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Clearing out the Thursday notebook

Some good stuff I thought I'd share with you:

First, Michael Lehan tweaked his hamstring in practice today. So he was limited. That could be nothing if Lehan is fine for game day or it could be HUGE if the team needs Jason Allen to start playing, which is what it looks like will happen.

Allen was expected to get some time in the dime package this week because the waiving of Chris Crocker created a spot there. If Lehan goes out, there is yet another spot.

"Jason Allen is getting better and better," coach Tony Sparano said Thursday. "He's ready to go into a game."

The Buffalo game could be the time.

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I asked Tony Sparano what his perfect day on offense would look like.

"The perfect situation would be to run 40 times and throw 25 times," he answered straight-forward.

Sparano explains that he'd love to have Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams carry the ball 24 times and give the other guy 16 or so carries. He said that breakdown would typically give the Dolphins about 34 minutes in time of possession. So what does that do for him?

"It's not a major statistic but if you look at it, the team that runs the most plays wins about 82 percent of the time," Sparano said. "Your chance of winning the game goes way up."

Looking at the Miami games this year, the Dolphins have come closest to that perfect script in two games. They ran the ball 36 times against New England and 39 times against San Diego. They threw the ball between 21 and 29 times in those games. And won both.

Miami has thrown the ball more often than it has run in every other game this season. And Miami lost all of those.

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Receiver Ernest Wilford talked today. It's Thursday.

He said he feels like he has finally caught up with the offense and is catching the ball better than he has all year.

Does that mean he'll be on the field this week?

Listening to Sparano talk, the Dolphins cannot count on Wilford playing more than 15 plays per game because his special teams contribution is limited. So we'll see.

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we really need to see jason allen on the field.. we must give him a shot..maybe he just doesnt practice well

It never ceases to amaze me how often people insist on deliberately mis-interpretating stats. The reason why the winning team generally runs the ball more often is because teams with the lead tend to run the ball, while teams that are behind tend to throw. Indeed Miami's games this year are a prime example. All but one had one team go out to a big early lead and spend most of the second half trying to hold on. Look at the San Diego game, the Dolphins did almost nothing but run the ball in the second half, a large reason why they didn't score. Hardly a tactic that would have been successful if they were behind at half time. In other word they didn't run the ball a lot because they were running the ball well, but because they were winning.
For the record the only Dolphins game that was close (against Houston) was won by the team that was most passing orientated 42-27 pass/run and not by the team that was most run orientated (the Dolphins passes 25 times and ran the ball 24).
What this stat really tells you is that being ahead increases your chances of winning and I'm not sure we needed a detailed statistical analysis to tell us that

what is the story with Jason Allen ? Every coach we have had puts him in as a starter then demotes him after he fails to produce. Then a position switch (safety to corner or vice versa
) to see if this "fits". It seems he is unable to play at either spot with any consistency. Is this his inability to understand the schemes ? It seems he has all the physical ability but not the mental ability. Is this correct ?

Go Phins

WD - Sydney, Australia

WD IN SYDNEY YOU ARE CORRECT 100% JASON ALLEN DOES NOT POSSES THE MENTAL ABILITY OF THE NFL. IT SEEMS TO QUICK FOR HIM. YOU COULD SEE THIS AT TENNESSEE IN HIS LAST YEAR THERE HE WAS GETTING BURNED LEFT AND RIGHT AT THE END OF THE SEASON SO IF HE GOT BURNED IN COLLAGE THEN THE NFL PROBALY IS NOT THE BEST PLACE FOR HIM TO BE PLAYING. CUT THIS BUM AND SIGN 5-7 NEW DBS. ONES THAT CAN CATCH THE SURE INT. W.ALLEN DROPPED AGAINST THE RAVENS IN THE END ZONE PROBELY WAS THE DIFFERANCE IN THE GAME. HILL AGAINST HOUSTON, AND SO FORTH......

I don't care what the deal is with Jason Allen!!! He has to get on the field!!
I think he'll be OK if they give him a chance!
Replace Goodman!! that's the bottom line!

I agree with Gordon on one point that it's advantageous to have a lead instead of trail. But that didn't hold true against the Texans because the Dolphins failed to consistently execute the running game. Our inconsistent, erratic play overall cost the Dolphins a winnable game against the Texans despite winning the turnover battle by a large margin (which means greater probability of winning).

I hold to the philosophy that a well-executed smash-mouth kind of running game establishes dominance whether it's done the old fashion way (Zonk-Mercury-Kiick, Franco-Blier, Lombardi's Run to Daylight) or Wildcatting it with Ronnie, Ricky, & Patrick. I also look for big plays being made whether it's a sudden strike from passing or from running (like Mercury's breakaways, Zonk's roll right trap left, or Ronnie taking off in the Wildcat). Wildcat becomes effective when running plays from base formations are well executed.

In both cases your OL must be able to attack (get in the first punch), sustain, & finish blocks. Great Dolphins like Little, Kuech, Langer and Dwight Stephenson were masters at that. Hopefully the Dolphins will rebuild and develop such an OL with Jake, Smiley, Samson, and Donald Thomas over the long haul. That the foundation for a winning team and winning by physically dominating the other team.

I will say that the 49ers under Walsh and Montana did have a ball control kind of passing game that worked well for them. They had the right mix of players to execute that.

The Tuna, Ireland, & Sparano are looking to build a Dolphin team that will be physical along with having the mental smarts.

Good stuff, Armando. 40-25 might be overly optimistic. 35-25 is more realistic and could be good enough. But I understand where Sparano is coming from and he's right.

NYJ - Loss
Rush 17-49
Pass 26-43 251

ARZ - Loss
Rush 24-72
Pass 17-32-164

NE - Win
Rush 36-216
Pass 18-21 245

SD - Win
Rush 40-167
Pass 22-29-228

HOU - Loss
Rush 24-96
Pass 19-25 274

BAL - Loss
Rush 22-71
Pass 24-35-295

If we can get the rushing over 30 attempts we'll win more games. We're undefeated when doing so. : )

The Dolphins have to keep working on their base rushing game. They need to build that mentality of power football. That will be their strength on offense at some point. It helps the defense tremendously. It truly is Football 101.

I can't believe no one else picked up on this. Wilford said he "feels like he has finally caught up with the offense"? So now we understand why Wilford hasn't played yet, HE'S AS DUMB AS A BOX OF ROCKS! Please tell me I'm misinterpreting that. Do you mean to tell me Davone Bess, a rookie, learned the offense before the first game but it has taken Wilford 11 weeks to finally catch up? Oh man this has got to be a joke. Armando did you write that correctly? What am I missing here?

My first post didn't show up so I'll write it again! Wilford feels like he's finally caught up with the offense?! Davone Bess, a rookie, learned the offense by the first game but Wilford has just caught on by week 11?! Now we know why he couldn't get on the field. He's as dumb as a box of rocks! Wow, Armando please tell me I misinterpeted that write up. What am I missing here?

WTF? Why does it ask you to sign in if it's not going to post your name? NYScott

Finally, we can see if the kid (jason allen) can build on what we saw at end of last year and the preseason.

Trust in Tuna. In 2 years we may again be where we were every year (once a long forgotten time ago).

Different question that hopefully some of you locals can answer for a Australian Dolphin fan.
I notice the game is a sell out again as it was last week against Baltimore. Watching the game live from Sydney last week there were spare seats everywhere. Didn't look like a sell out to me..
What is the deal?

I hope Sparano showed the clueless secondary the film of how Green Bay's secondary covered Indy's receivers last week. Now that was a lesson on how to cover receiver's and that is why Indy was beaten so soundly. If our secondary doesn't start playin closer and more aggressive they're gonna get burned bad this Sunday.

Boxa,

The Dolphins tend to either give away the remaining seats to charities or the television station buys up whatever seats remain at the blackout period. (72 hours before kickoff) Once the season ticket base gets larger again and they feel the seats are in better demand, you will see this practice of giving away the tickets stop. They always announce that seats still remain due to the visiting team returning a portion of their allotment. I guess they think we are too dumb to catch on. Can't sell a product nobody is seeing, right? Or is it you can't sell it because people ARE seeing it? lol

Yes, give Allen the chance to show once and for all if he is a bust or not! By now he should have been a starter to prove his 1st rd pick. He can't even get in the dime package!! How many DB's were taking later in that draft who are either starting or at least contributing on nickel or dime packages? Or better yet how many undrafted guys are contributing for thier respective teams from that year he was drafted?

Yes, give Allen the chance to show once and for all if he is a bust or not! By now he should have been a starter to prove his 1st rd pick. He can't even get in the dime package!! How many DB's were taking later in that draft who are either starting or at least contributing on nickel or dime packages? Or better yet how many undrafted guys are contributing for thier respective teams from that year he was drafted?

Is Irving Friar available? what about Gadsen or O.J?

I am in 100% agreement with the coach. Smash mouth football equals ball control = 21-17 ball games = 35-45 minutes of Miami's ball. Carry Carry Carry, 3-5-4 yards a carry. Wear them down and beat them up.
Drafting a wideout in the top three rounds could be a waste. A monster NT to stop the run. Another offensive tackle or guard and some secondary help. Personally I would prefer if the Phins would FA the secondary. They are trained and may already know the opposing recievers tendencies. Same with receivers. They know routes and understand the pressure of he pro game.

ok here is my view if i'm wrong please help me out. it seems for years that when we either have a defense or offense then we don't have the other. this year we have a better offense then out defense and now specials teams go missing. so far for only two games we have had all three. what was so special about those two games that made us finally come together as a team?

cheers Mike.

Either way Jason Allen is an upgrade over Chris sorry ass Crocker. I can't beleive he lasted this long

Hey, Mando, I know i've been critical of you lately with some of your blogs and articles, so I'd thought I'd at least give you props when you do good. I like this type of info and even though I'm not a big draft geek especially this early, it's a good blog discussion to have. Good job Mando.

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