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Sherman rejects idea he blew play-call late vs. Arizona

Mike Sherman, like most football coaches, has certain convictions. As Don Shula used to say to me, 'you must have the courage of your convictions."

I get that.

But sometimes there's a disconnect between courage and wisdom.

And so while it was courageous for Sherman, Miami's offensive coordinator, to continue pressing the issue against the Arizona Cardinals late in regulation Sunday, it absolutely hurt the team. It was not wise.

This is what happened:

The Dolphins led 21-14 with 5:14 to play. They had the football at their own 35 yard line.

On first down Reggie Bush rushed for 7 yards to the Miami 42 yard line. On second down, Bush gained 15 yards on an outside run to the Arizona 43 yard line with only 3:45 to play. First down.

Sherman called on Bush again and he gained two yards to the Arizona 41 yard line. There were now three minutes left in the game and the Dolphins faced a second-and-nine from the Arizona 41 yard line.

If Sherman gives the ball to Bush two more times, he could have taken the clock down to the two minute warning before, at worst, punting on fourth down. The way Brandon Fields is punting this year, the best Arizona could have done is probably get the ball at their 20 yard line with 1:50 or so to play.

Then it would have been up to the Miami defense to keep the Cardinals from marching 80 yards in less than two minutes to tie.

That's worst case scenario that assumes the Cardinals, playing with an eight-man front, would have stuffed the Miami running game -- something they didn't do on the previous set of downs.

Sherman didn't see this as the way to go.

He called a pass on second-and-nine. And the Cardinals blitzed and quarterback Ryan Tannehill not only was sacked and lost seven yards, he also fumbled the football.

The Cardinals took over at their own 49 yard line when Vonnie Holliday recovered the fumble.

It was a disastrous decision by Sherman and no, that is not hindsight, because I'm looking at it in the pressbox and expecting Miami to run the ball and play the odds and was as surprised as anyone with the pass.

 Of course, Sherman doesn't see it that way. He was asked Tuesday if he has to change his approach and he said he doesn't think so.

"We were never in a situation where the game was won, so it wasn’t like we could just sit back," he said on Tuesday. "When you have a 10-point lead, that’s a little different than seven points or three points obviously. How many possessions is it going to take? We have to play, I don’t think you can play conservatively at that point. Did we take some risks? I didn’t consider them risks necessarily, but we were going to try our best to the move the football against their defense and their defense was playing a lot of eight-man fronts, so we had to do some things there.

"No, I don’t think so. I think we just have to do things a little bit cleaner, a little bit better and I think we’ll be ok. I think that’ll come. I really do."

So it's up to the players to get better and perform at a higher level. And until then, apparently, the offensive coordinator will continue putting the pedal to the metal. And expecting everything to be "ok."


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Mando, I don't know how you can stand your job, having to put up with tools like Craig M and Mark in Toronto (2 Canadians) riding you.

Mando is dead on balls accurate in this article.

Craig M, we have 2 other RBs not named Bush. Are you aware of this fact, geek?

Craig L > Craig M


WE'RE 1-3. ISNT THAT GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

henne = tannehill. henne rating is higher

...I don't know..We were in pretty good position to win because of the offensive play calling. If you want to question a coordinator..Shouldn't DC Croyle be part of the discussion? We were again 1 play away from winning 4th and they have to score to tie...And we give up the TD?? what were we doing there?

I understand we got all those sacks, kept Fitz under wraps for the most part..Stuffed the run. All nice things to build on..When the chips were on the table.Not so much. We cn play the blame game all day. If it has to be Sherman, or Croyle..Carpenter, or heck why not Chad Henne for good ol times go ahead and mark one. But these games are not won and lost on one particular play..We could debate 4-5 different scenarios in which IMO cost us last week.

3td to 6 td on this pace he'll be 10td to 24 picks. yea we have our dan marino


Sherman is just terrible. Now we know why he's been fired 3 times!

Zonk is correct.

DC Doofus, Craig M, and Mark in Toronto, as usual, are incorrect.


Thank you Craig N for putting me on the list. I'm sick of Craig M and Mark in Toronto getting all the glory from you piece-of-sh*t trolls. I want in on that action too. Now you've added me, my life is complete. Thank you Sir for all that you do!

Craig, yeah, for depth, I guess Gaffney can't hurt. Who knows, maybe he gets going quickly and gets in a groove with Tannehill.

The cards were run blitzing every down knowing the run was coming. What do most teams usually do when another team blitzes? They throw a screen or a swing pass.

I have no issue with throwing the ball there but, I do have issue with the type of pass play. It should be a quick throw to a RB. Conservative play call yet, aggressive in that it was a pass & not what the D would expect.

Tanny may look better week to week but, he's a rookie. Stop putting him in a position to potentially fail like Sherman has the last 2 weeks.

I think you're beating this dead horse a little too hard, mando. It's easy in hindsight to say they shoulda run, but YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. How many times have we seen the Dolphins lose on a last possesion that they're defense gives up a score to mar an otherwise strong afternoon. Tannehill was playing the game of his life, and if he hits Bess for 15 yards and a first down, we all laud the Dolphins for their guts. At that point, you probably don't have to give the ball back to the Cardinals at all.

Playing it safe marked the teams of Wannstache and Sparano... I say trust your players to make plays and live with the results.

Since 2000 all we've done is complain about conservative play calling. Give me a break Armondo.

One more time I'll say, I trust Sherman and Philbin a lot more on how to use this personnel they know, far more than I'll ever trust you and your Monday morning QB after-the fact critique. I'm sure if we took you're approach we could find something to criticize in the play-calling from ALL 15 games. I'm not going to play that game.

Posted by: Craig M | October 03, 2012 at 09:50 AM



By Armando, that Craig apparently didn't or refused to read, because he wouldn't get to post his rant:

"It was a disastrous decision by Sherman and no, that is not hindsight, because I'm looking at it in the pressbox and expecting Miami to run the ball and play the odds and was as surprised as anyone with the pass."

Go find another blog to piss & moan about. You're a friggin joke!

This franchise is a comedy of errors. The laughinstock of the league.

isn't it wed.?
the phins play cincy.
move the f on...

Yo Jeffy,

Is your momma a hooka?

This franchise is a comedy of errors. The laughinstock of the league.

Posted by: Scotty | October 03, 2012 at 11:01 AM

So are the bloggers here. Specifically the foreigners & socialists.

Canadians know nothing about football.

armando. start up a blog on affirmative action will ya.?.

Canadiens should stick to bowling....and ice fishing.

Canadians should stick with watching Toronto Arognats LOL

I have no problems with them going for the win instead of playing not too lose. Right call, bad execution.

Also I would not feel good about any coach second guessing.

I like the aggressiveness. The execution by the players was flawed. You need to continue pressing for points because Miami fields one of the weakest secondaries in the league. Unless the pass rush is lights out on any given drive Miami's secondary is on its heels no matter who is passing the ball, (Peyton Manning or Kevin Kolb). I'd have been no more surprised if Kolb would have driven 80 yards in 2 minutes, than I was that he drove 50 yards in about 3.5 minutes.

I also like the bold aggressive style. But the thing is sometimes it's wise to slow things down a bit near the end of the game. That is, if you want to win.

Tough to win when we dont have the talent. Gotta try some trick plays to be the equalizer.

Hi there Craig M.

Craig M knows nothing. When he's wasted $5000 like I have, watching this team lose then he may get the picture!

Every year we talk about next year. Its gotten old.

I understand how the idea of picking up the first down on the ground or holding with the D sounds good...in hindsight, we lost, and it's natural to look back at mistakes. However, I think the two biggest changes this year are having a better quarterback, and being rid of Sparano's timid playcalling. How many times did we lose with him because of dive play, dive play, dive play, 23 yard field goal? The team needs to play to win. WE PLAY...TO WIN...THE GAMES!

"I like the aggressiveness. The execution by the players was flawed."

Posted by: mia73 | October 03, 2012 at 11:14 AM

This is the problem. The players aren't great, why are you caling plays as if they are? This is on the coaches.

Slow the game down, especially at the end of the game. You have a rookie QB & average at best WR's. You have a lead with 3 minutes left on the other teams side of the field. What happened earlier in the game is irrelevant. You play based on what's ahead in the game, not what was in the past.

The best play, which most teams utlize, is running the ball & letting the clock run. Or force the other team to burn it's TO's. Punt, if it even gets to that, and pin em deep. Make them go the length of the field with little time or no timeouts. They needed 7 pts., not 3. Arizona would have the cards heavily stacked against them.

Miami made it easy. Why? They went against the laws of probability.

All these idiots whining are the same ones who wanted Matt Moore to play, wanted us to start Pat Devlin, thought Reggie Bush wasn't going to last this year and be a bust, they are simply WHINERS.

I have a nipple you can suck on little babies!

Calling a Run play would have had Reggie Bush bullrush by the Blitz. Reggie probably could have fumble, or worse probably been injuried.

Posted by: finfan78 | October 03, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Your post makes too much sense for homers who buy everything this team does, win lose or draw.

That's why they're homers!

"Canadians know nothing about football.

Posted by: The Judge | October 03, 2012 at 11:04 AM"

Actually, Cubans know nothing about football.

After the last 2 weeks, I can see why fans might have reservations about Philbin & Sherman at the end of halves or games.

For voicing their displeasure they are called idiots by fools like DC Ding - A - Ling.

Tyopical Homer. Voice concerns about the team/coaches & get called names.

DC = sensitive baby

The problem is that D Thomas takes up a roster spot but doesn't do anything to help us win.

Let me break down my last comment for you slow ones: All those bashing Mando's post are saying *Bush* would have gotten crushed, injured, etc. You *assume* 203 pound Bush would have gotten the carry.

We have 2 other RBs: Miller and Thomas. If 235 pound Thomas was not *garbage*, we could have spelled Bush after 2 straight runs and relied on Thomas to gain 3 to 25 yards on a run, as all other 235 pound RBs would do.

Being positive now is like being negative after a SB win. Its A-ZZ backwards.

DC Dulfan and Craig M, by the way, there are at least two people here who find you guys to be idiots. I swear to God that I am not "Homers B Gone" or any of the other guys who blast you tools. I am not "the blog" or "the judge." It's funny how you guys are so *earnest* (look it up), yet you are wrong so much of the time.

"We" were not complaining about conservative play calling the last 10 years. We are not a monolithic fan base. Some fans (smart ones) realize that running and defense and protecting the ball (no turnovers) still is the # 1 factor in winning a football game.

Real life is not Madden.

Look at the Giants. They have a below-mediocre runt of a QB and have won 2 recent super bowls.

D Thomas = Pathetic


D Thomas is indeed pathetic.

Let me break it down further for you slow ones (Craig M and DC Doofus).

Yes, passing is good. We did that plenty. 450 yards. We did great for much of the game.

There is a little thing called "quitting while you're ahead." "Don't get greedy."

Now you're going to say that's the Wannstachian method of losing. No, in this case, as Mando has clearly laid out, the TIME LEFT ON THE CLOCK is the key thing that makes you guys wrong and Mando correct.

Even the most passhappy OC in the league would have RUN at that point because you know that each running play takes 45 seconds off the clock and there were only 3 minutes left.

We needed only to get to the 2 minute warning, worse case scenario, even if we don't get a first down running, which was likely actually. Then our punter backs them up and they have to go 80 to 95 yards in less than 2 minutes.

Why am I doing this for you azzhats? I have essentially just retyped Mando's original post. Can you fvckers fvcking read?????

Also attempting the 51 yard FG and missing was 100% on Philbin, not Carpenter. Since when did we expect kickers to make 50 yarders? Used to be a big deal attempted only to try to win the game as time ran out.

You punt and play FIELD POSITION, as real coaches like Wannstache and Jimmie Johnson know.

You don't attempt a 51 yarder that early in the game with a lead. You play field position.

Ds score points when teams are backed up inside their 10.

Get some old tape from ESPN and try to *learn* something about football instead of just spouting off at the mouth all the time. Dude.

Overall, I think it was a bad call. Usually it is the team which is trailing that must take the risks, not the leading team. Specially, with Tannehill as a rookie. Anyway, Tannehill is learning the hard way, and maybe this helps him to mature quickly. But this is a very high price to pay, since there are many things on stake. The three losses have been the results of pure mistakes by the offense and coaches decisions. But honestly, I thought that the Dolphins would perform much worst. We are just one game behind our ennemies, so let us have some hope...but if the Dolphins loose against the Bengals the the season could be over.

Whine whine whine. Keep crying. I'll keep supporting my team, and calling them out when they deserve it. But NO ONE had us winning that game, and we almost came away with it. So if Sherman's so bad, how'd he even get to the point where we were up the entire game until the last few mins?

This is the new Miami Dolphins. You can love 'em, you can hate 'em, but Philbin will keep ignoring you and do what he does. And I say, "GOOD!"

d rush 58 yds. hmm.
only if vd and ss were 1/2 as decent as they think they r, and t pal. from pitt decides to split the rapists team and head south,
culd ya'll knuckle heads fantasize 'bout that d.?

When Irescum traded 3 picks for D Thomas the draft room broke out in hysterical laughter.

irecorns bust naanee,
how much of ross' dough$ did he steal.?.

Craig N, I agree mostly. You just reposted what I did at 11:29 which I guess I reposted what armando said LOL

Sometimes, the obvious is not so obvious to others.

I disagree with the Carpenter assesment. Every FG kicker can hit from 50 yards. Carpenter missed 2 last week from less than 50. Should we have passed on those too?

Carpenter has the leg. Had been clutch. Has kicked them well from 50+. Field position game is great but, a 50 yrd fg is makeable. The way the D was playing, you take the chance in losing field position at that point.

A year or 2 ago, he hits those.

is that right,
18 str8 w/o a 100 yd rusher?.
how the f can they b 7-11 the last 18 huh?

"Overall, I think it was a bad call. Usually it is the team which is trailing that must take the risks, not the leading team."

Go tell that to Ron Rivera and Cam Newton last week. They'd tell you that strategy doesn't always work the way you think it will.

Frankly, I would take any ignoramous over Irescum.


Can we trade D Thomas for, perhaps, a 3rd string OG or something like that, which might actually help us win a game, unlike Thomas?

Can we trade D Thomas for Tebow? Let Sparano be stuck with his guy Thomas.

Newton, who was Tebow's backup until he got kicked out of the University of Florida for committing various felonies, is career 7-13. Not real good.

It's about winning, not appearance. Black athletes often don't get that.

D Thomas is worthless. He will be the teams next cut and the other teams know it.

I'd take Tannehill over Newton as my QB any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But NO ONE had us winning that game, and we almost came away with it.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | October 03, 2012 at 11:55 AM

So, because the media pundits had us losing, that somehow justifies in your miniscule brain that blowing the game is OK?

Do you realize how retarded you sound?

Do you think the players in the locker room feel that way? That losing & making a play call mistake at a critical juncture in the game is OK because, WE WEREN'T EXPECTED TO WIN?

With fans like you, who needs fans? You just proved to everyone you're the true idiot here!

You will find ANY excuse to blindy root for something even if everything in the world points to justification to do the exact opposite.

You're a blind sheep. No wonder why you support Obama.

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