« Dolphins coaching was a problem versus Bill | Main | Dolphins Pro Bowl player? Jake Long »

Dolphins defense needs new approach vs. Pats

Just watched the New Orleans Saints demolish the New England Patriots. It was such a thorough whipping of the AFC East leaders that coach Bill Belichick pulled his starting offense out of the game with 5:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Belichick, by the way, has the look of a coach in his final season at New England. That is just my instinct and not anything I am reporting -- just a feel.

Anyway, the point here is how the Saints were able to so dominate the Patriots on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense.

The Saints made Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the rest of the Patriots offense seem ordinary. And New Orleans did it while playing a rookie cornerback (Michael Jenkins) and two vets signed off the street within the last couple of weeks (Mike McKenzie and Chris McAlister).

"It's pretty amazing those guys weren't part of our team two weeks ago," New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said. "The fact they got out there and contributed as much as they did, it's pretty amazing considering we do some pretty complicated things on defense."

Amazing, indeed, in that Brady was intercepted twice and left the Big Easy with a terrible 55.0 QB rating.

"They did what they do," Belichick said of the New Orleans defense. "They played zone. They double-covered. They rushed. They played man."

The Saints did it all and this is where I'm hoping Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni stayed up past his bedtime watching the game.

In Miami's 27-17 loss to New England on Nov. 8, the Dolphins came after Brady and put their cornerbacks in man-coverage on practically every play. It was the blueprint borrowed from the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory over New England.

That plan failed the Dolphins the first game -- in part because they don't have the personnel the Giants had two seasons ago. Well, the Miami defense needs to protect its corners on Sunday as much as the Saints had to Monday night. The Dolphins need to diffuse the Moss big-play threat as much as New Orleans did. The Dolphins need to frustrate Brady as much as New Orleans did.

So why wouldn't the Dolphins try to confuse Brady? Why wouldn't they try to protect their two rookie corners with some zone and double-coverage as well as some man? Why wouldn't the Dolphins come with six-man rushes followed by three-man rushes and eight-man coverage?

Why wouldn't the Dolphins do the unexpected rather than what they have been doing practically all year long?

The truth of the matter is Pasqualoni's defense has been a disappointment so far this season. It has allowed a whopping 275 points this year, which averages out to 25 points per game. Miami is 26th in the NFL in scoring defense, and considering points are what determine the outcome of games, that's an important and distressing statistic.

It is a statistic that has fans quite unhappy with Pasqualoni because the Dolphins have devoted many resources to making the defense a good one since Bill Parcells took over the football decisions in 2008.

The Dolphins have drafted seven defensive players the past two years -- including first-rounder Vontae Davis in 2009 and what-should-be-considered-a-first-rounder (32nd overall) Phillip Merling in 2008. Three defensive players were added via trades and six more players were signed as unrestricted free agents.

That's 17 players the new regime has added to play defense. And they are giving up 25 points per game compared to 27.3 points per game in 2007 under Cam Cameron and 17.6 points per game in 2006 under Nick Saban.

So yeah, doing something different vs. New England might be a good idea for Pasqualoni.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dolphins defense needs new approach vs. Pats:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Great game tonight poor Pats. ha ha ha

Last year that number was 19.8, good for 9th in the league. What's the difference between last year and this year? Well, the quality of opponent is probably the major factor. But that's not everything. (After all, we've been lit up by Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick this year.) Clearly some of the off-season moves have not panned out: bringing in Gibril Wilson to replace Renaldo Hill, and having no back-up plan for a 35-year old NT with an injury history, for starters. And, evidently, Merling and Langford have not progressed as much as had been hoped by now.

On offense, and defense this team is a work in progress. The positives under this current regime totally outweigh the negatives. We may not make the playoffs this year, but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been any improvements made on this team. Patience Dolfans!!!!

Brady, Welker and Moss looked BEATEN and frustrated.

Can the Phins try a new D-coordinator for the Pats game. That would help.

The team should bring back Zach, I bet he would still play better than Crowder and Ayodele. The team needs a major talent infusion at LB, especially MLB, so here is to open the Phins find a couple of gems like Thomas in the middle rounds.

That was to read "hoping" the Phins find some MLBs in middle rounds of the next draft. They may go for one in the first round but they need more than one.

11 games in doing the same thing every game I seriously hope you don't expect anything to change. Every week I think this is the week and every week it is the same as the week before, blow out lost or squeaked by win its the same old same old.

Lets face it, we're still 2 drafts away to be really competitive.

We need a #1 WR (1st rounder), we need a NT (1st or 2nd rounder), 2 ILB (3rd rounders) an OLB (1st or 2nd), a safety and a TE (2nd).

Belicheat's not going anywhere. He just traded Seymour for a 2011 draft pick.

The key to beating the Cheatriots is getting pressure with only 4 guys. Brady gets his confidence shaken and all their timing routes are thrown off. The Saints game was just like the SB game against the Giants....even the points the Cheatriots scored (17) was the same.

This just sucks we could of been 1 game to get our div if we didn't do some dumb plays at bills sucks


slipstream & manuel make a lotta sense. Hill and Bell had become a terrific partnership by the end of the year.

during the draft I kept waiting for them to draft a NT---while I understand why they did not (setting aside any Pat White comments for the moment), they gambled on Fergie staying healthy & Soliai maturing and developing. They lost on that gamble.

They also gambled and lost that re-signing Crowder would pay dividends. Frankly, what Tuna & co. see in Crowder eludes me.

Merling & Langford have not blossomed.....hope it's just a sophomore slump/

They als gambled & lost that Jake Grove's history of missing games due to injury was not his pattern. It is.

WRs we know.

Mando is right----Pasqy's not having a good year...the STUBBORNESS in playing Morse & Welker in man coverage, & often single coverage, is not just bulllheaded but wrong.

Sad to think that Sunday might have been huge but for Henning's cutesiness & the defense's collapse.

To me there is total lack of confidence in the team. Trick plays inside the 10 yard line? Losing all of the games in the 4th quarter, is a sign of panic and not being able to focus on what has to be done.
First thing to remembrr is not to panic in the 4th quarter. Sparano should tone it down in the 4th quarter. Yelling and jumping up and down on the sidelines makes for good tv, but it doesn't do much for confidence when a player fails an assignment.
To play against NE, on the defense side of the ball is to make them work very hard for every score. Since so much of the game for NE is timing simply find different ways to disrupt the timing. Whether is be qb focused on some plays and dropping back into a zone on others. Pasqualioni simply has to make an educated guess which one is going to be more effective on each play and hope the player executes. When you become predictable, you become very beatable.

Manuel do you really think you build teams with only first round picks?

Just saying there are plenty of mid to later rounders that make an impact rather quickly

I am all for Change it up on Defense....they seem to do it in the first half and stop in the 2nd????

Mando I would like for you to give some insight on how the draft picks have been developing under this regime from their first draft and what you expexct from them going forward.

PRAISE MANDO! He is the first one to call out Paul Pasqualoni's schemes. He should be on the hot seat out of all coordinators by far.

The same crap happens over and over again against him and nothing changes.

Coach P needs to be under the spotlight over the next month more than anyone on the team. With Crennel and Groh out there he needs to get better.

Bum Phillips was once asked to describe Don Shula as a coach. He said, "let me say this about Shula, he can take his'n and beat your'n or he can take your'n and beat his'n."

Bill Walton once was asked to describe the first day of practice under Johnny Wooden. He said, "Coach Wooden would have us play shirts vs. skins, blow the whistle, check his players talents and start planning his year.”

The point is, good coaches coach to the ability of their players and take what their opponents give them. When either of those two things change the coaching approach changes.

What made Wannstedt one of the most detested coaches in Dolphin history was his pigheaded obstinacy. His coaching approach was to decide what he was going to do and stick it in your face. If you thought you could beat him, "go ahead and do it". And most teams did.

I like so much about these newly emerging Dolphins, and I've lived with the the Dolphins since day one. But, I dread what I see in this current Dolphin defense reverting to Wannstedt pigheadedness.

Not Sparano. You can't say a coach who was willing to inject the Wild Cat is pigheaded.

Not Henning, who coaches like Dr. Strange Love and needs to climb down out of the trees and visit planet earth.

But the defense? Get real. What you're doing works for three quarters, By then good coaches figure it out and make you look like a joke. If opponents can make those adjustments why can't the Dolphins. We hope it's not a lack of ability.

After ten years of finding ways to lose, last year the Dolphins hung in there and managed to win the close ones. We hoped we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the beginning of a "Sparano era".

Don't let a stagnate defensive strategy turn our dream of a "Sparano era" into the "Sparano error".

how come we are the only team that can't make halftime adjustments to change what isn't working??? we just keep banging our head into the wall hoping it will work out. sparano is just a position coach who is overwhelmed by being a head coach (ie. rex ryan).

I have noticed the same thing . Other teams make adjustments on both sides of the ball after half time. It does not seem we do that at all. I appreciate what the existing coaches have done, but I want coaches with some balls. Just my opinion!!!

Miami played against the saints better than the pats. Why do we have a hard time aginst the shitty teams. We shouldn't have a problem against the pats if we play the like the saints and colts. And not panic in the 4th quarter

Unfortunately i see too a patterned developing here that I've not seen since Dave(No clue)Wanstadt was polluting the fins side lines and these are in no particular order #1, unable or incapable of making halftime or 4th qtr. adjustments,#2, sticking with the old players, the coaching staff by now must realize that 1/2 these vets would be 2nd string or not even on certain teams, i remember idiot Wannstadt playing the same lame players and saying"there the best chance to win "was B.S then and now iam hearing the same stuff from Tony,Like the old Who song goes "Meet the new boss,Same as the old boss" ....PLAY WAKE AND TURNER SIR......

Don't worry Mando, the dolphins defense is the perfect remedy for the Pats offensive ineptitude on Monday night vs. the Saints. I am sure Pasqualoni will take a page from his last loss to the fearsome ryan fitzpatrick and the 4rth teamers (off the street offensive line) and put together a game plan to stay within 30 points of the Pats pissed off offense.


Now thats a angry fin fan.....

You can also say goodbye to Porter, Crowder and Wilson. I guarantee you that somewhere high above the field in a dark office, Parcells is seething at the play of all talk no action Porter and Crowder. He will make up for his mistake of not taking one of the USC linebackers while drafting Pat White at the top of the 2nd round and wasting a pick on another USC WR bust in Patrick Turner. Bill knows his job isn't finished but I believe he might have overestimated the remaining leftover trash.

Josh said it right! FUC_ the Dolphins! Rebuilding? Rebuilding? Playoooofffss?? Playoooofffss? GIVE ME A BREAK! Seriously demoralizing football team!

The definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect different results.

Angry, do you think there'll be coaching changes in the off-season???

If I can jump in cuban, I don't think Parcells will change coaches. Why? 2 reasons. This stubbornness starts with him. And secondly, to change coach/coaches would (in Parcells mind) be admitting he made a mistake. And I believe his ego wouldn't allow that to happen.

One more rant so I can work in peace today. I truly believe that Henning will be asked, ala Bobby Bowden, to head off into the sunset. As I have sent to you over the weekend Mando in my note to you, the fins offense is backwards. They run to throw the ball where all of the current top teams, New Orleans, San Diego, Indy and the Pats, all teams that have beaten miami all throw first to run second. Henning has the old 3 yards and a cloud of dust mentality, where the top teams all have space age offenses. I know we don't have the personnel but who's fault is that. Pasqualoni is a different story, he does have some of the personnel but he refuses to utilize them. You have an ineffective players in Porter and Crowder and Wilson, and yet with Wake - Anderson, Torber and Culver-Clemons, he continually refuses to substitute for them. Where are the mixes of defensive schemes? Where is the utilization of the best talent mix to rush the passer? If truly the most important piece to the 3-4 defense is the nose tackle, and we have an oft injured 35 y/o who is now finished, and Bill has not drafted one in 2 YEARS, why are we running a damn defense that we don't have the proper personnel to run????

I am so pissed this morning because of the horrendous coaching of my team, we do have talent, but they are not being placed in a position to win! We should have had Sean Peyton instead we have grumpy old Henning who can't see two feet in front of himself Pasqualoni!!! Hey Mando, how about you take Cam Wake by the hand at todays practice and introduce him to Pasqualoni!! Tell him this guy is his best chance to rattle Tom Brady. Oh and don't forget to remind him that Wake was the guy who had 2 1/2 sacks vs. Buffalo in the first game this year, but for some GOD FOR SAKING REASON, was not utilized against RYAN FREAKIN FITZPATRICK this week and we paid dearly for it, not with a BIG LOSS, but with a LOSS OF OUR SEASON!!!

Zack would certainly help, if not just to build the mental mind of this team if nothing else! It is so unlike a Parcels team to fall apart in the 4th quarter all season. This has to be a coaching problem to me!

the 3-4 defense only works when you have play makers at your linebacker spot take the steelers they have a bunch of no names up front but there linebackers kick ASS. Ayodele, Crowder,Porter and yes Taylor need to go sorry JT but it is time to go into movies. Defense has sucked since saban left look at BAMAS D one of the tops in the nation. draft some alabama players on defense they play a pro style defense. Parcells is a disappointment thus far.

The reason their 4th. quarter defense is so bad is, predictability. I will never understand what is so hard about having a different game plan for each half.

Keep Saprano but some of his assistants need to be replaced.

WHOA Angry, take a deep breath my friend, iam a little concerned that you'll bust a blood vessel that you need...as Winston Churchill once said "those that fear change will wallow in there own self mediocrity", change will come my friend, change will come.....

I know they benched Porter fro a week but it seems like the coaches are afraid to sit him down for a few plays. Should have played Wake last week

We cut Roth for what ever reason. Ted Ginn continues to piss me off. He has had one good game with two touchdowns. A waste of a number one draft pick , yet we keep him on our team and still throw him the damn ball. There is maybe a 50/50 chance he will catch it. And the trick plays.......when will they just play hard football. I see other teams with less talent play smarter and harder than these guys and I scratch my head. Coach needs to stop thinking about his players feeling and making excuses for there play. Call someone out.!!!!

I'm glad we decided that we didn't need Drew Brees when we had a chance to get him.

The best defense is the offense.
NO has been able to exploit NE glaring weaknesses in the secondary, and score big-play TDs. That made it easier for their own D.
We are not able (yet) to throw deep, so we'll have a hard time vs NE.

Some-thing's up though. This coaching staff, praised repeatedly by many, is not getting the best out of some good players (Merling, Langford), and most concerning are losing 4th quarter battles, which define a team's image and character. Also, there is a big question when choosing personnel. How bout' not letting Turner play, when obviously we're still not getting anywhere with our so called "excellent WRs". Isn't that what Sparano calls them all the time?

Also, what's with the clown Channing Crowder. The more I see him play, the more I realize that Sparano's comments on his players are based on how much he likes them as individuals, but not on performance! You are not going to tell me we are a better defensive team when Crowder is playing. I know we don't have many options, but re-signing him?? Come on! there are much better options out there. The draft and free agency should brings us a NT, WR, MLB, OLB, S, DL.

Unfortunately, this team will keep losing confidence if the coaching staff doesn't do a better job to make the best out of good talent. Concerning and very much upsetting.

I hate to say it but Pats will beat Fins.

Henne will have another meltdown.

If he's left in to play out the season, his performance will prove that he isn't the QB of the future.

Fins will end up 5-11 or 6-10. After they lose to the Pats it will be a slippery slope the rest of the season. Players will only be playing to save their jobs (which they should have been doing, regardless of the injuries).

Assuming Fins lose the next two games (5-8), they should let PAT WHITE start the last three games to see if he can play in this league. What do we have to lose? No team in the AFC will go to the playoffs with an 8-8 record. The Trifecta picked him to be a QB; let's see what he can do. Worse case scenario Fins end up 5-11 and higher NFL Draft picks.

we need to help vontae davis out the dude has gotten burned by moss, steve smith, braylon, t.o. granted theyre some of the best wideouts in the league but maybe he is not a quicklearner as we think he is some help would be good . he seems to let up as the game goes on

Can y'all imagine how freaking PUMPED we would have been this a.m. if the Fins had not focked up Sunday?

Dolphins = Grinch That Stole December!

Meaningful games the next few weeks would have been a blast.......now all we have is mock drafts for the next 4months+

Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni stayed up past his bedtime watching the game.

Armondo that was hilarious!!! LMAO

I still believe...

No emotion, no passion to play and get after it. You all heard the Torbor comment after the bills game, "I have no idea why we don't finish". Uhhh, thats code for WE ARE NOT FREAKEN PREPARED!!!!!!

I still believe...

I am the lone voice of support here. Remember this when the Dolphins win on Sunday and are only one game out of division lead again.

I still believe my friends

In a just world Pass-Q-baloni would have already fallen on his sword.

Everyone in our way lost this weekend, only if we had beat Buffalo we would be right where we wanted to be. The Pats game is it, this is the season, we have to win.

I guess NBC knew what they were doing when they took the phins pats game off prime time. The three AMIGOS have to think that is a smack in the franchises face to put linert against farve on.COME ON ALREADY DRAFT SOME TALENT. CUT ALL TIES WITH CROWDER HE SUCKS. SEND AYODELE BACK TO DALLAS. DRAFT A TE THAT CAN OPEN UP THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD. JUST LOOK AT ARE LOSES AND SEE WHAT WE ARE MISSING BIG TIME. CLARK, TONY G,SHOCKEY,GATES,NEED I SAY MORE. WAKE UP PARCELLS OR GO TO THE BROWNS.


that's what makes the pain so bad.....with the exception of Denver beating Giants, every piece of the puzzle fell into place in our favor over the weekend, and then WE screwed the pooch.

Dear Lord, when will our suffering end?

What New Orleans was able to do which we were unable to in our first meeting and doubtful to do next week, is pressure Brady on a consistant basis and force him into ill-advised throws. In addition, as soon as Welker touches the ball, he's got someone on his back...someone who doesn't fail at making a solo tackle in an open field...we have yet to prove we can do that. I love my Fins, but I'll be shocked if we're within 14 points when the final gun sounds...I'm just a realist. I truly hope we're considering the possibility of dropping Henning and going after Weis.

I blame NJ & his crew......they have created a culture where Parcells can get away with anything, without fear of criticism. When NJ bullies posters here, he is serving his Master by suppressing the Voice of the Fans.

Carlito,I can only hope you are right, but my gut tells me the air left the balloon in Buffalo.

Saints had players they didnt' have two weeks ago play like they did and we have players that are with us all season and DON'T PERFORM LIKE THIS! Where's the drive, desire and fury we need? We just aren't as good as our local media is pumping us to believe. Listen to any other talk sports show and they call us M-E-D-I-O-C-R-E! That's where we are.
Now can we put it together, YES! Can they rise up and kick the crap out of NE? YES! But they must believe in themselves and each other, that each of them has each others back. It's football war my fin fans and we must play like it.

This could work but the effort has to be, there what I saw from N.O. Last night was maximum effort the dolphins gave up against the bills last week so their needs to be some type of soul searching involved!!!!

i told you guys sunday morning this team is full of pretenders and

1 2 3 4 »

The comments to this entry are closed.