« Referee from Pittsburgh explains fumble ruling | Main | Tony McDaniel: New rules on hits slowed me down »

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.  

Follow me on twitter.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dolphins offensive plays calls were curious -- again:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Have you guys noticed how large Chad Henne's cranium is? Maybe if the team invested in a larger helmet he would play a lot better.

He calls so many timeouts to go to sidelines and take off that tight fitting helmet. Can you blame him?

What tO say about our QB I dont know ,not sure yet. Our Henning needs to go TODAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Sporano needs to be warned one more screw up and your coaching HS in CT. Prevent offence says in all, well put. "With this coaching staff", this team doen't know how to win.

Hear now the good news, we play away Sunday.....

Chad Henne's head looks like a watermelon wearing a helmet!

vernon carey may be farsighted because he missing the defender in front of him;how can you whiff on blocks? another big contract.

Today at Headquarters....

Well, season is over after 6 games. Dang, I really thought our gameplans were good enough to compete with the Jets and Pats this season.

Room errupts in laughter.

Fans asked to put downpayments on next years season tickets. LOL

Lets fire Henning today! Until we get a speed demon pass catching wr. Come December we'll be saying, "fire David Lee today!"


The time is gone
The Dolphins season is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to blog here when I can

When I get Home
Home and Tired

Like to Burn my Dolphin Tickets, in the fire

11 13

tony coached scared.

he is not a good coach.

"Until we get a speed demon pass catching wr."
Also Hennings fault

Guys you gotta remember both personel and execution dictates what success an offense has. About 85% nearly all OC make the right call. The other 15% of the time they all make the wrong calls.

I believe we have more of a lack of offensive personel problem than a play calling issue right now. Though just like any other nfl OC Henning gets it wrong at times too.

Predetermined NFL

AFC Championship
Patriots vs Jets @ the new Meadowlands

Jets Win

Follow the money
Thats the plan

like Yankees / Red Sox

Every play is a bad call when not properly executed. Just like every play is a great call when properly excuted.

Its the defense's job to make every play called look bad. Sometimes you just gotta give the defense credit for proper execution too!

Plays happen when players play not Robots


Worst Dolphin play call Home has ever seen onthe Dolphins
other than Meltdown in Meadowlands MNF
Fixed game
Arnold Schwarzenegger says "We`ll Be Back" at halftime
Jets come back and score a gazillion points playing til 1:15 am
Got awarded one TD when Jet player was on the 2 yard line


In 1976, A reporter asked Tampa Bay Bucs coach John McCay. "Coach what do you think of your team's execution today?"

Coach McCay's reply: "I'm all for it!"

The Honeymoon is over. The coaching staff has held this team back..They play to not loose..instead of playing to win..so when situations like 2 minute offense are presented...the team fails.

Once again special teams let the team down on last kickoff.. It all falls on Sparano. I have quickly soured on him and his staff.

The inability to get off the field on 3rd and longs, questionable play calling, special teams, no one to stretch the field as WR/TE/RB.

The team wants to pound..no TE, No real play action...

The fins are who they are...a 500 team.

steratoresupply@live.com Yes Amando, the NFL will not do the right thing with a corrupt referee who has no integrity BUT Dolphin Fans can certainly e-mail him and let him now how they feel. NO THREATS Dolphans, but state your opinion. Also Roger Goodell needs to feel the pain. roger.goodell@nfl.net Let it fly!!!

And what about calling the same basic plays in practice? What is your answer for that? How is that helping the D?

Bottom line is if we don't REALLY make chunk yardage a priority it will be more of the same. More of the same = not good enough.

Here's a line that may best describe our Dolphins this season:

Playoffs? Playoffs! Whaddaya mean Playoffs?....playoffs.....playoffs.......!

for Christ sake, let Henne throw the ball. the offense was way too conservative AGAIN! we just paid a WR $45mm; use him!!Henne's got an arm; use it!

Why not Gruden?

this offense lacks game breaking speed. Both in the backfield and or at WR. A decent field stretching WR would be ideal for this O. They still lack any continuity and rhythm on offense and that comes from calling the correct play at the correct time and thats on the OC. Henning sucks. period.

I would rather take a chance with Ricky anytime over Ronnie. I don't care if Ricky fumbles once in a while, Ricky is by far far far the more superior back hands down. Ronnie does not hit the hole quick, he fucks around to much in the backfield. He is not Barry Sanders so stop dancing, there was only one guy that could pull that off and he has been retired for some time now.


All I want for Christmas is a new head coach.a new head coach,All I want for christmas is a NEW HEAD COACH!

Can someone plaese slip this note face up underneath Dan Henning's Geritol bottle:


As far as Henning goes I asked Armando in Preseason if Henning is the right OC for this team. After this weekend i can say with confidence that this guy is just as responsible as the ST coach was when he was fired. If Henning dont fall on the sword he is gonna take Sparano and this whole staff down with him. Ireland needs to use his new fpund power and put the team over loyalty to Henning.

bottom line this year is defnitley not our year. our team is still young and getting better, but that doesnt win games. We still don't know how to win. Fact is we made the play to win and got gipped by an official from PA. Maybe if we make one of those 5 field goals a td we win. Or plan ahead early and go for 2 early on our only td.


Gruden is as big an egomaniac as Parcells. He will bench Henne just to prove he can turn Thyler Thigpen into Joe Montana. We all know that aint happening!

Why not Mariucci?

John Gruden road Dungys coattails to a super bowl. TD built that team not Gruden. Id rather have Cowher.

By the way, 3rd and 1 and you run Ronnie instead of Polite who is something like 20 for 20 on 3rd and one???? WTF is that??

Fact is does not matter anymore what the Fins do anymore
No chance they get to the playoffs
Thats the way it is
we lost all 3 at Chemtrail Death stadium
Jets & Pats will finish with winning records

7-9 or 8-8 will get us no where

Might as well let Henne chuck it 40 times a game and see what he can do without trying to be a Pennington type, managing the game, play it safe QB

Let it fly
If he hits, Great

If not, Great draft pick

Gruden was fired in Tampa for his thick skulled egomanic ways. Getting Gruden will be like hoping out of the frying pan into the fire!

But he built the Raiders team. doesn't that count for something?

I didn't know we could say "fucks" here???

Screw Gruden, Screw Cowher. Sparano is a fine HC. He just has to end this undying loyalty for Henning and let this offense opem up

Gruden won a SB with Tony's Team. When left to his on devices Gruden had a perrenial on the bubble wildcard playoffs team.

Gruden did diddly-squat with the players he put in place. Lets move forward not backwards.

Then they rushed to get a play off on 2nd down after the iidiiot run play wasting that down.....Just no plan at all....Or a bad one!!

Ronnie Brown has slid bout as far as possible since the intro of the Wildcat in New England

Only shown us he is injury prone and cannot rocket through a hole
Ronnie simply refuses to blast through the line
Dancing with the stars is his next best career choice

Why not Mariucci? He would be happy to be the OC. Don't you think?

Fins fit into category of Lions, Royals, Bucks, Warriors etc...

No league in their right mind will let these teams reach Title Game.

Money talks and Sporano and Henning are...

Apparently our owner loves to sell shares to B-list celebs, but forgot to put product for them to invest in.

I have some sweet oceanfront property in Denver, can I sell that to them too?

I would love Marriucci!!


Every now and then even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Does that count for anything?

Gruden's overall track record is very unimpressive. He didnt win the SB with that Raiders team. Then did win with the team Tony Dungy already had SB ready.

You or I could have coached the Bucs that year and won the SB. They were just ready. The Bucs let Dungy go prematurely.

We don't need a 2 minute offense.

We're a running team and if these dumb a s s Shitamuhplayers would just execute everything would be fine.

Way too conservative...

Just grab every single blog here, shake it up and serve it in a martini glass, the end result:

Offense Conservatini

What ever happened to Big Arm Henne and the Beast reciver? Simple...they had one of those martinis before every play.

EVERYBODY ON THIS BOARD WHO BLAMES PLAY CALLING IS A MORON. How many of you people have played football, better yet how many of you have coached football, better yet how many of you have broken down film and called a game on the professional level or even the Jr. College level - answer: None. Enough said. Stop sitting back in your lazy boys trying to act like you know more than professional coaches - as a Dolfan it's embarrassing. That's all I ever hear from the Miami press and it's fans - we know more, should have done this. You go design a game plan and call a game against the Number 1 defense in the NFL and then we'll talk.

If u let Henning run your offense you should fire yourself first!!


The same Mariucci who coached the Detroit Lions? Please say youre joking right?

DyingBreed didn't Gruden build the Raiders team that he played in the SB? I think thats pretty good. But thats just me.

Gruden is much more entertaining than the rest

Cowher already pulled all his hair out

If the game is fixed and the refs r payed off for the Dolphin to lose

Might as well
Have Super Bowl winning Chucky grinning & making faces, all animated & shiet

Jon could get drunk with all the celebrity owners
Maybe show his penis to J-LO
Chuck a moon to Ross


Again, even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.

Home 4 Champ Bailey,

How interesting? Do you really think Gruden will be able to baffle us with his humor while trying to falsely convince us Thyler Thigpen is the 2nd coming of Joe Montana?

I'm just talking about the OC position. I agree that Cower would be the best head coach. But he is not a OC.


Drive down to San Francisco and jump on a rodeo burger.

Your obviously better at putting things in your mouth than out!

You are dead wrong. Many here have played the game at some level but that means nothing. The guys that are so called experts and do color commentary for games call henning out every game. They politely question his calls regularly. Am I the only one that hears it? They say the same thingds we say. BTW, 90% of the time Hennings calls are so obviously bad, common sense alone tells you all you need to know.

From the sounds of these posts the Dolphins must have been blown out by a really bad team,,,what,,,no,,they lost by one point to one of the top three teams in the league? Wow. So not only are Miami residents horrible fans because they would rather go to the beach than support their own team but they are also horrible evaluators of football. Anyone in here today that actually lives in Miami and did not go to the game can go f**k yourself. You let another teams fans take over your own stadium and that is unforgivable.

It's a joke to hear people criticizing Henne and Sparano when they don't even go to the games. As pathetic as Sparanos timeout blunders have been it's much much worse to see that fans in south florida are such front runners. If the team wins you will support them? Ever hear of the 12th man? That's you, it's what helps your team win at home games. If you don't go or if you go and just sit there and not make noise it hurts your own team. South Florida is a joke and the fans are what make it that way. You people are worthless.

Gruden made the Raiders

the last 3 years

and yeah Tony D. put together most of the Bucs team but Gruden brought the team from 0 to Hero
and Won the SB

Grudens last 3 years with the Raiders is gonna be a lot better than the Trifecta`s after 3 years

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 13 »

The comments to this entry are closed.