« Marshall, Henne to reunite after nearly a month | Main | We get evaluated, Dolphins should be evaluated top to bottom »

Why not the Dolphins? Let us count the ways

The Dolphins are officially in "Why not us?" mode for the third consecutive year.

What is "Why not us?" mode you ask?

It is defined by not being consistent enough early in the season to have a clear and certain path to the playoffs late in the year. The team asking the question finds itself teetering on success or disaster late in the season. It is defined as being bad enough to be in dire straits, but still good enough to perhaps pull off the improbable and sneak into the postseason.

And that is exactly where the Dolphins see themselves today on the eve of Sunday's possible season-defining meeting against the New York Jets. The Dolphins are 6-6 and longshots to make the playoffs, but coach Tony Sparano is selling his team on the idea that a longshot sometimes sneaks into the playoffs in the NFL.

So, why wouldn't it be the Dolphins?

“This is an important game," Sparano said Friday. "My message to the team is that, the team that we’re playing was 6-6 last year at this time and ended up losing in the AFC Championship game, so … ran off a bunch of wins at the end of the year. We’re still in the hunt, somebody from that group that is in the hunt right now can possibly do that. So, why not us.”

OK, if you are a fan that only wants to read the happy news, please stop reading now and go to the comment section to agree the Dolphins have a solid chance to get in the playoffs. It's all good, see you during the live blog Sunday.

If, however, you want the truth, stick around. Here goes:

Why not the 2010 Dolphins?

Well, for one thing the comparison to the 2009 Jets is ridiculous on so many levels I cannot believe Sparano went there.

First, the Jets had one of the NFL's best running game last season. They were No. 1. Their defense was also dominant. They were No. 1 in the NFL in total yards (not important) and points allowed (very important). And New York still required had to profit from the fact both Cincinnati and Indianapolis basically laid down -- playing reserves for a majority of their games versus New York -- for the Jets to back into the playoffs.

The Dolphins have neither the running game at this point nor the defense to carry them into the postseason. And, the chance a couple of teams will lay down for them at the end of the year is not great. The Patriots might, might do it if they've already clinched home field advantage before the regular-season finale, but there is no assurance of that.

Barring that, Miami must travel to Foxboro where New England is undefeated this year and just administered a 45-3 whipping of New York. So the comparison between the 2010 Dolphins and 2009 Jets is just not logical.

I will tell you that "Why not us" mode worked for Miami in 2008. The Dolphins struggled mightily early in the season before finding their identity and rolling to the AFC East title. But, again, that team enjoyed a different and much more favorable situation for turning "Why not us" into "It is us!" than today's Miami team.

The Dolphins had an easier schedule in 2008. Their running game was superior than it is now. Their quarterback, Chad Pennington, didn't make mistakes and ultimately was in the conversation for league MVP. The Patriots didn't have Tom Brady, who was out for the season with a knee injury. The Dolphins were healthy almost top to bottom. And the Jets collapsed.

It was a wonderful sum of all the right circumstances that led Miami to the playoffs.

This year, the Dolphins are not a healthy team. Just Friday, the club announced both right tackle Vernon Carey and wide receiver Brian Hartline are out for Sunday's game.

So the Dolphins might once again be asking everyone "Why not us."

Unfortunately for them, this year there are myriad reasons why not.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20148c69d41e4970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why not the Dolphins? Let us count the ways:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

IN 5 YEARS FROM NOW ALL QB'S IN THE NFL WILL BE AFRICAN AMERICAN .THEY MOVE BETTER THAN ANY ONE LIKE VICK AND YOUNG .

Dying Breed,

If it wasn't for John Hannah Mosi Tatupu wouldn't be where he is today.

Wait a minute, well the he!! is Mosi Tatupu today?

Ok, seriously DB, you must be pretty close to my age judging by the names you seem to effortlessly throw out there.

UM HIRED TX DC WILL MUSCHAMP FOR HC .

SORRY, NOT UM BUT FLORIDA

I'm not looking at what the so called pros say. These same guys that are saying that Mallet is garbage are prob the same ones that put Russel and Leaf on a pedestal. Lets face it it's a crap shoot the best thing to do is look at the players success at the college level and then look at him physically too. This kid plays in the sec he's proven in that sense that he has played the best competition college football has to offer and his numbers are better than any other qb in college period. He has size strength of arm and numbers to back it. I don't no man this kid could be a future star. I watched him play and saw none of the factors any of these so called pros called him out on. I saw a kid throwing accurate strikes hitting wideouts in stride 60 to 70 yards down field. I'm no Razorback fan so im not boasting about him on that sense but damn dude he's got the stats to back it up. Again it's a crap shoot u say Palmers good and I think he's garbage. I watched him blow it time and time again. Did u see him blow the win for cinci against Tampa. Come on man he's no starter in the NFL either BACKUP at best.

takeaferme....do you like kellen moore ?

Odin-Do you get a bunch of Bubble Heads(snowmobilers) in your neck of the woods? This is unbelievable. First weekend of our winter season, and already a bar fight between one guy who was arguing the merits of Arctic Cats over Yamahas. I haven't taken a punch in a few years. Moral of the story..stay out of bar fights that don't involve you even if it's your own bar.

Odinseye,

You're cracking me up buddy! Mosi Tatupu, rotflmao!

He blocked for craig James I think it was. James wasnt a bad rb. He was part of the pony express with Dickerson.

The age thing is funny too because I remember a time I would be getting ready to go out clubbing right now instead of clubbing repetitiously on this finger exercise machine called a keyboard. LOL...............

darryl...you want fight ? i fight you .pick a date and a place and the weapon .

takeafterme,

Maybe we should take the first qb that drops down in the draft with false mariquana concerns. Last time we did that we ended up with Dan Marino. LoL...............

DB,

i like what odin has said , draft a QB in the first round and let him start right away with the help of dan henning .

LOL I was going to post that earlier but didnt I dont know man I just don't go with what these so called pros say. They dogged Marino and he turned out record numbers. When that guy broke the huddle and we were down in the 4th qtr u knew he was going to get it done and he did time and time again.

Moore lacks in size great college player but not enough size to last in the nfl

Eric Dickerson says SMU even offered him livestock to go to SMU. LOL.............

DB, DO YOU KNOW WHO OWNS YOUTUBE ?

ALoco- Sure I'll bring a 4 iron, and a puddy knife. We can meet at the lobby bar at the Loews hotel for a drink first. I wish I had a golf club tonight, I got rocked in the neck.

Takeafterme,
You say Henne put up 2nd string numbers in college?
He holds every Big 10 passing record.
He started every game for 4 years and had the team ranked in top 25 EVERY WEEK FOR 4 YEARS.
He put 4 receivers into the NFL: Edwards, Manningham, Breaston, Avant.
Mallet was Henne's backup and he transferred after Mich hired Rich Rodriguez.

The only reason that Marino didnt win the big one wasnt due to himself but the team he was surrounded by. Shula was a great coach but his loyalty to Olivadati killed us. Our inability to play good defense stopped us time and time again. Could have used better rbs as well although we had a few 1000 yard rushers but that may have been a gift from Marino torching defenses time and time again.

DARRYL ,

I REALLY LIKE THE VOTING FOR THE HIESMAN ,EVEN W/NEWTON DAD'S TROUBLES PEOPLE VOTED FOR HIM .IT'S JUST GREAT .

P.S....I PASS ON THE FIGHT UNLESS ODIN CAN MY SPOT INSTEAD .

Anyway Henne will throw 2 tds tomorrow and 3 next week and he'll be the hottest QB in NFL... for 1 week.

ALoco Thanks I pass too, I've been punched enough for awhile.

Price master

Look at his college stats they don't even come close just like pat turner's that cat caught 600 yards in a season he was a project drafted way too high. Henne 2007 stats

yards per attempt 6.97
long pass 65
tds 17
int 9
look at his numbers the numbers don't lie what was he in college dink and dunk what is he now? Am I wrong?

HOW YOU KNOW ALL THAT PRICE MASTER ? CAN YOU READ MY COFFE CUP ?

Darryl,

The snowmobilers up here are straight up yahoo's. They're mostly dumba s s kids that don't know any better. The bar parking lots are full of them Friday thru Sunday.

Stupid a s s e s want to fight over snow machines-jeeze!

Now, being the mature adult that I am, I wouldn't bar fight over anything less than someone trying to tell me the wets are a better team than the Dolphins. Then it's ON!

The problem isn't what he was in college.
The problem was was bringing in Pennington to f u c k up his game.
Henne did not play like Pennington in college. He plays like Pennington now.
We all know what a big winner Pennington was: he couldn't even hold the Jets starting job when the Jets sucked.

IF TONY SPARANO AND IRELAND STAY NEXT YEAR KISS CAM NEWTON GOODBY

I think we will win tomorrow to tell you the truth if u look at our history this season we win 1 then lose we are on and off just like a light switch. And you're right Henne looks great at times and thats why I said that I like him but hes no franchise qb and no starter as he's got no fire no swagger no one will follow him. But he is good enough to get u out of a bind as a backup. I like I wish him the best and I do hope he goes lights out and proves me wrong because then all this talk about qb could spent on other positions but Im going off of what ive seen and he has no passion.

But al that being said there are plenty of teams that would be better with Henne and that need a qb: Oakland, SF, Minn, Az, Seattle, Cleveland, Carolina, Dallas etc.

Price master
His stats in college tell the same exact story as what we are seeing today. Come on dude he through for an average of 7 yards and thats being generous he didn;t throw all that many tds in college! How many is he throwing now!!!!! The only thing that kept his qb ratin at 130 was his completion percantage and again look at point #1 it aint hard to throw it 7 yards son.

PRICE MASTER....IF MIAMI DOESN'T SIGN HENNE FOR A DECENT CONTRACT IN THE 6 MILLION PER YEAR ,HE WILL BE WELCOMED BY 5 OTHER TEAMS AT LEAST .HE'S YOUNG QB AND THERE'S MORE ROOM TO GROW .

Takeafterme,
You look at the offensive production the week before Chicago and the week after Chicago.
You got it wrong: he is only one the team follows.
And just so we are clear Stephen ross is a)Michigan Alumni and 2)the largest donor to Michigan's boosters. Ross likes Henne so much he bought the team. And proclaimed him better than Marino last summer.
Like it or not Henne will be the Phins QB for the next 10 years.

Yeah but thats because they are playing with 3rd stringers lol. Henne is a great back up border line starter if he could break away from his Tampon string and throw the effin ball down field with passion. He under throws thats a sign of caution. This is to Chad Henne. Forget all that crap u learned at Michigan u have a gun use it. U have the ability do it. Ur seat is warming up at the bench son u have nothing to lose it's either wake the f up now or start ur very long nfl career as a backup......

I would like it if he would wake up he has all the tools but no confidence in himself. And I am a dolphins fan and always will be so if thats the case I will be riding the roller coaster that is Chad Henne with u for the next ten years brother lol.

The reality is that the season is lost. Too many injuries. The best thing we can do now is to find out if our secondary players are any good or not. A few things are clear:
1. We pretty much have the people we need for defense and the defensive coordinator we need. May want to upgrade Crowder's position.
2. We have most of what we need on offense. We need a fast young RB, a better center, strengthening the Right line, a Tight End. All doable in a single free agency/draft.
3. Henne is our QB for the next two years at least. Why? We failed to get a long term QB for > a decade through free agency without success. Anybody we draft will take at least a couple of years to develop to a reasonable chance of success. Henne is the best QB we have had since Marino (albeit with a big drop off to be sure). His physical issues on accuracy and touch and mental issues of reading the whole field fast enough and looking off secondaries are trainable. He has improved over the last year. But we won't know if he moves up to a top 10 level for another couple of years. Hence draft a high round QB as a backup and play Henne to see if he makes the cut.
4. We need a new OC at the talent level of Nolan. Tough order.
5. Sparano has pretty much demonstrated he is not in the league with Shula, Walsh or Belichick but given that Belichick actually bombed at Cleveland, it is possible Saparano emerges. I doubt it but I think he is the probationary head coach next year.
6. Our front office has to improve their scouting. We cannot afford so many missed picks on the early rounds.
7. We are not far from where we need to be. Our talent needs can be fixed in a single draft/free agency. Depending on whether Henne cuts the mustard we will then be in good shape or not.

I see production my friend but no TDS. The same problem he had in college. Dink and dunk gets u yards but not in the endzone. The second the field gets shorter the dink and dunks have to turn into cannon shots and supremely accurate touch passes to the corners he doesn't believe in himself to throw tds so he doesn't he drops it off and we fall short.

I enjoy reading this blog but am struck by how many comments are negative on Sparano and the team as a whole. I have never posted on this blog and I have been a Dolphin fan my whole life. I think the Dolphins are an average team as their record indicates. Their defense is solid and their offense reminds me of the Baltimore Ravens the year they won the Super Bowl. I differ with people that post "we suck" and "fire Sparano now". I may be overly optimistic but I believe we are close. I watch every game with the Directv package and it seems we are always almost there. VERY FRUSTRATING. My evaluation is that there is credence to the complaints about the offensive coordinator but let's face it - he has to work with what he is given. Henne is too tenative and combine that with a game plan that does not take advantage of his skill set...you get a very conservative offense that lacks excitement. It seems to me that if you have a qb that has a strong arm and think he has talent and think he is the future, you turn him loose and let him grow. It seems that the coaching staff is all about not making mistakes. Football is about aggression and attack. I think we need a change at coordinator and a "stretch the field" receiver and we will be fine. Improvements along the OL will be helpful as well. On defense we need DL help and we also need to improve one LB spot. The secondary is better than average in my book but they need improvement. Right now Dan carpenter is the MVP of the offense and that does not bode well. just one guy's opinion.

I agree with you student but u missed on two things.

1. We need to sure up that secondary it's still very suspect.

2. Still draft a qb very high before the team gets too old and we have to start from scratch. Keep Henne but draft his replacement.

RDO4FUN, good post ,you should post mre often to give us to give us a break from DB and odin .

I think Pricemasters right about Henne.

Breaston, Edwards, Avant and Manningham didn't catch the NFL's scouts eyes all on their own.

The average yard a pass isn't a very good argument either. Almost every NFL Quarterbacks average was lower while playing in college. Theres a reason for this.

Pat White has some outrageously gaudy stats on a pass happy college team. The stats don't always translate well to the next level.

Not only that, Henne played on a Michigan team that was notorious for being a run first, three yards and a cloud of dust, smash mouth team.

Henne may or may not be able to make it at this level. That's not the issue right now here in Miami. How many young Quarterbacks has Sporano ever developed at a pro level? NONE!

Better yet, in a 154 year NFL career, how many young quarterbacks has Hennings developed? NONE!

The main point is, we're in danger of never seeing Henne develop to his full potential because this organization is ruining him by trying to pigeon hole him into an outdated decrepid 1980's style philosophy!

I'm telling you guys, it doesn't matter if we had Mallet, Moore and Newton, Henning and Sporano would damage everyone of them.

Pricemaster is right on this one.

Cam Newton

rdo4fun

I disagree the secondary is below average and the dline is above average and has plenty of depth. How did u come to that conclusion? We constantly get burned in the passin game as we can't even cover a te with a nickel back lol. At dline we have ordrick, starks, solia, merling, langford, mcdaniels and others how did u get that conclusion. Sure some are currently not playing but we have still consistenty stopped the run our front 7 on defense is solid our dbs need help.

Whos to say that Breaston, Edwards, Avant and Manningham didn't pad Henne's numbers????

rdo4fun,

Welcome to the blog.

Excellent post.

Don't be a stranger!!!!

ValHalla!!!!

how can abyone think we will get anywhete with sparano as a head coach? him and henning are so conservative they will never be better than 8-8 or close to it. because we play to the level of our competition.
i hope ross is as fed up with it as i am. our draft picks are horrible year in and year out, its just so frustrating. marshall has one td because of the offense. it doesnt throw downfield or take chances, bess was our leader before and he had three tds in two years!
has anyone talked about 3rd and 8 agaibst the browns midfield in the fourth quarter, abd what does henning and sparano do? run the ball. that cost us the game, not
just the dropped pick six, or the int.

3rd and 8 was an audible by henne. He called a draw to keep us in field goal range. Not horrible decision but shows lack of guts. He was coached that way he needs to break away from it and grow some. He is currently staring at a permanent backup spot if he doesnt start to believe in himself. He has all the tolls but zero swagger.

Takeafterme,

I wouldn't say those four recievers didn't help Henne's stats. On the contrary, I watched those games and I think those guys helped his numbers a lot. Those four guys specifically were able to get separation and run excellent routes. With that being said, Henne in turn helped their stats as well. After all, he did make the throws. Enough of them to rewrite the record books.

The problem I have with peopl wanting to give up on Henne at this point are three fold.

1. The has consistantly improved. Slowly for sure, but definitely improved.

2. We haven't yet seen him with a full compliment of receivers. I would like the chance to suspend judgment until we see him with Marshall and Bess(two of the best at their respective pos.) and a bonefide burner that can consistantly stretch the field and get separation.

3. I would also like to see him perform in a system designed and operated by a competent and "up to date" offensive coordinator. A guy that understands how to play to the teams strengths.

Until you can get a look at any quarterback under somewhat acceptable circumstances, I think you short change yourself and your team. I mean come on, defensive backs were getting in Marshalls head by calling out his routes before the snap. UNACCEPTABLE.

As far as your response to rdo4fun, I agree with you one respect. I believe our D-line is a team strength. It's not the best in the league but it's a solid team strength for sure.

I kind of disagree with you on our secondary. I think it's been steadily improving and TE's haven't been burning us like they were a year ago. I posted this a long time ago and I'll post it again. When Reshad gets settled in at FS and Clemons takes over at SS, this secondary will be lights out. Like rdo said, this is just one guys opinion.

3rd and 8 was an audible by henne. He called a draw to keep us in field goal range. Not horrible decision but shows lack of guts. He was coached that way he needs to break away from it and grow some. He is currently staring at a permanent backup spot if he doesnt start to believe in himself. He has all the tolls but zero swagger.

Posted by: takeafterme | December 11, 2010 at 10:26 PM


Sorry Dude, TROLL ALERT!!!!

ROTFLMAO-Henne DID NOT audible to a draw play on third and eight.

Henne was recently benched and only got back on the field so quick because of an injury and Thigpens TOTAL inability to make anything happen. He's barely been allowed to audible at all and you're going to try and pretend he audibled out of a Henning playcall with the game on the line?

Again-ROTFLMAO, get out of here with that garbage!

That was VINTAGE Hennings baby!

Odin I agree with you on the oc and it's not that I don't like Henne I do. My main problem with him is he misses deep and often. How can a coach call a deep route if his qb misses the through as Henne has more often than not. I'm not defending the coaching staff as they are lacking and I see the same potential in henne as u do but he just doesnt seem to let it fly when hes got someone open down field. Come on u see it just like I do ur not stupid I know that ur not. Henne has had 3 years to sit and play he did both and after three years he's still not making huge plays down field. U know just as well as I do that because of all the attention that marshall and bess have been getting that hartline has been running down field wide open and when henne throws the deep ball he seems to take something off of it like he scared to overshoot it. Hes playing scared on the touch pass. He's sure as sh** when he has to fire it in there and damn when he does he looks elite but his touch is lacking big time especially on the deep throw. And I'm sorry man but we need to draft a good #2 cb and I dont know about clemons I like clemons speed and ability but he lacks in is angle to the ball tends to over run plays. Reshad looked great and I hope he keeps it up and man I loved Y bell but he cant cover a TE for sh** and b sapp shows potential but sucks it up at times. We need consistency back there in the DB department and for christ sakes teach these boys how to catch the ball lol.

Well I'm out until tomorrow it's been real chattin with you folks and u all seem to know ur stuff. Can't say that I agree with all of ur points but they were all backed well and I can appreciate that. All in all we are all Dolfans and we will all be glued to our tvs tomorrow hoping to bring down the piece of sh** jets. I really hate that team more than any other in the league F the EFFIN jets. Lookin forward to chattin with u gents again after tomorrows victory!!!!! Hasta Laters.

ALoco,

Whats your meatball sub recipe?

takeafterme,

There's something I think we all agree on!

F the effin jets!!!!

Well said my friend.

Odinseye,

I think we should just smack the effing Jets over thier heads with a day old Aloco meatball sub!~!

**Muh Purdickshun**

Offense gets 20.

Defense gets a pick six.

We win a close one and by this time ta-morrah Henne is a Hero!!!!

F the EFFIN wets!!!!

LOL I thought u guys would like that and by the way it was an audible. Henning defended henne for calling it I read it in the herald. No biggie either way F the EFFIN jets!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see Armando brainstorming right now:

"What should I give my idiot short yellow bus kid to play with in the herald forum today?"

DB I'm no idiot short bus kid. And making fun of retarted children is a little immature dont ya think. 1. Chad Henne, not Dan Henning, is the one who went conservative yesterday.


The Dolphins had a promising start to the game, with Henne taking the offense down to Cleveland’s 31-yard line. But on third-and-10 from the 31, the Dolphins curiously handed off to Ricky Williams for an 8-yard gain to set up a field goal instead of trying to throw for a first down. The next play, a 41-yard field goal, was blocked.

The Dolphins went conservative a second time yesterday. On third-and-8 from Cleveland’s 49-yard line in a tie ballgame, the Dolphins again ran Williams for 3 yards instead of trying to throw the ball. They punted away, and Cleveland took the subsequent drive 94 yards for a touchdown.

The playcalls drew more than a few boos from the crowd, and left many Dolphins fans screaming at offensive coordinator Dan Henning for his conservative playcalling.

But don’t blame Henning for at least the first call, and probably the second one, too. Henne had the option at the line of scrimmage to call a run or pass based on the defensive coverage. And Henne opted to run.

“When you have nine guys dropping and eight guys dropping in coverage, there’s not many holes out there to throw the ball,” Henne said. “So, our best bet is to run the ball, see if we can break it open and have our guys up front block for him.”

So the Dolphins now have a quarterback who would rather hand the ball off than take his chances downfield. The Browns tested his decision-making all game long, and Henne failed.

“They were making you work, go through the progression and see if I had checked the ball down and make the smart decision,” Henne said. “And sometimes I did, and other times the interceptions happened.”

Henne now has thrown 12 touchdowns against 15 interceptions this year, and his 77.5 passer rating is 25th-best in the NFL, one spot below Oakland’s Jason Campbell. And now you can add “decision-making” to the list of his struggles.

“One of the interceptions made today, the ball should have gone to a different place, and didn’t,” head coach Tony Sparano said. “You just can’t turn the ball over at that rate.”

I'm not making it up and I'm no fool but u would rather call people retarted than aknowledge they may have a point. Good luck with that. Know this I'm a fellow dolfan just like urself these blogs are put here for us to debate yes but not to belittle one another. All in all we are all rooting for the same team so lets keep it that way. I know my football and have been a loyal dolfan for well over twenty years now so show some respect and quit being so ignorant.

takeafterbozo,

I am just saying it as it is, baby! Dont like the heat, stay out of the kitchen, baby!
Go to the Sun Sentinel for your liking.LOL

?

takeafterbozo, why dont you go to the Sun Sentinel it is a spot for softies.....LOL

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.