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Special teams game plan vs. Hester: 15 men on field

One of the interesting matchups you'll see play out Thursday night when the Dolphins play the Bears is how Miami's special teams will handle Chicago punt returner Devin Hester.

Hester is averaging a whopping 16.7 yards per return and has returned two punts, including an 89-yarder, for touchdowns this year.

So how will Miami's, ahem, challenged special teams deal with one of he best special teams playmakers in the business?

"The game plan is probably to try and sneak three or four extra [players] out there on the field and see if we can have any success," coach Tony Sparano told the Chicago media today. "He's been a great player for a long time and I think the guys that go back there are fearless to catch the ball the way he does and run the way he does. So we've obviously got to pay special attention to him when you're putting together the game plan."

Sparano is obviously kidding about the extra players on the field. And, truth is, Miami hasn't been bad on punt coverage. The Dolphins are ranked No. 10 in the NFL in that category.

But special attention?

How's this for special attention:

Do. Not. Kick. It. To. Hester.



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punt it right out of bounds

ALoco, Miami's 4 remaining victories come against


Yeah really, just kick it out of bounds on punts. I like the way Tony always compliments the players on the other team. He gets it when it comes to not giving the opponent fuel. Belichick is the master of that particular game.

Mark isn't that 5?

Did Long practice today?

Special teams have looked much better since the NE debacle. Yeah kick it out of bounds even if it means giving up 5 or 10 yards.

And I don't know why everyone has been on Fasanos butt. The guy is ranked third in the league in tight end production behind Zach Miller and Jason Witten. He's on pace to set career highs in ypc, tds, and total yards. Keep it up Fasano and stop dropping passes so people will get off your back.

I stand corrected, 5 wins to finish 10-6

Every time someone says their mad about passing on Bryant they don't realize they're counting out Odrick. From what I saw the guy has heart and intelligence, size and determination. In his first few games starting as a pro he never was intimidated or over matched. Kids going to be a great player in this league. Dez is going to be a great player in this league. So what.

Phins78 - No one can take your comment seriously about how great Fasano is if you leave out Gates...

Mark, I may have asked you this before but whereabouts in Toronto are you? I know Toronto well having lived and worked there for over 20 years. I moved to Niagara area about 10 years ago and get over to see our team play in Buffalo every chance I can. I'm assuming you are a Blue Jays fan? Are you excited about the off-season? What do you think we will end up doing?

My biggest concern for Thursday is just how poorly we've played in prime time this season. I don't know if it's because we have a young team or if we try to do too much to impress on prime time but it's my hope that we stick to the game plan and we execute. As Dennis Green said 'the Bears are who we thought they were'. This is a very winnable game for us.




Well, here's one way you can tell what I think about my team - see who I start on my fantasy team!

And, sorry to say folks, but I'm starting Hester.

"Every time someone says their mad about passing on Bryant they don't realize they're counting out Odrick. From what I saw the guy has heart and intelligence, size and determination. In his first few games starting as a pro he never was intimidated or over matched. Kids going to be a great player in this league. Dez is going to be a great player in this league. So what.

Posted by: phins78"

How did you see him start a few games as a pro considering he didn't even make it thru his 1st game?

Cutler just said that he and Brandon Marshall didn't really get rolling until the middle of their second season together.

Joeseph, Gates is rated behind Fasnano in TE PRODUCTION. Tight ends have more responsibility than simply catching the ball. They also have to run and pass block and according to the nfl Fasano is a more WELL ROUNDED tight end than Gates. That's what the number say, I didn't make this up so it's not a joke. I realize Gates catches more but that's not the big picture.

"In his first few games starting as a pro he never was intimidated or over matched".

phins78...he played like one quarter of one game this year...

I love when people put words in my mouth. Read again, never said "how great" Fasano is. Never said it but I see why you would you would make that up. It does help your point that has nothing to do with what I was saying.

Phins78 - Where exactly did you find that production stat?

A. Cutler is a moron. B. Bears are pretenders. C. Bears are pretenders



Wow bunch of aholes in here today. Andyman, joeschmo, possibly same guy, in the NFL they play four preseason games before they start the season. Odrick started those four games against the other teams starters.

Part of Ronnie's trouble in the running game is that he is the type of back that sets up the blocking. When it works he puts his hand on the lead-blocker's or liemans back, lets the blocking materialize and then hits the hole.

Now you throw Ricky in the mix and the line blocks differently. He just runs down hill, BAM!

When Ronnie looks bad, he looks real bad with the Curly Shuffle whoop whoop whoop thing.

The line really has to adjust the blocking/

Take into consideration also that the teams play up because of the short passing gameas well?

My guess is that Bellicheat and Andy Reed would get more out of Ronnie?

Go Phins!

"Fasano, who caught five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 29-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, is on pace to produce a career season in receptions (44) and yards (652)".

"Fasano's caught 25 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns in the Dolphins first nine games. He's averaging 14.7 yards per catch, and is rated the third-most productive tight end this season by the website ProFootballFocus.com, which tracks every aspect of a players job".

"Fasano, who is presently nursing a chest injury, trailing Oakland's Zach Miller and Dallas' Jason Witten in terms of tight end performance in 2010".


Mark, I thought you were my brother from another mother dude? "Kick it away from Hester."

You wouldn't say that if you knew I had Matt Cassell and Dwayne Bowe SITTING ON THE BENCH this week. Yeah, the same duo that racked up 70 points between them (in my league). Instead, I started Peyton (ZERO TDs, maybe 6 points or something) and Steve Breaston (had an ok game, but nothing spectacular).

So, show an American some love man, kick it to Hester!!!

Not trying to be a jerk, but I cannot believe that any statistic would rate Fasano over Gates as a TE. I was simply asking for your source.

Nice stat, phins78


Unlees your fantasy team consist of only Phins?

You Speak Blasphamy and I'm telling Ramsy!

Go Phins!

ST is the match up I'm most concerned about for this game. Thanks for confirming my thoughts!

Wow bunch of aholes in here today. Andyman, joeschmo, possibly same guy, in the NFL they play four preseason games before they start the season. Odrick started those four games against the other teams starters.

Posted by: phins78

No I'm not the same guy. Being that we both picked up on your mistatement I can see how you thought so. FYI, if you think preseason counts as a pro game, you are clueless.

uodate from palm beach post

When the Dolphins opened practice on Tuesday, their only real practice of the week before Thursday night’s game against the Bears, their star left tackle lined up at his position, just as always.

Jake Long, who suffered a significant shoulder injury Sunday against the Titans and sat out of Monday’s walk-through, was back at his old spot for Tuesday afternoon’s practice, right next to left guard Richie Incognito. Long, who has never missed a start in 41 career NFL games, didn’t even wear a harness or a sling during Tuesday’s practice.

Long may be listed as “limited” later today on the Dolphins’ Injury Report, and may at some point need surgery to correct his shoulder injury. But his presence at practice today leaves little doubt that he will be ready to play Thursday night against Chicago.

But his old friend from their days at Michigan still wasn’t at practice. Quarterback Chad Henne was nowhere to be found Tuesday, the second straight day he missed practice with his left knee injury. With Tyler Thigpen scheduled to hold a podium press conference tonight at 6 p.m., you can rule out Henne from playing on Thursday. He may not be back for several more weeks, as well.

Other news and notes from Tuesday’s practice:

* A Dolphins spokesman informed the media before today’s practice that the state attorney’s office is going to drop the domestic violence charges against defensive end Phillip Merling, who was arrested right before OTAs in May for allegedly battering his pregnant girlfriend.

The state attorney’s office, however, says that records show that the case is still open. So either the office hasn’t updated their system yet, or Merling has agreed to some sort of diversion program that keeps his case open until he completes what he needs to do. Either way, Merling, who also tore his Achilles tendon in July, is close to returning to the team and could be back next week to give the Dolphins’ defensive line a boost.

* Other notes from Tuesday’s practice: Chris Clemons (knee) and Joe Berger (knee) also missed their second straight practice and will be hard-pressed to play on Thursday. Reshad Jones played in Clemons’ safety spot, and Cory Procter started at center. … Cam Wake lined up at outside linebacker and appears to be fine, even though he missed much of the second half Sunday with a hip injury. … The Dolphins debuted two new quarterbacks on Tuesday — veteran Patrick Ramsey, wearing No. 8, and practice squad player Tom Brandstater, wearing No. 3.

* Finally, a note about the Dolphins’ beloved radio broadcaster, Jim Mandich, who was kind enough to speak with me the other day about his battle against bile-duct cancer, which was diagnosed in January. Mandich, 62, is back in the radio booth this year for his 18th season despite undergoing daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center.

“They’ve got the thing at the very least really slowed down, or contained,” said Mandich, a Dolphins tight end from 1970-77. “I’m in good hands with the folks down there at Sylvester, and they’re optimistic, which gives me reason for optimism.”

Mandich has called all nine Dolphins games so far this year with Joe Rose and Jimmy Cefalo, and plans to be there for all 16 games. Despite the wear and tear on his body, Mandich called his radio assignment a “piece of cake.”

“It’s a privilege to do it,” Mandich said. “I get a big kick out of it. It really boosts my spirits.”

* Finally, II: The Dolphins are holding a canned food drive at Thursday’s home game against the Bears. And Dolphins greats Jake Scott and Bill Stanfill will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime.

Craig, I am currently working in Guelph as we speak. I move around eh area quite a bit for work so right now I live out in the west part of the GTA because I still do all my social activities in Toronto. OS needles to say, I'm racking up the kms right now on the cars.

As far as the Blue jays, I love their starting rotation - if anyone out there hasn't heard of Brett Cecil, Shaun Marcum, Brendan Morrow, or Ricky Romero yet, you will soon. My concern with teh Blue jays is their offesnive consistency. Every year, 2 or three guys have big years, and 2 others have down years. If the Jays want to think post season, they have to get all of Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Vernon Wells, Jose Bautista going in the same year. I also think david Purcey will develop into a fine closer if given the opportunity and I was excited to see that the Blue Jays have interest in Dan Uggla. He would really help.

There you have it Phins78. I still think the stat is complete junk, but at least there is some support for your argument. It just seems like Fasano has too many killer drops and he is a dime a dozen at the TE position

FASANO will be the top receiver of the month.
m.vick will be the king of them all


The thing that scares me about the Oakland game is that they don't do very well on the long west coast swing. They will have some extra rest though.
Mc Faddin is playing well and they love to go deep so there will be some opportunities for our defense in sacks and picks.

Go Phins!

ALoco, I believe the Dolphins will win one of the game in New York or Oakland - tough to win both. oakland is seriously underrated.


DC, I always have your back man. I love reading your stuff and whatever help you need with winning your fantasy lague, I'm in - as long as it doesn't hurt the Dolphins.

By the way, with Philly's win, I won my local survivor pool - cool $1,000 for xmas shopping this year.

"With the Raiders (5-4), Colts (6-3) , Jets (7-2), Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Kansas City all in favorable positions for pulling out division wins, or wild card spots, it’s hard to imagine anything less than a 5-2 finish would do in the final seven games".

"Despite the uphill journey, Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby things 10 wins is the magic number. At least that’s what he claims the team’s shooting for".

Does anyone else think this is BS? Dansby says the team is shooting for 10 wins?! Why not 12? We have 7 games left right? So why are they only shooting to win 5 of those? Shouldn't they be wanting to win all of them? I know it's not likely but shouldn't the players and coaches all be talking about winning out and not just winning 5? So what games are they internally talking about losing hahaha. I just don't get this approach.

Thanks dishpan, lots of nuggets there.

I liked Procter, he took care of my pain in the *ss (kidding). No, I thought he played good. Incognito on the other hand, look to upgrade him in the offseason.

Anyone else know why Long is PRACTICING? Bum knee, bum shoulder, I understand we need him to play, but can the kid get a friggin' day off to HEAL?

Couple weeks for Henne....and, I'll premise by saying in the War of the Roses on here b/w Henne and Thigpen, I'm a Henne guy...but I say let Thigpen play out if that's the case. I mean, why rush Henne back. Either, a, we'll be losing and have no Playoff hopes, or b, we'll be winning, WITH Thigpen, so why change QBs when it ain't broke at the moment?

Sorry Joeseph, it felt like people were attacking me. Believe me I wish it didn't have to be that way but when you post in here you have to watch your back.

Aloco, reports say that Manny wants to play for new manager John Farrel wh he knows from his Red Sox days. The Jays GM is known for going after younger, more athletic players like Alex Escobar who they got from Atlanta. I don't know if the Jyas will have serious interest - but I would like him at the right price.

I see wins in NY and NE. They are division games and thats the way it goes. The Jets seem to play more lucky than good. For some reason we haven't played the Browns or their division very well.

Go Phins!


Joe shmoe, you know what, why don't you go f**k yourself. You don't need to comment on every post you disagree with in that manner. Whataya got a superiority complex? You don't know me but you're calling me names because I watched Odrick go up aginst some really good left tackles and dominate at times and then comment on it? F**k you you piece of crap.

God I love guys who act so tough on the internet. You feel good about yourself now Joe? You showed me right? F***ing pantywaste. Go kill yourself already.



Martin, i agree w/you the jets are lucy bastards .first we win vs CHI THEN WE COUNT OUR BLESSINGS.


That couldn't have been a quote from Karlos!

Why? Because he would have said..."like I said" in between every other word.

Go Phins!


I do have Ronnie/Ricky, of course you can imagine how well they've done for me. Plus, every time I play Ronnie he does nothing, whenever I don't start him he gets a TD (so I don't mind taking a hit for the team and not starting Ronnie, at least my REAL team will win even if I don't).

Mark, CONGRATS BRO!! Hey, I was thinking for a new web portal for the blog, something very chic and fresh. Mando said the Herald can't afford it, but if you're trying to step up Daddy Warbucks? LOL, just kidding man, go spend that money and enrich the Chinese some more, you earned it!

I'd feel better if Clemons plays. He covers a lot of ground, and has clearly affected the way teams approach the deep ball against our young secondary. That's all the bears do: throw deep and pray for pass interference

Injuries happen... It was no Odricks fault he was injured... Once again that is 20-20 hindsight talking... EVERYONE who speaks out of Hindsight sound like a genius to those who buy into it. Odrick could very well come out next year and become a perennial pro bowl DE for all we know... he damn sure has the physical attributes and was off to a decent start in the first game against Buffalo.

Personally.. If I was going to be disgruntled about Miami not taking this player or that in the 2010 draft... I feel not taking Earl Thomas was a huge blunder. You can stack receivers like F***ing cord wood and if your game plan cannot include them what is the point? Miami has the ability to do 4 and 5 WR sets and has done it MAYBE 3 times. We do not have a WR problem in Miami... we have a game plan problem and Bryant would have only compounded that issue. But Earl Thomas who is already playing at Pro Bowl level (44 tackles, 7 assists, 4 Int's, 5 Pass defended) would have solved and issue there is true need for on the team.

As far as Injuries to players.. Yeah, Odrick got injured... but I remember 1st round pick WR Yatile Green losing both his knees in two consecutive training camps... So, Even if WHO EVER was drafted here... he may have already blown out his thingymabobber or his doohicky by now... Its just the way the injury bug bites... and the 20-20 finger pointing and hindsight bloviating is just "Mental Football Masturbation" gone wild...

DC, THE herald has no money ,barrow from chad.p .

ALoco, this Escobar is from Cuba, so i don't think so.

DC, thanks man. It's my four godchildren, mother, and then some. Still cool to have bragging rights for a year.

Hey Fellas,

Wan't to talk about injuries!?

Check out the Horse Shoes! They got some injuries over there in Indy.

Go Phins!

This is the week Koa Misi gets back into the discussion of linebackers who like to level the qb. Cam Wake takes the league lead after destroying the pretender's qb

joeseph, I definitely agree about the drops. But I'm not much of an authority when it comes to tight ends blocking and how the nfl judges each player on total productivity. For all I know Gates isn't very good on the line and that may effect what SD does on the ground and in the air. I guess it's a big picture thing. I just read that quote and thought it was interesting. I understand people being upset about drops and I am too. If he could be more consistent in that area he would be one hell of a te. He did have 5 catches with a td and over 100 yards last week. Is it any coincidence that the first week the Dolphins open up the passing game Fasano has the best day of his year? And if they continue this new found interest in passing can he keep it up? I don't know, I guess we'll see.


There were MANY, MANY people on this blog specifically calling for Dez....

Just saying

Jets still have games against NE, Pitt & Chicago on the road. Could easily be 2 or 3 losses.

Pats have Colts, @ Bears, & Pack. Less chance for collapse but you never know.

Of course all of this only matters if Phins can win 6 of their next 7.


Just giving you a hard time.

You guys gotta youtube the deep pass for a TD las year from Thig to Bess against Pittsbirgh. Slot receiver my ass! You fellas gotta check it out!

Go Phins!

we will win thursday.....thigpen will light a spark in everyones ass!!! he has more enthusiasm about winning in his pinky toe than henne in his whole body!!!! dont get me wron i like henne he just shows no emotion to win even when they are winning!!!!!

at home we 4 game

on the road we have3 games ;


Hopefully Bess could work with Marshall and show him how to increase his YAC this year. What an effort on that TD against the Steelers.

Go Bess! AKA My Little Pony

Go Phins!

Marshall excels in the slot. Fins should avail themselves of that fact. This team is gonna swallow the pretending bears

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