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Please Dolphins, don't bury your heads in sand

INDIANAPOLIS -- Do you believe me now?

For weeks since the regular-season ended for the Dolphins, I've been on the soapbox preaching the need to pass the football in today's NFL. Well, have you noticed the two Super Bowl teams?

Colts.

Saints.

The No. 2 passing team in the NFL versus the No. 4 passing team in the NFL.

Oh, but Mando, you have to play great defense and run the ball and wear leather helmets to play for championships.

Um, the Colts had the No. 18-ranked defense in the NFL this year. The Saints had the No. 25-ranked defense this year.The Colts had the worst rushing offense in the NFL. The Saints were ranked sixth overall rushing, which makes them supremely balanced, but let's face it: They're a passing team first and foremost.

[Update: A reader reminds me that for the second consecutive year, the team with the NFL's worst running attack is in the Super Bowl. Last year Arizona made it while ranked 32nd rushing. This year Indianapolis is 32nd rushing.]

One thing to worry about: As I wrote in my column for The Miami Herald print edition, the Jets know their "ground and pound" approach is about to change and that's bad news for the Dolphins. You see, the Jets intend to be more balanced on offense going forward.

"They get a big beast at wide receiver," South Florida's Michael Irvin said on NFL Network, "and you got yourself something going forward." 

And as the Jets are already a better team than Miami (you can't bury your head in the sand, they advanced to the AFC title game) that means the Dolphins can't be happy merely celebrating New York's Sunday loss. They have to improve their own passing game as well.

Sure, the Dolphins need to address the defense this offseason. Sure they will continue to run the football in 2010. But Miami must throw the football better in 2010 to keep from being third-best in a four-team division.

As they were in 2009.   

[Newsy Note: Safety Yeremiah Bell is in the Pro Bowl! A source tells me he will be asked to replace Colts S Antoine Bethea, who obviously will be playing in the Super Bowl.]

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Indiana I agree 100%. peyton has all the tools plus the experience. He's a master manipulator of all defenses. Give him fair amount of time and recievers who hold onto the ball and he can make any reciever in the league look all pro provided he can hold onto the ball.

It took years for Peyton to become a master. Before that he was just another very good qb. Today he's a master.

The biggest thing about throwing the ball is the QB has to hit his target something that HENNE did not do this year it seamed like game after game we had people open and HENNE would overthrow them.Manning did not miss the big plays, Indys WR caught the ball to make the big plays.You only get so many big plays a game and the WR and QB have to Do better. I love the DOLPHINS but our QB and WR have to play better.our Defence has to play better, gave up to many big plays ,did not make any big plays on D.

Jets are no better iff on offense than we are. Reason simply being inexperienced qb's by both. The separation between Jets and us for the moment is defense and defense only. Which I would say is overwhelming at LB position. and ends at safety. Though Revis is unquestionably the best cover corner in the nfl right now. However Vontae's young and rising too.

Armando
It is really hard to find Payton Manning or Drew Brees calibre players in the draft.
If the Jets could have sustained their pass rush yesterday they would have won that game.
So, lets get the pass rush secured and then get that receiver. Besides Henne doesn't have near the experience of Manning or Brees. It will take another two years to see him reach his potential. We can still win with a better pass rush as long as the injuries don't decimate us nex year.
PS. Remember the Az Cardinals and the Dan Marino dolphins. No superbowl wins.

Armando,

Please explain how we had both of these teams (Colts and Saints) on the ropes but unable to close because of our weak defense.

With our "below average" passing game and a strong runnign game, we had the chance and should have beat both teams. Our defense wasn't able to step up and stop them though.

I think you're a little too excited about the passing game and sometimes lose focus on how important a running game is. The Jets did just fine this season with their style and had a chance to go to the Superbowl. They weren't able to run the ball against the Colts and that ended up being their downfall.

man revis is a great CB but the guy in oakland dont even see pass being thrown his way with the stat of 2.8% of all the offensive plays targeting him. i think revis was second with 7. something

NC Fin Fan thats the part of Henne's game that may take another Couple seasons of starting to fully mature. Have to remember as far as starting time goes Henne was still a rookie. Actuall next season is his sophmore year. We should see much improvement as far as the accuracy part of his game goes. If not, well I hate to say but........That b-word could be soon to follow(bust.)

P-73 Asomauga is just wasting away in Oakland though.

The WR comments are ignorant. I will take the bet against anyone that you couldn't drop our receivers into the Colts, Vikings or Saints offense and see them equal their production. Our guys can't catch and they can't get open.

Garcon is a beast - did you see that jump-to-you-left-over-a-defender-and-make-the-other-defender-miss-you move he made yesterday. Did you see him or Rice plucking passes out of the air which were "uncatchable"? Favre could throw the ball halfway through Ginn's bird chest and he would still drop it. The only guy we have worth anything is Bess and HE disappears when we need him. Not one of these guys can juke anyone or run past anyone and they suck at running routes.

On the other hand, you could stick Rice, Garcon or any other superhero on our team and until we can protect the QB for more than 1 sec, they would become pedestrian - of course, they could still catch the ball.

Right on target Mando. The NFL has shifted to a pass first, run second style of offense. Running is still important, but if you look at the Saints, they set up the run with the pass (the genius of Bill Walsh is still alive in the NFL). The Dolphins need to fix the middle of their defense. ILB or NT with the first pick. But they need to get a WR and a TE the can stretch the field. Hartline has the potential to be the next Welker. But they need a #1 and a #2. And they need a TE. I think if they give Henne these tools we'll be fine.

Hey mando, a couple months back there was an article in the herald about our schedule for next year, but i believe it was based on the fact that were were second in our division. Does our schedule change for next year since we ended up finishing third in our division?

Hey Mando!!! did u really just put in print that the jets are a better team than Miami? Really?? Oh! I must have misse the 2 games this season when they dominated us. Did anyone other than Mando see these games that proved the jets are better than us???

Love to see us open up the passing game. But due to bad personnel decisions, this year we'll have to concentrate on defense. Been nice to at least nail down FS. So,now add that to the list.

Proxy I'll also bet you Garcon couldnt do it is he didnt have Reggie Wayne to draw the assignment of Darrell Revis. Cobined all of that with the master status of Manning and you get what you witnessed yesterday. Yes I believe you could fit some of our wr pieces into that system interchangebly but you still need Reggie Wayne in the quotient to draw the oppositions top corner. Wayne was even doubled at times. He helped make the game easier for the Other wr's. Dallas Clark on the fied helps out a lot too. Jets were in a position of pick your poison. As it also opened up running lanes for the Colts. The outrushed the vaunted Jet run attack too.

Where are all of the Jests fans that we usually hear from? They must have crawled back into their hole.

Couldn't agree with you more than offense wins championships in this era. We must get a top WR in free agency! I do think however that the Saints and Colts defensive rankings are a bit deceiving. They were playing from ahead much of the year. Lots of cover two in the second halves and giving up yardage in exchange for running clock. And with those team's quick strikeability and especially the Colts often in hurry up the defenses got put on the field more often than normal. Not saying either is great defensively but middle of the road and with a few playmakers in the secondary at least.

bottom line, you cant go into a game with only 4 d-lineman and expect your team to stand up series after series. the jets would have won that game if they had fresh d-lineman. its obvious rex thought he need more LBS to bring the pressure vs. the colts but truth be told the jets dont have a strong second unit at LB

Also proof of Manning's master status is he saw certain Jet blitz formation and reset the offensive line's protection scheme prior to the snap. It worked. Manning was sacked twice during the 1st couple drives and after that a Jet didnt touch him the rest of the day.

Peyton masters the game from the qb. Thats what makes him head and shoulders above the rest and having a couple great recievers just makes it definitive.

What happen to all the byotches(jet fans)??? Lmfao @ the jets!!! Guess u byotches won't be using our locker room in 2 weeks like u thought u would.

1 question a needed to know the answer to is why would viking players put earplug in. they must be master lip readers

Please son, don't come to a gun fight carrying a knife.

Posted by: Willi Chirino | January 25, 2010 at 01:22 AM

NJ this comment was made toward you. Are you scared.

Looks Like all the jet fans went crawling back to their trailers.

Hate to say it but if I had to choose between Marino and Manning it would be Manning hands down. Though I rate them dead even as far as passing ability. Peyton far exceeds Marino in overall ability to adjust to defensive schemes primarily recognition of blitz formation and correctly re-adjusting the pass protection scheme. I predict Colts will win the super bowl by at least 13 or more points.

Drew Breeze is extremely good but he still isnt Peyton Manning. Now current nfl qb is.

I'll tell you guys what happened to the Jets fans, they're at home wondering if they deserved to be in the playoffs in the first place! I think they were hoping Manning would sit out the fourth quarter again!!! HAHAHAHA!!! lmao!!!

posse, not saying manning wouldnt be great anyways but everytime he played vs. marino he picked his brain apart like he does opposing defenses now. marino was the biggest influence in manning career hands down

NC FIN FAN - Do you not think Manning struggled in his first few years? Manning threw it to the other team more than his own and more than almost any other QB his first 3-4 years in history. Now he his just one of the greatest QB's to play the game. Notice I didn't say the best ever, because there are to many greats that played in different era's of the game to declare the greatest. I think it is ironic you want to judge Henne on just his first 13 games.

Greg Z,

Hate to call you out but your dead wrong. No disrespect because i love fellow fin fans. We had a great draft. Did we have a perfect draft? No. I think you are missing the bigger picture. Parcells and Co. follow a blueprint. They add specialty players in the 3rd year. In the first two years the bulk up the line. They took a 1-15 team to the playoffs in 1 year. We did not have many ingredients for success when they took control of the team. NJ phin fan and fake GM are dead on with their analysis.

A step backwards? Certainly not. Injuries, Ted Ginn, and horrible ref calls decimated our season, not a bad draft.

A step forward? Yes… our young team gained valuable experience. Henne, Davis, Smith, Langford, Merling, Long, etc…

Congrats Yerimiah

Willi,

They have been trying to fix both the offense and defense the past two years. My only point is if you want to be a great team, you need to have several good drafts. The Dolphins have had two so far. But Parcells/Ireland need more time. They need one or two more drafts, but they are close. They need more time, that is all I am saying.

Posted by: Fake GM | January 25, 2010 at 01:31 AM
=============================================

Draft building is old school...PERIOD!


Just look at your TWIN team over there in Oakland. They been building through the draft ever since Norv destroyed them.

Well, at the risk of being mocked and ridiculed, we HAD that wide open offense with Marino, and what did it net us? Yes those teams are great passing teams, and yes I'd love to become a more wide open successful passing team. But to paraphrase Rick Pitino, "Dan Marino ain't walkin' trough that door...". The Colts can pass because they have Peyton Manning who will go down as perhaps the best QB of all time. The Saints have Drew Brees who everyone in the world loves except for Nick Saban. Even Favre is a world class QB. Can Henne become that? Maybe so. But my point is those top offenses are there because of the trigger men running the shows. We still need to get more physical on defense obviously, but realistically this fropnt office isn't going to scrap their plan and start over. We'll be the same non-exciting offense we've been, and hope for the best.

Hey Posse! Marino was so good that teams were afraid to blitz him. Didn't see that fear coming from the jets D.

Just got off the phone with Mark Sanchez - says he is available to be a hot dog vendor on 2/7/10.

Rex Ryan just sent me a text - says he is coming back home to the Miami Seaquarium.

Woody Johnson just wrote me an email - said he left some Monistat, K-Y, and Band-Aids in the Locker Room for his team.

See you next year Jet Fans; must be nice to have made it to the AFC Championship game - but remember who has beaten you 3 times in a row......

Proxy - I totally disagree with your statement. As I stated earlier, Miami and Indy could of traded WR groups at the beginning of the season and our WR's with manning would be better than Indy's WR's on Miami's team. Reason (and only one you need) is MANNING!! He could make any player like an all pro. That mostly comes with the 10 years experience he has got over the years. Would I say he could of done it in his first 3-4 years in the league, NO!! But, in the last 6-7 years Manning has become GREAT and the best QB in the game this era (not all time)!

Instead of hording picks we need to trade some picks this season. What kind of fool hires a guy straight out of school to HEAD some of the most important positions in the company?

It's one thing if the guy was FIRST in his class. IE..first overall pick. It's another thing if he's 12th in his class...IE...12th in the draft. Our first round pick is useless for talent. It's very useful in trading for talent.

defense won last years super bowl
patrick"s post was right on as well as ryan in naples.
manning is a master at reading defenses and at making adjustements;colts d stopped jest run game.end of story.oh yeah colts oline did a great job.only 2 sacks on 18.

Jets a better team.. That's strictly your opinion and saints "D" won that game yesterday as their offense misfired all day long. U Dng

Posted by: phinfan4evertoo | January 25, 2010 at 09:14 AM
===============================================

Maybe I missed something. Did the Saint's D score? Because the only way to win is to put points on the board.

Phinatic - The jets today would blitz Marino. They have no respect for anyone nor do they fear any player in the NFL, which is good and bad. It is good to not fear any other player, but with that shows arogance by the Jets and another reason why I cannot stand todays Jets (nor can I stand previous years jets)!!!

Mando, how bout an update on the AFC East teams look in the draft. I know the jets traded a bunch away. How good do we look compared to them?

band wagon express - Jets did lose a RB to an injury during the game which helped them stop the run. Miami declined when they lost one of their heads (R. Brown) in their 2 headed running game. I am not saying the Jets would of won, but without that Green injury, the game would of been more interesting...

Phinatic, the games that prove the Jets were better than us (Miami) this year were played the last three weeks. They're called the playoffs.

The jets were in it until the AFC Championship game. The Dolphins were not. Not hating, just the fact. I'm sure Tony Sparano would have traded two wins over the Jets for a playoff birth and a chance in the AFC title game.

Please, man, you sound like a Jets fan when you cannot face facts and reality.

but the reason why my boy Pierre Garcon and Collie are more producing then patrick Turner and Bess first look at who they have for QB, me im a firm believer in QB makes reciever better.

Posted by: francois dillinger | January 25, 2010 at 12:57 AM

I couldn't agree with this more. Having a QB like Manning will make any receiver better. Look at what Farve did with Rice and the Viking's recieving core. I do have faith that Henne will become an elite QB one day. He has the arm he just needs to learn how to control his short passes.

How to beat the Jets: Make Dirty Sanchez try to win the game!! First half when they were not putting it in the hands of Sanchez to win (just like the Bungals and the Chargers) the Jets succeed. But, make them catch up to you andSanchez will make the mistakes. Why do you think he went so many games without turnovers? He didn't have to do anything to win the game. In 3 playoff games and the last 3 games of regular season here are the pass attempts 32-19-16-15-23-30. In every game in which he threw over 20 passes he had an interception. Under 20 passes = 0 interceptions...make the rookie beat you and they go DOWN!!!

U beat a team twice...that's luck right?... Bull krap.. The phins can hang with the jets... Ny got on a hot streak combined with their last three opponents handing them games like I've never seen before! Should have lost to San Diego.. Should have lost to cincy... Twice.. Yes I give the jets credit... But I will tell ya they won off of other team screw ups!!!!

Hey Knight!! Sorry but I dont buy your backwards logic. U can't convince me 1+1+1=0. that's your logic! My logic is we beat the jets the last 3 straight times we faced them SoO that means 1+1+1= 3 straight wins over a weaker team aka the wets. Therefore WE (excluding you because u obviously are not a Dolphins fan) are the better team!!! Case closed!!

the jets don't have a QB to run a passing offense. Sanchez sucks. he had a couple of throws that would have been intercepted if he hadn't been hit the last second. he got lucky. The jets used up all their luck this year. Back to the bottom for them.

Injuries are a huge issue... The patriots got romped by ravens because of injuries... Major injuries changes everything!!! That's a fact... Miami lost their main offensive weapon... Starting cb...offensive line was banged up.. Starting qb was out for the year..yes jets got there and we didn't but their are more factors involved than just saying the jets are great and they are leaps and bounds better than Miami cause fact is they looked like krap for most of the season...

Gman050 - Should of lost to Cincy (twice)? I totally disagree with you on this one. The Bengals are not that great and especially late in the season they were not playing good at all. I think they would beat the Bengals again if they played them.

Someone earlier mentioned that the Jets are a better team than Miami since they made it to the AFC Championship game, but I disagree. We beat them twice this year which obviously included one game in their house!

Jets hide their mistake (drafting a QB who can't QB) behind their running game & play action. I love that he'll be behind center for them for a while. I see us stringing a 8 or 10 game winning on them over the next coming seasons.

Fact is we kept hearing about the blitz package and their defense...cincy and San diego are two pretty good offenses that flat out played the worse they could have played... Truth is I have seen the colts play better than they did yesterday and still the jets could only hang for two quarters...their defense is good no doubt... But it's overrated in Saying it's great!!!! Maybe they do beat cincy every tile they play them but either way they faced opponents for the last few weeks who played the worst football they probably played all year!!!!

Knight ur arguement makes sense only if the underlying facts support it...Yes, the Jets made the playoffs, so u can say they are a better team BUT the facts are you had two teams who basically forfeited their last two regular season games and laid down, the Jets were lucky to get in...do u really believe the Jets beats the Colts if the Colts starters stay in??? In this case no, sometimes u get lucky, and the Jets did, not because they are a better team

Armando, after reading your brutally frank, tell-it-like-it-is article in which you dispose of the waste of errant thinking, I can't help but feel that I've had an enema.

Mando the dolphins do throw the football didn't Chad throw it like 50 times against the pats? We will have a balanced attack once we get that big time receiver. The beginning of the season we were very run first but towards the end the phins were airing it out just think if we had that game changer it would not only be good for henne but it would also make our other receivers better. You said it yourself that bess is out of position.

Hey Phinatic in Marino's heydey I know great defenses didnt have to blitz Marino often because our "run game" was so pathetic the great defenses quickly learned with no respect for the run game all you had to do is pin back your ears and come after the passer. With our weak run game a 4 man rush was an all out blitz.

This is a pass-happy league. The rules are setup to make it a passing league. Either get to the QB or eventually your D will be picked apart.

I think the Dolphins need a better pass rush and they need some talent at WR. IF the Dolphins had the WRs the AZ cardinals have, they would have made the playoffs and who know how far they would have gone. Obviously that a BIG IF!

I like Bess and I like Hartline, but those two guys are #3 WRs on too many teams. Time to get a legit #1 and #2 WR

Phinatic - Your message to Knight CASE CLOSED!! Love it!

Hmmmm...I think that it may be because the NFL has created a system where offense is preferred, according to the rules which were created. It's good we know that Henne can be a quarterback who can throw like that. Now we just need the receivers to do that with. I think Ginn can be a piece of the puzzle. However, I need to join the choir and say that a number one receiver is needed. I can also reflect on the draft and say there is no one in the first round who is that guy. I don't know who to fill in there. I do know that C.J Spiller is more than a great idea. I also know that Taylor Mays is a great fit because he fills in several kinds of gaps for this defense. I know everybody is high on McClain. I still think there are several options in the second round or later for linebacker...that is, if he's on the board.

Phinatic, you're counter-argument is I'm not a Dolphins fan? Is that the best you can do?

Brother, I held season tickets for 15 years. So add that to the list of things you know nothing about.

Bottom line is if you're such a fan and expert on the team answer my question. Which do you think Sparano would rather do: Go to the AFC title game or beat the jets twice in a year? Which is more important to him?

Answer that question! I doubt you will because anyone with a brain knows the answer and it kills your argument. Case Closed!

indiana
love my dolphins no doubt about that but;
great quote tell tell me if you know by whom/
You are only as good as your record.
need i say more.

Maldito , i already replied for him to go back to playing cowboys and indians. Either you can't read or you chose to ignore my post and be a A-HOLE . But Hey , thanks for stopping by :)

The dolphins lost to the colts for one simple reason. Miami's defense sucked !!! Defense was rhe name of the game yesterday . The jets coudn't rush manning and the saints beat uo farve.

w^ nj phin fan

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