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Sparano's day-after presser [Updated]

Coach Tony Sparano just finished his press conference this morning.

Here's what he said:

He said the Dolphins gave up "172 minus yardage," which he equates to 12 1/2 points. Minus yardage is yards on fumble returns. Yards on sacks. Yards on interception returns. Etc...

The Dolphins also turned the ball over four times. "That's how you lose games in this league," Sparano said. "I told the team at halftime when we had two of them, 'you're aware that two turnovers in this league are hard to overcome. You know what you have to do. We have to work our tail off to overcome these and we have to try to take the ball away from them."

The Miami defense played relatively well. But it did not cause any turnovers.

Tight end Anthony Fasano was responsible for two of Miami's turnovers on fumbles following receptions. To his credit, he was in the locker room Sunday to face tough questions and did the same today.

"Protecting the ball has to be the No. 1 priority," Fasano said.

He added the bad outing is, "something I have to learn from.",

The Dolphins gave up four sacks but Sparano made it clear the problem was physical rather than a coaching issue in which the Falcons came with some new stunts or blitzes or rush schemes. "Nothing they did was any different than what we prepared for during the course of the week or than we seen. They just rushed the passer."

Yes, left tackle Jake Long yielded two sacks and had other breakdowns also. You can see the game's signature sack below as Long had what is easily the worst game of his young professional career. "It was not a winning performance," Sparano said of Long. "I think Jake would tell you that."

Sparano said the team is likely to shorten up the "edges" this week for the tackles, meaning the tackles are allowing too much air between themselves and the pass rusher and so the first contact between the two is too close to the quarterback. That will be adjusted versus Indy Monday night. Good thing because Dwight Freeney is a pretty good edge rusher.

Sparano hinted the interior of the offensive line needs to gel. The physical communication between the players is not good enough and certainly not at the point players pick each other up on twist stunts, which plagued Miami Sunday.

Having said all that, it doesn't sound as if Sparano is confident the offensive line can come out next week and be the unit the Dolphins are paying for -- the $156 million bunch, as I have repeatedly told you. It is, apparently going to be a process.

"It's correctable, I think they're correctable," Sparano said. "I don't think we'll get them all ironed out in a week, but we'll get some of them ironed out. We're going to work hard to do it."

Sparano defended the coaching staff's decision to call the gimmick plays with Pat White and others at the time they did. One of those came after Miami moved the ball into Atlanta territory. The call was a Ted Ginn Jr. pass/run option. It became a busted play and a momentum killer.

No one was open downfield for Ginn, according to the coach. And, by the way, there was "leakage," along the offensive line that caused Ginn to be looking for running room rather than downfield anyway."

As to the timing?

"Nothing there made me feel we should be running it here or anything like that," Sparano said. "From a play sequence standpoint, that wasn't the problem. The problem was execution."

Sparano said some of the usage of Pat White was designed as a "waste pitch," meant to see how the Falcons were lining up -- to get a picture, so to speak.

The Dolphins gave the Falcons two different pictures of their secondary Sunday, one with Sean Smith at right cornerback, the other with Vontae Davis at right cornerback. The two rookies were platooned every two series.

Smith started and took the first two series. Then Davis took over for two series and so on. The players were told beforehand that would happen. And the idea, one supposes, is to bring both rookies along. Davis is also progressing to the point where he's earned playing time.

But here is the problem: Making a hard and fast rule that one player or another will be in for two series basically ices the other player on the bench. Smith was in the first two series and went to the bench with 7:01 left in the first quarter.

Then the Miami offense held the ball for 5:50, then the Atlanta offense held the ball for 7:27, then the Miami offense had the ball for exactly three minutes, then Atlanta got it back for 1:25, then Miami held the ball for 2:14.

So Smith was out of the game for 19:55 or one quarter plus 4:55. That can't happen while expecting Smith to just come back in the game for Atlanta's two-minute offense and be on his game.

On the injury front, Sparano said the Dolphins emerged from the game with, "a couple of bumps but nothing major."

Finally (for now), Sparano said the game did serve a bigger purpose.

"We figured out where we are and what we have to do to win," he said.

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TS did not tell the whole story....

guess there were not alot of good things to discuss. merling maybe, lol....but starks looked great also. jason and joey against the run was pretty darn tight.

secondary.....scary

Well we got our worst game out the way early.i can't believe all that talent played like crap. Learn from it and let it go. Move on and shock the colts next week.

i thought the defense was pretty good most of the day. vontae needs more work but hey he's a rook and did a few good things too. the front was stout against the run, pretty good at getting pressure but needed to get better.

the best running plays were with ricky and ronnie both in. seemed the falcons were so fixed on brown that the counters to ricky were wide open.

penne was ok, not great! and the turnovers were game killers!!

sure white overthrew his only pass but the play worked and neither of the other 2 QB's on our roster could have done that play. neither move fast enough to fake a hand-off, then fake like they were running up the middle then throw the ball. he is also a rookie, give him a chance. what i noticed is when he was in the defense was scrambling round pre-snap. i think you will see more white not less as the season goes on.

I agree with above post. Watched Pat White all through college and the play yesterday with the dolphins was a typical play. And the large majority of the time Pat connects. He was nothing but a winner in college and pulled out many amazing plays. You could see how natural he looked doing such a craZy play in the NFL. Next time he will connect. if he had made that one play we'd all be singing a different tune today. Hopefully the coaches keep at it cause he is magic in that kind of play.

Depending on how we do versus the Colts and Chargers....as in if we lose both games, I think it's time to turn over the reigns to Henne and see if he's our guy for the future.
Pennington is steady, but the fact that he can't throw the ball deep with any quality velocity is killing us, because noone fears Ginn as a deep threat with him as QB. We still need a true #1 receiver and that has to be out #1 priority the next off-season, along with a high-quality return specialist...just my 2 cents.

Also, I'll take Ricky as our starting back any day over Ronnie...Brown dances way too much.....HIT THE HOLE BUDDY! Cheers!!! Go Phins!

I think Tony's got a serious problem with how he guages defenses. He shows a certain offensive formation (like the wildcat) and then makes adjustments on how the defense lines up for the first couple of plays. These defensive coordinators aren't stupid. They know the Dolphins are making these adjustments based on what they see. So, they will adjust. Teams are going to start showing one defensive formation to try to bait the Dolphins into going for something and then spring a trap. You have to be a little more unpredictable in a any strategy game or you're going to get played.

i hope henne gets boatloads of snaps in practice.....just saying

now according to TS we only lost 12-7. darn sure feel better now.

the only reason we got a score was because of Camarillo !!

word up Mike exactly...our offensive problems are not from not having weapons (ricky, ronnie, Teddy) it is from a QB that can not get the ball to them or has the defense stuffing the run b/c Penny can not throw more than 10 years. face the reality whether you are a hardcore phins phan or not. season tix holder who has watched the phins religiously...WE DO NOT HAVE A GAME CHANGING or future SUPERBOWL QB. no it is not Penny, no it is not Henne. Both Chad's would of shown something by now if they could help this offense be respectable and sometimes dominant. last year's playoff game and this year's first game show us what our biggest problem is; a weak armed QB that defenses are not afraid of so they put 8 players in the box...obvious. WE NEED A QB!

9/11 was an inside job

WTC 1, 2 & 7 were brought down by controlled demolition.

checkout wtc7.net & watch the collapse videos.

Watching NFL Rewind, I thought the team overall did pretty good with the exception of turnovers - always a game buster. We have to have a threat downfield, otherwise its all for not.

10 yards, not 10 years. Pennington can not throw farther than 10 yards, or for 10 years more than 10 yards. basically, Penny SUCKS and the Jets are so happy we have him and not them. follow the jets, follow the ravens, follow any team that is desperate for a QB, LIKE US, and do whatever it takes to get one...

Apart from the solid run defense, the Dolphins pretty much stunk up the joint in all other phases of the game. The offensive line was exposed numerous times, Fasano apparently thought the football was a hot potato the way he dropped the ball so easily, and Pennington had happy feet all game long. Another cause for concern is the Dolphins secondary. If Matt Ryan was more accurate with some of his throws this game would have gotten way out of hand a lot sooner than it did.

Thoughts for Indy: Peyton Manning isn't gonna miss the throws that Ryan did. We better pray the secondary plays tighter than it did yesterday or the home opener is going to be miserable. Of course, on the flip side the offensive line needs to step up and start earning their collective monetary worth.

shawn, guess you forgot what Henne did against the Cards when he was given a chance.....just saying

paco, agree on the secondary's need to step up as well as O-line.

disagree with all on Fasano. How many drops or fumbles last year? All year?

sept 14th,

if not for turnovers....ha ha

if my aunt were a man she would be my uncle...

ha ha

my sister would have done better than FASANO and my other sister would done better job than the forever bust GINN.

not to leave my boy brother out .he would have done better job on delivering interceptions than CHAD .

The Fins need to find a way to win 1 of the first 3 and then sweep Buffalo and the Jets. At that point they are still in the thick of things going forward. HOWEVER, they cannot get swept out of the gates nor lose the division games.

Shawn - lay off the crack pipe. No decent or above rated QB could have doen any better. Not saying Penny couldn't make a few better decisions, but it was mostly the OLine that failed. CP didn't stand a chance most of the time.
The CB's looked halfway decent, with the exception being Allen.
Hartline is a good receiver for the future, just needs some more reps under his belt.
Merling stepped up HUGE! Pass rush was excellent and consistant all day.
Fumbles and the Oline caused us to lose this game. Plenty of time to fix the problems.

The Tuna factory will produce next week for sure!
Go Phins!!

we just turn the ball over too much. plain and simple. otherwise the team didn't look that terrible.

Ronnie definitly should be getting more involved, as he is clearly our best offensive weapon. base offense preferrably.

From what I've seen. I think its a matter of putting it all together. I just dont like the fact that they need 2 or 3 games to do it. That 2 or 3 games is the difference between 1st and last seed in the playoffs. If yesterday is the best we got 4-12 and 2 or 3rd pick. I was hoping for 7-9 at the very worst. But dont give up hope on these guys or this coaching staff. This is still a work in progress and there is alot of work to do BE PATIENT!!! GO FINSSS!!!

Lot of blame to go around but who evaluates the talent, formulates the game plan and just plain gets these guys ready to play? Anyone? Anyone?

fasano single handlely lost that game for us lets see what nalbone has because fasano sucks

Lost a game using an expensive o line. As Sparano says, it looked like everyone was spread out a bit too far. So what happens now, we close up ranks and they pour in from the outside?? Freeney is a great inside and outside pass rusher. I hope they line Ricky and pull the guard a few times to set him on his butt or it is going to be a long night vs Indie

Hey where are the football gurus that claim Ronnie Brown is an elite running back???? Ronnie was awful, he should be traded before week 6, Ricky and Polite showed him how you run down field and not dance like a girl in the back.... Ronnie is probably the worst of the 32 starting running backs in the NFL get rid of him now so we can get at least 1 draft pick!!!... boy he sucks.!!! And don't blame it on the offensive line cause Ricky and Polite where able to get some yardage with the same deflated offensive line against the same defense, so there is NO EXCUSE for his performance which is a trend every week..... trade trade trade!!!!

DolfanSF what game where you watching...???
the offense sucks, not only the turonvers but our coaching staff is so affraid of throwing a pass longer than 13 yards that its just sick!!! at some point the Falcons had 10 guys in the box!! one safety thats how much "respect" they have for our offensive gurus.... please.... the game was awful!.... I hope they change their game plans because if not its going to be a long season.......

You guys are stupid, we have a good enough qb, yeah ginn can get open, but it doesnt happen untill 20 yards down the field, he cant create seperation early enough to be effetive, and our offensive line sucks. Flat out over priced garbage. Back off of Penny, Henne isnt any better, he just stands in the pocket, and get's sacked stairing down wr's, and throwing INT'S to D lineman, or have you all forgot, Penny threw the INT YESTERDAY TRYING TO MAKE SOMTHING OUT OF NOTHING. You genious dont see it that way. Grow up people,and learn the game of football before you throw your two cents around.

oh and one other thing... I am very concerned about Jake Long!!! I dont know whats happened but thats not the Jake I saw last year. and hes never been run over like I saw yesterday. I beginning to wonder if there is an injury. Dont start telling me we are playing better teams and rushers. Thats no excuse for the diminished performance we are experiencing with him.

joeywatts, the offense looked as good as their capable of being. take away fasanos first half fumble and the game might have transpired differently.

He can talk all he wants but no matter what adjustments they make this team just is short on talent. It's only the second year of rebuilding. Can't get there from here.

Was it just me or did special teams still look like crap. I'm glad we didn't give up a TD. What sucked was kickoff and punt returns. There was no blocking on kickoffs and we got to the 14, 18, 16, 14, 24. That is not good enough. If you run a kick out of the endzone you better get to the 20. Punt returns were not much better.

Relax folks its one game.
Chad P is what he is and thats probably the best QB on the team (right now) and thats going to have to do for now. And for for all you Henne pessimists,
Here are the rookie season stats of the qb you will be facing next week:

Year 1998 16 starts
326 comp./575 att.=56.7%
3,739 yds (6.5 yds per comp)
26 td 28 int
22 sacks -109 yds
71.2 qb rating
15 rushes/62 yds/4.1 ypc/0 td
3 fumbles 1 lost

Joey your a certifiable idiot. RB stands for running back and that stands for Ronnie Brown.
Dawg is a baller plain and simple. If you can't see that the Falcons won the battle up front on both sides you are a blind certifiable idiot to boot. Maybe you can hook up with Spielman and trade RB for a 4th rounder. See you in the USFL (stands for U Suck F'ing Loser).

The FIU Cheerleaders need your help!!

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/vol/1370703540.html

ive been watching this team since i was 6 years old im 45 now same old team its gona be a long year.

No the sky is not falling. Do we ignore the issues from yesterday? Absolutely not. Atlanta might be the team to beat in the NFC. If they are, then we didn't do too bad against them on the road. The turnovers can happen any where, any game any time. So, take those away, we were pretty even with them.

Back to reality,yesTURDay just sucked and next monday does not look good.But it was just one game and I will never give up hope.Oh ya how did we start the season last year?

I am one very disappointed Fins fan. Yea this is only one game, but the Dolphins showed they simply can not compete against a good team. Yesterday's game was not even close and I feel they are going to show the world next Monday night that last year was a fluke. I was really hopping the game yesterday was going to be competitive, and the Dolphins would be in a position to win. They showed me one thing; that is to get use to losing because this year is going to be full of them. I have been wishing year after year for this franchise to pull it around. Last year was a gift, but I want more. This game yesterday reminded me too much of last year's playoff game. A game I felt we didn't belong playing in, and that the elite teams are something the Dolphins can continue to dream of becoming one day. That day is still a long way off.
A few other comments on the team: Stop using the Wildcat. Other teams have figured it out and it has become more of a momentum killer that a positive play maker. They should also use Ricky and Ronnie in the backfield together more often. They did this many years ago with great success. Also, give Chad Pennington the opportunity to throw passes beyond 14 years. He threw a 50+ strike in pre-season that shows he does have the arm strength. Let’s start seeing it during the game.
Mike from San Diego

That guy amen brother someone that is finally making sense it's one game and these guys will get it corrected. No need to hit the panic button.

I just like to quote one line from comedy sequel movie "Major League 2"

"We suck again..."


with the 2008 NFL draft the dolphins pass on Ryan and Flacco, Atlanta is on the clock.

What a load of dump. we lost the game at the Line of scrimage. pathetic

It's not as bad as most posters seem to think it is. Don't get me wrong, Miami's 'O' was worse than bad, but let's not give up just yet. The formula for winning is there; LIMIT mistakes, run to control tempo, & harrass the opposing QB into mistakes. We all knew they weren't capable of overcoming deficits (esp w/ 4 TO's).

They have a primetime HOME night game coming up against a one-dimensional team. Miami's DEFENSE looked solid against Atlanta & is due for some turnovers. Peyton has traditionally played sub-par against Miami, & his #2 WR is hurt. I think (hope really) Miami can use this as the wake-up call they clearly need. Get in your seats early, bring the noise, & Miami can rattle Peyton into a bad game.

HEY HARRICANE-LET ME HELP YOUR MATHMATICAL THINKING. IF WE SCORE AND DONT TURN IT OVER, THAT GAME IS EASILY A 21-10 VICTORY BY US. WE WERE DOWN 10-0 WHEN FASANO FUMBLED. SO WE SCORE ITS 10-7, THEN PENNE THROWS PICK, WE SCORE 14-10. FASANO FUMBLES AGAIN 21-10 SEE WHERE I'M GOING WITH THIS?

The Dolphins have come a long way to let this game keep them down. They are coached way to well and too much talent. They will bounce back and take their frustrations out on the Colts. I will guarentee a vistory here. I bet we put up over 30 points. If not, then prepare for a top 10 pick in the 2010 draft. GO FINS DONT LET US DOWN!!

For all you Ronnie Brown Haters he is the best running back on the team he averaged 4.3 yards a carry behind a line that couldn't block to save their lives so before you start running your mouths about how bad a player is understand the game of football MORONS!!!!!

Very simple, Chad Pennington days are over,with a weak arm will be very hard to win versus the best teams -look the schedule for this year-,yesterday was a copy cat of the last year playoff versus Baltimore. Chad Henne days start yesterday.
The Off. Coordinator call a bad game, the Atlanta Secundary was not tested enough in the 4 periods of the game.Ronnie Brown is not the elite RB. that he said he is.Miami is two years away (Draft) from be a very good team.

i predict chad henne will start next game .

Yes, our present QB has some limitations, but lest we forget, he WAS runner-up MVP last year. He was not the major problem in yesterday's loss, Shawn.

Obama had to fire one of his dozens of idiot 'CZARS,' Van Jones, because Jones' name was found on a petition calling for an investigation of the WTC 7 collapse, etc. In other words, he was a lunatic 'truther', just like 'Shawn' above who continues to demonstrate, AFTER MORE THAN 8 YEARS what a moron he is.

Ok guys its the cuban, here's the bottom line.. 8 turnovers the last 2 games(Balt @ Atl.) even the patriots would lose.......enough said about the last game lets move on to something more important like who's hotter Eva Mendes or Selma Hayek???The Cuban awaits the answers....

Thomas, Your buissness partner wouldnt be Bear would it????

NO, IT'S MERRIL

".....but Sparano made it clear the problem was physical rather than a coaching issue...."

Yes but you have assistants (strength and conditioning) that answer to you to take care of that part.

But really, that's CYA, right? Not our fault, it's those lazy players.

This kind of BS is going to get old quick if/when we lose a couple of more.

I think Miami is not going in the right direction. The team is meesing up not giving Henne a chance to play these games like all the other teams do with their young QB's. Yes all of them make mistakes but the only way to learn from them is in games not on the bench. If you want a QB to grow play them like all the teams are doing. Pennington does not trust his arm so he will not risk the big play which is what this team needs to do to get to the next level. There is no down field threat with CP so this team will not go any further. At this rate we are lucky to win 2 games this year. Get Henne in there so we can move on. Pat white looked like a little kid out there and will not be a long term QB. He cant take the hits. Thats why he over threw that ball. He threw it too early because he wont stay in the pocket and take a hit for a big play.

THE WHOLE TEAM LOOKED LIKE MEAT BALLS YEASTERDAY.WHAT SAY CUBAN ?

Thats not fair. thats like asking the menace or carlito.

Aloco, The Cuban says Meatballs are delicious on in a sub, id say they looked like something NJ Phin fan works with on a daily basis..

Selma by a mile, Cuban.

As for game yes Oline was manhandled and turnovers killed.

Teams will lose every game if they turnover ball and cant control line of scrimmage in NFL. The pros are to good in this league

As for Fasano, the fumbles sucked but that guy is solid and went above and beyond last year, he and the rest will get corrected cause thats what pros do.

"Sparano hinted the interior of the offensive line needs to gel"

I shall repeat for the millionth time:

the interior of the offensive line CANNOT & will not gel because Jake Grove is a mediocre center. Jason Brown should have been bought, whatever the cost.

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