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Dolphins defense must prepare for more no-huddle

The Dolphins defense showed itself vulnerable to the no-huddle attack last week.

Defensive players seemed vulnerable in their conditioning because players looked gassed as they stood at the line of scrimmage, mouths agape as they gasped for air, their hands on hips.

They seemed vulnerable in their physical preparation because several players -- including cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith -- suffered from cramps. Cramps can be prevented with proper hydration, IVs, even fruit. But you have to have a regimen of hydration for long periods of time to ensure it will work.

And finally, the Dolphins seemed vulnerable in getting players on the field.

I want to deal with the last of those today.

The Patriots no-huddle is interesting in that they run players on and off the field before they snap the ball. Traditional no-huddle attacks try to catch you in one personnel grouping they think they have an advantage in and keep that group on the field to wear you out while pressing that singular advantage.

The Patriots are different. The mix and match group as they run the no-huddle. When they get into a rhythm, it's a stunning thing to see because it happens fast, it's precise, and obviously involves a good amount of forethought.

The Dolphins (and any defense for that matter) hasn't the ability to respond with forethought because coaches cannot count on always guessing correctly what group the Pats will scramble onto the field before they actually do it.

Miami did, nonethelss, try to match New England with its own personnel changes even in no-huddle situations. It didn't work out as well as folks might have wanted. The Dolphins were forced to call time out at least once to collect themselves. They were caught with 12 men on the field once. They were caught not ready for the snap of the football at least once and Tom Brady completed a pass to Deion Branch against Nolan Carroll as a result.

"They caught us a couple of times trying to sub and get matched up," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "Look, they do it to us every year. They get into this every year so we were ready for it. We just didn't handle it as well as we wanted."

The problem is no longer how they handled or failed to handle it last week. The problem becomes w]how the Dolphins handle no-huddle operation in the future -- like, oh, Sunday against the Texans. In the NFL, you see, when a team shows a weakness, opponents pick at that weakness like a scab in ensuing games until someone becomes convinced it has been addressed.

"We know we’re going to see [the no-huddle] week in and week out now," Bell said.

It doesn't matter that the Patriots and the Texans run vastly different offenses -- the Texans a West Coast offense, and New England a more vertical attack. No-huddle is universally available to everyone.

So how do the Dolphins respond? I look for them to adjust on several fronts. I assume they've worked on getting certain groupings on the field faster this week. I assume defensive coaches will try to speed up their decision-making to help get the players on the field faster.

And I know there will be some plays where the Dolphins might just have to line up with what they've got and simply ball. That's what Bell thinks should have happened more often against the Patriots.

"We should have just kept personnel on the field instead of trying to run guys off and on," he said. "Sometimes you just got to roll with it."


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Hopefully the other offenses we face aren't quite as genius-y and as devilishly organized as the one led by Tom Terrific (he's just swell).

The real question is, will it matter who they have out there?

Do they have the right personnel to stop a good passing attack?

Soon we will see.

What a worthless football town. 2nd game of the year with a chance to see one of the leagues best offense and the owner is buying up seats. Move the team to LA seriously.


why do you care so much about who buys the tickets? What difference does it make to you? Get a grip of yourself!

And for my unpaid opinion; I think that we should limit the subs, set our 5 - 2 defense, move the strong safety up a 5 yards and concentrate on shifts and blitzes from this package most of the time. At a certain level of play your not tricking anyone. You win when your efforts exceeds theirs.

Mondo, very good, you've noticed the Dolphins are not in shape. What was your first clue? Everyone cramping, throwing up on the sideline?
ALl this can be laid at the feet of Sparano, the non-head coach, head coach. These guys didnt have OT's, no direction, no nothing and now the ticket holders will pay the price.
no winn-ee, no tick-ee.

Haawks, yes, Nolan not tricking anyone!!

Yea New England exposed us last week, would not be surprised if we see a lot of no huddle until we prove we can stop it.

The way to stop the no-huddle is for us to run it also.

What makes you think that the Texans are going to hurry up on us? Because NE did it last week? But, that's another Story!

The no huddle requires a very accurate QB. Otherwise you get a pick 6. They need to run the ball and eat some clock. We saw what happens when the game becomes a QB shootout.

LV holding steady at Texans by 3. Hmm..

LV 3 because of the Miami Mystery Defense. Nobody knows what to expect this week. Was last game a fluke or the truth?

Ahh, Thelonious Monk. That was an innovator!

Hey, Armando, get some other People to write here. Yous looking bad.

What makes you think that a young top 10 Defence last year will not be the same(or better) this year? Pleease

I've Seen Defenses Fall From Top 5 To Middle Of The Pack The Next Year

See, the difference between LV and most People is that they go by averages and not sporadic occassions. Yeah, I know, you don't like me.

Most people that come on here don't actually comment. We read what Mando writes and we're happy with that.

Never have I seen so many different Names in one Blog. You sure is inventive.

I cant figure out 4 the life of me why the D never jams recievers at the line. Especially when we blitz. We just give the recievers a free release of the line.It drives me crazy.

On that subject, Other People, I was reading a great article Today pointing out that, if you truly want to be informed, you should not restrict yourself to these cut and paste digital reproductions but go outside of them and dig. There is enough Space for that now, ain't there?

What's the beef against Parcells if all we have now is due to him? Yes, better than 1-15. I'm telling ya most People are so....emotional.

oscar, the innovator is now on tape for all to follow or borrow.

Last years anything is not always this years anything. Teams and players make leaps forwards and backwards.

From SI:

The passing defense, on the other hand, is a different story. TexansDC's have already covered the Dolphins' struggles against the tight end, and this bears out with what Football Outsiders has to say. The Dolphins had the 28th worst DVOA against tight ends last year. They were also 24th against WR1 and 22nd against RBs (receiving).

Hopefully the Defense steps it up this week . Last week the Offense did well. Granted Henne could do better but I like what I saw . This week I sit in the 200 level Club Seats in Endzone . I hope to see more Marshall and less Johnson lol

Some observations:

1) At first I found the "Yeah!" guy annoying. (The guy who always has the first post in Armando's entries.) Annoyance turned into grudging respect. Respect turned into admiration. Admiration turned into worship.

You, Sir, are outstanding!

2) They now have the entire 1973 MNF game between the Dolphins and the Steelers on YouTube. That was the game in which Dick Anderson had 4 interceptions (2 for TDs), and Shula had the Dolphins take a safety late in the game, which preserved their 30-26 victory. Check it out.

3) Did you ever notice that Jan (Eve Plumb) was given the meatiest lines on "The Brady Bunch"? Sherwood Schwartz knew that she was the best actor of the children. Consequently, serious scenes were usually given to Jan.

4) I want to see what Daniel Thomas can do. The criticism of him seems to be he can't make something out of nothing. He didn't seem that way to me in pre-season. Now, SAMMIE SMITH seemed that way. For you kids who don't remember, Smith played for the Dolphins (1989-1991), and he LOOKED like he SHOULD be a great runner. But the guy had no ability to make something out of nothing. I've never seen a runner more hesitant to hit the line, and so absolutely dependent on PERFECT blocking to do anything productive.

5) I have a cockapoo dog. Without a doubt, they are the greatest dogs in the world.


I'd be more worried about the Texans solid offensive line play.

Arian Foster came out of literally nowhere and led the league in rushing. He was out last week, so rookie 2nd rounder(3rd on the depth chart)Ben(?)Tate rushes for 116 and the starter(no. 2 on depth chart) picked up 39 more. They rushed for over 150 with thei starter(Foster) out.

A lot of teams will try some no huddle on us now, but they won't completely change up their offenses because of Brady and Bellicheat. Shaub ain't Brady an Kubiak sure ain't no Bellicheat!

The Texans forte is solid running with nice play action passing. Especially with Andre Johnson.

Watch for the no huddle, but EXPECT the Texans to play to their strengths. Ultimately, like Bell said, sometimes you just have to roll with what you got.

Shaub ain't Brady and he's just as likely to shoot himself in the foot trying to be something he ain't.

I don't care if he runs the no huddle or the wildcat, Nolan and the D has to BRING IT!

Amen my Norse Brother :)

"The Brady Bunch"?

Just swinging by to pass along some interesting 'heat' stats from the Palm Beach Post confirming the argument for 1pm home games in Sept.


The Post analyzed all 365 games the Dolphins have played in both the Orange Bowl and Sun Life Stadium since the team was born in 1966. The analysis, based on game-day information found on Pro-Football-Reference.com, covered regular-season and playoff games and included temperature and heat index.

The findings: Sometimes, the visitors have a snowball's chance.

Start by considering that the Dolphins are 238-124-3 in all home games, a .656 winning percentage. But if the temperature is 70 or below, their percentage dips to .638. Turn up the heat and it's .833 when it's 83 or hotter.
The heat index, which factors in temperature and humidity, shows a similar correlation. If the heat index is 70 or below, the Dolphins' percentage is .641. If it's 86 or higher: .678. Crank it up to broiling (91 or more) and Miami is nearly unbeatable at .800. And keep in mind, the temperature and heat index are measured in the shade. On the field, it's usually much worse.

Second, and quite impressive:

In Shula's 26 seasons, he lost only four 1 p.m. September home games.


I was watching the Boise State game last night, and Kellen Moore was OUTSTANDING!

He threw a fade into the corner of the endzone for a TD, and I thought, "I wish Henne could do that!"

Moore had 455 yds and 5tds against a pretty good Toledo team that gave Ohio State all they could handle last week.

We are about to find out what kind of D we have. They HAVE to be embarrassed after Mon night. If there was ever a time for them to MAN UP, it is now.

Great post about the heat Simon. Anyone who's lived in So Fla for more than a year knows how wicked that heat can be.

Yeah it's a different offence and I'm not sure the Texans have the personnel or the coaches to do what the Pats did to us last week. They might try a little bit of it and teams may copy it some during the season but the Pats are the best at this kind of stuff. Having said that the Texans do have an explosive offence and Schaub is an intelligent QB. We'll have to deal with Schaub, Foster, Tate, Johnson and Daniels, no easy task. I expect to see one on one matchups of Johnson versus Davis. Davis is going to have to really step up after a really disappointing week last week. On top of all that, if there isn't a much better pash rush than last week we'l be dead.

Dear Mr. Salguero

How long will you and your editors of the Miami Herald keep importing these cheap posts from China to garner blog hits

There are millions of unemployed American Dolphin fans beside myself who's posts have been devalued by these cheap Chinese and third world country import posts.

Put an end to the insanity and just use good old U.S. of A Dolphin fan posts and help make your blog and this country strong once again.

Soiled :)

News flash to Simon Says....it's hot in Houston too. They've had 100 degree temps all summer. Doubt the heat is going to bother them too much.

like to hear why would could generate alittle pressure on the QB. an equally if not more critical problem for this D. On one of those plays I could of left the bar for a smoke, came back, and brady is still hoping around looking for an open receiver.


That could be another reason our secondary is gassed, they have to chased these WR for an unnecessarily long plays.

we've never been able able to stop Houston over the last few years.
won't be different this time, because our defense is basically the same.
Hopefully we can beat them in a shootout

Giving up record yardage first game of the season is a concern that can't be overlooked. Yes it was NE but after last seasons 2 awful performances, how could they not have been better prepared? Game 1, Monday night, national audience? Wasn't the great defense supposed to be even better this season? Now if the defense can't make a serious statement in the second game, then they enter the 'talk is cheap' category.

odinseye looks like my $10 Henne jersey is rising stock lol

Who cares? We're screwed!

Our defense has one major "concept" problem, and they've had it for years, and haven't yet come to their senses enough to change the philosophy.

For as long as I can remember, our Safeties are primarily used in run defense. That's their expertise, mindset, and therefore, first reaction to any play (to jump forward). We don't have an Ed Reed-type safety, who's primarily an outfielder.

The reason our CBs don't jam at the line, is they hardly ever have help over the top. Therefore, when they do it, they usually get beat for a big play. I don't blame them.

We still need at least ONE safety, who's expertise is going after the ball in the air. We need a true ballhawk. When we get that, we'll be able to compete with anyone. Until that time, we'll keep getting exposed by vertical offensive schemes.

Oh, and not getting any pressure on the QB just amplifies our weaknesses in the secondary.


I think they are already there. Davis flaps his gums talking about the 'best tandem of CBs in the league stock' and then he and Smith both throw up complete stinkers on a National stage. As far as I'm concerned those two aren't even in the discussion as best tandems in the league. The best guys do their talking on the field and perform when it matters most.

So far you are right Craig, its just talk.

Also, looks like maybe Wake has been figured out. He didn't get as many sacks down the stretch last year and now a rookie out of position in his very first game handled him very well. Wake needs another serious pass rusher to compliment him, on his own he won't put up last years numbers.

Here's what Coaches CAN affect:
- Getting the right personnel on/off the field
- Conditioning
- Game plan
- Penalties

If you want to see how effective the Coaching staff is, watch those four areas in upcoming games, that will tell you if they are up to the job or not.


Koa Misi needs to step up. He was invisible in the last game. I recognize that pash rush isn't his greatest talent but he certainly needs to contribute a lot more than he offered in the last game.

Game 1 will be easy to put in the past if they play well tomorrow. Otherwise, the talk is going to fire up. Have to admit it does add an extra level of drama to tomorrows game.

Wouldn't automatically assume Texans will go no huddle, they sure haven't needed it against the Phins so far! I said before NE I couldn't remember when my expectations were lower, but still... week ones are usually very deceiving. Interesting random observations Nathaniel Dodsworth, lol, I still find the Yeah guy annoying but maybe that will change.


I agree with your post.

The one exception is Davis on Johnson.

I've read from Darlington and a couple of others that Smith will be matched up almost exclusively with Johnson.

Can't really say I like that proposition, but then again, what else can they try?

PS: The logic behind this as I understand it, is that with Smith's size he'll be able to play press on Johnson and get him out of sync. Apparently nobody tries this with him because the smaller defenders tend to get thrown aside.

Still waiting for Smith to 'arrive'.


Good 'spot on' observation about Daniel Thomas / Sammie Smith.
(Now: if you want to impress me, then please find a connection between TV Actor Danny Thomas with Sammie 'Sweetheart' (from
The Jersey Shore.)

SOILED (@ 12:29 PM)

The Chinese have become so good at dumping cheep POSTS on U.S. shores
that they now design machines that auto-build their mechanized, high-volume, 'Posting Networks'.

Further proof that we're all "going to hell in a hand-basket."
(Sorry...I've had to consolidate two post in one space as part of my
own 'Belt Tightening' measures...)

D needs to have strong performance with at least 3 sacks and a takeaway.
Henne and company needs to show balance with 150 rushing and 200 in the
air with at least 2 runs and 2 passes longer than 25. It is time to man up or consider change AGAIN. Hate it as much as the next fin fan.

People, the Patriots see going to give a lot off teams fits this year with the way they run their offense. Remember the K gun? No need to fear every week about teams running a no huttle because no other teams have a good enough QB to do what Brady does!

THIS deserves a re-post...


"In Shula's 26 seasons, he lost only four 1pm September Home Games"

(Think about it.)

What is the word on the street about LJ ?
No carries against Pats.
Will we see Bush, Thomas and LJ on Sunday ?


I agree with you that the Dolphins will throw Smith at him but I expect the Texans will do everything they can to get Johnson matched up against Davis. Davis is smaller and not as good in coverage, and I believe when Smith has his head on straight he is a better shutdown corner.

Dear Mr. John Forsythe

I was deeply saddened by your death on April 1st 2010.

I was a big fan of your work as the mysterious unseen millionaire private investigator Charles Townsend in the crime drama Charlie's Angels.

Who can forget your last minute replacement for George Peppard in the role of conniving patriarch Blake Carrington in the TV show Dynasty, I know I can't.

Anywhoo.... looking forword to more of your work and posts from the afterlife

Soiled :)

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