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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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i just want to win. i was born in 81 and have friends that are fans of the bucs, cardinals, saints, seahawks, and bills. all those bastards have seen their teams in the superbowl, ive only seen my team play in a afc champ game in 92

the dolphins will be smart to sign Moss its just another weapon to defend, cant double team every body it puts pressure on opposing defense, MR ROSS please sign him it will work!!

amen ray. i have a feeling washington or dallas is gonna f any chance we have at him

I hear ya Mike. Those are all historically BAD teams. TB, Ari, and Seattle being the biggest flukes. Still can't believe that TB and the Ravens won SB's with Defense. Can't recall any other primarily defensive teams though.

Well, looks like the COLTS have this game wrapped up...G'night

Good evening Phin fans! Personaly I can't stand Randy Moss. He caught 3 td's in the 96 National Championship game to lead Marshall over the Griz(Penny was a backup Qb on the Marshall team). We would have to weigh the positives v. the negatives if the team gets a chance to sign him. He does bring experience, and knowledge of teams in our division. Negativley, he doesn't know our system. Should we let him learn on the fly, and take our chances with the chemistry and hope it works? Is he the answer, or the right player to use to help free up Marshall, or can we figure that out on our own? If he does come here, it will take some time to get him integrated into our offense, do we have that luxury? I say if this was week 1, or 2 it would make more sense. As of now we are to far along in our season to bring him on board.

Marino had us in the playoffs every year when i was growing up. this team has been an abortion my entire adult life. guess thats why i defend the trifecta and the players the draft or sign, at least they have gotten us back to being cotenders.

On Moss, I'd rather have V Jax...If we had Moss then we'd just have 2 elite WR's that we don't throw to

The Fins don't need to win 2 out of those 3 games; they've proven they're a very good team. The loss vs the Steelers was robbed win and the Jets game was a very fought game that could have gone either way until the SP messed it up. and of course then there's the game vs the Patsies. We were dominating that game untilt he SP came up play in the 2nd half. We are very good team, we need more luck.

I took a little time and watched some of Moss's highlights... Not just You-Tube crap... but I watched some of my old NE Miami games a have on hard drive. He can do some amazing things and I was very much all for Miami taking a poke at him.... I have somewhat changed my stance on that...

IF.... there is a word..... "IF" Randy manages to fall to #15 so Miami can make a deal... I would only want that to happen after a very long and upfront "Chit-Chat" between him, Sparano... and about five Mob guys who are backing all these Italian Coaches who run the show down here (Just kidding)... But not about a long talk...

I believe the subject is Mute... he will find a home... it will not be in Miami, I'm not CERTAIN that is good... But after a little longer look and a good think it through sort of thing... I could be very comfy with him here or not... leaning towards NOT!

DerekMoss coming here is definitley a long shot. Lets just say for disscusion sake that he does. He would be an upgrade at reciever. But I don't know how he fits into the offense.
Is there enough plays to get Marshall the ball, and keep Moss involved. Does Having Moss make this offense automatically more dynamic, because that is what everyone will expect. This could change the offnese into even more of a pass first type of attack and I think it would put unwanted pressure on Henne to make the right decisions. Could Moss be integrated into the offense..sure. I think we should be careful what we wish for.

absolutely dereck4dolphins benefits are good the possibility's are endless if like u say the owner and coaches seat down and give ultimatum!!!

Winning the AFC East is as easy as getting Randy Moss

hope salguero has a good post in the morning. a little pissed off that i had to pay for this app, and nothing is posted by him. i mean this story broke around six, thought he might give us a little taste of where the dilphins stand

Dolphins Headquarters~~~~~~

Receptionist; Mr. Henning you have a telephone call from PETA...They want you to stop using the "Wildcat", it's cruel and unusual punishment.

Receptionist; Mr.Sparano, your agent called and has a T.V Commercial lined up for you with 3 other Fist Pumpers. Tiger Woods, Kurt Gibson and a pasty white, balding, mustache sporting Bowler.

Receptionist; Mr. Prcells? Mr. Parcells? Mr. Parcells? Are you there?

Receptionist; Mr. Brown? The 3 Stooges called and asked you to please desist and refrain from doing the "Curly Shuffle".

Receptionist; Mr. Ginn? Mr. Ginn Jr.? Cam Cameron called and wants you and the family to join him and Brady Quinn for a BBQ. Hello? Hello?

Receptionist; Mr. Ross, Magic Johnson, Justin Beiber, Milli Vanilli, Dan Hasslehoff, Richard Simmons, The Old Spice Guy, Kenny G, Michael Bolton and a whole bunch of other "D" list celebrities called and want to buy in on the team...

Go Phins!


The Costume store called and they want their Masks back today! You are in Danger of losing your deposit!

Please return immediately the "Pedro" mask from Napoleon Dynamite.

Please return the "Fez" Wilmer Valderrama mask immediately! You will not pull Hollywood Teen Celebrity girls like him!

Please properly wash and disinfect the mask. You know, they get that funky stench in them from the breath. You all know that smell, you know you do...

Oh and you do have a very nice swimming pool!

Go Phins!

I no longer need any of you. From here on out I will be interviewing myself.

I love every helmet on this Blog.

I miss the Hoodie and Mr. Kraft!

I so miss the way Tom use to braid my Cornrows so tight and evenly spaced. We would sit in the locker room and he would braid away. I would reach around and massage his sore brokeback body. The team would walk by and know to leave us alone. Oh such magic we would plot...

Go Phins!

hey coach!!!
flat out!!! the coaching staff DON'T TRUST HENNE TO THROW TO A WIDE THIS YEAR WITH ANY DOUBLE COVERAGE ON HIM. the one pick henne had at Cincinnati was to hartline in the middle,with three defenders around him.i'm sure every coach for the phins told henne don't throw IF YOU SEE Two DEFENDERS ON A WIDE. let henne SINK OR SWIM COACH.

Cut Henne now

oh WOW...you people kill me i agree with finfaned 100%! we need to look on the great things this team has done...it's bad enough when most of the football nation just don't give the *PHINS* credit for nothing our fans need to STEP up & stop the bellyaching!!!! We have hung in there & those players play their hearts out for this team..they're young & if the D keeps adjusting & getting better WE will be a team to reckon with..I HAVE FAITH & SO SHOULD YOU****

We need to get BMarsh more jump balls in the redzone. They should practice that all week. No secondary in the league can defend that against Marshall. Playcalling sucks! A good chance to score on a drive and on 3rd and long, you run the ball for a 2 yard gain? Henning needs to be on attack mode at all times on offense. I love Dan Carpenter but it says a lot about your team when your Kicker is the team's MVP of the season. Uggggh!

peace and cumbaya to all... go fins!


She's 41 105lbs and frommmm AAARRRRGGGG N.J......NOOOOOOOOOOOO


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