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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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@odinseye I'm telling you...you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shyte. Henning knows that Henne is an immobile idiotic imbecile so he calls the game the way he has to, to hide the idiot.



WOW, A lot of D.As out here tonight, come on folks, admit your problem, then we can all heal....

Henne will be the downfall of this organization because they will tie their reigns to him hoping he can lead us to the promised land. Hopefully we'll fully implode and we'll finish 5-11 and Sparano is fired and we get Bill Cowher. The way Sparano sticks with Henne reminds me of Wannstedt and Fiedler!!! Wanny only turned on Fiedler when he realized his job was at stake. Sparano must think he has job security!

How many screen passes for no gain are they required to call each game?

Dolphin players r at their yearly Halloween party @ the signature Grande and yes they r in full costume
and partying (like Home)
This is where Ricky is live
everyone waiting on team crazy man Crowder to see his costume
Ricky says,"Channing will probably show up in a skirt"

So there u go TommyS
Now there is two of U


Why I don't believe anyone on this site wanting to replace the QB is because the last QB many posters wanted to replace him with is...Pat White. No, really, that's it, that's the joke.

So anyone who wants to replace a 2nd-year (truly, if you count playing time) QB, who went basically .500 up until now, with a team in the middle of being restructured, who last year had no great offensive WR threat, at this point, has basically the "football" mental heft of Helium. That means they're idiots.

You put Chad Henne in NE offense, I think he does as good or better than Cassel (who looked All-Pro in that offense, and now looks average if getting better). OFFENSES determine how good a young QB is, NOT the other way around, UNLESS they are an elite QB (which I agree, Henne is not). But you don't have to have an elite QB to win in this league or to go to the SuperBowl, you just need an effective QB who doesn't make mistakes. And forgive me for my stating the obvious, but Henne didn't make too many mistakes in that game. Yes, a missed opportunity here, poor throw there, failed to make a read maybe once or twice. AND? Watch Tony Romo, he does that every game, ALL game. Watch Brett Favre, how many INTs has he had in his career. But if you only give a guy a few chances to bank on, and he misses a couple, that's only one or two chances to turn it around. But if you give a guy loads of chances, and he misses a couple, and maybe throws some INTs, he STILL HAS PLENTY OF CHANCES TO CHANGE THINGS AROUND!

Give Henne an OC who trusts him, and allows him to play football, and actually...wait for it...TRY TO SCORE AND WIN THE GAME, then my bet is Henne does better more than worse.

AND UNTIL I see Henne given THOSE chances, I'd rather see anyone else on the team go than him.

Now please continue with your silly "dump Henne" conversations.

Tweet...ArmandoSalguero Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano on his offense: "We need to score more points. Bottom line."
about 6 hours ago Well NO shyt coach!!! What a revelation, maybe start by having a talk with your OC or replacing him.

First time EVER I agree with everything Home has to say today. His posts are dead on, and NO no one is impostering me. Tgis one is gonna hurt for quite some time

@DC Dolfan Scoreboard. 9 offensive touchdowns in 24 quarters. He can't throw a fade to save his life. He can't seem to read defenses. He panics. Henning knows that he has an immobile, idiotic, imbecile so he has to call the game the way he is calling it. If Henne was great, don't you think Henning would adjust his play calling? Don't you? I'll guarantee the statement that Bill Parcells is disappointed with Henne is absolutely true. This regime has had more hits than misses with draft picks and the biggest misses were Pat White and Chad Henne. Face it!

OJ McDuffie on now says he dressed as a nerd
"offense way too conservative"

defense "terrific, outstanding"

I really think our running game has collapsed....that is a big problem...it now lacks penetration in big moments...I think Henning is looking for it the way it was 2 years ago...but it isnt a shadow of the elite combo it was.Both Ricky and Ronny are getting closer to mediocrity, Ricky through age and Ronnie through various injury issues....thats the problem with the playcalling...also Lex H hasnt shown the next step....and Cobbs is not doing enough either...the runnin g game needs a complete OVERHAUL...

Also, another triple FIST pump from Sparano and il throw up....stop it Tony its cringe material....

All in all not a BAD effort against the best but really while our recievers have improved, our running has gone backwards....all other ares of the game are coming together due to inexperience and youthy...in 3 years we will be formidable....but now...NO CHUNK YARDS...

Ohfinfan13, your 100% WRONG!!! when Henne was given the helm in that 2nd and 3rd quarter you could see the difference. He was looking off the receivers and making nice throws. Henne isnt the problem, the coaching philosophy is the problem. Henne is going to be a good solid QB in the NFL when his leash is removed.

OHFin fan, You saying that Chad(Neck fat)Henne has a lower IQ then table salt or Joey(Duh)Porter??Hard to fathom...

@bobbyd12 When the leash is removed, we'll see Jay Cutler like stats. I guarantee it!

On Pardon the Interruption....An ESPN show Hosted by Tony Kornhieser and Micheal Wilbon.

Rhetorical question posed by Kornhieser..."On a scale of 1-100 how bad did Miami get screwed with that call in the Pitt game"...he then answers A 200.....

I have heard much the same all day long on talk radio, and I live in B'more....anybody with HALF-A-BRAIN KNOWS WE GOT F**%D...


Even non Dolphin football fans can see that...How come the so-called true fans can't


Ricky Williams and Oj Mcduffie have just agreed with my contention on live radio.

Other than gay beret boyfriend, who agrees with your BS?

@Cuban Menace Yes I am. He and Sparano have similar IQ's? You ever read the verbatim transcripts of his pressers? He gets so lost in his words. He clearly has no grasp of simple grammar and sentence structure.

@odinseye I already have a boyfriend and am not looking for another. With what exactly to RW and OJD agree?

OJ McDuffie on WQAM

-Henning, way WAY, WAY too conservative.

-Henning completely handcuffing Henne.

-Refs BLEW the GAME!

@odinseye So your attempts to use gay bashing to bother or annoy me is amusing. I'm a gay man and very proud of it.

Henne had the ball with 2:19 to go and mustered like 6 yards. Yeah, way to go Henne. You are the big time. You are a clutch QB! He's they guy I want behind center leading a 2 minute drill.

Odin u get that all the way up there lol

Good man, good

Wish Home was up there for deer & ski season
No more than 10 days at a time though

Below 55 degrees is cold for me

next week
We can shut off The AC
and open windows

In Dec - Feb have to close the windows maybe run a little heat for a couple weeks

Always figured if the ground freezes ... time to go!

Also, don't forget the third and one where we tried a slow delaying type run instead of a straight on smash em up play or even a QB sneak. That was a critical point of the game as well. What was Brown doing in the game anyway on the last drive? Williams had been the more effective of the two--and picked up some nice blitzes. Where was Marshall the second half? Not saying it was his fault, but there has to be some formations run to get him open or try a few bombs deep and let him make a play.

Once again, we are showing we are not in the same realm of the Steelers, Ravens, Jets, Pats, Colts, and arguably the Titans or Texans. Our three wins are against the woeful Bills, a Vikings squad with a QB that is banged up and rusty, and against a Packers team that is severely injured. Each of those game were close and could have gone either way. We will lose two of the next three. Cowher or Gruden, anyone?

@odinseye So your attempts to use gay bashing to bother or annoy me is amusing. I'm a gay man and very proud of it.

Posted by: OhFinFan13 | October 25, 2010 at 06:35 PM

Is that you, NJPHINGAY?
Proud you finally came out, girl!

Everyone is acting like the coaches are handcuffing Henne? Poor Henne...whey if the handcuffs were off he could have Marino like stats...5,084 yards and 48 TD's. But those big bad mean coaches are too dumb to realize Henne's potential, I guess. Or maybe they do realize his potential? Maybe they do which is why the games are being played close to the vest like they are. Just don't lose the game Henne...don't have game killing interceptions like you did vs. the Patriots. Throw accurate fade passes to Marshall in the end zone vs. the Jets and Steelers. Oh wait, you didn't throw accurate passes. We suck because we have a QB that can't direct this team to TD's.

That's the way the ball bounces, in this case, literally. Go on.

OhFin, Wow. I thought I was the only one that thought that Chad(Fat neck) Henne was the forrest gump of the offense(Except he cant run like him)


You being a F A G G O T A S S BUSTING DICKLICKER doesn't bother me at all, honestly.

On the other hand You being and extremely ignorant waste of a football fan bothers me to no end!!!!


I never listened before you mentioned it today.

Thanks, I'm diggin it!

Oh, and tell Marino, to go suck a thumb.

If the Dolphins are gonna lose, let it be because the other team beat them. Too many times this season the Dolphins have beaten themselves with idiotic mistakes, costly turnovers, and horrific play calling. Yes, the refs screwed the Dolphins yesterday, but the Dolphins didn't help their cause by screwing themselves in the process.

The problem is Dan Henning and his overblown ego! He thinks he's an Offensive Genius and no one can tell him any different! He was NOT prepared for what happened Sunday. He believed that his team could run on the Steelers and he scripted plays to that effect. Down and distance be damned! No matter that the first series started at their end of the field. He'd scripted run plays and that's what he dialed up! Run, Run, Pass! Just like he and the head coach talked about all week. Got too many pass plays? Then, gotta call some runs. Gotta even everything out. Gotta be 50-50. Just like last week. It doesn't matter where you start on the field. It doesn't matter what down it is. Gonna go by the script. The script was drafted by an Offensive Genius and approved by the most fist pumpingest head coach in the league. Gonna feed the wolf! No matter your running back is dancing in the backfield because you forgot to draw up a play that actually opens up a hole for him to run through. It was a genius plan. Stupid players just can't execute! Stupid players. Genius coaches! Don't need to plan for anything different or special. Don't they know you've already scripted this game? Follow the script. Stupid players! Genius coaches!

I am starting to despise Henning's play calling. Wild Cat this and that. And now he teaches Henne to stare his receiver out of the backfield right into an interception. On the first play, I am screaming flea flicker. They ain't gonna be ready for that. Dumb dumb dumb, establish the run. The run will establish the run if the run is going to be established. You don't tell the opposing defence what you are going to do. That wasn't Buffalo. It was one of the best teams in the NFL we should have beat. And that ref sucks and I don't care what his college ass explanation is for his bs call. I don't need the encyclopedia read to me. Make the call, how hard is it. He was too busy cheering the td to look at wtf was going on on the field. I think in South America they shoot refs for dumbest calls of all time. The NFL network should put on a dumbest calls of all time hour show or maybe 2 hour show.

Henne is doing just fine.Does he need improvement?Of course he does.You guys begging for Pennington need to realize that he won 11 games against a weak schedule.Henne has had to play against a lot tougher schedule and he's held his own.
This team is set up to compete against the big boys in the league and we are well on our way to taking over the division.....soon.
Be patient and get ready to say "I told you so" when we are at the top.

Odin, How many Villages and Hamlets absorbed your wrath yesterday???

@odinseye Waste of a football fan? Interesting...how does one actually be a 'waste of a football fan'? Is it a person that spends his hard earned money on the team he has been watching for a long time? Is it a person that gets upset because the team he follows has been mediocre at best for the better part of a decade? Is it because he lives in America and is entitled to his opinion? Tell me, oh great Odin, father of Thor. What is a 'waste of a football fan?' Enlighten me, please!

@beerndrums The Jets got there faster than we did.

uhho, Now youve done it Ohfin, You mentioned the JETS....

Oj Mc Duffy's Toe says...

Dolphins still suck since I left? WTF!

Feed the Wolf! SCRATCH THAT Feed the Goal Post!

Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

Ohio,yeah the Jets got there faster but if they don't win it all this year,then what.If they don't win the SB this year

You might be the biggest moron on this board...drags, pick routes, clear out routes only work against Man coverage idiot. The Steelers are a predominately Zone coverage team...Against Marshall they had Trail Technique Corners, Safties over the top half, and LBs playing the pass lanes. Did you actually think that the Phins paid Marshall 45 Million and they just forgot to call plays for him. Seriously, are you kidding me? That's the best point you have? You are just another poser, want to be, who thinks he knows everything when in reality you can only dream you could be any kind of coach. Stick to making wheelchairs for the handicapped so your mother can come clean my house...then she can shine my pole. It will be good for her, I mean your Dad's busy in Frisco playing with sausages. Hey when I send your mother back, have your daughter come by...I got enough to go around.

henning has to go, but i think the entire staff should go. scary to see cincys passing attack vs us. we better score alot vs cincy to win

Reading over the transcript of Coach Sparano's last press conference, I realized that..the man is all football, people, all those apparent incoherences are..football jargon, people. Amazing!

Sparano and Henning needed Fantasy points...

Therefore they ordered the Kicker to win it for them 16 pts!

Big end of the year BBQ for Sparano and Henning!

Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

LA Guy! You go Bouyyy! LMAO!

Cuban Menace I don't use that term lightly. I hate even typing it and won't do that again. From now on, they're the Team That Must Not Be Named.

I got cut off......If the Jets don't win it all this year,it will be a complete failure for their organization.They are doing what the Yankees and Red Sox do EVERY year......sign the best possible players available and win it all.I guarantee you the Jets will not win the SB this season.I promise you,it won't happen.


Just one, seriously.

I didn't smash anything, I didn't stomp nothing and I only shoved one guy off of a bar stool.

Honest story. My Favorite Hottie was so proud, she high fived me and said, well at least nobody called the Cops.....this time!

OhFin, Yes, lets not bastardize this blog with Blasphemy....

F- the steelers!
F- the refs!
F- Henning!!!!
F- Henning!!!!
Fire Henning!!!! NOW!!!

Now say 10 "Hail Shula's".......

Odin,I know you aint letting that one go by.



Go (perennial next years) AKA Phins!

Finally, some intelligent comments. I predicted this game pretty much spot on just about down to the score. Check out my prior and only posting. OK, I was wrong, I predicted us having 3 injuries not them. I underestimated the fish and for that I apologize to my team. Some points, try to follow, please...don't make me come in here...
1. We were 1-15 should have been 0-16. Not good. We had problems. We hire a 'guru'. Regardless of whether you like the guy or not, he had a 'track record' and that is legit. He knows the only way to win is to start with the trenches...a big, strong, disciplined, no-nonsense, high character (don't spout off especially against teammates and coaches). That is what tuna is good at doing, and the coaches he hired are good at doing. This is what you don't get with that...a. speed (goes contrary to 'size' why do you think we injure everybody we play with) 2. playing outside the 'system' (if it's not there, no play...no play extension at all...no pitch/catch like Brady, Peyton, Brees, Ben, and yuck, even Marky Mark is beginning to get it) 3. No leadership (oh, we have the players, the talent, it's there now...but nobody has taken leadership of this team...nobody tells anybody where to stand...that's why they all stand around and watch a qb sneak for a td...nobody wants to 'ruffle' any feathers...that's what you get with the management team we have in place. Now, there are positives, they've added enormous amounts of talent. There's nobody that can convince me that we have 'less talent' than NE, Pitt, NYJ, and a LOT of other teams. To test it, put yourself in a GM position, or play fantasy, name a NE receiver that you would take before taking EITHER Marshall or Bess (you might say Welker...not the same Welker now...maybe I do take Welker in his prime with Moss as help, but I don't take Moss over Beast). Ask any qb if they'd like our wides. OK Hartline is above average and not to the level of the other two. Running back...who would you take in our division other than Ricky Ronnie...maybe LT?...maybe. Not the same LT. What about Oline...I'll stack up our guys against anybody in our division. Jake is flat out the best lineman in division bar none. Get my point...they've done the job, they've added talent, even with all the 'misses' (hate to say it but Odrick is on my watch list...can you imagine a JPP opposite Wake). Point made. Same parallels could be drawn on defense. Some hints to Coaching staff, with all respect because I know you see the players every day...
1. You need to change your philosophy somewhat...not throw it all out...just evolve. All great staffs do. Shula changed three or four times.
2. Would it kill us to be more creative on offense. Trust the kid. Teach the kid to play pitch/catch...you have the talent now. The kid can do the job...you picked him, trust him. Get him the help he needs.
3. If you are going to run the ball on third and one, try this, like NE, use 4 wides, then give it to polite or ronnie/ricky. Be smart about running. You're not going to overpower smart defensive flexible teams like the top ten.
4. Thank you for retiring the wildcat. Guess what, bring it back, but with somebody that can throw the ball, later.
5. Get some speed, next year, that's what's wrong with special teams, they're trying, but they can't catch anybody. Approach special teams like what they are...a TEAM...a SPECIALty. Recruit for it...I know you've tried, but you've tried getting other's waste product. Try recruiting, drafting, and paying up for it...it's worth it.
6. Try this...try reversing yourself, even if just for one game. Try passing first, and I mean all the way, short, long, the works...go no huddle, the kid can do it...just let him develop a rythm and confidence. Hate t osay it, but like the ff in NY does with Marky Mark.
Love ya fins...I know Coaches, you're not finished yet...I know the last thing you're getting on your shopping list is speed, etc., but don't get yourselves fired by having an underachieving team...you've done the hard part, now do the easy part.

Odin, Woulda figured anyone within a 40 mile Radius would have felt the wrath... You must be mellowing....

@odinseye You said this: You being a F A G G O T A S S BUSTING DICKLICKER doesn't bother me at all, honestly.

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

THISAINTCOLLEGEBALLSON...that's exactly what I was trying to say.Good job.


Buy the man a Beer!

Oh Snap, You go OHfin, you stick to your guns...

Armando is gonna be writing us a thank you note for all of the participation on his blog.

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