I have been raging about the Dolphins special teams problems for weeks now. I continue that rage in my column that appears in today's Miami Herald.
On Sunday the special teams almost cost Miami a victory, which could have been a season-killer. And so now I am not the only one upset about bad coverage teams. Tony Sparano moments ago tried defending parts of his special teams, such as the protection on field goals. But he did admit portions of special teams play are, "killing," the Dolphins.
Here's what some players are saying:
"Everybody has to do better," punter Brandon Fields said. "I have to do my job better to get better hang time to allow the cover guys to get down there and they have to get off blocks and make tackles. A lot of times we've been in positions to make plays and we haven't made them. We let returners get out of our grasp and get down field. It's something we have to get fixed and corrected. We're coming down to the wire where we have big opponents and big games where it's going to be back and forth. A return touchdown can easily cost you the game."
"We're going to have to find a way to get it right," defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday said. "If it's me going down there and running down on kickoffs -- it's been a long time -- but I'll give it a shot. It really can't be any worse than that play in the game. We're going to have some guys step up. We have to put a hat on some guys. And we tried a different approach last week, we'll probably try a different one this week. The good thing about it is it can get fixed. I know this coaching staff isn't going to let this continue to go on."
I hope not. Safety Yeremiah Bell told me today he expects there to be a team meeting to discuss the special teams. "I'm sure we'll have a team meeting on special teams," he said. "The area needs to be talked about."
So who do you blame?
Sparano said he has no regrets the team cut special teams core players such as Keith Davis, Edmund Miles and Boomer Grigsby in the preseason and earlier this season. He said those guys simply weren't good enough at their positions to keep on the team.
I don't know about that. I think Keith Davis is a better safety than either Courtney Bryan or Brannon Condren. In fact, Davis is starting now in Dallas because Roy Williams is injured.
Anyway, how does this get fixed?