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The personification of Miami's difficult schedule

We've heard all summer, since the NFL schedule came out, that Miami's was reeeaally hard. It is the toughest in the NFL taking last season's records ... blah, blah, blah.

Well that all is true. But Monday night, on national television, the reason that schedule is truly difficult will be personified at the tight end and defensive end positions the Dolphins must contend with and contain.

Last week, the Dolphins struggled to cover only the best tight end to play the game the past decade or so, and some say ever. Tony Gonzalez caught five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown versus Miami in generally getting the better of Miami safeties Yeremiah Bell and Gibril Wilson.

So yes, that kinda hurt the Miami defense. And this week the assignment, it can be argued, gets tougher.

This week the Dolphins have to deal with Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark, a Pro Bowl player in his own right and one tied for most touchdowns by a tight end since 2007 with 17. So the Dolphins go from one difficult assignment and fall into another inarguably difficult assignment.

That is the personification of a difficult schedule.

It does not end there.

We all saw last week the difficulties left tackle Jake Long had against John Abraham. He yielded a sack and several hurries to Abraham. And that is understandable because Abraham is a premier pass rusher who had 16 1/2 sacks last season to earn a spot among the NFL leaders.

Well, this week the assignment remains difficult for Long. This week he faces defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who combined for 22 sacks a season ago. Freeney (10 1/2 sacks in 2008) and Mathis (11 1/2 sacks in 2008) typically switch from side to side as their defensive calls warrant. So Long will likely face both if they're healthy.

That's back-to-back weeks of double-digit sack men on tap for Long. That never happened to him in 2008.  In fact, Long had only one game in which he faced a player that would total double-digit sacks for the season in 2008 -- that coming when he faced Houston's Mario Williams.

Said another way, Long faced only one player that had double-digit sacks in 2008. And by Week 2 this year, he will have faced three players that had double digit sacks in 2008.

So don't tell Jake Long the schedule ain't harder. And that schedule promises more challenges down the pike for both Miami's safeties and Long.

Remember I told you Clark is tied for most TD catches by a tight end since 2007? He's tied with San Diego's Antonio Gates. The Dolphins play Gates and the Chargers in Week 3.

Long, meanwhile, is looking at a season in which he's going to run into Shawne Merriman, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jevon Kearse, Julius Peppers, Mario Williams again, James Harrison, Aaron Schobel twice, Will Smith and Charles Grant. And all those men have had double-digit sacks seasons in the NFL.

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Long will have to step up and concentrate a little more.

first!!! omg!

Well by the looks of those names, we will really see what caliber of player we drafted.

Thats what is so disappointing about the loss Sunday. OL took a beat down and never responded. We have no one in the trenches to counter punch these upcoming teams. Long season ahead...argh, argh...

Commitment to the running game will help take the pressure off Jake Long, the rest of the Oline, and Penne.

If we can run between the tackles then we can control the clock, keeping Manning off the field as much as possible.

Also the ability to run up the middle will give the Oline real confidence, as well as nicely set up the play action pass that is Penne's strength.

If Long is to make it back to the Pro Bowl or anyone on Oline, then we need to be able to rush more than 17 times a game.
Otherwise opposing Defenses will just pin their ears back and give us fits disrupting our offensive rhythm.

Yo Tony...So Run Ricky Run Ronnie Run ...capiche!

Long is so motivated right now that kid is going to shut out both Mathis and Freeney. Trust me Sparano was so mad about how the O line played this is what he takes pride in and what he's known for. I don't doubt they will have the toughest week of practice yet. I'm a firm believer that Longs footwork is one of the best for a left tackle in the league that's what Parcells saw in him. Yes Abraham beat him this week on a few plays but he also beat him on a few plays as well. Consistency is the key if he attacks he is the fiercest left tackle in the league. Not only that but he is only going to get better with the coaching staff that he has guiding him. Trust me if this coaching staff hasn't changed from last year then Monday night the o line will look spectacular.

How come all the articles coming out put blame on the OLine, special teams, ronnie brown , etc and no blame for Chad Penny? If anything, Penny is responsible for the defense stacking the line and therefore affecting the running game, the receivers, the OL and the defense. Mando, you have mentioned how we do not get the ball to Teddy G. Because Penny can not throw deep or middle. It is all checkdowns as a first option! and dinkin and dunkin. we have been dinkin and dunkin since Danny Boy left. 10 years! the real story is this great D, coaching staff, front office and team are without a QB to take them to the promised land. no, Henne is not our guy either. would of seen something by now...

Bobby, really Pennington over Sanchez and you think Henne will end up greater than Ryan and Sanchez. RIIIIIGGGHTT. that is just a stupid thing to say. just because they are Miami Dolphins doesn't mean you have to be loyal to bad players. Penny is hurting us more than helping. managing the game so as not to lose. do you want to watch your fins played scarred, do you want to watch your fins worried about making mistakes because once we are down by 10 pts the game is over. NO, you don't want that. You want a game changer QB, you want a baller, you want a guy that puts fear in the hearts of the D, a guy that can bring you back from 14 pts down...WAKEUP. we have a suck arse QB and the rest of the team is suffering from it. our backup has shown absolutely nothing to prove that he is ready to take over. that is why he is not playing...

"and if you don't believe me do a little research, the vast majority of the greatest NFL quarterbacks sat an AVERAGE of four years before getting the starting job"

2 words Bobby...Marino & Manning

btw World Trade Center tower 7 collapsed in 7 seconds, symetrically, at free fall speed, in it's own footprint with NO PLANE HITTING IT. please enlighten me to how this happenned...

I am sure the Sparano has something up his sleeve. The trick is to move the d line backwards and run the ball. dinking and dunking only buys a bit of time. Lots of traps and pulls. If you run hard at them and block them hard you will wear them out. It takes some faith to get it done. Teams have been beating Indianpolis for quite some time.

we didnt lose the game because Jake gave up a couple of sacks. New England did that too vs. buffalo.

We lost because of turnovers. Our run game was fine. So we gave up a couple of sacks! Big deal! It happens all the time to every team.

The difference is the good teams overcome that and win anyways because they have something else in there arsenal.

We lost from turning the ball over!!!!

Screw the difficult schedule!!! It means nothing unless you let it!

Jevon Kearse?

shut up about the wtc your an idiot

Its the BEGINNING of year 2. After 1&15 record,REMEMBER????? Did everyone get a brain fart? You don't think the Trifecta knows the teams shortcomings? I am not a blind loyalist but you guys need to remember how bad this team was and it was not that long ago. We all said it would take a few SEASONS to restock and get ALL the teams needs fixed.

Jake Long would make an above-average Right Tackle. Maybe. Left Tackle, highest paid lineman in NFL? Not so much.


What's the difference, anyway? The New Dawn of Football, the Mark Sanchez Era, has dawned.

Why not talk about the opposing team tackles that has to face JT & JPeezey and see how they come out.

Jake Long actually played better then people are giving him credit for. Yes, I am sure he got embarrassed a bit, and maybe Abraham got into his head a little bit afterwards. These are the growing pains of starting players with minimal NFL experience. He'll learn from it and the next time he faces this guy I am sure he will have a better showing. You can't expect him to never get beat. That is just a little unrealistic for a LT. For those who are saying he is a bust...learn the game. There is no substitute for experience.

robertevans dont make me slap you

per-son-if-i-ca-tion:
–noun 1. the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, esp. as a rhetorical figure.
2. the representation of a thing or abstraction in the form of a person, as in art.
3. the person or thing embodying a quality or the like; an embodiment or incarnation: He is the personification of tact.
4. an imaginary person or creature conceived or figured to represent a thing or abstraction.
5. the act of personifying.
6. a character portrayal or representation in a dramatic or literary work.

???


Get a grip people, only becasue you are loyal Dolphin's does not make you blind does it? When pennington has time he does well when he does not have time like the play off game agianst flacco he sucks. the line controls how the offence will play in the game here in miami. I hope we get it right since we cant go back to the 2008 draft and take ryan over long so whats done is done lets hope long and the O line get it together. Henne sucks so dont even coutn on him to be our future QB!

The sad, simple truth is that there is nothing to say. The Dolphins are a mediocre-to-bad team, and none of the off-season moves or draft picks have panned out.

At least in the off-season there was was still hope then, still some questions that might be answered positively, still players whose abilities seemed promising.

But there's none of that now. All there is now is the numbing truth that the season is gone.

I actually dont think the schedule is tgat difficult. If we didn't fumble the ball a million times and kill our offensive rhythm by putting Pat white in the game this game would have been a lot closer. Also, the schedule isn't as difficult as it looks. Indy can't run the ball and is therefore no longer an offensive Juggernaut, if you watch their games you'll see the days of 2004 are long gone and they have to battle for every point. Also, the chargers have entered year 3 of the Norv Turner franchise deconstruction project, nearly losing to Oakland on Monday night. Additionally, we play the formerly 12-4 panthers, however, I dont expect them to duplicate that since Jake Delhomme was transformed into the worst qb in football. Yes, the schedule is tougher than last year, but by seasons end I bet this schedule wont be nearly as tough as it appears.

This is what JL needs this year. A bunch of great pass rushers to gain a little experience from, he will be fine. Its time to start Henne. Lets get the field stretched with Ginn and get out of the "8 in the box". This has been Miami's problem for years. The trifecta should try and get Crabtree. I'm sure right about now the Niners would take a single first rounder for him so not to lose the pick when Crabtree re-enters the draft next year.

I admit I was pissed when we lost and I had mixed emotions on this yr but now the dust settled I thought about it. Most of our opinions are based on one game. I still believe were gonna have a great yr. Miami CAN beat the colts! Miami will learn from it. It won't happen again. Believe!!!

israelzion,

Maybe it is you who needs to get a grip. How can you possibly have formed an opinion on Henne's ability or lack thereof. Is Parcells your father in law? Is there something you are not telling us? You people are idiots. Maybe he does suck, but there is no way you would know that when the guy has not even started an NFL game yet.

I agree with DBMfins. I said this last night, lets try and trade for Crabtree and possibly throw in Turner providing that we have the cap space.

Then again, we don't have a quarterback to get him the ball unless we start Henne.

to suck or not to suck.that's the question .

To Shawn: the WTC collapse was a result of the extreme high heat that was caused by the plane's fuel that in fact melted the supporting structure so that is why it looks like a planned demolition.

You are by far the stupidest person on this page – please do us all a favor and go to the Jets page as you obviously have a man crush on your new boyfriend Sanchez

Wow, another insightful post, Mando. You mean the Dolphins' schedule is really hard? WOW. Breaking news right here.

-- Bebo

Gary Skeleton amen brother you speaka the truth ruth I couldn't agree with you more. They will fix it in the trifecta we trust!!!

Lets be honest Henne might not turn out to be good at all, he certainly cant read defenses as well as Penny, and may not protect the ball better(last two games Penny ha ssucked at this) BUT with Henne out there the deep threat is in play and he can launch the ball waaaaaay further than Penny. This would in turn allow things to open up for Ricky and Ronnie. Essentially send Ginn on streaks and fades all day long and the safeties wont be pinching trust me. Offense look for 2-4 big plays a game that can change the momentum and field position, and lets face it unless its a gimmick or the guy he throws to makes a play Penny aint getting us yards on the catch.Loved Chad last year and still think he is solid BACKUP, but he cant make the NFL QB caliber throws that we need right now.

By this time next week Stephen Ross will be humiliated in front of all of his new show biz partners ans Dan Henning will be unemployed.

I think the Colts are an easy matchup for the Dolphins b/c they are really soft. I expect the Dolphins to manhandle them on both sides of the ball on Monday. In addition, the Colts are missing Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzalez, which should make things a lot easier as well.

I DISAGREE ARMANDO,

1. BELL AND WILSON WERE DRAPED ALL OVER GONZALEZ AND THE COVERAGE WAS VERY SOUND, TONY USES HIS SIZE AND EXP. PLAYING B-BALL WELL IN HIS GAME BOXING THEM OUT, HE USED HIS FRAME TO SHEILD THE BALL FROM YEREMIAH AND GIBRIL.

2. ON THE TONY G TOUCHDOWN, BELL'S TECHNIQUE AND ANGLE ON THE TACKLE WAS POOR, AND HE KNOWS THAT, IF U WATCHED HIS POSTGAME INTERVIEW, HE KNOWS IF HE WOULD HAVE SLOWED DOWN AND GOT IN BETTER POSITION TO TACKLE GONZO, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN A HUGE DEF. STAND THERE ON 3RD DOWN.

3. i THOUGHT JAKE LONG MADE SOME ADJ. LATER ON, HE WAS SOO FOCUSED ON NOT GIVING IN ON THE BULL RUSH MOVE AGAIN, THAT HE GAVE BEIRMANN (SP) THE OUTSIDE EDGE AND GAVE UP ANOTHER SACK, BUT ON A FEW PLAYS WHERE PEOPLE SAY HE LOOKED BAD, IT WAS MORE OF A CASE OF PENNINGTON SLIDING IN THE POCKET RIGHT INTO THE RUSH, FOR INSTANCE, JAKE LONG BLOCKED THE OUTSIDE EDGE AND DROVE AND FORCED THAT BEIRMANN GUY INSIDE TOWARDS HIS LINE HELP AND PENNINGTON (PROB. BEING NERVOUS ABOUT OUTSIDE PRESSURE AGAIN) STEPPED UP IN THE POCKET RIGHT INTO THE D-LINEMAN. BUT WE HAVE TO GIVE PENNY MORE TIME TO THROW PERIOD.

3. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, I DON'T CARE IF U HAVE WALTER JONES AT LT, DWIGHT FREENEY WILL GET HIS THIS MONDAY NIGHT, HE WILL GET BURIED ON SOME PLAYS AND THEN TIME SNAPS PERFECTLY AND SMOKE JAKE IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF THEM, THATS WHAT MAKES THESE GUYS GREAT PASS RUSHERS. LETS SEE HOW HE ADJ.

4. THE SCHEDULE TALK IS SO LAME, U PLAY ONE GAME AT TIME, WHO CARES? LOOK WHAT BUFFALO DID TO THE CHEATERS, IF MCKELVIN DOESN'T FUMBLE, THEY JUST HAVE TO PICK UP ONE FIRST DOWN TO END THE GAME AND INSTEAD THEY MAKE TOM BRADY LOOK LIKE A HERO AGAIN (UGH!) BUT THATS WHY THEY'RE THE BILLS.

Dolphin fans listen up,stop acting like jet fans and stop cryin.Things will get better and we will beat the jets twice this year on the way to a wild card birth.Those jet fans that are on this blog have no blog of there own(imagine that)so to kill time between naps they come here.

Armando,any news on wake?

we need a bigger boat

"It is the toughest in the NFL taking last season's records ... blah, blah, blah." It's the toughest schedule with teams records from a year ago. We play who we play and it will make us stronger or it won't. The way this team is coached I see it making us stronger. And about the comments on Jake Long, please. Give me a break. He is a #1 pick. So he he needs to play like it. There are talented players on every team. My advice to my boy Jake Long is Deal with it!

WHAT ABOUT OUR ELITE PLAYER .....ronnie brown .what did he do so far?

...Obviously, we should have picked Matt Ryan with the #1 pick in 2008. Picking #1 you want a guy with no holes in his game, and Long cannot handle speed rushers. Could not do so in college(Gholston got the best of him). maybe our team is cursed. :(

aado I agree bro. Ronnie Brown is not an elite player. He is a good player but not great. With where he was picked he is nothing. There was a reason out of the gate last year Ricky was the started and why Ricky looked better this past weekend. The reason is he is a tougher, harder runner. Ronnie is too cute runner. Don't get me wrong Ronnie lowers his head time to time but doesn't run hard like Ricky does. When Ronnie is a free agent I would let him go. He is going to demand top dollar and he is not that kind of player and with his injury history he is just not worth it.

Shawn, I'm not going to respond to some whack job, anti-American, lunatic who believes the US Government killed their own people..u need serious help...someone who thinks like you isn't worth talking to...so continue to post your egotistical b/s while the SANE and KNOWLEDGEABLE football fans and decent human beings laugh and ignore your rants...you have no credibility...this is my last post to you...

The other thing regarding the schedule is that last year's schedule was ridiculously easy. The played all team that picked in the top ten of the draft (Oakland, KC, San Fran, St Louis, etc). Even playing these weak teams, the Dolphins were just barely winning those games. It's amazing how many bad teams had a chance to win the game on the last drive. The Dolphins had to play great football and set a record with lowest turnovers in order to just barely beat bad football teams.

This year will certainly be a challenge. It's starting to look like the 3 year estimate that people were giving for the Dolphins to truly be competitive will be accurate.

shawnhater, plane fuel melted the floors of WTC 1 & 2 and caused the collape, pancake theory. huh? how come it dropped at free fall speed?

how come WTC 7 dropped at free fall speed, symetrically, with NO PLANE hitting it?

Penne is a weak noodle. better for my pasta dish than leading my Phins team. Would love to see that Henne is the man, just have seen nothing from him to indicate that is true. guys with the abilities, game changing / superbowl caliber skills, usually show something by now, a glimpse, that they could be great. there is a reason Henne sits on the bench and even when average QB Penne plays bad the coaching staff is not even considering putting in Henne. Time to face reality, we do not have a stud QB, someone to lead us deep into the playoffs, on this roster. and it has been 10 years since we have had one...FIND A QB.

so sad bobby...please don't go!

Mando, yes the phins have a tough schedule, but no one cares...this is a great year for Jake Long and this o-line to play against the best and learn what it takes to be a great team and build character...again, short term we HAVE to win it all NOW from some of these so called "fans" is ridiculous..the best thing about the "opinions" of alot of these blogs is that 1. Bill Parcells could care less what we think and 2. Bill Parcells ignores what we think...he was bought in to build a longlasting, winning franchise and that's what he's doing, getting younger, bigger, stronger and grooming players such as Henne and Long to be here winning for a loonnnggg time to come...I watched what he did with the Giants, the Cowboys, who were stopped only by their stupid owner, and his disiples all over this league, Belecheck for one...This is a step by step process and will all payoff in the end....Go Phins

mr johnson, the reason all of those games were close last year is because the fins took no chances beyond what they needed to win...ulta conservative....which is why they had almost no turnovers.....

shawn, dude.....are you kidding me....aren't there special sites for whack job conspiracy theories????????were talkin fins here....go away

Sparano is smart enough to game-plan with these guys in mind, chad had absolutely not enough time . Coaching is all about preparation. Whether he has to use a tight end or even better, a back to give him that time, then that's what he'll do. The team beat themselves last week and Atlanta would have been handled without the turnovers. They are able to overcome the loss and believe they will bounce back with a win over indy

Yikes!

steelers had the hardest schedule and one of the worse o-lines in the whole league and won the super bowl last yr.

PS-Thanks for this write up and shedding light on the recent performance by Jake Long.

Armdando:

It would easier to take your blog seriously if you used the word "personification" right. A game does not personify a schedule. A person or the representation of a person (like a fictional character) personifies a thing like a schedule.

A good example of the correct use of the word is to say Shawn (who likes to post about a 9/11 conspiracies) personifies stupidity.

Maybe the word you are looking for in this case is "manifestation". The poor performance in the Atlanta game was the manifestation of the tough schedule we keep hearing about.

Even if articulated right, the substance of the blog is lacking. Most NFL teams have at least a few quality players on their roster. You can write the same article every week about teams with lesser schedules.

Anyway you can report information instead of opinion?


jeez jordi, if your going to criticize him to that extent, at least spell his name right.

The Colts are soft blag blah blah, we'll see when Freeney's sack, is all over Pennington's face. You get waxed by the Falcons, and we are in a hard battle with jones drew, limit him to 50 yards, and we're soft. Sounds like panic to me, once again the goldfish will be watching the playoffs from the same place I do. Colts Rule.

colts are the fins b*&*ch.....it's been that way for years

Shawn, FYI there is no such thing as "free fall speed" its called the speed of gravity which happens to be 9.8 meters per second... so get your facts straight .... now, although I don't disagree with your WTC comments but this is not the place to do them, talk phins......

By the way some of you are jumping on the Jake Long haters band wagon.... he will be just fine, he got beat a few times by one of the best past rushers in the history of the game so give the guy some slack!!.... by the way the patriots offensive line did not look very sharp on MNF....you don't see anyone asking for their heads on a plater, relax 15 more games to go.

Life time Phins fan from NJ here. The Dolphins will only beat the Colts if they run the ball out of the base offense. That is our best chance to succeed. Everyone criticizes Long and his inability to take on speedy pass rushers. Why don't we work to his and the rest of the O Line and teams strenght and run the ball down teams throats. In an earlier post I criticized Ronnie but a healthy does of Ronnie and Ricky would go a long way for us. It's our best chance at success this season. The play calling was just as much at fault as the O Line bad play. Why the hell was Pennington dropping back so much especially when the game was 10-0 and still a game.

So you think our base offense with Pennington at the helm is just a work in progress, and we should abandon all forms of trickery and deception?

Imagine if we had done that last year. Can you say 8-8? Sure, I knew you could, 'Mando.

The Dolphins and OC Dan Henning did exactly what I wanted them to do: Install Wildcat 2.0 and introduce PW. Throwing in a trick play or two on top of it IS THE ONLY CHANCE WE HAVE AGAINST THIS SCHEDULE.

It was the turnovers and poor offensive line play that hurt us most, not trying to explore the possibilites of whether having three offenses can work in the NFL with six plays from scrimmage.

This should be a year of experimentation on the offensive side of the football, and I'm all for it. If we prove it can work, we'll stay with it. If not, the trifecta will wave goodbye to Pennington, move White to receiver or trade him, and introduce Chad Henne as our new QB.

Armando, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is right. I m tired of hearing about how hard our schedule is. U have to beat the best to be the best so I say bring it on. We will adjust just wait and see on Monday. We have the talent and the right staff to compete each and every game this season. We will just have to wait and see who will come out on top. We have to play smart and stay healthy.

If we develop the wildcat into a fully varied single wing offense - using Pat White and Ronnie Brown and anybody else who can help - we create a strategic advantage - we know how it works backwards and forwards while for our opponents it is a one-off for one week. Like the 49ers when Walsh first introduced the West Coast offense. We are on a track to become a dominant team. This year is about expanding the Wildcat, getting our young players to gell into a flawless team, seeing who the stars are and what the remaining acquisitions needed are. Good place to be. Rising.

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