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The locker room reaction following a win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Six days ago, before they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Tony Sparano told his team to strive for one mark by the time they took the coming weekend off: 5-5.

Sure Sparano was talking about multiple games and he usually preaches one at a time, but, "I looked a game ahead, I guess is what I'm saying. We knew we had two games in a short period of time and we knew it was going to be critical for us to take care of two football games to get ourselves back in position to make a charge."

Well, get the credit cards out because the Dolphins believe they are charging.

But first the bad news: Defensive tackle Jason Ferguson suffered a knee injury Thursday and did not return to the game. The Dolphins believe the injury is" serious," according to a source, and have scheduled an MRI for Friday.

The source declined to be specific about his definition for "serious." It is likely Ferguson will miss playing time but unclear if he is done for the remainder of the season.

The Dolphins find themselves in the playoff hunt today.

"We're back at eye-level now," said Nate Jones, who had an interception Friday. "We're back at ground zero. We're 5-5. We're have two huge division games coming up. We've put ourselves in a position to make a huge dent in this division and the league.

"We don't control our own destiny but we put ourselves in a position to make a run."

This game had many heroes.

Ricky Williams rushed for 119 yards on 22 carries. It was his second consecutive 100-yard game.

"I don't want to talk about myself," Williams said. "I want to talk about the team. We struggled a bit during the game, but the defense kept it close to give us an opportunity and give us time to get it together."

Yeremiah Bell made a tackle on DeAngelo Williams after a 50-yard gain. That came just before Jones got his interception.

"Without the tackle they score a touchdown," Bell said accurately. "It saved some points for the defense. I can run a little bit. I'm not going to downplay myself. I can run. And that's my job. It's to save touchdowns. I'm the last guy on the back end and I expect to make those plays."

Nate Garner was a hero. He played left guard, right tackle and center during the game as Jake Grove, Joe Berger and Vernon Carey went out with injuries. Carey and Berger returned. Grove did not return after his ankle injury.

"I'll play wherever they want me to play," Garner said.

Sparano said he never coached a game where so many players, particularly offensive linemen, went down.

"One time when I was an offensive line coach in Cleveland I was down to my last offensive lineman and he got poked in the eye and came out of the game, and I was coaching a defensive tackle right there in the middle and he finished the game," Sparano said. "But this thing today, they were going down left and right. I'm kind of happy we played on a Thursday and we got a couple of extra days.

"If another guy went down, I don't know where we would have gone. I don't know if they would have liked it but we would have been poking on one of those defensive line guys, maybe Merling."

As I wrote in my column, Chad Henne outplayed Jake Delhomme. After three quarters, Delhomme had completed only 9 of 21 passes. He was terrible. Henne was not spectacular -- completing 17 of 21 passes for 172 yards. But he avoided the big mistake and completed three big third-down passes.

"Ricky Williams stepped up today, and Lex Hilliard got in there," Henne said. "The wide receivers stepped up and the offensive line is playing great. Pass protection is great, I had a lot of time back there. All together we're forming a team and we're not putting it on anyone's shoulders."

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Were are all the J-peezy haters now.I told you guy he still has it. Hey Marc didn't you tell me his legs were gone.
Look for him to have a Big game in 2 week VS. the pats.

Posted by: Alex | November 20, 2009 at 05:44 AM

wasn't me. Unless you were referring to another Marc. I've always liked JP. I've gotten frustrated with both h and jt before but always maintained they were mis-used. Looks like I missed a decent game

Is everyone ready to cheer for the Jets?!

I've got to give Joey Porter credit... he played his butt off. Take a bow Joey... great performance man!

I was following the play-by-play from my phone. I saw he had 3 of the first 4 tackes. Of course, it seems as though there's just not room for more than one menace of D. Unless I'm wrong, neither Wake nor JT had any sacks?

on D*

Alex,

I was ripping Joey, I admit it. His 8 tackles and 2 sacks last night proved he should never and I mean never have a game where he doesn't even get one tackle.

Bill Parcells deserves some credit too. He leaked that info to Mortensen, about Porter not playing for a very long time. That report got Joey in gear. Parcells is satan when it comes to mind games!!!

Still confused y we didn't kick the fieldgoal on our last possesion. Seriously, was Sparano trying to b Belicheck or what

Maybe the team was grumpy because they put this blog up on the projector and let the team see what we say about them. Then they try to prove us wrong. At least that's my theory

CARLITO,
I SEE THE LIGHT NOW .
THIS THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR THIS TEAM WON A GAME B/C OF BOTH D +O LINES .NOTIC HOW MANY NAMES CAME UP AFTER THE GAME AS A REASON FOR THE WIN EVEN WILSON PLAYED WELL .

PS...IT'S NOT EASY TO BE A COACH AND STICK TO YOU PLAYERS .IMAGIN IF SOILED BOTTOM OR ARMANDO IS COACH ...RICKY WILLIAMS WOULD OUT OF THE TEAM BY NOW . BACK TO WORK .

Henne the Hero!
Ricky the Rhino!
Nasty Nate Garner!

henne was awsome !!! very smart play thank penny!!!

Except Henne throw laser beams

odinseye,

Are you serious about Dan Henning?

Henning is a mastermind.

The dolphins run the wildcat better than any team in the league. Sure, there have been ups and downs all season. But we both know that if receivers could catch a ball there would be more points and we would have beat New Orleans and Indy! Thats not Hennings fault, its Ginn's fault.

Henning and co. are building the NFL team of the future. The dolphins are all over the TV this year because we are an exciting and unpredictable team. The NFL loves us. the fans love us. C'mon bro show a little love for Henning!

GO MIAMI

Great win.

Was it just me or was Jeff Otah holding Cameron Wake on 4-5 occasions - no flags for offensive holding against Carlona that I remember.

Great job by Ginn on kickoffs and catching the ball. Made 2 GREAT tough catches to keep drives alive!

Downer12 u have no faith in henne u said that pass to bess was to high? Well ya it was because it had to be go look at the replay moron if henne put it Abby lower the ball would of been tiped by a panther player not 1 but 2 people almost had there hand on that ball so y don't u stop bashing henne and just accept that he's the qb of the future this kid is great young and has alot of talent! Get over it and accept it all u henne haters

I was at the game last night and at one point the Dol-fans had the stadium rocking chanting Dolphins over the carolina fans... AWESOME.. after rickys last TD the panthers fans started to leave and i told them to drive safe as they walked by..
As far as Henning.. he is slowly gaining confidence in Henne but has been very very very conserative at points in the game when he needs to let Henne loose.
And there were multiple holding calls right in front of the ref on Wake that were ignored..

I have to disagree with u Mando, Henne was spectacular. 17-21, what's that 80-81% completions. No he didn't have big passes but he made clutch passes on third downs like that one rolling pocket and Bess got wide open. I do remember at least one drop pass which isn't his fault. Plus we lack a big play reciever, ginn is quick but if the ball lands right in his hands he will still drop it. He didn't make any mistakes, he threw the ball away when he should of and only got sacked I believe once. We are a running offense not a passing offense...
Ricky was the difference maker though.

Positive Key Points:

1. Long rest ahead
2. Backups show they can play
3. We are loaded with young talent
4. Ricky is the man... again
5. OLB's are in the rise

Negative Key Points

1. We are banged up
2. Still play patriots, steelers, and texans
3. Getting cold
4. Parcels may leave us after this year... please God let him stay!!
5. Too many players contracts are up at the end of the year

It's gonna take forever for next Sunday when Miami play the Bills! What to do but cheer for the jets , colts, chargers, and titians. Those teams need to win for the Wildcard run.

Where do we go?

get Pat White involved; running and throwing the ball

Let Lex Hillard run loose

Develop the long ball... air it out! Henne can throw very well

Rotate, Rotate, Rotate the Olb's... keep them fresh for the 4th

Tough Win...great game. Did Jason Taylor play. I checked stats and he wasn't listed as making any tackles. Great game by Porter...stepped it up and with all the injuries that were happening what a gutsy performance. And oh Yeah Ricky sure had a great game.

Go fins!!!

nj fin fan ,

you say air it out and if it intercepted you will be the first to run for hills .
please just enjoy the game and let carlito tell us what to do .

NJ Fin Fan, you missed a negative. NE has like 5,000 2nd round picks next year

What Gopats said about Ricky is absolutely correct. He's a different species of human being, and it really is hard not to root for him.

Ricky freakin' Williams!!! Dude is a beast! I still can't believe all the "can Ricky handle being the lead back" articles. Amazing!

Not sure why we can't just win a game and make everything a nail biter.

And can we bench Joey "Hot Potato" Haynos??? I wanna see Kory Sperry more involved. Can't be much less of a blocker than HP.

GO FINS!!

Sparano didnt kick on the last series b/c there were too many linemen injured. Blocking schemes were messed up. Good coaching.

Fasten your seatbelts Finfans. Due to the latest injury at the NT position and the fact that no one on the roster, including Soliai can consistently play the middle like Ferguson can. Get ready to see our D-lINE get gashed, and gashed often up the middle for the remainder of the season. Most of our up coming games are going to be high scoring affairs, with 30 or more points to win the game. I also see our run-run offense become a very effective passing offense. The Coach wiil take the training wheels off of Henne and he will respond and become the talk of the NFL. This Coaching Staff will find ways to be competive in every game. I said it before and I will say it again very physical and very, very exciting team. GO DOLPHINS

I was at the game last night, great turnout of Dolfans, Kind of felt like "JRS" when we play the lowly wets, I went with my 11year old, kudos for the panther fans 95% were very nice and respectful. Except for the unnecessary sweating at the end, great game!!

Ricky is at peace here he calls Miami home we are the only team who would accept him even after what we did every one goes thru a rough point in there life but he's been so happy these last 3 years he was determind to come back when he played in Canada he's one of the best rb of all times he just had a mid life crises but he'll I'm glad he's on our side lol let's go Finns

Tommya,
You were not the only one ripping J-Peezy all week. I don't understand how we could turn on one of our guys so quick.
Last year every one was in love with this guy.
Every one last year was talking smack on how JT was done in washington. 2 sacks all year. Now they forgot and all is good.

Ricky still a stud. Brown is Mr everything. Hilliard runs like freight train. Polite is a blocking animal. Cobbs is in there too. I dont ever remember this much toughness and talent at the RB position. Our future at RB is set. Kudos to the front office.

Man, I'm so hung over. This hurts so bad, but I'm so proud of the Dolphins.

Nathaniel, I thought the same thing of matt millen and marshall faulk. Ricky was at his apex as a Dolphin. And thank god he walked away because Wannstedt would have used him up.

swflafan,

Thx, only got part of the press conference because NFL Network cut to John Fox after a few words.

btw, Henne was efficient and he was 17-29 not 21.

Yeah Mando, glad you finally gave Ricky some props. The announcers kept saying that he "looked like he did when he was in NO's". I think he looked just like he did the first couple of years here. Heck, I remember when JT was upset that Ricky let the team down because of his alleged postive test for marijuana. He was a young guy who really never cared about material things. He did his thing and I think he's proven that his actions speak louder than words. Let's hope he keeps at it, but I also liked Hilliard. Hopefully will help us with some depth back there and Polite. One of our better wins this season accept against the Jet's and we won both of those.

My thoughts on last nights game:

1. Ricky Williams, nuff said. No, more needs to be said. He ripped my heart out in 2004 and dissappointed me again in 2006. However, every time he comes back I can't help but root for this guy. He is electric with the ball in his hands and I don't think anyone plays harder on the field than he does. Please stay clean Ricky.

2. Chad Henne: He is showing so much poise. He is not all the way there yet but 5-2 as a starter cannot be ignored. The 3rd and 12 conversion was just a great play. He bought time on the move and made a very difficult by going against his body to the left with great velocity. I saw someone here criticize him for not being more accurate on that throw. That is unfair criticism because that is a hard throw to do by throwing against the momentum of your body.

3. It was good to see the WRs step up. Bess seems to back to his old self with another solid game after a couple of poor ones. Ginn made some nice tough catches and Hartline gave us a nice chunk play.

4. OL: They overcame injuries and what a warrior Nate Garner was. 0 sacks, a big game rushing and a W. Great job by the OL.

5. Cameron Wake: This guy is in the QB's face every time he gets to play even if he is not getting sacks he is getting pressure.

6. Too many injuries: We overcame alot last night but if we are going to make a real play off run we need to heal up.

7. Play of the game: Bell's tackle of Williams on the 50 yarder. That saved a score and gave the D a chance to redeem itself with the int. That was the same type of tackle that the Panthers failed to make on Ricky's long TD run.

8. Brilliant call not to go for the FG at the end of the game. The OL was banged up and people would have been out of position. It was a long 46-47 yard try. If we missed it we gave up more field position. There is always the chance for a block and run back especially with people playing out of position on a long try. This was a great situational football decision. All the criticism I have seen regarding this call is unwarranted.

In summary, it was a well played tough fought game last night. The phins have a hard road ahead of them to make the playoffs but I love the fight I am seeing in this team.

One other thought: I love the fact that we ran a base offense and showed we can. We ran well, we set up play action, Henne was allowed to get into a good rhythmn. No one can say we won because of trick plays. We played smash mouth football and won.

I know Ricky did great yesterday and before the game I called his 3 touchdowns, but last night was a team effort, everyone played a big role, o-line, linebackers, safety, WR, QB and of course run Ricky run

Game balls all around. Big play on 3rd down Henne to Bess. Did anyone notice Ginn catching balls? Notice where he was? Everything on the sidelines. He wants nothing to do with the middle. I guess I'll take it...he caught them. Cameron Wake was raped on the final play. Where is the holding call. Made Grove's hold look like nothing. Rest up Phins-first place matchup in 2 weeks!

NYphin you are right, everything you said and Wake hot screwed

GOpats,

You pats fans are all the same. You win a bunch of bowls by cheating and then you act like your team is great. Give me a break. People might forget about it, but any true fan knows there needs to be an asterisk by all of their wins. Regular season and super bowl.

We didn't need to cheat to go undefeated, lol

Plus your so bandwagon. You have 254 photos of Tom around your room.

You probably love Tom Brady more then Gisele.


Essentially, get a life and blog on your own teams site

Mando , is there any Nose Tackle Out There looking for work ? I think we are gonna need one for the rest of the season , I think they should sign someone , we have 10 days to plug in somebody , any names out there?Chad Henne is coming along , each game he looks better , Bess they should offer a new contract before the guys value goes higher , he is a player , I like to see Sperry more involved , Haynos is a good blocker But That's it . On the defensive side notice the secondary been player better the las couple of games and Vontae Davis even though Steve Smith has a hell of a catch for a TD he is looking better and better every week, Bright future , Management is building a heck of a team for years to come

Best part of victory---

seeing NJ KnowItAll proven so wrong, on so many levels.

The D will have a hard time stopping the run without JF in the middle. Man, the Fins seem to always try and give it away @ the end, no matter what the score. I gotta get some nitro or something. Not to down play the great win but guys, come on hold onto a lead - please. Great win with little prep. Ya, I doubt if the knuckle heads are going to beat the cheats but that will just knock the mighty jets down another game.

where is tortured i have no life so i must "troll badly" on a dolphins message board

J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS

(this weekend only)

What a FullBack with a Polite. This guy was a tremendus hitter. This will be a all pro tipe soon.

NJ's run home to hide under his blankie.....Fins have shown him up yet again!

I will never understand why Jet fans pose as dolphin fans, just to sow dissension and division on this site, like NJ does.

Try Rich Cimini, NJ, he's more suited to your outlook.

I know Millen was stroking Polite a lot last night on the NFL Network, but with very good reason. There was a stretch of plays where he had pancakes on every play. The guy is a effing beast!

Polite has been lighting LB's up all season! He's 90-100% on short yardage. I definately have a huge man-crush on him...

NJ FIN FAN , are you F'n kidding me with your screenname. At of all the names you can post under , and i'm talking millions and millions , you have to pick a screenname that's almost as Identical as mine . Think of the confusion. I've had mine a long time. You're probably a regular poster trying be a ball buster . Misty is that you.

Guys , you might want to take it easy on DOWNER12. SHE is a big dolphin fan and SHE loves her team, SHE has a lot of guts coming on this blog in the 1st place.

Phin87, I agree with your sentiments, but WOW that's a long, run-on sentence.

I disagree with Sparano's decision not to go for a FG, and here's why (the following percentages are all based on irrefutable evidence to be found in my enormous head):

If the FG is good, we win. What are the odds of a successful field goal at that distance - maybe 67%?

If the kick is blocked, it's either returned for a TD or the Panthers take over with very good field position. What are the odds of that - 3%? (67% - 3% = 64%.)

I don't beleive we have a 64% chance of making 4th and 2 when we go for it by running the ball. I think it's more like 45%. (Although if we ran a play action, and threw a short pass to the TE, the percentage would probably go up to about 70%).

For these reasons, Tony Sparano made the wrong call.

Discuss.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/12393/polite-refuses-to-live-up-to-his-name

Here's a good article on Polite!

"Williams is 32 years old, but he recorded two 100-yard rushing games in a span of five days. Highly impressive.

But let's stop for a moment and acknowledge the performance of Dolphins fullback Lousaka Polite, who delivered several skeleton-rattling blocks to open lanes for Williams. "

RICKY THE HERO

Nathaniel:

I have to disagree with the irrefutable numbers in your head. The right decision was to go for it, even if you did not make it. The right call was to force the panthers to put the game in the hands of a mediocre qb, make him go 72 yards with 39 seconds and no time outs. Even Marino would be hard pressed to win in that situation. I agree that more likely than not Carpenter makes the kick but the results if he does not could have been catastrophic and for that reason it was the smart call not to go for it. This not that different than Bellechik's decision last monday night. The odds favored him making the 1st down but the effect of not making it was catastrophic.

C sammy run , maybe you should read the Village Voice. It's more suited for your outlook.

Ken in CONN , did you try calling in on WFAN ?

Mr Nathaniel

your posts are are real gem.

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