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The truth and spin about the Miami Dolphins

I try to read most of your comments. And one theme I'm noticing lately is how some of you feel disappointed when one of the coaches says something that is clearly, patently false or just a bunch of hooey.

Examples:

"Ernest Wilford is improving every day in practice," when everyone knows if he was improving he'd be playing.

"I don't have information on that yet," when discussing injuries that are already diagnosed and have a prognosis and the third person to find out that information (after the doctor/trainer and player) is usually the head coach.

"The right guard job is Shawn Murphy's to lose," when everyone knows the second Donald Thomas can put one foot in front of the other he's starting and Murphy is really not going to pan out in Miami.

"I thought Matt played really well," when Matt Roth plays his first game after being on the non-football injury list but is cut three weeks later for poor performance and other reasons.

"I like our receivers," when Miami's receivers don't often win one-on-one battles and are all flawed in one significant way or another.

The words don't always match the facts. Your eyes tell you one thing while the Miami coaching staff tells you something different.

Well, it happens because that is what the Dolphins staff feels it must do. When your team is as flawed, as filled with voids as the current Dolphins are, you cannot as a coach, fire a broadside into your own ship and add yet another hole. It would be dumb considering the coaching staff is on that ship.

So Tony Sparano and Dan Henning and Paul Pasqualoni tap dance. They try not to outright lie. But they cannot really tell you the whole truth about their Dolphins.

Some of you, and even some media, often forget this fact. You take what coaches say as gospel. It often is not. It often is spin.

"I've got people upstairs that I'm accountable to," Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning explained Thursday. "And when I'm called in to be accountable to them, I explain it to them exactly like it is. They don't like to hear it all the time but that's the way I explain it.

"I can't do that with you and Tony can't do that with you [media]. Because if I explain to you that this is a liability for us and this is a plus for us, then pretty soon that gets written or somebody speaks it on the TV and then somebody on the other side [on other teams] writing that down says, 'Well, they won't do this because he thinks that's a problem,' that type of thing. Understand that from us. You guys know that. I don't have to explain that to you."

So understand, when you read quotes from Sparano or Henning or Pasqualoni that stretch credulity, don't think them unwise or fooled by their own team. Trust me, the Miami's coaches know they have talent problems. They know this team is a work-in-progress.

But what are they supposed to say? We stink like a sewer?

And that leads me to this:

The Dolphins offense and Dolphins defense stink like a sewer.

Naw, not really. But they are both very, very troubled.

The offense has scored 26 touchdowns in 11 games. That averages to 2.4 touchdowns per game. You know what team made the playoffs last year averaging 2.4 touchdowns per game? None.

And it's not just that the Dolphins struggle to score. It's how they score that is also troubling. In a league that is all about electric, dynamic offense, the Dolphins look like a team straight out of the 1970s. They plod along, slow and sometimes steady on 13-, 14-,15-play drives.

The "chunk" plays Sparano is always talking about? Wait until next year the earliest for them.

This year the Dolphins have scored three, count 'em, three touchdowns from outside the 20 yard line. Three!

Don't blame the running game for this fact. It's all about a terrible passing game. Fact is the Dolphins have eight running plays of 25-yards or more this season. The passing game has contributed the same number of plays of 25-yards or more. That, in a word, is horrible.

For context, consider that Miami's defense, not exactly a slice of swiss cheese, has yielded 26 pass plays of 25-yards or more.

About that defense. If it's the fourth quarter, Miami's D Fence more closely resembles a swinging gate. The Dolphins have yielded an NFL high 134 fourth-quarter points this year. Aside from being an NFL worst, it is already a franchise worst.

The 2007 Dolphins, the 1-15 debacle of a team, yielded 126 fourth-quarter points.

So this year's team has already surrendered more fourth-quarter points than the worst Miami team of all time. And there are still five games to play!

And what does Pasqualoni say when he's asked about that terrible, terrible fourth-quarter performance?

Hint: He's not saying, Phillip Merling isn't playing like a first-round pick, Joey Porter gets sacks only when he plays backup tackles, Channing Crowder isn't making any big plays, our young corners are going to be good some day but not yet, our safeties were out of synch the entire first half of the season, and our front seven is slow to the football.

Pasqualoni is saying: "We've been real good in the red zone. We've been real good, to me, it's field position as much as anything. Just so happens that some of that stuff has come up in the fourth quarter, but we've got to do a better job of finishing there's no question about that. And we've got to do a better job of just flat-out executing."

You didn't expect him to put another hole in the ship, did you?

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I agree with Dean.....Ricky is kicking butt this year and not a lot of people would have expected this.

Fins are a young and improving team but they're still just an average team.

Still waiting since 1985!

Nice blog. We stink like a sewer. Haha.

I HAVE THE ANSWER!! We should hire all the fans in these blogs to make the personnel decisions. It is obviously very easy. We obviously could see that Matt Ryan would be the face of the franchise, how did they miss it? Where are all the fans that were screaming for Brady Quinn? I wish I could find a search engine that would show all the comments that the complainers have had over the years and all their "suggestions". Over the years, here are a small snap shot of some of the complaints.
"We should have drafted Matt Ryan!!" Ok, yes he has turned out pretty good. But for every Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, there is a Jamarcus Russell, Matt Leinart, Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, etc. All the Brady Quinn lovers have disapeared. In that draft, there were also a good portion of fans calling for guys like Chris Long, Glenn Dorsey and Darren McFadden ("Trade Ronnie Brown and draft McFadden!!"). There were even some folks calling for Gholsten. Long, Dorsey and Gholston don't even start and McFadden has been a none factor.
Here is another one. Sign TJ Housh!.. What has he done for Seattle?
Trade for D. Bowe! Um...4 game suspension.
Trade for B Edwards! Do you mean stone hands, some things don't change. Anyone see him drop that wide open bomb last night?

The point I am making is that hindsight is 20/20. Just like the call with Ricky throwing the ball, I hated the call but if he makes it no one says anything. We are going to miss on players in free agency and in the draft. The thing is that we are going to miss less than in years past. How many players are left from before Parcells took over that start or play? R. Brown, V. Carey, T. Ginn on offense? Y. Bell, W. Allen, Crowder, Porter on defense? 7 players? It doesn't happen overnight people. Give it time.

Outstanding article, Armando.

Good article Armando! Great things you point out to our fan base! When we beat the cheaters Sunday it will be interesting to hear all the haters not hating for at least one week!!

I agree give it time. Let's just have fun with what's left of the season and get some good draft picks.

Enjoyed the article Mando. While it is obvious to some why the double speak, you do have to spoon feed some people so they get the picture. Dying breed, great attitude and passion. I think you are on the money. A lot of fans do not get that the reason this team did not go after big FA signings is because that is a solution for the short term and when you are making a run (ie, Saints). This is obviously a rebuilding time and if they can't potentially contribute for a few years, it is just a waste. It still breaks my heart when they lose, but I am optimistic for the future.

Here is another thing. Look at the Saints. When they drafted R. Bush they were drafting second. They also signed Brees that year and struck gold with Colston in the 7th round. They had just signed Payton and went from 2nd worst team to the NFC Championship losing to Philly. The following two years they were a .500 team finishing last in their division last year. Brees was still putting up big numbers but they weren't getting done. They kept adding draft picks ( mostly on defense S. Ellis, M. Jenkins, T. Porter, etc) along with some veterans (Vilma, Sharper) and now the team is beating the snot out of the Pats. Year 4 of the building plan. We are still in year 2. They don't have any key players that were there before Payton got there. They will most likely cut bush in the offseason because of the depth and talent they have now.

HP in PA - Finally a normal minded Phins fan!! Very nice post! Every team has busts, so it's not about getting no busts, it's about minimizing the number of busts. With a #1 WR getting double coverage I believe Ted Ginn can be a solid #2 guy. Obviuosly he is not good enough to be a #1 WR, but I still think he has value. You can not teach speed and he has it!

Reggie Bush is going to be cut. I have a friend who is a die hard Saints fan, so he knows more about them than I do and he has told me that is going to happen. Bush is due somewhere in the ball park 7-8 million next year and the Saints do not want to pay that much for an average player...

We NEED to get a proven vet at WR - a real #1. Drafting a WR will take too long to develope. Draft the other need areas - NT, LB, Safety.

NJ is in bed, he stay up late posting stuff here/ fool he is. He makes his people work for his LAZY @zz

If Fins can pull off upset against the Pats, fans can keep the dream alive for one more week.

Fins Lose? I hate to think about it, but I don't think 9-7 will get you into playoffs.

Can anyone name one player on the Dolphins that would start on a playoff bound team except for Ricky?

The Coaches can't make chicken salad yet.

Great article Mando.

I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 last year and went to the superbowl! However, the cards actually had a seasoned QB.

Actually, I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 and made the superbowl. Difference was a seasoned QB, I like Henne, but he's in his first year. So 9-7 may take a good team all the way. We're not there yet!

Actually, I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 and made the superbowl. Difference was a seasoned QB, I like Henne, but he's in his first year. So 9-7 may take a good team all the way. We're not there yet!

Actually, I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 and made the superbowl. Difference was a seasoned QB, I like Henne, but he's in his first year. So 9-7 may take a good team all the way. We're not there yet!

Rockmeister

Jake Long, Jake Smiley (injured), Vernon Carey, Lousaka Polite, Davone Bess, Jason Ferguson (injured), Randy Starks, Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, Yeramiah Bell.

Slipstream:

"Ricky Williams can keep this pace up for the rest of the year."

I realize you disagree with this assessment and are seeing it as spin. What makes you think he can'rt? One instance that makes you think he can't carry 20 -25 times a game? His age? He's not that old in actual playing time and the guy has always been better as the game wears on into the 3rd and 4th quarter. I have said this many times: Best running back on the team. Period. This includes when RB was on the field.

Actually, I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 and made the superbowl. Difference was a seasoned QB, I like Henne, but he's in his first year. So 9-7 may take a good team all the way. We're not there yet!

All of this takes time people. It was good to see the Fins go from 1 and 15 to 11 and 5. WE all still believe as Carlito would say, but in different degress I guess. Even though going 11 and 5 felt great, the fins had to deal with their draft picking situations as a reulst of going 11 and 5. And they get a tough schedule to play this year as well. There is only a small handful of players left from the last regime here. We have some good players that the current regime has gotten us. We will have something special here, but maybe we will see around 2010/2011. Of course we all keep on cheering our team every week and expect them to win every week. I believe we will get there.

Bush is due $8 Million. Piere Thomas & Mike Bell are free agents and will want to invest the money there. They have won big two games in a row without him. If there is no salary cap next year there will be a big purge of players with big contract not getting it down since it will impact only next year.

Actually, I believe that Kurt Warner & co went 9-7 and made the superbowl. Difference was a seasoned QB, I like Henne, but he's in his first year. So 9-7 may take a good team all the way. We're not there yet!

Posted by: D-dense | December 04, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Stop repeating this you f'k up!

Purge = Joey Porter, G. Wilson. Wilson was signed before they drafted Clemons, he is faster, younger and cheaper plus he is more of a free safety while Wilson is not going to unseat Bell and strong Safety.

Hello...can anyone hear me?

Is Anquan Bolden not in his last year in Az?

What a bunch of negative nellys!!

Even though we really don't have the weapons to beat the Pats this Sunday, the sad thing is if we pull out the win - everyone, including the media will be set for a playoff run and back on the wagon.

Is that really what fans are now and days - just a bunch ban wagon fools??

I'm not giving up on my fins just yet - last year's group won 5 in a row to complete the impossible. If this year's team can do that - it will speak high volumes of the coaches and unlike last year when they had a much easier schedule ending the season. If we win out that shows that we have a shot of going farther in the playoffs (thats what its about not just getting to the playoffs).

That being said, here's what we need:
FREE AGENCY: WR(OBVIOUS SINCE LAST OFFSEASON), NT, LB, TE
DRAFT: WR,LB,S,NT,RB (speed guy to take Ricky's place after next season)

Also - RE-SIGN RONNIE!!!!!

I still believe in Dolphins

It's all Bill Clinton's fault!

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"!

He was the OG of spinning a tale.

Rush Limbaugh

Dang Phins!

"What has TJ Housh done this year?"

56 Recs, 632 Yds, 11.3 AVG, 3 TDS

Just for the sake of argument
Chris Chambers 26, 441, 17.0 4 TDs
T.O

Bess: 49, 431, 8.8 ZERO TD's
Cam: 28, 281, 10 ZERO TD's

I rest my case

From the minute you are born you are forced feed lies and propaganda, i.e. religion ,government. Why should football be any different. And can we stop getting our players out of the GoodWill box and shop at an up scale store for great players.

T.O. 43 rec, 690 Yds, 16.0 AVG, 3 TD's
Bryant, 22, 360, 16.4, 3 TD's
Gaffney, 29, 394, 13.6 0 TD's
Roy Willians, 26, 444, 17.1, 4 TDs
Miles Austin, 42, 824, 19.6, 8 Td's

ALL OF THESE receivers are better than what we have and ALL of them were free agents...

Marc,

The only one of those receivers who's numbers arent garbage are Miles Austin, and they still aren't great.

Some of those players have slightly better numbers than our receivers, but nothing worth signing someone to a big contract who is old, or only a little better than the receivers the Dolphins do have.

Why is this so hard to understand for a pea brain, dress wearing, madden addict?

P.S. You really think any of these guys would have better numbers on this fins? Nope, if any of these guys had actually been signed, you would be ripping the trifecta for signing a bum... just cant win with you

"I rest my case"

not sure how...those are ok numbers but not game changing like a guy being paid $8MM a year. He is not even the best receiver on a last place team. He is also 32 and will be over the hill before the team is competitive. You actually support my case even more..thanks!

If marc rests his case there, he will lose and be baker acted in mental hospital

Marc,

The only one of those receivers who's numbers arent garbage are Miles Austin, and they still aren't great.

Some of those players have slightly better numbers than our receivers, but nothing worth signing someone to a big contract who is old, or only a little better than the receivers the Dolphins do have.

Why is this so hard to understand for a pea brain, dress wearing, madden addict?

P.S. You really think any of these guys would have better numbers on this fins? Nope, if any of these guys had actually been signed, you would be ripping the trifecta for signing a bum... just cant win with you

P.P.S. I am repeat myself to make sure you get it through your thick skull

amen Carlito

We don't have a single receiver that can change a game...Some of these guys can take over a game...T.O can take over a game...Not all of them are 30+, As I've said in the past we could have went for and ONE of them, there ARE better than what we have...Seriously, Bess and Camarillo?

ALL are better than what we have, and in case you didn't realize this, Camarillo isn't exactly a spring chicken...

First off winning the division didnt hurt us, it made this team, put back on the map, and gave FA's a another place to think about playing, what is killing us, is simple. Our cordinators, not using the right personel packages, and not calling the right coverage's, and not utilizing Henne in the shotgun. That is why we suck. ITS OUR CORDINATORS.!!!!!

Did P. Turner get caught burning some rope after practice? (smoking weed)

Can Cobbs teach Wake how to become Sparano's teachers pet?

Did Chad Henne go to Cabo with Jessica Simpson before the Bills game?

Is Passthebalony tanking the defense in the 2nd half to please his booky?

Does Parcells always have to buy the groceries at the 99cent store?

Can we put that square neck pad ala Brian Cox on Crowder?

Effective imediately: anyone who drops a pass, missess a tackle or makes a penalty. Will have to watch a 4 hour video on the greatness of Mercury Morris


Dang Phins!

I can't believe the coach that took us from 1-15 to 11-5 is getting ripped by you idiots. Before killing the best coach we've had in a long time, take a look at our injury report.

Players on IR: Ronnie Brown, Chad Pennington, Will Allen, Jason Ferguson, Patrick Cobbs, David Martin, and you can probably add Jake Grove to that list pretty soon.

Players with nagging injuries: Anthony Fasano, Justin Smiley, Channing Crowder, Joey Porter.

Last time I checked, all those guys were pretty crucial to our success. Before you piss and moan about the Dolphins not winning superbowl after superbowl the way your Madden Team does, take a look at some real-life issues with this team. The fact that we're even in the hunt for a playoff spot is a credit to our coaching staff.

Touche Stillhardcoredolphinsfan,

Ricky is so under rated its Hilarious.. The guys a beast, and would have been a first ballot hall of famer if not for his quirky personality. As it is He's still got a shot to hit 10,000 yards in his career which is Tony Dorsettish and he has retired and shared reps.People focus on his issues, but other than smoking a little doobage, the guys a kind, shy guy.. More importantly he is a between the tackle animal, who reminds me of Walter Payton in that he administers the hit rather than taking it. I remember a time for about 20 years we couldnt get a 1000 yard running back. Oh my gosh, I mean whenBernie Parmalee, and Kareem Abdul jabbar are your stand outs you know you got problems. Ricky is a pleasure too watch and heres a guy who didnt put money or fame over what he wanted for his life. The guys an anomaly.. Modest, and humble.. Reminds me of Barry Sanders.. Listen , Yes I am a fan..But lets appreciate something rare in a world of selfishness and people talking about themselves in the 3rd person LEBRON JAMES.. Ricky is a wonder all to himself... RUN RICKY RUN!!! proud Fan

This season is not lost, they will still finish .500 or above, even without make playoffs progress has been made and back to back winning seasons after 1-15 and what happened before is an amazing feat. This team is on track to become a contender every year shortly... maybe even next year

we need some YAC (Yards after Catch) on Offense...a gamebreaking wr or two...on defense we need speed at the linebacker position...That guy from Harvard (Ryan Fitzpatrick) running it 31 yards on a quarterback run is ABSURD! The linebackers need to trade their manual wheelchairs in for motorized ones!!!

CA-Dolphan

Mando,

You need to get Parcells on the hotseat. How much has he been involved in this truth or spin?

Phillip Merling was a first round pick, really what year was that in?????

Bottom line the team is headed in the right direction.

Sparano seems to be a good head coach and should have the job for many years without having to worry about job security because of dumb blogs like this one.

Having said that, 2 or 3 winnable games got away from this team this season, but the foundation has been laid.

Parcells says this is a talent acquistion business and from what I have seen, this group has done a good job of bringing in players an many positions that want to win. One more offseason could really help us.

From 1-15 to 5-6 with arguably the toughest schedule in the league, nearly beating the best team in the League and should have beaten the other, should we really be concerned about our coaches?

The spin isn't just done in coaching it's done in all walks of life.

Chris McCallister and Jabari Greer are Studs ? Bwahahahahahahahaha , bwahahahahahahaah ! Areyou F'n kidding me ?

I don't know why Chambers is being mentioned in comparisons .Miami couldn't get the guy anyway. He was claimed by the chiefs who had a worse record. ENOUGH ALREADT !

This is adolescent naivete, or m0r0nic simplicity.

If you are having an arguement with your spouse, this is a private matter and handled privately. In a business the same holds true, and professional sport are not only a business but an EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE business.

In fact pro football is a business based on COMPETETIVENESS. Whining and moaning about a lack of candor on the parts of the coaches basically indicates that you do not understand the subject that you are getting paid to write about.

One more year...give them one more year to tweak the roster...then we'll have a better view of this rebuilding project...as for now, they should keep lying to us...

One more year and we LIKELY won't have JT, Ricky, JP, Ferg, Bell, and Will Allen...Just sayin'

man, i didnt know the 4th quarter points were that high. ugh. guess i didnt want to add them up to know. awfull.

Dear Mr. Kompan,

I'm 30 years younger than you, but I feel equally nostalgic for the glory days of the Miami Dolphins. I have a few questions for you:

1) Would you agree with me that the intimacy of the Orange Bowl is horribly lacking with Landshark Stadium where fans are so far removed from the action?

2) Is Paul Warfield the greatest Dolphins' receiver you ever saw?

3) I hear so much about how the Dolphins were "lucky" to win their two pre-Super Bowl playoff games against the Browns and the Steelers in 1972. Is that the way you remember it?

4) Do you agree with this statement - the 1-15 2007 Miami Dolphins could still beat the 1972 Perfect Dolphins given today's players are faster, stronger, better trained and the game is so much more sophisticated.

5) When I was a boy, I was in awe of the Dolphins, their helmet, Don Shula, Bob Griese, etc. While you were a fully grown man during the glory years, wasn't there still an aura about them of near invincibility?

Thanks for your time.

In awe of the crappy Dolphin on the helmet? I love this team, but, we seriously have the least masculine mascot and colors possible!

Armando,

I have to say that in the past years, I thought you were the worst writer covering the Dolphins. Something happened this year because you have been doing a great job (and not just with this article). It has taken me a while to realize the change, but I now enjoy reading your articles. Keep up the good work.

BTW, I think it is awesome that the Dolphins can put together those long drives. To me it is the beginning of creating a dominating team. Unfortunately, you are correct that they also need the passing game to go with it.

That reminds me, Did anyone else notice the parralells between "Any Given Sunday" and the Dolphins? How much cooler would it be if we were the "Sharks"?

Marc,

It seem that you like nothing about this team or the dolphins in general. Why you even pretend to be a fan?

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