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Will Dolphins play spy who loved Vick on Sunday?

The Michael Vick experience (remember that?) is coming to Sun Life Stadium Sunday and that usually means the defense should be watching a lot of film on the Philadelphia quarterback and dub it, "The spy who loved me."

Vick, you see, is the classic case for a defense using a spy. A spy is a player that is almost solely responsible to getting after an opposing player. It was a popular tool for defenses in the 1990s and today I asked Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan if its too old school to use against Vick.

"It's used quite a bit," Nolan said. "As a matter of fact, last year in the Super Bowl, No. 52 for Green Bay was spying Ben Roethlisberger. So if it's a guy like Michael Vick or a guy like Roethlisberger, any guy who's running to keep plays alive, they do it different ways, but it's not old hat by any stretch."

Well, now that we've established that spying Vick is not old fashioned, how is it done?

"A lot of people try to use it on Vick," Nolan said. "In most every game you'll see people do it with a three-man rush, a four-man rush, with a spy, without a spy, a five-man rush. Typically when teams bring five or more there's no one spying but that's not 100 percent true. Most of the time they put everybody to him and hope all the gaps are filled to keep him in there."

The trouble with that, of course, is Vick is so fast and athletic, he can still leak out the back door where there is no gap. So of course, the Dolphins will spy Vick, right?

Not so fast. They might do it some. But all the time creates problems in that it takes somebody out of coverage, which takes away the defense's ability to double somebody. Of course, going too far the other direction -- as in never spying Vick -- has negative ramifications also because he will see that as an opportunity to start running more.

Perhaps the fact Vick is recovering from broken ribs might lessen that worry. But Vick would almost definitely recognize the plan and counter

"That's one thing he does recognize very well,' Nolan said. "If he sees everyone's back turned and sees things opening up, he'll take it out of there. that's why a spy is pretty handy against him."

My thinking? 

Spy Vick. But not every down. Make him have to look for a spy. Make him have to guess which down the Dolphins use a spy and when they do not. If it creates even a little doubt in his mind, it's good because you have slowed down Vick, you've forced him to worry about yet one more thing that many quarterbacks don't have to worry about.

We'll see Sunday. 


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It is bad luck to be superstitious.


Who would you put on Spy Detail?

I know you're out there!

I would mix it up between Dansby and Burnette, sometimes even Bell depending on down and distance.

What says you?


What do you think of that?

Armando must have read our conversations from the other night.

Where is everybody?

Making up for all the blogging before 5:00?

Drive Careful ALL!

Where is everybody?

Maybe trying too making up for all the blogging before 5:00?

Drive Careful ALL!

Yeah! Thanks!

Sorry! Heh, Heh!

Dear Mr. Salguero

Will the Eagles shoot a puppy out of a cannon if Michael Vick scores a touch down.

Who doesn't like a comeback story

Soiled :)

For me, spy Vick with the same guy until he recognize it (two tree times in a row) then change the guy, the same way, in order to make Vick lost his focus in the receives. (Hi Odin)

Back to work.

who cares, just get these pointless games over and lets start the fun in january. new staff, new gm, draft

odin if you have nothing to do but blog all night and are too tired to blow up the dollie, try reading a book, maybe on the vikings.

I would agree....don't spy every down....mix it up, and mix it up with the people you're using....just don't use Misi, he's about worthless.

odin if you have nothing to do but blog all night and are too tired to blow up the dollie, try reading a book, maybe on the vikings.

Posted by: dolly | December 08, 2011 at 04:52 PM

****The Odinsider's Sports Writer Critique****

Straight up *****Stars***** Armando!

Educational, informative and insightful to boot.

The corny 007 reference aside, Great Stuff!

Explaining the "Spy Technique" to your readers was really going above and beyond Armando. BRILLIANT!

Intertwining and quoting conversations with Nolan? Nothing short of SUPERB!

The Green Bay/Rapeleisburger scenario offered up a tantalizing in depth look at how important the "Spy" game is. Old school can be a good thing at times. It had me sqirming in my seat. PAR EXCELLENCE!

Your summation at the end Armando? Other than over stating the obvious, STUPENDOUS! You saved it with the:

"If it creates even a little doubt in his mind, it's good because you have slowed down Vick, you've forced him to worry about yet one more thing that many quarterbacks don't have to worry about."

True Dat, Mando, True Dat! Great work!

*****5 STARS****


I agree, who gives a rats ass as these games, especially if we win are hurting us and our spot for draft picks.

Geez, this team even SUCKS at SUCKING.

Hello Millionaires... Here this message loud and clear.

Ross wont be able to pay YOUR ransom if you keep winning as the seats at Sun life will be even more empty next season as we cant even draft a QB.

So keep winning and your future looks bleak.

Can we please lose the rest of our games.

nyg its part sad and part insane that some fans dont understand this

I just want a better draft position.

Every team puts a spy(s) on Vick and any on "running" QB.

vick a nonfactor. we will obliterate eagles.

@ Odinseye....lt's not get carried away now heh heh

I meant "let's not get carried away now" with the smoke blowing heh heh

We need to win out, finish 8-8, avoid a losing season, and SAVE Sparano's job. He has earned it.

Go fins!

yes kwasi thats the worst thing possible. i remember when saban won the last 6 games in the season and everyone acted like it meant something only to be horrible the next season

Yeah lets keep losing those games. Let's hurry up and get our 10yr starter that never wins a afc championship game let alone a sb.

Luck and RGIII are the only two I think have a legit chamce of ever winning a sb ring by the merits of thier talent alone. Worst case scenario we dont finish too far out to trade up for RGIII.

The idiot team drafting a qb after Luck probably chooses Barkley.

in other words, vick will have a few nice runs, and throw a TD pass, but he'll also have 2 INTs, 5 sacks behind the line of scrimmage, and 2 fumbles.

Fins 38
Eagles 10

It's All About Luck...

Nice video clip on ESPN NFL on Luck. Outside of Elway Luck is the highest rated QB if he comes out that they seen in 30 years.

All I know is that we suck and we suck so much we cant even get Luck.

I would trade the entire house for this kid and here's why.

As a life long Fin fan it will become a dolphin curse not drafting him. On every Sunday, Monday, or whatever they come up with next, we will be watching this kid perform, set new NFL records which will guaranteed will be against the fins as he beats the crap out of us each year.

Much as Aaron Rodgers is doing today, he makes it look way to easy. Do all the teams in the NFL suck THAT bad or is Rodgers THAT good.

Much like we were planning our Sundays each week knowing that we will witness greatness as the fins take the field and Marino trots out onto the field.

And to think that Luck could have been one of us.

yesterday "idiot team" that gets barkley will get a damn good nfl qb

The Dolphins can beat almost anyone in the league right now, not the slightest doubt. You never can totally contain a guy like Vick but if we can just "limit" his execution on the fly and in the red zone, we have a damn good chance but it won't be easy. If we can pressure him, expect a few picks, forced turnovers that can be turned into scores. His ribs are reportedly injured and his media statement that he's going to slide more and not take any chances could mean that he actually feels fine and is gonna run like a man possessed, like he normally does. Whatever the case, containment and pressure to force him to throw will be to our best advantage.

I don't think the Colts have any desire or inention of doing anything but drafting Luck and probably moving Manning to get even more draft ammunition in the future.

Some things are just not possible, and getting Andrew Luck in Miami is one of them. I think we're wasting time talking about him anymore. He's not going to be a Dolphin, my friend.

and yesterday thats fine if u dont want a qb but either way we know drafting higher in each round lets us have a better chance at finding better players. so whats your point to winning these meaningless games that nobody will remember or care about next year? plus it helps our schedule finish last we play cleveland and kc, finish 3rd we get cincy and sd. so many huge differences, for once look the future of this club starting next year

NYG, We werent a 1 and 15 or 2 and 14 team no matter how you looked at it.


Barkley absoulty IS a dam good QB. He played unbelievable against Stamford and Luck. After Luck I'll take Barkley no question.

i agree tj, we have no shot at luck now. im hoping for barkley or the best avail qb. and the eagles are horrible, miami easily wins this game which really sucks

Spiderman, we WERE for a while a goose egg contender and we are what our record says we are.

The last time we got the #1 we got Long which panned out great. The argument was that Tuna and Ireland wanted to hunt for Acorns and draft Chad.


I'll remember all these meaningless games as the reason why our draft spot collapsed from the low first round to the 2nd round as these people trade away the #1 for more of the same.

Oh, I will remember. lol

Yes, yes, if only we could be cheaters and losers by losing on purpose.

Luck could be ours!

If only we impeach our on integrity and by proxy, that of the NFL.

Luck could be ours.

If only we could throw games costing many their jobs, reputations and livelihoods.

Luck could be ours.

******REALITY CHECK******

Nobody really knows if Luck will be more Ryan Leaf-Like than Manning-Like!

Nobody even knew FOR SURE, until last week, he was even coming out.

But yes, YES, by all means, lets throw a whole season away on nothing more than a crap shoot!


That's the kind of thinking I'd want my General Manager to employ.

fans got excited about ruing the draft to beat:

an awful last place kc team
an awful bills team that has lost 5 straight
an awful last place redskins team that has lost 7 of 8
and finally a first place 7-5 team that is awful in an awful div.
in between lost to a dallas team who lost to arizona the following week

yes that sure means this team is good and can beat anyone now, come on. being a bias fan is the worst. we need a new qb, gm, coaching staff

Possible KO If we get a good hit to his upper body, make it work Nolan

Barkley, damn good college qb. Most USC qb's are.

Name 1 perrenial nfl top 5 qb that ever came from USC. That's right, there arent any!

Carson Palmer may be the best of the best of USC qb's in the nfl. They become top 10 at best. I want a top 5 qb in our nfl future.

The past has already stated that isnt likely to come from USC. Barkley could be a bottom top 10 nfl qb at best. Dont want 10yrs of that.

odinseye still doesnt get it. drafting higher gives u a better chance, nothing guaranteed, nor did we say that. agree? course u do its common sense. and winning meaningless games helps us in no way, agree? course u do its a fact

its an insult to passionate fans on here who are sick of being mediocre to come on here and act like your a real fin fan cause u want us to finish 6-10 instead of 4-12

Let's talk fantasy football...

If the Colts end up with the #1 what will they do?

Will they dangle the carrot and accept offers?

Will they sell Manning for the $28 million they have to pay him if he stays?

The Colts cant afford to pay Manning and also pick Luck as it will start a QB controversy in Indy.

Manning wants to play and Luck definitely is not going to be a bench warmer. Luck plays in an NFL style O so he is ready to be a starter immediately and be an impact.

Here is what i think will happen.

The Colts will keep Luck and politely accept offers for manning in trades or cash. The fans base at Indy wont allow Manning to be tarnished by bringing in Luck as they love Patten.

Will Manning end up in a Dolphin uniform? It's not out of the picture BUT, that depends on what QB is left in the draft as they play their cards.

If they pull a fast one on Manning and pick Luck, Luck will want to be traded as he is worth more then that.

manning if he starts and gets into a slump wont want to be subject to the kid on the Lion on the bench and Manning is a piece of red meat.

Whatever the case, containment and pressure to force him to throw will be to our best advantage.

Posted by: DublcOtown13 | December 08, 2011 at 05:23 PM

Good Post!

The other thing we HAVE TO DO is get off to quick start.

Our defense plays a 100% better when playing with a lead. Nolan's philosophy has been one of high pressure, pin your ears back and get after them. The opponent makes plays, but you limit them by what you do. His philosophy/scheme works 100% better when leading. In this way, it fits perfectly in defending guys like Vick.

Our offense gets off to a quick start with a TD or two vs. Fist Pumps and it's a wrap!

Ultimately, our D forces Vick into making more and bigger mistakes than we make. If Moore keeps his head, we beat them CONVINCINGLY!

Barkley? Wonder how many games Barkley would have won if he were at Baylor.

Probably about 4 games!

yesterday name a tennesse qb ever to do anything in the nfl

Nobody's offering a ransom when they know the Colts will end up cutting Manning anyway.

baylor? baylor is very good,lol do u actually watch any ncaa football

yesterday name a tennesse qb ever to do anything in the nfl

Posted by: dusty bottoms | December 08, 2011 at 05:44 PM

Peyton Manning(Tenneesee). Still Tenneesee's a long ways to being the perrenial powerhouse and qb factory USC's been.

for all you hoping to not win any games the rest of the season hate to break it they will win at min 2 more games so that will make them 6-10. drafting about 12-15 range. so stop worring about who they draft next year and enjoy the rest of the season. they will have to trade up to get a top QB. you better jump on the moore bangwagon cause that might be the best QB we have for a few years

I'm more worried about mccoy than vick. We have to stop their rush to win this game. Go Phins!

Seeing how staggeringly godawful the Colts are, I think it's now safe to say we never really DID have any shot at Andrew Luck.

There's just no 'outdoing' that level of stink, y'know?

exactly i guess the colts shouldnt of drafted him since others had failed before him. not his fault. who cares what school it is, u either have the tools or u dont. and barkley looks pretty solid every game. nothings guaranteed, we all know that.

lol robert no legit head coach is gonna come in here and start a backup qb like moore. just unreal some of the stuff u read on here

and robert i agree on the games, we play some bad teams and yes we will win 2 or 3 more. which will really screw us. and trading up is not something we can afford


The difference between Tenn and USC, are you kidding me? You could have taken a qb from Tenn and put him on USC and he would probably be a 1st rd pick.

There probably's no more than 1-2 former USC qb's had they played for Tenn instead. Would have been 1st rd nfl picks. Im wondering about you dude. LOL

every coach that came in since shula started a back up QB

lol yesterday sorry man cant help u then if u dont get it. blaming a player for the school hes at is hilarious. try actually watching the player. dont just read yahoo articles on them


had Manning went to USC instead of Tenn. he may have walked into the nfl with at least 2 national title rings! LOL...

exactly robert, lookm where it got us. think its finally time to draft one in first rd?? hmmm u answered it yourself

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