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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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Hhaaha, yeah, our record would have been better with Pennington. The Pennington who is 0-4 in his last 4 games. If Henne lost 4 games in a row, some of you "fans" would be calling him a bust. Man, some of you defy the word stupid.



Next HC press conference please ask Tony Sparano this:


Coach Sparano, fans would like to know if you're aware that field goals are only worth 3pts?

Coach Sparano:

Yes, Armando I'm weel aware. Next question.


Just one more question coach.

Coach Sparano:

Go ahead Armando


Fans would also like to know wtf is going thru your mind when you're celebrating a field goal as if youve just won the National Publishing House Sweepstakes?

Let this guy - Chad Henne- to loose his arm, almost 65 or 80 % of his throw is Ck. down, but for that you have to get a coach to know what Offense is for like Jon Gruden...BRING HIM HERE, and send Mr. Mario to New Jersy to coach High School players.

Henning: "Lets go feed the mouse guys!!"

Wow, Pennington standing behind Henne at 3 million a year...... Now I know I live in Bazzarro world.........

i love sports writers!! monday morning QB!
why dont you throw down the pen and pick up a clip board!

I am constantly baffled and pissed watching the dolphins over the last few years. It's so frustrating. We actually have a very talented group of players. Yes, we need a couple more holes filled, but we're close. But our coaching staff SUCKS. Period. Here's the thing, they are HAPPY about field goals! Sparano fist pumps. WTF. A field goal is a consolation prize. Get in the damn end zone. Our play calling is horrible (henning should have been fired a long time ago - i say make the change NOW). The coaches have an old school mentality. How about a WINNING mentality? It should have been 14-0 or 10-0 no doubt and when you have 3rd and inches on the 50, QB sneak the f---ing ball and get a first. That's what the saints would do. I'm sick of watching 1-2-3 punt or field goal. Lame!


2112 sounds about right as the date we'll win our next Super Bowl if we begin by hiring John Gruden.

the wolf died. the wildcat ate his food.


We lose the game by 1 point, to me, we should have go for 2 after the only touchdown at the end of the 1st half to tie the game, instead, they choose to go only for 1 point, and that desicion also backfire at the end of the game, it does not make any sence to go for 1 point and still be behind on the board. The other questionable desicion was on the 50 yard line 4th and 1 and we punt the football!

This coaching staff simply puts to high a value on FG's. Note to Coaches; a TD is worth 2 FG's, and then you get a chance for an extra point!!!

"Feed the wolf" Lmao, apparently in saprano's eyes the "wolf" only requires Field goals...., I knew the wolf would be starving before half way through the season...

Let's be honest ... even if Miami had been properly given the fumble and came out on the 20, we still would have lost ... a quick 3 and out ... and then the Steelers would have marched in to field goal range for at the closing ticks.

Bottom line, the Dolphins are just NOT playing hungry ... when the coach fist pumps over field goals you know we have a problem

Fooch, Ive been on this blog now fot a couple years defending everything the Fins do, and busting ass on people who criticize all the time. Believe me when I say I love are talent and think we are going in the right direction overall. BUT, when the STs coach had a horrible two weeks, he was canned. The fact is Dan Henning is holding back Chad Henne and this offense. Henne himself said two weeks ago his job is to not make mistakes or turn over the ball. Thats BS. How does he advance to the next level where he needs to be if he is afraid to throw the ball downfield? How does this offense advance when we are running the ball on first and 10 in the last scoring drive of the game? Henne had an excellent 2nd and 3rd quarter when he was cut loose. He was looking off the receiver and looking in sync and comfortable. Im sorry but in this case a change needs to be made, either by opening up the Offense and let Chad be the leader OR by getting a new OC who will let that be done. GO PHINS!!

Yeah Menace
Pennington stands behind Henne and backs up, staying with him to try and see what Henne is seeing to tutor him
Pennington throws maybe 20-30% of Henne or someone without 3 shoulder surgeries

Yeah not bad for 3 mil

However Jared Odrick got him beat
1 NFL tackle and guaranteed money of over 7 mil

not bad, Huh?

Craig M ... good point on the timeouts ... I would rather this team take a penalty in the early parts of the second half, then burn them like kindling so there's nothing left in the end JUST IN CASE we need them. My 8-year-old son understands this. Apparently our highly paid coaching staff thinks the timeout fairy will come out of their collective butts and grant them three more in the waning minutes of the fourth!

Coach Sparano:

Guys I realize all of you are wondering wth is going on when I celebrate 3pts so excessively. Really it isnt that I love them so much. Its just a lot easier for me to count by 3's.

zaphod, thank you for your psychic powers of seeing what would have happened. NOT, No one has a clue what would have happened. All your doing is giving excuse to a CORRUPT, BIASED REF who should be canned and investigated by the NFL. give us all a break

bobbyd12 is SO right. watching henne the first half was uncomfortable. he looked worried. thank god we had good protection, b/c he sat back there not knowing what to do, second guessing everything. i have no doubt this is the coaching. stop telling him to not make mistakes and let him use his great arm and learn to be a great QB. sanchez was given that and he's flourishing. our OC is an old fart who needs to go, ASAP. I also couldn't figure out why you don't go for 2 when you're down by two. What's the point of being down by 1 vs 2? DUHHHHHH.

"If we had the right call made, everything would be differnet. BUT now that it isn't, it's time to bash everyone. Typical dol-fans!

How about some things worth noting:

Henne played great. Ricky is playing great. The defense played well. Our offensive line is playing awesome.

You people whine and whine every week and have nothing good to say, EVER! So..WHEN the dolphins finish out this season with only two more losses, and make the play offs, don't jump on the bandwagon because you all suck!"

Playing great means nothing when you lose. There are no moral victories. I don't know how you say the defense played well when they gave up 1st downs on repeated 3rd & 9 or more. That's when teams are most effective & we appeared to be inept.

11 wins in the AFC may not even be enough for the 2nd wildcard! Tenn/Houston, Pitt/Balt/, NY/NE & already are behind the tie breaker battle against 3 of those teams. Postseason hopes went out the window with this loss. There is a thing called reality. Not everyone is negative, just realistic.

I watch the games every week with a non dolphin fan and he is amazed how the same things occur each week. 1. Special teams are awful. 2. Give up 1st downs on 3rd & long. 3. abysmal conservative play calling. EVERY WEEK!

I don't think you'll need to worry about playoff bandwagons this year. Until Sporano hits the road with Henning carrying his bags, Miami is going NOWHERE.

Home, What type of Brews are you consuming???Heineken I bet..

Chad Penninton sitting on the sidelines at $3 million a year? Geesh, good water boys are getting hard to find!

I think you have been drinking too many brews and not watching enough football. He played in pre-season and the few times he had Marshall out there with him, he knew who to go to. Henne has nothing between the ears and he is too slow and indecisive. To be an NFL QB you have to be smart, and quick with your decision making. You also have to be able to read defenses and Henne cannot do any of this. Sober up and see what is right in front of you.

Gys I'm out. I'll be sure to not let the door hit me where the good Lord split me.

Joe, I know you need help with your "D.A" But the bottom line is it's another "L" in the win-lose column...

Your welcome bobbyd, you may use my psychic power any time you wish ... or you could call them LOGIC based on an ANALYTICAL ASSESSMENT of what the offense had done previously, what they typically do in the past, and the URGENCY of which the superior Steelers defense would be playing.

But, hey, psychic powers works for me.

No green lizards today

Sam Adams, Boston Lager tall necks
just cracking #2

Miami is Ready For a SB this yr but we have one Problem. Henning!!'
Fire Henning Now!!!
after six Games we must act Now!
We Still Have a Chance!!!
Fire Henning Now.
dont go into Cinci with that Coward!
Henning-Body Else but Henning.
he will never have another job elsewhere.
Let sparano call the plays or Henne!
Fire Henning Now!!!!

dude am i the only one thats sees us running the smae 3 and 2 pass play every game that is yet to succeed...

we are to predictable we run the same thing every game

im not loosing faith yet but if henning doesnt adjust and we keep loosing we shoukld give him the bonamego slip

then again sparano has to take responsibility for the calls after all he is the HEAD coach

no more 2 & 12 runs and 3 & 2 passes please viejo!!

Have fun Home..., Gotta go get some lunch, Peace be with all my phin fans, talk to you all later.

heat start tomorrow...thank god...

enough of this morono/henning/special teams disaster of a useless team

what offensive coordinators will be available? anyone know?

Folks, unless YOU LOST YOUR JOB because of the missed call yesterday, please do not call Salvatore's business and complain. Don't ruin someone's business because of a football game that has no real impact on your life.

Sanchez is flourishing? Uhm actually, his QB rating is right about where Henne's is. Henne is not the problem - far from it in fact - he's actually part of the solution right now. We have millions tied up in running backs that have regressed.

Last year, we were top 5 in rushing for most of the year - we're about 15th now.

Henne is keeping us at a .500 record playing against the 3rd toughest schedule in the NFL right now.

If theyre Hiring I'll sign up!
How many games must we play with this guy calling the plays?
Get him out of here!

Let David Lee call the plays. Henning throwing his team under the bus with his none execution excuse is Bullcrap. Send Henning back to the "Wets".

That would be Steratore, of course. (Can't type when I'm mad.)


You're right on, but you did not go far enough.

The wrong personnel was on the field or that last drive. This is also a problem that happens week in and week out.

If you're going to run the ball, do you want the guy who hasn't gained much yardage on this day, or the other guy (Ricky) who is at least averaging 4.4 yards a carry, and is a better receiver.

Also, did you see Lousaka Polite trying to run off the field because he knew he didn't belong out on the field on 4th down (probably not any down, after all he's not known for his pass catching abilities, right?), yet the coaches pushed him back out there.

Why do you have your fullback on the field in the 2 minute drill at the end of the game? Your fullback who is NOT known for his pass catching abilities.

Wouldn't you rather have another wide receiver or tight end on the field?

These are supposedly veteran coaches, yet week in and week out they have the wrong players on the field.

The Dolphins are NOT losing because Henne is not a good QB. They are losing more games because their coaching staff is using the wrong personnel, calling the wrong plays and because they are being out coached every week.

Instead of letting the Big Tuna leave the building, get him to coach this team.

Sureshock, My Black Labrador Retriever could call better plays... Though he is a smart dog, not quite a "Wolf", but from the same family...

Bla Bla Bla

This team is "They are who we thought they were" for the realistic fan

1) Bad Special Teams
2) Playcalling circa Wanny Era
3) Fist Pumping Coach, who's 2 minute offense is a joke
4) Still giving up the Bomb TD every game
5) Ronnie Brown is playing his last year with the fins. Get ready to add a rookie RB
6) Still havent found starting CB duo. Discarded Slot CB who was great = Nate Jones
7) QB draw is the go to on 3rd and goal against Fins.

Year 3 and still same problems. No adjustment.

Playoffs? You lost 3 home games against Direct rivals. Jets and Pats make the Playoffs either with Division win and Wildcard. Pittsburg or Ravens Win the other division and Wildcard.

Cuban, please feel free to direct your D.A. comments to those who enjoy childish commentary.

I don't need to read your comments to know it's an L. It's a shame to see fellow Dolphins still clinging to hope that they will still amount to anything this season.

lol @ TommyS
Only on second brew
Know Sam Adams is a little stronger but gonna take at least 4 just to impaired and bout 7 or 8 to be lil drunk

Point is TommyS
Pennington is NOT going back in
He is emergency QB that can manage a game

Keep it real, most of his throws are short or "quack" "quack" duck throws
He has played 13 years with 3 major shoulder surgeries

Henne is much better than U think
every week Henne gets better with chemistry

Receivers have to get open
and morons like Ronnie Brown yesterday have to turn around when blitz is coming and he is going out for pass out of the backfield

Believe Henne was 10-10 at one point yesterday in 2nd half

U sound real ignorant

maybe u should follow another team

Henne is our Franchise QB
anything else is ridiculous

zaphod, what i call it is a bunch of bullshyt from someone GUESSING what MIGHT have happened. Again, all your doing is giving cover to a Referee who made the worst call ive ever seen in a football game instead of e-mailing and calling this guy and making his life as miserable as he made ours. Leave yout BS Analytical Assesment out of it, OR since your so smart maybe you could have figured out since the Steelers already had 2 ST turnovers they would have fumbled on the punt, we would have recovered and game woulda then been over. Its the same odds, if not better then your scenario cause it already happened TWICE.

lmao @Menace

Gruden and Mariucci are available right now. For the right price of course.

lmao aint that the truth cube! lol

Which is better:

Sunglass Man or Fist Pumper Man

jefferson, blow it out your ass. I will call this guys business all i want, whenever i want. I consider the amount i pay for season tickets and merchandise flushed down the toilet beacause of some BIASED Referee to be worth something. He deserves EVERY BIT of pain and misery he gets. And im gonna help give it to him

No comments on the defensive play calling? Steelers deep in their own territory, 3rd and 9 and we rush only 3?! Our coverage is that inspiring? Where's the blitzing pressure defense that Nolan's supposed to bring?

what about the 4th qtr, when we needed less then a yard & we punt. how about the 3rd & short, where we call a slow-developing run play ? when are we going to play aggressive , game-winning football ? we need a younger pass-happy OC who can run the ball out of a spread-offense. give R&R better opportunities to be successful

Dolphins should have went for the kill
Right outta the gate after KO turnover
and second turnover

Henning handcuffed Henne on these series of downs
and was happy not turning it over and getting field goals

end of story

DC Dolfan! Hey, if and when you read this, PLEASE do me a favor and e-mail me at fforganizer@yahoo.com The stuff I've seen which you have written is very well thought out, respectful, etc etc. Myself and a number of other Dolphins fans are in a keeper Fantasy Football league with an extremely well-known, national sports writer, and a spot just opened up in our league. We are looking for a guy who is a Fin fan among other things, and you seem to fit the bill. Would you mind dropping me a line? Thanks!

So our most prolific scorer to date is Dan Carpenter?
If I was Carpenter, I would do two things:
1. Negotiate for a new contract
2. Learn to kick 60 yards away since Henning is calling the shots.

I want to call the plays!

Note to MANDY (Since english is clearly not your first language)

"But what seemingly we continually relive with these Dolphins..."

Should be:

"But what we continue to relive with the Dolphins..."

That's much cleaner and to the point...your statement is confusing and unnecessary.

bobbyd12 is right
Ref took payoff

Tried to cheat us by giving away TD
that did not work because of replay

and then took obvious fumble recovery away

4-2 was in the bag

Instead the scumbag corrupt Ref took the bag(of money)

sean smith needs to get his crap together if not he is taking up roster space

and we need another tightend we dont utilize them enough like people do on us

and we need to draft a good running back maybe qb just incase

and our oc might not even make it through the year

Was nice to see Fields punt for 66 YDs and then ST hit him once, couldn`t shake it and then was finished off by 2nd wave

Sad part is
This was actually a highlight LMAO!

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