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A quickie look at the week past, present and future

Joe Philbin is a structured man with rules he likes followed. It is the reason everyone on the Dolphins traveling party -- players, coaches, even staffers -- have a curfew on road trips. It is the reason he changed the timing of the weekly press conferences for coordinators Kevin Coyle and Mike Sherman.

While practically every other team in the NFL makes their coordinators available on Thursdays, the Dolphins typically do it on Mondays because Philbin has a 24-hour rule and doesn't want his assistants answering questions about last week's game four days after it ended.

The point is Philbin likes his team focused on one game -- the one coming up next.

As we are not burdened here by those rules, I want to look at the broader landscape of three weeks -- last week, this one, and the one ahead.

The impetus for this view was Thursday night's game between the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals -- the opponent the Dolphins just played (Arizona) and the one they will play after Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

I watched that game and, frankly, became a little annoyed.

I was annoyed that Arizona could be defeated seemingly so easily by the Rams, 17-3.

I was annoyed that St. Louis did pretty much what the Dolphins did to the Cardinals offensive line, with nine sacks to Miami's eight, and that pretty much was the ballgame. The Cardinals did not, could not attack the Rams secondary like they did Miami's.

I was annoyed that the Rams won despite making very few big plays on offense. Yes, Sam Bradford connected on a  51-yard touchdown pass. But he completed only seven passes all game. Seven! The Rams threw for a total of 141 yards. And they still won.

Meanwhile the Dolphins completed 26 passes for 431 yards and still lost.

I was annoyed that Miami basically played better on offense than St. Louis, produced as much in the front seven defensively, and still lost. I can't escape the feeling that such a major effort was wasted.

Looking ahead, meanwhile, the Rams concern me now. Jeff Fisher, who turned down the Dolphins coaching job last winter, is getting a lot out of a team that doesn't seem all that talented. The Rams are 3-2.

And it is troubling that having defeated the Cardinals, the Rams now have 10 days to rest and prepare for the Dolphins on Oct. 14.

I will say that the Rams do not have a very good wide receiver corps and it is about to get worse. Danny Amendola sustained what the Rams called a shoulder injury during the game and did not return. I saw on the sideline when he was talking to trainers and it looked like they were looking at his collarbone.

Judging that and how Amendola reacted after the injury -- throwing his helmet as if something terribly serious had happened -- I would not be surprised if he has some sort of fracture that will keep him from playing against Miami. It may also keep him out much, much longer than that.

Never want a player injured, but that injury is a plus for Miami.

And what about this week?

One thing that has slipped under the radar the past couple of weeks is the injury to cornerback Richard Marshall. The starter has not practiced so far this week and I would not be surprised if he misses practice Friday.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if he misses the game against Cincinnati Sunday.

Marshall is severely limited and even painkillers haven't helped him from playing at a subpar level the past couple of weeks.

The Dolphins may decide they need to shut him down for a week or that he is too much of a liability to put on the field against Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Even if Marshall is active, it is clear he is diminished. It's been that way for a couple of weeks.

That means Nolan Carroll will have to perform at a higher level. That means RJ Stanford may actually have to get significant playing time. And heaven forbid if the Achilles' injury that has hampered Carroll the past two weeks -- limiting him in practice -- rears up during the game.

None of this gives me a good feel about Sunday.

And that too annoys me.

Comments

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And some of you wanted to CUT Hartline. I could see on Hardknocks Edmund Gates didnt care about perfecting his craft. Thats why he's on the Jets not even getting PT. I like Brain Hartline not very many white WR's in the league glad we got our great white hope.

FZB, thank you. I have more Dos XX's, and will gladly share.

I think the take-a-way from everything and as a fan, is the fact I think we FINALLY have the right combination in place. The right coach, GM and owner. Please don't get on me about Ross, the man WANTS to WIN BAD! Yea, has he made some errors...of course, trying to get coach Harbough, QB Manning, bringing Glammer Cleb's as owners (but just remember, this is MIAMI, NOT New England, NOT Green Bay,etc. We are the lifestyle of LA, New York...in high demand with Fashionable appeal. Yes, I know that sounds all queer...but, AGAIN, this is MIAMI!). And Ross will spend, but has Ireland on a financial leash. He's not stupid, he see's how Robert Kraft has built New England successfully (look at the Marlins mess).

New England is not known for big pay-outs to players, but why do players what to play there? WINNING! Watch how Riley of the HEAT, his system his plan. Don't think these owners accross all leagues don't take cues from each other, Ross knows he is competing with the other leagues. Miami was once a football town, Fins & Canes. That has changed, and Ross knows this...believe me, he does not want to be known as the owner who killed a storied fanchise and blows up his billion plus investment.

Oh, one more thing...I really WISH Ross would put a dome on that sweat box of a stadium. I know, I know it's our advantage. Well the way I look at it, to spend a furtune at a game to be freaking miserable is not worth it. Can't take my 80 year old life long fan & father to a game, heck I can't keep my DOS XX's cold enough to enjoy damn thing! We are BOTH melting in that heat!!

MADFIN

U have to admit Marsha was holding back the group!!

WR'S is a Group No Solo Artist!

Right Now We have a Duo! Maybe a Trio?

Next Year we can have a Group!

Bess, Hartline, Bowe, Wallace

The Fins can use the $16 mil from the OverPaid LB's and finish the Wr Group. We Can Also Just sign 1 Good Wr and 1 Good CB in FA!

Then Concentrate on D the Whole Draft! What ever U guys want. DE, CB, FS! Even MLB and OLB with the First 5 Picks Next Year!

Makes More Sense To Dashi.

Now Would Dashi go MLB(Te'o), FS, First NEXT DRAFT! Sure but we all have our Preferences!

Some would Go DE, CB. OR CB, DE.

Mad Fin Agreed.

Also to Add on the Dome get at least Something for the Fans!

Something where the Fans Are In the Shade and The Field gets Sun!

Like the Cowboys, Old Stadium!

The Thing is the LED Screens! Ross Figure something out Please! We don't mind the Heat when we are Winning. But Nobody wants to stand in the Sun in Miami and Watch Ur Team Lose!

Either Better Viewing Conditions, Or a Better Product! The Product is Getting better.

Craig, my best buddy up here is a Chiefs fan and he texted me that the talk radio shows in Mo are blasting Pioli for not making a move for Tannehill.

Why is nobody pressing Ireland for having the sense for not listening to the "draft gurus" and doing what was best for the organization?

I typed for years in the blog that the Dolphins methods were outdated for years but in the last year or so they've done exactly what I hoped they'd do for years. As long as this train keeps a rollin' he has my support.

In addition, yesterday all the experts were saying Tannehill was a reach at 8 now the experts are saying a GM should've traded up to 7 or higher to take him. Hindsight is a nice tool - like most "experts"

Do you think Cinci will fill the box against us like Arizona did? Certainly. They can't afford to do otherwise.

At the same time, I see no Adrian Wilsons or Petersons in their secondary. Should be interesting.

All teams will bring 8 men in the box to sell out trying to stop the run, its up to Tannehill to make defenses pay. Will he be the her or the goat? All remains to be seen.

Mark @1:58pm,

Great points.

MAD FIN,

be careful there buddy in saying the Dolphins have a good GM in place, you'll get the loonies all ridle up, he he

everyone here knows I'm a big Ireland supporter and yes he is the right GM, what I've been really surprised at is our Head Coach, I had mine doubts about the guys but the players seen to be playing hard for him, so yeah I think you are correct, we do have the right combination of HC and GM and the future looks bright.

Mark In Toronto,

its funny you mentioned about your buddy in MO and the radio callers up there about Tannehill, I don't post here often but a close friend who has been an NFL scout (for an NFC team) for the past 17 years told me around late January about Tannehill and that he was going to be picked in the top ten in the draft, when I posted that information everyone thought that I was nuts but he was right about the kid.

Here is something else he said, there were three teams that would have taking him with their first pick, KC, Seattle and the Eagles..

Personally I'm thrilled we drafted the guy and contrary to what most guys post here he was not a reached at 8th and Ireland deserves ALL THE CREDIT FOR STICKING OUT HIS NECK AND DRAFTING THE GUY.

FZB...we both bleed the same color. The fan base gets all worked up, dissing Ireland & Ross. But to be honest, NOBODY is more plugged into the franchise and NFL then them. Ross is learning the business, and we ARE on track. It's ALL about the system, just look at the team that are successful year in year out:

Steelers
Patriots
Packers
Ravens
Saints
Now San Fran
Now St. Louis (Fischer will turn it around)
Now Atlanta
Possibly Tampa

It's the right combination of Owner-Head Coach-GM...we have not had a congrueant, solidified team since the Shula-JJ years. But, I place blame MORE on the former owner Huizenga more than anything. He really wanted to win, even spent some money...But his BIG MISTAKE was not making it the number one priority to replace Marino when he retired. It took 17 freaking quarterbacks later, numerous coaching changes, change of ownership to finally get it right with the sense to draft a number one QB in Tanny.

In the meantime, the franchise was deluded of its storied history with losing for years. I have not been this excited about being a fan since the days of JJ running the team. Like every other fan the losing and screwing everything up fatigued me.

But I honestly see a new change...Ross-Ireland-Philbin Combo...oh one more thing, everyone was worried about Coach Nolan leaving. No big deal, we got another good coach and reloaded. Eventually we will get good enough players and coaches will want to come to Miami, bar none. Just like the good old Shula days.

MADFIN


We will be poised to win... I predict a dolphin win 34 vs 24

Mad Fin--

I've seen EVERY Fin game (losses all) to the Texans at Reliant Stadium (I have fambly in Houston)...and I was a Fin season tix holder from 1977 to the last season of Wanny............Reliant is SO MUCH BETTER it isn't even arguable......Joe Robbery is an endurance test, not a fun time...all the stadium tough guys on line who beg for 1:00 pm Surface-of-the-Sun starts are Fonies, never had to sit thru that pain......DOME IT!!!

Where is Vontae Davis when you need him :(

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