flustered after the first one and cannot recover? Kinda ala Cutler? If so, is that fixable and will he mature with age? I mean I understand QB's will throw INTS at times, but his seem to come in spurts...kwim? </span>
    <span></span> 
    <span>Tin do you update this during the offseason, like near and during the draft?</span>
    <span></span> 
    <span>GO FINS. Once a fan, always a fan for me. If I can last through that damn 1-15 season, I can last through this....right??? lol</span>
    <span></span> 
    <span>and herd...you are an accountant? I thought you worked at a booby place? ;) </span>

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  18. I am...but instead of being a bean-counter, I suppose I'm a boob-counter!  LOL

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  19. one boob, two boob, three boobs, four, go see herd and take two out the door

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  20. that's really bad...

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  21. lmao ffr! But, dude, I agree with Herd, that was just sad.

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  22. yeah yeah yeah, i guess tin is wrong, the accountants are held as accountable as sports teams.  lol

    <span>besides you dont want to know how the first one went with word the first word I thought of that rhymed with four. </span>

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  23. Sparano ultimately gets to choose his coordinators, that falls under his
    jurisdiction, but we know that Parcells and Ireland both were instrumental
    in the choosing of these guys.
    I think we had this conversation already on the blog but wasn't one of them
    hired before Sparano? Or at least signed on the dotted line before Sparano?
    "Tin do you update this during the offseason, like near and during the
    draft?"
    Actually more so than during the season. I LOVE the draft.
    "and herd...you are an accountant? I thought you worked at a booby place?"
    she counts the boobs...just to make sure everyone's got two and not more or
    less.

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  24. awful...but will he be held accountable?

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  25. OK, so my question is, I DID read the play off scenario thing at the SS, and if what I was reading there is correct, it still isn't outside the realm of possibility to make the playoffs, right?  Or was that just mis-information?

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  26. We can still make the playoffs but need a lot of help.

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  27. Herd, If we win out and Baltimore loses to Pitt this week we are in. We also need Jacks to lose one game, they play at NE this week. There are some other scenarios that get us in, that one is the easiest. It's not out of the question, anyway.

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  28. C'mon, some positive thoughts here, it's Christmas after all! 

    From what I read, we need Pittsburgh to beat the Ravens, NE to beat Jacksonville and the Chargers to beat Tennessee.  That seems very possible in my mind.  The worst part of it, I hate to say, is the Dolphins have to also win and that's the scary part for me!   So, it's not over yet.  It has been one crazy season. Sign me up for one more week of crazy.

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  29. ok,

    i am positive if the fins make the playoffs they will lose in the first round. 

    how was that? lol

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  30. You are a buzz-kill.  Not that I have one now, but I'm just sayin if I did, I'd be pissed because you are wrecking it!

    How was that?  LOL  :-D

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  31. LOL,  well if you had one which you dont you wouldnt be cause you would have one.  so, you dont need to worry, cause you dont, if you did, then you would be worrying about something that you dont have cause if you had it you wouldnt worry that you didnt have it. so there


    How was that? LOL :)

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  32. Now we already faced Indy and almost beat them...maybe in the playoffs we
    figure out not to blitz Manning and force a turnover or two to give us a
    couple extra drives.

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  33. tin,

    i was just messing around with herd.  i think if we got there, we would have as good as shot as any of winning.  we have been in every game this year with maybe the atlanta game.  i think we could give anyone a good game

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  34. my head just exploded....or imploded....

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  35. Every fan in America feels the same as we do.  Fans in Indianapolis, and New Orleans will tell you they have holes to fill, and the coaches have made mistakes.  We fans lead by the Media question everything.  We have the right to do so we pay the bills don't we ?  Yet we are not privey to what's going on in the locker room nor do we know about who maybe injured that can effect a decision on the field.  We fans also have time to second guess every move after it has happened.  Coaches don't get that luxury.

    As Tin has brought up most of our losses have been because we have not taken care of the ball.  Is that the Coaches fault ?  I don't think so.  Some of the decisions the trifecta have made are well... Dumb for sure.  Willford, PW, Turner ?, Nalbone, Folsom, and then there has been Pennington, Long, Henne, Hartline, Langford, Fergy, Grove , Berger, Thomas, Garner, Smilley, Starks, Mc Daniel, Davis, and Smith.  I don't know about all of you but I like the long list of guys that are working into a team.

    The Trifecta have made mistakes but I'll take the few screw ups they have made, for the way this team is coming together.  How about you ? 

    OMG, Fang made a positive statement.  =-O

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  36. See that's better, a more positive outlook.  I'm not saying it's a lock, but hey, I have to have a reason to watch. 

    It's about time to see about that buzz thing for real...the Herd has a huge Bball game tonight!  If we win, I probably will not be around tomorrow due to a massive hangover!  So if I don't 'see' you guys before then, everyone have a great Christmas(if that's your thing), and I'll see ya on Sunday!

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  37. '<span>OMG, Fang made a positive statement.'</span>

    LMAO...now that's funny!

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  38. Well, hope you get your hangover. 

    And same to you and everyone else, Merry Christmas

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  39. Herd I hope you don't think that one comment will change me.  :)   It's funny to me because these blogs are about the only place I will speak my mind freely and most of the time my remarks can be caustic.  I really am a positive person when it comes to family and the like.  But out here in "blogdum" I'm a different animal.

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  40. Fang:  It think it's safe to say I'm different myself on here.

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  41. WE WANT denver TO LOSE ALSO,(even moreso than balt),but IF balt loses TWO,thats obviously a good thing too!
    den loses TWO(@PHIL,vs KC),
    jax loses ONE(@N3,@CLEV)
    WE WIN TWO,WE'RE IN!!

    WE MIGHT beat den in a (SCHEDULE STRENGTH) tiebreaker,IF they only lose one game!!
    denver (6-5 in conf) is easier to overtake than balt (6-4 in conf),and @pitt,@OAK!!!

    IF balt only loses ONE,we MIGHT overtake them in a tiebreaker scenario too,
    but NOT IF MULTIPLE TEAMS are involved in the tiebreak(same w'den)...
    (@LEAST that's how I see it),and I said we'd be in this situation
    wayyy back when we were @ 0-3,2-4,3-5,etc,etc,etc!!!

    I said after wk1,that Leodis McKelvin's brainfart giving N3 a W from the grip of defeat,
    would likely be the difference b/t us being able to,or not being able to defend the afceast crown from N3!!
    That was HUGE for N3,an @HOME,INNERDIVISION,INNERCONFERENCE W,
    instead of a loss (had McKelvin and the bills gone into VICTORY FORMATION)!!! 

    LOTSA POSSIBILITIES STILL EXIST AS LONG AS WE WIN-OUT,
    WE'LL BE INVOLVED TILL THE FINAL TICK OF THE FINAL GAME IN A 17 WK SEASON!!
    THAT IN ITSELF IS QUITE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT,(ALLLLL THINGS CONSIDERED)!!!
    WAYYYY TO GO, MIAMI DOLPHINS,(NO MATTER THE END RESULT)!!!!  GOFINS :)  !!!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS,HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL YOU D's/SOBs,and DOLPHIN LOVERS!!
    Wonder if FFR's ever had a DOLPHIN handcuffed to the arm of his couch???
    Either way,I know he's literally a DOLPHIN LOVER!!!

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  42. Tin,

    Just wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and to offer a special thanks to you for this blog and the game day chat room. 

    Thank You

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