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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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phins2112 Ah, inane rants. I'm not ranting...unfortunately, you simpleton, the NFL is a QB and an offensive driven league. In case you haven't realized, it's been that way the past, say, 10 years. They rules have been changed to favor the offense. The rules have changed because the NFL wants the offenses to score and produce points to make for a more exciting product on the field. Miami doesn't seem to get it and neither do you. Most people blame or laud the QB's and rightfully so.


@ALoco I can milk a goat very well thank you. But what does that have to do with anything?

That is what I want to see. Let me ask you this, if Big ben had gotten the ball back with 2 and a half minutes needing a field goal to win, do you think he would have done it? I would have been amazed if he didn't

Dipshiet, I mean TommyS
Ben had the ball with 3 minutes left
and he fumbled the F`kn ball on the 1 yard line

Did U watch the game, Dipshiet?

Now Shine Them Shoes!
Home want his shoes to look like mirrors!

oh fin, you know the goat w/beard ?


You're going to call someone an idiot and praise Pennington?

The last time Pennington won ANYTHING was a decade and three shoulder surgeries ago.

How Fuking dumb are you? Homes sheet face drunk apparently has more smart than your stone cold sober dumb a s s!

OhFinFuck, I'm sure you know so much more than all the coaches, pundits and everyday fans.

I guess your retarded ego makes you the Dan Henning of dumb F U C K fans.

Comparing Brady's stats on a night the special teams had a meltdown, or the Raiders stats for an anomaly they haven't seen in 3 decades.

Get a life you f u c k i n g looser!!!!

Home, your a ph`king riot!
Teach the boys, man!
Teach the boys!

Even though they say B marsh was double covered both those red zone tries they have figure out a way to get the ball to him. It seems like they play not to lose on offense. If we're ahead we are really conservative then we open it up after we fall behind. I'm not sure if its henning or sparano. but I'd start with henning.

U believe this sheet?

Time for Sam Adams #4 or Is It #5

Who cares?
It`s cold & I`m, Home drinking brews

@odinseye I have a life as I'm typing and reading and breathing and metabolizing, etc. That being said, it's not that I know better. None of us know better than the coaches, etc. But that's what makes it fun. We are all 'Monday Morning Quarterbacks'. I made the point about Brady to shut every idiot up who keeps reciting Henne's stats. I don't care about his stats. I care that he has let his team to 9 touchdowns all year and never more than 2 in any one game. In fact, he has let his team to 5 touchdowns at home. He's a mental patient. I think he was lobotomized or something like that.

ohfinfan, How can you bring up Brees in an argument about Hennes progress? He sat for four years and then was traded by San Diego because they didn't think he had the right stuff! And now you want to discard Henne after he's only played a little over one season? He didn't even start until week 5 last year and is getting better every week yet you want to get rid of him? And do what start over with an unproven rookie because in your mind that will go quicker than sticking with a growing qb?

And you talk about the critics loving Leaf, Russell and others?! That was before they played one down in the NFL! I'm talking about a kid who has played 17 NFL games that is being talked about as the real deal.

And this is what you said "I'm sick and tired of hearing that Henne is a young QB. Give him time to develop. Tell that to Joe Flacco! Or Ryan Leaf. Or Mark Sanchez"!

Does it make sense to compare a QB who plays for a title contending team to a qb who plays for a 9-7 team? THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAME TALENT AROUND THEM YET HENNES NUMBERS ARE THE SAME! What aren't you understanding?


I can tell the brews are kicking in. No sense to what you say but just add some four letter adjectives and it suddenly makes you smart. Maybe you passed out before the game was over. Pittsburg needed 3 points to win and they got it! Oh, are you going to say but the ref blew the call? They got the field goal and guess who got them down there to kick it? Guess who didn't get the Dolphins down there to kick it? I'd say you must be already toasted unless you are just brain damaged.

(( ANCORA )) IS the best looking goat .they get MOHAIR out of him .he's so cute

Henning still handcuffing Henne. PLEASE STOP PLAYING NOT TO LOSE!! Let him hook-up with Marshall in the red zone. The coach and OC have this mentality that as long as we don't make mistakes, pound the ball, the Fins can win every game- not against elite teams like Pitt. We need touchdowns, not field goals. At least one TD from those two Pitt turnovers. We still can win the game at the end with our play makers...where is Marshall and Bess? So frustrating! That was Miami's game, but our OC's conservative game planning loses another one for the Fins. We should be 5 and 1.

Not one person in the NFL is blaming Henne for the Miami Dolphins 3-3 record so who are "most people"? You see intelligent football fans realize that this is a team sport that relies on whole units, not one player to make you great. It doesn't matter what you think dummy you know why? Because you are in the EXTREME minority in your opinion. It's like you and the guy eho lives in his moms basement screaming about Henne when everyone else is talking about the REAL problems this team has. Now go j**k o*f to your Marino poster and call it a day. You can't match wits with me.

phins2112 I understand that Henne is the type of quarterback that must have the best supporting cast around him in order to be effective. Oh wait, he has a very good supporting cast and still isn't effective. You'll see...mark my words...Henne will prove to set this franchise back even farther if they stick with him. He's Alex Smith all over again. A serviceable QB that will never be great. Now, if Miami gets a championship type Defense like the Ravens did with Dilfer, then Miami might win despite Henne...

HOME!!!!! That was pricelss! This guy just keeps digging himself deeper. "Would Ben have done it" He fumbled the ball you moron! hahahahaha priceless.

jrljr2 ,
How many of your so called experts are coaches, last I heard Gruden loves the Phins. Maybe you're talking about Dierdorf who played 120 years ago or Phil Sims a marginal QB at best. Just because some so called commentator says anything doesnt mean anything - did they break down film? Have they called games? All you guys talk about is we should have gone to Marshall. Marshall was double and triple teamed all day. Go to Marshall fine - tell me how....what formation, what down and distance, into what coverage, and where do we go when he's covered. Exactly...sit at home watch commentators and then pretend like you know anything.

Marino called out Henne for not being able to throw an endzone fade pass. Henning called the play that Henne misfired on to Marshall. The announcer said that the ball was not thrown well. Henne can't lead his team down the field to win a game like other QB's. That is one mark of a great QB and we know all to well...the proof is in the pudding...that Henne can't do that with any consistency. I reference the Jets and Steelers games as proof.


The truth is, they aren't going to make a change from Henne. They have committed to him and they are stuck with him. If he doesn't get better, this coaching staff will be gone. They have chosen to go with Henne and will probably end up with an 8-8 year. That will be enough for Sporano to stay, but next year, no playoffs and he is gone. My point is, I believe Pennington gives them a better chance to win now and can execute Hennings game plan better. If Henning goes at the end of the year, then that is another story.

End of the game Dolphins r up
Steelers r down at the goal line
most crucial part of the game

NFL has 64 cameras running for the game


every guy with a wig on his head or paint on his face in the stands they 14 NFL camera angles of?

Home was counting the nose hairs on Dolphin players sitting on the bench on sportcenter NFL cameras today

Think I saw all the way up in one of the cheerleaders colons(yeah she was healthy, whats your point)


ONE camera angle ???

Conspiracy Theory or
F`king Lying,Cheating,Stealing CORRUPT NFL ???

Home Wants To Know!

Jim Crash Jensen is SPOT on here. We keep playing not to lose games .... That last drive where we kicked the go ahead field goal. Did not everyone see that Henning's play calls were exactly for us to kick a field goal and not score a touchdown? It was gross to watch. It makes my stomach turn watching every pass play where Henne has excellent pass protection and he throws a 5 yard out. Henning is 70 years old and there has to be some young offensive coordinators out there. Time for this ultra conservative mentality to go. We will never compete as a playoff team with this offense. Look at Kansas City this year with Charlie Weis. Oh and GET A SERIOUS NUMBER 2 RECEIVER PLEASE.

Okay ohfinfan go ahead and give up on Henne, that's your choice. It's just a bit short sighted in my opinion. You're not looking at the big picture. Also telling us not to look at stats while relying on football statistics to make your argument doesn't help your cause.

Actually I would have to drive up to Frisco moron, but us LA people stay out of that place because it's a hangout for people like your Dad and his pole smoking buddies

Tommy S. you must not have been a fan of the Dolphins when Pennington took them to the playoffs and the Ravens exposed his weakness? Meaning with Penny we will never be able to beat the elite teams, can't even come close.

@TommyS That is exactly what I have been saying. Henne does not fit with this system, apparently. If he did, Miami would get the ball down the field more. Don't you tire of watching highlights of teams throwing the ball down the field and don't you wonder why Miami never does it? Think of EVERY long pass Henne has thrown this year....EVERY ONE OF THEM HAS BEEN EITHER OVERTHROWN OR UNDER THROWN! He never hits a receiver in stride and let's that receiver break it for a TD. In the Minnesota game, on the first play, if he hit's Marshall in stride it's a TD!

Ever notice Sparano always defends certain players to the hilt and NEVER defends Henne?

I saw Pitts coach actually fist-bump Big ben on the sideline. A little camaraderie? A little I got your back confidence?

They don't believe in Henne. The have him playing scared, game manager check-down crap. We will never know what this guy is?

Go (perennial next years)AKA Phins!

I love Henne!

Hennes the best and will prove it next season!

Henne is not the problem it's the ultra conservative play calling

Hennes getting better every week. Why give up on a player who is improving and go with a player who is old and has no arm? Henne is the man

Tommy Boy,
First of all our HC is in his 3rd year
His name is not Sporano(think that is a mold culture during the incipient stage of development)

His name is S P A R A N O

Try to understand
Pennington is pretty much retired
He is a "break the glass if an emergency QB"

Kosar and Marino r not coming back either
U get that, Huh?

Now listen
TommyS stop embarrassing yourself and ...

Save Your Breathe, For Your Inflatable Date!

Wow look at all the Henne lovers. See, I can play that game too ;) But like I said, it doesn't matter what two people think when there are thousands who think differently. You can run around screaming in blogs every where that the sky is green but you're the only one who believes it.

@phins2112 The only stats that I quote are the stats that matter...wins and losses. The last I heard, scoring TD's is a great way to get wins. Marino said that he was most proud of his 420 TD's because it helped his teams get wins. Wins matter. Brady gets wins. Manning gets wins. That's what matters. This team has taken a step back in the rebuilding process...that's a problem. By year three we should have been playoff material and we are not. Rex Ryan didn't inherit a Super Bowl caliber team, yet in two years they are one. In 2007, the Jets were 4 - 12. In 2008 with Favre they were 9-7. Ryan takes over and within two years they are the talk of the NFL and rightfully so, as much as it pains me to say it. The Jets are built to win for a long time, much like the Patriots have been. Are the Dolphins? Nope. Face it...we are a mediocre team with a mediocre QB. Scoreboard!!!


"Priceless" until you stop and realize, oh Ben did lead his team down and beat the Dolphins. You guys don't get it. Just quote stats and coulda's and woulda's that should do it. Sure Ben fumbled, but he got his team to the one and then a correct interpretation by the way the poor rule is written, got his team the victory. You guys are dumbasses. Facts are Facts.

On Ronnie and Ricky...

Running back is a rhythm position for both the RB and the O-line.

R&R are two totally different backs to block for. Ronnie likes to set up the blocking and get a feel for the play. Ricky is quick to the read and hits the hole. Both can be effective including Ronnie, but there is no consistency in the rotation.

Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

Hey Henne haters explain this one. The offense is the SAME EXACT OFFENSE that they ran under Pennington. So are you saying they were scared of what Penny would do as well as Henne and then asking them to start Penny instead? You people have lost your marbles.

Okay ohfinfan go ahead and give up on Henne, that's your choice. It's just a bit short sighted in my opinion. You're not looking at the big picture. Also telling us not to look at stats while relying on football statistics to make your argument doesn't help your cause.

Posted by: phins2112 | October 25, 2010 at 05:43 PM


Armando - any sign internally that the play calling is seriously lacking? Us fans are all full of opinions, but at some point doesn't someone internally hear the calls for change in play calling? It is horrendous!

Change has to come before we can win - I don't mind Saprano, except I could do without the fist pumpin for FG's - I knew as soon as we kicked that and he started fist pumping, we were going to lose.

Last concern - I have called the darn QB draw both times this year when it has cost us. Why can a professional coach not recognize that when the offense spreads you out inside the 5, the QB DRAW is coming!!! Wow.

WOW Henne throws to Bess (playmaker) and TD!

Next Red Zone visits...

Too risky to try Marshall, Hartline, Bess, Fasano for a 20+ pass play.

NO! Better call that Stupid pass in the backfield or check down to Polite, Brown, Williams to await decapitation!

Go (perennial next years) Phins!

Benny moved the ball down the field and

Same thing as throwing an INT on the 1 YD line, a turnover

Now one again TommyS

Save your breathe, for your INFLATABLE date!

@phins2112 The coaching staff played to Pennington's strengths. Don't you think that they would play to Henne's strengths if he had them. If he was smart with that big arm, don't you think that the ball would be thrown down the field more? Don't you. They MUST KNOW SOMETHING THAT WE DON'T....HENCE THE WAY THEY COACH THE GAME. You misunderstand me...I don't think that Pennington is a great QB at this stage in his career...I think that the way Miami is being coached, that he would be the better fit. The coaches know that Henne is an imbecile but they have already wasted like 30 2nd round draft picks and they can't admit another failure. That's the most realistic answer as to why the idiot is starting.

LA Queen,

Have you ever heard of a drag route? No I'm not talking about the route you take to frisco.

If Henning wasn't playing for field goals and wishing he could run every down, he could try some pick routes duh. Clear out routes, amazing!

There's a multitude of ways to beat double coverage IF your OC is smart enough. Seeing how you're dummer in Hennings himself, I'm sure you don't understand...............

South Florida sports radio WQAM
google it

link to listen live
in a couple minutes Ricky Williams & other talking live

Matt D...

They don't see a problem with the play-calling.

The "Company Line" is EXECUTION!

They always call the right play it is the players that don't execute. Sparano and Henning's response week in and week out.

Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

Henne misses wide open receivers down the field. That seems to be the consensus of many experts. He panics. Do you think Henning wanted Mr. Imbecile to throw to Polite? I agree that Polite should not have been in there. Henne is an immobile robot. We would be better served with C3PO at QB.

Do you all forget you're talking about playing against the No. 1 defense in the NFL.

I think henne can win in this league. I thought he played with a lot more confidance in that game compared to the game against the pats. They have to take their shots down field and they are not. We didn't take a single shot in the endzone after those turnovers. that has to change.

LA Queen,

As far as you knowing the way to Frisco and me not, nuff said.............Drag Queen wanna be.

Getting nother cold one & listen to WQAM Dr. Ricky Williams while blogging here with the sheeple

BoulderFinFan You know that Henne could actually audible and throw the ball down the field, don't you? Well, he can't because he's an immobile idiotic imbecile.

And there's nothing wrong with San Francisco. It's a fabulous city. So is Columbus, Ohio.

TommyS, OhFinFuck and LA Queen,

If you guys are so ignorant you can't see that our offensives problems lie with the OC rather than the personal, there's no point in trying to teach you dumb a s s e s anything.

What else can any of us do, except call you expletives.

Dumb a s s, Dumb f u c k s, Dumb s h i t, they all fit.

Sid is pointing to the obvious that Ricky is playing better than the dancer,Ronnie
Ricky says Henning is forcing Henne to play "safe football"

C3PO might be better if the one pushing the remote control pressed better buttons and showed some confidence in him.

I watch a lot of Football and a lot of QBs are throwing pics and missing on throws. A lot of the so-called good ones.

The difference is most of them are getting support from the coaching staff. If your name Isn't Payton, Brady, Rivers and maybe a couple of more you are Henne. Only with some coaching support maybe.

He plays stiff because he is coached not to fail and turn the ball over.

Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

Man the Henne bashers are freakin hilarious. I watch this kid and see improvement. He has some flaws sure. He does need to learn to have a quicker release and that may be affecting his redzone performance to a degree. However, the play calling is predictably atrocious or atrociously predictable take your pick.

I concur that Henning is better suited to utilize a quarterback like CP10 in his system. But Hennings system also relies on a power running game and our interior OLine is not as good in the run as it was last year with Grove, Smiley and Thomas. BUT---- a good OC would have seen this in the first couple of games and adjusted his playbook to the strength of the team.

Let's face it. Our strengths are in the passing game-we get good pass protection and have some good receivers. Why is Henning trying to build the offense around a power attack when that is not currently our strength?

I bet even IF we had another WR that stretched the field it wouldn't matter because Henning would still call underneath routes as the hot receiver. The long routes by any of our receivers are basically decoys and no one bites on them because we never throw to them.

So, we can fix the red zone issues and Henne can work on his release and decision making but if ol Danny boy doesn't call the right plays then it won't matter.

Ricky talking bout fumble
and says,"Call IS BULL!"

Ricky says call does not make sense!


Ricky said he had plenty of time to get in field goal range & win game but others on the Dolphins were complaining bout the BULLSHIET call and not focused

i wish we had a coach that plays to win...

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