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Dolphins coaching was a problem versus Bill

There are complaints aplenty about the Miami Dolphins today.

Some of them come from fans, as blogs, message boards and radio call-in shows will be loaded today with complaints about play-calling and coaching.

Some of the complaints come from Miami's locker room and coaching staff. That's the one I decided to focus on for my column in the Miami Herald Monday. Players and coaches alike looked at their fourth-quarter collapse against the Bills, a collapse which turned a 14-7 lead into a 31-14 loss, and everyone agreed the Dolphins have a problem finishing.

The Dolphins are perhaps the NFL's worst team at finishing games. They've blown games against Indianapolis, New Orleans, and the Bills in the final stanza this year. They also got outplayed by San Diego in the fourth quarter of that game.

Read the column and answer the following question: How does a team that cannot finish games, expect to successfully finish the season?

As to matters not in the column:

The coaching by the Dolphins staff was horrible on Sunday. I have great respect for the Miami coaching staff because I believe they often get the most production out of some limited talent. But this blowout upset loss was different.

This was embarrassing.

The facts are the Dolphins were facing an inferior team on Sunday. The Buffalo starting cornerbacks of Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee did not play on Sunday. The Buffalo offensive line was missing two starters and had another dude playing out of position. The Buffalo head coach is a rookie. And Ryan Fitzpatrick from Harvard? Really?

The Bills had nothing to play for but pride while the Dolphins' season was on the line.

Then one has to understand the Dolphins had 10 days to prepare for this game.

And the Bills still won?

"We've got 10 days to prepare and I didn't do a good enough job obviously preparing them," coach Tony Sparano said. "I've got to do a better job."

Sparano, the former play-caller for Bill Parcells in Dallas, has to do a better job of riding herd over offensive coordinator Dan Henning. Henning, who has forgotten more football than most people will ever know, is normally a fine offensive coordinator.

Sunday was not one of those occassions.

Consider that on Miami's first possession the Dolphins moved from their own 45 yard line to the Buffalo 3. Chad Henne completed a 15-yard pass. Ricky Williams ran for 11, then 7, then six, then 5 yards. The Bills were on their heels.

And then on first-and-goal, Henning got cute by calling a halfback pass for a player that hasn't thrown a pass since 2000.

Interception.

Momentum lost.

"Yeah, you know, I got the ball and Joey Haynos was supposed to block the outside linebacker and then go, and I saw him, and I just didn't put enough arch on the ball and it was picked off by the backside linebacker," Williams said.

But why call the play at that point? I can understand if the Dolphins weren't running well? But they were rolling. Not smart. They used their best runner to throw, thereby not using their best runner's or best passer's greatest assets. Not smart. 

Sparano relegated the criticism of the play-call to "Monday Morning quarterbacking" and said the problem with the play was in its execution. It sounded like a coach who would prefer to blame a player than another coach for a play's failure.

There were other head-scratching offensive calls also.

In the second quarter the Dolphins took a 7-0 lead and then stopped the Bills on a three-and-out. Then the Dolphins complete a pass for 11 yards, Williams runs for 6 yards, Williams runs for 5 yards. And then Henning gets cute again.

He calls an end-around to Ginn on first down. It loses 4 yards. And you know what? The Dolphins make 11 yards on the next two plays but have to punt because they needed 14 yards for a first thanks to that reverse, So that reverse to Ginn costs the Dolphins a chance to keep driving.

The Bills then get the ball and tie the game at 7-7 on their next possession.

Finally, can I ask about continuing to force the issue with Pat White? He is neither one of the team's better runners nor it's best passer. And yet he continues to get plays at strange moments when Miami runs its spread option.

White ran once for 2 yards on Sunday. When did that first taste of action come?

In the fourth quarter. Right after Buffalo took a 17-14 lead. What changed at that point that didn't happen in the three previous quarters when Miami was winning? What was the freakin' point?

The defensive coaching staff doesn't get a pass here, either.

We all recognize the Dolphins are starting two rookie cornerbacks. We recognize they are talented. And we recognize they are capable. But why put them in one-on-one coverage a large majority of the game, every game?

Hello? Other teams watch tape, also ...

It is begging for a game-changing TD. And the Dolphins got exactly what they were begging for when Terrell Owens caught a 51-yard TD pass over Vontae Davis in the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick said he recognized the coverage pre-snap and called an audible.

Dagger to the heart.

One more thing: We keep hearing how Cameron Wake cannot get into games more because he is a work-in-progress as a run-defender.

Well, how long does it take to coach up a player to defend the edge of the defense? We're 11 games into the season and Wake's still not ready to tackle somebody running wide?

And if Wake isn't, what makes coaches think Joey Porter is ready? Porter blew edge run assignments time after time on Sunday. Yes, he had a couple of sacks against reserve tackles. But that was Porter blowing the run defense against Fitzpatrick as the Ivy League QB set off on a 31-yard TD run.

So the young player can't be taught to defend the run 11 games into a season and the veteran can't be reminded to keep his assignment discipline? Yes, the players have a responsibility to get this done. But the coaches have an equal responsibility to make sure those players do their job or take a seat on the bench.

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our dl line sucks .it's starting to look like we a have crowder in our defense .any way for sure we r in the playoffs already since we the the future afc champs .

I think that family tree grows horizontally...

Whoa tiger a long line of teams to beat before you get the title of AFC Champs!

is BP even in town? How hands on is he with this coaching staff? BP needs to get involved and take control of this freaking mess of a coaching staff! WTH are our coaches thinking! the play calling on Sunday was horrible!

wes welker is real bad that was a great decision to allow him to leave

I think it will be 24-10 at the half, can you smell that sweet Brees tonite GOpats?

What did I say!!!!!

We could of had drew brees throwing to wes welker and chris chambers. Howd it ever get this bad?

This game makes me feel better about our team,
Especially since the refs screwed the pooch on that Gin pic six that was a touchback in reality(see SI Pic)

We are better than our record

Who Dat! 10-24

I wish we had receivers like that, wow they are good, of course brees is just awesome

Bigwillystyle,

Kick a dude in the nutz will ya.

The Patsies are getting byotch slapped by the Saints!

We did play the saints much better then the sorry pats, Go Dolphins

I'm glad we chose Culpepper over Brees!

Got that right eddy!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

He's not supposed to hit me!

H8dpats,


AGREE W/ EVERY THING YOU SAY TONIGHTSINCE YOU R RIGHT .STILL WE WILL BE IN THE PLAYOFFS AND THEN WE WILL SEE WHO WILL BE IN THE SUPER BOWL .MEANWHILE NO IS A HELL OF A TEAM ,NO WILDCAT CRAP THERE .THE QB IS A QB AND THE RB IS RB AND THEIR WR'S NEVER DROPS ANY BALL .

The Pats are stinking up the joint.Brady is garbage.

Tom Brady, Who dat?

Good to see Brady on his ass, that's thepressure you have to put on Shady. Did you have to mention culpepper?

Sorry for bringing back old memories.

Who Dat

Brady missen some throws

Wide left!

Here's what I don't get. We had NO's beat yet they are destroying the Pats...well...right now.

Why can't we finish games? That has to be play calling on both sides of the ball IMO. If its not playcalling then it's coaching period.

Everytime I watch Welker playing hard with all heart and Brees carving up a defense it pisses me off. What could have been????

Patriots best days are way behind them.

Nuts it comes down to conditioning, the guys look wore out at the begining of every 4th qtr.

Why O why couldn't we just beat buffalo.

Spranno is pretty soft on the team they get way too much time off. If you lose on Sunday, guess what in to work first thing Monday morning.

PATS ALREADY THE AFC CHAMPS
PATS ALREADY IN THE PLAYOFFS


DOLPHINS OUT
JETS OUT

If we can somehow beat the pats next wk. We R Back!!! Anybody with me on knowing we can beat the pats?anyone????

Patsy fans are doing what they accuse Dolphins fans of doing: living in the past.

thats why if your not used to handling the ball. dont try and be a hero if you recover a fumble...

IF PATS LOSE TONIGHT ,FOR SURE FINS WILL WIN NEXT WEEK UNLESS RICKY WILLIAMS PLAYS AS A QB .

I'm with ya, their spirits will be crushed after tonight! GOpats you don't have to use all caps when you type, we get your excited, probably sitting naked in your lazyboy since your hero Brady is on!

Id rather Ricky throw it than Cilpepper

Lol

How strange. Brady is complaining to the refs. Little bee yatch.

Is there an app to watch live games??? Oh I can't wait for those days.....

That's one thing of many Brady does to piss me off, he always cries foul to the refs.

Pats are definitely not the elite team they think they are anymore...and NO they are not AFC champs yet, so please stop with ur B/S

If you have the NFL package on Directv you can watch games on ur phone

Moss is off kilter tonight must be that butch beard he grew in a week.

Saints R feeling high right now. It's ok, they will fall and it's gonna hurt when they do.

Sunday ticket is over priced. ....rather spend $300 at bars when the games r not at home

THE FIN FANS SOUND LIKE OLD WOMEN SITTING ALL TOGETHER IN THE HOME SWEING STORYS AND COOKING DREAMS FOR 11 YEARS RUNNING W/ THE LIKE OF SOILED AND H8DPATS .WILDCAT ANY ONE ??

Glad you are here gopits. Did you bring you needles and string?

Patriot troller alert!

Gopats is talking to himself again.

GOpats do you know what the caps or shift button are? Oh I forgot it's hard to type with one hand on keyboard and other stroking your crank!

This team is poorly coached.Why the F*ck can this squad not finish the second half.A good coach can do this.Bill Cowher or Tony Dungy or Mike Shannahan or Mike Holmgren anybody? The My players love me I love them chest bump crap is old.Get a REAL head coach in here NOW.Results.I want them.Get a coach who has a clue.Tony is a fine man.Coach.Head Coach.I do not know.

Go Pats, only an a''hole such as urself and the Jets fans go on other blogs to talk s'it...and type in all caps...no Patriot blog to talk o?? If u live in Fla go back to ur s''tty weather and ugly New England women

Saints may go undefeated in the regular season but the vikes will beat them b4 they get to the superbowl

GoPats, I know ur always here. Do u have love for the fish or love to hate on them? Maybe ur a two timing fan. Which one?

I REMMEMBER A FIN FAN ON THIS BLOG WHO ALWAYS TALKED HOW DOLPHINS ARE THE AFC CHAMPS.

NOW IT'S MY TURN TO MAKE YOU SICK OF THIS CRAP CALLED AFC CHAMPS .

WE ARE THE AFC CHAMPS .SUONDS CREEPY TO ME B/C DOESN'T MEAN ANY THING UNLESS YOU WIN A RING .

Eat that Go Pats

Sweet and Brutal

17-31

Boy, New England sucks, Brees is chewing them up and leaving them all over the field!!! Looks like what the Giants did to them in the Superbowl!!! Loving it!!

You are not the AFC champs. You are living in the past again.

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