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Miami Dolphins release the (young) hounds

One of the thoughts that crossed my mind Sunday morning was to make sure to talk to Miami's young players about getting more playing time if the Dolphins lost to the Patriots. After all, a loss pretty much would have ended Miami's chances of winning the AFC East and all but dashed their playoff chances.

It would have been time to make an all-out commitment to youth.

Well, the Dolphins won.

And I'm hoping the Dolphins continue to put more responsibility on youngsters for a reason that has zero to do with surrender or getting ready for 2010. The fact is Miami's young players are making leaps that suggest they're ready for more opportunities.

So even as the Dolphins continue to be relevant, they should rely on their youngsters!

Consider:

Chad Henne, the QB coaches have nurtured because he has started only nine games, showed us he can gladly throw the ball all over the field anytime he's asked. Henne had his first 300-yard game in outdueling Tom Brady.

Well, if Henne can do this kind of work against a solid New England team, he should continue to be given the benefit of the doubt on his number of snaps. Personally, I think plays that take the ball out of Henne's hands and give it to Ricky Williams to throw, or worse, to Pat White, should be discarded.

Henne deserves all the snaps he can get. He has not arrived yet and is still learning and improving. But he has earned the responsibility of throwing all of Miami's passes. Let Williams do what he does best, which is run. Let White do what he does best, which is ... which is ... I'll come up with something.

Well, let Pat White continue to learn how to be an NFL QB on the bench by holding the clipboard. Enough with the ill-timed, ineffective direct snap spread offense that doesn't really fool anyone or gain much yardage. Henne is good enough that putting the ball in his hands gives Miami its best chance to succeed.

Then there are a couple of young receivers. Brian Hartline showed he's coming along very nicely. He and Henne are forging chemistry. So give him more plays. Look, Ted Ginn Jr. is, at best, going to be a part-time player next year. At worst, he might not be on the team. So isn't it time to let the already-better Hartline maximize his snaps?

Same with Davone Bess. He has been Miami's best receiver all season long. Unfortunately for him, the Dolphins don't have a deep threat go-to guy that would do for him what Randy Moss does for Wes Welker. I covered Welker and am now seeing Bess up-close. Bess is every bit the player and would get similar results if and when Miami finds a star receiver.

That addition will free Bess to play the slot rather than outside. And that's when you'll see this kid take off because he is perfect for the position against nickel backs and safeties.

That brings me to the defense.

I just about wanted to throw up when Joey Porter put on some army fatigues after the game and started talking about how this game was the time to go to war.

“There are just certain games that you know it’s going to be a war out there," Porter said. "Today was one of those games for us because honestly if we lost we were out of it. We needed to win this just to have a chance. We came out and played with a purpose, played with passion. Coach said our passion had been lost a little bit, so we wanted to make sure we came out and played with some enthusiasm and some passion, and we did that today.”

Really? This game was a war?

And how many people got shot? How many guys lost limbs? How many guys went without food or water? Porter's remarks minimize the sacrifice of the real heroes -- our military that right now is fighting Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other evil, sick fricks.

Football is a game. War is life and death. Those two are not equal and if Porter doesn't know that he's got bigger issues than his inconsequential Sunday performance.

Porter had four tackles, none of which I remember. He had zero sacks or pressures.

First-year player Cameron Wake, meanwhile, is perpetually in the other team's pass pocket. Wake had the game's most important pressure when he forced Tom Brady to throw an errant pass that Channing Crowder intercepted to dash New England's hopes. 

Personally, I hope to see more of Wake and less of Porter as we proceed the last month of the season.

Sunday was an important day in the growth of Miami's puppy cornerbacks -- Sean Smith and Vontae Davis. Both had their difficult moments Sunday. Davis was part of the double-coverage that failed on an 81-yard TD pass from Brady to Randy Moss.

Smith had single duty against Sam Aiken when the New England receiver outfought Smith for a catch and an 81-yard TD.

But despite those difficult moments, the pups bit back.

Davis had a big interception in the end zone on second-and-goal from the 5 to thwart a potential Patriots touchdown that would have made it 27-19 with an extra point coming. Smith also had some solid moments.

But what you might not have noticed is that Miami trusted the rooks to the point they matched up all over the field -- at times swapping sides so Davis could shadow Moss wherever he went. The Dolphins also rolled their coverages and mixed up their coverages.

In other words, the Dolphins did things in the secondary with two rookie starting corners that teams usually don't do unless they have experienced players at those positions. That's growth.

“What we did was we tried to double these guys a little bit," coach Tony Sparano said. "We had Vontae moving with [Moss] a little bit. The first touchdown was double-coverage. The big play to Wes was double-coverage. He just split it.”

I wrote about Miami's advancing youth movement in my column for Monday's Miami Herald. But if you click on the column, you soon will see this column offers another measure insight than what I just tried to paint for you.

The Patriots, you see, are the other side of the coin to Miami youth movement. While the Dolphins are increasingly in position to use younger players and get results, the Patriots are going in the other direction -- the wrong direction. It's not a pretty picture for them. Check it out.

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Armando,

I think Porter's war statement was a figure of speech. No big deal. I do not think he meant it was like an actual. It was a game between a previous Superbowl champ and an up and comer. Relax about the war thing.......please.

Porter is not dense enough to honestly compare a football game to war; it is a figure of speach that has been used and accepted for years but lately people are taking issue with because there are actual wars happening/political correctness. I personally think JP's wearing the fatigues is stupid but not offensive. I do agree about seeing less of JP and more of Wake even if JP got credit for the tackle on the 4th and one.

Ya, seems to be a bit of a touchy issue or something..

Anyhow, no big deal.. but would rather Porter consistently talk with stats instead of his mouth.

I am still quite positive on our youth movement. I still believe they have potential to be pretty good. I get a better feeling out of these Hartline, Smith and Davis than I did with Ginn and Jason Allen.. and Ginn/allen were much higher picks!

Mando, as a vet, and the son of a ww2 vet, and brother of two vets. I applaud you for this article. Porter is an imbecile.

That said, he will be gone next year, as should crowder....He got his first pick today after 5 years of lousy play. The only reason he got that pick was that young buck wake caused it.

Bess is solid, hartline has heart, lets draft Briscoe from Kansas, and shore up our D middle going forward.

Henne showed a lot today. The kid has moxie.

Wake replaced Taylor on the play where Brady was pressured into throwing the pick to Crowder, not Porter

Anyone else feel like Mando was kind of drunk when he wrote this?

Regarding the rooks on the corner..Those kids will be just fine. More trash being talked on smith but I predict these two will be shutting down teams for years barring injury.

If we shore up our middle we will be a force on D.

No Jim C, are you?

Mando JP did not mean war as a insult that's just how u took it this was a make or break game not only for a playoff hopes but playing a rival team u always need to bring ur war faces and make sure you u come with ur guns loaded he meant no disrespect to the military. I'm a Vet did 2 Years one in Iraq and one in afagn and I can tell the diffrence come on I love ur post but don't read into things so hard man!

I agree with mando and shaggy as far as porter with the army fatiques and the war references. Uncalled for and not the time and place. Porter is a IMBECILE ! Get him outta here.

The young pups ( henne , long , bess , hartline , davis and wake limited snaps ) were outstanding !

You guys should check out the Boston Globe. The comments by their fans are priceless. The mood in that town as far as the Pats are concerned has changed dramatically. A lot of "Well, It was a great run, but now its over" and "We need to trade Brady and Moss now and get what we can for them." I guess thats the bad thing about being great.......sooner or later you are in for a long fall. The Fins time is near!

Mando , a little something on the pats. Besides having their 1st round pick , the pats own 3 2nd round picks in a very good/deep draft. Don't put them in a nursing home YET ! LOL !

Reads like a crappy article tainted by a little good stuff to me. Even the good isnt informative because its something most of the readers already know. Armando sometimes I think you take your reading audience for total imbeciles.

that's right 3 2nd round picks next year and they traded seymour for a 2011 first round pick from oakland. That's 2 1 st rounders in 2011. They aren't going away. we are going to have to kick their a**.

NJ,

For almost as long as football's been around there have been references refering to war. Everyone know it just a description not an actuality. Guess you and Armando are saying millions of people have been total imbeciles for nearly 100yrs now because of that reference.

This si such a good blog with a lot of knowledgeable people here but some of the regulars go on and on at each other wasting space and time. You have to read so much garbage to get to the good stuff. You all know who you are: Aloco, NJPHIN, Marc, Carlito, Menace, Ace, etc. Since there are so many of you ruining it for others and a basic rule like "If it isn't specifically about the Dolhins game, players, coaches, draft or Free agency, it shouldn't be here" would go right over your collective dumbazz heads then it really comes down to Armando moderating the blog and erasing the BS. I am so tired of it Mando. I love reading your blog and the GOOD responses but I am seriously about over it and will go elsewhere for my info. Since pleading with the idiots will get me nowhere, I can only plead with you - PLEASE erase all the non-football responses!

Posted by: Jimmy Jam | December 06, 2009 at 11:35 PM


FYI

breed , not at a time of war !

Good point, NJ they have been stocking the cupboards for the future. Some of the trades teams made with them made me cringe last draft.

What happen to freedom of speech we know that when a player says that he means no disrespect to our servicemen and women. People thinking otherwise need to just get over them ownselves.

What everyone has to walk pins and needles because only a mentally sheltered few feel so threatened? Its totally ridiculous those few want to deprive everyone else of freedom of speech.

What's next government censorship!

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Porter doesn't know that he's got bigger issues than his inconsequential Sunday performance."

I couldn't agree more, army fatigues this time of year...how gauche.

Soiled :)

Breed, if he wore that garb to support the true warriors that is fine. To equate a game to real war or battle is a joke. I remember when the hurricanes did that crap it was embarrassing and a taint on things that really matter.

Dying YOU ARE CORRECT.

WE have been in wars for many years in the last two decades and will be in the future. I guess we can never use the word "war" again. Sad

You have to like the way the future looks for the Dolphins. We saw from Henne today what we needed to see; that he can throw for 300+ yards to win a game if it's needed. Hartline looks like a steal in the 4th round. Davis is a future superstar. Smith still has a ways to go, but shows potential. I'm not sold on Lex Helliard the way the coaching staff is. I think they can do better at the young RB backup spot. Obviously, Wake's a stud. I'd still like to see him in there every down regardless of what he does in coverage or in the run game.

btw - I love the offensive game plan from the coaching staff. First, they did what the other team didn't expect by discarding the wildcat and most of the trick plays and threw the ball 50+ times. I guarantee you the Cheatriots didn't prepare for that. The other thing is that you HAVE to throw the ball to win in this league. In addition to getting some chunk plays, you get the bs pass interference calls (got one of those today) and the bs roughing the passer calls. The league rewards teams that throw the ball. It's good to see that Henne and the Phins can do that.

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Porter doesn't know that he's got bigger issues than his inconsequential Sunday performance."

I couldn't agree more, army fatigues this time of year...how gauche.

Soiled :)


Posted by: SoiledBottom | December 07, 2009 at 01:04 AM

You made a very much more valid point. I love it! LOL

Mentally sheltered Few . Really ? Who said anything about freedom of speech ?. You can't just yell fire in a crowded place either, There's a time and place. You ever Hear porter speak ? He's a IMBECILE and It's Disrespectful.

Breed, you are obviously warped. Good luck in life.

Dying, the men and women in the war are fighting for your wussy @zzzz to have freedoms you have.

This is what the anti-empanada would say

Things are taking form.

Henne is everything his supporters have been claiming.

Hartline,Camarilo, Bess and Fasano are more than capable if someone will just get them the ball. Ginn's speed is a ST blessing and he can do spot duty as a receiver if we remember, he is no good with back to the ball. All his patterns have to end with his feet on the ground and him turning into the catch.

It will be terrific if we can get a #1 receiver then concentrate on fixing our defense.

As far as I am concerned the playoffs are just a distraction. Rather than some meaningless “one and done” appearance I am hoping for a strong finish that makes everyone proud. A near miss at returning as division champ would not hurt my feelings. The AFC East has no chance at a Wild Card slot thank goodness.

Play like hell. Have some moments of glory. Regain any lost respect. And' take our place somewhere in the top half of the draft. Such a minor setback could be a major step forward.

Congratulations Dolphins. It was a great win and well deserved. Enjoy your day off.


Nj yelling fire in a theater is a hazzard to life.....saying war is only disrespectful if that

Big win , it's late . Good night.

Shaggy history says we are a warlike people therefore we will always be at war at sometime or another. Dont blame me, blame those who start them mostly out of ignorant reasonings.

Warped's not such a bad thing depending on which side of it your on. Shaggly obvious youre unware of the cliff you've fallen from.

Have a nice safe landing.

Dying YOU ARE CORRECT.

WE have been in wars for many years in the last two decades and will be in the future. I guess we can never use the word "war" again. Sad

Posted by: empanada | December 07, 2009 at 01:06 AM


You know, you guys are a result of improper upbringing......Yes yes yes freedom of speech. Class? Respect? It has gone the way of the dinosaur. Poor bastards.

The young pups ( henne , long , bess , hartline , davis and wake limited snaps ) were outstanding !

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | December 07, 2009 at 12:45 AM

NJ,

You were laughing at all us Dolphans ,
predicting a patsy win.

You were wrong, and you should be ashamed!!!!

Yeah Shaggy I have a very improper upbringing. Scoobie-doobie-doooooooooo!!!!!
Anybody for a Scoobie snack?

Armando,

i hope your drunk, otherwise you sound retarded.
I'm sure sure Daryl Stingley doesen't think football is war.
How many many times have you have you strapped a pair on?
My guess would be none, SO STFU with that shi%!

Hey Shraggie, Scoobie-doobie-dooooooo!!!!!!!!

It is utterly boorish to go righteously indiginant because someone uses a war metaphor.

Are you going to get self-righteous when someone says they have to "police the situation?" Because that is so disrespectful of the actual police, who put their lives on the line every day! Or how about those insensitive folks who say "fight fire with fire" or claim to have "put that fire out." How could they even say something like that when firemen die every day fighting REAL fires!

I mean, HOW DARE THEY!

I think you should start a crusade to ban the card game "War" and the playground game "Tug of War before they hurt your feelings.

Also lets talk about how disrespectful Battleship, Army Ants and Navy Beans are.

You know, anyone who remotely considers himself a writer should be particularly ashamed to even type such an inanity.

I am embarrassed for you. Really.

Breed , i started the fire ? Really ? Mando made a statement , i agreed and you came on here with your stupid rants . LOL !

Armando thinks all of his audience is as imbecile as some of them are. lol

Dying, on that elementary school note, I will concede defeat. You really got me. Ha ha, need I say more? Lay off the paste, and the Elmers glue you mook.

Thanks for making my point.

NJ,

Stupid rants or rants about stupid people? If the shoe fits wear it!

Odinseye, really ! are you kidding me ? where were you during the live blog. If you were on here you would've noticed me cheering louder than anyone. You're also the one that predicted maimi would beat NE the first time around, How did that work out ? LOL ! How was your prediction of miami whooping up on Buffalo last week. How did that work out ? LMFAO !

NJ,

You are such a feminine pantsy you dont deserve to be here with real men!

LOL@SHAGGY .

NJ,

You and Armando should go shopping sometimes and try on some pretty new dresses. Im serious!

"Mando, as a vet, and the son of a ww2 vet, and brother of two vets. I applaud you for this article. Porter is an imbecile. "

I don't believe you.

I have never met an actual soldier who was so much of a fragile princess that his feelings were hurt that someone used a war metaphor in football.

If your feelings really are so easily hurt, I suggest that you turn off the tv and computer. You are too sensitive for the real world. I have trouble believing you are a veteran of anything that requires actual guts and strength of character like the U.S. Armed Forces.

I guess maybe you were in the French army. You didn't specify. That might explain it.

But every soldier in my family and every soldier I have ever known was way too strong to get offended that easily.

Man up.

Breed Scooby doo ? Real Men ? LMFAO !

Dying here is your biography......
MOOK.
A term coined by Douglas Rushkoff in an episode of PBS's "Frontline" entitled "The Merchants of Cool." Mooks are archetypal young males(teens-early 20s) who act like moronic boneheads. They are self centered simpletons who live a drunken frat-boy lifestyle(or are frat-boys). Examples can be found anytime someone watches "Jackass." Rushkoff claimed that the media glorifies this ideal and stifles natural self expression, however, some people might argue teenage boys have always acted like morons(its actually a long-standing stereotype).


Get a job, ditch daddy's teat.

NJ,

I guess you and I are officially at "war" again. Oops, I forgot I cant use that word because it makes you Shaggt girl and Armando cry!

Mando, you've been doing such a good job of connecting with the issues lately that I really regret seeing you weaken your message by making pointless issues such as Porter's war analogies and Ricky's aversion to talking about himself in interviews.

When you tend to the main issues you're one of the information leaders of the Dolphin's nation. When you try to make social issues of athletes blundering attempts to make themselves the center of attention you tend to sound a little to much like Omar. That's not what we want from you. From you we want the real thing.

You owe yourself better. You owe us better. But, nice work. Keep it up.

Dying breed and real men . SCOOBY DOOO ! lmfao !

Breed Scooby doo ? Real Men ? LMFAO !

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | December 07, 2009 at 01:27 AM

That was for your fellow boy princess Shaggy. You two should get together and paint finger nails sometimes.

John, if you had a soul or a sack you would understand... Sorry pal, not everyone gets it.

Breed , scooooobby dooooo ! LOL ! MEN ? really ? scooooby dooo

NJ,

I predicted the Dolphins would sweep the AFC EAST. Not just buffalo, not just the wets, the AFC East!!!!
We almost did it. A couple of flukes, otherwise we were there.
Unlike you (of all people) I NEVER gave up.

Football is WAR!!!!

odinseye . YEAH ! arrrrrrrghhh !

Everyone be nice to Shaggy is so sensitive. If not he'll go to "war" and scratch your eyeballs out!

Breed , scooooobby dooooo ! LOL ! MEN ? really ? scooooby dooo

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | December 07, 2009 at 01:32 AM

Would someone please toss NJ a scoobie snack. Hey shaggy feed your b!tch you animal starver! Now she's out in the street begging handouts of strangers.

Jack don't be frightened because someone states what you don't want to hear. Its called an opinion. Like it or not.

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