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Dolphins look for answers, find only a couple

So where are the answers?

Well, if you are a logical person you might ask yourself, "What the heck are the questions?"

The most important question is where do the Dolphins find the answers to what ails them? And you know the ailments: The right guard position is inconsistent, the secondary needs to cover better and hold on to potential interceptions, the special teams need to find a way to make plays that change field position, and the offense needs to find a way to stretch the field.

I have good news and bad news. The answers will come. But if you expect them all this year, that is not likely, which is the bad news.

The fact is the only way the Dolphins could correct some of these problems is to hold a private, singular draft or free agency signing period right now and I don't think the NFL will go for that. So the true solutions won't come until next spring when that happens for everybody.

Until then?

Well, many of you want to trot Jason Allen into the secondary. He's a cornerback now and you want him to replace Andre' Goodman as the starter. Others want the Dolphins to sign Ty Law.

Here are the problems with that: Allen is thisclose to earning a bust label. The former first round pick is in his third year and still is not a starter. He is on his third coaching staff and none have really held him in high enough regard to start him.

Nick Saban tried him at CB and moved him back to safety. He never started for Saban, who is a DB guru. Cam Cameron started Allen at safety only after five other players ahead of him went down with injuries. Tony Sparano handed Allen the starting free safety job at the beginning of training camp this season and by the middle of training camp Allen had lost the job to Chris Crocker, who then lost it to Renald Hill. Sparano then moved Allen to CB. Allen's game day contribution is on special teams.

Ty Law? He's 34 years old. He has not played since last year and that is saying something considering all the NFL teams out there that need secondary help. Law was contacted by the Dolphins last week -- along with three other no-name street free agents. It wasn't that the Dolphins wanted to sign Law immediately, it was that they wanted to establish an information profile on him in case one of Miami's current CBs goes down. So he is on the back burner.

That's consistent with what Law wants because he's not exactly itching to play for Miami even though he lives here. He would like to play for a team that has a chance to compete for a championship. He'd love to play for Green Bay or the Giants or Dallas. So he's sitting and waiting for those teams to call. Will he accept a chance to play for a losing team like Miami? Maybe. But that is not his preference.

So where is the answer in the secondary? In the draft or free agency.

Special teams? Everyone, including myself, has been lobbying to let Ted Ginn Jr. return kickoffs. He did so Sunday with mixed results. "I thought Ted Ginn helped us a little bit on the return game," coach Tony Sparano said.

Good. It was a logical move a couple of weeks late.

But Miami's special teams have a loooong way to go. The team spent the offseason upgrading the units and they have given up way too many big plays this season. The coverage teams did better last week. "We weren't great but we were a lot better on coverage," Sparano said.

The Dolphins need the coverage teams to be great. After the investment of practice time and free agency dollars the Dolphins have made, this unit should be great. It says here there will be more tweaks here in the offseason. The guys currently on the roster can improve only so much.

The receivers? Ginn and Greg Camarillo got open deep last week. Chad Pennington didn't throw them the ball. Having said that, it continues to baffle how neither Derek Hagan nor Ernest Wilford can get on the active roster on game day. They have been inactive each of the past two weeks.

The Dolphins will address the receiver position in the draft, although I don't believe it will necessarily be with a pick in the first round. I believe Miami is more likely to address this position in the second or third round, not the first, because that is where value comes.

The first round screams for help at CB and NT.

Why nose tackle? Jason Ferguson is banged up now. He missed all of last year with an injury. He will be 34 next month and it has become clear to the Dolphins they are soft up the middle without Ferguson. They will turn over rocks to solidify that spot.

Finally, I wrote today he Dolphins should be taking a more serious view on playing Chad Henne after the next two games. That might be the answer to the idea of stretching the field. Absent a switch at QB, I don't see the Dolphins getting deep throws with much consistency the rest of the season.

OK, that's a lot to digest. Discuss ...

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I'm getting so used to "next year" it's driving me crazy!

Tell the Lions and Calvin Johnson, Cardinals and Larry Fitz, and Texans and Andre Johnson that the value comes in the 2nd and 3rd round for WR's.

Point of this all: we need to draft Micahel Crabtree.

1st

Great piece Mando. Lots to read about, I love it. When we lost Donald Thomas as Right Guard I knew it would be a problem. Ndweucke or however its spelled couldnt handle it all year. As for the QB situation, its a shame that Pennington is going to be possibly replaced half into the year, but I agree we need a big arm back there. Ginn would suddenly become a star if we could hit him deep.

At the moment though, I think our biggest concern is the secondary. The only two people who are pretty solid are Bell and Will Allen. The rest are so inconsistent. I hope we get somebody decent at the end of the season because there isn't much else available at the moment.

Like we said at the beginning of the year, this is a two to three year rebuilding process and we have had much success so far. Next years draft will be crucial

How about having both Henne and Pennington play QB? If we can run the Wildcat, why can't we alternate QB's, especially if the score dictates the arm stregnth needed?

The good thing with having Chad P. at quarterback is we know he will manage the game and that is about it.Other teams we face know he can only throw about twenty yards or so on target, so they stack the line bring thier safetys up to stop the run and not worry about the deep ball because he can't throw it that far. Even if we have a top reciver it won't matter because we can't get the ball thier anyway.Teams are going to rack up the points and then run the ball to eat the clock which will then force the Phins to pass to catch up which everyone knows we can't do. It is a guess to say Henne is the future because we simply don't know. Put Henne in and lets find out for sure before free agency and the draft next year come up.Look the Falcons put Ryan in and Baltimore put Flacco in so it won't hurt to do the same with Henne. The Phins put Beck in last year and now we know what type of Q.B. he really is, had they not done that we would still have a question mark in our head if he is the future or not- and HE IS NOT!! Plus I have a question to throw out on this blog. Can anyone name one person that was drafted this year who is making an impact? Zero, I thought the same thing. Besides Porter nobody is getting after the Q.B. Merling, Langford are a complete bust. Has anyone watched a game and looked at them and noticed they are not stopping the run on the edge or sacking the Q.B.? This draft exept for Long is a wash. Thier are to many players on other teams who are making an impact right away that were drafted way down the line. Good luck Phins until we get a new G.M. managment and coach.......

Great post Mando...I totally agree...let this year play out as it will, and use that time to evaluate our needs and decide what direction to take in the draft/free agency. I'm a believer in drafting talent over need, so let's pray whoever is available fits both when it's the Fins on the clock.

I can't see what the hell the defense is doing when the ball is snaped because the camera follows the ball. Do the Dolphins run off the field when the ball is snaped ? The middle is always opened.Are they droping the LB's to help cover because the DB's and SS's suck ? It look's like everyone is out of place, they are always way off the receiver.I know you can't draft everyone in one year but I would have rather seen the Dolphins cut the DB's and SS's and bring in some old players just to get us through this year till next years draft.We have no chance with these players in the secondary.And how many more years do we have to pay Allen before we can cut him, he should give Saban a cut.

They used to have CBs (Surtain/Madison) that could intercept the ball but were soft tackling. Now they have CBs that can't intercept and are soft tackling. Thanks Saban!

im not an expert.. but its clear that recievers and qb's need chemistry..The longer we dont play Henne the longer its gonna take for them to finaly click. I like pennington. But i cant stand this talk about not wanting to rush a QB.. please the good ones will step up and deliver.. there whill be growing pains, but again they are "growing" pains. Beck played last year behind the worst o-line in the nfl. Our line is doing a good job of protecting the QB. If we had a deep threat, our running game would be 10 times better. the defense wont be able to cheat and play up on us.
that being said we are not loosing because of our offense(even though it is limited) its our defense and special teams that suck. the only good thing that came out of that game was having Ginn return kicks. it looks the defense covers itself in vasaline before games. i mean please. And those 4th and inches calls are killing me. if our special teams can pin them back within the 10 yard line i would say pun.punt.punt. but they end up back at our line of scrimmage because we suck on special teams. Seriously how many times do you have to fall into the same hole before you realize you cant walk that way anymore.

I disagree with a few of the points you made Mando:

1.) If there is a can't miss receiver available in the first round of the draft, I don't see why we wouldn't go ahead and take that WR with our first pick. I understand that in most drafts, you are more likely to get better value with DB's in the first round, however I think it is a bit pre-mature to make the assumption that we won't be able to find that value at WR in the first round.

2.) I still think it is a bit early for Henne to start. We have proven we can be competetive with Pennington behind center. He is not the reason we have lost games. He may not be the reason we have won either, but he has not lost us games. I say give Henne at least this season (maybe even next) learning from Pennington. Look at Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers. Both were first round draft picks who spent at least 2 years sitting on the bench. Now they are 2 of the top 5 rated QB's in the NFL.

Overall I think the Dolphins are a young team who is on the right track to turning things around. The new regime did a great job in last years draft and will hopefully be able to do the same for the next few to come. All I ever expected of this season was to see our new head coach develop the young players we have and hopefully prove we are on the right path to recovery. From what I have seen in 2008, it appears we are heading down that path.

The truth is everyone wanting the Dolphins to pick Michael Crabtree must also be expecting them to win only one or two more games because if they win six or eight this year, they will be drafting anywhere from nine on down to about 16.

And Crabtree will be gone by then. Then what you gonna do experts?

Just wondering what "can't miss receivers" there are coming out in the draft? I haven't heard of any Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald type available. Because if that guy exists, he'll be taken in the top 5.

Well we know for sure we will go defense in the offseason.We need a shutdown corner,a tackle and maybe a saftey even.Also we do a WR too who knows if we will get this help through the draft or in free agency but it will happen(I hope).But it would not hurt us if we run the ball more come on we got to feed Ronnie the ball at least 20 or more times a game to wear down D's.I hate seeing him get less than 15 carries.

To throw the ball deep you need three things.
1) A line that can give you time as well as great blocking and receiving running backs that can be a checkdown option. Currently the line and backs are not performing well enough in this department.
2) Receivers who run great patterns and who will make a play for the ball. Miami needs better route runners, physical receivers that can go up and get the ball and a replacement for Ted Ginn. Ginn is a coward on the football field. Nowhere near physical enough. Ginn has attempted to cover his cowardice up by using terms such as elusiveness to explain his efforts on the field. Wes Welker is elusive and fearless. Ginn is just a coward. Most teams know he is a coward and therefore he does not even work well as a decoy. Trade him before his value is zero!
3) A QB who can make the throws. Pennington can do this with an acceptable level of success when the first two items addressed.

With all the above being said the reality is we should give Henne some game experience as the season wears on. We will not be a playoff team this year and it makes sense for Henne to get real game experience with Pennington mentoring him late in the season.

We don't need to slow down Hennes development by having him march the offense up and down the field. Baltimore has done it with Flacco and we all saw first hand how horrribly he is developing for the Ravens.

Anyone that thinks the Dolphs will draft Michael Crabtree needs to put down the crackpipe and start going to meetings.

Hey Mando,

Great article in today's paper. The argument was well constructed and the article was well written. I agree with your post as well with the exception of what to do with the first round pick (may be some bias involved). I have been and will continue to campaign for us to draft Michael Crabtree with our first round pick should he be available. He is the only receiver I deem worthy of such a high selection and believe his impact would be felt instantaneously should Henne be our starting QB next year. Ginn may have been selected too high, but Crabtree is leaps and bounds ahead of Ginn as we speak, even as a college athlete. When the appropriate time comes, please pick the Trifecta's brain when it comes to this possibility. You will never read another post about this phenomenal playmaker ever again from me. I believe we can still find the type of talent we're looking for at CB and NT with our two second rounders. There is also free agency to consider. Thanks for the info. and keep up the outstanding work.

You know what the funny thing is: if the Fins knock off the Bills this week, everybody that is saying they need upgrades in many departments will then be saying that they are back in the wildcard hunt. Why not let the season play out a little more before plans are made for next season.

No Armando, I want him to replace Betty Crocker. How can you earn a bust label if you won't let him play? Did he not hold his own last year? Did he not play well this pre-season? He was lauded for his athleticism and versatility by the coach. He was looked over because of a "veteran swagger" that Betty had...Armando, tell me not what the coaches are babbling...tell me what you saw last year and this preseason, which says he can't do it. Cuz like the fans who saw Ginn and Camarillo and GINN getting deep sometimes we saw a kid who was improving.

The team isn't gelling. It takes a couple of years for this to happen.
I like the team. They are young and exciting. The nose tackle is the anchor of the defense. Without a good one teams can pretty well do what they want. Re: the last two games.
DB's are required.
Another o lineman.
And then start with working the offence. Even with the Wilford Experiment a bust, I think that Wide receivers are best when the are FA's.
Pennington would stay as starter on my team. Henne is not experienced enough and starting him early could hurt him. Meaning, he might have some short term success and then meet some big bad defense and get his butt kicked. Then he makes a couple of mistakes the second week and the third and then watch out. Besides you media guys eat rookie qb's for breakfast. When the media is done with a rook after his bad first game, the media destroys his confidence.

Michael Crabtree for the win.

Either him or Malcom Jenkins, QB Ohio state.

Whichever guy is available, you take him (advantage Crabtree if both are there).

Malcom Jenkins *CB Ohio state, rather.

Wait a minute, jason allen hasn't earned a bust label yet?????????????????????????????????i wrote him off 2 years ago.

We need to resign Crowder and Bell. Why don't they do it now and save money. They will be on almost every teams radar once free agency comes around. It pays to keep your best players happy.

Jenkins would be amazing for the phins

Wait until 2nd or even thrid for a receiver. Too many 1st round busts. Keep building with stud linemen, lbs, and a quality CB.

I think you have to avoid a WR in the first round. WR and QB are two of the hardest positions to learn when transitioning from college to the NFL. So when you need help in the secondary, at NT, and potentially a LB, I just can't see Miami taking a WR in the top 15 (which is likely where they will pick) unless there is HUGE value.

Besides, we don't really know what we have at WR until we get a QB with arm strength under center. I am content with Penny in the backfield until we can develop a team, and unfortunately, his strengths don't mesh with the strengths of our starting WRs. There is no point in rushing Henne into the starting lineup. He'll get there eventually. Let him learn on the sideline this year. Give him some playing time in mop-up duty or late in the season, and in the offseason, have an open competition for the starting job.

Do I think we need WR help? Absolutely, but I'll take my chances in free agency and after the first round for that. Remember, for every Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss out there, there are twice the number of Mike Williams and Troy Williamson's in the league that stunk up the field. And if gems like Anquan Boldin, Terrell Owens and Marques Colston can be found in later rounds, I'd much rather go for a shut-down corner or bull in the middle in the early rounds.

Consider, too, that we may lose Crowder in the offseason. We might have to draft someone like Maualuga or Laurinaitis early on to lead the defense.

A few teams have miraculously turned from worst to first, but in those cases the talent was there and the previous coaching was bad. Unfortunately we have had terrible coaching and poor talent acquisition… It would be far too much to ask this coaching staff to perform miracles with the talent on this roster. There is not one bonafide superstar currently on the team. Long, Henne or another player could get there, but there are none right now. A look across the NFL and any team with superbowl aspirations has at least one and usually two or more superstar quality players. These players usually come high in the draft. Not always but usually…

Brian’s suggestion of Michael Crabtree is a good one. The boy is a stud, 6’3” 215 sub 4.5. Henne would love throwing to a guy like that. But CB, NT and WR are all urgent needs along with LB. The question for me would be if a Crabtree fell in our lap would we take him? As the team gets better the draft picks come later each round and the Michael Crabtree’s are gone. I would prefer to be bad for one more year and give us a chance to get some game changing players. It would also be nice to get lucky and have a player like Tom Brady shake out of the later rounds.

Bottom line is it’s going to take a couple more years to get back. As fans we have to be patient even though after 5 years of sucking it is really hard. Good coaching will bring us a few more victories this year but if we get 5 I’ll be surprised. We will need to win next year because losing becomes a state of mind. That leaves this year to get another stud player before we start to see diminishing returns in the team psyche.

The game is won or lost in the trenches. Our first round pick next year needs to be a NT. We have to stop the run. Had we shut down Baltimores running game, they would have been forced to pass and we would have won the game. When your in second and short all the time, it's easy to dictate to the defence...if it's second or third and long the defence dictates. Simple, huh.

1st! Go me! I got first!

What happened to the pass rush?? The Def. Coord. turned the team into a bunch of read and react soft zone pansies in the second half. Whats the point of running a 3-4 if you're going to line it up like a 4-3 (one LB lined up like a DE and the rest behind the line in standard 4-3) It's ridiculous. Since when is the way to beat a rookie QB to give him all day to throw the ball and play soft zones? Where were the blitzes?????

Bob,

You could have typed 4 words instead of the rant you posted.

"i am an idiot".. We would have gotten the point with those 4 words.. Now go cheer for your real hero's the J E T S Jets Jets Jets..

Dolphins finally cut Crocker 4 weeks to late.

I belive you throw chad henne in there in a no huddle situation before halftime and mix him up in the wild cat. Ginn deep Is the answer lets not give up on pennington yet guys he has what 6 tds to 2 int and a great passer rating just think about how the D is giving up points its not all penningtons fault that Miami's loseing.

DOES anybody remember kordell stewert we need that type of player for the wild cat...MIKE VICK free in the summer ... things that make u go HHHMMMMMMMMMMMMM.......

hmmmmm... mike vick as a wide out and as qb in certain plays and the leader of the wild cat...THings that make u go HHMMMMMM.. I like mike vick over crabtree as a wideout....Pick a cb in the first rnd pick up a dt in free agency and mike vick in the mix.. i like this.. i like this alot..

YEESSSSSSSSSS CROCKER IS GONE!!!!!!1

To stretch the field, why not put both Henne and Penny in the wildcat at the same time and go with no huddle so defense would be unsettled. GO DOLPHINS

Hey Mando,

Are you on Crack? Start Henne?!? Henne maybe ready, but look at what happen to John Beck when he was thrown in the fire. Look at Ryan Leaf, JP Lossman, Akili Smith, and others. With the exception of Peyton Manning and Dan Marino of course... Let's sit him and have him learn on the sidelines this year and maybe even next year. Now let's look at the QB's that sat on the bench and learned... Hmmm Philip Rivers, Aaron Rogers, Carson Palmer, Matt Cassell, Tom Brady (from Michigan too)... We should not start Henne because he doesn't have the receivers to throw to. Our Receivers are too small and other than Camarillo can't get seperation. Yes Henne does have the arm strength but I would rather let him sit and learn. If we are way out of playoff contention then I wouldn't mind seeing him play the last 2-3 games just for him to get experience. Pennington gives us the best chance to win, plus it wasn't Pennington's fault we have 4 losses. Are you over looking the Defense, Special Teams. C'mon now I know you're just a REPORTER but have some FOOTBALL sense instead of firing up these fake Dolphin Fans by saying Henne should start.. Have you been hanging with Ricky Williams or what?? Quit smoking, i think you even said it will take few years to rebuild and the Dolphins ARE moving in the right direction. We do have holes we didn't fill this year, but we can't turn it around in one season. I'm frustrated by the losses, but at least I can see it wasn't Pennington fault we've lost games, the Dolphins lost as a team. A concept the the Trifecta has injected in the team and which the players have bought into... Putting Henne in is not going to make this team any better. We still need a ILB, CB, D-Line, and WR's. We're moving in the right direction and I see us as being contenders next year. I still have hopes for this year, but next year looks alot brighter...

Wow, did you really just put Matt Cassell in the same sentence as Palmer, Rivers and Brady? Really?

Do you honestly think that Leaf and the bunch were bad QBs because they got thrown in the fire too early? You sure it was because they just werent as good as they were scouted, and regardless of how long that sat on a bench they just didnt have the right stuff?

Do you think that Big Ben would have benefited more by sitting on the bench until this season? Or that as a rookie they threw him in the game, ran the football, and asked him first to manage the game, not to win it?

What does sitting on the bench do for a QB that a film room cant do?

Woohoo...now that is service ask for Betty Crocker to go and he gets cut. Only took like me asking the whole friggin season.lol. Now let Jason friggin play. If he stinks it up...he's outta here.

Armando, Saban once said: "Jason Allen is a CB, he never was a Safety."

Then another time he said: "Allen has always been a Safety and he never played CB."

Was Saban that much of a liar? I know you have your issues with him from reading your articles over the years.

I remember Saban completely doing a 180 on Jason Allen and thinking to myself, who is this guy? Is he serious? LOL

That being said, is the new regime beginning to think it's Jason Allen's time to play or are they declaring him a bust at either position?

I agree to a degree with Mando on the WR draft position. WR behind QB is the toughest position for a rookie to come in a learn. However, playing in offenses like Texas Tech where they focus more on reading and route running and in route adjustments just like Welker, really develops the WR's for the NFL, look at Bess, now, put the physical ability and talent into that, i.e. Crabtree and you really do have something special. It would be very very tough to pass on him IF he is available.

My money is on a CB, again if one of the top ones are available. When you have great CB's like we had with Surtain and Madison you can do so much more up front, right now we cant do that becuase our LB's are having to help in coverage more than Paul P would like.

Will Andre Goodman ever be benched???
He's horrible!!!
Sparano needs to start thinking about JASON ALLEN!!! yeah, that's right!!! how can you say he's a bust when he doesnt get enough playing time!!! I'm not talking about practice, im talking about regular games!!
Tony, do me a favor, just start him, you'll see!!!!
Ginn jr isn't a bust either, that's coaches fault, they dont know how to use him, and Chad pennington needs to open his eyes a little more, you had him open several times...how can our receivers will have YAC if they have to dive for the ball every time Penny throws it...
Good job with your highest passing percentage you have, your the best completing 2 yards passes even if its 3rd and 10.

The problems are many. some coaches get stuck on players, IE ginn, he is no good, does not like to get hit, and does not use his given skills to the max> pennington is over, no arm strentgh,, panics, and is strictly a mentor to the kid. the corners are below average. the xcitement can be seen by the many empty seats at the games. they better prepare for the pats, and bills. how about an occasional blitz?? oh well at least they are worth watching to criticize later. be patient, they will be ok

I want to see Jason Allen play, even if its poorly.

And it doesn't matter if we had the best WR in the game, we can't or don't want to throw the ball down the field. The Ravens stacked 8-9-10 men "in the box" and we never even once tried to go deep.

How can guys like Ginn and Allen and Wilford be "busts" if we never see them "bust". What have we got to lose? We need to find out what we have so we can determine what we need.

And I am all for playing Henne. A couple snaps, a couple series, a couple games. Pennington is the same qb we've had for years. Let's flush that toilet already and bring in some young talent.

Well, I’m back to the theory that our coaches are sub par. The game planning and play calling in this game was atrocious, in my opinion. I can’t even list all the head scratchers in this game; from bootlegs with Pennington, to running 4 out of 6 times in the red zone, to having the ball at the 47 yd line right before half with 27 seconds and throwing a screen instead of down field to try and get a FG.


One critical point in the game was when we were down 20-13. We forced Baltimore to punt after our score and had moved the ball out of our end zone after a poor decision by Bess. The play calling from the 20 yd line; wildcat run, 2 yds, quick screen to Bess, 5 yards, Pennington to Camerillo, 2 yds. Punt. Huh? Then near the end of the game on 3rd & 10 near the red zone we ran a wildcat reverse. I mean, come on! The next play was completed to Cobbs on 4th down, but he came up short and we turned it over on downs. Just put Pennington in the shot gun with 4 WR and let him throw it for god sakes!


It doesn’t end on the offensive side of the ball either. On the drive where BAL went up 17-6, you had 3 consecutive plays where the defender covering the offensive guy was a mismatch; 2nd & 15, Starks in coverage against McGahee, 3rd & 3, Holliday covering Heap, 1st & 10, Ayodele covering WR Mark Clayton. How can these mismatches happen on 3 consecutive plays? The offensive game plan was much worse than defense, but still…


I came in thinking if we’re smart we’ll go 4WR Shotgun and just let Pennington pick this team apart for the first couple of drives to get a lead. They’re a very tough team to run on and attempting it really is just futile. I remember two years ago Minnesota was a similar type of team (still is really) in the way that you simply could not run the football on them. New England played them in 2006. You want to know how many times NE ran it in the first half? 5 times. 5 rushes. They put Brady in the shotgun and passed it on every play. Score at half time? 21-0. They had 7 rushes through 3 quarters and they had a commanding 31-7 lead. Then they ran it. They finished with 13 total rushes by the RB vs. Brady throwing 43 times. And remember, this was before Moss.


Belichick knew that running against Minnesota was a waste of time, so he simply did what he knew would beat them; pass it. We waited until we were down by a couple of scores and then opened it up. Frustrating is an understatement for this game.


Other Game Notes:


1.) Charlie Anderson. He wasn’t off sides on the play he sacked and stripped Flacco. He timed the snap perfectly and we recovered the fumble at the 30. Bad call. I’d also point out that I was impressed with his hustle on the McGahee fumble later in the game. Anderson was rushing the passer, but chased the play all the way down field to recover Y. Bell forced fumble. You have to like that kind of effort.

2.) These guys have to stop blitzing Crowder from the backside of the formation on 1st and 2nd down. They’ve done this several times this year and we get burnt a lot on it. He’s blitzing from outside of Matt Roth on the back side of the play and leaves the middle exposed on a run. If you’re going to run blitz him, do it from the strong side or left side of the defense because that is where we’re most vulnerable. Again, I just don’t understand how these coaches think when attacking an opposing team.

3.) I’ll reiterate what I said last week; Joey Porter is commendable on his pass rush, but forgettable on his run defense. This really surprises me because I thought last year he did a great job. If any of you or your staff have the time or inclination I’d love to see the rushing stats against our defense when the offense is running to Roth’s side of the field vs. Porter. I bet there is a huge difference in yards per rush.

4.) Roth is stellar against the run. These coaches need to put Roth on the left side of the defense (over right tackle) and leave him there. Early in the season the Fins would try and match up Roth with the TE. Before the snap Roth and Porter would jump around according to this alignment. They don’t do it anymore and teams are simply running to their right a lot more or away from Roth. A typical thing the past couple of weeks is lining up the TE on the left side of the offense to get Roth over there, then motioning the TE right (Roth stays on left) and then they run right at Porter to their strong side. Or they line up TE left and have the fullback lead the way to the right. We have to find a way to get Matt on the strong side of the defense because he’s a lot better against the run.

5.) Ted Ginn. I’m sure all of us are in agreement that it’s about time he was in on at least kickoffs. He also had some nice catches in the game. The kid has soft hands, but I’m starting to think the coaching staff doesn’t know how to use him either. They constantly have him running plays on the outside. I think he’d be more effective in the slot or running certain patterns that bring him across the field vs. just straight up it. Look at the game tape when he is in the slot with around 10:39 to go in the second quarter. The corner tries to jam him, but he puts a move on him and is wide open down the middle. If Pennington sees him, he’s gone. There was no one home. There was another play late in the game when Ginn ran a drag pattern, but was caught short on 3rd down. The design of the play was poor. I’d line up everyone on the right except Ginn, have them run slants or in routes to pull the defense one way and then have Ginn running a drag route the opposite way. By the time the defense could reverse their field Ginn would be at max speed and probably have a big gain. This seems so simple to me, yet we don’t do it.

6.) Vernon Carey – He seemed to have a lot of problems with Trevor Pryce (#90) who forced some stuff in the backfield. The more this season goes on the more I have to conclude that this regime isn’t going to resign Carey. He hasn’t been better than average this year. There are also a lot of good linemen in this draft, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them let him go.

7.) As for the other linemen, Satele and EK still continue to disappoint me. They struggle a lot. Satele just doesn’t seem to be strong enough at the point and he really has problems finding someone to block at the second level or in space. Long, Smiley and eventually Donald Thomas are probably the keepers and upgrades at Center and Right Tackle are preferable.

8.) Patrick Cobbs. I’ve been real impressed with his pass catching ability lately and his explosiveness. Earlier in the season I thought Ricky should be on the field more than Cobbs, but no more. Cobbs has a second gear and an explosion off the line that Ricky doesn’t have and has more “giddy up” than even our wide receivers.

9.) Coming up short on 3rd & 4th downs. This has been a reoccurring theme in recent weeks. We’re constantly coming up inches short of a first down and then punting. We have to either find a better set of plays or give the ball to a better player who can get those extra inches in these critical situations

Leave Henne right where he is at,think abouy what everbody would be saying if GOD forbid he came into the game and got a career inding injury. When we are not there yet. Remember in the CHARGERS game when PINNINGTON foot got steped on in the endzone,he had the presents of mind to gite up and throw the ball away, that is what HENNE needs to learn.Henne has the arm strenth but there are thing he needs to learn about arm strenth is very important ,but I want to see him reach his fullest this year does maen something but THE FUTURE MEANS MORE.

"Cam Cameron started Allen at safety only after five other players ahead of him went down with injuries." .....and he made play after play. The guy makes plays. I don't care if he occassionally makes a mistake, the team needs playmakers.

"Ginn and Greg Camarillo got open deep last week." Really? How do you know that? Do you know on those particular plays what the first option was? Did the defender break on the ball after it was thrown and they just looked wide open? (You don't get the benefit of the doubt here, your knowledge of football is pretty weak) Armando, prove they were wide open, post the video or shut up about it.

we have the most accurate passer in the nfl. the problem is once he gets out of his little 5-10 yard safe zone he cant make throws. I dont wanna take anything away from the guy but he limits the offense the coaches have their hands tied with the play calling. the longest throw this year(besides ronnies t.d) was under thrown to a wide open patrick cobbs. I think he had time to take a step back and tie his shoes to catch it! thats why even if he threw the ball 60 times, they would be 3-7 yard gains and not much unless the wideouts make the 30 guys in front of them miss.
I wish pennington shuts me up this week and throws a bomb. But untill he does it he isnt shutting anyone up especially not the other teams defensive coordinators.

and i agree that j. allen should be out there it wont be worse than what they are putting out on the field now.
just like those 4th and inches calls. we might as well go for it since we cant stop a anyone on special teams.

cruz, you're right. Pennington does limit the offense because of his inability to throw the ball deep. That's one of the main reasons the Dolphins are losing, too. Defenses know that if they can stop the run, then all they have to do is gaurd the dink and dump passes w/out worrying about the deep threat, because there isn't one. That's why the Wildcat was even brought into play: It made up for Pennington's short comings (as well as the offense's). But now, the Dolphins are finding it harder to make this play work because defenses know it's either a run or short pass (like the one to Cobbs). Now imagine if Henne had the chance to run the Wildcat. I truly believe that this could be a permanent fixture in the Dolphins playbook, but not with Pennington.
He is good at managing the game, for sure, but he's not good at winning it. We've watched a lot of the Jets, and there were more ups than downs with him.
With that said, I think it'd best for Henne to do as Romo and Rodgers did: sit, watch, and learn. Then play.

Are you serious the reason is the WE HAVE NO WR"S period we have won so far is because of Pennington, he doesn't turn the ball over now you are calling for him to be replaced so you can openthe field up, stupid!!!if the fins addressed the Wr's position like they were suppose too before the season, we wouldn't have this dicussion

Henne is where he belongs- on the bench learning the offense and watching where our WR's like to be. anyone out there who wants Henne playing now, please name another rookie QB who wasn't a 1st round pick that came in his rookie year and was excellent at QB? For all the Peyton Mannings there are 5 others who were busts. We know Chad can't throw deep but, we knew that when we bought him here. We all knew what this season is about and it isn't winning. We won't win with Henne as the starter or not. Remember 1- 15 last year? This year is about finding players and knowing who will stick and that doesn't include Henne because it is commom knowledge that QB's who sit awhile do better and besides we bought in Chad for this very reason.

At this point with all our secondary problems, we need to play Jason Allen. Let's find out if he's at least a player that can be traded for value or surely a bust drafted by Old Nick. The team has nothing to lose at this point.

The team at least found out that Chris Crocker was a bust after giving this "experienced" FA the starting job over Jason Allen during the first two games.

If the Bills can find a player like Whitner, if the Chargers can find a player like Cromartie, and if the Jets can find a player like Revis, then the Dolphins need to get that done as a major part of the rebuilding.

The Dolphins were right to address getting O-linemen and D-linemen. Now the team must address getting skill players who will be impact players in the secondary (especially at CB) and WR (a WR who can consistently step up as a #1 go-to guy).

the sad truth is that you can test a quarterback in practice with average receivers but you cannot properly test a receiver or his potential with a qb that can only make half the throws... what we SHOULD do is START henne yesterday and then let penne "manage the game, for better or worse. No matter where the season ends up, the one thing that we NEED to have by next year's draft is a long and deep look at our qb options.. more than anything else. we simply cannot afford to NOT KNOW - AGAIN, y'know?

THE PHINS HAVE WON TWICE AS MANY GAMES AS LAST YEAR WITH 10 TO GO! parcelles is not going to make big spashes in free agency, he will draft and develop players it will take some time! he has started with both lines first. there is no question there both better and sucess there will continue. next year will be secondary and recieving core which may take 2 years. i like the upgrade at qb with hopes henne may be the guy some day. we as fans have been through alot, gotta stop looking for a quick fix and injoy the process that may take time but will come. peace phins phans

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