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About the good defense and frustrating offense

CINCINNATI -- The calendar has flipped to November. Awesome! This means the weather is getting colder and the NFL is getting hotter.

And because we have reached to point in the season when we start to look at the potential playoff contenders, because this is the time of year teams begin to separate relevant from not, this is also the time of year standards have to rise if one's team is going to be part of the relevant contender crowd.

The Dolphins believe themselves to be in the contender crowd. So I am holding them to a higher standard now because I want them to make the playoffs and be relevant.

And that is why I wrote what could be described as a column with a critical view following Sunday's victory over the Bengals.

I didn't celebrate the wonderfulness of a fourth road victory in four outings because, frankly, with the exception of the Green Bay game, I don't think that record has a lot to do with being exceedingly great on the road. I believe the Dolphins have an 0-3 record at home because they've played their three toughest games -- New York, New England, Pittsburgh -- at home. I believe they have 4-0 record on the road because, other than Green Bay, the teams Miami has beaten are terrible -- wherever they find themselves playing.

Buffalo, Minnesota and Cincinnati are terrible. They have a combined record of 4-17. They are what their record says they are, as Bill Parcells once famously said.

So I dismiss the road warrior myth. If the Dolphins can go on the roard and win 2 of 3 against Baltimore, New York and New England, I will be the first applauding their prowess on the road. Until then ... we should take those victories, with the exception of the outstanding Green Bay win, with a grain of salt.

I am not too comfortable being critical of a team after a victory. It's a victory!

But as I write in the column, a victory over a collapsing Cincinnati team isn't the goal this year. The playoffs are the goal this year. And the production the Dolphins are getting from their offense this year is troubling. One of the most troubling aspects of that not-good-enough production is this team cannot find Brandon Marshall in the end zone.

Marshall has caught one touchdown pass this year. One.

The excuse, er, reason the Dolphins give for not getting him the ball enough in the end zone is that teams are bracketing him with double coverage. Whatever. I asked Marshall if this is any different than what happened in the past. Read the column to see his answer, please.

The last three years Marshall has scored 23 touchdowns. That's an average of nearly 8 TDs per year. He has one now. Something has to get corrected to increase that number. Something has to get corrected so that Miami's best offensive weapon is getting the ball when the Dolphins are in the red zone.

Now, I must tell you some members of the Dolphins knew where I was going with today's column before I wrote it. And one astute member of the organization asked that I at least balance it with the fact the defense is playing very well. My balance was probably not good enough. I mentioned that Miami's defense is playoff caliber. Anyone disagree with that?

But let me add some more here: Mike Nolan's unit spent all of last week practicing against the no-huddle because the Bengals showed it against Baltimore the week before. Practices actually ended early last week because of that work against the no-huddle, which is kind of a hurry-up attack. Well, the Bengals came out with the no-huddle and shredded Miami on the first drive.

Then Nolan adjusted. He benched Jason Allen. He didn't have Allen share time with Sean Smith as was the plan. He put Allen's hind quarters on the bench and let him go play special teams while he searched for a more effective player on that day.

Don't you wish the offensive approach was similar? How many times has Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams been the hot running back, but offensive coaches stubbornly stick with their platoon plan and give an almost equal share of carries to the tepid as well as hot runner?

Nolan and his coaches basically discarded the plan to share snaps between Allen and Smith and went with Smith. It paid off as Smith had good coverage much of the day and even turned in his first career interception.

The Miami defense blitzed, which is why Benny Sapp was in the backfield so much. The defense mixed man and zone and matched up Vontae Davis against Chad Ochocinco. Davis basically erased Mr. 85 from the game.

"We knew one thing Carson [Palmer] does is read the fakes," said safety Yeremiah Bell. "Me and Chris [Clemons] tried to mix it up. In the first drive, [Palmer] was being patient and waited a little bit. He was trying to make us show our hand. But after that first drive, we started hanging in there and started getting him into some things we wanted to get him into."

Did the defense have moments of struggle? Sure, the Bengals running game had plays when it got wide of the edge and also did good work on cutback runs. But the cutbacks were basically eliminated in the second half.

Oh, that's called an adjustment. Good work gentlemen.

 

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marc, your qb argument is flawed. only a handful have come and played like manning straight from college. brees, and farve were terrible their first couple seasons, but turned out pretty damn good. if henne turns into eli, then id be happy. eli has a ring!

I remember Ogunleye...Ahhh, those were the days...At least we had an awesome D then

rabbit are a treat when you cook them in a wood oven whole w/roasted potatoes and wild rice .

miked098, agree with ur posts nice to know theres some youth on this blog round my age. bob12 and odin are old farts. we must carry the torch. bob and odin will not be with us 4 long. if they dont see fins win a SB tbis year they never will. Wonder who theyll leave their season tixx to.

Aloco... There are still a few Dairy Queens around Bro... We have a killer little shop down on Lake Worth Beach here in West Palm Beach, Florida. Its been there for as long as I've been going to that beach (44 years since I was I kid) I love to go there after Surfing or Fishing off the pier... something about Beach and Ice Cream that I dig...

Marc,

As obvious as it is that your an anti Miami troll, I'll play along.

You see, if you gave ANY credit where credit is due, and THEN criticized the negatives, you could be a more efficient troll. You don't and that's what gives your roided out a s s away.

Anyway, That Rookie season Manning also threw more int's than TD's(28), had a passer rating of 71.2 and only completed 56% of his passes.

According to your very own previous statements on this blog, with numbers like that Peyton should have been cut immediately.

Squirm, spin, whatever you trolls do, but at least keep track of all the garbage you spew.

Everytime I call you on your crap you back off and twist it around and deny you said what you actually said. You know like the time you were advocating teenage athletes should be on steroids if, and this is verbatim, "you want them too be good".

Your one sad f_cking troll dude!

ALOCO, youre not kidding man, youre really A Loco!

derek, some thing about eating ice cream in the open and walking ,some thing good.the thing i like is pigon stuffed w/fres herbs wild rice and bacala salad .

bond0, it's time to switch from football,how much crap can one take ?

who knows how to cook up some good Hamster like the Peruvians do? A loco? ever tried Hamster creole, or is it Hamstera? you cant correct a Cuban on the proper way to write abd say Bacalao bro...

my name is bound,games bound .

And, ALoco, we can't forget to give a shout out to roasted goat's head with mushed brains, stuffed w/ rice. Yum!

Odin, you are the one that INTERPRETS what I say the way you do?

What credit is there to give?

I've stuck by Brown. Applauded VD, Bell, Long, Polite, Marshall (When they actually throw him the ball), and whoever else plays well...

The problem is that this team is deficient in MANY, MANY areas. That cannot be defied!

I've been trying my best to withhold judgement on Henne and give him time, and all that nonsense, but, I REALLY don't see him getting much better...

I HOPE that I'm wrong.

I will not apologize for holding the team that I love to a HIGH STANDARD.

hamster for horses not for humans.

ok A loco ill switch back to football. what u think about that RB heart for Colts? playing his heart out...

Didn't we squash the whole roids thing a week ago? Now you're back at it? Come on man!?

what about a red snapper on a skewer and tomato onion salad .simple .

Now you're talking real gourmand stuff, ALoco.

Fish is not good...Poor people eat fish ;)

Man, Freeny is killing their LT with that spin move

marc
the entire nfl is deficient now. you cant possibly be watching other games and say we are so much worse then any team out there. go back to 08, we have played with or beat EVERY so called elite team. we had the saints beat until we went into super conserarive mode, got fu$ked out of a victory against espn #1 ranked steelers

bond9, do you know in somalia they eat the roster's peak ?

Marc, u must not be from SoFla and haven't eaten grouper of dolphin in the Keys. Yeah, I'm a witness, the roid issue came to an ugly standoff/draw a week ago.

Bond,

You say I'm out of touch with reality you youngin little whippersnapper?

Just remember, while your carrying that torch, I've ALREADY watched the Dolphins win two SuperBowls and play in a third.

Let me see, um, If I recollect correctly, yes, yes, let me see now, oh yeah, where was I.

Oh, cough, couch, CHOKE, I remember, I remeber it like it was yesterday, yes indeed, I actually attended two games at the Orange Bowl during the undefeated season.

Yeah, so there, stick that in your little blunt thingy and smoke a jizzle nizzle whatchamacallit ya disrespectful little whippersnapper YOU!!!!

conserative play calling is holding this team back and stunting henne's growth.

henne's growth ? that's funny

PFT article opines that the Dolphins may have a shot at Moss because Buffalo won't take him and the other possibles won't want to pony up the cash.

Yes, the play calling sucks, but I can recall several times Henne missed wide open receivers downfield, and/or chose for the underneath throw.

Just sayin'...

Hopefully they can coach it out of him just like they coached it into him

I'm certain that Henning's days are numbered.

Late update: Ross is having the G5 preflighted now, and Wicky Rilliams has a call in to his herbalist. They're coming for you and Moss, Odin. We all all counting on you and Wicky to get this deal done.

OK Fine marc, spin any way you want it.

Speaking of the way you want it, if I drop the roids bit, can I go back to the Red Mini and the F_ck Me Pumps you wear to "work"?

Bond9...
So what is wrong with us "Mid Aged Dolphins fans"?

I know I know... Its the NEW NFL and all the Old Stuff don't work any more...Right?

Bunk!

One thing I have seen from the younger guys (Not all, just some) that is tough to deal with is that they start calling for coaches and QB's heads really fast. Hey, some of the old guys do also but more out of disgust then serious thought. I believe it is because many of you have not been through so many LONG TERM, STRUNG OUT, Draft AFTER DRAFT... REBUILDS that bringing in an entire new regime causes. I say that because I feel if changing "HEAD COACHES" not necessarily coordinators was the way to succeed... Miami after going through 6 head coaches in 15 years since Shula left should be multiple Superbowl Champions since 95... Instead the last 15 years since the stability of Shula, have been a nightmare.

I also believe they are too impatient with the draft and player development... Brady or Roethlisberger is how they believe QBs should arrive out of the NCAA. If they are not "Pro Bowlers" by their 2nd year.. they suck. They would rather spend tall $$$ on Free agents who they THINK are ready made greatness.... even though a different team or system may change their success to a development struggle of its own... seen it a 1000 times.

Penny was the best and worst thing that happened to this franchise in years with his "accurate" 4 yard passes. Seems to have rubbed off on Henne.

Do you guys think that Brandon Marshall hasn't been double-teamed his entire career as Mandy eluded?

odin my granddaddy went to every home game in '72. he gave me the ticket stubs from the '72 undef season. he came to every home game and he wasnt even from here. he lived in Cuba. imagine...

A Cuban in MIA? No way?!

Derek4, good observations. But, it IS a general consensus that bat least the OC must go. Agree??

derek im also middle aged. were in our prime man but odin bobby are past their prime. they are the ones who need to learn to respect the future. our opinions count also.

ALso, Derek, when we had Shula there was no need to go through multiple coaches as we had a great one. Wouldn't you agree?

GinnsGone,

Wicky and a herbalist?

Listen, I like to commune with nature as much as the next guy, but if you want to put me in the best possible position to succeed you need to make sure Fergie is on board.

Strike "bat;" my mistake. I was wondering what was on Aloco's menu for tomorrow.

Mike Hart, 6th round pick

Arian Foster, undrafted free agent

The featured running backs in tonights game

marc, i agree about your penny statement. i hope with henne its more of a case where he doesnt go deep because he gets so much put into his head about playing safe and avoiding the pick. this staff has to start letting him take chances, all the greats do. i remember dan having lots of 3 and 4 pick days, but still throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns

Manning's audible was "Blonde Girl"

No sweat, Fergie says she's, "Down wid it."

COLTS 23, TEXANS 3

Wicky's audible to Odin will be, "No bogarting!"

Bond,

BULLSHYT!!!!

That's the problem with you young dumba s s e s! Yopu're full of shyt.

Castro did not "good cCubans" travel to the United States for football games back in 1972.

Get the f_ck out of here with that BS!

Let me guess, now you're going to say you meant he immigrated here, RIGHT?

What was he in the Mariel "Boat Lift"?

odin, kids of today have no respect for any thing,bond9 sound like he shops in wal-mart /

GinnGone,

Come on now, I'm a team playa.

Puff Puff Pass!!!!

Now, that's funny!

The peeps in the retirement condos are going to be laughing their arses off when they read this blog when they wake up tomorrow at 11. Be good for those old geezer Wets and Pitt fans.

i found it funny how captain field goal was a fist pumping fool after each one yesterday and then he lookeked dissapointed after the touchdown hahaha what a goof and why does he keep touching the lid of his cap and then kissing his thumb every 5 minutes my god is he a mental case or what?

Update #3: G5 is fired up, but there'll be some delay as the pilots want to knock back a few more drinks and whack at the stews before wheels up.

Oh yeah, it's looking up. Just heard that Sparano sent over 2 dozen new bowling shirts to the plane for u guys to use in bartering. Ass't colors in 2 tone.

i find hennings play calling more of an issue then sprano's fist pumping. from what all reports say players love sprano and want to play for him. i give him another year or two to get this team right, but henning has to go

The pilots calming his nerves?

That's cool, I knew a pilot like that once. I can't remember his name but it was back when I was touring with Lynard Skynard................

OK that last one wasn't funny and I never toured with Skynard.

Though I am pretty sure their plane ran out of gas and crashed into a cornfield........

Odin you actually believed that? you geezers are so easy to tick off. i can pride myself as much as you can even though i wasnt there. We all true dolphin fans breathe the fins history thats why were chasing a Dynast while youre hopin fir just one more... im out man...

Marc ' Bond 9
Would agree on all accounts.... I attended 3 of the home games in the 72 season.. at 6 years old I can still remember Bob Griese being carried off the field during the San Diego game with a broken leg. I have NO MEMORY of the other 2 games that season... My family have been season Ticket holders since the first year they had such a thing. That was 71. I can remember MANY games at the OB. I was at the San Diego/Miami Longest game ever... drag we lost. I was at 85 Bears/Miami MNF knocking the Bears from Undefeated... (best game I ever attended by the way... I have NEVER seen a game that rowdy before or since... The feeling in the OB that night was "Win or F**KING DIE!!!" Marino was BRILLIANT... I was in row 10 right on the 35 yard line behind the Miami Bench... When it was quiet enough we could here the players conversation. (unlike the New Stadium where you sit 90 feet from the sidelines)
I was at the Jests/Miami 45 - 3 Blowout in 1986 on MNF... that game was more fun then slippery sex... I saw Dan come back after his Achilles surgery and Demolish the Patsies, great game in 94... I saw Dan break all the records in 1995 when me and a friend did a 16 games safari on Miami that year... I saw every game in every city... We were CERTAIN in 1995 we were going to the SB that year with all the talent we had.... we ended up 9-7 and one and done in the play-offs... That was Shula's last year and I saw every game.... I was at Dan's last game in Jacksonville.... That all I have to say about that.
I was 20 minutes from going to England to see Miami play in Wembley Stadium... My Dad had a heart attack and I gave my ticket to a great friend... They both got arrested over there for getting smashed and being idiots (way to go Dad!)...

05,06,07 were a embarrassment to us...period.After those seasons I knew just how great Shula really was and how lucky we were to have had him. That is why I am protective over this coaching staff... I remember WELL from where we have come back from... I never want to go back...

I am grateful for ALL GOOD Dolphins fans... Young and old... so long their not fair weather fans.... Have no use for those people taking My oxygen.

Go Miami!!!!

DEREK!! awesome!! i too - born in 1966. september 2nd 1966. 12:55 pm holy cross hospital. ft lauderdale. 5 minutes after i came out of my mamma the oakland raiders kicked off to the miami dolphins for the start of the first game in dolphins history. that kick was returned for a touchdown by joe auer!!

my uncle jack zeman was the lead sports voice for wftl. we went to games every year in the orange bowl. i watched bert jones and joe namath and oj simpson and steve grogan play against paul warfield and manny fernandez and jake scott. i was at jets games with bus caravans full of my dad and his hollywood cops and watched as even then those stupid foolish jets fans pick fights and puke and throw beer. funny as a 7-8-9-10 year old watches the look on those fools faces as they got the snot beat out of them when they realized they got puffy with 40 or 50 badass rabid policeman dolphin fans!! LOL!

parking in little havana and going to LUMS for burgers..... the street food. the "exorbitant" $5 parking fees LOL!!

flipper in the pool in the endzone. garo hits the pool everytime!!

i was at the 85 bears game. playoff games. the wins. the losses. the greatest memories of my life.

its such a comforting feeling knowing that my fan loyalty is unwaivering and i will always feel like we can win and will always cheer for my team. my team. our team. dolFANS team!!!

the newcomers are welcome but will never ever really know how it was and how great it all still is........

go phins!!!

i hope we get randy moss!!!

Wow, D4D...That's pretty impressive. I was born in 78, so, perhaps I was spoiled all my youth with Marino. I missed the 70's teams, but, I got to watch the greatest QB ever throw the ball up and down the field EVERY Sunday...

I just miss that EXCITING football. I couldn't care less if we never ran the ball again.

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