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Dolphins offensive plays calls were curious -- again

Enough of the fumble controversy (for now) because the call will not be overturned or somehow repaired. The Miami Dolphins' 23-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot be erased so no need to continue reliving it.

But what seemingly we continually relive with these Dolphins is the curious if not outright inexplicable play-calling on offense that leaves fans in a frenzy and state of frustration.

Sorry, Dr. Dan Henning, oh sherpa of all things NFL offense. But count me among the folks left scratching their heads following Sunday's game.

I don't understand the strategy on the first two possessions, both inside the Pittsburgh 22-yard line. I didn't understand the strategy of starting a potential game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the game with a running play -- against the NFL's No. 1 rush defense.

Let's take the first two series first. The Dolphins kicked off and got a gift possession when the Steelers fumbled the kickoff and Reshad Jones recovered, giving Miami a first down on the Pittsburgh 22 yard line. Most offensive coordinators today view this as an opportunity to go for the opponent's throat. The Steelers were on the field in an emergency situation and so what do the Dolphins do?

They run an off-tackle play to the right side with Ronnie Brown carrying the ball. It gained 2 yards. Two yards! The Dolphins have the Steelers in a tough spot, in a momentum-capturing moment and they run a routine off-tackle play against the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL.

The next two plays were Chad Henne incompletions. I get the concept of throwing then. No problem. But here's my deal: Neither play went into the end zone. And neither play targetted Brandon Marshall.

The Dolphins, in their wisdom, didn't deem a call for their best receiver as a good option. And the team that has been kicking too many field goals and not scoring enough TDs didn't attack the end zone.

The team still got a field goal and a 3-0 and then got another gift the very next series when Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger fumbled and Koa Misi recovered for Miami at the 13 yard line.

Time to go into the end zone, right? Time to get the ball to Marshall, right?


Henning called a Ricky Williams run to the left. It gained zero.

Then Henning called a Ricky Williams run to the right. It gained 8 yards.

Then on third-and-2 from the 5 yard line, Henning called on Williams again, once again testing the right side of the Pittsburgh defense. No gain. Field goal.

Not good enough, Salguero says.

Then there was the aborted attempt to win the game with the two-minute drive at the end. Let me just say that the execution, which is Henning's pet peeve, was bad. Anthony Fasano dropped a pass on second down. Henne threw to the wrong receiver (Lousaka Polite) on third down and that gained only 2 yards. And the fourth down play was a total breakdown of the protection and the communication between the QB and his receivers.

But ...

Why did that drive open with a running play? The Dolphins had taken a timeout, their final timeout, with 2:30 to play before Pittsburgh kicked the game-winning field goal. The idea at the time was to keep the Steelers from letting the clock run down to two minutes.

But then Miami made that timeout of no effect by opening their drive with a run. Either you need the time and you take the time out and then throw the ball. Or you don't need to save time and you don't need the to take the time out. You cannot have it both ways.

But with 2:19 to play, facing the best run defense in the NFL, using a running back that had gained 12 yards on 10 carries, the Dolphins handed the ball off to Brown. The play gained 2 yards.

I'm not playing the results here. I'm saying the Dolphins needed to throw in the end zone to their best receiver when they're inside the other team's 25 yard line after a turnover every single time they find themselves in that situation. I simply believe it's a good idea to get the ball in your best offensive weapon's hands as a philosophy.

And as for the final drive, if you're going to run the ball on first down, don't waste a time out before that. And if you are going to call the time out, which was the right call, then follow that up with another good call and pass the ball to open your two-minute drive.  

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If you lose, you lose," Dolphins inside linebacker Channing Crowder said. "You can make all the excuses, but our record's 3-3. There's not going to be an asterisk next to the third loss. Who cares? Good call, bad call, I don't know the rules. But we should've won. We never should have been in that situation. To put it in the ref's hands was our fault." couldnt of said it better, quit blaming the refs.

Beer, Would you chime in on was this a screw job, or was it The fins couldnt get into the Sparano happy zone(AKA FG position) when they had 2:30 left to play??? Your thoughts sir..

FU%k Henning!!!!
Fire the Piece of SH! !
Henning Must Go!!!!!!
Henning I hope u Realize as you go to bed
tonight that U aint SH! .
what the FU%# were u thinking u Dumba$$!!!!
you like running? how bout u get up in the morning and Run in to a Brick Wall u piece of SH! !!!

LA QueenBait,

I don't mind the name calling and the juvenile antics, but when you start twisting my words and points to try and buttress your own?

Sorry, I don't know how to argue with retardation.

Now you being a BUT SUCKING queer aside, I was not speaking of the Pittsville game.

I was speaking on how any other OC's in the league can figure out how to get their playmakers past double coverage. At least any other OC except Hennings.

Twist my words and regurgitate them and I'll slap it out cha mouf, But Bu-ooY!!!!

@Odinseye You said: Now you being a BUT SUCKING queer aside

Go here: http://www.wegiveadamn.org/

great example BILL....quore somebody who openly says "i don't kniw the rules"

i don"t kniw who is less credible...YOU or him.

THISAINT, couldn't of said it better myself. Not sure what these other yahoos are talking about, but we both know the deal. Sparano is staying for the near future at least. OC will be on his way out the door end of year at the latest. Team is pretty inline with all the other teams in the AFC (good talent, good coaching, not great, just need to put it all together). QB isn't close to being the problem. Not sure how some yahoo thinks the OC would open up the offense, it's just he has no faith in his QB, when that same OC (Henning) has ZERO credibility as an OC since back in the 80's. He SUCKED at Carolina, played the same type of offense, and got booted out of town so hard it turned his hair white.

But, look, that's history, it's philosophy, it's a little too far out for some Ohio douchebag's convenient, tiny-thought-minded hypothesis that it's the QB's fault. How many times you heard that one fellas? LA, you seem to be a football guy. Pray tell us, how many elite QBs ARE there out there? Ohio seems to think they fall off trees. He must be drunk, or else he forgot the last decade, and the what? 10-12 QBs we motored through, all giving us jack for our support. So, instead of actually developing a guy that CAN BE DEVELOPED, with NFL-caliber attributes, no, this yahoo thinks we should toss him and go hunting again, for the perfect, dare I say Dan Marino-clone of a QB. We'll be searching for centuries.

Douchebag, let me give you some football advice. We take that big idea of yours, that's first, and chuck if off the highest peak in Ohio. Then, we take that draft pick you were gonna waste on a QB that probably wouldn't amount to anything anyhow, and use it on a stud DE, or NT, or FS, or SS, and shore up our defense so it's top-notch (that's been done in the last decade). We're pretty close now, only would take a couple more players. Then, we you have that, you won't NEED Chad Henne to throw 6 TDs, he'd just need to not lose the game for you and you'd win. Of course, by then, Chad would probably be a pretty effective QB in the NFL, and then you'd have the best of both worlds.

See how football is played dummy?

I hope you don't build wheelchairs like you analyze Dolphin games, if you do there's a ton of handicapped people crawling around on the ground out there. Where you from? Hmmm....probably one of the Carolina states. If that's the case don't bother sending your Mom or daughter over, there probably busy being in-bred and shining your pole. PS So your saying that all the other OCs in the league know what they're doing...like who?....Oh wait like the Frisco OC or how about Jason Garrett in Dallas, no wait what about the Jags OC or Tampa's OC. Dude, you're making this too easy

stuiped iphone app...u know what i mean

dont get mad kris, the point in that is he realizes miami lost the game not the refs. we need to get over that, we should of won this game period. we blew a ton of chances.

your gay descriptions of the cast of queers attacking u is cracking me up

had to take a phone call from central Florida girl
and gtg now

good luck with the fairies
glad u got the wqam hookup with RW


agree dc dolfan, we def have our qb, henne will be damn good. lets get some new coaches

Calls were curious. They suck week after week, I cant believe that we litterly arent throwing the ball to Brando insode the twenty three times in a row, WHat three handoffs to ricky and ronnie not once but two sets of downs . We didnt take one shot to brandon in the end Zone. Who really is calling htese plys. MIckey MOuse.If i was steven Ross i would loss the rest of the season get a easy schdele and get a few good draft picks and fire all three of those loozers . Bring in carl pederson Bill cowher and let the fun begin..Even big bill couldnt take it..Please for a fan that has loved this team for 40 yrs .. PLEASE make the bleeding stop/ Comeone Bill Cower..

LA Queen,

I'm making this too easy? Yeah you showed some deep insight and intelligence by babbling about wheelchairs and Carolinians being inbred?

WTF? Your but buddy must be hung like a p o r n star, cause I do believe he's given you brain damage sticking that thing in your head all the time.

If you can face the facts for a second, instead all those stiffy's, week in and week out OC's and No.1 receivers the league over find ways to beat double coverages.

its a passing league now. we better realize this very soon.

ok i am going to order a authentic jersey and i am not sure what size i should get jus want it to be comfortable i am a 48 in chest any one help here

Why isnt ANYONE talking about not going for the tie with the 2 point conversion and how that bit us in the butt more than anything else?

Not mad Bill,

Just think if your gonna chose a quote, you might not want it to be from the man who admittedly says "i don't know the rules" It makes for a less than credible source for your quote.

Even dumber is he is part of the Defense that coudn't off the field....It sounds like he also is implying that either the coaches or the Offense let them down...the "D" is equally responsible eben though everybody on here seems to want to give NOLAN a pass,

But at the end of the day WE made the play that turned the game in our favor and probably would have done just enough to squeak out a win...we can beat teams...barely....we can't beat refs

Ohhh...and Bill,

You always duck my common sense questions so I am not sure why I am expecting this one to be any differnt....but....

When is the last time you heard a ref emerge from a replay hood and say..."duh...we don't know who recovered the fumble....."


Not my words Bill,


Side Note: I personally sent mass emails to the ref's company, o e button click amd they got flooded with emails about the horrible call they made. Hopefully it brought down his servers for the day.
Now for football... Henning needs to go period!! The playcalling set us up to be just good enough and to LOOSE. Im getting tired of this playcalling guys as im sure you are too. Unexcusable, unexcusable, unexcusable! We are going nowhere with Henning calling plays this year guys..I dont carebif you signed 5 V Jackson's and 5 B Marshall's...our O is doomed with Henning...season too unfortunately...and as a life long dolphan...this hurts really bad!

I have to seriously question the competency of ANYBODY that quotes or uses Channing Crowder as a reference

Guys...bad calls are going to happen...no way around it...we just have to deal with them. And, please, no conspiracy theories...that's laughable...these guys are highly scrutinized. Anyway, I'm not sure if the call went in our favor we move the ball anyway...we couldn't when we had to, what makes you think we could have. They had the time outs, so we couldn't just run the clock...we lost the game, period, the refs just made it more difficult because we didn't get a reset. The bigger problem is the playcalling on BOTH offense and defense (what's up with the 3 man rush and still getting beat because the guys don't stay with the coverage, lose track of their man...what's up with that? We have work to do...let's move on and do it.

Look it should have been a blowout. With two turnovers inside the 30 any OC with courage and any killer instinct would get at least 10 points.

There were numerous other opportunities for TD's squandered by Henning too. Crowder is right they never should have left it to the ref's.

However,the refs did job the Dolphins. It is inexcusable. F U Roger Goodell! And your homer officials.


A 40-50 yard pass interfernce call on the last play of the game that sets a team up for a game winning FG is A BAD CALL

Questionable holding on a 25 yard run IS A BAD CALL

A roughing the kicker call when it should have been running into the kicker IS A BAD CALL.


If you do nothing else as a ref....know who the ball goes to...thats all I ask


As usual, you come on here spout some OPINIONS as if they are facts and then when/if you get challenged you spout another unimpressive one-liner and then disappear....pretty sad man

I tried to tell you guys about this bunch 2 years ago. And now the chickens have come home to roost.

So, Ireland gets a repreive from Ross. No more Parcells looking over his shoulder. The question is, does he have enough balls to make changes.

Henning will be gone at the end of the season. That's a no-brainer. But will he pull the plug on Sparano? That is (Aloco) the question


You're absolutely right!

This wasn't just a bad call, it was dereliction of duty at it's finest.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I ain't going to laugh at their assertions. At least their way, it would make a little sense.

We didn't even allow "do overs" when we played 4th grade street ball..........UNACCEPTABLE INDEED!!!!


I'm with you...i'm not a conspiricy theorist...I just want competent people calling my games......but....

I swear to Dansby's GOD that when the ref was taking so long to call what was obvious play...I said to my wife..."their trying to find a way to screw us.....I swear to Dansby's GOD.

I think most of these "analysts", nationwide, are full of sh--. As they are not ignoramuses football-wise, I have to assume that, for their bread, they are being told what to say.

We got jobbed.....yes! However, the real story here isn't getting jobbed, play calling, or field goals. It's (3rd and 10...Hines Ward TD), (3rd and 7...1st down, 3rd and 16...Hines Ward 1st down equals FG), (3rd and 11....Hines Ward 1st down equals FG), (Wallace 53 yard TD). This is the sad truth. Our passing defense blew chunks when it counted. Hines FN Ward killed us all day on 3rd down and LONG. That's 13 points that should have been 3 at the most. Add the Wallace TD and that's 20 points "if we hold them of course". Pass defense is right there with special teams kick coverage as our big weaknesses.

Another case of leaving points on the field. I tell ya if we'd have picked up those points, we'll be at least 5-1.

Hey Kris, I said the same thing to my buddies that were watching the game aty
pad when the refs were taking forever...I said to them...we always get screwed on calls like this...always!

You do have to understand that Mr. Hines Ward is no cripple.

Oscar..you are correct...thats hennings fault for the calls! And Tony should take some blame for not changing some of those questionable calls...Doesnt Tony have the authority to change hennings calls when he deems them bad for the situation we happen to be in at the time?

I am just as pissed as the next fan about yesterdays game. However, I think we are beating a dead horse. I am a business consultant and I tried to look at the dolphins as I look at a business. Typically what people tell me are the things they think are wrong with their business are actually only symptoms of the real issues. Much like us complaining about the controversial call. When you look at everything we complain about it is composed of symptoms of bad offensive coaching. With better offensive coaching all of the other symptoms go away. With better offensive coaching it doesn't matter what the refs call on that play because we would be up by more...Thats my take...but hey, what do I know?

odin loco cuban help me out here. did you see Tomlins face after the 2 field goals after the 2 fumbles at the beginning of the game? Sparano fist bumps and Tomlin is like what that all you got? he was smirking like telling Sparano

I don't know that, cowkilla. There's a lot of "diplomacy" going on out there.

Sparano that all u got? Against us in your house?

I'll agree....we have our faults....HENNING MUST GO....But I also believe that Sporano know that while we THE FANS can say we got JOBBED...he can't....He will not sit back and let Henning F*&k him and this team anymore....If he does it will be his job next

All I know is that Mr. Tomlin wanted to get out of town, and fast.

Henning a offensive mastermind? LOL That's a joke right? He is one of the most conservative OC in the league. Why not go for the jugular? One both of them possessions they should have went to the end zone. That last possession was horrendous. Why are you trying to run with a two minute offense???

three things you can count on in a Fins game #1 three Field goals #2) Three fist pumps, #3) Three times dan Henning will nod off during a game......


I'm not Odin, Loco, or Cuban...but I did see it...It was like you said...I don't think he felt lucky to only be down 6...Its like he knew they were gonna win....and thats how he coached...like he was gonna win!

Another business analogy...There is the philosophy that you should dress for the position you would like to have...Well we should call plays like a confident, championship caliber team calls plays!

If you are watching MNF that's what you do when you get two takeaways in the red zone. Go for the end zone!!! Cowboys 10-0!

We killed them, People, C'mon! We got Flozell Adams, Lamar Woodley and some big starting D-lineman out of there(for God knows how long). C'mon!

I remember years ago while going to FSU and they were playing the canes, FSU was up 27 to 13 with 10 minutes left,Easy win you think??, I thought FSU might win, but deep down in my heart I knew the canes would win, That's what a TRUE Championship team does... THEY WIN, The phins are a Mile away from that,.. IMHO

OK Kids, I Am out, Have a "PHINTASTIC" nite ladies........Last one to leave, please turn off the lights, thanks.

here is a quote from Chad pennington about fumblegate from an article andy kent tweeted.

How come the QB kows more about officating than the officals? maybe if Penne was the ref Miam wins......

"I think personally that in crucial situations like that at the end of the game you have to make the call that's going to allow you to take a look at the replay," Pennington said. "To me the correct call is to call it a fumble. That way the play's not blown dead and then you go back to see if it was a touchdown. It's not about who's right or who's wrong, it's about getting the right call. So you err on the side of making the call that's going to allow you to replay it to get the right call made. You can't make a call that's going to just blow the call dead. ... We've got to look at not worrying about whether the referee makes the call right the first time, make the correct call to allow it to be replayed. That's why we have instant replay, to get it right, not to still mess it up."

Dan Henning was fired by the Carolina Panthers as their OC for kicking too many FGs with Steve Smith as the #1 WR and a supposedly Super Bowl team around him, that's all that needs to be said! He was unemployed when Parcells/Sparano called.....

I heard what the officials said. I know what the league has said. People make mistakes. It was a bad break. The league needs to admit the officiating crew blew the call. Use some common sense. When officials on the field know the Dolphins recovered the fumble you combine the replay with what the officials know. I know that isn’t how the rule is written, but c’mon man.
The Dolphins didn’t lose the game due to the “worst call ever”; however they did get robbed of a chance to win. I don’t care what happened before or after that play that play WAS the game. We’ve all seen teams kick 5 field goals and still win the game. Well maybe not when they are playing the other team plus the officiating crew.
I’m sorry but Tony S. is really starting to remind me of Dave Wanstach (AKA “Worst Coach Ever”). Dave’s best quote was “punting is not a bad thing”. God I hated that coach. Cam got a bad rap due to the horrors he inherited and Ted’s family. Dick Satan was just an ass.
Dan Henning and Dave W. would’ve got along great. I haven’t seen this much (deserved) hatred for a Dolphins coordinator since Tom Olivadotti. Dan Henning had his time and was probably good at his job at one time. But he has got to go. We all see it, We all know it. The players aren’t executing the plays because they hate the call.
Sorry so long.

preach! watching MNF? Dallas shoed us what youre supposed to do when someone makes a mistake in your housr. Make them pay!!!

garrett our next OC u watch

Give the ball to Chad P in the 4th....Henne is terrible in the 4th Qtr. Has been for two years.

When we need him to take command and run the "O" down the field he falters. Same goes for Henning..

I don't see Mr Ross allowing this team to continue producing at a mediocre level. I thing if Miami doesn't make the post season their will be a coaching change.

Pennington is a quality player with a a great football IQ...i hope Henne is sucking this knowledge....also hope we bring Penne in to this orginization somehow....maybw QB coach....

broman, go cook some eggs for me .

penni will be a great QB coach and maybe dev into an OC. He should start now.. if only we ran the team...

Last year we got screwed in the Saints game when Sharper fumbled before crossing the goal line and now this with the Steelers.

I know we had other chances to win, but tight games come down to one or two plays. You make'em you win, you don't you lose. We got robbed of that opportunity.

Henning is a slow learner, look how long it took him to quit using the wildcat after it was ineffective? I say in another 3 weeks and we are officially eliminated from contention the 10 watt bulb will come on and the playbook will open up.

We can all agree its time to fire henning, and to be honest maybe sparano too. He should be just as liable for poor play calling.


I was thinking the same thing tje other day....Jason Garret is no longer the hot commadie he was 2 years ago....if he wants another chance at an HC he is gonna want to be in a place with good weapons...we got that....we just need the RB

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