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Dolphins can't let Pats cramp their style

This is a true story: In the hours before game time on Novemer 15, Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith was feeling a little weary. He didn't feel quite alert enough, quite energized enough to play an NFL football game -- particularly one at night against the Buffalo Bills.

Smith needed a pick-me-up.

The Dolphins cornerback related this to Dolphins teammate Paul Soliai (they both are represented by local agent David Canter) and the mamoth defensive tackle offered a simple solution to the situation. Soliai told Smith to take a 5-hour energy drink.

And Smith did before warmups.

And then he took another after warmups.

And sometime around the third quarter Smith started feeling his body tighten up. And by the fourth quarter he felt paralyzed.

"In that third quarter I felt a little pinch and I said, 'I'm ok, never mind.' But in the fourth quarter it was all over," Smith said. "I talked to the doctor after the game and he asked if I took any energy drinks and I said, 'yeah I took two 5-hours' and he said that was the problem. All the caffiene dried me up and it was cold so I wasn't probably drinking enough water."

Smith left the game with cramps. And his backup Nolan Carroll, who had been benched for struggling with multiple defensive holding and interference calls, had to go back in. And then Carroll was flagged again, costing the Dolphins a first down.

"I actually tried to get back out there for a play and as soon as I got in my stance I locked up," Smith said. "I came right back out.

"I was extremely mad at Paul but there was nothing I could do about. Imagine flexing your led straight for an hour. Flex as hard as you can and then release. My muscles were sore after the game. It was ridiculous."

And I share with you this story because this Sunday when the New England Patriots come to town, the Dolphins can afford no cramping on the field (as they had against Buffalo this year and last year in the season-opener vs. New England). The Dolphins can afford nothing but showing that they are in tip-top shape and ready to play 70-80 plays and play them with little rest between snaps.

The reason?

The Patriots run a no-huddle offense that goes fast, fast, fast. The Patriots also churn first downs like they're butter. While the average team typically snaps 58 offensive plays, the Patriots are averaging nearly 78 plays per game. And they're doing this with little rest time between snaps.

That puts a strain on the defense and its players.

The Dolphins know this and they have been preparing for such a challenge in practice.

"I think the practice environment is where we’re doing the best job to simulate the things they are going to see in the game," coach Joe Philbin said. "That’s really what we’ve been doing. We’re reloading the next skill set of guys that are presenting the look as fast as we can.

"What typically happens in the week is there is somebody holding a card up and everybody is looking and then everybody is breaking. We’re kind of working the next play ahead and getting guys going and using some of our own language on very similar plays so we can get guys up and running and just simulate that pace. I think it’s gone well. We’ve had a couple snafus, but that happens."

So will it work? No idea. But obviously the Dolphins cannot let the Patriots cramp their style.



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Even I know your not suppose to drink caffeine before exercise, sporting event, pretty much anything thats deals with sweating. And Shawna Smith is taking advice from Paula Solia

Ahh, I was WONDERING what happened to Smith that game. Nice behind-the-scene story Mando. Pitiful though, players should know performance science better than that by now.

The Pats can run the extra plays because they not only use the no huddle but also the short passing game. Just think of all the extra seconds it takes for the receivers to get back to the line of scrimmage after a 40 yard sprint and the rest they would need after a few snaps. Keep the ball short, Pick up yards after the catch, use the time in between moving the chains to regroup for a new set of downs. Being effecient in playing your position is they key to winning. Brady can and will throw the deep ball when needed.

Holy crap! This something you can see happening in high school. Not from a million dollar athlete on a billion dollar organization! These guys should know what to put in their bodies. Especially hours before a game!

Haha, Paul's career as a physical therapist has been discredited before it even had a chance to take off ...

Well that makes sense. Maybe next time he will talk to the trainers : )

Cool to get behinds the scenes stories... keep 'em coming.

Great, Home is here now. It was a great morning on this blog too ...

The moral of the story? Drink water, eat a banana, keep loose, and drink some more water.

Or Sean could have asked the paid trainers or medical staff that the Fins have..

Smith sounds like Dansby to Dashi. Until this Moment I was 50/50 on Smith. That's it. Excuses. I'm Done Supporting Smith. He's not a BUST. Just time to Move On.

U ask Soliai For Physical Advice? About The Cold. U take 2 Energy Drinks. Talk About a Bump. Wôooooo Woooo!!

Hint! Cam Wake Played In Canada. Maybe he knows about COLD WEATHER GAMES? Jake Long is FROM MICHIGAN. Ask Thigpen. Guys that Fit what U do. Not a Nose Tackle.

How Many Years has Smith been in the NFL? How Many Times Have They Played In The North East IN DECEMBER?

Dashi is done with Smith.

Isn't Leon Hall a FA?

I remember Sherman saying that the pace of our offense is not as fast as he wants it to be. Let's hope we can pick it up just as well. I'm also thinking Clay could be a critical factor in this game.

WHDP, I think they let him out after he enjoyed the shock treatments too much - especially when he was attaching the wires to his genitals.

So ur playin a division rival .......on Thursday night full exposure a win helps ur team n so many ways ....did I mentioned a division rival....n ur not feelin it ....ur not hyped up enough u need a five her energy drink ............didn't need to read this I'm loosin much faith in this guy more n more as season goes on.....but unfortunately we have to sign him cuz corners r very hard to come by n when he wants to ...he plays very good .............only a Miami dolphin ....would admit this ........jeeeesh...........

"....Among defensive ends who play in a 4-3, Pro Football Focus ranks Odrick 61st and last in pass rush but 20th against the run."

Odrick played well against the Seahawks (maybe his best game) but come on man...61st in pass rush???

Although Jones, Misi, Odrick, Clemons, Carroll, & Smith have all improved this season we need to get more out of all these guys if this defense is going to improve next year.

Odrick and Tannehill should never have been picked in the 1st rd.

He could do what B Marshall does, take v iagra, no wait.. he wanted to loosen up not stiffen up


Said something real interesting last Blog. How will these Dolphins Play in December?

They have been getting better EVERY MONTH since Training Camp. Will the Same Hold True In December? Will The Young Guys Keep Developing? Will the Fins still keep trying to Insert Youth? Can The Fins Run More Plays a Game? If We can Run 10 More Plays a Game By the End Of The Season. That Is Basically a Extra TD Drive a Game.

Can we Win in December?

At Least 1 or 2 Games. This Year.

haha, good one matty!

WHDP, those stats right there should tell you he's playing out of position. (Odrick) He needs to work inside. he got what six sacks or so last year playing inside on pass situations??

matty lol

True story about Jeff Ireland (excerpt from bio)

"In preparing for the 2010 draft, Ireland became intrigued by Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick. He convened a meeting of Dolphins college scouts to discuss trading down in the first round, and taking Odrick with the 28th pick. There was consternation in the room, as Odrick was projected as a third round pick at best, primarily due to his questionable pass rushing skills. At the conclusion of the meeting, Ireland overheard one scout muttering to another, "taking Odrick would be a really odd pick."
Ireland became fascinated by the interplay of "Odrick" and "odd pick", read it as an omen, and gleefully drafted him late in the first round."

"So ur playin a division rival .......on Thursday night full exposure a win helps ur team n so many ways ....did I mentioned a division rival....n ur not feelin it ....ur not hyped up enough u need a five her energy drink ............didn't need to read this I'm loosin much faith in this guy more n more as season goes on.....but unfortunately we have to sign him cuz corners r very hard to come by n when he wants to ...he plays very good .............only a Miami dolphin ....would admit this ........jeeeesh..........."

Ireland can't allow Sean Smith hi-jack this team b/c our CB's are weak. If Ireland pays Smith more than $4-5 Million per year to keep him then we got screwed.

Smith has value b/c his size & this season, outside a few games, he's been limiting the damage to the other team's best WR, but I can't remember the last time I saw one of our CB's make a play on the ball. Not only are the turnovers lacking but I don't even see the CB's get the hands on the football!!! When was the last time one of our CB's make a strips on a receiver while he was trying to maintain control of the pass??? How about never...

Ireland is blazing new teritory for most draft busts by a GM. LOL

Chad Henne returns to SunLife in 16 days to lay the smack down on Jeff Ireland.

WHDP, those stats right there should tell you he's playing out of position. (Odrick) He needs to work inside. he got what six sacks or so last year playing inside on pass situations??


Agreed. He's not a great DE in a 4-3. However he's also not in the same class as Solia or Starks. Our starting DT's have more quickness & explosiveness off the snap then Odrick. Considering Odrick is younger that's probably not a great sign.

I'm not saying Odrick is a 'bad' player b/c he's not but if we keep Starks--& we'd be dumb not to--what do we do with him???

Drew Brees did not come back in the 4th qtr last night so he is not an elite, franchise QB.

Tanne is an elite, franchise QB because he did win a game in the 4th qtr.

"Drew Brees did not come back in the 4th qtr last night so he is not an elite, franchise QB."

Neither QB looked elite last night.

I'm saying it now--all the Matt Ryan fans are going to be very disappointed when the Niners or the Giants beat the sh#t out of him in the playoffs. Even with all of the weapons Ryan has he's still not that great.

Mike Nolan owned Drew Brees. How happy is Nolan to be off this cespool franchise? And being a favorite for the SB?

Brady will put 700 yards on us Sunday unless Tanne can keep the offense on the field.

Tanne I am challenging you to put up 450 yards this Sunday.

IMHO the phns will play a tough game and at the end of the game, will show the team is buidling on the up and the Patriots will have a true fight in the years to come.

Upon thinning the gap to being a true competitor in the divion to the Pats, I feel the following could be addressed with the amount of draft picks and $ under the cap:
1- Go after Mike Wallace, if he $ the phins out, go sign Greg Jennings
2- Sign solid OL depth such as Guard position
Call me crazy but i feel the dolphins really need to be agressive in their postioning in the 1st three rounds.
1-I would draft MLB Mante Teo, this will establish a dynamic playmaker on Defense whom can over TE's alla like Patrick Willis
2- move up in the draft to draft a WR if Mike Wallace is not signed in FA, Option 2-move up to draft the best available CB. With the 2nd 2nd round choice contigent on the needs adressed in with the first two picks, draft another CB and/or WR.
3- Round 3: draft a DE/OLB whom fits in the 4-3 defense. with the second choice i nthe third round, if he is availble, i would move up to grab him but I woudl take Marcus Robinsion QB from Michigan. He will be switching to WR/RB in the NFL and the guy makes plays and is an outstanding team guy.
Solid Strategic moves made assertively in FA and in the 1st 3 rounds of the draft will determine how quickly the dolphins are a serious contender again and will bring back the excitement back to Miami. here is hoping for the best..Mr.Ireland, I hope you come across my blog here, lol

Maybe you pair Odrick with a pass rushing DE? Play Odrick on normal downs and put the other guy in when it is an obvious passing situation. Somewhat like they did with JT?

Or they could try and move him inside. Hopefully they are able to retain Starks/Soliai. I have a feeling if Soliai walks the run D goes downhill quickly.

Tanne won a game in the 4th quarter? I thought that was Carpenter on a long FG.

WHDP, that's a good question. There are several options ...

To me, you rotate him with Soliai and Starks inside. that 3 headed monster inside is intense and keeps the mileage down on all three of them. McDaniel walks after this year so the depth is depleting inside. Don't think you have to move any of the three until Odrick's contract is up.

Playing him outside is a waste but since we don't have a starting claiber DE right now, Odrick has to take one for the team this year.


Yeah, Carpenter kicked a 105 yard field goal from their own 10 yard line.

It's passing the buck plain and simple. Everyone who's ever had caffeine knows it's dehydrating. High school kids know this. 1 5-hour energy = 2 liters of water. He would have been pissing on the field. Now that would be entertainment!

Spot on jrs

I'm in a college club sport team and never did I ever care until now what I put in my body. Imagine being able to excel at something but suddenly cramping up and basically having handcuffs on. I know how it feels, I used to drink red bull before games also-- hell if I do now! Give the guy a break, it's not the stupidest thing in the world to want a pick me up before a game, especially up north where it's dark and cold. The lack of sun could be draining

I dont blame him for takingl a 5hour. They work. But why take two? Thats crazy.


Really... Compare a HoF QB at the end of his career to a rookie QB numbers wise?

Also Brady + Do Over = Tuck Rule Much?

Feed us more bacon & mayo on white bread dad, we're starving!

Just hoping for a competitive game this weekend and not a blow out. Lots of running to the edge and intermediate length passing routes. Short and long passes and runs up the gut should be limited as they play into the Pats defenses hands. IMO.

Go Phins!

I have a sore throat.


About throwing for 400yds, on one hand you're right, and the other hand it all depends.

If a qb throws for 400yds and at least 3tds, I belive the better odds would be that this qb wins the game. Those odds of winning should dramatically increase per td pass of more than 3. For example, if a qb throws for 400yds and 5 tds, its extremely unlikely he loses the game.

Now, as you suggested, 400yds and 0-1 td passing, its very likely that qb still loses the game. This game always has and always will be based soley on who puts the most points on the scoreboard. Not who puts up the most yardage.

Yardage is meaningless. Its all about the W's.

Didn't Sean Smith and Big Paul both come out of Utah too? I believe they did. Maybe Paul is Sean's go to guy on the team. Who knows ???

Also, I know I've been posting a lot of crap about how badly the fins will lose this game. However, there is a way to win this game.

If Tannehill can pass for 250yds 2 tds and the ground game can come alive for 35-40 carries 180yds or more and 2 rushing tds. I believe this could be a great formula for winning.

This helps limits the possessions Brady & Co are able to score the football. If we have 20 carries or less, expect that the Pats win this one in a complete blowout.

Paul Solai may go down as one of the best draft picks in Dolphins history considering where he was taken. And drafted by Cam Cameron in the 4th rd I believe.


Wasnt that long ago many here were clamoring to cut Soliai or let him walk in fa. Jeff Ireland even blew a 1st rd pick on Odrick inanticipation of letting Soliai walk.

Oddly enough, you show patience in a guy and sometimes they do evolve. I would feel a lot better if players, coaches, and gms never read this blog.

Yup. And Camerons draft is looking pretty good compared to our recent drafts. Amazing.

The city of Detroit is going bankrupt.

There is a 5 hr energy ad at the top of this page. Hilarious.

TGH, it's very rare to find a multi year starter after round 3, I believe the odds are only about 10% of those players drafted in round 4 become 3 year starters, even fewer become pro bowlers so yeah, kudos to mueller and cameron on that one. paul is as good a DT as there is in this league (save JJ Watt who would be a DT in a 4-3)

TGH... I wouldn't exactly go that far.

Ginn, Beck, Booker?

If they took Soliai 1st would look better. To be fair if Ginn wasn't a top 10 pick (maybe 2nd round or later) it would have been ok.

Mark, when does NHL hockey start?

Ginn is ok. Better then Egnew...

LOL... yeah the 9th over pick is better than a late 3rd rounder...

See what happens when/if he gets on the field.

TGH, fall 2013 is my best guess. Garry Bettman is the definition of idiot.

Wow. no hockey all year? That sucks. Just when the Panthers were on the rise.

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