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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 only Bond....if only

cower and garet please! tired of the you know you know out there just that way in there like that good old boy jersey network.

hey guys...go read the vikings story and what Childress did about their bad ref calls...the freakin NFL already apologized to the Vikings and minn fans about it....where's our apology? why does Miami always get the short end of the stick?

rkarz432, go make me some eggs .

Let's not forget the 3 and inches in the 3rd or 4th quarter...not sure. But I'm pretty sure a QB sneak would have netted the first. Instead, another off-tackle play resulting in a loss of 1. Pathetic!

Oops...3rd and inches.

cowkilla you expect our coach to want to have to make an intelligent point to some leage official? Hell probably be the one apologizing after the call for the terrible grammer and communication skills. Sorry to bother you

Man, these Dol-Fans are sure indoctrinated negatively(I guess from watchig so many "analysts").

Might catch a lot of crap for this but so what....

I think the ceiling for Henne is comparable to that of ELI manning....Henne remnds me alot of Eli...the way he plays....

Some what robotic, unemotional, and streaky....plus a SB....and i'm not knocking Henne Eli is top ten in this league

Bond 9, I mentioned that last night. Tomlin looked like the cat that ate the canary after the second field goal. Sparano? Fist pumping, like its what he wanted them to do. A real coach would be reaming out the Oc and or QB.

sorry to bothet u. kind of called you know thought i could try to make a point a little bit in there like that in there a little bit like that.

with you jrl2

Nice Armando! I'm glad we think the same. I'm really tired of playing not to lose instead of going for the jugular! Good times dictate, not dictated to! Sometimes I feel like Sparano wants to do that running the ball and I'm fine with it, it's just the conservative nature that kills me! I want a team with attitude, I like that our philosophy is about trying to be physical, but teams like the Steelers go out and prove it, we just talk about it...

not gonna knock you kris. henne has shown progression each week. i though he did a great job against pitt.

he look off defenders stepped up in the pocket and went back to his #1 after progression. like it or not he is our QB for probably next 4- 5 years. i just hope that if there is a lockout that i doesnt affect his progression.

finfanned , go cook me some eggs .

kris it just hasnt clicked for Henne. for some guys the moment is like the sky opens up all of a sudden it all becomes clear. seen it in all top quarterbacks. not in Henne so far...

Exaxtly..tony should have been LIVID that we got 6 points out of those two posessions..that firey fistpump was so GArY with the silent "r", that shot made me cringe when i saw tony doin that on the sideline. Tomlin= cool, calm, collected, and champion.......Sparano= clueless, contradicting, careless, and a CHUMP for letting henning ruin our team and season.
I was going to buy between 4-7 official fin's jerseys and a bunch of signed memorabilia this year but i already bought the sunday ticket for the 8th year in a row and thats all im giving the darn nfl this year until i see better team decisions from miami and better referee rules and police-ing from the league...if that doesnt happen they arent getting my money guys!

kris, can you cook me some eggs ?

Dan Marino said, "Dolphins don't have big play capabilities". What you people think.

nor mine cowkilla nor mine. only $ spent on fins tbia year was for this app... and thats it until our coach grows a pair!

Oscar...i think Man Darino is smokin crack...hes a network guy now, no longer a miami supporter.

thanks..but like i said its not a knock on Henne....i like Henne...i am in the Henne camp. i just see (with my non-expiernced
m QB judging) eyes that i think our QB will mature more into Eli, and less into peyton..but then again what qb does


its a goof then we decide talent based on weather ot not your mom is a prostitute.

Dez Bryant...90 yard punt return

yeah peytons are once in a lifetime QB. when my kids grow up and peyton long retired ill say i saw that boy play ball.

Well Well...looks like dallas drafted well, Dez just ran a punt back...we could have had him an BM. Wow we made some huge mistakes! where's mr 28th pick??? oh yeah thats right, hes out for the year with brittle bone disease...who is responsible for our crappy draft and luck! growing tired of seeing all other teams taking TALENT in the draft while we dont do our homework and we pick brittle bone odrik...sad days in south FLA

Kris...my point exactly bro

our number one pick.... injured reserve.....gets to ne a rookie again next year..1 game...1 tackle

sad days. sad organization. Please bring some hard chin cred. and go get Cower. Please...

Some kind of talent, that kid.

dan marino is a tool .

were on the same page cow....other teams take sure things....we go out and make a point to find somebody on nobody's draft board to shoe how SMART we are

you guys talking like we suck ,you all suck .where did davis,bess came from ?

deepest TE draft in NFL history...so deep the patriots draft. 2 TE....we somehow come away with none and don't give our young QB the security blanket he needs....

in the game against the Pack....i didn't think Fasano would ever reach the end zone


Where is the attacking Nolan defense? Seems like on every 3rd and long we come with 4 rushers and zero pass defenders....3rd and 16...Come On!

You all talking sht about Marino should all fcck off.


Marino once signed a contract to make him the highest paid in NFL history...5 years 25 million...doubt he is jealous

i forgot.....dolfan fans lile not winning...they just like thier QN to look good while he is not winning...break records while they are not winning...as long as we throw for 300 hards it doesm't matter if we win.....

kris.....I said once before that I thought that Parcells and Co were trying to build a team
out of nobodys to fuel their egos.
Anybody can draft sure bets and trade for veteran leadership and get close to a Championship,but to build one out of people that no one has ever heard of would be quite the accomplishment.
Just don't do it with my team.
Oh,and when I posted that comment last year,everyone basically called me a looooser.

you don't agree with Marino? our last big play was last year vs the jets with Ginn. what have we done lately? hes not there to pat us on the heads and say its alright.


MARINI played for 16 NFL seasons....

How many AFC east tittls does he have?

how many AFC championships?

How many SB apperances?

How many SB wins?

i'm tired of living on broken or soon to be brpken records...i am ready to eat some AFC EAST titles

BEENDRUMBS,,, THE TUNA did build a great team . don't you see how the team played on sunday ?

The real Aloco doesnt call us names...u must be an imposter!
Anyway...yep yu can say bess and some others...thats great man BUT if you were walking down the road and saw a crisp 100 dollar bill would you pass it up because you think you can find 5 twenty dollar bills just because you want to do it the hard way..the ego stroke way??? I think not bro...you take the $100 and move on. Yes bess and some were hits BUT you take tge big boys too and then let the undraft-ees play for a spot. agree or not?


You are right no about the regime not taking a TE. A mistake on their part in a deep draft. However, I hardly think that Dez Bryant is a 'sure thing'. Have you seen his numbers this year? Ok, so he's got two TD's on punt returns but his receiving numbers are pedestrain and it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy. To be honest he looks more like Ted Ginn right now than a 'sure thing'.

i'm not a Marino basher...respect everything he did...but all you old-timers still living in 1984 with 48 touchdowns and 5,048 yrds need to realize that it was pretty... but not effective

marshall was on cbs a few weeks back interviwed by marino and co and you can see marshall wearing very high priced suit and marino wearing a suit from target .

Hahahahahahahah a target suit lol



I respect Marino too, i met him and have a signed jersey by him...but its 2010 guys, we need to play with what we have now ...and our FO isnt helping with all they have done wrong! The wrong FAR outweighs the right..

Its all good bro, i thought someone stole your name again

your right Cow,

and the real Loco is a money man and would remember the 5 year 25 mil contract... it was the first of its kind back then...especially since the Phis were extremely stingy back then and were catching a lot of flack for not paying Marino


You're right on. I tried to make the point on here that while the play-calling has been suspect we don't have the weapons to make things happen. Marshall's great but he's double teamed all the time. No one else scares anyone. Brown has been MIA for most of the season and no one else scares anyone. While I'm not a fan of Henning and think he needs to go, you've got to criticize Parcells and the braintrust for refusing to get more playmakers. Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, even Dez Bryant would look good opposite Marshall.

maybe the Cowboys will hire Henning. With Romo's shoulder in pieces you know this team will be looking for a coach shortly.

Cow...dont be foolef

Cowboys will give up in second half tonite. They are deflated and their season is over. I can only imagine what that lockerroom is like right now. Would u rather be a Dallas fan or owner right now?? Stick a fork in it, its done.

Craig M.

i"m gonna trust and support this FO because i din't really have a choice otherwise.... but i would put my money on Dez Bryant on being a sure thing for s long time to come.

I'm still frustrated from yesterdays loss

Craig amd others..yep thats true...there is a laundry list of peeps we could have had besides "ive fallen and i cant get up Odrick" in the first round!! the first round!! and we traded down for him. odrick is going to be doing the "life alert" commercials soon. Hi im jared odrick for life alert, if your bones break when doing the simplest things like putting on your cleats...well rest assured folks, reach around your neck amd press the life alert button, miami's doctor will take you to the hospital and you will get an inspiring visit from our own tony sparano...and he will do fist pumps by your hospital bed until you feel better!

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