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2 posts from October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Coordinators talk issues of the day

I learned some things today from Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.

I learned that I'm not the only one wondering why the Dolphins couldn't use their defensive linemen every bit as wisely as the Houston Texans in getting them to tip passes at the line of scrimmage and perhaps cause turnovers as a result.

Turns out the Dolphins did an in-depth look at the Texans and how they cause so many tipped and deflected passes and are now making that a "point of emphasis," according to Coyle.

"We studied all six of the Texans games prior to this weekend's game and made edits on every tipped pass they had and where their alingment was on every pass where they got their hands on the ball," Coyle said. "You can see it's definitely a point of emphasis they do with all their players ... We all emphasize and they seem to reap the rewards more than anyone in the league.

"It's one of those things certainly you want to teach as you approach the QB and get your hands up to be more disruptive. And we've talked about it and its a point of emphasis for us here as we go on through the rest of the season."

I learned that Coyle regards cornerback Sean Smith as his most improved player so far this year.

"Someone asked me the other day who has improved the most overall and one of my first inclination is to say 'Sean Smith,'" Coyle said. "Sean's a talented guy. We knew that coming in. But Sean's play has gotten better throughout the season. He still has things we're constantly talking about that he needs to get better and improve on. As you guys know, the most difficult position to play on the field next to quarterback is cornerback. He's continuing to show growth each and every week. That's been a positive. He started with a lot of ability but wasn't a consistent player. That was the negative as we studied him in the offseason. There was too much up and down and variation in his performance. Now we're getting a more consistent player each and every week that has playmaking ability and at that position that's the key."

I learned from offensive coordinator Sherman that rookie tight end Michael Egnew has problems beyond simply being good enough on offense to be active in a game. The truth is he has to be good enough to contribute on special team and, Sherman said, "he's not there right now."

I asked Sherman if the fact the bye week allowed for extra work, whether players that need that extra work were asked to stay and, well, work. I asked specifically if Egnew and Jabar Gaffney, who is not reall up to snuff on the calls and checks, were told to stick around and get those down so they could get closer to contributing.

The answer was enlightening:

Sherman later said that Gaffney's best practice so far was the last one the team conducted before getting four days off during the bye. So at least progress is being made.

On another matter: The Dolphins brought in a handful of young players, including former University of Miami tight end Chase Ford. Ford spent some time with the Eagles after going undrafted.

Everyone ready to go with one exception

The Dolphins are back to work as their bye week had ended. I'm also back to work.

This morning the team is on the field and everyone is present and accounted for as healthy ... except for cornerback Richard Marshall.

The player who missed the past three weeks of practice and was out against St. Louis and Cincinnati is not practicing this morning. He is the only one still not practicing.

Some interesting things are on the horizon this week:

Following his performance against St. Louis that included a touchdown grab, receiver Marlon Moore is probably expecting that he's established himself as a target in sub packages when Miami goes three-wide. Well, that isn't quite true.

It seems Moore and Jabar Gaffney will continue to compete for playing time. Gaffney, signed three weeks ago, has not been active for either of the two games he's been on the roster. That is primarily a result of Gaffney being rusty and not fully functional with the playbook.

One assumes the extra week has helped Gaffney get more acclimated thus the on-going competition with Moore.

[BLOG NOTE: The two coordinators will meet with the media today so come back later for the update of that and other things.]