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Miami's "above average" pass protection to be tested

Ponder this statistic: The Dolphins are among the three worst offenses in the NFL at preventing sacks of their quarterback. Miami has yielded 22 sacks, which trails only league-worst Seattle (24) and St. Louis (22).

Now consider coach Tony Sparano's take on Miami's protection: "I would say that the protection as a whole right now I would call it slightly above average. So I think in our league right now above average is about where you’re going to be. I don’t think anybody is great protecting a passer in our league. I really don’t. I think with the limited amount time that you’re in pads and the limited about of time that you have to practice, I really don’t think anybody is great. I think above average is probably pretty good. I think we’re kind of slightly there. We have a high number of sacks right now, but those are for a bunch of reasons."

Obviously the statement and the numbers do not match on their face.

That kind of statement makes most media crazy because they seem totally disconnected from the truth. And thus, fans reading the media account think Sparano is totally unaware of exactly how atrocious his offensive line really is.

But ...

Stop. Breathe. Relax.

Allow me a second to translate, if I may. No, I do not speak coachspeak fluently. But after a few years of listening to the droning of these guys, I think I can kind of sort of understand every other word more or less.

The truth is Sparano is no doubt referring to the protection of his quarterbacks as much more than offensive line play. It includes tight end blocking and running back blocking. And when he mentions that the number of sacks is high but the protection is still "above average" he is clearly saying sometimes the quarterbacks have held the ball too long. He is probably also saying sometimes receivers are not getting open quickly enough or maybe not at all.

Now, there is no way I would defend Miami's offensive line play while protecting the quarterback. Matt Moore got absolutely rocked by multiple blitzes last Sunday and while some of those were successful against terrible blocking by Daniel Thomas, among others, some of the problems were indeed up front as well.

So hopefully you don't think Sparano to be living in a fantasy world when he tells you protction has been "above average." He probably should have specified whose protection he meant and whose he didn't.

Having said all that, the entire picture that makes up Miami's protection -- offensive line, running backs, tight ends, quarterbacks getting rid of the ball on time while receiver get open quickly -- better be at their best on Sunday.

That's because the Giants have perhaps more talent along the defensive line than any other team.

The Giants share the NFL lead in sacks with 21 -- and that while premier pass-rusher Justin Tuck was missed four out of six games with neck and groin injruies. There could be moments in Sunday's game when Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jand ason Pierre Paul will be pinning their ears back on Moore at the same time.

We will know then exactly how "above average" Miami's pass protection really is.


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Are you serious Claire? The Bills are going to be a powerhouse? They wont even make the playoffs this year and Fitzpatricks play will continue to slide now that the league understands his gunslinger mentality. You can only throw into double coverage so many times before defenses figure out to get turned around. The Giants wrote the blueprint. Now watch as the Bills complete their annual slide. The Jets defense is getting old and they have Sanchez as a qb,,,enough said. And Brady aint gettin any younger while decades of low picks has already come back to haunt their defense. With the right coach and gm any team can turn it around in a years time. The Jets missed the playoffs with Mangina/Favre and went to the next two championship games after undergoing a major overhaul to their front office and players. Chin up.

The truth of the matter is there is a way to slow down their pass rush and I mean a lot. Spread Offense. Let them put their ears back and come. Short screens , dunks and short passes into the flat getting both Danial thomas AND reggie Bush into open space. After several 20-30 yard pick ups they will settle down and rush fewer and blitz less. whan they do thats when you run, run, run and the deep ball. We did it in High school and it still works.

so sad not to have any hope to win this weekend, the only milestone is not to lose by too many points.

I've been saying for a few weeks now Moore seems like a good guy but he's gonna get hospitalized.

Pat Devlin needs to keep track of his helomet on the sideline because he could be playing Sunday.


Learn how to read. I said in 2013. Now I understand your name, perfect fit.

Matt Moore is going to experience what Custer went through at the Little Bighorn.


i am NOT amazed the fins are 0-6 anymore then i'm amazed they are now on their 30th something QB. what REALLY amazes me is that dolphins management can NEVER seem to put themeselves in a position of strength. it also amazes me that articles are written about players tweeting about "he said, they said" when they should be using their pen to make everyone(management included) aware of the problems that plague this franchise that are acutely responsible for it's pathetic state. who cares what bell said! i'm using my megaphone to blast a message to anyone with intelligence that that has the power of ROSS. miami could've taken a GIANT leap in the right direction with a trade for mallet, i've previously blogged the huge advantages that this move would have created, they dwarf the insecurity of the andrew luck sweepstakes, but i failed to drive one major point home, and that is... miami ALWAYS finds itself dealing from a position of WEAKNESS, the mallet trade would've been beneficial in so many ways, like maintaining your 2012 #1 draft pick, like creating a win/win scenario for the very postion that has been responsible for it's undoing since the glory days of marino, like providing ample time for development and a cushion or superior option should luck not want to be a fin or a plethrera of other reasons, but what really seperates this team from the belichecks is the fact that they DIDN'T even SEE this as a very good option, if an option at all. miami could have changed it's position from one of weakness to strength by this ONE critical, mind-set changing move, a move that would have addressed the most important position on the team(finally) with nothing but the RIGHT answer. let's just say miami did aquire mallet in that trade, lets say he was as thought, a fine-tuned brady clone(even at less would still be better then luck) now miami heads into the offseason with an answer at QB, they can now focus at other positions, and now, THE HAND OF STRENGTH... miami with it's preserved high #1 draft pick, and a QB(mallet) that is fine tuned and ready to go for 2012, begins to answer a barrage of phone calls form other teams looking to trade up to get luck(a delema they adverted by aquiring mallet) they get TWO first round picks from another team in need of a QB dealing from a postion of weakness!!! it really amazes me! it really does! it stinks that miami is so DUMB. it amazes me that i can see this but people getting paid huge sums of money can't. it amazes me that i blog this stuff and STILL, nobody sees it..
MANDO, you are the only hope for this team, you have the ability to process the information from thousands of blog brains(your blog) all committed to having the best dolphins team possible, you alone decifer or filter, diagnose... the truth from all that care, and can VOICE what you deem is required to win a championship to the RIGHT people. FIX this team mando.

Ross will not let these guys sign any players .. Why would he waste his money ? Hasnt he wasted enough ? Thats why he will let Tony do what he does.. Lose !! Why ? Losing will solve one of the things he said he wants.. A Real franchise QB..Plus he already has to pay Tony so why Pay another coach who may lead us to a few wins.. Then we lose again. That might kill us.. Let Tony stay and tell the media you are hoping Tony wins to save his job.. lmao.. Ross knows his team will lose with Tony coaching. Which gives him his/us a QB.. Andrew Luck...

I can't wait for the game to start Sunday, not because I think the Dolphins can win, but I am amazed at all the ways they find to lose. What could they possibly do this week to top what they did last week? I believe they will do it though and I am excited.

Pmeadows only one prob in your thinking mallett sucks he wasn't even in the first round discussion before his issues came up! We are better off selecting a qb in this draft where mallet would prob slide to udfa

Plus there could be snow on the ground by game time, even the planet is vs Miami thank a lot Al Gore

The thing I see Tony directly responsible for is the mess of an Offensive line that we have. He was the line coach that could walk on water and that's why he is now the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins... except he failed as a line coach here in Miami and consequently he can't run and he can't pass therefore the Dolphins "O" is a FAILURE. Other things may have been outside his control but the "O" line was his baby.

Whoever Quarterbacks for the Phins should wear track shoes instead of Football cleats.

Everything's fine...Everything's fine...Everything's fine...Everything's fine...
Everything's fine...

Courtesy of the Miami Propaganda Machine

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