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Cortland Finnegan says he knew Miami's plays

Lost in the strange and compelling game that was Sunday's 29-17 victory by the Dolphins over the Titans was this item in my friend Jason Cole's column for Yahoosports.com that should tell you a little something about the offense the Dolphins currently run.

Now, that offense had a good day on Sunday, rolling up more points than any other game this season. But we know that very offense has been under fire for not producing this year.

We know the statistical rankings are bad. And we know, that several players have been borderline frustrated with that lack of production.

You saw an open and obvious show of that frustration Sunday when Brandon Marshall caught a pass and then slung the ball to the sideline when he got up from the turf.

So why was Marshall, who didn't talk to the media after the game, needing to release that emotion? Maybe it was the fact he caught only three passes for 34 yards against Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

And maybe it was that Finnegan says he knew exactly what play the Dolphins were about to run and what pattern Marshall was about to run -- before it happened.

"Sometimes I would be calling out his routes because they told me I would have a chance to follow him around all game, play him one-on-one," Finnegan said. "So I felt like I needed to be prepared and we would laugh sometimes because I would be calling his routes out based on the formations and the splits."

Cole apparently asked if a cornerback should be able to indentify what's coming before the snaps and Finnegan suggested he could before admitting why he could readily decipher Miami's coming play.

"OK, I know, but I watched every single game Miami played this year and the formation doesn't lie unless they're trying to trick you," Finnegan said. "The formations don't lie and he didn't like that."

Finnegan had five tackles, four passes defensed and an interception against the Dolphins, but that is not the point.

The point, indeed, the concern is that one player can spend one week of film study watching the Dolphins and apparently diagnose what offensive coordinator's Dan Henning's offense was about to run simply by looking at the formations and splits.


Are you kidding me?

By the way, I have seen this before. It happened in 1997 when the New England Patriots figured out Miami's offense to the point defensive players were signaling calls on the field before Dan Marino snapped the ball. It was partially the reason Jimmy Johnson fired then offensive coordinator Gary Stevens.

I'm not suggesting Henning is about to be fired or should be fired. (He's probably going off into retirement after the season anyway from what folks are whispering.)

But maybe it would be a wise idea to change a couple of things here and there so that enterprising defensive players don't continue to yell out Brandon Marshall's coming patterns before, you know, he runs them.

Just sayin'.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic: Cole's column also addressed Randy Moss and his first game with the Titans. That leads me to an item in a local story last week that got blown into news that folks are actually believing despite the fact it isn't accurate.

It was reported that Moss or his representative or his camp made it clear to the Dolphins the receiver didn't want to play in Miami and so the Dolphins, previously eager to get Moss, backed off.

Um, wrong. Again.

The facts are Moss very much would have welcomed playing for the Dolphins. He liked the idea of coming to Miami. He has a house down here somewhere. He is friends with Chad Pennington and considers the Dolphins to be contenders.

The truth is the Dolphins studied Moss and had an initial interest in Moss but once they dug deeper, decided not to claim him. It had nothing to do with an understanding from Moss or others that he didn't want to come to Miami if the Dolphins claimed him.

Moss didn't want to play in St. Louis. But Miami?

He had no problem with that.