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It's an upside down world some days for the Miami Dolphins

The world is upside down. Bill Belichick's team wins and he talks about how much they need to improve. Tony Sparano's team loses and he talks about how some players -- Jared Odrick, Mike Pouncey, Reshad Jones, Chad Henne -- played well.

The world is upside down. The Dolphins for three years (2008-2010) built a roster made to run the football and now they're throwing on fourth-and-goal from two feet out.

The world is upside down: The Dolphins cut fullback Lousaka Polite because the fullback position apparently is an endangered species thus not necessary on this roster. And then they have to enlist nose tackle Paul Soliai to line up at fullback on the goal line.

The world is upside down: Soliai weighs 355 pounds, which is about what a sturdy American couple weighs. And yet on his one grand attempt to play fullback he moves tentatively. He doesn't really block anyone. He doesn't really create any space. He doesn't really use all that bulk to be at all physical.

The world is upside down: The Dolphins have experienced, accomplished Larry Johnson on the sideline but he does not see one play in a game while inexperienced Lex Hilliard, who is a fine special teams player but hardly an accomplished runner, gets the rushing attempt into the end zone ... and fails.

The world is upside down: The Dolphins have spent a total of $64 million for their inside linebacker duo of Karlos Dansby ($43 million) and Kevin Burnett ($21 million) but the pair combined for eight tackles. That is one tackle less than strong safety Yeremiah Bell had against the Patriots. That is four fewer tackles than Jones had in the game.

The world is upside down. When a free safety has 12 tackles, that's a bad thing, not a good thing.

The world is upside down. The Dolphins are supposed to have one of the better Front 7 in the NFL. That fine front faced a New England offensive line whose center broke an ankle. They faced an offensive line with a rookie who moved from left tackle to right tackle for the game. The fine front faced a strategy that had that rookie, Nate Solder, working one-on-one against Miami's best pass rusher Cam Wake. And yet in 48 pass rushes Monday night, against what seemed to be a patchwork offensive line, the Dolphins managed only one sack.

The world is upside down. the Dolphins have gone 20 games, dating back to December 13, 2009, since they've had a 100-yard rusher. Their starting running back, Reggie Bush, has one NFL 100-yard rushing game. And we expect this to be a coming habit? 

The world is upside down. The Dolphins are on to Houston, as coach Tony Sparano said. They don't want to talk about New England. Except that the Dolphins do not allow their assistant coaches to speak after games until the following Thursday. So today, when defensive coordinator gets asked about the New England game, is he going to do the right thing and answer for the performance? Or is he going to change the subject to Houston?

Hopefully, he does the right thing. Hopefully, the world can tilt back on its axis.



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Mr, Ross, Ireland, and Sparano. listen to tiredfinfan, his assesments are correct, Quit and lets get some real football minds in Miami!!!

IrelandSucks, so because you are not happy and other fans are not happy with the current management, we should not go to the games??? It's not about the management, it's about the team. The only people that you hurt is the TEAM! They need our support. Stop being selfish and suck it up. The situation is what it is this year so deal with it and let's give this team our SUPPORT. No fans in the stadium = Losing games. We want to win and we CAN win with this team. Stop crying that the sky is falling and let's kick some arse! GO PHINS!!!!!! TEN and SIX!!!!

TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!! TEN and SIX!!!!

There are other guys out there, their names, Mike Mayok, Lombardi, Dan Marino, bring in one of these as our new general manager


I don't know whether you are joking or not, but I believe we as a group could do a better job deciding Dolphins personnel then Jeff Ireland. No kidding.

I hate to say I agree with a lot of the negative comments, but I do.

However, it was ONE GAME. Our QB looked great with average protection at best, and our receivers did not have great seperation. We scored 24 points, and barring a marshall drop we were almost over 30.

I do not believe in Sparono, or Ireland.

that being said, if our defense gets half better than it was Monday, along with the running game. If henne is 75% as good as he was most games as he was Monday, we are going to be in a lot of games.

I think there are a lot of good things that will happen this year, but right now it just feels crappy.

I didn't mean it wasn't about the management as in they are not to blame. I meant, don't make the team suffer this year by not going to the games and supporting them because you are unhappy with the management. That stuff can be dealt with in the offseason. SUPPORT your team!

By the way,

Dansby was the heart and sould of the Cardinal's D. When he left fans were outraged and spoke EXTREMLY highly of how good he was.

I agree last game was not great, and last year I was hoping for more. But I think he is a lot better than some of the comments I have read on this post. He does need to show more though!

I'm as much a fan as anyone else but Mandolin makes excellent points. That coaching exhibition was inexcusable, that defensive play was inexcusable, that offensive line play was inexcusable. The personnel decision making leaves me continually scratching my head. With the approach this team has made to rebuilding, the supporting cast should be awesome and the skill positions should be lagging behind. But the qbs was excellent as were the receivers and Bush. The rest was rubbish. I don't believe in forgetting about the game as Sparano does, I think that game should be remembered every night by the players for the rest of the year. Never let it happen again. Never get pushed around like that in your own building. Never embarrass your fan base like that again. Since It and Zach have gone past their primes all I've been is embarrassed.

The world has been upside down for nearly four years, ouch my hands are cramping gotta go.

Don't get how Sparano says that Jones had a good game. I don't care if he did have 12 tackles he was one of the worst offenders (or maybe that should read DEFENDERS) out there. Go back and look at the film. He was CONSTANTLY out of position all night and left the CBs isolated by themselves. He gambled on the long Welker touchdown when the smart play should have been to help Sapp over the top. It never would have ended up in a touchdown. Listen, I like Jones but he made the guys around him look worse on Monday night. I also read that Bell had nine tackles on the night. Big deal!! He was a complete non-factor.

By the way, I always thought highly of Channing Crowder and how he was the glue in that defense. He added a lot of intangibles. Its only one game but the defense again looked like it did whenever he was out, confused. Burnett better shape up and prove me wrong. I hope he does.


Poizen, reposting from last blog:

Poizen, I've seen a lot of those ignorant comments. I understand the reasoning behind it (unfortunately Henne came to a team without a QB since Marino, and so there's no patience for anyone to develop in that position). I was also one who lost patience. But I also accepted that Henning's offense could just have been so AWFUL, so INEPT, that NO QB could succeed in it. And, in the end, THAT was the main reason behind Henne's problems (if he proves he can be consistent this year). And I think he will.

Henne is seeing the field better, making better throws, leading the team better, MOVING BETTER IN THE POCKET!!! These are all issues I had with him last year. Now, there's still throws he's not good at, oh well, either he'll improve, or message to Daboll: PLAY TO HENNE'S STRENGTHS!!!

Anyway, the truth is we don't have Brady, we don't have Manning, we don't have Brees, we have Henne. And since Marino, minus probably Pennington, Henne is probably the best QB we've had here.

My issue now is why can't all sides of the ball get hot at the same time? To me that's coaching. Not sure what Nolan was doing last week, but didn't see many adjustments (before or after halftime). Sparano says the defense was in shape and hydrated. So, what was the problem then? We haven't got a good answer to that. And if you don't know the problem, how can you fix it (and I can't believe it's just Will Allen). Maybe Clemons would have lined people up better, maybe Crowder would have seen some things better, but whatever it is, it's gotta get fixed before Sunday, because if we go 0-2 at home, with this angry fan base, I'm thinking it might destroy any good will towards the team.

One issue I wanted to highlight from Mando's pretty accurate post (no, DA, he's not a troll or Jets fan), Larry Johnson.

Last year it was Marlon Moore and Reshad Jones. Year before it was someone else. We don't seem to play players during the game at their strength. For whatever reason, we don't put the right personnel in at key points in the game. THIS IS ALL ABOUT COACHING!! Players don't put themselves in, coaches do. What's wrong with Sparano and the other coaches that they don't play to their strengths? What does Johnson need to know to run it in from 1 yard out? There's no need to master the playbook for that play.

I'm really trying here to give Sparano the benefit of the doubt. I'm really trying to find fault with the players (they are easier to replace and fix the problem). But if the problem starts at the top, the Coaches, GM, etc., then that's a bigger issue and one personnel won't cover up. If the fish rots from the top, then you gotta get another fish.

Yea, DC, Coaching is a huge concern. a fade to hartline on 4th and goal @ the half yard line is the 5 best call at best. The D was not ready, should never have been practicing in a bubble.

Really bad coaching, really bad.

Here's a question we need to ask ourselves. If Rex Ryan came to this team tomorrow, with this offense, could he improve the defense enough (like he did with the Jets) to a point we'd be in the AFC Championship game?

I think it's a pretty easy answer. Looks like Sparano & Ireland become the (rightful) fall guys this year if things don't improve. Question is, can we find a Rex Ryan with a system that will beat our AFC East opponents?


Why do they even have LJ on the roster? He is a veteran, like you say, from the 2 foot line they don't play him? And Lex, 2 carries for 1 yard? It's his 3rd or 4th year on the team. I wish Armando would ask SpongeHead why the hell these players are on the roster if he is not going to use them!

I still think Nolan Carroll should have been let go before Sapp. Carroll was horrendous that game and got burned every time the ball was thrown to the receiver he was covering. The guy is just slow and not very smart.

I agree with blingtastic actually. That surprised me.

Hopefully the world stays upside down for another week. The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans. Ever. If the world will stay upside down, just a bit longer, maybe we can win on Sunday.

we should hire dan henning as our D coordinator. we all know he can stop an offense!

Hard for LBs to make a lot of tackles when the ball is constantly in the air 20 yards down the field.

Miami got smacked by the Pats; but lets give credit where credit is due. This Pats offense is unbelievably good.

If the Texans beat us just as badly then I will get down on the Phins. The only thing that really disturbed me was the apparent lack of conditioning we saw from the Miami defensive players.

NICE GREG, That did make me chuckle! good one.

dansby is playing like an average LB. He's not playing like he's getting paid as top 3 ILB in the league. He hasn't done that since he's been here.

lol greg z.

DA, that's the main question. Why do we have some players continuously on the roster who don't add anything and others that we don't use? This is a 3-years and running issue, been happening since this FO got here. Don't have a good answer for that personally.

mc, no one expects dansby to make those tackles. I'm talking about the mis-tackles he had against their runs. he was out of position many times. he couldn't tackle woodhead. I'm sorry but bart scott makes less than dansby and plays 5x better than him. If dansby doesn't pick his play up he won't be on this team next year at 9 million/year.

With all that said folks, we win this week and we're back in the driver's seat. Not saying everything will be fine, but at least it'll show we need to play more games to see what we are. We can still be a pretty good team. We play 2 very good offenses in the next 3 weeks, so our defense will get a chance to make amends.

It's not over. And like Mando said, there's some good that came out of the game against the Pats. I'm not throwing in the towel, nor should you.

But, yes, we should be asking questions (even though we won't get answers to most of them). Even raising the questions will put pressure on the Owner to find out what the h*ll is going on.

Blingtastic, Sapp was responsible for 3 brady td's. During their second drive he gave up 3 big plays including the TD. He gave up the 99 yarder. He was a huge part of the secondary breakdown. Both hernandez and gronkowski schooled him. Welker caught 2 td's against sapp. Sapp was brought in to cover welker. He failed miserably. I'm glad he's gone. How much worst can Allen be?

Boulder, Dansby had the worst game he's ever had in a Dolphins uniform. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because that's very rare for him (here at least). He was solid last year (until he got hurt). Not sure if it's a lingering injury, or rust or what, but I don't expect to see that again from him (the missed tackles you mentioned, being out of position, etc.).

dc, I hope you're right but I don't think dansby was a top 3 lb last year. He was average. Remember the Bills game. He gave up the TD that allowed them to win the game. The ball went through his hands for a TD.
I hope he picks his play up. I personally don't think he's worth 8-9million/year he's getting.

Boulder, yes, I remember that game. Do you remember the Vikings game, his Adrian Peterson stop won the game for us. Maybe not Top 3, but he was the best player on our defense last year IMO.

Ultimately, like Mando said, the Front 7 are supposed to be the best units we have on the team. If they don't step up, we'll get crushed every game, because our secondary isn't good enough to make up for their deficiencies.

Is there a black out?

DC..it's because the FO is incompetent. We've all been saying this for three years now and it is showing. You can only give them so many chances...what happens in the real world when your boss tells you what he expects and you keep making the same mistakes and seem to never learn from it? Pink slip is correct...Tony is in over his head, and Ireland isn't good enough to be a GM all by himself in my opinion. I'm not saying that we can't possibly turn this thing around, we've only played one game so far...but our FO hasn't helped much in the last 4 years from what I can see...

Here's my thing with Coaching, anyone remember a run up the middle from NE last week? Just like out of the i formation, right up the gut? Doesn't really happen. Not even when they were in our red zone. And think back, around the goal line, NE doesn't really power it in, they use trick plays. The trick play Henne scored on (QB sneak) COMPLETELY surprised NE.

The element of surprise is what our Coaching staff are slow to learn. Offensively AND defensively. Surprise is better than sheer athleticism. Surprise makes a play easier to run (or defend). It puts the other guy on his heels because now he has to think for a split-second longer (and that's all it takes in the NFL).

The Coaches need to put in these trick plays around the goal line especially, but all during a game to keep the other team on their toes. That one play last year Henning called, where Henne ran to his right, all the oline/receivers went that way, and threw back across the field to an open Fasano, great play, great call. That's what we need to master on both sides of the ball. The element of surprise.

NE didn't outplay us, they outTHOUGHT us. The team needs to use it's brain as much (or more) than their muscles.

Hey Mando...any chance the flu or something was going around in the locker room last week...it really looked like the whole team was sluggish, like sick sluggish. Put your media badge on, get to the facility and ask some questions for us please.

the PFT guys are both taking the phins over texans. so maybe there is a chance for a win here.

Booorrriinngggg. We already know all of this and have been talking about it to death. Can we move on to the next game please Armando. Most of us aren't interested in reliving last weeks nightmare. That's the great thing usually, you get beat and get to move on to the next weeks game. But you're going to keep asking them questions about the Patriots game?

Don't bother, we're only interested in how the defense is going to shore up for Houston. Besides you guys aren't going to ask the right questions anyway. "Why is Will Allen being asked to possibly play the outside CB spot". WTF dude? Are you serious, how could you not see that answer yourself? So now you should go in and ask "how is it possible that you didn't have a back up plan in case Davis or Smith went down"? Or the question you brought up " how could you let go of Polite knowing you have no short yardage blockers OR runners"?

But you're not going to ask these questions!! So what's the point?

Boulder, I can not and am not arguing with you about Dansby, you have good points.

the problem I see though is the expectation. We made him the 3rd highest paid LB, we paid him. Kinda like Ted Ginn, We made him a top 10 pick, and he was not.

Dansby was a GREAT leader in AZ, and a tackle machine. And he was doing those things for us last year before he got hurt. He SHOULD not miss tackles, that is inexcusable for him. I agree there.
Not sure if you noticed this but the NE running game success was a lot due to Misi being behind the play, they used his aggressivness against us. that is why they ran out of shotgun so often. the guards were eating Burnett and dansby up. and Misi was up field on the outside for god knows what reason.

lol greg

DC, yes all of that is being outsmarted which equals out-coached.
We have the personnel to win some games by playing to our teams strengths and calling smart plays like you mentioned...but look who's running our show in Miami... It's Mr. "yes this is all fixable" and "I've liked what I've seen out there with this group" and "yeah I'm pleased with columbo and the O line" and all of those Sparano-isms... Do you think that Cowher or someone like him would let that happen and not do anything about it? Probably not, he'd be embarrassed to be on the sideline in the next game. He would stick his massive chin out, chew every player out that messed up..including the DC and whomever else.. I'm just saying we need better leadership from our FO

You guys are gonna win

The big test will be the Texans...we haven't beaten them at all and they were an expansion team 10 darn years ago. Hopefully we can start fast, and stay fast all day with solid play calls and smart play calls.

NHFINSFAN --- excellent post @ 9:55 AM

You get it.

Most of the sheep in here do not.

Posted by: IrelandSucks | September 15, 2011 at 09:59 AM

Guy what are you talking about? 80% of the posts in here are negative and 90% of the posters in here realize that a change is probably in order. But we also are only one game in and want to see more of a body of work before claiming the entire season a bust. That's what's called being objective and not reactive. There's nothing wrong with objectivity. Sheep? Man if they were to win the next 3 games you would disappear and start posting under a new name and you know it. Just wait a little bit before calling everyone sheep and proclaiming the season lost. We all know we have problems, don't put yourself on a pedestal.

C63, if they don't fix it, you'll get to see what the next Coach can do. My only worry is, we've seen "the next Coach" many times here (Jimmy, Wanny, Saban, the One Who's Name I Wish to Forget, etc.). Our Ownership can't seem to find Mr. Right! In the meantime, we're running in place, consistent only at mediocrity.

Sparano reminds me of a typical movie coach that has good intentions and great speeches to his players...and then the movie stays dark and they loose anyway. Sparano will make the hair on your arms and neck stand up before and at halftime...and then he makes dumb calls and bad situational decisions....

Yes Mondo, the Dolphin world is upside down or maybe sideways. Tony Sparano is the HC when Bill Crowher is "out there", doing nothing, waiting for another chance. How long untill Boss Ross is ready to pull that trigger? Will the Dolphins have to be 0-4, 0-8? All these things you listed as unside down can be attributed to bad coaching. Two DB's with cramps suggests players are badly out of shape. You need to write about the ire of defeat that lingers over this Dolphin team, they dont know how to win. We need the fullback and Johnson needs to run and keep Bush fresh and ready, not run him to death. Its all on the head coach,,,,,

Sick and tired of hearing about Cowher and the other retired coaches. Just sayin'.

DC, oh yeah I know...I've been a Miami fan for 20 plus years, I know many of you have been longer, but ive seen a lot too. If we get to the point we are getting a new coach I HOPE we get a new GM too because I believe both are to blame these last four years.
I am getting ahead of myself because we are only one game in amd we played the cheating machine called the Patty's...so let's get on track and string a bunch of wins together guys!

Last season the Pats beat the Jets 45-3.

Fins fans: worst in the NFL by a mile. Pessimistic, non-thinking, crybabies.

to address the lb tackle situation from the column..........tom brady threw the ball on 75% of their plays. thats why our lbs didnt have as many tackles as the safeties.........cmon man

Just used him as an example..I could care less about CowHead Chinmeister... I was just yappin and he was an easy coach target. You should be getting tired of Sparano brutha.. lol

we dont need the dinosaur cowher..........we need fisher or gruden..period

C63, I agree. Just because the players like him is no reason to keep a Coach. Who cares how the players feel (what did the Giants' players feel about Coughlin? WHO CARES, they won a SuperBowl)!

We need results-oriented Coaches. Doesn't matter how you get there, if it's running/passing/ST. Only thing that matters is at the end of the day, did you win?

Hey Hoisted...it's a blog, we are just talking. No one here is jumping ship or saying the world is over... We know what's up...

Exactly my point bro, thanks DC

hoisted, most people I'm talking to on here are just talking out their disappointment. I don't see many people saying all is lost. If you can't commiserate with your fellow fans on a team blog, where are you supposed to do it? At the stadium with boos, would that be better? This is the EXACT, PERFECT forum to discuss and air your displeasure with the team. And it's not game day, it's mid-week. Team is preparing for next game, we as fans are picking through the last game.

So I see no problem with the criticism. And some of us have gotten on the excessive stuff (like blaming all the problems in the World on Henne). Interact with some of those critics and you'll probably learn something. Much better than making a silly blanket statement like you did.

Man if they were to win the next 3 games you would disappear and start posting under a new name and you know it.

Posted by: LouD | September 15, 2011 at 11:24 AM

No, I don't know that. I have serious doubts about our HC, OC (yes, Dabol has not convinced me 'yet' despite the early encouragement), and I am totally mind-boggled as to how they've handled the RB situation, Edds, Sapp, Allen, not bringing in a real TE while keeping three 3rd string TEs.

There, its in print. If they rip off a nice run, I'll me more than happy to say I misjudged them, that I was not patient enough. Feel free to remind me if I don't come through.

D said:

"The world is upside down? How about the defense had a terrible game against one of the best teams in the NFL and arguably the best QB in history? The offense made a few questionable calls but PLENTY of great ones.

You people are annoying."

D, the offense was inside the 1 yard line twice and left with 3 points! 3 points! If we can't punch it in from the 1 with several shots at it, we are in trouble. If 31 other teams in the league are on our 1 yard line with a few shots at it, what thoughts are going through your mind? I'm thinking, "Sh.t, we're down by 7 now" and that's before the snap. I will say this and I want you to think about it: Our defense is and has been over-rated the entire time Sparano/Ireland have been here. They cannot, cannot get off the field on 3rd down. Our offense sucks, sucks in the red-zone. Sucks! Let's hope Daboll can turn that around, but he won't do it calling fade routes on 4th and 6 inches. I will end this by saying I hope the 2 clowns running the show turn it around this year, but my heart says they won't. Their personnel moves are idiotic. They pull the trigger, than they backpedal and pull it again, like 2 drunken cowboys in a saloon/whorehouse 150 years ago.

Great article Mando. We went too far away from the running game. Right on re Polite and then not using Johnson from 2 feet. The demise of the FB and needing to run the ball has been vastly overstated, in my opinion. Even in today's NFL the team with the most rushing yards usually wins--and come December and January, need to run the ball. I don't think the 1986 Giants' system of winning is so outdated like everyone likes to say now. It will swing back the other way. I like our new offense, but it's about points, and we got only 24 points. Should have had at least 31 or 35. We had the same 17 points as last year until the final minutes. I'm not a Chad basher. Chad is not the problem. I'm beginning to agree with the negativos around here that Sparano is. Now we have no running game at all and they will be teeing off on poor Chad all year, which will hurt him (probably literally, unfortunately), and then people who know nothing about football will blame Chad when it's the O line.

Here is my take on the Game.
the offense was good , henne played great despite the fact. if he plays like that t he rest of the year (which i think he will) we are playing deep in January.
bush was he old self bush but i want see more runs that are bounced outside and get the edge have Thomas as the between the tackles runner. Marshall was his beasty self he just gotta catch balls that are there.
I want see daboll use gates how Philly uses Jackson screens and get him in ball in space he isnt polished as a receiver yet to fool a db. The defense was a disaster alot was on the secondary because we had no pass rush and we had no pass rush most of the night was because the patriots were holding the pass rusher most of the game and only one penalty called on Nate he aint no Jake long now. but its the first game you make adjustments and move on like sparano says. this is where we will see if they for real or its the same old status quo. Standing by my predition if the defense makes a play and the running gets going 12-4 we playing in super bowl

i would honestly like to see us try out portis.....he still has something left even if its a 1 yr deal laced with incentives....and also ohara to sure up the line.........columbo is not the answer

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