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A breakdown on Miami's broken special teams

One of Tony Sparano's pet peeves this preseason has been cutting down on hidden yardage because, to the Dolphins coach, hidden yardage is a dirty secret that gets your NFL team beat.

Well, this preseason the Dolphins special teams have been yielding hidden yardage like that was the assignment or goal. It's as if the units have been trying to give away hidden yards. And last night against the New Orleans Saints, the hidden yards came out in the open for everyone to see when Miami's special teams gave up a 55 yard punt return touchdown.

The problem is there was nothing shocking or surprising about Rod Harper's TD return that cut through the heart of the Miami coverage team. We've seen it before and way too many times.

Even during this undefeated preseason, the Miami special teams, well, bombed.


Versus Jacksonville: Chris Williams muffs a punt but recovers ... Vontae Davis costs the team 15 yards for interference on a fair catch ... Davis is called for a personal foul on another punt return, costing the team 13 yards on a half-the-distance-to-goal walkoff.

Versus Carolina: Captain Munnerlyn returns a punt 58 yards for the Panthers ... Williams fumbles a punt that Carolina recovers and eventually turns into points ... The fumble has a bright side in that it makes everyone forget the illegal block above the waist the Dolphins commit on the same play ... There was also a 15-yard personal foul penalty on a kickoff.

Versus Tampa Bay: Clifton Smith returns a punt 30 yards for the Bucs ... The Dolphins partially block a punt on Tampa Bay's first possession but Charlie Anderson fumbles the loose ball and Tampa recovers, using the new offensive life to complete a scoring drive ... Reggie Torbor is flagged for holding on a punt ... Courtney Bryan also muffs punt, but at least has the presence to bat the loose ball out of bounds so Miami can retain possession.

What's the expression? It's always something.

That's seemingly the mantra for Miami's special teams unit this preseason. And that all comes even after the Dolphins have spent extra time on special teams during practices, certainly more than any Miami team I've ever covered.

The Dolphins are not getting enough bang for their practice time buck. Stupid penalties have to stop. They cannot continue to give up at least one long punt return every game. The fumbling and bumbling need to stop, too.

So far, Sparano has deflected attention away from his coaching staff and made the point the problems belong to players. A guy is in perfect position to make a tackle but doesn't. Three guys blow out of their lanes. One guy makes a bonehead decision. Somebody has an itch he has to scratch at the precise moment the ball is coming to him.

It's always something.

Well, when one has these problems consistently, the coach must shoulder responsibility as well. Special teams coordinator John Bonamego is by all accounts a very well prepared coach. He knows what he wants and needs to accomplish.

But despite that preparation, his special teams stink.

So those same special teams must correct all its issues immediately because coaches also are evaluated during the preseason and some around the league that haven't met standards have been fired or re-assigned.

And this preseason, Bonamego's special teams simply haven't met standards.


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Still paying the price for bonhead Wanny getting rid of Westhoff...haven't been able to get it right no matter what the regime


Special teams is the absolute worst. We are going to lose games this season because of this unit. The trifecta cuts underachieving players so why is the ST coach still employed? I cringe every time we are in a ST situation. Just waiting for the death blow. Get a ST coach that can actually coach and nip this thing in the bud now! Coach Sparano please heed my words.

Kick the ball out of bounds every single time.

Armando you mentioned on the radio that we may sign Andrew Walters to replace Pat White as the 3rd QB. Now that Walters is cut, when do you see them making that move? I think it would give us some insight on the Pats offense.

86 the special teams coach....

3 teams so far have fired their O-coordinator during the pre-season. Time for Miami to add to the list of fired coaches and turf their un-special teams coordinator

Can we lure Frank Beamer to the NFL?

I have not been on the radio today or any day talking about Andrew Walter. Must be some other Hispanic blowhard rather than this Hispanic blowhard.

lure westhoff from the jets.

My bad, got the blowhard part right though.

Positives: We's positive the Dolphins special team coachs sucks.

Are you kidding? The Special Teams have been a problem for the Dolphins for years, since Westoff (sp?) left. This is not going to be solved easily without better coaching AND better players, no matter how much they practice.

special teams does look horrible. missed tackles galore. it's bad enough watching welker catch passes on us and i really don't want to watch him kill us on punt returns.

Dying Breed:

Can you come over tonite and lance a boil on my rear end? Thanks.

mando, i agree scary situation. at least bono didn't get fired like the Bills/Bucks OC did.

can we do a cut down blog t'morrow afternoon?

no canes to watch...so just saying...

and there goes my appetite.

Lets not panic until the regular season starts. Once the final 53 are announced, we will know who is on the special teams... not in preseason.

I have been saying it for two weeks, fire the ST coaches. A lot of people don't realize there is a ST co-ordinator and a ST coach. This past off season, we got a new ST coach...can't think of his name but Bonamego has been there from the get go.

HCs hate to fire assistants but this guy needs to go.

ps. on the cutdowns.

there are so many talented players that i fear we will have to let go that will be gone for good. all of the hard work they have done, LB, DE, DB TE & WR, i'd really hate to lose these guys that we will NEED in the future.

Bottle nose that is true. how many guys were out there that won't even make the team? i'm guessing more than a few.

The Shot Doctor on Bucket Head's radio show said Miami would sign Brandon Marshall by Saturday. Yes, the SD is a bit of an idiot, but do the Fins have any interest or chance at Marshall?

I just caught the second half of the game on replay, and the special teams looked okay--besides the obvious whiff when NO scored. They scored no other offensive points.

I expected much worse given everything that's been said about them.

One thing you can count on game after game since Bonamego got here is the Dolphins giving up big returns on special teams. Different players, same results.

I've never seen anything like it in the past 30 years where a glaring weakness cannot be corrected. I have to hold my breath every time there's a punt or kick to the opponent.

Bonamego must go and he must go Now! Surely somewhere in the Parcells - Sparano universe of cronies there must be a coach who can step in and take over the STs. Please???

1) Punt the ball out of bounds everytime!

2) Instead of signing Moss and giving up a roster spot, have Ginn return punts this season.

Yes... I have been wondering why if the players are held to high standards the coaches are not? This guy (who I couldn't pick out of a line up if he had his name on his shirt) needs to be gone I know there are SP coaches out and around that would have to be an upgrade. Wasting practice time is also Sparanos fault.

Good point Bra1n, you can't keep blaming it on the players when there has been so many come and go.

Maybe Dolphins should hire Michael Nester and CacaJoe when they fire Bonamego , they just couple guys sitting around not do anything. But they have to wear shirt with they name on it so public can know who they trashing when they do bad jobs.

where is golfito carlito? just curious

Costa Rica, near Panama

Golfito in south africa and it's famous for it's live goats .


may i use your villa there? i need a damn vacation. i enjoy your participation on here, funny guy with some insight as well.

aloco, play nice

have a great holiday

Golfito is Spanish (literally) "little golf;" in other words, Putt-Putt. (or Par 3?).

little gulf or golfo, smart guy, because golfito is on Golfo Dulce.

Go Dolphins!

Sean Smith for rookie of the year!


use NJ PHIN'S Villa there . he has more homes than all you family has shoes .

hey, that works for me, par three that is. usually a couple of par 4s on those exec courses.

my son can join me while my blonde babe suns herself. dont look seer !! her green eyes might haunt ya lol.


If I had a villa there, but I live in Florida now. I have family there and need to visit soon!

What you think? Dolphins 24 Falcons 20.

na, nj is cool and all, but he might want me to work or something silly like that.

carlito sounds like a guy you might have a few rums with, talking football while having a clam/shrimp bake.

seer, you feel smarter after you spanish lesson?

are you saying the plumber isn't a good host ?

my plumber is a golfer, so just saying

carlito would die for his friends .


fins 21 or 17 falcons 10 or 7....u pick 'em

well after hurricane season let's get a dish and party !!

How many house and business Nj have? Does he want for own minority percentage of Dolphins? Or maybe NJ type of guy that don't like anything minority.

wifey likes the all inclusive in the bahamas....i don't argue with her on that

21-10 sounds good to me

NJ gets the homes his employees lose. He make money off the back of the poor

Carlito. that was a very wit and smart post . i am starting to think he might be a baker not a plumber .

naw, i think nj is straight up. carlito, that is my best guess. heard their defense is having some lil problems. our defense gets better. 8 sacks last night? sicker than H1N1 swine flu

Yo soy un hombre sincero; no soy un gringo tan bruto; muchas gracias, compadre!

fins 13
falcons 3

s.smith , one sack and one interception .

not to mention my best rook sean the man smith one handed catch ! mucho grande liked that stuff.

NJ is a crab infested crotch and his cronies here are his pubic hairs. I now officially you announce you as STD. You may now scratch and itch the bride.


ok, aloco is ok too... i wa going to go lower with our defense against atl but hey. u said it for me

Dying breed is also Finheavenblows

breed, chill man. if u dont agree with someone dont just hate them. come on hipster. i am almost 50 and not that grumpy.

watch out harricane, aloco plays for the other team....u know gay

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