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Dolphins will not overlook Raiders

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?

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Sparano is the man.

FIRST!

nervermind second or third

Man, you really have to love Sparano. This franchise has lacked this kind of leadership for over a decade.

If any Dolphins fan doesn't feel like we are finally headed in the right direction, then I don't know what he or she is watching.

It is so much fun again on Sundays.

Yeah, but what did you expect him to say. He's hadly going to tell you they'll be slacking off this week and won't be looking at any film cause the Raiders are just not worth the effort!
I don't imagine any team deliberately overlooks its next opponent. The question is not so much whether you do the same things to prepare, but whether you are as focussed on doing it for the Raiders as you would be for the Patriots?
Hopefully the answer is yes. But if Sparano tries to impress his team with the Raider's quality by refering to one guy who likely won't even suit up and the high quality of their punter, I'm not sure he's going to succeed!

I thought this team was 4-12 which is an improvement, especially with ZT & JT leaving. Just imagine if they were still with the team. I think that defensive pressure is the difference between a records of 7-2 vs. 5-4.

Go Fins!

anonymous, have to disagree with you on both the 4-12 thing and on JT and ZT helping this team.
4-12 would not have been a significant impovement. If Cam had not adopted his foolish holiday camp not training camp approach to the season and if last years team hadn't been cursed with injuries I'm sure they had the talent to win 4 or 5 games.
Secondly I don't think JT in particular would have helped this team. If he's still here then Porter likely wouldn't lead the NFL in sacks (because his pass rushing oportunities would be much reduced) and also the offseason soap opera suggested if JT stayed his mind would probably have been elsewhere - plus he's hardly been a great success with Washington.
Zach would help, but he's hardly at the peak of his career. Worth noting that playing in a very similar system at ILB Zach's numbers are if anything slightly less impressive than Channing Crowder's here - and most Miami fans seem desperate to get rid of Crowder

I'm more nervous about this game than any of the games they've played this year. Oakland has nothing to lose and they will try everything to get this win. The Dolphins HAVE to stop the run and we need our special teams ("special", that's pretty funny) to step it up. Chad has thrown two passes that have gone for TDs the other way and Oakland has excellent corners. Our run game has to produce better. The stats are somewhat deceptive when our backs are busting out for 56 yard runs because the rest of the game it seems as if they struggle to average 3 yards per run. The bottom line is the team should come out and play every game as if they were playing the best team in the league. They got lucky last week against a struggling Seattle team so why would this be any different. If they don't get this 'playing down to their opponents level' thing fixed NOW, we won't even be sniffing the playoffs by the time we play the Jets again. Lets go Dolphins! Show us you can put the bad teams away.

i didnt trust coach sparano at first but let me tell you i take all that back!
hes done a tremendous job since day one as well as his coaching staff!
I've been complaining about Miami doing almost the same play on the wildcat formation lately, but Im sure they have something new vs NE next week like they did last week vs SEA.

Also Zach is not a 3-4 linebacker, doesn't have the size. And I think JT was maybe a bit of a trouble maker more than a leader. I don't care how bad Cam was last year, when you are a veteran player,face of the franchise, you stand behind the coach no matter what. Reports were that he was kind of standing with the players instead of the coach during the mutiny. Don't know if it's true and sorry to Jason if I'm wrong but in that position the complaints go up. You stand behind the boss in front of the players and agree with everything he says, THEN you go in the office and tell him how you really feel, but never in front of the team. It creates confusion and dissension. So seeing how Jason was already against the offseason training program (that has apparently worked better than anyone expected) I don't think they would be better with him here.

NYScott
I think it partly depends on the Raider's injury status - if Burgess, Russell and MacFadden all return then I think they're a better team than 2-7 suggests, probably better than Seattle and the Phins may struggle. If all 3 are missing again then they are probably worse tahn Seattle and the Dolphins would really have to be unfocussed to lose.

In Sparano we trust!!!

The Panthers struggled against the Raiders. We absolutely CANNOT let our guard down against this team. We need to kick some ass on Sunday!

6-4 would be nice.

Please cut the following players:

Pennington
Beck
Ginn

W. Allen
J. Allen

Thank you!

I like lamp

Mr 742. You are a fool. Those people who are saying JT and Zach should not have left the team, who cares ? We are a young team now and looking to the future. As for the point aboubt Channing, he is not a stud Mike linebacker, but he's a good player. We have been lucky to have Offerdahl and Zach over the last 23 years, but now we have a player who is less special. I dont doubt that a quality MLB will be taken with a high draft pick.

mando,

Did you revise your previous blog? You basically said the Raiders were coming to Miami for a "Whipping".. I can't remember your exact phrase, and it appears you've removed it. You were not being chastised for being confident that the phins can win this ball game, you were being chastised for the "obnoxious" tone you used in describing the beat down. I honestly was surprised you wrote what you did because it sounded like a Jet fan on a phin forum telling us how the Jets were going to dominate the phins... Glad to see you modified your original post so that you don't get the Raiders too fired up for the lack of respect you showed them.

Mando, I apologize because you did not change your blog - I just missed the line when I went back and scanned it.. The line was "when the Raiders come to Miami for their whipping".. See comment above for my feeling on the "over confidence" that you seem to show using such a phrase.

Geez Sporano, what about the mouse traps? Any good coach would set out mouse traps, LOL.

Although the Fins have made significant strides since last year, I'm going to be a little discouraged if this game is close, and especially if Oakland comes out with a win. I understand the whole any given Sunday thing, but this Oakland organization is dysfunctional from the top down...if we can't beat them down at home, we've got issues.

Wonder if Armando's previous blog about that "a-whipping" coming to the Raiders have reached their bulletin board yet....hmmmm!!!

the raiders will and can run the ball. If we can make them one dimensional we will win. If they get the ground game going which can sometimes be a weakness for us, look out. Lets jump on em early and not give them anything cheap. Stop the run and make walters beat us.

Mando, thanks for the article, I've never seen those quotes from Sparano before this blog. The more I read what Sparano says, how he goes about preparing the team, and seeing productivity (5-4 is quite a turnaround for 1-15 disaster), the more I like this coach.
And to those who suggest that Sparano's interview is basic talking points that he supposed to say, it's not like Sparano doesn't know his stuff. Sparano knows how the past game went, knows all the stats (even the Raider punter's stats!), and knows this could be a potential trap game if they're not prepared. He's not talking out of his rear-end.

I hope they'll be preapred and win handly Sunday, which is a sentiment I think we all share. The prospect of 6-4 does sound nice.

phinatical:

yes...mouse traps would be a good coach...lobster traps...not so much

Some NFL experts list Raiders Asomugha as the best cover corner in the League. Ginn could be in for a long day, maybe not. If the punter is kicking 60 yards and netting 41, ask yourself, "Isn't this the game Ginn needs to return punts". I've advocated for some time I believe Ginn returns punts as good as kick-offs. Love Davone Bess, and understand Ginn's punt returns last year were less than 1/2 the yardage of his Kick-offs 22/9. More touches for Ginn campaign. Ginn has had two kick offs for TD this year that didn't count. The punt return in pre-season against KC (it wasn't called back), and last week in the Seattle game. Oakland's punter must over kick his coverage at times if he's got all those 60 yd kicks, looks like it plays into Ginn's speed for us. Guess I'll call Bill and see what he thinks (:

Bill said if Davone Bess wasn't doing dual duty he'd start Ernest Wilford instead and deactivate Bess. He's disapointed in Wilford and frezzing him out on some contract incentives by not playing him. If there aren't any injuries this year he'll pick up two or three undrafted receivers and release Wilford to pay for them. Don't like Prima Donna receivers that do little and cost a bunch and have a freaking attraction to microphones. (:

I agree to give Ginn a couple PR a game in right situation although he hurt as much as help at times. He is maturing and should be given another chance at what he would call his bread and butter, or his firestarter. he can electrify as a returner but needs to be more reliable as to not turning it over. More touches for Ginn Jr. ..as far as i can see he hasn't hurt us this year at all in KR.

The Curse Of Dave(no Testeculas Fortatude)wannstadt And Cam(cant Win)cammron Is Slowly Being Lefted.

i wish we kept Zack. Porter Crowder Zack and Roth wouldve been nice to see out there.

atleast we got something for jason but Zach was released for nothing. He is the only playing with heart in Dallas.

The Phins should NOT take the raiders lightly. This game more important than any game in the future. The raiders came here and embarrassed us last year with Culpepper. Although I love our defense, I hope Coach is getting on them about poor tackling. Julius Jones had a decent game because of it. We need to get Ronnie at least 20 carries and Ricky 10 or vice versa to control the clock and convert more on 3rd and long. We need to control the entire game just like we did against the Pats earlier this season. I wanna see it to the point where Henne takes over early in the 4th Qtr.

The Raiders ( like the New Jersey Jerks) are 1 of those teams that seem to have a jinx on us. no matter how good we are and how bad they are, they seem to beat us. THAT should be motivation enough for these guys to finally break that jinx.

So, let Ginn run take off routes all day and take that good corner with him. That will open it up for the tight ends and our other wideouts.

We need to, as always control the clock with long drives.
BTW- jets suck

The Raiders are getting three of their best players back this week: quarterback Russel, halfback McFadden, and designated rusher Burgess.
This will be the team that beat the Jets. Also, they have been chomping at the bit to use McFadden in the Wildcat. He was one of the backs where and when it was most recently used before the Phins. Careful, careful, careful.

how come everyone else says differently about Mcfadden and Russel being healthy for Sunday's game? from what i hear they are both on injured list

Too bad they let D Hall go, he's been getting abused and has the worst stats of any corner in the NFL...Can't believe people wanted him here. Woulda been nice to have that weakness on their D.

"Although the Fins have made significant strides since last year, I'm going to be a little discouraged if this game is close, and especially if Oakland comes out with a win. I understand the whole any given Sunday thing, but this Oakland organization is dysfunctional from the top down...if we can't beat them down at home, we've got issues."

Have to agree with mike here. Although I am having more fun this year watching also, they need to show solid performance. Even if the score is close, and they win, having a more improved, complete showing is necessary for continued success.

"how come everyone else says differently about Mcfadden and Russel being healthy for Sunday's game? from what i hear they are both on injured list"

Both along with Burgess are on the injury report, but the AFC West blog on ESPN said the Raiders were hopeful all 3 would play. This would make the the Raiders a notablely tougher proposition.

No we enjoy to chastise you because your great expertise said this team would suck after we started 0-2.
These things take time to develop and still now we would have big trouble vs Boldin and Fitz, we dont have the corners for them.
Situation, situation situation.
Matchups, matchups, matchups !
The situation this week is we beat Oakland cause they their situation sucks !

just beat the raiders baby!!!

i been so into watchin the dolphins every sunday.. i work nights so i make sure i dont miss the dolphins games since we seem to always play at 1pm E.. but yeh today i woke my self up scared s*(&less thinkin i missed the game.. i love it!! Cant wait til sunday

Beef Supreme Says"kick That Ass,and Move On" THE BEEF HAS ARRIVED!

Lil Mikey P Has Now Become BEEF SUPREME let it be knowen

I don't think we need to worry about the Dolphins taking the Raiders too lightly or looking ahead to next week. Sporano seems to be a very mature, very cautious coach. He knows better. And there's good leadership on both sides of the ball now. These guys are learning how to win. They won't win every game, but they know they have to bring it EVERY week (see Seattle last week). We'll be fine as long as we can control the ground game.

the key to the raiders game is going to be controlling the clock. the raiders, if they have anything going for them, is a big physical o-line, we need to keep them off the field and not have them wear our defense down in the 4th qtr.

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