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TEs not helping and associated problems

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning talks to the media once a week for 10 minutes and in at least two of the last four times he did that, he mentioned how the loss of tight end David Martin has hurt his offense.

It is an interesting comment because the Dolphins put Martin on injured reserve at the beginning of the regular season without really making too much of a big deal about it.

They put him out for the season and, as I reported in September, he had surgery Sept. 9. His agent told me at the time that Dr. James Andrews was of the belief Martin could be ready to play again in six to eight weeks. Guess what?

It's been seven weeks.

Best case scenario, Martin might have been ready to play last week. Worst case, he might ahve been ready next week.

That, I guess, is water under the bridge. The Dolphins made the decision they thought was best and are now living with it. But I bring up Martin more to plant this seed in your minds: Martin is unsigned for 2010.

It will be interesting whether the Dolphins, who often lament the Martin injury, make any attempt to re-sign Martin. His agent Terry Williams, told me that while neither he nor Martin were happy with being placed on injured reserve, that will not affect their decision in free agency.

"That will be a decision we will evaluate based on the financial considerations at that time," Williams said.

So we shall see if the Dolphins value Martin as much as they say they miss him. The Dolphins this season are trying to fill the Martin void with Anthony Fasano and Joey Haynos. So far, the void ain't filled too good, if you get my drift.

Fasano, coming off his two most productive pass-catching games of the season, still has only 11 catches for 77 yards and one touchdown. Haynos has two catches for 38 yards.

Haynos obviously hasn't been the down-field threat Martin was. Neither has Fasano. In fact, Fasano hasn't been the threat he himself was last season when he finished with 34 receptions for 454 yards and seven touchdowns.

Coach Tony Sparano explained Thursday that Fasano's diminished numbers aren't all a result of something he is doing wrong.

“I think it matters a little a bit with the quarterback, whether he is comfortable throwing the ball in the middle of the field, I think because that is where most tight ends work," Sparano said, starting to list the reasons Fasano has not been as big a factor so far. "At the same time, I think our run game has a little bit to do with the lack balls that are out there that way."

Sparano explained that the Dolphins have seen a lot of defenses creep their safeties up in order to help stop Miami's outstanding rushing attack. That has, in turn, made the middle of the field a very crowded place for Fasano and Haynos to work.

"What I mean by that is you are not getting the middle of the field open against us," Sparano said. "The middle of the field is closed."

And that explains some things. But it doesn't explain everything.

It doesn't explain how Fasano had two receptions in the regular-season opener and fumbled both. It doesn't explain how he had a 19-yard reception in his hands against the Saints off a Ronnie Brown throw from Wildcat, and dropped the ball.

It doesn't explain his other drops this season. Fact is, Fasano is second on the team in drops this season, behind Ted Ginn Jr.

And, finally, the fact the middle of the field is closed is normally a good thing. You see, teams with passing games that are even mediocre, rarely see safeties playing like they were hybrid linebackers because no one in the pass-happy NFL is stupid enough to gamble like that on defense.

The gamble is your safeties crowd the line of scrimmage, most teams will be able throw the ball over the top for TD after TD after embarrassingly long TD.

But defenses have gambled like that against the Dolphins, hoping to shut down the run, because they have little or no fear of those embarrassing passes. Defenses close the middle of the field because they think they can matchup man-to-man on the outside and usually not get burned.

Defenses close the middle of the field against Miami because they don't fear a playmaking tight end will run up the seam, past the safety, and into the end zone. Defenses close the middle of the field against Miami because they believe the quarterback is more comfortable and confident throwing to the outside or to the checkdown running back than zipping a seam pass past a safety's earhole.

So it's wrong to blame the success of the Miami running game for shutting down the middle of the field. It is more correct to blame an ineffective receiver and tight end corps for not winning one-on-one matchups and not forcing defenses to respect them and open up the area. 

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Gee let's see - The Fins score over 30 points in each of the past 3 games with Henne starting - yeh I guess we really miss the TE.

How bout we fix the shi?ty defense??????

Y-not,

We really do miss a great TE. Havent you been watching us on "defense" lately? LOL

Anyway, on D we need at least one impact ILB and a freak of nature FS. Anyone knows when Ed Reed becomes a free agent?

Fasano's huge drop at the end of the saints game could have costs us the game. And if it wasn't for his fumbles during the atlanta game we could have won that game. He's costs us 2 games.

Although he had a nice block during the ricky touchdowin at saints game

Spot on Mando! I've been wondering what happened to Fasano myself. Seems like he got all nervous and messed up from that first fumble in Atlanta. But I agree with some of the other guys that it might have to do with Henne. I love the kid, but he's not all the way there yet with all his throws. And really, the seam passes I've seen him attempt have all flown over the receivers' heads, so maybe he doesn't have that touch yet. But if so, then Henning should work to find TE routes Henne CAN complete, so we can keep the defense unbalanced. But we do need Martin back next year (he was a good receiver) as well as a rookie prospect ('cause I'm not thrilled with Haynos).

fasano cost us big time.....very mad at him,,,,he sucks

Y-not is right, We need to fix this Sh*ty defense.

LMAO ! Dying breed wants to sign every free agent out there . :)

I want to sign every GOOD free agent out there!

No NJ,

Just listing best TE's and Wr available. Wouldnt be against signing Broncos TE Tony Scheffler, he's young and talented. Also he wouldnt be as expensive as trying to sign Owen Daniels.

How many GOOD free agents can you sign , when besides their own team wanting to keep them , miami has to contend with their own free agents to be ( Brown , fergie , roth , fasano ? , taylor , haynos ? , etc ). That's not including some of miami's other good players who'll want extensions ( smiley , bess , etc ). That's why the draft is essential. If i'm going for a big/good freeagent it will be at wr, the rest will be through the draft.

Dying breed , Scheffler would be a good pickup . He's not a huge name and won't command big bucks . Why would denver let him go ?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=cr-wornoutwelcomes102909&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
Ginn has been demoted twice by the Dolphins, first when he was taken off special teams duty this season, and now Wednesday, when the team appeared to begin reducing his role in the base offense. Of late, he has appeared to lack confidence and focus, dropping balls in addition to his already maddening style of finesse play.Ginn’s failure to make the catch resulted in an INT and TD for the Saints. Six games into his third season, Ginn has never truly shown a consistent ability to be a No. 1 receiver, which was expected to be his role when he was selected No. 9 overall in the 2007 NFL draft. While he’s got a strider’s speed, he doesn’t have the explosion of a player like the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson(notes). He doesn’t get off the line well against contact, he isn’t good at creating yards after the catch, and he hasn’t really become polished from a technical standpoint. In a way, he’s becoming reminiscent of Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Troy Williamson(notes), who despite his athletic skill, just never became dependable or technically sound.Ginn probably needs to be in an offense where he’s the No. 3 or No. 4 option, where he’s facing a nickel cornerback and doesn’t have the pressure to constantly excel. That’s not what you want to be saying about a high first-round draft pick, but that’s the reality. One thing is for sure: his experience in Miami got off to a rough start, and he doesn’t look like he’s ever recovered mentally.

Marc- At least the Fins aren't owned by the Glazers. As far as tight ends, regardless of price, the Chargers (Antonio Gates) proved we need a large player who plays both football & basketball

You know what I miss is the big dolphin flag waving, after TDs, in the corner endzone seats at the OB. Man those were good times. Hopefully are team will get to that level of success again.

Marc , what fantasy girl will be arriving in your head today. 2 days ago it was a 5 foot columbian and yesterday it was a 5 foot peruvian. This sounds more like marching powder to me . What's today's fantasy brazil , Cuban , PR . mexican ? Welcome to your fantasy ! LOL ! :)

Well, NJ, you named exactly ONE player (Brown), I'd be concerned with losing...OK, I feel I must post my story now

And NJ...I don't need to lie about such things...Tonight, I might have to go with one of my white girls...


It's all Chad Henne's fault !

He is capable of "floating" a pass down the middle over the safeties head , but in fear of being called out as a "weak armed quarterback" on this blog ( as CP always was )he decided to "rifle" bullets to the side and down the field so everyone on this board could say ....

" we now have a strong armed quarterback! "

And avoid all the online bashing and scrutiny

Marc , and brown will come cheap right ? LMFAO ! Browm will command a 5-6 year deal in the 40-50 mil range. What big name free agent will you be able to afford ? LOL ! You don't want to sign Fergie ? You can't let all their free agents go . You'll deplete the depth. You can't let go of both Roth and taylor , same goes for both fasano and haynos. Glad you're not miami's GM ! LOL ! :}

Sparano might love his players but he needs to transform that loving mind into a winning mind. Stop dancing around with Ginn and sit him down. Hartline was a promising receiver from the start of camp. Why did he hold him for so long? What about Turner? come on dude! Stop neglecting the fact that your receiver corps so far this season suck!! Yeah, we have a couple of steady guys, but not big play players. Only in RB. Our QB is very good, but he will fail to produce with Ginn and Fasano dropping balls. Bess and Camarillo catching short yardage. These last two are just that. Hartline looks promising. Turner needs to play!!! What gives?

Oh, and as I said before, this front office made a mistake by giving Crowder a contract extension. We need a MLB that is star caliber. Look at that position in other teams. Those guys fly to the ball! Crowder flies too, but most of the time that's all he does and doesn't get to the ball on time. He is not fast, though. He gets bullied several times during a game. Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, John Beason, DJ Williams, even Bart Scott, etc, etc, etc, most teams wouldn't start Crowder. He is probably in the bottom 5 of the league in my opinion. Just look at the names of all the other MLB I didn't mention, and you'll see.

The fact that Will Allen can't play will benefit the team. Yes, they lose the overused word "leadership" but they have two very good corners in Davis and Smith. They need to start now. Allen was getting burned the entire year, except against the coach-less Bills. Gibril Wilson? pft!

I wouldn't be in this situation because I would have filled those needs in prior years...As mentioned...

LOL@MARC. Going white ? there goes the marching powder reference again ! Columbia , peru and white. HMMMMM!

NJ,

Ive read that Scheffler also isnt very happy with Josh McDaniels. However when winning opinions change. Hope we would at least make him a decent offer.

I still think A. Benn will be a franchise wr and wouldnt be disappointed at all if we took him 1st rd. Marino put up great numbers in college although others qb's had far greater. NJ I cant really explain it but I havent had this feeling about a college player since Marino.

Marc , nobody and i do mean NOBODY ! could've filled those needs after the mess cameron and saban left this team in with their bad Drafting ! Parcells and irelands 2 drafts have come a long way to fixing that problem. I more good one should finish the job.

I keep it diverse...Last I checked Peru wasn't a huge supplier of the white...I could be wrong.

Oh and wanny !

LMAO @ MARC.

WTF Mandy?!

I think I'm going to have to start my own blog since Mandy is a fascist!

Dying breed , easy with the warm and fuzzy feelings for Benn. This draft is loaded with better players at need positions for the dolphins than benn. He has inconsisent hands . Also there are alot of good wr's in this draft.

Here's an exercpt that hopefully won't be deleted this time:

"How could it be that, in over a decade’s time, through multiple regimes, coaches, staff, players, and executives not one of them could right this ship? It appears that even this current regime, under the guidance of the great Big Tuna can’t seem to get it right. I know, it’s blasphemy to say such things about the “Tuna”, but, let’s be objective, and use a little sense here. That bobbled pass last weekend, eventually caught by 4-time pro-bowler, league-leader in INT’s and likely, future hall-of-famer, 30+ year old Darren Sharper, who just so happened to be an unrestricted free agent this year. Other notable safeties we’ve passed up on in the 2 years of the new regime: Brian Dawkins, Roy Williams, Atari Bigby to name a few. Who have we signed? Chris Crocker? Keith Davis, Gibril Wilson. Yeah!
The Wide Receiver who bobbled that pass, along with the rest of our anemic receiving corps, consists of a 3rd year #9 overall pick that is struggling, and undersized, a couple of undrafted guys, and a couple of rookies that have been summed up as “The least intimidating receiving corps in the NFL”. It’s hard to argue that statement. Meanwhile, in that same 2-year span T.O., T.J. Houzyadaddy, Antonio Bryant, Roy Williams and Miles Austin, Coles, Gaffney and more were all there to be had. Scoff at some of the names if you wish. We have ONE WR with more than 200 Yds. The aforementioned 1st Rd pick at 211. Combined our WR’s have exactly 2 TD’s. If you still want to talk trash about the possible moves we could have made, allow me to remind everyone of the moves we DID make. Does Tab Perry ring a bell? How about Ernest Wilford? Brandon London? David Kircus, Anthony Armstrong. Bravo!
While our secondary has arguably been the worst deficiency, aside from QB since the Marino era, we have struggled since we gave away Surtain and Madison. We’ve failed to make any headway, until possibly this season. In the meanwhile though, current staff; we’ve passed on Asante Samuel (4 Int’s), Asomugha, and DeAngelo Hall (3 INT’s). No guesswork there. What did we do? We drafted 2 rookies; free agents? Nate Jones, Michael Lehan, Eric Green, Joey Thomas. Remarkable!
I suppose I could go on and tear down every mistake (Josh McCown), and every missed chance (Greg Ellis, Vilma, Faneca) but, maybe instead of trying to “Flip over rocks”, these guys should stop shopping like they are at a flea market. It seems as though this staff has an aversion to talent. I read somewhere that coaching constitutes about 10%, good or bad. That means, if you don’t have the TALENT, it doesn’t really matter how well coached you are"

Serious question for the Dolphins fans...

Do you guys feel embarrassed when you see one of your owners Marc Anthony singing the national anthem, Gloria Estefan, another one of your owners walking around the sidelines wearing some Miami Dolphins sequin leotard, and when you score a TD and they play that fight song that makes you feel like your on a Carnival cruise ship? Or do the flamboyant teal and orange and cute little stuffed animal looking logo make you embarrassed?

Cause I'm not even a Dolphins fan, I'm a Jets fan and I find myself getting embarrassed a little on your behalf.

Fireman Ed.

Enough Said. Jackass.

John, it is a bit embarrassing. No more so than your starting QB munching on hot dogs on the sideline, however, or your obnoxious overweight coach and his 2 uneducated LB's speaking as if they were actual contenders...

LMFAO@MARC . MY GOD ! What a ridiculous post ! THIS TEAM IS BEING BUILT THROUGH THE DRAFT AND FOR THE LONG HAUL ! These free agents would've been stop gaps. Nobody went after sharper until 3 weeks after free agency started. They weren't exactly breahing down doors for him Deanelo hall , roy williams ? LOL ! Ashmougha ? The guy got 60 mil ! Vilma isn't a 3-4 ILB. Faneca and Ellis ? Miami Signed smiley( who's palying great ) and taylor( Who's playing great }. McCown , how about getting pennington ? And can go on and on. Miami has built a great foundation at OL and DL , At QB and at the corner position ( there's your madison and surtain }. Miami was in complete dissary. This couldn't be fixed overnight but parcells and ireland have come damn close. The day of signing big free agents over 30 are over. THANK GOD ! It sets back teams For years. When the trifecta are done , this team will be a power for years ala New england and not a loser like washington , who signs every free agent in the book.

Vilma not a 3-4 LB? He looked like a pretty good 3-4 LB to me! (Last I checked the Jets are running a 3-4) Certainly better than either of our ILB's! As I've said before, it's a bit early to crown either of our rookie corners as the next Madison and Suratin, and I, for one was screaming for DeAngelo Hall. The other 2 on that list are probably the top 2 in the NFL! Not unknown rookies. This was by no means an all inclusive list.

Marc,

As a Finfan I understand your disappointment. However if you understand Parcells blueprint for susccess then a light would come on. I'll place it in order of priority and hopefully even the blind could see:

1. The Foundation -Offensive and Defensive Line

No building no matter how great, will stand without a firm foundation.

In 08, the trifecta brought in Jason Ferguson, a very cheap and very good NT to temporarily anchor anchor its its new d-line. the young DE's Langford and Merling are showing signs of being prominent young anchors for years to come. The depth is ouitstanding there. Although we may or may not need to find a future replacement for Ferguson deppending upon Solai's progression.

My grade so far on d-line B+

Wow, what a complete disaster the o-line was before Parcells arrival. In less than a season and half we're easily top 5 nfl's best. See Long, Thomas, Smiley, Grove. The lone holdover is Vernon Carey. We also have very nice depth too.

My grade here A

But what really has the potential to be the trifecta's greatest coup so far maybe Chad Henne. If he turns out to be a pro bowl qb, being a 2nd round selection would make him as great or greater coup than selecting Marino at bottom 1st rd. Thus far Chad's showing promising signs.

What a pleasant surprise Smith and Davis have been thus far! This coming draft I see the focus being primarily at the linebacking corp to complete our defensive front 7. Depending on whats available a speed wr and pass cover safety, and upgrade over Fasano could be addressed during the draft or free agency too.

If the trifecta wouldnt have addressed the position they did, in comparison we would a lot worse problems than we have today. What's the value of a great wr if you dont have time to get him the ball?

Do you even know how to compare apples to apples? New England, whose name YOU spit are notorious for signing older free agents! Seau and Moss are prime examples. Taylor, that you mentioned, is how old? Ferguson, who you want to re-sign is how old?

Dying Breed. I can't say I'm sold on the D-line, and Solai wasn't even a "trifecta" pick. As far as I know they have NOONE aside from Solai. Merling, Starks, McDaniels, Dotson, Langford, depth maybe, but, I can't say I've seen any of these guys consistently apply pressure. Of course, they all rotate so frequently perhaps that's by design. Of course, all 6 combined have 5 sacks and 0 FF's. Maybe your definition of "prominent, and outstanding" differ from mine.

Barring a career defining injury our greatest offensive free agent signing for 2010 will undoubtedly be Ronnie Brown. He's so valuable to many facids of anyone's offense.

Marc , What the F are you talking about ? LMAO ! last i checked vilma is on the saints and the jets traded him Because he DOESN'T fit the 3-4. He a smaller lb who's best when is is Protected by big Dt's in the 4-3 .

Carlito, there was one pass to Camarillo not multiple like you suggest. Maybe you should watch the game again.

Marc , the primary job for the dl in the 3-4 is to stop the run NOT rush the passer. That's why the de's in the 3-4 must be around 300 pounds. Do you know anything about football ? LMAO ! and it's easy to Play GM from one's couch. You don't need to play to the salary cap or how a player fits in a system. It's not madden football. :)

Deangelo hall ? LMFAO ! HE SUCHS !

New England built Their their dynasty through the DRAFT ! When the became good enough the plugged in free agents. Look at new england next year , besides their 1st round pick they have 3 2nd Round picks. That's smart and it's to maintain a great team for the future. Miami isn't good enough to sign big free agents to plug holes YET ! They have ALOT of holes.

Marc,

All we need now on the d-line is a young nose who can create middle push on pass plays. Wouldnt be surprised to see Alabama's Mt Cody as our 1st rounder too.

Also Marc, you need to understand the philosophy behing the 3-4D in pass situations. In the 3-4 when a DE gets a sack its a bonus. Its designed for primarily for DE's to eat up blockers so the OLB's collect the sacks.

As I said we only lack the NT who can consistently get middle pocket push, not allowing the passer to step up in the pocket. Or be able to consistently tie up 2 offensive blockers freeing up other pass rushers.

This also forces offenses to "max-protect" which limits how many recievers they can commit to the passing game, putting less pressure on your secondary.

While at the Giants, Parcells had Jim Burt and Lawrence Taylor which made his 3-4 extremely effective. Thats pretty much what our D should closely resemble when complete. Mt Cody should be a "giant step" in that right direction. LOL

Sorry, Confused Scott and Vilma, but, regardless, both are better. DeAngelo Hall sucks? That must mean our CB's REALLY suck, because, he has more picks than all of ours combined. BTW, Madden has a salary cap too. In fact, it's a good tool to see how much we OVERPAID for mediocre talent like TORBOR and Ayodele. They got huge bonuses! 230lb's is small?

as for ferguson and taylor , you need some veteran leadership to maintain a competitive team and help the youngsters.

That's all we need? A NT? So, we couldn't afford to upgrade our ENTIRE LB corps? Again, I'm not sold on the DE's either. I don't need football 101. I get it. OK, you guys keep on believing that we can get by signing re-treads and scrubs...BTW, If you haven't done the math, Porter, Ferguson, and Taylor are all 30+, and they all happen to be the best players on our D...

Just because a guy has 3 int's doesn't mean he's good. my brother is a skins fan and get to see hall get burnt numeroos times, He one of the most overatted cb's in football. Will allen has 2 int's and rookie jarious byrd has three. Are they great ? Sometimes your lucky. Namdi A, got like 60-70 mil. When your rebuilding you can't afford to give 1 player that much money. It kills your salary cap when you're trying to get alot of players.

Marc , i agree. miami NEEDS ! to build the Lb corps. They have to come out of this draft we AT LEAST ! 2 lb's. Just like miami drafted DL and OL last year and CB's last and wr this year , look for miami to go heavy at LB in this years draft . They NEED ! ILB help bad taylor and porter are older and roth is a free agent.

Ok guys the Cuban has arrived, Whats the story today???

and through in another S to along with clemons and culver,

If you're comparing the two Will Allen vs. DeAngelo Hall I'm gonna take Hall EVERY TIME. Don't get the impression I'm saying we should have gotten ALL of these players. I'm simply saying that ANY of them could have helped and 60-70 million over 6 years is reasonable for a top 3 CB I'd say.

NJ,

Your right on. What some of our fans dont understand is while laying the foundation we also have the salary cap to contend with. So at other positions we can only slightly upgrade them. Which allows the team in whole to become a little more competive until we arrive at that point to correctly address them.

Evidence of that is even though we lost to upprechalons like the Colts, Saints, Chargers, and Falcons we gave them all hard fights right to very end. None of them blew us out which is a very good indicator we are indeed headed in the right direction.

Most fans are disappointed becuase of premature desires for playoffs and titles. But as for me, as long as I understand we're headed in the right direction as we indeed seem to be, Im content on waiting a season or 2 max, until we're complete. If the world comes to an end before then it wasnt meant to be anyway. LOL

AGAIN !, 60-70 mil for 1 player when you're rebuilding is a definite NO-NO ! Miami was patient and come away with 2 young good cb's for a whole lot cheaper leaving miami money to sign other players . Miami would be in salary hell and wouldn't be able to re-sign a ronnie brown.

OOPS! Throw in

Dying breed , the biggest mistake was going 11-5 and winning the division last year. Fans forgot we were a 1-15 mess that needed alot of work, It gave false expectations.

NJ,

Ive been preaching that same statement to deaf ears for a while now. Not only did it give false hope, as far as '09 draft positioning this years draft class would look at least 3-4 players different. Its biggest impact clearly was what would be available to us in "09 draft.

Fans who dont have very good football IQ's dont realize this. Thier only priority is bragging rights, not overall quality and financial state of the team. Thats why they're so blind to the "real truth."

Yeah, it's SOO complex, and NJ, quit making a big deal about Asomuglala's salary. First, it was 46mil, not 60, second he was ONE EXAMPLE of the MANY I gave! Sometimes you get what you pay for, and that's fact! Besides, last I checked we were still about 13 mil or so under the cap, that's after having to accelerate the bonuses of aforementioned MISTAKES!

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