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The view from the pressbox on Fins-Panthers

It was by every definition a good outing for the Dolphins Friday night. The detractors might point to the Carolina Panthers being the NFL's worst team a year ago or scratching 16 players from this game, or starting a rookie quarterback.

I would point to a 20-10 victory in which the first team offense and defense looked good.

Great? No.

Good? Absolutely.

You cannot blame the Dolphins for the opponent's flaws.

"Yeah, this is just a chekpoint for us," Brandon Marshall said after making his preseason debut. "Every week you want to get better, we want to grow as an offense, we want to gel a little more as a team. We know our goal and we know where we want to be every week. We know where we want to be at the end of the season. It's important for us to not hang off the rafters when we win and not put our head in the dumpster when we lose. That pertains to every play, not just the game."

Fair perspective. It also brings up the fact that because coordinator Brian Daboll's offense is still so new to this group, you won't see their best work until "the end of the season," as Marshall said.

That means the Dolphins have to be good on offense early and rise to a higher level later on. It could happen.

The Dolphins showed improvement on several fronts:

The line blocking looked better than it did a week ago against Atlanta in that, hey, there were some holes this week when the first teamers were in the game! And Reggie Bush used them to his benefit.

Bush rushed eight times for 48 yards. He also caught two passes for 33 yards, a stellar 16.5 yard per catch average. As I wrote in my column for today's Miami Herald, Bush's Dolphins debut was not only successful but a thing that captured the imagination of fans starved for a playmaker. Please do a brother a favor and check out the column as that is how I feed my family and we ain't had no breakfast this morning yet.

One thing that did not make the final cut of the column that I will say here: Bush proved something last night. He proved all his work -- both during practice and afterward -- is paying off. He proved his got not only speed but defense-deflating toughness, which is a great combination.

What else does he have to prove?

I say the Dolphins should give him the rest of the preseason off. See you Sept. 12 against the Patriots.

Why?

I remind you Bush is Miami's most dynamic playmaker in that he doesn't rely on others as heavily to get his as does, say, Marshall. He has a history of getting hurt. The Dolphins are going to use him plenty during the season. Why waste a proven vet in preseason?

I also remind you that this preseason alone, running backs Ryan Williams, Mikel LeShoure, Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty have already suffered season-ending injuries. Why expose Bush to that in meaningless games? Why expose him to pulled groins, or tweaked ankles, or strained hamstrings in inconsequential games?

He gets plenty of carries in practice. He's involved in plenty of collisions in those. He then works overtime after practically every single practice. He's in great shape. He's not a rookie who has to adjust to the speed of the game. Lather him up, to use a Tony Sparano term, in practice where you can control the violence a bit. But in more preseason games?

Why risk him?

(Rant over).

The offensive line had a nice night last night except for the four penalties -- three of them on Lydon Murtha. Those can be drive killers and must be eliminated. Those are about discipline and being in the moment mentally. Not acceptable.

Chad Henne was good last night. That is the truth and that is what I will always try to give you. I'm not going to gush and tell you he was great because he wasn't. He was good. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards without a TD or INT.

The good: He got Brandon Marshall involved early and often. He kept plays alive both with his patience and shuffling in the pocket and with his feet, running downfield for a total of 20 yards. That part was outstanding. His accuracy was good on short to medium range passes. His shining moment, I thought, was on the play where protection broke down, the snap from center was high, he tipped it, caught it, he moved around, kept his eyes downfield, and found Anthony Fasano for a 38-yard completion. That kind of play from a quarterback can feel like a dagger to the heart of the defense. Excellent.

The not-good: He threw a first-quarter pass to Brian Hartline who had man coverage down the sideline that was inaccurate in that it was overthrown and out of bounds, but in so doing he missed an uncovered Brandon Marshall who lined up in the slot and was covered by NOBODY. If Henne had looked for Marshall, who was lined up inside of Hartline, that play would have gone for a 25-yard gain and possibly more. He missed a wide open Hartline in the second quarter on a post pattern around the goal line and threw instead to Daniel Thomas out of bounds on a pass that was almost intercepted. He missed Clyde Gates streaking wide open downfield for what might have been the play of the night -- a 63-yard bomb behind double coverage. (Great job by Gates blowing the top of the secondary on that one, but he can't throw the ball to himself, too.)

Nonetheless, Henne showed progress. That's important.

“I mean, obviously, we moved the ball pretty well down there, got some big plays in certain situations," Henne said. "I have to watch the film, there’s some mistakes out there we’ll correct them. It’s good to get a win at home and start a run that way and winning at home that’s pretty important to us right now.

"Definitely gives you confidence, especially at home. Previous years we haven’t won a lot of games at home and get off to a start path, we’re trying to build a tradition here where this is our home field and we want to take advantage and play well here and it’s a good step for that.”

It would be nice if Henne got some more help from his tight end. Fasano caught two passes but dropped another one right in his hands, same as he did last week. If Fasano is going to catch only 66 percent of the passes that hit him in the hands, that is not good. He's got to do some work on the jugs, something I've not seen him do.

Defensively, the Dolphins forced Carolina to punt seven times. That's good.

The Dolphins limited the Panthers to 25 percent conversion rate on third down. That's good.

Carolina only had 68 net rushing yards. That's great!

Miami's leading tacklers were inside linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby, who each had four tackles. That suggests the Dolphins didn't allow runners to reach the secondary and force, say, Yeremiah Bell, Miami's leading tackler the past couple of years, to make the tackle. It also suggests the Dolphins didn't need to bring Bell down into the tackle box to help against the run. Bell had only one tackle.

Yes, safety Reshad Jones also had four tackles, but he played primarily with the second team. Burnett and Dansby were done for the night by that time.

“The defense, that’s understandable we had to have a better performance than we did last week," Dansby said. "We were in front of the home crowd so were just trying to build something here, win our home games and just hit on all cylinders. We did that tonight we had fun and we were flying around because people were saying we were playing uninspired football, we saw the quotes...we saw everybody was talking about so we tried to give you a show today.”

Oh, the corners were dominant. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith locked down Carolina's WRs. No, Steve Smith did not play. Not their fault. They did work against the Carolina receivers they faced. 

Overall, we saw a team get better. The Dolphins made progress from their first preseason game to their second. If they continue to get better every week, things are going to be good in 2011. I hope.

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Shawn Wooden wore #22 as well...and probably a few others I've forgotten.

Always feel funny when I see a #66 as well, Will always bassociate that with Larry Little.

Nowhere does he say Henne sucked. Nowhere does he agree with your assessment.

In the future, you'll be a lot more effective simply by making your own points without resorting to fabricated scenarios that aren;t based on truth.

Posted by: ted | August 20, 2011 at 11:53 AM


Ted...you conveniently left out this part...which to me kinda sounds like he sucked...if we are talking about a legitimate starter:

The not-good: He threw a first-quarter pass to Brian Hartline who had man coverage down the sideline that was inaccurate in that it was overthrown and out of bounds, but in so doing he missed an uncovered Brandon Marshall who lined up in the slot and was covered by NOBODY. If Henne had looked for Marshall, who was lined up inside of Hartline, that play would have gone for a 25-yard gain and possibly more. He missed a wide open Hartline in the second quarter on a post pattern around the goal line and threw instead to someone else out of bounds. He missed Clyde Gates streaking wide open downfield for what might have been the play of the night -- a 63-yard bomb behind double coverage. (Great job by Gates blowing the top of the secondary on that one, but he can't throw the ball to himself, too.)

Armando also said this:

"He threw a first-quarter pass to Brian Hartline who had man coverage down the sideline that was inaccurate in that it was overthrown and out of bounds, but in so doing he missed an uncovered Brandon Marshall who lined up in the slot and was covered by NOBODY. If Henne had looked for Marshall, who was lined up inside of Hartline, that play would have gone for a 25-yard gain and possibly more. He missed a wide open Hartline in the second quarter on a post pattern around the goal line and threw instead to someone else out of bounds. He missed Clyde Gates streaking wide open downfield for what might have been the play of the night -- a 63-yard bomb behind double coverage. (Great job by Gates blowing the top of the secondary on that one, but he can't throw the ball to himself, too)."

Learn to come to conclusions based on what you've read: Henne SUCKED. Information shouldn't have to be spoonfed to you.

Bob Griese to join Dolphins broadcast booth.
He's not as good an orator as he was a quarterback but I suppose he has earned the right.

Bob, please practice your "ALRIGHT MIAMI" and make Maddog proud of you.

I didn't "conveniently" leave anything out.

This is fairly simple. A poster claimed that Salguero agreed with his assertion that Henne "sucked" last night. That simply is not true. As a matter of fact, Salguero called Henne "good" last night.

Sorry for calling the guy for fabricating a tale but that's precisely what he did. Unless, of course, your definition of "suck" and "good" happens to be different from every other human being on the planet.

paul in kentucky never liked Griese met him in person and he is an ass. Merle never got the credit he deserved in 72


Learn to come to conclusions based on what you've read: Henne SUCKED. Information shouldn't have to be spoonfed to you.

Posted by: Seminole Sam | August 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM
--------------------------------------

You are more than welcome to your opinion that Henne sucked last night.

What you can't do is claim Salguero agrees with you, for the simple reason he doesn't.

Not unless you think "suck" and "good" mean the same thing. In which case you may need help not just with basic reading comprehension but also definitions.

Ted is right, Seminole Sam. You pretty much lied that Mando agreed with you. I can't see where he's doing anything but pointing out the obvious.

Yes LoboNoches!

Earl Morrall was the X factor that year.

Why the fu-k do I keep reading these inane comments?

You're right about fasano. He needs to work ont he jugs machine.
I disagree about sitting bush next game. he should get a couple of series. Game 4 most of starters should sit.

ted = tj

LoboNoches it was good to meet you.

There appear to be some very passionate bloggers here indeed.

Take care!

Go Miami!!!

I SAW the god-amned Game last night.

Armando said he SUCKED. If you don't understand something that simple, heaven help you.


Armando said he SUCKED. If you don't understand something that simple, heaven help you.

Posted by: Seminole Sam | August 20, 2011 at 12:12 PM

====================================

Please show everyone that quote, Sam.

paul in kentucky same to you go fins and dont forget to eat yssup soup its the best

It's already been posted. Engage your brain.

"The not-good" = SUCKED

Sam, what Armando posted was that Henne was "good" (his EXACT word) last night, and not great.

His "not-good" examples were to show why he didn't rate his evening as great, rather than merely 'good.'

NOWHERE does Salguero use the term "suck" or make any assertion even close to that about his performance last night. He called his overall performance "good" and you can do nothing to change that fact.

You are smart enough to know you embellished a bit in claiming Salguero agreed with you. If you are not smart enough to admit it, well, I guess that's your problem.

Got things to do. Hopefully in the future your opinions (which are sometimes pretty good) won't be spoiled by having to fabricate phantom "agreements" that don;t actually exist.

ARMANDO , YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR POST , (( THE VIEW FROM THE IDIOTS BOX ))..........

You must hate Henne Armando, counting his bad passes

S.SAM..... ARMANDO WRITES LIKE A WITCH OR LIKE AN OLD WOMAN TRYING TO GET HUSBAND AND WIFE TO DIVORCE ................. HE CHANGES HIS VIEWS ABOUT HENNE AND DOLPHINS IN THE WAY THAT SUITS HIS INTERESTS ................

NOTICE HOW DB, KRIS AND FINFANS72 ARE HIDING .....................

not-good is not equal to SUCKED but...

Personally, I think it sucks that Henne is still struggling with the same things on that not-good list. That list is what separates the very good from the not so good. Henne has to show he is a deep threat passer and that he can consistently find the OPEN receiver. Otherwise good teams will shut down our short passing game, even with Reggie Bush, who does look very good so far.

If y'all want to munch happily on the taste of "progress" and "better", go for it - glad you're satisfied. Join the ranks of Lions, Bengals, Panthers, etc fans that don't expect much more of their teams other than growth and improvement.
The Dolphins were once a serious contender, feared defenses, and offense (Marino years, Czonka years) that opposing coaches devised strategies they HOPED would slow them down. We've been feeding off mediocre dreams for too many years, and my issue is not that we ARE mediocre, but that we don't have to be. How many chances have we had to draft the right guys, sign the right FA, get the right coaches, and year by year we bungle it. We get the safe pick, or the slight improvement signing, or the hope for development spin. As I posted before, please GOD don't give me another lame comment about time to develop. Since 2000 we've heard the same tired argument about every loser (not a slur but a fact) QB that we've had playing our #1 slot. Look up the records of any of the folks that have claimed that honor since they've left the Dolphins. Newsflash, it wasn't the system.
When this team gets serious about addressing the real return to power, then I'll stop whining. Until such time, I reserve the right wo wonder aloud what product were are supposed to be "fans" of.

didn't see game, but no INT's from Henne sounds great. good for momentum. lets build on it.

GO DOLPHINS!!!

Wow last week everyone was knocking on how henne has no ability to throw the short
Touch passes now that he has it's his long throws that are the problem.... That was his strength a week ago. (he doesn't have the touch for short passes.) a bit ridiculous

DolfanSF, game is on now on NFL network

JS in LA, what's wrong with fan satisfaction? Is it not to your liking that people with whom you have zero association have differing opinions on a football team? Two words: Go Dolphins!

grrreatdane

I still don't see Henne having the touch pass long or short. He mostly throws hard and a little bit late. Once in awhile right on target. Touch? Have yet to see that. End zone fade? Not sure I've ever seen him make that pass once. Hitting a wide open WR in stride should be common place for a starting QB. Henne misses those far more often than he hits them.

LEAVE SEMENHOLE SHAM ALONE!

He's just a little "confused".

For Shammy, sucking IS a GOOD thing!

If he was a baseball player, I get the feeling he wouldn't be "pitching" ;)

Henne did play much better last night. Seeing field better and making better decisions. Lets hope it's truly progress and not 1 good game followed by 2 bad games.

However, better is a realitive term. He's still not recognizing wide open/receivers who are in man or who have beaten coverage. His long balls either don't have enough arc or no touch. At this point, maybe he should stick to short and intermediate and hope Bush stays healthy.

Do not argue with me about what sucks.
I am the expert at sucking.
I suck very good as a matter of fact.
I know 15 or 20 men who can testify to it.

For 2 years I have criticized and ridiculed Sparano. I now give him credits and kudos for two right-on decisions: the hiring of Nolan and Daboll. It's still preseason and the defense looks scary good. And finally the offense has life in them.

Two fist pumps to you, Sparano!

Now let's hope Henne remains consistent in the next game. The OLine is still suspect.

Make that THREE fist-pumps for Tony!!!

dishpan,
Everyone has their opinion. Still a free country to date. In agreement with "Go Dolphins" as always.
My point is that NFL teams base their success on going to the Superbowl. Teams that get there expect to get there. They demand excellence from their players and coaches. We've lived with the hopes/progress spin/getting-better mantra for an awful long time. Getting old. Fins fans make jokes about Rex Ryan, but at least he expects his team to win, and demands it (execution another story). Wasn't long ago that the Jets were a joke - now they're a playoff team. Not a great one, but still... Fins are becoming a joke, a bump on the road to the Patriots next AFC East championship. So, I'm a little pissed that my team isn't significant anymore. So, I'm pissed that we don't appear to be on the cusp of anything, or have a star in the making that would promise great things in the near future. I'm allowed to be pissed. I'm hoping there might be enough pissed folks that eventually something gets done to bring us back to significance.
Lions and Bengal fans love their teams too, as do Fins fans. I do too. But it's ok to be pissed off.

thanks for info, disphan.

Where are you Shammy?

JS

Here in Miami, Henne completing a long pass to a wide open receiver is cause for a 5 keg party with wild naked cuban women. Nobody is thinking SB, just minor improvement and then lets get drunk and screw.

Man your battle stations!

Take the fallback positions.

Carolina sucks, Henne still ain't Dan Marino and he can't throw the long ball. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Ha Ha huh Ha Ha!

I'll admit Henne needs to improve on the deep ball.

Having said that, let me digress into a probable POSITIVE point. Try to stay with me haters, I know how you detest anything positive in regards to Henne.

In regards to working on the deep ball and to avoid any negativity, I'll omit any mention of Henne having worked under ONLY Dan Hennings system since arriving in the NFL.

However, with the utmost confidence, I will say that in two pre season Games, Daboll has got Henne more deep ball work than anyone else(ahem, cough, cough) did in three years!

You just never know. If Henne ACTUALLY works on the deep ball, against REAL NFL DEFENSES, he just might get better at it.

I hoped a day would pass without odinseye polluting the blog with gay innuendos, hairy asss comments, and the usual toilet drivel. Guess I'll give up on that ever happening.

2011 and still Henning excuses? Barfola.

You just never know. If Henne ACTUALLY works on the deep ball, against REAL NFL DEFENSES, he just might get better at it.

Posted by: odinseye | August 20, 2011 at 01:35 PM

And if I actually work on my deep throating technique, I might get better too.

JS, that's a fair point. I felt the way you feel now during the Fiedler era. That's when I learned that our collective yearning for an above-average QB meant nothing to anyone short of you and me. My solution! Dominate the league in Madden. Yes, I've taken the likes of Ray Lucas, John Beck, Daunte Culpepper (but NOT Cleo Lemon) to multiple championships. It just seems plainly obvious to me that we are, in fact, so entrenched in mediocrity that ANY spark, ANY signs of life from this team gives me cause to feel like we can win. They did this to me ... and after Henning, ANYTHING other than a stupid reverse excites me. Sad, but I have hope.

Here in Miami, Henne completing a long pass to a wide open receiver is cause for a 5 keg party with wild naked cuban women. Nobody is thinking SB, just minor improvement and then lets get drunk and screw.

Posted by: Miguel | August 20, 2011 at 01:35 PM


So ah, Miquel, what time we tapping them..........kegs tonight?

PreSeason Sale on Excuses, while they last:

Item 1: Henning excuses, only 6021 left, hurry while they last.

Item 2: Offensive line excuses, only 4233 lefft, hurry while they last.

Item 3: Sparano excuses, only 5256 left, hurry while they last.

Item 4: Henne excuses, none available, very rare item, could be nothing was ever Henne's fault.

But JS, point well-stated, and I agree with you.

Fire Coach Spo,

While I appreciate your astute observation of my post, the fact that you counted Armando's positive and negative words to verify my counting of the words, um, well, what does that say about you?

Plus, my counting of his words was to illustrate that if Armando believed Henne had a good game, yet posted more negatives about it than positives, then did Armando truly believe Henne had a good game? Next time I post, I will leave separate directions for you to follow so such deep concepts won't fly over your head.

And, yes, I do need to get laid, don't we all? But you, please don't, I would hate to see the offspring

I'll take 700 Henning Excuses, and can you supersize 500 of 'em? I'll pay with an out-of-state third-party check

Post at 1:39PM - ROTFLMAO!

Peanut gallery,

I just got enough of the game DVR'ed to start breaking down footage.

Don't got time for you negative Ninnys-LOL.

Duh!

U Mad Bro?

U MAD?

Sounds like it-BHWAAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I hoped a day would pass without odinseye polluting the blog with gay innuendos, hairy asss comments, and the usual toilet drivel. Guess I'll give up on that ever happening.

Posted by: Pastor Paul | August 20, 2011 at 01:38 PM


Agreed!

Watching the game again. It's better the second time and the panthers were only down 6 players.

'If Henne ACTUALLY works on the deep ball, against REAL NFL DEFENSES, he just might get better at it.'

This is the thing. The deep ball is a timing play and it takes practice in real time.

Henne has thrown deep more in these two preseason games than almost all of last year which is of course pathetic.

Let him practice the play along with the quick slant, 3 and 7 step drops, screen plays like the rest of the QB's in the league and let's see what happens.

However, keep in mind everything we hope can happen at the QB position is based upon how well the offensive line plays.

They were able to push around the Panthers. The line needs to be able to play at least that well every week.

One last comment from me (*fanfare*), and got to get on with my day.
I have noticed that Daboll has done what I was hoping for with the offensive scheme. Definitely a significant step in the right direction. Agree with the posters praising him.
See, I can say something positive.

Armando is not a BAD writer, neither would I consider him good and definitely not GREAT.

He comes out with a good blog, followed by 3 or 4 bad ones in a row.

I'm not saying that he'll never be good, I'm just saying that until he proves he can write more than one good article in a row, he'll remain in the bottom third.

I keep looking for improvement, but if you haven't mastered it in this many seasons, I mean It probably ain't happening.

I'd like to see immediate improvement in paragraph structure, details, stats and most importantly, I want to see work on the inside scoop!

I'm not giving up on Mando though, I'm willing to give him the rest of this season to show if he can ever turn that proverbial corner.

Well........actually I'll give him until the bye week to see if he's shown enough improvement.

Good Luck Brother!

Your Biggest Fan!!!!

The R&R Express is now history. So I've come up with a little bit of 70's musical history to decribe the new tandem of Miami Dolphins rb's, Bush/Thomas.

It was a 70's musical group called BT Express with thier hit song called "The Express". I feel it would perfectly fit Miami's newest dynamic rb tandem Bush/Thomas = "The BT Express".

Listen here:

http://www.4shared.com/file/103653603/63fe4045/BT_Express_-_Express.html

GETTING VERY DEPRESSING TO EVEN COME TO THIS BLOG ANYMORE. I PROMISE I WON'T BE BACK UNTIL THE REGULAR SEASON BEGINS AND SOMETHING HAPPENS TO SHOW HOW FOOLISH YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN.

Posted by: DyingBreed | August 18, 2011 at 08:03 PM

...Some observations from the first half.

Pouncey is a good player.

A lot of multiple reciever formations that allow the offense to spread the field. Probably more last night then we saw all year. Nice wrinkle.

Clyde Gates is that deep threat the team desperatley needed. The connection will happen. But more important he creates space, and attention of the safties..

Reggie Bush..

Chad Henne..A few mistakes, but huge huge improvement. Nice job.

I don't know how good of an offensive football team we will be. To be fair you have to weight the goos with the bad. And even though last night game gave some glimpses of what we may see. I need to see it again before wtting the bed. As I said last night. The preseason is about improving each week. We did this, so not to much to be upset about today.

Burnett player well last night.

JT had a couple of nice plays 2nd qtr.

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