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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.


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And one more thing, get Henning out of the booth and out of the Dolphins altogether. He has not put a game together than has been impressive....time to go.

Jakester---

that was especially true when you saw how secondary (many newbies) came up to crush Welker every time he caught an 'underneath' ball. Also some of those special team tackles....really, all the tackling in general showed how far we have to go in the simple category of want-to-get-it-done

dolphins are terrible right now because no passing game< no recievers< Ginn stinks!

remeber welker as a dolphin? they didnt even use him to his ability and now he is great!

Armando please ask Pasqualoni what the heck are they doing on defense,Sparano says he sees no common thread???!!!!! I don't know how many times this season the other team scores right after we score that is the deflating thing i have ever seen,Miami has had a lead in every game they have lost this season except maybe for San Diego.It's ridiculous i have never seen anything like it!

pasqudopy whatever sucks< bring back Jim Bates!Remember him!!!!!!

Do you notice that Vontae Davies is burned in the same way the most of the times, (in the U.N.A.M. here in Mexico we call that route "escape") and is because he beat himself earlier, and the coaching staff don't correct that although Vontae have more than enough physical skills?

VOX, i think you hit the nail on the head, and remember, "DODDSWORTH/MENACE 2016", a change you can believe in...

i agree mike in houston. these coach's are so overated.i like tony,but he makes some really screwed up desion' every fricken week.our d. cordinator,just flat out sucks!! the only good coach we have is sitting up in the box eatin bon bon' instead of doing the job he does best COACHING.he flat out knows how to motivate guy's,and get the best out of them on the field.

weis would be a great addition.not to mention his knowledge of the pats system would be awesome to have.

Agree with the honorable price master....not that there's anything wrong with a back door entrance, if your into that...

Pasqualoni have made an outstanding job with the MLB that we have.

I agree with rickr. Pasqu. Whatever his name is sucks! Has he been good anywhere he's been? As much as stability is good we need new oc and dc. Period.

What doe's the Kool-aid taste like in Davie?????

adrian..............stop it!!! have you watched any game this season???? really have you???? he suck's .................period!!! end of story, the proof is in the fourth quater!!!! how many games have we had the lead in the 4th quater,just to lose the game???? five out of six..................hello!!! the defense has blown every fricken one of them,and it all starts with coaching.

I believe our problem is pasq. He has continously failed us. He always puts one on one coverage on the best recievers of the league. Henning hasn't done all that bad. Of course with the exception of this past game. Now about ginn... He can't catch!! That's one thing Henning and the rest of the staff need to realize.


Mando,

Why won't you call Sparano out on why we are the ONLY nfl team to NEVER employ the shotgun formation when in obvious passing downs - it would buy Henne more time, and better vision of the field - IMO

I enjoy your analyses armando, this one included, but I think your being too hard on the coaching staff at this point in time.

I STILL can't believe we lost on sunday, but nobody's perfect.

Don't get angry rick r, take a deep breath.
IMO, in the last game with 3 min or so Bills have an interception with 3 points in advantage, is logic to think that the bills have to control the ball and may be score again, but we don't have the talent in the MLB to support the run so we have to fill the box with safeties left CB man to man, and also we don´t have talent in the MLB to rush the passer. We have two rookies CB and the bills have the momentum. if we don't have burn with the WR we have burn with the TE. If we have enough talent in the MLB the SS will cover the TE (with is normal) and we have won against the Colts.
IMO the inexcusable bad coaching decision (may be not the only) was in the Ricky Williams interception. In other words, I disagree more frequent with the decision in the offense.

May be am wrong but don't get angry rick r. I like to read your toughs about what happen if we have an impact MLB or we have a Channing Chowrder 15%-20% more quicker.

Excuse me rick r I, against the Colts and against the the Bills and may be against the Saints (but that was another story)

The dolphins have to get to Brady and hit him that what saints did

if the saints can get two guys off the street the week before and plug them into its defense and help own brady, moss and welker, it tells me that it's just as much the system than the personnel, if not more the system. we've invested a lot on personnel, including two top corners with the expectation that we'd get closer to being like the ravens' d that killed us last year. but we're moving in the opposite direction. why? the system in part. sure we need better linebackers, but the right system and direction from a competent defensive coach could compensate. guys like vilma and sharper are not young, fresh legs, but they still thrive in that system. i think parcells has more than suffice evidence in front of him that pasqualoni can't cut it. it's time to find someone that can.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result. All the dolphin fans are insane including myself. This new regime believes that they are smarter than other organizations by drafting or signing guys they feel are diamonds in the ruff vs signing an actual diamond. They want the credit for finding someone that others teams didn't see. Why do the press conferences all sound the same as they did when Dave, Nick, and Cam were there. " we've got to get it fixed". It never gets fixed. When it comes to paying athletes its about production not a popularity contest. Porter, Crowder and Ayodele are not the answer. Ginn, Fasano, and Camarrio are not the answer. In defense of these players Sparano always says they did things on the field that the fans don't see. If at their positions if its not in the stat sheets they did nothing. In the stat sheets I see tackles made not missed.I see catches made not drops. Be honest with the fans. You don't know what else to do!!!!!

I don't see this team changing - why would they, they have lost every game this year in the 4th - the games they won - they tried to give away in the 4th. Terrible D and hit and miss O - man I can understand the guy above in all caps who said he's tired of waiting - we've all been waiting for another superbowl but I don't see that for some time. There are too many good teams. Indy can fall behind but then score at will - the FINS fall behind and fans start leaving the stadium. I for one am tired hearing a defensive player stating to the press that "we just gave up in the 4th (essentially)" I love the Fins and will never give up on them but the writing is on the wall for this season - no way they win more than 2-3 more games.

i should also add that when you see a team like the saints making all kinds of shifts and giving the pats offense all kinds of different looks and coverages on defense, and then hearing crap from our coaches that they won't even try and let our corners shift to opposite sides of the field to shadow a receiver, it really infuriates me. this is not the kind of mind on defense i want to see here. all we have seen this year are little glimpses of good play followed by 95% vanilla that noob qbs like fitzpatrick can read and exploit. we need an innovative mind running our defense.

Will always be a fan BUT, can't we us Bess across the middle?

Yup, a change in the D would be nice. I hope that would include some changes in personnel.

I want to see some shot gun and spread receivers (but NOT with PAT WHITE). Do we ever use the shotgun? We need to send more receivers out and still protect Chad -- SHOTGUN.

Mike, well said and good point. Players "off the street" looked like they've been there the entire season if not more. I'm not well versed in systems, but we have talented athletes, so I don't want to cover them with dirt-but what we need to look at is why is New Orleans working like a well oiled machine? Could it be their system? Parcells is very, very smart and don't anyone think for a moment he isn't wanting to throw his mind into this ...but he stays away in his position. He's sizing up players every week, every day and we will see changes after the season ends. Henning has to be replaced to get a new system in place....he's done nothing impressive.

i think it would be smart for the dolphins to lose every game left to get very good draft picks since the pats are the afc champs already ..

Negative! If Miami can turn it around now and beat the pats, were back in !

The sad thing 'Mando is that he won't do anyhthing different. I'm sure we'll watch Brady sit back there with a day and a half to throw while getting no pressure, even if we do happen to blitz.

I'm also sure that Pasqualoni will continue to leave Davis in man on Moss, and he'll get toasted all day. I hate to be so pessimistic, but Pasqualoni has showed no ability whatsoever to adjust to anything all year... I see no reason why he would start now.

You're right Mando the defense does need a new approach. His name is Al Groh and he's a friend of Parcells. I'm afraid getting some new blood will be the only fix to this problem.

Hire Romeo For D.C , I'm Sorry But the One we have right Now Gets Soft In the 4th Quater When We Need To Tight That Nut Even More , We've Lost Some Games In the Fourth Quater This Year , I will Give Him The Rest Of the Year to get it Fix , Otherwise He Is a Goner And Hire Romeo

its quite obvious sparano is not a head coach he makes one boneheaded move after another and then when something does go right he jumps around like a moron this guy is bush league and unfortunatly hes billy parcells buddy so he aint goin anywhere. this orginization is being further ruined by this three headed clown!.. Mr.Ross please step in and help us

I have to agree with Josh, enough is enough already, we have suffered enough all these years with this team's meltdowns....

"Mark my words, the New Orleans Saints will suffer their first loss of the season to the New England Patriots Monday Night."- Boomer Esasison on CBS NFL TODAY Show on Sunday.

.....Mark my words Boomer, you're in the tank for the Pats, and a shill for the Pats who tried to get a job with them five years ago when Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame. CBS needs to fire him and stop having him give so-called "objective analysis."....The Patriots owner Bob Kraft runs the entire NFL media operation, and as a result the national media has become nothing more than a propaganda machine for the Patriots. All I heard all week was how the Patriots would beat the Saints from the media, and the game wasn't even close, it was a slaughter. Marino is one of the few honest ones and Boomer gives him crap every week and Boomer is a shill for the Patriots like Chris Berman, like the entire ESPN network, like NBC and on and on. I had to listen to Trent Dilfer last night say "this doesn't mean the Patriots are in a demise."...Really?....Who cares if it does or doesn't!.... the NFL is all about the Patriots to these nimrods and they haven't even won a Super Bowl for five years!( I'm counting this year, because they are not winning it this year either).....It's bad enough I have to sit through this crap the Dolphins put out there every week, I can't even enjoy the NFL anymore because the media is out there shilling for the Pats and Kraft every week and spinning it no matter how torched ( and they got torched last night) they get. Guarantee, if the Patriots make the Super Bowl against the Saints this year the media will talk non-stop about how the Patriots will beat the Saints this time and then the Saints will win 48-10 and the media still will talk about a Patriots dynasty.....

The fact the Dolphins collapsed all these years and allowed that fraud organization in New England to take over the NFL is a joke.

Even if the Dolphins win on Sunday they probably will give it back by losing to the Jags or Titans afterwards, I'm with Josh, we're tired of this.

coach shula that is the greatest post ever and 100% correct

i think right now sparano is thinking up his excuses he will be using after this weeks loss to the pats. his standard one is he will have to look at the film to see what just happened! and that the fans really didnt understand what they just witnessed. sparano is just a position coach who is clueless! i hope he takes back the coaching duties from porter! where is cam wake and ryan baker???? 2 guys with a motor!!!!

Uhm, those two corners that were just "signed off the street" were Mike McKenzie and Chris McAllister. Those guys are extremely talented and former Pro Bowlers. They might not stand up for an entire season but in a short stretch can be as good as anyone.

coach shula is in need of his med .the dolphins collapsed the last 9 years not 3.

how come we drafted a 6'4" corner who was going to cover all the tall stud recievers but now cant figure out how to do it, so our 5'10" corner tries to. sparano can't seem to figure out how to switch sean smith to the other side for a better match-up!!! CLUELESS

Clearly, the phins whole staff and players took Buffalo too lightly, and were interested in next week. Come on, that Buffalo team. Why try all those end arounds to Ted Ginn, i dont remember that play ever working. I just want to change the channel when they put in Pat White, omg that 2 yards was so beneficial.

Wow, we would of been in great position this week if we won. Anyways, i really dont see us finishing out this year, there is no way we should make the playoffs the way we have been playing in the past couple of games.

FIRE PASQUALONI !!! Come on Armando, help spread the word to the big Tuna, fans want change !

Armando would it be at all possible to re-unite henne and mario manningham? it would have to be through trade because manningham is not a free agent until 2012 i think.

play calling on offense and defense has cost the fins 2 or 3 games this year, if not more. this is easier to remedy than personnel as i think the fins have a good base of talent. the injuries to the o-line and NT aren't helping either. hoprfully grove will be back at center vs. the pats.

Mclovin,

I agree the reverse was a bad call, but you don't even remember Ginn 2 td on reverses last year?

Marc (many me),

Winning 9 of the last 10 games last year was a collapse?

Paul Pasquolooney has been horrible this year though.

I read someone say they should bring in Al Groh. Thats good idea, but what about Todd Bowles, the Dolphins defensive backs coach? This guy has alot of respect with player and around the league and was interviewing for Head Coach jobs in the off season.

Go Dolphins

I still believe!

Beat the Pats and we're one game out.

Anybody see the movie " BRUNO " ? Doesn't VOX VERDAD remind you of the talking penis ? Just saying .

um... riiiight... sorry bud, never seen it and it sounds like I don't want to

Coaching?

NO!

It doesn't matter who the coach has been over the years.

For some reason after the offense or deffense makes a big play, its like they celebrate like the game is over.

It has happened on this team for years. If we have the lead its like lets do sack dances and chest bumping. Meanwhile the other team is starting to make plays.

Its like this team gets so excited about a sack, interception or touchdown and instead of going in for the kill. It gets beat on the next drive or play.

This team does not have a 60 minute focus. It is nothing new. How many times did Marino will this team into the endzone just to see the opponent come rught back for the win?

I say the coaching staff puts a no celebration rule on the field until the team wins. I'm sick of Joey Porter and Jason Taylors sack dances. Go back in the huddle and prepare for another one. Celebrate when you are up by 17 with 2 minutes to go!

Dang Phins!

Reality is I wake up every sunday throw on my orange t and have the hardest time figuring out which jersey to wear. 34,99,23, 39(czonka throw back) 77, i have a closet full of traded players as well but it never fails at the end of the day im am a disgruntal dol-fan omg I just wonder what its like to have a team like NO to watch every sunday and go to bed sunday night thinkin "now thats great football" Instead I go to bed after one to many beers and one to many jager shots thinking well do better next week. Really Ive been a dol-fan since 78 Ive watched year after year with pure disapointment weve had some decent runs. My best friend is a Bills fan and we watched the game sunday and I felt bad for her n "Ruff-Buff" because there was no doubt in my mind we were going to destroy them.......Wrong again. As a "TRUE DOL-FAN" I ask myself When do I throw in the towel? DoIput 31 teams in a hat n pick one? NEVER>>>>>>>>>> IAM A DOL-FAN TILL THE DAY I DIE! If any player on this team I love sooo much happens to read this as true fans we support you all 150% Can we please have a reason to buy more jerseys and hats n game tickets We belive as true fans. Do you believe as players? RobTeezy09

We need Playmakers!! we need guys that finish games when the game is on the line. we need go-to-guys!

Our only playmaker is Ricky, and we keep abandoning him in the 4th quarter.

Henne shouldn't be throwing as much as he has in the 4th quarter.

Josh, you have said what I have been thinking for years. F#ck patience I have been waiting for 37 years!!!! All these people on this blog and message boards saying patience with this regiem, well I was thinking that too at first because of the tuna influence but when I see the coaching staff pull the dumb A#ss Sh#t during games with time management and play calling, F#ck, any patience I had went out the window what good is having talent if you cant call a game, hell even Cam Moron had better play calling. To all those who say to have patience you people just love the colors and logo and don't give a crap about winning, and don't know football or your team period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Saints play 3-4D, We play 4-3D. What get lost with all the hoopla over the Saints pass game is:

1. They also run the ball very well.

2. They defend the run very well.

3. They rush the passer very well, for all 4qtrs.

The Saints are a complete team. We are not. Saints have a complete D. We do not. Even if we copied there defensive scheme it wouldnt be as successful. Its just like trying to take our wr's and do the same as we see them do with thiers. Its a personell not a scheme issue.

What I see is the Fins were looking past the Bills and they got caught napping. I beleive they will play very hard against New England and come out in top.

You and I have seen them play and know they are capable when they want to be.

The players have the desire but lack the consistant leadership from the coaching staff.

Go Fins..99

al groh dolphins new defensive cord in 2010!!!!this team needs LINEBACKERS!!!!!!!

New orleans plays a 4-3 Defense .

Dolfanken,

You are not unique. I watched championship Dolphin ball in the early 70's too. But you know my lesson learned is?

I've learned to not allow a bunch of overpaid jocks not have total control over how I think, feel, or take a crap because they wear a team color and logo I may favor. Because personally they could careless about you or me. If you were onfire I highly doubt anyone of them would even piss on you to put it out.

Yet, some of us allow them to control how we think, feel, act, and at times when we eat or when we take a crap. Yes, out of my own self centeredness I would like to see them win another SB. But even if or when they do, what does it really gain me personally besides the stroking of my own over inflated ego?

What we really need to learn is, win or lose, how to put this "childish" sport in perspective. Not allow it to "control" our lives. We are grown men for God's sake.

AMEN...........

NJ,

I just posted it backwards, Dolphins 3-4 and Saints 4-3D. If you noticed I had us as a 4-3D. lol

I just noticed that with miami too. LOL !

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