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Miami's offensive line continues to be a problem

You want to know where the Dolphins running game went this year?

Look no further than the offensive line.

(Well, the line isn't totally at fault as the running backs have had too many moments when they've showed little explosion and don't often break tackles and the offensive coordinator has abandoned the run on more than one occasion.)

But I digress.

It is mostly the offensive line. I would say the problems with the running game are located in that group about 60 percent of the time.

So what is the problem? Well, let's start at the beginning:

The Miami coaching staff and personnel department had a good-not-great offensive line in 2009 after committing to nearly $156 million in contracts, the first overall selection of the 2008 draft, a fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft, a sixth-round pick in the 2008 draft, and a sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft.

But something happened to the Dolphins en route to having all that free agency money and draft resources become an excellent line: The bottom fell out.

The Dolphins signed Justin Smiley who came with a repuation for getting hurt and having a bum shoulder. And he got hurt and had a bum shoulder so bad the Dolphins asked him not to show up for offseason conditioning last March because they were afraid Smiley might hurt himself. He turned into a free agency bust because the team signed him to a big contract with the hopes he'd be the left guard for five years. He was the left guard for only part of two years.

The Dolphins also signed Jake Grove to a big contract in 2009 with the expectation he'd be their starting center for five years. He came with a reputation for getting hurt and the Dolphins were apparently surprised when, shockingly, Grove got hurt. Free agent bust.

Shawn Murphy was a draft bust. Donald Thomas, who showed much promise for about 10 minutes, got hurt in his first professional game and missed the rest of his rookie season. He came back last season and was a disappointment. He was cut in camp this year. Draft bust.

Andrew Gardner? Never really developed because, at the end of the day, he was a triple option blocker and no one in the NFL runs the triple option. Draft bust.

So those wasted picks hurt. 

The Dolphins did hit one draft home run by picking Jake Long with the first overall selection in 2008. He's been everything you might want of a franchise left tackle. So he's a draft exclamation point, as first overall picks should be.

But he's been playing injured practically the entire year.

I asked him after the Green Bay game how he was feeling. "I feel great," he said with a big smile.

That was perhaps the one time this season that's been the case. Long suffered MCL damage in one knee the final preseason game. That was an issue for a while. Then he injured his ankle. Then he suffered a shoulder injury that will likely require surgery after the season. And lately he's got knee problems again, which are limiting him in practice the last week or so to the point he hasn't participated in all the drills.

Long is playing well. But he's not as good as he could be simply because he's not 100 percent and really hasn't been all year, with the possible exception of that moment when he answered my question.

There is, of course, the right tackle spot, also. Vernon Carey is out for the remainder of the year. The Dolphins placed him on IR on Tuesday with a knee injury. Carey was not exactly setting the world on fire before he got hurt. Unofficial stats show he had allowed three sacks and was responsible for five penalties this season.

But Carey's departure is a big loss because the drop from him to the next best tackle on the team is significant. Lydon Murtha played right tackle on Sunday against New York. He yielded one sack and had a penalty. I do not know how he graded out run-blocking but the Dolphins averaged 3.2 yards per rush, so it is hard to imagine Murtha played great in that area.

And the tackles have been the strong points for the Miami line. Can you imagine?

The interior of the Miami line is a problem. A big problem.

Joe Berger is an over-acheiver and as many over-achievers do, sometimes he's up, sometimes he's down. The Dolphins are getting more than their money's worth for this second-tier free agent signee. That's good because they got so little for Grove. But is Berger dominant? Elite? No. No.

Rookie John Jerry showed hopeful signs of being a big-time acquisition when he earned a starting right guard job early on. But then he got sick and missed four games and was never really that good when he returned. Jerry actually started losing ground, playing poorly against Chicago and Oakland, so he was benched. So much for rookies developing from the jump and showing constant improvement.

This doesn't make Jerry a bust or a disappointment. But he's not exactly looking like a star, either, especially when you consider Pat McQuistan, a career backup who had not started a game until this year, is now starting at right guard.

You want to believe the reason McQuistan is starting is because he is simply a beast. The truth is he is starting because he's the best candidate of a struggling lot.

Interestingly, the biggest gamble the Dolphins took along the offensive line this year is working out. Richie Incognito came with an ugly reputation for losing his mind at precisely the wrong moment. That is the reason he got kicked off a college team, got kicked off the Rams and the Bills wanted to go in another direction so they cut him.

The Dolphins are lucky to have him now. Incognito has started every game. He hasn't freaked out at any point on the field. He's good enough that the Dolphins have made attempts to extend his one-year contract. He is not a big problem. He's good enough. But he's probably playing out of position because he seems to me to be a more natural and comfortable right guard. The fact he's playing out of position is a sign of Miami's weakness at left guard because, best case, Incognito would be at RG with a superior player at LG.

The picture this all paints is of a unit that the personnel department and the coaching staff have been trying to get right for three seasons with no success. They got somewhat good at the beginning of 2009 but they have fallen off since, never reaching a point where anyone with decision-making power feels the OL is solid and a non-issue.

Nope, the offensive line is an issue. The Dolphins will have to draft for more OL help this offseason. I imagine a guard or center will do the trick and the hope here is they pick someone early enough that he's good enough to play immediately. If Jeff Ireland is thinking outside the box, perhaps he can draft a right tackle and move Vernon Carey inside, although that would make Carey an overpaid guard. Whatever works, folks. It's not our money.

In the meantime, the offensive line is the black hole that swallowed Miami's running game. Frustratingly, the line doesn't seem dramatically better now than it was in 2008. On any given Sunday, it might even be worse.


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Jet Fan take your loss like a man and face it the Jets aren't going anywhere just like the fins. Now I do agree the line is the biggest problem to the run game but we also do not stick with it either when it does work like the Baltimore game we had 45 yards rushing on the first drive I believe. Hennings play calling has been bad , but you can't blame it all on him we have to execute, blocks, catching the ball and being able to actually drop back and complete a pass down field when someone is open. better Oline and better QB play and we would be a playoff team to deep into the playoffs, but where we going to find the QB and they don't seem to be able to put together the line after 3 years although last years line did play really well at times as was previously mentioned and then we got rid of three of those guys for mostly backups.

Please Pass me on orange or a tomato
There are none?

New World Order devastating food supply through HAARP weather controlling weapons of mass destruction

Boatloads of proof NWO Elite already growing enuff of their own food under ground in D.U.M.B. caves

The worst is yet to come

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
George Bush, The Clintons & Barrack Obama

NWO, it must be stopped before its too late. Wake up now!! Like today!!!

Orange Obama is ok in my book, we finally have a president to attack the reptilians, go bro, HERO OBAMA to be in the history books!!!

Greetings from Home!


Regarding those 3 linemen you are referring to that we replaced with backups, 2 are out of the NFL and the other is a back up somewhere else. They were no longer good enough to play, too injury prone, so they are now worse than our current second string players, no other NFL wants them. The real issue was investing big in Grove and Smiley knowing the were injury prone to begin with.

home who craes, worst thing that could happen is to win these games. season is over playoff wise so lose these games and get the value up of our first rd pick, and maybe convinve ross to hire a new coach

henne sux, if the dummy could throw down field accurately,that would open up a ton of running lanes. it's on henne. he blows chunks. period!


I'm starting to think the same way.

Even if we somehow win these next three and by some miracle make the playoffs we aren't going to go any where.

Why not throw in Thigpen and some of the backups for some real NFL reps and evaluate what we have and prepare for the draft and next year. This year is a lost cause.

Mr. Homes:

Quick question- Why all the fuss about global warming, and the need for environmental reforms (like CAFE standards, Kyoto, etc.) if the gov. can just HAARPify the weather?

Global Warming? I say pooey, we can make the earth as cold as want, damnit?

Is this HAARP thing just a way of the government trying to undermine Al Gore's efforts? Or is Al Gore part of the New World Order, and this is all just a big clusterf*ck?

I'm so confused these days, Homie.

tapeworm, homer thinks rain snow lightening thunder and storms were all invented 50 years go, he is delusional. storms are easy stories for lazy reporters, but he choose to believe everyone is a haarp experiment. he'd make a good character on sitcom.

Imposter posting as Home again like the fake A-hole at 8:26 am

Mr. Wily:

I can't argue with the delusional assesment.

Wonder if it's possible that Homes doesn't believe any of his ridiculous BS and is just doing it to amuse us...

Either way, the bottom line is that Homes may be an idiot, but he's OUR idiot!

Alright now, on the count of three, we put on our tin foil hats :)

Global warming also brings on global cooling.
Extreme highs in the Summer.
Extreme lows in the Winter.

Lots of HAARP severe storms,earthquakes,volcanic eruptions,tsunamis,droughts,floods,hurricanes,etc.
However you will never understand,cause your just too stupid and ignorant.

Al Gore is Illuminati.

Henne and Fitzy have both started 11 games this season.
Henne has more yards, a higher completion pct, more completions of 20+, and a higher yds/att.
Oh yeah and more wins this season, in his careeer and certainly in his college career. He is upside down on his td's no question.

Fitzy, who is on his 3rd team in 6 six NFL seasons has 8 more tds and 4 less picks and has a higher qb rating there is no question about that either.



I Hope You Enjoy The Game This Week and I Hope Fitzy Gives You A Big Load To Swallow!!!

Anyone who thinks these last three games are pointless is missing the point. It's not even about draft vs playoffs. It's a matter of building something in Miami going forward. If you finish at 9-7 or 10-6, you make this team more enticing for free agents and offensive coaches going forward. Miami will look like an up and coming young team - which they are on the verge of making a leap into relevancy. This OC job could make for an enticing stepping stone for an up and coming OC who wishes to be a HC. If someone can come in here and resurrect this offense and make the team relevant in 2011 - that will make them a HC candidate. You flunk out and finish with 7 wins - that will make the job more difficult.

In a nutshell, the HAARP ionospheric heater is the nucleus of the expertise acquired by the military to control the weather. By pouring measured energy that has been focused into certain parts of the ionosphere, scientists can create all kinds of storms like hurricanes, thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, and drought. In NEWS1198, "U.N. Treaty Proves Weather Control Is Real", we report news articles that Malaysia actually contracted with a Russian Weather Modification HAARP company to create a hurricane that would be directed close enough to clear the smoke and smog from Malaysia's cities without actually coming on to land to create devastation. This Russian company delivered, and Malaysia had clear skies.

Reference to Barium in the HAARP patent report:

"It has also been proposed to release large clouds of barium in the magnetosphere so that photo ionization will increase the cold plasma density, thereby producing electron precipitation through enhanced whistler-mode interaction."

must not underestimate QB Fitzpatrick on the Bills who is playing much better as of late than Chad Henne

No question bout that if u watched the second half of the season

Believe Fitzi has thrown at least 1 TD with that not so good staff in the last 16 consecutive games

Buffalo has

QB more TDs
RB more TDs
WR more TDs than Miami

If Miami's draft looks something like this, I will be one happy guy. I think they should try to trade down again and do something like the following:

1. Derek Sherrod, OT, Miss State
2. DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas
3. DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
4. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
5. Cecil Shorts, WR, Mt Union

The names can change but if we acquire similar talents in the draft in the same positions, this team will be well equipped to add at least 2-3 wins in 2011.

If you draft an OT early, then you can move Carey to G and have Garner/Incognito battle it out at C. Then again, someone else mentioned Pouncey at C in round 1. That will be ok too and leave Carey outside for another year - carey has been much maligned- unfairly I think - but then again, I'm also a supporter of Channing Crowder and Sean Smith.

Either way, I'd leave Qb alone for now unless someone really good becomes available and try to surround Henne with as much talent as possible and draft a guy like Ponder/Devlin/Stanzi in the mid rounds and try to catch lightning in a bottle.

can we finish the season before we have to read some Canucks wanna be draft picks!

Dear Mr. Salguero

Is the ionosphere one big strip club where the government makes it rain ?

Getting to the bottom of things

Soiled :)

aloco. why is sanchez and henne on the very bottom of the list for afc qb's.?..lol


Home and the Illuminati, don't ya get it? he's got a secret society deep in his jeans, very deep.

Imposter posting as Home again like the fake A-hole at 8:26 am

Posted by: just saying | December 15, 2010 at 09:44 AM


No worries Homes, we know that wasn't you. Everyone on the blog knows that you're a regular Archie Bunker.

Home i watched a 10 minute video about HAARP on you tube. honestly,i did not what the Hell you were talking about,thought you were a conspiracy theorist.
amazing what i learned and yes this thing can easily control or create extreme weather and so much more.keep me informed on what is next,right now i am flabbergasted.HAARP is incredibly scarey.

Mr. Homes:

I really do appreciate some of the things you post, and find them quite humorous.

For Example, I actually referred to Dolphins Stadium/Pro Player/Joe Robbie/Land Shark/Sun Life as "Chemtrail Death Stadium" the other day...

Mark in Toronto,

I like your draft list by position. It's sad this front office invested so much into the offensive line and have whiffed because of bad draft picks and injury prone players even before they got to Miami. I would rather have an explosive skill player in round 1 or an offensive difference maker however if Sparano is retained that means Miami will continue their plodding style and play NOT to lose as opposed to let's go get 14-0 lead because we can.

I particularly like DJ Williams. He doesn't have proto type size for this Parcell tree of coaches and front office though. He is about 6'2 (more like 6'1) 245 lbs. He isn't as fast as Dustin Keller but he is in that mold. However he actually gives effort as a run blocker even if he is not elite at it. I do like him with Fasano in 2 TE sets as the pass catching TE.

what`s archie bunker? is that where we will sleep in the New World Order FEMA camps? or is that the deep underground military bases for the elite to survive?

Orange-juice futures jumped to the highest since May 2007 after Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower, declared a state of emergency amid HAARPed up severe cold and the realization of extreme crop damage.

Governor Charles Crist said “extreme temperatures” threaten the state with a “major disaster.”
"This unprecedented environmental damage to all citrus and vegetables in the state of Florida has put the countries food supply at risk."
"We really never saw this coming so early in the year,after all Winter has not even officially started yet." "How did this extreme cold weather come to Florida?"

speaking of home,

Dude, get a woman, read less Newsweek and move out of Mom's house.

and watch Fox news while picking your dumbass like me.

Trying to plot out what position we will draft in what round right now is pointless. The only thing about the draft that we know is Miami needs to draft a QB cause FA offers little to no options. It doesn't matter where we draft what position but it's clear that between FA & the draft this team needs:
2 RB's with speed
TE with speed
Speed WR

Carey will be back next year and can either move to guard or come back at RT. Garner can occupy another guard spot & Jerry can either go back to guard or maybe go out to RT. So, it is possible we will only need a Center.

On Defense, we need:
OLB with rush skills to complement Wake
2 CB's.

In all honesty, I don't trust Ireland & Sparano to bring in young talent anymore. They have lost my confidence. I would prefer to fill most holes through FA with guys in their mid 20's. At OL, FS, CB & RB there are many of these options available. And allot of them can be had without breaking the bank.

If they want to win now, before Dansby & Wake hit their 30's, this is the best way. Win now does not mean draft projects that need 2-3 years to develop.

homey, you call everyone idiots and then believe everything any idiot politician says. who is the idiot? the governor calls something unprecedented which in fact has happened periodically in Florida for centuries. the only thing unprecedented may be how much money the farmers will lose and how much money he coaxes from the gov. its called politics, not science.

wake up dumball.

need my food home!why are they destroying the food?
how can i get in the underground archie bunker?

First off, Home go FUKK yourself! You criticize me for posting football stuff while you talk gibberish for 3 pages. YOU FUKKIN HOME_O!

2nd, Andy, yes, the TE is small but that's the type of guy we need, one that will stretch the field. Fasano is a capable blocker and decent receiver. He can keep doing that job. We need another guy with Williams type skill set and completely ignored it last year and it's come back to haunt us as we all see.

This was b4 last nights deep freeze in Florida

The Wall Street Journal reported that as of Tuesday the price of a bushel of green beans had increased 62 percent since this past weekend

bye,bye fresh food supply

U R directing your anger at the wrong person
Home has not posted to u

Hope the anger management and yoga classes help with your problem b4 it is too late

Happy Holidays to that miserable lonely guy in frozen Canada lol

Will send u a box of oranges if there are any left after NWO HAARP freeze this Fall

Believe Dolphins WRs and RBs come to life against Bills in ...cough, cough
..... Chemtrail Death Stadium

Sparano still angry at Poser Boy CB sean for dropping 3 Ints

"good ball skills, Huh?"

Why do people even bother addressing people on a sports blog who talk about gold, crops & climate?

Mr. Mark in Toronto:

How about Kyle Rudolph, TE from Notre Dame? Can strech the field, and is a good blocker. 6'6 should be big enough to satisfy this regimes size standards. I am a member of the 'draft mark ingram' fan-club, but I sure wouldnt mind if our 1st pick was used on Rudolph

Yes Joe
Gold was over 1400 per ounce y-day as Home predicted for u 8 months ago

Hope u made a bundle for your family on Homes o going 8 month Miami Herald Gold tip, to enjoy during the Holiday season

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

U really dont like the player Rudolph that much
Simply a psychological stimulus name that makes u feel all warm and fuzzy during the holiday season

Merry Christmas tapeworm from cooper city

any playas named Santa or Kringle? LMAO!

homer, i guess you are not happy with a cb who deflected 5 passes and was instrumental in helping the team get a win. a pass deflection is considered a good play too ya know????

home learn to admit when you are WRONG.

Mr. Joe Schmoe:

We here at the blog sometimes get off topic. When the Fins are winning, everybody enjoys talking X's and O's. But when your team sucks the big one, all the football talk can get a little depressing.

Any cursory study of pschology will teach you that humor is often used as a coping mechanism.

Now that the Fins have been deep-throating a donkey dick (save for the defense), we are in full-on greiving mode.

Some of us are still in the 1st stage (denial), thinking we still have hopes of a playoff birth, but many have accepted our fate.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the laughs provided by the likes of Mr. Bottoms, the peeing lady, and the many drunken rants of Mr. Odin.

As for Mr. Homes, well he's just our village idiot.

I think we r goin to get mankins in fa and move Richie to rg or center if Jerry can play better either at c or g

Home made me thousands between Dolphin news and gold prices.tapeworm has brought nothing.

I didn't see Garner's name in the article. His loss was huge. Clearly we need a talent infusion on the offensive side of the ball, starting with the OL, then RB, then QB. I'm not sold on Henne, but he'll be better next year and who knows what we're able to get in trade/FA/draft. And I always remember John Madden saying that the RB makes the OL. Not sure I agree entirely, but our RB's aren't creative with the ball in their hands. If we had the OL we had at the start of 2009, these guys produce.

Jack Frost 6'6" for offensive lineman in the draft.
Real good but melts under Florida sun.

Jack Frost 6'6" for offensive lineman in the draft.
Real good but melts under Florida sun.

Posted by: tapeworm | December 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM


As I said, Mr. Homes, I enjoy many of your posts. This one was particularly funny.

Fortunitely for the Fins, we wont have to worry bout Mr. Frost melting, as the HAARP rays will keep it cloudy and cold at Chemtrail Death Stadium!

Home may be right on chemtrails.

The first governmental acknowledgement of its kind, a public official from Cleveland, Ohio has referenced "chemtrails" in a bill put before congress. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D) has submitted bill no. HR 2977 IH , which proposes a ban on the weaponization of space. One of the weapons systems listed in the bill is "chemtrails". The use of this term is significant because until now, all reported governmental inquiries into this issue have been dismissed or denied.

It is worse.

Sparano's Pet Project = Epic Fail.

Save The Nolans - Fire Sparano

Imagine that!
A bill submitted by a Congressman to ban Chemtrails & HAARP!

So guess the only real conspiracy theory is there is no such thing as Chemtrails and HAARP weather weapon!

The dumbed down Sheeple have learned something today

Imagine That!

Mr. Homes:

For the record, I do not question the existence of HAARP (based on information gained from a credible source- not the ridiculous crap you post here).

That aside, do not post your stupid gloom and doom conspiracy bullsh*t under my name please.

Rather than posting the same stuff under multiple names, own your opinions- even if no one else believes them.

However i do find this intriguing and realize i was wrong and you right on chemtrails.

Home may be right on chemtrails and HAARP ionospheric heater and WMD

The first governmental acknowledgement of its kind, a public official from Cleveland, Ohio has referenced "chemtrails" in a bill put before congress. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D) has submitted bill no. HR 2977 IH , which proposes a ban on the weaponization of space. One of the weapons systems listed in the bill is "chemtrails". The use of this term is significant because until now, all reported governmental inquiries into this issue have been dismissed or denied.

My doom and gloom reality is the Dolphins are done and my belly hurts from this incredibly large worm with a vociferous appetite in my belly.

You are right on the money. I saw the difference an OL can make to all aspects of the offense in 2002 with the Bears. In 2001 the Bears made the playoffs, ran the ball well, had a conservative passing attack, and won with defense and ball control (sound familiar) in 2002 with all the same skill position players (RB's, QB, Receivers) the offense couldnt run and couldnt pass and the offense ground to a halt because of wholesale changes in the OL. For an OL coach the only saving grace that Sparano has is that he doesnt make all the personnel decisions. However, the drop off in the OL from last year to this has been the linchpin in the problems that Henne, Henning and the two R's are having. On the good side, we have a wealth of young talent in the defensive backfield, which was a wasteland two years ago....one step forward one step back. We could make a run into an exciting final game with New England's second string players, but the Dolphins arent good enough to be in the playoffs imho

Tape, perhaps to you it's humorous. To me, this nonsensical rambling does not offer solace, humor or diversion from Miami's average, yet expected, season. Nor do I need it to feel better. I love my Dolphins, win or lose. I love football. But, I'm a realist. I guess if you don't expect much, you'll never be disappointed.

I always have & will continue to ignore meaningless ramblings. It is my choice, it's not for every one.

Being that some of the common sense folk here actually know how to articulate points about the team, I would rather read their comments. They make it worth it. Not babble about the price of gold, the change in temperatures or whatever other meaningless topics people spout off.

tapeworm, my draft list wasn't meant to be absolute by any means. As they say, there's mor than one way to skina cat. I like your boy Rudolph and mark Ingram for that matter. If they go that way and still manage to adress the OL - that's ok with me too. Also, keep in mind that is a pre FA drft list. Last year's draft list would have been very different befoe free agency too. The additions of Marshall/Dansby gave this team more flexibility.

Whatever way they find to address TE/RB/QB/OL?and speed WR deficiencies is ok with me. Just don't do what they did last year burning late draft picks on LBS when oyu already had a million of them with guys like Dorin Dickerson on the draft board. Not saying Dickerson would have been a star but he had a unique skill set at TE which might have helped this team. Spitler/McCoy et all had ZERO chance of making an impact.

Friends I urge you to listen to Home! Seriously I thought he was a whack to until I actually started doing some research on my own.

Home and his rantings are for REAL. STOP. LOOK. LISTEN.

The time is NOW!.

Thanks Homes, one by one you will convince the bloggers..

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