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Tony Sparano defends the Wildcat package

The Wildcat isn't working very well anymore, folks. At least it wasn't working against the Jets to the point it seemed misplaced within Miami's play-calling.

But coach Tony Sparano today defended the use of the scheme that two years ago led to an improbable upset of the New England Patriots and last night seemed to contribute to Miami's downfall.

Sparano said the Wildcat's production was "average," and then he was asked if he believes the package was at any time a hinderance to the flow of the offense?

"No," Sparano said succinctly.

"I would tell you we ran reverse that was a minus play. We probably ran two or three others that were four-yard plays, which is what we're looking for," Sparano said. "I mean, we're not looking for 40-yard plays out of the thing. It's an efficient run. Ronnie had two or three efficient runs out of the thing. He threw a pass out of one of them that, to be quite honest with you, we threw down the field to Brandon, but if we threw the wheel route, it might have been a 30-yard gain. I ain't all stuck on that. Not at all."

The official game book didn't paint quite as rosy a picture of the Wildcat as Sparano did, however. Bottom line, the Dolphins ran out of Wildcat eight times by my count. It gained seven total yards. It accounted for one incomplete pass. Of the eight plays, four accounted for no gain or a loss of yardage.

The plays according to the game book:

Second quarter

First and 10 from the Jets 18 yard line:Ronnie Brown loses one yard.

Second and 11 from the Jets 19 yard line: Brown gains four yards.

Third quarter

Second-and-15 from the Jets 35 yard line. Brown has no gain.

Two plays later on first-and-10 from the Jets 20: Brown gains 5 yards.

On second-and-five from the Jets 15: Brown gains four yards.

On the next possession:

First and goal from the Jets 7 yard line: Brown gains one yard.

On the following possession:

First and 10 from the Miami 24 yard line: Brown throws incomplete to Marshall.

Fourth quarter

First and 10 from the Jets 36: Cobbs on the end around loses six yards.

It should be noted Brown gained 14 yards on five Wildcat carries. His carries out of the base formation accounted for 40 yards on six carries.

So that seems to build a case against Wildcat. But you must remember, the Dolphins lately are using the Wildcat package to even the odds on run plays. Seems most teams on early downs are stacking the box against the Dolphins on run downs. That means Miami is always at a one-man disadvantage in that with the QB under center, the defense always has one more defender than Miami has either blocking or running.

With the QB out of the way in the wildcat package, the Dolphins even the odds. So,yes, Wildcat is a downhill running offense.

Of course, that begs the question, why the reverses to Cobbs or Marshall.

By the way. The Dolphins seem to like Wildcat. Still. They get the only votes on the matter. Everyone else is kinda out-voted.


Sparano was asked the reason cornerback Jason Allen was on receiver Braylon Edwards much of the night -- a matchup that Allen lost -- rather than using superior cornerback Vontae Davis on Edwards. Coach said it was because coaches thought Allen's size made it possible for him to compete better with Edwards.

That didn't excuse Allen's tough outing.

"Jason would tell you he needs to do better," Sparano said.

Jason, by the way, doesn't need to tell me. I saw it. He needs to to much, much, much better to stick Randy Moss or Wes Welker or Brandon Tate next Monday night.


Ah, hidden yardage was no friend of the Dolphins Sunday.

Sparano said the Dolphins yielded 140 yards on special teams. That is the equivalent to a touchdown and then some.


Ricky Williams fumbled once (officially) but had another moment in which he also lost his grip on the ball early enough that it was ruled a fumble before being overturned. Williams has three such losses of the ball in two weeks, although the ball has actually changed possession only once.

That's is enough for Sparano.

"Yes, it concerns me," he said.

Williams needs to keep both hands on the ball unless he is fine with not playing in the fourth quarter of games as he did Sunday night.


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Odin, sorry to call you out on the Dobbins call. But the guy is just horseshite. It's like the team is playing with 10 defenders. He sucks against the run, is horrid against the pass. How did this guy even make the league. Akin Ayodele was better than this guy. I hope Crowder plays this week. At least he shuts down the run.

he broke 17 yrd gains in both the Bills
game and gainst the Jets and he had a 50 yrd gain against the Vikings... He most definetly did not get the ball in his hands enough. And considering Henning and his wildcat took 5 of those 11 carries away from him it makes it look even more pathetic... Sparano should be held accountable for his coaching staff this is BS

cocoajoe, how many players have the Dolphins released because they can't play special teams??? neither can the players they acquire to be special teams players. the management in this area has completely sucked bollas.

Dobbins is definetly a downgrade. I was shocked we released Charlie Anderson he would have done much better


I was just kidding about being pissed.

I just can't believe I was so wrong about the guy. He looked a lot better in pre season but we all know that don'tt mean squat. ESPECIALLY in Dobbins case.

i too like jason allen. he gives 100% as a pro and he doesn't complain when they sat him or moved himm all over. he covered braylon perfectly in the end zone and half turned around to knock it loose. official shoulda kept flag in pocket. this is really the first time he's been left at the cb position;he has a ton of tackles and passes defensed with no safety help. some other guys need to learn how to tackle. dansby is a big time player! sean cant cover a tight end;might be a free safety.

As far as Dobbins, it's not only the physical part of the game that is lacking, it's also the mental. he overshoots gaps, misses pass assignments (keller catch that made smith look bad), no wonder san diego didn't think twice about sending him here.

When we got him i was like who? never heard of the guy ever and now i know why

Anyone remember the Shula quote, after the Woodley year(s), smileing ear to ear, when Marino lit up the Bills in his first start?, but lost the game....kinda reminds me of last night, cept for the wildcat crap. I think we got us a Quarterback.

1. The Jason Allen slip right after the BM TD took momentum right out of our hands just a few seconds after grabbing it.

2. Special Teams cost of a ton of yards. Carpenter was good on field goals, but killed us on the kick out of bounds and has absolutely NO hang time for coverage.

3. Thirteen games left.

the jets exposed our weaknesses, i'd rather have it early in the season, when we have more time to address it....than late in the season when we could fall apart. it is one loss, albeit to a hated nemesis on national TV, but maybe this slap in the face will wake the players and coaches up. regardless what the post game comments are! i am sooo depressed though!


Beat the patsies next week redsky, and that depresion goes away

redsky, problem is that these weaknesses have been there for 2 plus years. they are the same ones. not like the jets did anything new here.

jets outsmarted us with braylon out wide with jason allen in single coverage with no safety help. braylon has a big advantage in that situation;where was clemons? 67 yd TD results. why cant we get isolated coverages like that with no safety within 30 yards?

anyone notice how we often do play-action fakes when it's 3rd & long? I mean, c'mon...get in the shotgun and give Henne a better look. They did more of that in the 2nd half but these play-action calls on 3rd and long are hidious.

And where's Ronnie catching passes? He has great hands. All we do is throw tricked up screen passes to a tight end? Throw to Ronnie!!!!!!!!

Mark, not sure if you were agreeing/disagreeing. But I think we can all agree, this is one area, we have not improved on. And there can only be 2 reasons: Personnel and/or coaching. There isn't a 3rd or 4th reason.

As much as the victory over the vikes was a team effort(especially on defense) this was a team loss. It is easy to pick on Dobbins because he had a bad game, really bad. But up front, with the exception of Solai we got manhandled, and out schemed. The defense made no adjustments to get control of the edge, and when they needed a big run play, they ran it outside, Wake had some moments of brilliance, but also played the run poorly, they ran right at him. The whole team, from players to coaches will look at the mistakes, and we will learn, and get better. A loss is never a good thing, but considering all the mistakes it was just a couple of plays that went their way that ended up costing us. That's what happens in the NFL

the wildcat is eating the wolf's food.

When Odrick gets back, go to a 4-3 Odrick -Starks- Solai- Wake...Dansby in the middle, Misi on one side, fill in the other blank w/ best cover lb..Never liked the 3-4, didnt work with Olivadumbass, it doesnt work now.

Dear God,

If there really is such a thing as Aliens out there, could you please have them abduct Dan Henning?

He's sorta like the J.Edgar Hoover of the NFL. He's a living senile legend that nobody wants to fire.

He can't remember what he thought he knew, but he's POSITIVE it doesn't matter.

what about that miss block from richie incognito on the second to last drive that stopped the drive. letting smiley go was a mistake. He could have give us a few good weeks before he got injured yet again

Don't worry folks, Tony Sparano will be driven out of Miami within 3 years. Watch!

Fever, when your 2nd ILB is a plug like Dobbins, you might as well run a 4-3. That guy provides nothing! Doesn't even occupy a blocker.

Solai has been impressing me of late, and Starks has gotten bigger, maybe slower to play the end, when Odrick gets back...whadya do? Sit Solai? guess ya could rotate um, but thats some talent that needs to be on the field

LOL @ Greg Z@ 3:22 That's funny!

Here's what I learned:
1. Sporano will not criticize or publicly say that the Wildcat is dead. He's not going to give game plans to the opponents. So that leads me to think that he is secretly killing it (the smart move); or will continue with the mindset that this is a run-first team. I no longer think we can be (as long as opponents load the box). Henne is competent (but needs more time) and has a gun for an arm. And Marshall is too talented to be a decoy to draw double coverage. Last night's game showed that the offense can be more balanced.

2. Despite the loss, I feel really good about this team. We could've beaten the Jests (if only 1-2 things went our way). The Pats can't say that. This team is and will continue to be a formidable force. BUT the team needs to learn how to close out the game. Too many times have they won/loss by one field goal or touchdown. They have to learn to win under 2 min on 4th quarters. That's the mark of an elite team. Last year's Indianapolis and NO's come-from-behind victories come to mind. But I'm glad what they did with the Vikes last week. Build momentum from that guys.

3. Many of us fans aren't angry that we lost - it's that we lost to the stinking, loud-mouth Jests who need their teeth kicked in badly! I just hope this team is mad and will pummel the Pats next Monday. FEED THE WOLF!

Wanny running Westhoff out of town continues to haunt us, year in year out.

And I'm a Sparano defender, but those comments about the Wild Shat trouble me.

Fever, that was one of the main things I noticed after watching the Buffalo game live. Soliai's functional strength right now is amazing. He pushes the centre back consistently. Just closes the middle for runs. That's why all of the opponent's runs go to the outisde when Big Paul is in there. he has arrived.

All this being said, I can see the Jets losing at Buffalo. The Bills looked a lot better yesterday, and the Jets could have a let down and/or go in over confident. Buffalo gave the dolphins a game. If that happens, and the Fins win Monday night, this is all forgotten.

Also, can we stop with this "the jets have the tie-breaker in the division" crap??? It's September. A "tie-breaker" means NOTHING in September, especially when they have to play the Fins and Pats again. It's a 3 way tie. Nothing more nothing less. Get a grip.

no jets wont lose to buffalo, jets took control of div with wins over us and pats. coaching has been awful. we have the talent now.

henning did not lose the game. his offensive scheme racked up almost 500 yards against the "mighty" wets D. not that many people can manage that. the reason some of the more vanilla plays work is due to the fact that even the other teams know that he is a crazy old man who would run a triple option reverse on a 2nd and goal play.

i am in a horrible mood today like most of you, but if you are going to point fingers, try harping on things that actually lost the game for us, like a blocked punt, people falling down and giving up a TD, horrible tackling that gave up 3rd and 15's like it was christmas. this was a complete flip flop from weeks 1 + 2 where the D won the game for us even when we would fumble it right back to the other team, last night every time the offense made a play, the D would roll over. it was WAY too similar to the colts game last year where they could score at will. i am confident Nolan will win more games than he loses for us, but last night was bad. so give the "i hate the wildcat, i hate henning" routine a rest because it is played. just saying.

Brady12 did you watch last night's game? Sanchez was off the field every time the Jets ran the wildcat. I think the Jets ran the wildcat more than the dolphins did last night. And you can bet your A## that Brady comes out of the game when the Pats run the wildcat, they don't want anything happening to him including getting hit by a DB.

I was surprised seeing JT shoving Ronnie after a play to start something. Also taunting the crowd after his sack. And we are supposed to give him a warm welcome back to South Florida?

The wildcat wasn't the problem last night missed tackles when the Jets faced 3rd and long was the problem. Every time the Phins had the Jets in a 3rd and long they would miss a tackle and allow the receiver, RB and even a QB to make the first down and eventually score. Some stops on those downs would have allowed the Phins many more opportunities on offense.

swedish enough said!!!!!

Still got plenty of games to make it right... one game lost is nothing to whine about... as Sancheez said, there is nothing wrong with going 15-1. And we dolphins defineitly have the oppurtunity too, given we win the rest of the games.

Jason Taylor's a douche. We are supposed to give him a warm reception after he bailed on this team in 2008 and then when back in 2009, he criticized his usage and the coaching staff. That is the reason he wasn't welcomed back. PLain and simple.

There's no question Jason Allen was a big contributor to this loss. Did this guy panic under pressure? Did the Jets pick on him and his weaknesses? Or is he just not that good? Time will tell. One thing is certain, if I'm the Patriots I'm going after him next Monday. Randy Moss will eat him alive.

Can't wait for a guy like Odrick to get back, so that we can move Starks back to NT. I don't think it's any secret that Solai can't get it done at NT. I also think the OL missed Jerry. Not a fan of this guy McQuistan or whatever his name is. Total mediocre journeyman.

I also thought NBC did a TERRIBLE job of covering the game last night. I don't know if there coverage was biased or not but all I heard about all night was Sanchez and Taylor and LT and Edwards. There was one play where Chris Collinsworth really commended JT for the havoc he was causing, when basically Long tossed him on his butt and he was a non-factor. I thought that was pretty funny.

Well, the Bills cut Trent Edwards today, so Rexy will sign him by tomorrow to pick his brain. But I was born and raised outside of Buffalo, and saw many badass teams roll in their and leave looking like fools, before and after the Bills were in the Jim Kelly era. I would not be shocked at all to see the Jets lose. It's a division game. Anything can happen. I wouldn't bet on it, sure, but a man can dream.

And I'm sorry, NOBODY has control of a division after week 3, when 3 teams are 2-1. If the season ended today then ok. But the Jets have won NOTHING yet. Nor have the Fins or Steelers or Chiefs. Stop with the tie-breaker stuff and the "control the division" baloney when we aren't even out of September. SOOOOO many things can still happen.

yes jets have control so far, lose your bias man. just like if we won we would of had control. yes i hated seeing jt laugh at us

i feel bad because we let rex come into our house with taylor and take a win home with him. our coaches let us down breaking rythym with the wildcat and the players let us down by not going 110%. too many lapses on tackling and blocking your man. how does eric walden whiff on his man blocking the punt? we had the jets defense tired in that 3Q and we let them off the hook with some bad playcalling. we lack a few seasoned vets who would be leaders on this young team. jason might have been one before he went to the dark side. charles grant maybe. where was micah johnson? is he still with us;that man can tackle.

rex dumping gatorade on jt was pathetic. unreal letting these bumbs beat us in our house. parcells had jt back at no money at all.


JASON ALLEN was the reason we won in MIN DONKEYS .
MIAMI AT CIN...................????
MIAMI AT RAVENS............. ????????
TITANS AT MIAMI............... WIN

M. Johnson is on the practice squad. Somehow these coaches think he's worse than Tim Dobbins. The boy better be looking for work if that is accurate.

what worries me is tony sparano defending the wildcat. its lost its advantage;the jets ran it better than us. and whats with these stupid reverses. glad marshall didnt get killed on them. the coaches gotta call a better game.

The Fins may have lost last night but they looked pretty darn good doing it. This is the best play I've seen out of the Dolphins in a long time. They need a few tweeks to be really good but they are so close.

The loss last night I'd place at the feet of the coaches, and particular Dan Henning's play calling.

I agree with others that the Wildcat just killed the O's momentum a couple of times. Henne was on a real roll, the offense was firing on all cylinders, moving the ball well and then that stupid Wildcat would come in and kill the drive.

Its time to trust the offense in the hands of Henne. He is up to the challenge, turn him loose and stop undermining him with a gimmick that everyone figured out last year.

aloco bias as always. the schedule is brutal, we wont win all those games.

Special teams is garbage please make a coaching change at the bye week.
Carpenter kicks out of bounds every game now.
He has a 5 yd head start on the kickoff and still kicks it to the ten and they run it out to the 50.
Blocked punt once again.

GB AT JETS...................... LOSS , PLEASE

Pretty sad situation in Buffalo. A once proud franchise has become a laughing stock in the NFL. Edwards really isn't that bad of a QB. Put some semblance of a running back in front of him and he can play in this league.

John Bonamego has been the Special Teams Coordinator for 3 years. Why? Can someone explain that to me?


Ok, so seriously. Who's worst in the NFL, us or the Bills? Hopefully there's a strike next year so the scrubs can come in from the street and play, that's our best chance for a SuperBowl this decade. Does anyone know why we're even lining up 11 men (can't we just play 7 core stars, they'd probably be much better)?

Really, that's what some of you sound like. Lemme reel you back to reality, 2-1. If we win 2 out of every 3, we'll be like 11-5, much better record than I predicted before the season.

We had a bad game. Happens. Questionable calls, questionable talent, questionable flags. The good news is, you see that squad again, so you can avenge your loss.

Time to take what you saw yesterday and turn it into how it can get fixed to create a different outcome against NE.

One positive is crowd seemed pretty loud in the game. Can anyone who was there comment on crowd noise?

3 years into and trifecta still cant cover TE
Expect a career day from the pats TE

Hate to say but clammy needs to get back asap
So dobbins can go back to tackling school

wow aloco u are a moron. all u do is say fins will win every game and jets lose every game. stupid bias garbage. well craig lets see if anyone even bothers to pick him up

This loss was self inflicted
We failed to do the little things
How bout having the fatties on the dl work with the JUG machine to sharpen their skills

yes dc dolfan i paid 600 bucks for 2 tickets, sucks now. crowd was loud, but id say least a third was jets fans

John Winabagel is a sunglass buddy and wont be canned!

yeah it got funny in here when people started hyping dobbins. guys has never been good to begin with

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