Some of you chastised me in the last post about my apparent confidence that the Dolphins would not overlook the Raiders game this week, particularly in light of the fact the Dolphins play the Patriots next week..
Well, I remain confident the Dolphins will not look past Oakland. Why?.
I just asked Dolphins coach Tony Sparano if he and his staff have done anything extra this week to make certain the Dolphins don't get caught napping by Oakland.
"Extra work? Nothing more extra than what I do every single week with them from a preparation standpoint. When you look at the bare facts with this team, when you just look at the facts, first of all this team beat a team [New York Jets] that beat us in our division. Second of all what I can recall is last year this team came in here and they won a game [35-17] and rushed the ball for 299 yards. Two hundred and ninety-nine yards!.
"So when you start looking at those kind of things and it’s not the first time this team has done done that – this team has rushed the ball for 260, 270 yards. This team is the eighth-best team rushing the ball in the National Football League and when you watch them, they rush it well. Looking at the way they run it, if you don’t get ready to stop the run in this football game, you’re going to be in for an awful long day and you’re going to be out there a long time.
"When our players see those type of things … you look at this defense and the type of players they have … I have an awful lot of respect for [defensive end Derrick] Burgess. He hasn’t played in the last several weeks, but I have a lot of respect for this guy going back to when he was in Philly. This guy has always been kind of a pain in my neck along the way because he can rush the passer and he makes plays. Tommy Kelly played his best game the other day. His best. We looked at this guy during the course of free agency. This corner they have [Nnamdi Asomugha] he’s a tremendous player. Tremendous player. You talk about cover corners out there?
"It’s easy. Their punter [Shane Lechler] is second in the league for God’s sake. He’s got more 60-yard punts than any punter in the National Football League right now. His net is 41.1 yards per kick. They have some weapons. When you start to look at all those things on paper, it’s pretty easy not to look by anybody. I mean who are we? We can’t look by anybody, we’ve got five wins."
So now do you understand why I'm not worried about Miami sleep walking on Sunday?
And do you understand why Sparano is becoming an excellent young head coach?