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A formula to slow that which seems unstoppable

After taking the bye weekend off by blogging four or five times and writing two columns, it's back to work today for me.

The Dolphins are scheduled back to work Monday also, which I suppose is much more important to you. (I get it).

As the Dolphins return to the practice field, the topic on everyone's mind has to be the New Orleans Saints. And more precisely, the Saints offense. And most precisely, slowing Drew Brees and that scary passing attack.

In this column I wrote while, you know, taking the weekend off, I make the point that Miami's secondary will have a tough assignment this week stopping or even slowing the New Orleans passing game. I mean, did you see what they did to the Giants Sunday?

Read the column for some interesting stats and details about Miami's coming opponent.

More importantly, read the column to find out the reaction of the Miami secondary on matching up with Brees and Co. Hint: They're stoked!

One thing the column does not include is a strategy for slowing the Saints. What? I ain't no coach.

But frankly, I was surprised how little pressure New York was willing to apply on Brees. When their front four didn't get there, the Giants didn't do anything more. They didn't really blitz. I was also surprised the Giants basically sat in zone coverages much of the game.

So Brees was not hurried and his receivers were not challenged and it was not pretty.

Note to Dolphins: Don't do that.

The Dolphins must find a way to put Brees and his back. They must man-up and win some of those mano-a-mano moments against the New Orleans receivers. And, of course, Miami must also hold the ball offensively for 35-38 minutes to limit the Saints' opportunities on offense.

Any other suggestions? 


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» Monday Morning Quarterback - Week 6, 2009 from CrabAppleLane Blog II
Fun game for Saints fans yesterday. When Drew Brees and the offense comes out smoking like they did against the Giants, they're hard to stop. The opposing defense has to account for AND cover EVERYONE on the field. The BOTD... [Read More]


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I just hope we don't focus so much on pass coverage in practice this week that we relent in the running game. I think we might be okay if we force them to be one dimensional and concentrate on our fundamentals (cutting down on penalties, making tackles, etc.)

If they rely too much on the pass all it will take is one overthrown ball or dropped pass to create 3 and outs or favorable 3rd and long situations. I also agree that TOP is important (we aren't the same team that lost to the Colts a few weeks ago, that wouldn't happen again). That said, hopefully the time off has given our secondary and coaches a lot of time to study tape. Pass rush would be nice, of course, and god knows how we are going to account for Shockey. If we are able to execute on offense on the road as well as we have at home, this could turn into a shootout.

they should build a 30ft wall in front of the endzone and hope brees cant throw over it...

no seriously, they need to put Sean Smith on Marques Colston and just let the rookie play. hes shut down TO and Braylon Edwards in back to back weeks. granted Drew Brees wasnt throwing them the ball, but i think those two have an edge over colston on any given day, so...


I think we have to duplicate the formula that worked against Indy (big rushing attack, timely passing, and Wildcat). Only one other thing...we have to score TDs instead of FG, and take advantage of our red zone possesions.

The defense will continue allowing big passing plays, so we must stress a great deal of ball control on offense...

"The Dolphins are scheduled back to work Monday also, which I suppose is much more important to you."
That's not true at all. We like having you well rested. The Dolphins don't play against for another week and they're going to get lit up like a pinball machine anyways. Let's focus on Armando's well being this week.

Do you feel like you need a day off? Would a massage by one of Miami's fine masseuses help you relax more?

I thought all the Dolphin fans would appreciate the following quotes from Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com in his web chat on Sunday night during the Falcons-Bears game:

10:39pm ET - Is Darrelle Revis the best cornerback in the NFL ?

Mike Florio - "I thought so until last Monday night, when Ted Ginn was kicking blades of grass up onto Darrelle's jersey."

10:39pm ET -
Do the Dolphins stand a chance against the Saints?

Mike Florio "Yes. I really like the Dolphins with Henne at quarterback. Fun to watch. Not easy to beat."

Plus the safeties need to play lights out and keep shockey from catching a ball...

Not that what he thinks means anything at all, but interesting stuff from a guy who spends as much time covering the NFL as any other person in the country

Win the special teams battle


Normally you stop good passing teams with a good pass rush. But I think the problem with Brees (and we had the same exact problem with Manning) is that he has such a quick release that the pass rush is practically irrelevant.

I think the way you win this game on defense is stuffing the run so that you get the Saints in mutiple 3rd and long situations every drive. Once you get to 3rd and long, anything can happen (batted balls, maybe a slight overthrow by Brees, maybe a great play by a DB). You need a bunch of 3rd and longs to tilt the odds in your favor.

Rush the passer, jam the recievers (having smith and Davis helps). They aren't running anywhere on us. The biggest thing for us is red zone offense, or lack thereof. But we really are a completely different team with henne behind center, this is going to be a fun game to watch

I also think the corners are not the problem. The safeties need to show up and be heroes. They need to absolutely shut down Shickey and cover the middle of the field. For me, the spotlight in this game is absolutely on Y. Bell and G. Wilson. They need to show up and play big.

Shocky, Shocky, and Shocky that will be our big issue the TE again, our CB will matchup with their WR but who will matchup with Shocky? This guy is a serious threat!

LB and Safeties could not cover Gonzalez, Clark, and Gates we have issues with elite TEs.

We should have an OLB Jam shocky at the line everytime the paly is snapped

Maybe have Davis on Colston and Smith on Shocky ?

Safeties?We have no stinkin safe'tis..lol

Let's bench Wilson and replace with Davis, Davis is very fast and can stick!!

Davis might be the next Ronnie Lott!

Let's hope so

Ize a wonderful idea fors youse fishies to keep the score down. Dont yezes show ups for the game. Hahahahahahahahaha.......hahahahaha..


jets jets jets...fire...rex rex rex.....

jetset09 you guys have serious problems it's all down hill from here guy!

NT gone Sanchez a bust,Pace a steroid Puppy that can't play and a coach that can't coach!!

I'll Fedex you a Solomon Rope that I was planing on using myself earlier in the year your turn to cry some!

the jets made that back up qb look like jim kelly

we need to control the clock like vs the colts and we'll be fine.

we also should have a pat white/yancy thigpen double qb wild cat...or are we saving that for the playoffs?

Dolphigs = smelly fish


You are forgeting that we have the same schedule you had last year. We can go 8-2 and still WIN the division with an 11-5 record.

Smelly Fish = you have the Saints, US and NE in the next three weeks. Prepare to be 2-6!!!!

Henne is the real joke.

JETS 11-5
NE 10-6
BILLS 6-10
WIMPS 4-12 (Dolphins = smelly fish)

jet fans r u serious your teams a joke another bust at qb kid has no chance a fat pig 4 a coach and still u comment on the mighty dolphins wow u guys r as pathetic as your team owell jets back to the drawing board i mean u lost to the bills lol lol lol and sanchez has thrown 20 ints i love having the jets around so much fun

henne the hero

This game will also be a good test considering the New England game is just around the corner. As important as the Jets game was this may be 2 games in one. If Miami's "D" can play with confidence and get pressure on Brees while the secondary slows down their receivers that will have a huge impact mentally when they play the Pats. Who knows maybe at time they rush 3 and drop 8 into coverage from time to time. Try to force them to the ground game.


i take it you did not watch the NO game vs Giants. NO can run very well. how in the hell do u guys stay up all night to blog?

and NO had over 500 yards total offense...IMO the best team in the NFL this year.

we will have our hands full....wilson is too small and Bell can't back him up when he has run responsibility

We got to hit brees in the mouth a bunch of times. Can not play zone. He would complete passes with 20 guys back there. That #12 colston is a beast. How was he a late pick?

"The jets made that back up qb look like jim kelly"

That was freakin' funny phinfan85.


That's 3 and counting. You should have heard the Jets' lumpen on sports radio only three weeks ago. Rex Ryan was a genius. Mark Sanchez was the next Joe Namath. And of course, the Jets had a rendezvous with destiny that would end in Miami and the Super Bowl.

(Caution: Be careful what you wish for Gangrenes-- Wily Joe has a 65.5 QB rating for his career.)

I can't help thinking of 1967. While Nasser was perorating about driving the Jews into the sea, the Israeli were at work destroying his air force before a single MIGs left the ground.

Oedipus Rex Ryan- blind and bloated with overweening hubris

Oh Rex, "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." -- Melville

And to every Jet fan, a White Whale or perhaps, a Turquoise Dolphin.

We need brees to mve out of the pocket make him uncomfortable and hide the blitzs more so we can confuse them more

Offensively, We need to combine what we did with The colts, and the jets. We limited Manning to only like 11 minutes of play. He only beat us because we couldn't do ANYTHING in the red zone. We have seemed to fix that problem pretty well. And as long as our Stud Henne can play just as he did against the jets we have play action passes wrapped up. Everybody has a breaking point. And I deffinatly see our Dolphins upsetting the Saints. It's in our past to upset teams that are statiscally better than us. Like when we beat the undefeated Bears 31-13. Or the undefeated patriots 21-0. If we can stay calm and execute we have this game wrapped up. That's all I have to say. Thanks for the blog Mando.

Is there a hurricane on the horizon?I love the Dolphins,but I don't think our secondary will be able to slow Drew down.If we controll the ball for 45 minutes like we did with the Colts,we can make the game interesting as long as we score TD's instead of threes.

Our "D" needs to show up. They've let Offenses run but mostly throw on them all season. If we can't pressure Brees (tough task) then we may be in trouble. Our offense can only hold the ball for so long and they have to score everytime. Our secondary is below average, sad to say, excluding some bad called interference they've really been inconsistent and missed many int opportunities. Go Phins, hope they can do it.

We're gonna have to hold on to ball nearly 3/4s of the game. I believe this game is somewhat a rematch of the colts and its a mustwin for me

Don't get away from what we do. Stop the run and get in Brees' face. Run the ball relentlessly and win TOP. The Giants were trying to win in a shootout. They got away from their game. The best place for Drew Brees is on the sideline.

I think that the Dolphins have much more of a chance then most give them credit for! I think that anyone who thinks that NO is better then Indy is smoking crack! Ok...Ok...they have a few more BIG NAMES maybe but not better overall. Indy has a big name in Payton Manning and that makes ANY reciver on his team a BIG name! And here is something that Manning has that Drew dosn't..... that unbelivable offensive line! Those guys are real men and really good. Not that New Orleans line is not good but there not great like Indies.

History shows that if you put Bress on his back he becomes less effective, this is the case with most QB's.

If you watched the game yesterday you saw Brees with 4.5 - 5.5 seconds to throw the ball every play and there still wasn't any pressure on him. Miami has done a nice job of closing that pocket....not nesscarily getting to the QB but closing in that pocket in about 2.75 - 3.25 seconds and that puts a lot of pressure on an offense.

Now, add in some blitz and wack him around a few times...

oh ya.... pray for some real hot weather next Sunday!

Go Fins!

People spend more time talking about Brees, Brady & Eli than they do about their offensive lines. I don't mention Peyton, because - well, he gets the ball out so fast that his linemen dont have to hold their blocks nearly as long. When the Pats went 18-1 (oops sorry to mention that Pat fan) it was laughable how long Brady sat back in the pocket. That wasn't brady so much as Light , Mankins and co. Of course he put up ridiculus #s. In the SB they got in his face and same person totally different results. Any qb is average at best under pressure.

Brees had forever and a day against the G men. It was comical watching pash rushers literally bounce off the Saints olinemen until they finally gave up. Brees is a good qb, ok - but the line is why. I don't see many Saints games, but the o-line looks like our problem next week.

They can control Bree's a good deal by keeping him off the field. We need some more of the 8-9 minute drives by our offense.

Miami needs to employ the 4-2-5 defense


Rotate Taylor-Porter and Crowder-Wake


If you can put enough pressure up front with the 4 down + 1 backer shooting the gap and leave one LB as a rover, you now have 3 solid cover corners pressing and 2 safeties to cover the rest of the field...


Any news about Josh cribbs

Pressure busts pipes and also Brees and the Saints.

All things considered, the gameplan we had against Indy was brilliant and would have worked had the defense been able to hold a lead for more than 35 seconds. I would do the same thing. Heavy dose on the run, control the clock. And obviously we MUST put pressure on Brees. He had all day to make throws against NY

Getting into a shootout with nawleans will not work. So, as many responders have indicated, keeping the running game AND wildcat alive and the ball out of Brees' hands is one thing that MUST happen. We must find a way to score touchdowns instead of FG's to win this game. How about some option passes off the wildcat? Plus play play action, if executed properly, should give us a fighting chance. Oh and one more thing. No big plays given up on defense.

Big task---dependent upon execution.


Against Brees & the Saints....

Prepare for the WORST

Hope for the BEST

I remember a few years ago when Chicago was riding high and no one gave Miami a chance in that game either, Miami came away with a win.

It could get ugly on Sunday, but I'm going to have faith that the Dolphins will keep it competitive and maybe have a chance to win before the final gun.

Armando is right, the most important thing we need to do is run and control the clock. On defense I would like to see us McDaniel more along with Taylor. Brees is short, if we use big bodies and stay disciplined in our rush lanes you can take away Brees'es ability to get good looks down the field. Brees is very good at sliding in the pocket to find lanes to throw in so it is important to get pressure and take good angles on the both the rush and the coverage to minimize those lanes that Brees can throw in.

Honestly, I believe we should try and do what we did against the Colts, win the possession battle, i know it didnt work against Peyton Manning, but in this type of game, you would hope your defense will give you some opportunities to close out the game. Pound the ball with the Ricky and Ronnie show and sprinkle in some deep plays with Henne taking some chances.

It would be nice and a big statement, if Miami gives the Saints their first loss of the season. Go Phins, i look forward to this great game.

I would play nickel the whole game and make them beat us with the run.

Go back in time and draft him in the 1st round instead of an over rated 3rd corner.

You gotta love the Jets fans...constantly spelling the team's name as proof of their intellect.

The Jets have won more September Super Bowls than any team in league history.

Here's a note: When we get done beating the Saints, we're coming to NY (my hometown) to follow up on the Monday Night victory. More Wildcat coming down your throats.

And speaking of New Orleans...we need to do what we did vs. the Colts, except this time we need to win. Keep the ball, control the clock, make a few stops on D.

The thing that scares me about the Saints is the way they use their TE's. The Jets did not use their TE's and neither did the Bills. Now we're back vs. a team with two TE's that can catch the ball. That causes problems for us for some reason.

Make sure Shockey gets hooked up with his Miami crew on South Beach - not that he needs much help in that regard.....that'll eliminate one weapon. Then pray. This is what so bugs me about our loss to Colts...we have no margin of error in a game like this vs a top-notch opponent.....after watching Saints disembowel the Giants I am, quite frankly, extremely concerned.

And do not settle for FGs...

Off topic but I haven't heard a word about Bellicheat running up the score yesterday. It's common in college games because of ratings/BCS. In the NFL, it's kind of an unwritten rule, you just don't do that kind of crap. But then again, we're talking about Bellicheat, aren't we?

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