Just finished the always interesting press conference with offensive coordinator Dan Henning.
One of the journalists asked Henning why the Dolphins didn't go deep at all aside from the pass to Brandon Marshall, which Chad Henne underthrew and then Marshall dropped.
Henning quickly retorted that was not the only time the Dolphins tried to throw deep against Buffalo. The Dolphins apparently called two other deep passes but failure up front -- with either the tight end blocking or running back blocking -- the play resulted in a sack.
"We tried deeper passes but we got sacked twice," Henning said. "That’s part of it, too. You want to go downtown against good secondary like that, you better hold them up. We had an eight-man protection in there and went deep. We didn’t win and we got sacked. So you say to yourself, ‘How we going to win this game?’ … You get sacked with an eight-man protection and two men out, you better start checking your hole card. You try to win the game. And we were in control in the game at that time."
Henning admits the failure to connect on the deep pass to Brandon Marshall was costly.
"Yeah, we should have hit that deep one," he said. "Brandon ran a great route and we underthrew it. Even though it was underthrown, it was still dropped. You got a combination of not getting it out there and then you have a drop. That’s a combination of either 3 [points] or 7 [points] in the game, and at the point in the game, that could put the game out of whack because then they have to play differently, too. Didn’t happen. So no matter what’s going in the game, you have to find a way to win that game.”
Henning has great respect for defensive tackle Pat Williams, whom he helped coach in Buffalo, and Jared Allen. The Dolphins this week are game-planning to make sure those two players don't beat them.
"Minnesota has that guy on the outside [Allen] and the guy on the inside [Allen]," Henning said. "You set your protections accordingly, you try and make sure the guy doesn't wreck your game by being in a mismatch, we try putting a side board out there for the different people. When you have two of them, it's tough. But that's supposedly why we get paid for."
During the open session of practice today, Channing Crowder (groin)_and Ikaika Alama-Francis (illness) did not participate. Crowder's not playing, guys.
Alama-Francis is a more intriguing situation because he first became ill Sunday morning. Remember the Dolphins did work out Adalius Thomas on Tuesday so my thinking is they were kicking the tires on him in case this Alama-Francis mystery sickness becomes acute.
I told you yesterday the talk of moving Randy Starks back to defensive end was just speculation. Starks has not taken a snap at end since training camp began and that includes this week.
With Jared Odrick on the mend for two weeks with a hairline fracture in his right leg, it seems Tony McDaniel will get the starting nod against the Vikings. At least that is the impression Mike Nolan left today.
"I expect him to play well," Nolan said
The Dolphins are known for using a rotation of up to four different defensive ends in any particular play. Coach Tony Sparano says the rotation will continue despite the fact Miami is now without Odrick and Phillip Merling, who is out for the year..
"We got to trust the next guy," he said. "The people that are going to the game, they're going to play."