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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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LOL@Marc , give me break ! Also namdi's deal was for three years making him the highest paid DB in HISTORY ! , You DON' T give up that much money for 1 player whe rebuilding. Miami is no were near the 13 mil under the salary cap. Miami signed it's draft picks and cut wiford ( which took a hit ) after that # was posted months ago. They'll need every penny with all the free agents they have.

Also , don't forget they signed ricky and polite to extensions and for alot more money.


Here's my possible draft scenario if we were 5-11 instead:

1. Michael Crabtree
2. Davis and Smith
3. Larinaitis/ Maualuga/ or Cushing
4. Lawrence Sidbury OLB
5. Cornellius Ingram TE and Chris Clemmons
6. Andrew Gardner
7. JD Folsome

At the 6th and 7th rds. they picked relatively at the same spots. (Raider's 7th and Browns 5th slots)

Also I believe they would have to make decision on losing out on Pat White or Sean Smith. So I ommited White.

Oh yeah, at 5-11 we would have picked one spot lower than the Raiders because we beat them and would have had identical records.

LOL@DYING BREED . First you have to much time on your hands. Second . davis wouldn't have been around in the 2nd round . Same goes for laurinaitis/maualuga/cushing in the 3rd round. They all went in the 1st or top of the 2nd. LMAO !


Oops, I did screw up the 3rd. Maybe White? LOL

I know it's hard for you to keep up there NJ. That's the reason I said we wouldn't be in this position if it were me! This regime has made several COSTLY mistakes, and missed on others. Allen did not come cheap, which, would have helped towards ANOTHER DB. Wilford's bonus was accelerated, Eric Green, McCown. All mistakes that HURT the salary cap. Players like Torbor with 1.5 mil bonuses...

Marc , What the hell are you talking about ? you just have to have the last word, Dude stick to being a gm on madden football because you have no idea what you're talking about as far asreal football is concerned. There's so much into being a gm that you have no idea. What are you saying , you know more Than ireland and the tuna ? LMFAO ! LMFAO ! LMFAO ! Stick to fantasy land. these guys are building a winner.

If it was up to you this team would be over the salary cap , have a bunch of 30 year old has beens making to much money and be a perennial 500 team with no future. LMAO !

Yeah, looks like they're building a real winner *rolls eyes*. Out of all those I named very few were 30+, nor has beens. We have a bunch of "never haves"! It's not that I need the last word. It's that you blind followers have FAITH, I don't!

Marc , BLIND ? Pot meet kettle !. Miami has had 1 great draft ( they were picking higher) and 1 ver good draft ( getting 2 starting caliber cb's is great start). They've brought in good players such as grove , smiley , starks , polite . etc. I still think fasano will come on. They made just a couple of mistakes , just like wvery team in the NFL das. Give it a rest already.

How can you call last year's draft great? Henne and Merling will answer that. Neither have. Merling SHOULD be starting...PERIOD! My posts however, were more focused on FREE AGENTS, not drafts! Grove, Smiley, and Polite I'll give you. Ayodele, Torbor, Wilford, McCown, Thigpen, Green, and the others I mentioned are more than a COUPLE mistakes! You telling me they couldn't have went after ONE big name? ONE known talent? ONE superstar? I give up, it's like talkin' to a wall

A wall ? LMAO ! Pot meet kettle ! . Drafts are part of building a team and are a big part of who you sign as free agents. WALL !

The Dolphins need an elite TE as much as they need a #1 WR. This is where the Trifecta has gambled and lost by not addressing the areas. Granted you can’t change 15 years of poor drafting/free agency in 1 year. The Dolphins got lucky last year with good production out of the TE’s because of Pennington being so good.
My question is where is the Turner kid from USC? We have no tall targets out there like him. Why can’t he get on the field? Omar, you should ask Henning next week what is wrong with Turner.


lol lol

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