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Game review: Miami Dolphins 10, Bucs 6

The good: Brian Hartline earned a starting WR job. Well, he wasn't actually annointed by the coaching staff, but trust me, he's going to be a starter in the regular-season opener at Atlanta in two weeks.

The kick return team also did a fairly good job, averaging 30.3 yards on three returns.

The bad: A much, much longer list for the Dolphins during Thursday night's 10-6 victory over Tampa Bay. 

"I would assess it this way," coach Tony Sparano said. "Our defense was on the field too long and our offense wasn't on the field long enough."

You think, coach? The Dolphins, ineffective on offense much of the first half, ran a total of 54 plays. The Bucs, relying on an offense that looked good-not-great while Byron Leftwich was in the game, ran 74 plays and was electrifying by comparison.

During the time Leftwich was in there, the Miami defense looked terrible. Miami defenders mounted precious little pressure on the quarterback. And the secondary blew a couple of coverages some times, while failing to make plays at other times even as defenders were draped around receivers. Luckily Leftwich is a mediocre QB so he didn't make the Dolphins pay for their problems.

"They converted too many third downs," Sparano said. "I have to watch the film and reserve judgment on that. But I thought they missed a few receivers at times during the course of that thing. I thought our guys battled hard and kind of bent but didn't break. We came up with a few good rushes and hit the quarterback a couple of times in certain situations in the course of the game."

This is where I remind you the Bucs did not play their two starting receivers. Antonio Bryant is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Michael Clayton is recovering from a hamstring injury. Some dude named Stovall torched the Miami secondary for 73 yards on six catches in the first half. 

"We have to get off the field on third down," strong safety Yeremiah Bell said. "A completion is a completion no matter who you're against, no matter who's in the game. Like I said, the concepts stay the same, it's just that the first guys are normally better receivers. At the same time we have to make the plays and get off the field."

The ugly: Chad Henne may indeed become the starter at some point this year and more likely in 2010. But he's not ready for that baton to be passed quite yet -- not if this game was an indicator. Henne completed 2 of 8 passes for 55 yards with one interception.

Let me give you some perspective on Henne's night. His passer rating was 16.1. He completed only one more pass to his teammates than to players on the other team. It was a struggle.

"I wasn't excited about how we threw the ball as a whole tonight," Sparano said when asked specifically about Henne.

The Miami defense was disappointing in that it seems a step slow a lot. The rush gets there just after the passer releases the ball. The cornerbacks stick a hand in just after the receiver pulls in the pass. And there was too much shoddy tackling.

One more thing on the ugly. Lex Hilliard did a lot of things well the last seven months to earn a spot on the Dolphins' 53 man roster. And he might still earn that spot. But Thursday night did not help. He was ineffective running the ball, gaining only 32 yards on 11 carries for a 2.9 yard per carry average. He also fumbled, which is a transgression Sparano detests.

Did I mention Brian Hartline played well? I'm telling you he's the starter after he caught three passes for 79 yards. I asked Sparano if Hartline is the starter, because it sounds better coming from the head coach than a goofy columnist. But the coach wouldn't give up the money quote. 

"I got to watch the film," Sparano cliched. "I like what he did, OK? He did make some big plays, which is critical. One of the things we have to do a better job of on offense is we can't take 15 plays to score every touchdown. We have to get some chunk yards and Hartline was able to make some chunk yards tonight. [Greg] Camarillo was able to make a catch out there one time, too, but Hartline was able to get down the field that way, so that was positive."

Well, the head coach didn't give me what I wanted to hear. So I asked Hartline if he has adjusted his goals from simply making the club to winning himself the starting job. And ... bingo!

"Absolutely," he told me. "There's no reason why I can't ... I'm going to try to set goals to maybe so high I can't reach them. I have high goals and I'm always readjusting my goals. But as you saw tonight, we have a lot of good receivers on this team and any rotation or how we're going to use them, that's going to be the coach's thoughts. But I'm changing goals. Probably daily.

"There's a lot of things I know I'm going to learn from this film going against guys like ronde and other guys. There's stuff that I see that maybe you guys might not that when I get a chance to watch the film, I can correct and do better on."

Can I throw this out at you guys without starting an insurrection? Miami's two most productive receivers now, today, as you read this, are Brian Hartline and Greg Camarillo. Camarillo is still not at the level he reached just prior to his ACL injury last season. But he's progressing and he finds a way to make a play almost every game.

Ted Ginn Jr.? Almost invisible for the second consecutive game. He had one catch for 19 yards.

"The coverage was dictating where the ball was going and [Hartline] was able to make some plays for us and the ball was going his way quite a bit," quarterback Chad Pennington said. "We're just working on trying to get better. We got some things we have to clean up, polish up and get a little bit better which is disappointing. We've been doing pretty well on third down, made that an emphasis and tonight we didn't do a good job. And that's how you keep your defense off the field and how you keep drives going and create some momentum so we have to do a better job there."

Pennington started painfully slow, missing on five of his first nine passes, which is like a personal disaster for a guy who completed 67.4 percent of his passes last season. But Pennington recovered nicely and finished the night 9 of 16 for 128 yards and one TD. His passer rating was 103.1.

Finally, I've been hearing a lot this morning about how the Dolphins are excused for looking bad in the areas where they struggled because, well, they didn't prepare for the game. They didn't game plan. They didn't have much time between games.

Fair. But ...

They played an opponent that didn't prepare for the game, that didn't game plan, and didn't have much time between games.

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NJ

Do you ever make it too the casinos?

I havent been to Atlantic City for quite some time. Any insider info? Good casinos? Good shows, etc, etc?

murice why do you feel nj phin is gay w/black mustache? Dont get it, please explain

Posted by: njff | August 28, 2009 at 11:53 PM

Wow this just like Jeopardy.

Alex....what is a gay pornstar from the seventies?

political ?
what is correct answer. who is part the same group?

a. sean hannity
b. rush limbaugh
c. mark levin
d. ann coulter
e. njphinfan
f. all of the above
...................................................................

answer is f

me dont get what this group soposed to be. One is a tv guy, lost?

Odinseye , i'll make it out their twice a year. If there's a bachlor party maybe more. LOL ! i'm not a big gambler. I don't go to the shows but I like to go to get away and hit the clubs down there . the clubs are jumping , lots of pu.. i mean women.

I belive the group is to be right wing extremeterrorists or something like that. MSNBC say so. you ok with that phinasimo

NJ

The clubs have been jumping there since way back before my time. Aint it great how some things never change?
Got to hit the road early, but I'll have my laptop with me.

Goodnight and Good Looking Out!

PS:

I know this is not a political blog. However, since Sarah Palin resigned, I think it's safe to say: I'd do her!!!!

od why you call nj good looking out? maybe that why they say you gay?

Fufu...son....if your that concerned about whether I'm gay or not.......just ask your Mom!

My mom is really a man.

You are still dealing with these morons,odinseye?

ff13 new honey for od

Here's my take on thursday night's game against the Bucs:

1) I know a lot of people are excited about what Parcells, Ireland and Sporano have done since joining the Dolphins, but before we go head over heels, let's remember a few things: The last 2 drafts have been more productive than any of Wannstedt's or Saban's drafts, no question, but no better than Jimmy Johnson, and we didn't even make it to a conference final game with Jimmy. So until we actually win a post season game, I'll wait a bit before getting too excited...


2) Irealnd's 2 drafts are OK, but his batting average with free agents is somewhere between .200 and .250 at best... He struck out big time with Wilford, Eric Green sucked, I haven't seen anything yet out of Gibril Wilson that makes me think he's an upgrade over Renaldo Hill, and our most expensive free agent, Jake Grove, hasn't opened up too many running lanes in the middle, not that I've seen anyway. Ireland has hit the mark with Justin Smiley, Chad Pennington and to a little lesser extent, Randy Starks.


3) Nothing against Jake Long, but that pick should of been Matt Ryan. Clady has been better than Long so far, even though Jake has played pretty well. The 2 best draft picks from last year will turn out to be Kendall Langford and Donald Thomas.


4) Vontae Davis might have some maturity issues, but he's the best tackling CB on our team. By far.


5) I still don't understand the Pat White selection in the 2nd round, especially since we still lack a playmaker on offense and another really good pass rusher.


6) We are having much more success running on the right side where Thomas and Carey are playing than on the left, with Smiley and Long. I remember most scouts saying Jake Long has a bit of a difficult time against speedy pass rushers but is a punishing run blocker. When are we going to see it?


7) Chad Pennington is still by far the best QB on this team. No wonder Sparano said so many months ago.


8) Brian Hartline will turn out to be a hell of a pick as a 4th rounder. I remember Peter King saying so, now I know why.


9) Is there an ILB more overrated than Channing Crowder in the NFL? Seriously, what's the big deal. He's average at best. He's a bit better in pass coverage, but on running plays, he gets tossed around like a rag doll. How many forced fumbles or interceptions does he have?? Playing the middle in a 3-4, he should have plenty.


10) Somebody tell Joey Porter the offseason is officially finished.


11) Really nice to see Camarillo making plays once again. What a guy, how can you not root for him?


12) Devone Bess is NOT the answer as a punt returner... Not fast enough to fool anyone...


That's it, go Fins!! Another playoff run please!!!

Ace what's up ? pennington did great. yeah it might be once in awhile deep throws but most of the time accurate they are. Fans in general our o-line is tired. wait till they get a break before the season opener then judge them when they are fresh. ginn is being used as a distraction so miami can get work to other wr's. when the games count miamiWILL involve him .

get rid of Ronnie Brown.... keeps dancing not running the ball.... we need a Pro Bowl type of RB plus a line that can show a bit more balls when it comes to running the ball.... its amazing why can't the dolphins put a running offensive line we have not had that since 1972 and thats pretty sad!!!!.....trade Ronnie Brown for a 1 or 2 pick next year.... we surely need it....

We looked bad as a team but some units looked more worst than others. With that said and after all the OPPS out the way we were down 6 points.

HARTLINE being white has nothing to do with how he played he made the most out of his chances. I said he was OK because he was. He was not great the way some is making it sound.

POLITICS: BUSH put our country in this mess. BUSH went and attacked a coutry for what reason again? He made us ALL look foolish and left it for someone else to clean up.He's a COWARD who sent our soldiers to war for 9-11.(HE SHOULD OF FOUGHT SADDAM HIMSELF ON PAY PER VIEW.)
Which I think was a way to get the people off the fact that he stole the election in the first place. Oh yeah it was FLORIDA who some how and some way F ed up. Didn't bush have some one he was related to as GOV. OR SOME SHI+ LIKE THAT.

I DON'T CARE WHO DOES WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG YOU'RE WRONG. BUT DON'T FOLLOW PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WERE TRAINED TO FOLLOW.

YOU GUYS HATE THE FACT OUR PRESIDENT HAVE SOME SOUL TO HIM. OR BECAUSE HE FEELS THAT THE RICH IS RICH ENOUGH.

WHEN I DRIVE IN NYC AND SEE SOME FAMILIES ON THE STREET IT MAKES ME FEEL SAD WHERE I HAVE TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING TO ATLEAST MAKE THEIR DAY A LITTLE BETTER.

IT'S NOT A DEMS vs REPS OR A BLACKS vs WHITES OR RICH vs POOR BUT A NEW AMERICA vs THE OLD AMERICA. AND YES WE AS A NATION HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO BUT AFTER SO MANY YEARS WORRIED ABOUT BEING THE WORLDS ARMS LEADER IT SEEMS WE LOST MORALS AND RESPECT.

OUR LEADERS ARE LOOKING LIKE FOOLS AND WE SIT AND WATCH.

FACE IT THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES.

NOT THE PEOPLE THEY SUPPOSE TO REPRESENT.

CAN'T WE ALLLL JUST GET ALONG.

OMG OMG JUSTIN after you comment you will get a tongue thrashing from you know whoooooooo.

after justin comments the skies darkened, lightning crackled, the wind picked up, the tides got bigger. Beware for the wrath of , dare we say NJ will come upon us all. He will respond and prove he is rage or not respond and will implode.

Hey Carlito!

First, if you are going to TRY to be funny - get a decent name. You sound like a castoff character form Grand Theft Auto. Second, when your pal Mando stops giving us a bunch of whining instead of actual insight into the game - then maybe there will be a reason to post about what actually happened.

I know I'm new here but we all
Root for the fins why can't we all just get alone.

u know it is 4 year annivesary of Katrina what do you say nj

LMFAO ! when somebody starts a sentence off with " SOME UNITS LOOKED WORST THAN OTHERS " LOL! . well that just say it all . STUPUDITY ! doen't desereve a response. LOL ! my goodness !

I think the game was horribly boring, but I'm glad we still took a win. How are we gonna start the season?

stupidity !

Bob said
".Look the Bears, Falcons, Vikings all have an offensive line that is good not great, notice what happened to them when they drafted a real running back?"
The Falcons didn't draft Michael Turner Bobby. Everybody stop crying about not drafting Ryan he wouldn't even be starting for us right now he'd be in the same situation as Henne is. By drafting Long we improved from 1-15 to 11-5. Matt Ryan coming in as our backup and not having a left tackle wouldn't of made us improve by 10 games. Don't forget everybody that the plan was to rebuild the team through the draft. Just because we had an amazing turn around doesn't mean the rebuild is complete. And a rookie QB having a slightly above average year with a good offensive line a great running back and a top notch receiver in the weak ass NFC does NOT mean he is proven. Last I checked the Falcons didn't win their division last year. We did! Can't wait to see us beat them come week 1.

What I liked about Hartline is that he had the complete game. Blocking, route running, etc. He contributed on every play, not just the plays where he got the ball.
I would compare him to a Hines Ward type. Of course he has a long way to go before he is at such a level, but he seems to have that kind of mentality and style.

uncle sam I thought you left this blog. YOU KNOW I AM RIGHT ABOUT BUSH...YOU IS WHAT WRONG WITH COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!

Just playing devil's advocate. Love him of hate him Henne is our QB of the future. Mando what do you really think? Does Pat White have a chance to contend or are these stats found in an article in The Phinsider going to continue:
But in the 2009 preseason, Henne has been a bit of a disappointment. He's shown he does have a very strong arm. But he's been inaccurate with his throws, has been caught staring down his receivers, has held on to the ball too long at times, and has made some terrible decisions. His numbers this preseason aren't great, either. He's completed 19 of 35 passes (54%) for 224 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions - resulting in a QB rating of 69.2.

" You is " hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahah. Now that is what's wrong with this country. LMAO ! Illiteracy !

YO PUNK it's the real JUSTIN now. Are you pretending to be me so you can talk to yourself.

You're what's wrong with this country.

COWARDS that feel tough on computers.

NO original thoughts so you have to insult people. So lets have fun.

UNCLE SAM: YOU WILL NEVER BE HALF THE MAN YOUR MOTHER IS.

BUT YOU CAN BE HALF THE WOMAN YOU DAD IS.

UNCLE SAM: THEY WERE GOING TO DROP YOUR MOM ON JAPAN BUT THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE TO MESSY.

YOUR MOTHER's SO BIG WE USE HER DRESSES AS CAR COVERS.

UNCLE SAM: YOUR MOTHER HAVE A GLASS EYE MITH A FISH IN IT.

UNCLE SAM: YOUR MOTHER IS A GOAT.

UNCLE SAM: YOU LIKE THE JETS FIRE MAN FAN.

UNCLE SAM: YOU STINK. NO REALLY YOU STINK.

NOW YOU KNOW IT'S ME.AND YOU STILL KNOW WHERE I'LL BE SO TALK YOUR SHI+ THEN OR REMAIN THE INTERNET THUG THAT YOU ARE.

UNCLE SAM aka AL BUNDY. OH I FORGOT HE HAS NO WOMEN NO KIDS AND HE's 50. HOW's THAT HAND DOING.

HE'S DOUG AND CARRIE's LITTLE FAT FRIEND FROM KING OF QUEENS.

ANYBODY NO HIS NAME?

UNLE SAM: YOUR THE BEST IN TYPING BUT WE ALL KNOW HOW GOOD YOU ARE WITH YOUR HANDS.

UNCLE SAM: YOUR DAD's YOUR BROTHER.

JUSTIN you must be smoking something fool. The last 10 posts you flipped out. WTF is your deal dude. Grow up and get an education.

12 posts you jackazzz. You lost your mind. the 12 posts lets see, this is your brain on drugs...any questions!!!!

"HARTLINE being white has nothing to do with how he played he made the most out of his chances" Justin said.

Who the h3ll ever mentioned he was white? Nobody mentioned this but you. Judas Priest you are f'd up. The only thing going for you is that you are a Dolfan. Or else you would be a 100% loser instead of a 99% loser.

Ginn Invisible?? Someone just noticing this? I will give him some credit, he has made A FEW spectacular catches, BUT more often than not is a defender is within 5yds of him he is either 1) going out of bounds 2) not going to catch the ball or 3) hit the turf. And for those of you who think that he is slowing down his routes because of pennington's arm, I dont see him getting wide open when Henne is in at QB, and he has an arm. But that puts me on another subject, our future QB, boy do we have a lot to worry about, if he is the best we could find. We did not look good in the TB game, but on a positive we did not allow a TD. So, some props should be given to the D. Its going to be a tough season, but we will have more than 7 wins.

HAS ANYBODY HEARD FROM ROTH? DOES HE STILL HAVE A PROBLEM GROIN? OR A GROWING PROBLEM?

First time posting. I have been following all the postings and Justin is there something wrong with you????? Really !!!!

Wonderful Post Mate,Get Updated Reviews on your Favorite Video Games, The Most Updated Game Reviews for PC,Xbox and PS3.Click my name to visit the site.

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