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Fins gettin' better but why'd it take this long?

This NFL season is a sprint to prepare for and a marathon to run.

All the teams, without exception, had to hurry and prepare for this season once the lockout was settled and training camps opened. They had to get their players in, get their players in shape, get their players back into a routine, and get their players ready to succeed.

Some did it. Some didn't.

The teams that had a proven system and veterans for those systems were at an advantage. And the teams that were installing a new culture or new players or new schemes or all three, were woefully behind.

That is a truth.

The Dolphins were among the teams that were not fully established going into the season. You're hearing that a lot around South Florida now. Miami was installing a new offense with a new offensive coordinator. The Dolphins had a new starting running back and a new starting center and the starting quarterback was establishing himself in the new scheme.

All that is true. And all that was made more difficult for Miami when starting quarterback Chad Henne, who had learned OC Brian Daboll's offense in February, went down the first week of October and inexperienced backup Matt Moore was thrust into the job.

This is a guy who didn’t have an offseason with us, he didn’t have anything," coach Tony Sparano said of Moore. "The first time he heard it was Day One training camp. To be honest with you, it wasn’t even day one training camp because he couldn’t practice for a few days so he was behind. He got a chance to jump in there when he can rep wise. Right now he’s getting all the work and he feels a lot more comfortable I think out there."

A theme this week at training camp (among some media, not the team) is that the Dolphins, fresh off their first victory of the year versus Kansas City, are finally starting to have success because they are finally starting to get in synch one with another. Players are knowing their roles better, coaches are knowing players better, everyone is just now past the meet-and-greet stage.

The Dolphins have found a comfort level.

“Yeah, no doubt, and that just comes with reps and experience and sitting with (Offensive Coordinator Brian) Daboll and (Quarterbacks Coach Karl) Dorrell and really getting a feel what they’re thinking in every situation," Moore said. "Throwing unlimited balls to all the guys, and just getting those game reps. Being in the huddle with the offensive line and looking at those guys in crucial situations and coming up short with those guys, you just learn a lot and you get a feel for the people in the huddle and they get a feel for me, and so its constantly a work in progress. I sound probably totally different from last week, let’s face it, we won and I’m just kind of excited and just ready to move forward."

This media-driven theme suggests because the Dolphins are finally feeling more at-home with one another, they are prepared to plow ahead toward coming success.

But I've got questions about this common thinking.

First, the Dolphins truly were at a disadvantage against teams that made no significant changes from a season ago. That is legitimate. But the team was in the very same proverbial boat as all the other teams with new coordinators and new schemes and new players -- particularly new quarterbacks. They were in even better shape than teams that came into 2011 with new head coaches because those men were establish brand new cultures as well as schemes.

So one must assume the Dolphins wouldn't be behind those teams if they're on the same get-to-know-you scale. And yet, from a production standpoint, they are behind every single one.

The Carolina Panthers brought in an entirely new coaching staff and a rookie quarterback and they've scored 49 more points than Miami this season. Tennessee has a new head coach, new offensive system, new starting quarterback and their running back held out all of training camp so he has been learning the offense on the fly during the season. They've scored nine more points than Miami.

Denver? New coach, new offense, a quarterback change to Tim Tebow. And they've outscored Miami and beat Miami. Minnesota and Oakland have new coaches and new quarterbacks, too. And they've scored more than Miami.

San Francisco brought in a new coaching staff who installed a new system. And they're 7-1.

So I guess I'm rejecting the notion that the Dolphins were operating under a significant disadvantage compared to everyone else and that makes their record or lack of production understandable or excusable.

And I'm seriously annoyed that this talk somehow leaks over to the defensive side. You must remember that this defense that is lately playing much better is operating under the same system and same coordinator and set of coaches that ran it last year. All but two of the positions at the start of this season were manned by the same players who were starting last year -- and the two that weren't, with Kevin Burnett at one ILB and Reshad Jones at FS, were changes made on purpose as upgrades over last year.

Yet we recognize that the defense got off to a very, very, very slow start.

What's the excuse there?

Look, I am expectant that Miami can continue to play better as the season progresses, barring an onslaught of significant injuries. On offense particularly, this team is a work in progress. Players are finding their niche. And coaches, as Reggie Bush said Wednesday, are also hitting their stride.

"I think Dabolls’ play-calling has been a little better so he’s improving in that area," Bush said. "And then for us we’re improving in executing the play that he’s calling. Like I said, we’re all in this collectively. It’s not just the players, it’s the coaches too."

But to suggest it was patently impossible for Miami to be doing better coming out of the chute because the deck was stacked against them isn't right. That is clear based on the fact that after Sunday's victory over Kansas City, several players talked among themselves and wondered aloud why they couldn't have started playing better earlier.

“Sure, yeah absolutely you kind of think that way," Moore said. "Watching the tape, it’s a block here, it’s a throw, it’s a route, we weren’t as sharp. We just didn’t execute as well. I think guys, the longer we're in this thing the better were getting."

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Why Armando?

Odin, I live really close to Penn St and I can tell you that the actions of last night aren't just a one time thing, these kids here are looking for anything they can protest. They want to mimick the hippies of the 60s. I remember when a kid who was visiting the weekend of the Ohio St game a few yrs ago was hurt by some kids at PSU, just because he had a OSU jacket on. PSU was a class act at one time, those days are long gone. I am very happy that I am not a PSU fan. Also this isn't the first time the "students" there have rioted and destroyed property.

LIKE THE HIPPIES OF THE 60s, ODEN CAN RELATE TO THAT I BET.
(BUFFETT OF KNOWLEDGE)

ALoco,

How have you been?

I've attempted to turn over a new leaf, hence my very brief and periodic posting of late.

I'm actually trying to have my first "SERIOUS" Girlfriend since the last ones broke and re-broke my heart all those years ago.

She's tall and beautiful, has a good job and seems to be totally independent. I knew I was smitten when I caught mysef hiding "SOME" of the alcohol in the fridge and the Bars(yes, I have two-go figure).

Anyways, quite the change from the floozies I pick up(bribe)at the Casinos and clubs!

Oh yeah, dinner? Tonight I am taking her to the finest resturant in all of Sault Ste. Marie!(it ain't much, but it's the best they got around here)

Hey Odin, go greyhounds! Oh wait, that's probably the one in Michigan. My buddies from ssm tell me about all the bars in ssm Michigan. I'd drink a lot (more) if I lived there too.

PA,

I'm not a Penn State fan in any way.

I do respect and admire Joe Pa as I do many of the old legends.

This Sandusky guy is scum of the earth and I hope he gets whats coming to him. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will be bad ENOUGH for him.

The Athletic Director and President(of finances) aren't much better either. I hope they get theirs as well.

I read 27 pages of Grand Jury testimony in this case and it's despicable and deplorable in the manner they choose to deal with Sandusky.

This sick fvck was banging an blowing 10 - 14 year old boys for years and years. The powers that be at Penn State basically tried to cover their own ass es and didn't give the innocent little boys a second thought.

I feel a little bad for Joe Pa, but the rest of the Penn State brass can burn in hell.

My Two Cents!!!!

It is I, the love of odinseye! Has he told you my beard tickles him when we kiss? hehehehe

Hormonal therapy hasn't kicked in yet to minimize my facial hair growth.

I can't wait for that 1st kiss without stubble....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

the niners had a new coach and everything else and are leading the league with their record. This all comes down to coaching. Teams with good coaches were prepared and teams with crap coaches weren't. simple as that. Get rid of the coach.

Mark T,

You said it! The locals do more than their fair share of drinking up here.

Other than hunting and fishing, the only other thing too do is drink and chase the Hotties!

There's an old Rock and Roll Bar on the main drag in the Soo, it's called the "Back Door Bar"(believe it or not-lol).

It was there in the 70's and it's still open today. That's how limited things are out in the sticks!

I usually head up to Marquette(college town)when I party away a weekend. It ain't South Beach, but it's about as good as it gets up here in the middle of NOWHERE!

Easy Answer Armando:

On Defense:

1.Terrible safety play early. Sapp was cut becuase of the 99yd Brady-Welker play. But bad fs play opened the door. Its been a reoccuring problem for several seasons now.

2. Finally, last two games someone not named Cameron Wake has been getting qb pressure.

3. Finally(last 2 games) Kevin Burnett seems to be up to full speed in knowledge of Mike Nolans defense.

4. The cb shuffling due to injuries.

Offense:

1. Learning curve of coaching staff to effectively use Reggie Bush.

2. RB Thomas' hamstring issues and getting up to speed on nfl blitz pickup.

3. Getting Clay up to speed.

4. Columbo being a revolving sack door. Chiefs game has been his best all-around effort yet.

5. Marshall's continued case of the dropsies.

6. Uneven qb play even when Henne was healthy.

Really? Mando really? All this over 1 Win against the Chiefs! Really??

We have one other mediocre team coming to town Sunday and the Dolphins could get another win. BUT as the name says, I am going to point out the obvious. It is the Chiefs and Redskins folks. After that reality is going to hit like a brick in the knuts. Our schedule gets tough again after the Redskins. It is going to be a real long season. Get cumfy folks!!!

Wow mando, are you falling into the TRAP already after one good performance against a very AVERAGE to mediocre team in the afc west....SHAME ON YOU SIR!!!!*lmao*


Reality check will be coming soon enough for anyone believing this team is turning the corner for this year....1-7 is still VERY bad....and the losing will not stop until a real CHANGE or CHANGES take place after this year....

Many May Find This Crazy But:

If Miami picks within the top 5 they should trade down to 13th-14th if a team's willing to give up thier 2nd and 3rd picks to move up.

In this scenario we get an extra 2nd and 3rd pick. Plus, still land BSU qb Kellen Moore. I really do believe Moore's going to be a really good nfl qb andthere's huge chance he'll still be available at pick 13 or 14.

The two extra picks recieved trading down can be used to fix critical need areas. Plus Kellen Moore addresses the need for potential franchise calibre qb.

Think about it guy, if you add 3 inches to Kellen Moore's 6'0 body frame, without a doubt nfl scouts would see him as 2nd best qb available after Andrew Luck. Even many of his college numbers are at the same pace, ever so slightly lower, or exceeds those od Andrew Luck.

ODEN,WHAT TYPEE OF FOOD DOE THEY SERVE?,IS IT AS GOOD AS THE BUFFET OFF KNOWLEDGE LOUNGE?

All I know is that if Henne played this team would be a playoff team. Call me what you will but he was making so much progess I have to believe he was on the brink of a big season.

Excuses are like A-holes, everyone has one and they all stink.

DO THE ASERVE NUGGETS OF ACORNS?

POIZEN,HENE ONLY MADE 98 DOLLAR A GAME,WHY SHOIULD HE TRY WHEN HEADCASE MARSHALL MAKE 2 MILLION A GAME?
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Yg, Jones and Barkley have stats on par with luck and they also have the measurables. Moore may be the next brees but who knows? I wouldn't trade down.

For those of you still being critical. This staff has finally figured how to use Bush effectively. Clay is beginning to look as though he's finally getting it in this offense. We know Thomas is solid and the oline as a group is developing cohesiveness.

I wouldnt be shocked to see this team win 4 of its final 8 games. This means a 5-11 finish. I know many are against it happening because you want Luck, Landry or Barkley. RGIII even.

Still, a 5-11 finish places us firmly inside of the top draft order. Which still gives a legit shot at RGIII or Kellen Moore. Still I challenge you to google the stats of Moore and RGIII. What stands out most to me is sacks taken by both.

RGIII has taken 18 sacks. Kellen Moore has taken only 6-7 sacks. On the nfl level its always better to have the qb that gets the ball out of his hands. 18 sacks suggest RGII could also have a tendacy to hold the ball a little too long trying to create something where there is nothing. Moore doesnt.

Miami should resign Henne and have Henne and Moore fight it out in a real competition and may the best man win.

There are other positions to address like a play maker. Adding Blackmon or the Jeffrey kid from Carolina to put with Marshall would give Henne another good weapon to grow with

I am with Poizen, Henne is better QB than Moore.

Getting better.....at this pace we will have our first 13 win season in 2020.....by that time 90% of your posters will be dead...or in a home somewhere babbling about 1972.....

Mark T,

The stats dont lie. Moore's numbers are far superior to Landry or Jones. He even has more td passes than Luck and a slightly higher completion percebtage.

Guaranteed, if Kellen Moore were 3 inches taller, there would be debate who should go 1st he or Luck. I guarantee you this. Moore's college record more than speaks for itself.

Like Bill Parcell's always says, "You are what your record says you are." I honestly belive in Kellen Moore's case this is true.

It's the coaching, it's the coaching, IT'S THE COACHING! Our QB coach was a wr coach last year, never been a qbs coach in his life. Bryan Cox,,,,, is he really coaching material? The guy couldn't keep his emotions in check for one second when he was a player. The defensive coordinator has the unfortunate job of fielding a good defense when he has no pass rushers and no shutdown CBs. Daboll ran one of the worst offenses in the league last season, period.

And Tony Sparano, isn't this the guy that lost 11 home games in a row and was inches from being fired last season? What's the fu**ing mystery here? The reason they got off to a slow start is because the coaching sucks.

We have a team full of college all pros, nfl pro bowlers, and former super bowl players who played very well in their last stops. But then they come here and do what, forget how to play football? Why,,,,because THE COACHING SUCKS. Just say what you want to say Armando because you're right. Can't figure out why you were sticking up for Sparano two short weeks ago when you then write an article like this. Did you seriously not know the coaching sucked back then? Even though you were totally for a coaching change last season? Sing it sister! The coaching staff, as presently constructed, sucks bal8s!

Poizen, Henne did play & we were winless. Your suggestion Miami would be a playoff team, had he played, just doesn't add up.

Marino could maybe make this a playoff team. Henne? Come on. You have Chad`itis again? I joke!

You may think he improved dramatically. But, most people would argue his location, continued struggles in the red zone & his complete inability to make a big play in crunch time negates all the positives.

He became more of a leader & improved his escapability. I don't think those outweigh his red zone & late game struggles & inconsistency.

Drops or no drops. That's always an underlying excuse to be made for Chad. To a degree I understand it. But, Moore's had 3 TD's dropped by Marshall too.

I don't see many, if any, people running to praise Moore that he'd be good if people caught the ball.

Poizen,

Im not so quick to add playmaking wr to our list of needs just yet. First I wanna see how this thing plays out with Gates by seasons end.

If Gates begins to show great progress over the final 4-5 games light the switch has come on. Then forget about it. Lets first see if Gates finds his niche before seasons end. There's still time.

Joe Shmoe,

Dont get it twisted. Marino would only make this a 4-4 team right now at best. We've had so many issues to overcome Brady and Rogers only make this a 4-4 team right now at best.

Even hof calibre qb dont play fs, ilb, rush the passer, sub for injured corners, play rt, drop td passes, etc.. etc....

Get the drift?

Dont get it twisted guys. Even a hof calibre qb gives us only 3 more wins at best(4-4).

I see the coaching staff is blamed by one poster too. However, thats a Capt Obvious answer if there ever was one.

The coaching staff isnt the blame for the personel brought in over the last 4 seasons. Sure they seem to have a certain deficiency in timely developing talent. But evry draft Ireland has made many of us go "who" every single draft day.

Also have had some purely awful fa signings and fa not signings that have significantly affected the performance of this team. So let's now place the overwhelming share of the Capt Obvious blame on this coaching staff.

REALLY !!!

Armando....really...the dolphins suck cause the coach and scheme.Hope this isn't your day job !!

Odin you rock ! Don't let the rif raf get to you & please keep up the peridoic posts comming.
GO PHINS !!!!!!!!!!!

San Fran is the second best team in football after being one of the worse over the past decade for one simple reason.... they brought in a character changing head coach. That changes EVERYTHING. Harbaugh brought the idea that they are winners, their professionals, its all new and they will win. He brings his own coaching staff and makes it happen.

Miami's problem which we already knew after trying to court Harbaugh ourselves, is our front office. Sparano, although a great guy, needs to go. GM needs to go. Defensive coordinator needs to go. We need to clean house from the top and work our way through the roster. It starts with the front office, coaching staff and drafting a QB in the first round.

We are out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes but i think we can still land a Matt Barkley from USC which we can groom as the future QB.

Offensive line needs some tweaks, we need a faster catching TE and we need to revamp the secondary.

Its sad because these have been our needs for several years now. New coach, offensive line, TE, secondary.... Nothing has been done about it. I hope and pray we get a new GM and coaching staff who will make this happen. Im tired of the Dallas cast offs and the busted draft selections. If Detroit and San Fran and turn things around in a season then so can miami.

This is all very simple really. The Dolphins franchise lacks anything remotely resembling stability....you don't win without stability. Let's looke at the last 7 years shall we:

Owner: There have been 2 in the last 7 years...unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Ross took over as the majority owner half way through a full blown re-build. He has a much different "vision" for this franchise than Wayne did. He also created a "lame duck" coach and thus a "lame duck" season by going after Harbaugh when Sporano was still employed. I think the players like Sporano, but it's hard to vest in something you know is not going to be there for very long...and players have to be fully vested in a philosophy/scheme/whatever to win week in week out.

Coaches/Management (FO) : There have been 3 different regimes in the past 7 years; Saban, Cameron, & Trifecta (now minus the Tuna). On average, that's regime change every 2.3 years....not exactly a recipe for success.

QB: Arguably the most important position on the field. There have been a total of 11 starting QBs in the past 7 years. Now this does include a couple of guys that only started a game or two...but still, 11 starting QBs in 7 years. If you leave the 1 or 2 game starters out of the equation, you still have 9 starters in 7 seasons:

Gus Frerotte
Joey Harrington
Daunte Culpepper
Cleo Lemon
Trent Green
John Beck
Chad P
Chad H
Matt Moore

To round off to 11:

Sage Rosenfels
Tyler Thigpen

I mean really....is it any wonder this franchise is a complete mess? It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

With all of this discussion going on as to whether or not the Dolphins will build upon their one-game winning streak, I'd like to know what the game plan is for beating the Redskins.

If Coach Sparano has a fax number available, I say we should start forwarding ideas!

HELLO WIN #2!!!!!!!!!

Also...it's been awhile since I've been around here...got pretty frustrated, but I've been around a few other Dolphin sites/forums in the past few months....I'm hearing a lot of Kellen Moore talk....even saw a poster here say we should trade down in the draft and pick him up mid first round. All I have to say to that is STOP IT PLEASE!

Don't get me wrong, I like Kellen Moore. I'm a Mountain West Conference guy, because that's where my UNM Lobos happen to play, but seriously, there is little to know competition for Moore or Boise in this conference. He is amazing to watch and I've had the opportunity up close and personal to watch him put a smack down on my Lobos...but then again, it's somewhat akin to the Packers playing against a practice squad.

It's not only the lack of competition though...the same or similar could be said for Luck...though Stanford does play and beat some ranked teams. Really, this guy is Flutie 2.0....he's very cerebral...has good anticipation....good delivery (between the hashes). But ever watch him throw outside the numbers? Not pretty.....he simply doesn't have the stature.

I'm sorry, but I'm not the least bit convinced to draft a guy who is 5' 11" and comes in at a buck 85....who has some serious arm strength issues and is about as mobile as a fence pole set in concrete. Apparantely, and I haven't confirmed this yet, but I read a story in our local rag that one of his linemen (I think it's the LG) has a faster 40 time. Regardless, I've seen him up close and personal, and if you think Henne is immobile, you haven't seen anything.

Sorry, but if he were our only option, I would stick with Matt Moore and even Henne. By the by, I don't think Kellen will even go in the 1st....I'm predicting 5th/6th round simply because of the records he's broken/breaking and Heisman considerations. Otherwise, I would say he wouldn't be drafted at all.

Wolfman makes good points about stability and it's relationship to success. The grass is greener mentality has hurt this franchise...along with poor choices. If Sparano wins at least six of the next 8 games I say we keep him and keep developing this franchise. I think Henne was our biggest obstacle to success and he is gone for good, thank God. If Sparano can recover from his false hope (remember who actually drafted Henne, BP!) around that dud we might be able to move on without a complete rebuild. I'm pulling for Sparano to succeed.

The fins needed to get younger across the board and they did that in a relatively short time. At DB I think they did too much too fast , specifically Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill. Both over 30 but both still good crafty vets. Smith , Carrol , Rashad and Wilson's Skills were really hurt by the work stoppage. Clemmons and Davis' hammy's ? Good possibility. I had a bad feeling about cutting AG & RH at the same time. Love Wilson , the dude is a competitor and has the heart of a lion.

Tony Sparano is making a guest appearance on Beavis and Buthead's show tonight.

v

Andy NJ,
Apt description of past and present regimes. I like Sparano as a person, but no passes being given her. We need to start over.

Please let Miami lose this weekend as I am sick of hearing suddenly how good we are, it doesn't matter if we don't get Luck as long as we win a few meaningless games and my personal favourite, let's give this coaching staff another year.
We need a new coach, gm and star QB named Luck, Jones or Barkley, none of what happened in KC has changed any of this.
It was obvious to a blind man that we weren't as bad as our record but the horrendous coaching was/ is holding this team back, that and a good QB which I'm sorry Matt Moore is not.
All you guys cheering for more wins think about what will happen if say we win a few more games........
The top 3 QB s will be gone by the 5th overall pick most likely so there's a very real danger we will end up losing out and worst of all a mini revival may just make Ross think about retaining Sparano and Ireland.
All of this means more mediocrity, bank on it!!!

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