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Big plays are a big problem for Dolphins D

Tony Sparano is an excellent coach and part of what makes him such is knowing his team's strengths, of which there are many, and weaknesses, of which there are many.

Sparano then has to highlight the strengths and disguise or minimize the weaknesses.

When it comes to facing the New England Patriots Sunday, one weakness that Sparano is hoping to address s stopping the big pass play. He doesn't want to see footballs sail over the top of his defense. He doesn't want to see Randy Moss on the end of long Tom Brady passes.

And he doesn't want to see receivers or tight ends catching short passes and breaking tackles to turn the routine into highlights.

Unfortunately, Sparano has seen a lot of those kind of plays from his defense already this year. So the coach is somewhat concerned.

"Let’s see, we are last in the league when it comes to giving up big plays," Sparano said Friday. "[Randy Moss] is a big play specialist and made about three of four of them in our game last time. So I am pretty concerned."

Although the Dolphins have showns some improvement the last week against the big play, they did give up a 25-yard completion to Braylon Edwards, a 28-yard catch and run to Thomas Jones and a 53-yard catch to Jerricho Cotchery. Miami has surrendered a total of 17 pass plays of 25 yards or more this season. The only game the Dolphins haven't yielded a big pass play was the opener against Atlanta.

"We know that, right now as we are fixing things and getting better, that the big play is something we have to fix," Sparano said. "If you look at us right now on defense, I don’t know if you guys know this, but our defense right now, of course rushing defense is one of the better ones, top five in the league or whatever. Third down defense we are top in the league right now. When you are looking at those kind of things; you don’t get it run on you and you are pretty darn good right now at getting off the field on third down."

But there is that big-play issues.

"The big play is what it comes back to in several situations," the coach said. "These two or three big plays. We talk about it last week, [three] plays for 100 yards -- that's 100 of their 250 yard passing. It is a different day if you are looking at however many yards they rushed for and a 170 yards passing.”

The Dolphins hope that different type of day, against big plays at least, comes Sunday.


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Well, stopping the big play would be refreshing, but I'll believe they can stop them when I see it.

In other news, anyone see Porter's latest rant regarding the Pats? Several years since his Steelers lost in the AFC Championship game and he's still bitter about it. Here's hoping he takes that bitterness and uses it as motivation for a big game Sunday.

It seems that the Dolphins get a pass-rush going in the first half, by towards the end of the 3rd qtr and into the 4th, they seem to lose it.

Porter isn't the one i'm worried about, he talks big game, thats what he does!!I'M more worried about guys like Smith,Davis,Jones,and that crackback Wilson. Those to me r the ones that r going to impact this game Good or Bad!

Our only chance is to do what we did to Colts - without the blowing it in the end part.

Does any sports writer/broadcaster give the air breathing mammals a shot, last time i saw all this attention to new England was 2 super-bowls ago.. and we know how that ended for the pats......


The big play isn't necessarily a long pass over the top of the defense. I'll bet half of the big plays they've given up were passes for 15 yards or less that turned into 25 yards or more.

And with Welker in there they should worry about the short pass that turns into the big play just as much or more than the long pass over the top.

By the way, Sean Smith isn't a very good tackler. He's been run through several times this year... and I see a matchup problem with him on Welker if he's the only one there to make the tackle.

They need to take a page outta the great Muhammad Ali and "Shock the world"..

Put Wake in the pass rush rotation. What are the coaches thinking?

Dolphin lover huhhhhh,strange name, but if your for the phins i don't care what gets you going sex wise....

Armando you start out by saying our coach knows our team but he does not put Wake in the rotation for pass rush. He was the sack leader in the CFL and has played one game and is tied for the lead in sacks. Just put him in on 1st and 2nd down. Look what happened when he put Ginn on punt returns. And you say he knows the players.


And just to point out YAC and the Patriots:

They're 4th in the league with 945 yards after the catch. Welker leads them with 266 yards after the catch. He's sixth in the league with that stat.

Whats Ted(I fall down)Ginns YAC ?????

You have to hope Pasqualoni comes up with a few different blitz packages. Because, if they hit a NEW ENGLAND receiver, even if it's at the line of scrimmage, they'll probably get a flag for it. It seems to be an unwritten nfl rule. Then there are the BRADY RULES to also contend with. Touching him is also iffy. Ayodele has to play big in this game, on that crossing pattern in front of the official. It'll come on 2nd. or 3rd. and 6 or 7. Since the Dolphins like to blitz off the edge, this is as good a game as any to change that to bringing it up the middle in the first quarter, and switch it up every quarter or so. Only way to stop that deep pass is if SIR BRADY spends most of the game on his ass.

I feel Brady will have a bad game, first we will put pressure on him second our young rookies on defense know they will make some mistakes but they will take more chances on making big plays. We just need our safties to play a career game for us this week.

Haven't you done this blog already Mando? Are we doing "dolphins in depth" greatest hits or best of "dolphins in depth"?

Anyway, of those 17 plays, how many has Gibril Wilson been involved with? Maybe half? So I'm no brian surgeon but if you wanted to cut down on the big plays, replace Gibril at free safety and eventually they will go down. I'm not saying Gibril has no place on the defence but they have to rotate him.

the colts game formula is the only way we win this one.


Plus Moss will be able to push off all day like last game. Between the "Ms. Brady Rule" and letting Moss do whatever he wants it will be hard to overcome.... however it CAN BE DONE!

Until miami upgrades at the LB and S positions and until the rookies in the secondary get more experience , i'm afraid the big plays will continue. When you don't have the horses , you can't go the races . :)

You got to punch the Pasties in the mouth early and often. They're a soft team and don't like to be pushed around. Knock Welker and Moss to the ground and they will fold. If the refs dont beat us we should do fine.

BTW... did I mention that the jets suck? SWEEP!!

you guys should get ready for tom brady to skewer you more than 4 TD'S and moss catching every thing in the air over your boys smith and davis .
btw, i hope wilson and crowder will both play and pat white too .

Randy moss and wes welker are definitley NOT soft. Welker is tough S.O.B catching balls over the middle and moss uses his body and jumps for balls in traffic with the best of them. I don't where that B.S. comes from.

know where

I think we are good for this game bring on the Patty's we are built for this, the AFC champs are ready let's knockout some blue coat snot So go warn your Daddy you Mangey Ass monkey!!




First we have to deal with loser jets fans on the blog and now we have another loser pats fans, but it's great to have them on so we tell them how much there team sucks when they lose to the Dolphins, Jets fans still learning this, I thought pats fan were smarter, guess not


I don't know why anyone would be surprised with the big plays the defense is giving up. I could have told you this was going to happen once they let Andre Goodman go. You have 2 rookie corners out there. It is a difficult position to play in the NFL.

I am surprised in a bad way by Gibril Wilson though. I always liked him with the Giants, was a very active player.

However there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the short term pain will pay dividends for years. These two corners will be better than Surtain/Madison. Davis/Smith have infinitely more physical talent than their predecessors.

please don't compare us to jets fans .you are closer to them football wise not us the real champs w/3 rings last 6 years .

remember you and the jets never won any thing since the civil war .

How is preparing for this game any different than the Colts game or the Saints game? We run the ball and control the clock. The only reason we lost the Saints game was because we abandoned the run in the second half. We lost the Colts game because we settled for a fg rather than try to get a first down on our last offensive series and gave Peyton the ball with way too much time. Both of those games should have resulted in Dolphins victories.

we all know the dolphins are well capable of taking out top teams. Question is, can they correct their colts and saints let downs? On Sunday we'll find out if they can finish

I predict this will be the most physical and complete game the FINS will have played this year. The PATS will realize how OLD they're getting (most of PATS GREAT STATS have been against weaker opposition).

(1) FINS offensive line will earn their pay and keep Henne clean. Henne will have a game similar to JETS first game with 200+ yards.

(2) Wildcat will be used mainly in the red zone to punch it in or if they're pinned deep.

(3) FINS defense will FINISH and create turnovers.

No one likes to see players hurt but because of FINS agressive play PATS will lose KEY players.

Easy way the stop the "Big Play" keep Miss Bardy out of the gameby RUNNING the Ball

just shut up and get a W. cmon teddy! make em all choke!


I hear ya, but c'mon: that game plan failed twice and we were at home. I can't see how replicating those games in Foxboro is going to result in a win.

The bottom line is this: the only way the Fins can win is if they do what they haven't done in a VERY long time:

dominate every aspect of the game. It's really that simple. Anything less won't beat the Pats.


I believe FINS will dominate every aspect of the game and give 100% effort.

They know that this game can give them dominating control of the division (with 4-0 division record).

Go! Dolphins it will be an exciting weekend as for cheating let it go it's no different than nascar if you can get away with it do it. just shows how much he wants to win. As for Brady rules hit him high and often. This is an owners rule protect that investment. I still think we can beat them at least it's not the jeps how sorry is that bunch. Chad needs to throw and throw some more take it right to them then run it down thier throats.

Wake Has 2 SACKS against Buffalo and he has been missing in action since Why mando Why?


they can do it. but it's going to take a herculean effort.

Go Pats, You are an IDIOT, 3 rings the last six years ??????????? What..... If you count 07's AFC championship ring.???......2001 was 8 years ago dip s*** - most 'real football' fans know what years their team won championships. Use your fingers to count if you need to...

Go Pat, if you don't want to be compared to the jets fan, then get off the Miami Dolphins Fan Blog, since you are not that smart, I say again to you, you are just like same loser jets fans that want to put your smart-ss comments here, but like I said before stay so we can talk about how you will lose on Sunday, you should be more like Tom Brady, scared to face the Dolphins, oh wait you are like the jets fans, sorry


Just asking real questions here, not insults.

If the pats defense is already allowing 4.5 yards per rush, how do you expect them to stop the best 1-2 punch in the NFL of Ronnie and Ricky? In the last game the Running game was stopped by a good defense. The pats do not have a good defense. Sounds like ball control time for the Dolphins and if JT (brady's papa), Porter, Wake, and the Sumo can keep Brady running for his life, Dolphins will win.

I hope the defense can step it up a bit for 4 whole quarters. The offense needs to run the ball. NE defense is allowing 4.5 yards per carry. This is the weakness Miami needs to exploit with Ricky n Ronnie to win this game. We are a running team stick with the bread n butter.

Being a finfan from Maine, I hear nothing but how great the patsies are. I am sick of listening to all the experts belittle this team. I am not one to hope for good play, instead I realize what we have and what we are building. I feel we will compete all game long, and with our strength leading us to a well fought victory. Watch for mismatches with the tight end or running back match ups against a very weak defense.

Vontae Davis going to rock somebody with big hit this week! Who will it be????????

I think hes going to blow up the bubble screen and force welker to fumble!!!!


we can't stop RONNIE or ricky,period.the only way is for us to keep the football of HENN'S hands .it's goimg to be a great game .the young dolphins vs our older team .


who has time to figure what year,i am here to have not to play math .i can bet you if you win i stay a way of the blog for a week and if we win you write every day for a week 9 (TOM BRADY IS THE BEST EVER ).

DEAL ?????

We can beat the Pats. We have to play heads up and get a couple of turnovers. We can't afford the mistakes or the drops.
Hopefully Pasqually can figure out how to use Wake and Roth to keep Porter and Taylor fresh. We need pressure on Brady for a full 4 quarters.
We have to go all in on this one. Knowing this I would definitely start Clemons over Wilson. After all, Clemons can't stink it up any worse than Gibril already has. By week 6 Wilson had the "C'mon Man of the Year" award locked up!
As for Clemons, I say let the Dog Hunt.


You don't get to leave the blog for a week if the Dolphins win, you have to come back every day and eat your crow.


I'll make the bet with you. The terms are Henne and Brady. Which one throws more int's.

Waddaya say????


you got the dark rum ready?

agree carlito and you ?

Mark in toranto

Goodman? Smith and Davis are upgrades compared to the cornners that got lit up last year agianst the pass happy patsies. Even if they are rookies they are going make plays and mistakes but at the end of the day those positions are complete upgrades from Goody, Allen's and who ever played cb last year.

Now will Moss and Wl;eker have success yes, but the rookies are gonna pic one. They are closing the gap between WR since early in the season. Davis had a pic last game and Smith dropped a pic that caught him off guard but he would have had a pic six early in the jets game. You just know the rooks' are looking forward to playing this game. Against Brady. Moss and company they are comping at the bit.

I especially believe that this hardest schedule in football has served them well and hope it has preperared them for this game.


If the Dolphins lose, I will already feel bad enough.

Smith and Davis know that the Patsies are gonna thro the ball early and often, tring to exploit the lack of experience they have.

I see these two guys taking on that challenge and getting some pics.

i like henne odinseye .i want him to not fail , he shown real class ,he doesn't talk much ,he let his game speaks for himself and i can tell he will be much better next year after the confidence boost this year .
as for brady he's a class by himself then come montana the farve then marino w/the rest .

ps ...interceptions.....none on sunday from either player .


You know it Brother!!!!
Since it's a nationally televised game I have a "SMALL(yeah right)PARTY" planned here at the Crib.
I got a case of Bud Ice and TWO bottles of Dark Barcardi(I hope my guests bring something for themselves-LOL!!!!).


I'm a little concerned about Davon Bess and his case of the fumbles lately. He needs to correct that because hes know for his sure hands but if he keeps muffing punts-muffing lol/ then hes gonna be a dolphin-NFL and we all know that means.

This is the Dolphins most important game of the year! If they can get out of this game with a win, the schedule really eases up in the next few weeks.

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