« Will Dolphins play spy who loved Vick on Sunday? | Main | The answer to the question you ask more than any other »

Brian Daboll willing to embrace the unorthodox

I am a fan of unorthodox football.

I loved the 46 defense when it first reared its angry head. I applauded the Wildcat package. I was applauding passing the ball 70 percent of the time when Bill Parcells was winning titles running 65 percent of the time. Oh yeah, I also love the shovel pass, the quarterback draw, the safety and corner blitz and God bless Dick LeBeau and his Fire Zone.

So have we established that I like the unusual approach?

That is one reason I like Brian Daboll. The man isn't afraid to try different stuff.

This year, you've seen the Dolphins line up their entire offensive line on the right side of the center and try to out-flank the defense with a run to the strong side. You've seen Flea-flicker Wildcat plays on the first series of the game.

On Sunday you saw left tackle Jake Long split out wide as an eligible receiver who was really one very, very big blocking flanker for a receiver screen. No, the play didn't work because the timing was terrible. But when the Dolphins lined up, I just about fell off my chair with glee.

It was different. What can I say?

That willingness to embrace something different isn't the only reason I like Daboll. Let's face it, he was ripped for how terrible the Browns were scoring points last year. Dolphins fans were screaming at Tony Sparano for trying to improve his offense by hiring the guy who ran one of only two offenses in the NFL that scored fewer points than Miami last year.

Yes, Cleveland was 31st in the NFL in scoring. The Dolphins were 30th. But despite that seemingly fair point, Daboll has injected some life into the Miami offense this year.

With Daboll guiding him, Matt Moore has shown steady improvement. And the Miami offense that was 30th in scoring (just ahead of Cleveland) is tied for 22nd this year while the Browns are 28th.

Back in Cleveland, meanwhile, quarterback Colt McCoy has seemingly regressed this year after playing surprisingly well under Daboll last year.

So props to Daboll for everything but this: As he explains in the video below, he ran the tackle eligible screen last year also. Except it apparently worked there. (Turn up the volume, the sound is admittedly poor.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Brian Daboll willing to embrace the unorthodox:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


A couple of things. I didn't say ALL teams do it. I said the really good teams do it. It's why people want to work for them, instead of the Jacksonvilles and Buffalos of the world.

And I did say Nolan should get the interview too. In fact I threw out the notion that the odea perhaps should be to hire one of these guys, with the condition that he keep the other on as co-ordinator. It's a little hair-brained idea but if we're saying Sparano is the problem but both units are doing well, it might be one way around it. Not saying this is what I want. It's just an idea.

And DA, business is business, but in Corporate business there's a right way and a wrong way to do things. Give guys that have done a good job an interview is the RIGHT way to do things. It's not about making them warm and fuzzy, it's about making a statement on the kind of organization you are. Ross already has a black mark in the way he went about interviewing Harbaugh last year.


How would you feel if we had yet another 0-3 start next year? Do you give a guy that has started 0-3 3 out of 4 seasons a chance to do it 4 out of 5 seasons?

Do you want to see Sparano on the sidelines if we make the playoffs?

Those are the two issues that make me say Sparano has failed the exam, next.


Does the mailroom boy get to interview for the CFO position?

That is my point.

OK guys....I'm out.

Good talk....enjoy the game Sunday.

Eagles victory 24-17.

I'd be worried, very worried, if they felt a guy with Dabolls limited experience was the best option they could find for HC. Even the receivers at NE said he wasn't a guy anyone went to for anything. His first real shot was last year.

I'm find with interviewing the CFO for the CEO position. Not sure I want to interview the receptionist to be the CFO.


What Daboll is doing with MATT MOORE of all QBs tells me he knows what he is doing....the fact that he had Henne NOT SUCKING....tells me he makes it easy for his QB's to play football....

The fact that our TALENT level is debatable makes it....even more impressive....

The fact that he did it all in a strike off-season....well that speaks for itself.....

If Tony goes, everyone goes(Nolan, Daboll). All are equally responsible. Half the team's players too.

While we're at it, the commissioner should go too. He also played a part by not preventing the cba strike. Bush, Burnett, Moore and all of the rookie class should go too. Its thier fault they had to learn a new systems and a entirely new level of play.

So many new parts to integrate, so little time to do it, so many early season league-wide Hamstring issues, so much this, so much that. When you put it all under the microscope, the 2011-12 hasnt been anything close to normal.

Even moreso when you consider what's happened in Miami, beginning with Ross/Sparano offseason debacle. Very little has been close to normal in Miami until this present 4-1 positive win streak.

Definitely, Nolan should get a sit down also if Tony goes.


So why not let Daboll continue as the OC? He started slow, has been getting better. Do you just promote him up and away that fast or do you say great, we have the OC position settled for the next 5 years?

DevilsAdvocate -

"Do you want to see Sparano on the sidelines if we make the playoffs?"

I personally don't care who I see on the sidelines if we make the playoffs.....because we made the playoffs! Which would mean that whoever that coach happend to be....they're probably doing alright.

If Tony got us to the playoffs, I wouldn't mind seeing him on the sideline.

4-6 does nor equal 6 linebackers geniuses! Its essentially a 4-3 with your SS playing a. Close to the line of scrimmage linebacker position

What does Daboll know about defense, special teams, game management, player management, managing the conditioning department and all the other details of being a HC. Too green. Let the guy develop a reputation as a great OC first.

Wasn't Cameron a great OC for SD for years? Not even he was capable of being an HC, yet he is doing another fine job as OC with the Ravens.

Truer words never been said, YG.


While I find your post humorous....i also find them greatly misleading.....

The OC on most teams is easily either the top 2 or #3 man on the team.....

your mail clerk reference's....while funny.....not accurate.......or really relevant to the conversation.....

wolf, I hear you...but...

Remember Payton vs Caldwell in the SB? Sparano is Caldwell and the competition is Payton.

Wasn't Cameron a great OC for SD for years? Not even he was capable of being an HC, yet he is doing another fine job as OC with the Ravens.

Posted by: DevilsAdvocate | December 09, 2011 at 05:52 PM


The people of Baltimore for the most part...couldn't DISAGREE more....

They wanted him fired last year......

kris, if I can make you laugh that is good too.

So let me revise it...I can see a CFO with 10 years experience interviewing for the CEO position, but I don't see the recent grad CFO with less than 2 years experience interviewing for the CEO position.


Check the Ravens standings. They agree with me quite well.

Well, the Truth, as exposed by YG, admits no arguments. So, I'm moving on....

All I know is this....the coaching decision is going to be a huge one. If they decide to let TS go, it would be completely understandable....but they can't miss on the next one.

A major compenent of this franchise that has been missing since Shula (besides the QB) is stability. You can't have regime change every 2-3-4 years and have success. The QB position becomes a turnstyle because every regime wants their own. With every change, a new system is put into place requiring often with steep learning curves. Every time you change, the roster gets worked over and you start from square one.

That's why they can't miss. The Phins can't have another 2 or 3 or 4 year and out regime. If the Phins are ever going to get back to the SB....if they're ever going to be the perenial contenders the once were, they're going to have to find some stability which most likely means they will have to stick with someone through some tough times on occasion. I'm not saying that someone should be Sparano....I'm just saying they can't swing and miss again.

Baltimore is 9-3. Cam keeps getting his teams in the playoffs. Can't argue with that no matter what the fans say.

DA....@ 5:48....

That is the Ideal situation for me.....Daboll as HC.....

However...IF you believe that Daboll getting an INTERVIEW is unrealistic.....then what do you call the chance he is kept as OC after the firing of Sporano.....

It just doesn't work that way...unless your from KC.....

Well got to run for now...enjoyed the debate...


The total constant with Sparano starting 0-3 in most recent years, Henne has been the starting qb. There was an 0-3 start with CP, but that was because the 0-8 playoffs gave the rest of the league the blueprint on how to shut him down.

7-8 in the box on run downs, blitz on passing downs because CP wasnt going to beat you deep with his noodled passing arm.

Now we've seemingly moved on into the Matt Moore era, at least for now. Moore's kinda of giving of us the better consistecy of CP, but, with a much better capacity to throw the ball down the field.

The Sparano has had a wonderful game manager qb in CP that had nearly zero mustard to attack downfield. Then Henne, who isnt worth the wasted space to list all of his deficiencies, though he showed some ever so slight progress to begin this season.

Too bad it wasnt with what has always been his most glaring deficiencies: 3rd down conversions and redzone scoring.

But Im sure so many 0-3 starts were totally on Sparano. Give him wet tissue paper then blame him for not being able to wipe his own a*ss. Absolutely genius!


I understand the STATS.....

but i'm telling you the facts.....

B'more wins on D-FENCE......and Cam almost lost his job last year....as a man who was living in Baltimore last year....and listened to evetyhing B'More sports......

I am convinced...CAM ONLY kept his job due to the up coming strike....and the Raven's thought he was the lesser of two evils.....

I am no longer in Baltimore....but I wouldn't be surprised to see him go if they have another playoff collapse this yr.

He is a lamb waiting to be sacrificed by Harbaugh....

Tell you what, if Sparano's fired and Caldwell in Indy is fired, I would love to see Sparano land in Indy.

With some "REAL" qb's to work with Sparano may end up being the next Bellichick. I also hope Nolan and Daboll goe there to work with him too.

We'll probably end up with Cowher(Jimmy Johnson) and just like JJ, be back in the broadcast booth in 3yrs. ALSO like the JJ era, we make the playoffs 1-2 times as 1st rd one and done fodder.

Then by the 3rd-4th year Sparano wins his first sb ring and we're left kicking ourselves in the a*ss for wanting him fired. By then we should be on our 2nd post Sparano head coach jerking off to what could have been.

While we're talking about firing Sparano, there could be other team bloggers talking about picking him up once we give him the boot.

Granted Sparano was totally green as a hc coming in and there was definitely a huge learning curve. Should the Dolphins finish 8-8 after a 0-7 start.

Sparano would probably be the hottest hc prospect, should we fire him, everywhere in the nfl except Miami. Be oh so careful what you wish for!

Wouldnt it be so ironic if getting rid of Sparano. Ends up ranking alone side the debacle of getting rid of Wes Welker?

Seems, only in Miami does things like that happen. Be oh so careful what you wish for.

IM out!

One issue to contend with should Miami axe TS is a dwindling pool of coaching candidates. As one owner mentioned in a recent article I read...and I don't have the exact phrase, but basically...."owners who fire their head coaches this year are going to have to be more creative and willing to gamble more this year than ever."


I definitely think DaBoll has earned the right for an interview...either as the new HC.....or a member of the new OC's staff.....

Posted by: kris | December 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM

With all due respect and I mean respect kris but please tell me that your joking or is this a pre April fools joke?

Earned the right to what?

I'll be right back I need another shot of Jack.

OK, I'm back. The fins won 4 games and all of a sudden Brian "earned" the right to an interview?

If we are going to settle for a half arsed OC and HC then we will be what the record says we are. We aren't going anywhere fast except farther and farther away from the ability to draft a QB.

We MUST PURGE the entire team of all the leftovers. The owner is currently in CVS picking out the enema come January 2012.

The only question which remains to be answered is will Ross decide to use the enema or put it in his top drawer.

IM out!

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | December 09, 2011 at 06:23 PM

I'm sitting here on a Friday evening scratching my nuts as I read all the entertainment.

I want to begin by saying thanks for the entertainment and interesting and great posting.

I may and may not agree with some of you but we all have our own reasons for posting here.

What gets me is that when I mention and have mentioned since last season that we should bring in Cowher and clean house, I am barraged with all the Anti Cowher posts.

I say we should trade the entire house for Andrew Luck and posters offer their opinions that Andrew is bla, bla, bla and overrated.

So with THAT it is mystifying exactly why people would not want Luck or Cowher.

I hear Luck is over rated and Cowher loves his TV gig so what i like to know is Don't you think that if Cowher comes in and we trade up and get Luck is it your opinion that the Dolphins will continue sucking?

I give two positive answers and people say I am negative.

COWHER and LUCK = WINNING and potentially WINNING a Superbowl.

What more can you want?

It must be 5 o'clock somewhere as everyone disappeared.

So with that, you all have a great night.

NY "G"


What part of Indy wont trade away the rights to Andrew Luck even if we offered our entire team and 3 full drafts for, that you dont understand?

All of this we should trade everything Andrew Luck may sound well and dandy rattling inside of your own head. The most important problem is, Indy gm Bill Polian isnt sharing your same sentiments or wishes.

Indy's taking and keeping Andrew Luck come hell or high water. No amount of ransome offered will change that.


Ask yourself this:

If we had 1st overall pick and you were gm, what would you trade away the 1st overall rights for?

Im 99% sure your answer is nothing. Now put the trade up for Andrew Luck garble to rest.

INdy aint trading away the 1st overall draft slot to anyone, no matter what they offered.

I like Cowher too, but, just like JJ, I can envision him returning to the broadcast booth in 3yrs. Also, like JJ, the job will be left unfinished and we get another handpicked Dave Wannstadt.

That isnt moving forward, thats moving backwards for this franchise.





The separation between the posters at the Sun Sentinel and the Miami Herald is getting blurry.



TRADE UP FOR LUCK MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | December 09, 2011 at 07:21 PM


TRADE UP FOR LUCK MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: phinsfan78 | December 09, 2011 at 07:28 PM

Win any more games and Miami won't have the firpower to do that!


Now is the time to sell the farm, we have a core team. Trade up for Luck at all costs and we will be set!!!!


Don't blow it Ireland! Make it happen.

Luck in aqua, I can see it now!

Which one is the 46 Defense?

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 09, 2011 at 02:42 PM

Isn't it the defense that Bears played in the 80's? with coach Mike Didka and coah Ryan?

Nothing to do 4 DLineman 6 LB.
adrian solorza | December 09, 2011 at 02:52 PM


You're right on and if I'm not mistaken I think Rex has used a little bit of it this year too, maybe against the Pats....

Craig M | December 09, 2011 at 02:57 PM

The 46 D was named the 46 D for Bears Saftey Doug Plank who wore the number and was the best blitzing safety in the scheme for Chicago. The D was a base 4/3 scheme with four down linemen all lined up over the weakside with the Guards and Center covered by the LDE and DT's forcing them to have to contend with the DL tight over them making blocking assignments difficult freeing up the LB's with both OLB's lined up on the same side (Jack & Charley LB's) and blitzing DB with the others in bump and run disrupting timing on pass routes. The MLB (Singletary) was only 1 yard of the line of scrimmage usually shooting the open gaps right at the Q.B. This killed play action and usually also stuffed the run, it was suffocating to say the least.

Thank you very much fin4life, Professor Lou, and many others, to bring this knowledge.

Sparano would probably be the hottest hc prospect, should we fire him, everywhere in the nfl except Miami. Be oh so careful what you wish for!

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | December 09, 2011 at 06:19 PM

isn't sparano the coach that had soon to be 3 losing seasons in a row.

isn't sparano the same guy that has the longest home losing streak.

isn't sparano the same guy that only won one game at home last year.

isn't sparano the same guy that started 0-3 three times and 0-7 most recently.

yeah that is some hot prospect that guy right there.

thats some retarded struff that right there


Marino beats the 46 D on Monday night 85 because we rolled him out back when he could run strong side with the LG % Center (R.Foster, D.Stevenson) pulling out in front in a 3 WR set (Duper, Clayton and N.Moore) and the Bears couldn't get the jam on all 3 at the line in the bump and run with


Marino beats the 46 D on Monday night 85 because we rolled him out back when he could run strong side with the LG % Center (R.Foster, D.Stevenson) pulling out in front in a 3 WR set (Duper, Clayton and N.Moore) and the Bears couldn't get the jam on all 3 at the line in the bump and run with Marino's lightening release killing the quick rush up field by the attack styled D.

cable guy is right! YG, I can see Sparano back coaching a position maybe but hottest HC prospect???

Yes! fin4life, do you still remember the long run by Troy Straford?.
Is any place where I could buy or grab those games?

Off the work. I will be back later.

I think you jerks should let Sparano do the damn thing, we are wining against good teams we should continue what is happening...it took Cowler 12 years to win a superbowl, the steelers stuck with him...who wins a superbowl in 3 years its just not sensible thinking you are all fair weather fans...nothing is good enough for you "fans" go root for Dallas or the Pats....GO FINS keep Sporano and Both OC and Draft Griffin 3!!!!

Fin4Life....Cable Guy is not only CORRECT......that may be the common sense post of the blog.......

Sparano would probably be the hottest hc prospect, should we fire him, everywhere in the nfl except Miami. Be oh so careful what you wish for!

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | December 09, 2011 at 06:19 PM

isn't sparano the coach that had soon to be 3 losing seasons in a row.

isn't sparano the same guy that has the longest home losing streak.

isn't sparano the same guy that only won one game at home last year.

isn't sparano the same guy that started 0-3 three times and 0-7 most recently.

yeah that is some hot prospect that guy right there.

thats some retarded struff that right there
Posted by: the harry cable guy | December 09, 2011 at 07:46 PM

22 is still not acceptable...and how does our offense rank in the 4th quarter and overtime?

NY "G"...

Thanks for the "respect" reference in your post...and believe me....the feeling is mutual...your post have are among some of my fav's.....rants or not....and you also do not saturate the blog like I have a tendency to do sometimes......


familiarity breeds contempt....and I have been the object of a lot of contempt from time to time....

Anyway.....I do believe Daboll is a bright spot....and since NO WAY a new HC keeps him as OC...i say the only way he gets a fair shake...is to give him an unbiased interview....heck....make it mandatory that he gets to interview for the OC position...but man....i think with DaBoll....we are just scratching the surface...

I like the fact that Daboll is an OC that's actually on the field...as opposed to in a booth. This brings immediacy to game time coaching and his energy affects the team directly. Sparano's story is not finished in Miami. He inherited a dysfunctional and wilting program and has it looking and feeling good. It had to get worse before it got better, like most true rebuilding efforts.

46 was Gary Fenciks uniform number i believe


I actually looked it up just for you, Fencik (the Yale graduate) wore #45

46 defense
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

46 Formation, original 4-3 base set
The 46 defense is an American football defensive formation. The formation comprises four down linemen, three linebackers, and four defensive backs. The 46 defense was originally developed and popularized by Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who later became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. Today the scheme is currently used on a regular basis by the New York Jets head coach and defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, son of Buddy Ryan.
The name "46" originally came from the jersey number of Doug Plank, who was a starting safety for the Bears when Ryan developed the defense, and typically played in that formation as a surrogate linebacker.[1][2]

doug plank is correct

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.