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Dolphins must, must, MUST improve deep pass game

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano says his team will continue to be a run-first team.

That's fine. Solid strategy.

But in today's NFL, you must, must, must pass the ball to win championships. I remind you Green Bay's running game was not exactly the example of hard-nosed football last year, in fact, James Starks wasn't really their starter until the playoffs.

The Packers won the Super Bowl on the arm of Aaron Rodgers. And last year, the Saints won it on the arm of Drew Brees. And Pittsburgh and Indianapolis could throw it before that.

So Sparano obviously cannot ignore the passing game. He must continually examine his quarterback play, his receiver play, his offensive line and running back blocking.

As to the receivers, the coach says "I like the group, it was really productive. Again." But ...

"Where we haven't done it is down the field with the big play," Sparano said. "With us, Brian [Hartline] was at the time [of his injury] the highest average guy. Brandon brings great productivity to the position and can be a guy that can catch a little one and go long or catch the long one.

"In fairness to those guys, we need to advance the ball down the field better. And that's something we've been working on this offseason ourselves."

Sparano says the problem is "a little bit of everything" when identifying why the Dolphins haven't been able to master the deep passing game. I would say look at quarterback Chad Henne. Look at the lack of speed on the outside. Look at the blocking up front. Look at receivers sometimes running patterns that they were not supposed to run.

"You can't point the finger at one person. It's wasn't Chad's fault. It wasn't Dan Henning's fault. There were some opportunities where we have the green light and can get the ball down the field and we didn't have the protection. and it might not be the line's fault that we didn't have the protection."

Great, it is nobody's fault that this phase was bad. Blame the media! That always works.

"At the end of the day," Sparano said, "we have to take more opportunities to throw it down the field and to do that we have to infuse more A) creativity, B) speed."

Sparano is hopeful Marlon Moore "the fastest guy we have" can help. He also talked about other guys on the practice squad who can scoot. Obviously Roberto Wallace is a factor. But there is no doubt the team will try to find an outside threat.

Remember that Jeff Ireland was among the Dallas personnel department that found Miles Austin as an undrafted rookie. Austin could not run a route to save his life. But he was big and fast and the Cowboys had a fifth-round grade on him. When Austin slipped through the cracks, the Cowboys scooped him up.

And the rest, five years later, is history.

One hopes history repeats in South Florida.

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Miles Austin is a fluke.
So is our FO.

Let's break what the Fist pumper has said, #1 We're gonna be a running team first. has anyone informed Mr.FG that they dont have a first string RB signed??, #2 "We need to pass better", Has anyone told Mr.FG that they only have Chad(Party animal)Henne as a QB???, My thoughts?, 3 and 13... or 1 and 8 in a strike shorten season........

Defense, Speed, QB, Run game.

That is order of importance to win championships. Defense is more important than QB. Look at the recent Patriots, or look at last year's colts. All recent Superbowl champs have elite defenses.

nice one armando, a new "in depth" report, this is certainly a deeper one than the last and way more relevant I expect a classic blog from the crew on this

Look at the last 12 SB winners. GB, NO, Pitt x2, NE x 3, Indy, Baltimore, Rams, Bucs & NY.

Only ONE was a certified run first team & it was Baltimore. But they were more carried by Defense. Every other team was either a pass first team or an explosive passing team.

Bucs - West Coast pass heavy team with Defense
Giants 07-08 - Balanced attack
NE - Pass first
Rams - Greatest show on turf
Pitt - Since Big ben arrived it's big plays in passing game & running to compliment
Colts - enough said
NO - enough said
GB - big passing game

More evidence that Sparano is running an extinct brand of NFL football & while the rest of the league adapts to the environment, Miami stubbornly does not.

Armando, no clue as to why you never mention Marlon Moore as a possible answer to the deep passing game. Little production last year but he is a burner. One has to think that he has developed over the last year and can contribute in 2011.

Like Mikes Austin, Moore is not a good route runner. But he should be improving. And like Mike Wallace in P'burgh the Fins should use Moore on go routes, easiest route to run.

Fast wide recievers are great. They are usless if they cannot run routes, or get open. That is evident by the fast guys we had on our roster that struggled to get on the field last year. It says a lot about the develpoment of our young recievers that we were bringing in Vets to run routes when the injury bug stung.

We were able to get recievers deep when we could match the protections with the play call. The problem was Henne couldn't complete passes over 20 yards. We also couldn't get protection consistantly to try and get the ball down the field. There are a lot of factors involved in getting the ball down the field that involve fast recievers.

JaMarcus Russell.....from his knees. That's a good 60 yard pass. Or standing. That's a good 80 yards. Oh, wait, he can't hit $ hit. Maybe resigning Pennington? Except he can't throw 30 yards.

If I could get a Chad Henne to Ted Ginn Jr. "go" route over both Jets corners 35-40 yards down the field for a TD I'd take that every time (substitute Ginn for maybe Sidney Rice or an even crazier idea; maybe our main attraction "The Marshall"). Step up Henne, cause Palmer isn't going to make it 6 games before he's injured.

Quick Armando, Brandon Marshall was just spotted in Aruba having a picture taken of him with his head in one of those wooden cut out picture posing things! Call TMZ they might have a picture for your next blog!

Please someone explain the love for Cam Newton, when his more experienced, better twin is out there for nothing...VINCE YOUNG!!!

Joe Schmoe you're calling NY an explosive passing team (when they won the SB)? That team was a run first team. They had two very good backs.

Listen, I know cincy and I know Carson palmer, obviously better than mando. And we DO NOT want this guy. Never mind that he has put together two winning seasons in like six years and not one playoff win. Never mind that he has been giving some of the best wide receivers in the game, a better and brighter bunch than probably any other qb in the game right now, and has gotten steadily worse. Never mind that he would cost the same as six Chad hennes or four Vince youngs, if that makes you feel better. Never mind he lead the league last year in pick six. Never mind ALL OF THAT. the guy is an emotionless jerk with no loyalty to the team he plays for and will never again be an elite qb because of his injury to the steelers in the playoffs. I was at that game. He hasn't been the sAme since, and he blames cincy? I cannot stand mike brown, but he has given Palmer anything he has ever wanted since he was drafted. And after years of loyalty and sticking with Palmer when he shouldve been Benched, or cut, they paid him more. They let him believe that it's not his fault, it's the receivers, just as boomer said. So...it's Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, houschmenzadeh, jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, Antonio Bryant (who they paid eight mill to because Palmer wanted him and he didn't play a down), all the draft picks on other receivers....it's all their fault, not the jerk who would rather sit out eight games with an undisguised 'elbow injury' that started the game after they had no chance to make the playoffs, and miraculously got better without surgery at the end of the season....
Oh and lastly, Palmer thinks he should play for two teams that he wants to, Seattle because of Pete and San Fran because it's close to home, and cincy can suck it because quote 'he had 80 mill' in the bank and doesn't need to play.' end quote. No loyalty to the team he got the money from. And....by the way, did u notice what team he didn't list in the teams he'll play for? Us.
If u still want him, then I would seriously consider picking another sport to report on mando.

fin4life,

From the last blog(apparently Tony agrees with uslol):

fin4life,

If Tony wants to remain a run first kind of coach, that's fine, it's his career!

No, seriously though. If Tony wants to be a run oriented that's fine, but he better get the passing game straightened out and quick. You can't be good at one, if you're no good at the other.

In essence, it's apples and oranges(I think-LOL). The best thing he can do for our rushing attack, is the best thing he can do for our passing attack.

At this point, and I honestly believe this, the best way to improve our rushing attack is to get that bona fide speed/deep threat that can actually CATCH the ball.

The second best thing he can do to improve the run game is to get that bona fide seam stretching/pass catching TE.

The third best thing he needs to improve the ground game is a MASSIVE upgrade at right tackle. Get us that bookend to play opposite Jake Long.

With these slower possession types that we have an overabundance of, and a dink and dunk passing game, I doubt even a talent like Walter Payton would have much success.

In this day and age there's a fine line between being a rushing team and a passing team. Without one, you ain't going to have the other.

Dooh! Sorry about this long rambling post. I should have just said: Fine, if he wants to have any success running the ball, he better fix the passing attack! Damn!!!!

Anyway, I'm with you 100%. If we can't vertical this season, we won't have much offensive success, whether we run first OR pass first!

Armando,

After seeing the 1st two pages of responses to the lasy blog, I had a feeling you'd get a new one up pretty quick.

Moving right along.............NOT!

You ain't going to live that one down for a long time. I've never known you to dive so deep into the dumpster.

TMZ? Snicker, snicker, Ha ha Haw Haw! ROTFLMAO @ YOU ARMANDO!!!!

does anyone beleive that sparano can get us 8 wins next year? I bet the over under in vegas will be 5 or at most 6.
Everything he mentioned as why are deep passing was not good last year goes back to coaching.

You can`t point the finger at one person it wasn`t Dan Henning`s fault, what !! huhh !!!! Memo to Tony, when opposing D.B.`s are saying in the press !! week in and week out that they know exactly what your going to run based on how vanilla your formations are, then you can take about 75% of the blame and lay it squarely at the OC`s feet. I wonder how many routes were broken off in an attempt to catch an agressive D.B. of guard by one of our frustrated rec.

R.Wallace and M.Moore are your 4th and 5th rec. when in reality they are to green at this point, still a couple of projects at that. They should have been on your practice squad meat head, you basically hand cuffed the team into playing with 3 legit rec. If you want to kick yourself do it for not putting those 2 on the P.S. while adding A.Armstrong to the active roster, you remember him Tony he`s the guy lighting it up in Wash. if you wanna talk game breaking speed and you had him 2 seasons on the bubble as a P.S. guy !

The only thing I can read into his comments is that all those that want a Q.B. early can forget it, same goes for all those crying for W.R., ain`t happening they will go OL and RB before they give anything else a consideration, I hope it`s OL 1st. then R.B. with a shot at someone like E.Gates in the 4th given the frame work he`s laying out for 2011.

I think we need to find a good deep threat. i don't think we have him on the roster now.

If you want to be a run first team we had better have a GAME BREAKER at RB....

and Road Graters for an O-Line

I hope Chris Johnson's little brother is in this draft.....

Why do I get the feeling that it took Coach Tony quite a few BURNS to learn that the stove IS HOT!

Very insightful article:

"Dolphins must, must, MUST improve deep pass game"

Also I'd like to add that for the Dolphins to win more games this year, they will have to score more points than the other team more frequently.

Also, water is wet.

I don't believe that calling yourself a "Run First" football team excludes them from being a team that passes well. I would also note that Miami threw the ball more last year in many games then they ran it. And they were a "Run First" team then also.
I believe what our coach is saying (seemingly above Armando's reach) is that he planes on using the running game as a platform for a stout passing attack. Without having a elite quaterback, it is going to be necessary to inorporate play action into much of the passing attack. Unless you have a respectable running game, that will not work. And unless you have an O-line capable of producing a credible running game, you won't have one. And without speed on the outside, defenses will just go into a zone and wait on mistakes...

Talk all the shiznit you want about Sparano... the man spoke the absolute truth about what is going on and what is needed. And the silly argument about "Not having any RB's" is ridiculous. There are more RB in free agency then ever, and the draft will produce at least one. PLUS, because of the gluttonous nature of free agent QB's... Miami will have an opportunity to keep Brown or Williams. There are just too many bulls in the barn and they all need a Field of their own. Free agency will open eventually, if it doesn't... there will be no season anyway. Getting RB's in Miami is the LEAST of our worries.

By the way Armando... Blaming the press is not always such a bad thing. Their agenda laden nature and often bias reporting has left them wide open to scrutiny. That is no ones fault but their own...

**** Free agent RB's... Not QB's... My mistake

"Great, it is nobody's fault that this phase was bad. Blame the media! That always works."

This quote by Armando was not necessary and ridiculously unprofessional

C'mon Man!

Derek4,

You`r point is well taken let`s just hope that Henne is taught to sell play action better and that the R.B.`s actually make a stab at the ball themselves to sell it.

0x80, @12:57

LMFAO !

Derek4, before I forget Sparano said what he knows everybody wants to hear, nothing more, nothing less, it reads like spin to me, sorry I just don`t see it like you do.

Without having a elite quaterback, it is going to be necessary to inorporate play action into much of the passing attack.

Posted by: Derek4Dolphins | March 22, 2011 at 01:00 PM

Derek what are you talking about? We used play action passing a lot last year.

I don't know what you were watching but Henning would use it almost every 3rd and long, especially when the run game was totally ineffective.


"Joe Schmoe you're calling NY an explosive passing team (when they won the SB)? That team was a run first team. They had two very good backs."

Posted by: Dog | March 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Uhhhh no, I called them balanced. See?

"Giants 07-08 - Balanced attack"

I would not consider them run first that year. They were balanced. With Burress, they were explosive quite often.

0x80 @12:57

Also you can`t see air and bald people in fact have no hair !

Inside Armando's head:

"Ooops, that hack job on Henne didnt go as expected, I really thought everyone on the blog who dislikes Henne as a QB would be dunb enough to pile on a guy having a few laughs on vacation. Gotta come up with another blog quick.....um...errrr...Dolphins need a better deep passing game! Yep, thats the ticket."

Related story: Jake Long photographed at wedding doing the chicken dance. Get on it Armando!

odin @1:12

Ditto, LOL

*dumb enough (oh the irony)

d4d and f4l

spot on, no of times ricky and ronnie just ran past henne looking to make their route or block and just ignored henne's undersold outstretched hand, this is where daboll could make a difference, henning seemed to have forgotten the art of war - sowing deception and confusion on the enemy, then the BALANCED offense has more time and space in which to succeed and less cahnce of henne throwing an int

0x80, @12:57

LMFAO !

I'll second that! The guys a freaking comedian!

Good one 0x80!

So all this means in reality is look for us to Draft a RB at 15 then. Good so Ingram it is if he's there LOL.

GarbagePlate,

I heard R.Williams was seen giving free yoga classes to inner city kids in Oak. in attendance was J.Long who`s ailing shoulder Ricky healed thru the power of holistic healing.

Actually bald people almost always have hair, it just doesn't always cover their entire head, or they have body hair...Unless they are a chemo patient they aren't entirely bald...

Just sayin'

Garbage Plate,

I juss luv it win sum smurt a s s mispels Dum Dum!

Ricky Williams has pronounced he wants to be the team doctor, claims he will heal all thru holistic healing, Aloco jumping for joy ! Mando this Ricky thing is taking on a life of it`s own better get on it !

Garbage Plate,

I juss luv it win sum smurt elek mispels Dum Dum!

The funny thing about the last blog (Henne) is that midseason,(when the Dolphins are losing) anything Armando writes about the Dolphins in a negative light gets agreed with 100%. People attack the players and call them names, attack the coach,gm,owner,etc. Basically everyone jumps on the lets trash the Dolphins bandwagon and backs Armando.

Fast forward to the off season. No real disappointments to speak of, team is in limbo, new hopes for the draft and a new season. Armando writes a story in a negative light and EVERYONE jumps down his throat. Except of course for the brown nosing Cuban. Rightfully so but where is this indignation during the season when the team is being ritualistically crucified on a daily basis? Flip floppers man.

Armando, time to change the game plan to follow your market. Wins and offseason = positive stories, losing and reg season = negative stories. This will keep your minions loyal.

Now your just splitting hairs Marc !

Marc,

What makes you such an expert on Male Pattern Baldness?

"....will continue to be a run-first team".

Translation: We will continue to struggle running the ball

".....we need to advance the ball down the field better".

Translation: When we give up running the ball in the 1st quarter, throw lots of dump passes for 2 yds.

"You can't point the finger at one person".

Translation: Jeff and I are the biggest problems but you'll never hear me say that.

Nobody said MALE baldness Odin ;)

However, my father, brother, step-brother and best friend are all balding, and or "bald".

I shave my head, but, people refer to me as "bald"

That's not the truth, Truth!

Even as Henne was really starting to stink things up, I was hanging in there like the Homer I was.

I was still backing up Henne right up until the last two debacles we called games.

Of course, shortly there after I took a self imposed hiatus from the blog because this Homer was extremely embarrassed and figured he'd be crucified by the other bloggers, but that's another story.

Yours Truly

Odins "the former Henne Homer" Eye!!!!

Truth @1:29

You couldn`t be any further from the truth, if you took the time to read what most of us are posting you`d see that in fact we have one of the most diverse bloggs going there are no less than five very strong opinions on here about the what direction best suits the team`s future. The pro`s and con`s of a player like C.Henne are weighed with a varying array of opinions, after all he plays the most important position on the field, it`s what makes logging on appealing to me. The argument is when Mando saddles us with fluff like he did in his last post,especially on a day when Sarano is giving a press confrence talking bout the teams direction and we have to go else where to get the 411, thats when Mando gets no love from the Thuderdome, by the way is this Mando ?

Nobody said MALE baldness Odin ;)

Posted by: Marc | March 22, 2011 at 01:34 PM

ROTFLMFAO! Tou'che!

I don't really remember you being bald, but I do remember that Hottie that was in the picture with you.


fin4life I'm not denying that you guys have great conversations in here and I do pay attention. But here's the thing, when those conversations are going on they usually have nothing to do with anything Armando wrote. There's like 5 of you that talk in here all of the time about some pretty good stuff, BUT, a lot of what Armando writes gets ignored by you guys. It's the others that like to bash, the ones who can't really formulate an opinion on their own. They follow Armando word for word and usually agree. But I've seen Armando write an entire story on something about running backs and then you guys come in and ,," so joe about the last blog when I said I didn't like the qb choices and you said". It's as if you guys dont even bother to read what he writes and just come in to talk to each other. Which is fine but I'm just pointing out that the 5 of you aren't the majority and that's who I was speaking about. No biggie, didn't mean to offend, and the offenders know who they are. It's just funny to me. I've never witnessed so many people stick up for Chad Henne in here since the kid has been with the team.

fin4life: well said. Truth, you are way off. It actually speaks volumes in regards to the people on this blog. So many who are not in Henne's corner when it comes to his play, stand up for him when a thinly veiled hack piece is written.

There is a line of delineation to be drawn between getting on players and coaches for performance and intruding into personal lives, especially when no harm has been done. We are smart enough to see thru Armando's biased attacks.

I noticed in yesterday`s long winded evening blogg that everybody was jumping on Ross for his anti-union rants and with good reason but I imagine that Ross`s no love for unions is based out of personal experience more than anything else. It`s been very well documented that he made his money in N.Y. real estate (Manhattan) in the 80`s and 90`s and I can only imagine the monumental pain in the as s it must have been dealing with those unions and there demands.

If you read carefully at his statements he alludes alot to negotiating pay by the hour, I`d imagine concessions, overtime and benefits must have been other aspects of keeping the day to day going without going over budget, not that I personally see anything wrong with that but N.Y. ironman syndicates are notorious for being some what difficult.

All of that without taking into account the Garbage companies he would have had to contract to pick up at his job sites having to negotiate with there unions the overtime that would have required, aside from the fact that almost all of the garbage companies in Manhattan in those days were Gambino front companies (Gotti) his contractors buying supplies from other fronts owned and oporated by Sam Gravano, all of it mixed in a dicey pot of stew. I think for Ross union`s are akin to everything that`s wrong with America, not excusing him but well before I read his rants yesterday this would always come to mind when the talk of how he made his money would come around.

New blogg up !!

I hate to say this but I think we need to trade next years second round pick. That is if Julio Jones is still on the board when Dallas get to pick.He`s big and fast, can return kickoffs and will probably compliment Brandon very well.
Sometimes you have to give up quantity for quality.

Yea Odin...I got hose ;)

As if our offense wasent enough of a disaster we replase henning with a daboll from the browns?? We need not forget about that move that will haunt us from game 1. May the lockout contiue!!

Holy can't spell for $hit batman!

If it's "A little bit of everything" being a reason for lack of production, then it's completely Sparano's fault for not doing the things in the offseason and ESPECIALLY preseason to get them ready for what they would face. Simply put, this is professional football and a continued lack of execution is completetly unacceptable. Get it done and quit with the "We're saving the real stiff for the regular season" mantra. If we have another lazy, vanilla preseason offensively Sparano should be canned.

The time is now, show you can do it or it's obvious that you don't have a clue!

Running, defense, special teams, and then passing are the correct priorities.

Running effectively keeps the other team off the field.

Defense gets the other team off the field quickly.

Special teams, keep the big play from happening, while creating big plays.

Passing can get you caught up, if you fall behind, and can sneak in a few big plays.

Mando - Great read today. Sparano's comments scare me a bit because it seems like he is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

His ideas about chunk yardage is what everyone wants to see. Question is can he get the job done? I'm rooting for him but I question his stubborness in terms of how he will structure what we focus on in the offseason / preseason.

So far IMO the weakest part of his performance as HC is he does not get our players ready in the offseason.

Get another LB - BILL Parcells

With Henne showing his A S S off the field and being a butthead on the field, we need serious help!

You don't run to win,you run the ball when you are winning. The only two teams that I can remember(if so) that went against that axiom were Lombardi's GBP and Shula's SB Dolphins Teams.

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