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Dolphins view Colts as a team to worry about

The Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the draft last April after parting ways with Peyton Manning and closing the book on an era.

Little did anyone know they'd be this good this fast. But here we are a couple of days before the Dolphins play the Colts and I am seriously concerned about this game. What's more, the Dolphins are seriously concerned.

Even as preparations go forward and little seems different with the Dolphins on the surface, there is legitimate worry in the halls of the team's Davie, Fl. training facility. Joe Philbin, the personification of an even keeled sort, has seemed a bit tight this week, according to a couple of players I've spoken to privately.

"Not just [Philbin] but I think everybody," one player kidded. "The F-bomb count in practice has been a little higher than normal this week."

Philbin's shown some concern this week in that he asked players to do more than the usual amount of preparation for this game. That from a guy who wants his players doing a ton of preparation for every game anyway.

"Our focus is going to be, again, this is what we call an uncommon opponent because we don’t play these guys a lot," Philbin said. "They’re new. I’m sure we present some of the same challenges to them obviously, but we kind of appealed to the players that we have to spend some extra time in preparation. It’s not like the Jets who we knew relatively well. We go against those guys all the time, but it’s a different week and we have to be prepared for it."

Philbin has also been worried about the status of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is nursing a swollen and bruised left knee and is likely to be listed as questionable for the game on Friday. Philbin has a phobia about discussing injuries as a matter of policy. But this week he has been actively trying to shut down the conversation of Tannehill's injury, been trying to limit how much reporting is done on what Tannehill is doing in practice, and been trying to even limit the amount of questions the media asks on the topic in press conferences.

The past two days he's made a statement relating Tannehill's limited practice status and then told reporters that's all he'll say on the subject -- the inference being don't ask anything else about it.

"Ryan Tannehill practiced on a limited basis," Philbin said Thursday. "There’s really nothing else new to report on that. We’re going to see how practice unfolds and make the best for the team when we have enough, appropriate information. Beyond that, that’s the quarterback discussion for the day."

Basically, Philbin wants as little information getting to the Colts as possible. And that speaks to a greater issue which is the Dolphins believe they need to find every shred of advantage they can to win this game because, well, they're concerned about the Colts.

The Colts, you must remember, have players with big-game experience on their roster -- much moreso than Miami. Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, Adam Vinatieri, and Antoine Bethea have won a lot of playoff games and even a Super Bowl in Indy.

The Colts, you must remember, have done unexpected damage to teams with playoff hopes this year. They beat Minnesota. They beat Green Bay.

The Colts are at home where they are 3-1, with their only loss coming when Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert completed an 80-yard TD pass to Cecil Shorts with less than one minute to play.

This isn't your run-of-the-mill rebuilding team. They're dangerous. The Dolphins recognize this.

And they're concerned about it.

Comments

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Matty....

I remember...but @ least with ythe one you did....they impersonated me before I had a chance to comment on that particular blog post....

with this one...my thoughts are 3 post above the "fake" comment....if nothing else....you would think somebody would mention me taking BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE....

Anyway....I'm glad our mis-understanding is water under the bridge...

Armando refuses to address or even acknowledge his TROLL INFESTATION....even goes as far to ask respectable blogger Craig M...."define a troll"...lol....

who does armando take us for....hits are the key to him feeding his family....even if he has to generate them...

YG, I agree with what you said, Miami plays for a better team overall than both Indy AND DC, so in the long run, Tannehill might have more success (in terms of winning and trophies) than either of those 2 guys.

But we're a young team yet (in terms of learning how to win). Let's not go overboard, this is new to everyone around here. Winning consistently is a goal, not one we've come close to achieving (still in the process).

I'm with Craig, we still have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball. We're overplaying our talent level. That may or may not last. We beat a good Green Bay team before, so did Indy, so any given Sunday in the NFL. But I wouldn't put money on this game (and like Craig said, I'm starting my Indy players vs. my team, which is like putting money where your mouth is, so should tell everyone how I feel). Very uneasy about this game.

Armando,

To be "WORRIED" about an opponent is to be greatly "UNPREPARED".

To be "CONCERNED" about an opponent is to be "GREATLY PREPARED".

Seems Joe Philbin is far more "Concerned" about Indy than "Worried". See the diffrence?

Mark,

I think the thing you have to remember is that anybody can beat anybody on any given Sunday in this league. We see it every week. There's actually very little difference between these teams. Dolphins have played well this year but we haven't played the strongest of teams. In reality, there are very mnay strong teams in the NFL this year. Probably 4-5 tops. Maybe 2-3 really bad teams (including the KC team that played last night). Everything else is up for grabs.

When I look at this game, I see a Colts that is energized under Luck. Much different team than last year that was going through the motions. On top of that I see a team that is playing for it's ailing coach. I see a team that honestly believes they are a playoff contender. I see a 3-4 point game and a lot of it will depend on how we protect the ball. Moore has to play error free football (of course I'm making the assumption that it will be Moore and not Tannehill). On top of all that, it's not easy to go into another teams building and win. I think we all want to get caught up on this wave of a season that the Dolphins are riding. I get that. It's fun. the reality is this should be a tough test this week. We're not going to be able to rely on our defence to win games every week. Time for the offence to step up and that includes Bush, Thomas, Hartlin, Moore and Gaffney.

Yeah and just to clarify unless I remember to change it on sunday, my screen name will be ncfinfan33 lol i know i got called out on that last sunday as well lol

actually i prob wont be posting since Im attending my baby's shower.

Being concerned is OK...they should be. But it sounds like it's more than that. Hope coach don't have 'em wound too tight.

In my opinion an ideal game line for Bush would be 20 touches 15 runs, 5 receptions or thereabouts.

DC,

I respectfully disagree. Many of the holes both you and CraigM says exists are greatly closing. Player development seems to be greatly closing this.

Then again, I dont believe this team's playing over thier heads. I rather chalk it up to we finally have a hc and coaching staff greatly talented in getting these current players playing upto thier "true potential".

Very few players ever come into the league "an already finished product". Player development and preparation is where Sparano failed most. In retrospect, this seem to be the area our current staff, seems to excell best.

This is what I believe we're now witnessing. The proof is being extremely well highlighted in thier masterful pudding.

Losing games the past wining games the future

Craig, you're right anyone can beat anyone but like Kris, I'm going to reflect the attitude of my defense, f*** everybody ... we're going to kick their arse and tell you about it in advance. Respect everyone fear nobody and play second place to nobody!!!

YG we are talking about semantics. So neither of us is wrong. But Dashi loves to debate.

Now what u would call the young Shula era happened in Baltimore! While Unitas was his QB! Not in the 72-73 era!

When Ross made the statement he hadn't hired a coach yet! After he hired Philbin he said it as a Joke to the Media! Cause he knew he was going to get backlash!

What Ross was just trying to say was he was going to get a Smart Coach!

NOW, SOME PEOPLE TAKE EVERYTHING WE SAY LITERAL!

SO YOUNG SHULA IS A METAPHOR! FOR SMART COACH!

That Ross would've been Happier if Ross was a Young Guy Sure! But the right guy for the job is The Smartest Candidate!


as is often the case, I believe this game comes down to turnovers.

If the fins take care of the ball, they will win this game. I believe they are the superior of the 2 teams.

On that topic, I don't think Bush played another down after he fumbled in the last game and it seems I've seen very little of Lane since his red-zone fumble against the Bengals.

It appears Joe is sending a message to his skilled players. If I give you the rock, it is yours, do not give it away. It is a magic rock. If you hang onto it good things will happen. If you lose it, you will be exiled from the kingdom (see Legedu Nanee).

DC @ 9:49am,

Again, we're in total agreement. I think we are playing better than our talent level. We're surprising a lot of people around the league, including Peter King. I had my friend that works in a bar tell me at the beginning of the year, 'the Dolphins are the worst team in the league'. He didn't like the drafting of Tannehill and felt the team should have stuck with Moore. This guy knows a lot about football. I argued that we weren't the worst, despite the fact I had them going 4-12. I had us as a bottom three or bottom five team.

Bottomline, when this team reaches the level of SF and GB, a team that everyone fears every week then I'll be satisfied. We're not there yet (and nor should we be after one offseason). As it stands all we can expect is a fight every week and hopefully we come out on top more often that not.

Fodder, I agree. And given that the Colts have made more mistakes and made fewer defenseive stands, the Dolphins should win.

And I noticed the same thing about Lane. He's lost all short yardage runs to Thomas since that fumble.

Blitz the squirrel ( Luck )
Wake 2 saks
Jones 1 pick
Clemons returns to TD
Dolphins 28 Indy 13

Ryan Tannehill is not that good.What's all the excitement about?Sheez!

By the way, I asked the same guy Sunday if we're still the worst team in the league. He says 'not even close' and now he likes Tannehill and the running game....LOL.

I'm one of the FEW guys in our pool this week to pick Indy to win. They're all looking at me like I've got three heads. Gotta go with your your gut and not your heart when there's money involved. Gambling rule 101.

Craig, no offense but anyone who advocates passing on a first round grade Qb for the Matt Moore's of the world know nothing about football and the importance of having a quality talent manning that position whether he's ready the next year or not.

Matt Moores of the world make the occasional Sunday enjoyable but take you nowhere in the end. Tell him that the age of the Trent Dilfers of the world winning super bowls are over. 1999 football is dead.

I do agree w Craig M.Miami is making some improvements but they will soon fold like a chair.

Phins 52
Colts 3

You read it here first.......

MANDO DOES RICHIE INCOGNITO EAT RICE KRISPIES WHILE NAKED IN THE LOCKER ROOM???

By the way, Mark, I don't think either of us are CFL fans but did you see the end of the Argos game last night? Argos up by 14 with 4 mins left almost blew the win and the chance to end the Ti-Cats season. Usual weak a** shyte from those guys. No backbone.

Had an argument with my buddy who said the Ti-Cats should have gone for two to potentially win the game. I said no the right call was to go for one and tie the game and let your defence hold. If they'd missed their season would have been over. As it was the Argos had to kick a 51 yard FG to win. Your thoughts?

A few mentions of the Fins in here.. good read though

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/41640/nfl-numbers-report.

Boys and girls....who would've thunk this game would have so much meaning! This game is HUGE for the playoff picture. Unless there is a big injury, the AFC has 5 teams that are locks for the playoffs..."PLAYOFFS?" The Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Broncos, and Texans are locks. If the Dolphins beat the Colts, they'll have the tiebreaker against the Bengals, Raiders, and Colts for the last wildcard(if they don't win the division that is). I don't really see Miami beating New England for the division "this" year, but it could happen I suppose. The only other team with a snowball's chance for the other wildcard is San Diego.

Great article on the Dominating performance of Richie Incognito.. great break down.

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/41674/the-trenchie-awards-richie-incognito-chris-canty-and-the-best-line-play-from-week-8

wHY dID hOME pICK tHE cOLTS tO wIN tHE gAME sUNDAY!

Mark In Toronto,

Because Bush can be such an explosive force running out of the backfield. I would like to see at least 23 rushes per game. I kind of see him as sort of Barry Sanders-like rb.

Sanders could have 18-19 runs for 38-40yds. Then bam, break a 70yd'r then a 25yd or so run. Finishing the game with a 130-140yds on about 25 carries.

Bush isnt the kind of rb who has a great ypc per individual rush. He's Sanders-like in he'll average 3 yds per carry for 15 to 20 rushes then hit you with a 70yd td run, pushing his ypc to 6yds per carry based on a couple big runs.

Still, I believe its sort of difficult to get Bush 5-6 catches per game simply because this offense doesnt seem to be a check down based offense. Our qb's seemed to be mostly look to get the ball further downfield.

However, in the future, once lulling the defense to sleep. I can see, based on a weakness spotted in the opposing defense, having a "designed play" that gets Bush wide open for a long td.

Other than that, I really dont look to see it very often where Bush gets more than 3-4 passes to him in a single game. This passing attack seems to be more "down the field" oriented. Bush probably gets more passes thrown to him when lb's covering rb's out the backfield is a major weakness.

this will be a close game. I believe we have to run the ball like the jets did against the colts to beat them. I think we will.
Offense No turnovers please.

Mark,

I'm not offended at all. This guy is a Bills fan, so he doesn't know any better. He's only realizing NOW that Fitzpatrick isn't the answer. These guys are DEFEATED. I just pray to God that the Bills don't beat us when I'm at the game in two weeks. Picked up my tickets yesterday and they are right there on the field. Going to be GREAT!

Craig, didn't watch it, don't care either but given that scenario, going for one was the right call. The ti-Cats didn't lose out on the playoffs because of that one play - they lost out because they stink. If you can't make the playoffs in the CFL, you are a special kind of stink. Don't 6 of the 8 teams make it???

Home, nobody cares who you picked you douche - why don't you go on telling everyone how you knew Cam Newton was special ...

Randy S,

I don't have the Steelers as 'shoe-ins' for the playoffs. I think they are one of the teams on the mix, that's all. The Steelers have their problems this year too, with injuries, an aging defence and a porous OL. This isn't the same Steelers team. Not saying they aren't in the mix but they are far from 'shoe-ins'. I have questions about the Ravens too but I think they'll probably squeek in.

Bills fan, I get it. That front office is a special kind of stupid. Sinking all that money into Fitz then Mario (who hasn't even averaged 10 sacks a season).

Then they hire Dave Wannstedt after he flunked out in Chicao, Miami, and PItt. Congrats on making Wannstedt a four time loser.

Only Buffalo would think they were special with a 7th round pick playing the most important position. To anyone listening, if matt Moore was our full time starter, we'd be in the same boat - lucky to be a .500 team and a very flawed .500 team at that.

Mark,

I didn't watch the game either. Just not my thing. But I did catch the highlights. Pretty good stuff. Catch it if you can.

Mark,
Its funny that you mentioned the Ti-Cats.. my position coach in college coached for them from 98-05..

the last 3 years I have been seriously burnt out by the Sporano led fish at this point in the season.

Having something to root for in week 9 is gravy.

It's like that extra bit of milkshake they bring you in that tin cup.

thank you Joe Philbin.

Craig, crazy things happen in the CFL on the weekly. there are some things in the league that just make no lead safe. I believe the play clock stops after each play in the last protion of the game and with 3 down, it's almsot impossible to run out the clock. You almost never see a kneel down for example. In many ways it'sa very different game.

Great stuff today. Im out. Have a great day guys!

..The way I see this game going for it to end up in our favor would be this...

We have to re-establish the run this week. This seems like a no SH!$ sort of statement. But IMO this is why. The Colts are not very good at the point of attack when their defensive lineman have to play both run and pass. Freeny is a guy that is best when they have a lead and he can pin his ears back and rush the passer. When forced to play a game where he must be a run defender..He is ordinary. Remember he is undersized. and although a very good if not elite pass rusher. He is 1 dimensional at best.

He isn't the only player on the defensive front. But the guy who must be accounted for. Also by establishing the run this week we can eliminate any variables at the quarterback spot this week..If we can do this, it really shouldn't matter who is playing quarterback. (I hope Tanny plays). Now I'm not advoctaing abandoning the run. I just think of all games, on the road in a huge game for the balance of this season(every game is going to be big as long as we are in contention, this one has the feel of a statement game..even more then last week). Of all the games, we need to re-establish our ability to pound it. We have sort of lost that a bit the last month. Against a team who wants to get a lead then let the dogs out. This would be a great way to keep those varmin on their leashes.

Mark @ 10:33am, some great points.

DD, I agree about establishing the run this week. Who's the guy you think needs to really step up this week to run the ball. Is Bush even healthy?

Hey matty,

One of my trainers played for the ti-cats too. He was also in the show playmakers. He had a bit role ... was the linebacker who took "the blue magic" to get his groove back to recover from the side effects of performance enhancing drugs. Great show, too real for the NFl though - they forced ESPN to scrap it because it was a little too real (this is what he told me anyway). Said the NFL would not even negotiate with ESPN on a new contract unless they cancelled the show.

I'm for starting a healthy Moore over a cautious Tannehill.

Especially with Freeney on the edge rush where I predict he'll blow past Martin a few times and get some good licks in on our QB.

I'm also concerned with the lack of explosive runs from our RB's? I agree that the Jets D "gave up" last week, you could see it on our running plays in the 4th Qtr...it also seems like Bush stopped hitting the holes with any authority.

I trust Philbin will put together a solid game plan...but take pause that our offensive players will actually executed it.

Colts 20
Fins 17

Luck hits Wayne for an 80 yard strike with 2 mins left to win coming from behind....sorry guys I have a gift, good or bad.

Mark
Nice,Coach Lancaster was a runningbacks coach when i was there at Catawba, I was a fullback, but he was a funny guy. He played QB for the University of Alberta and helped lead them to the Canada West Championship game in 94 i believe. He was a funny dude, the first time we had a position meeting he stood up and said," Guys does anyone have a problem with cussing? i ask because i drop an "F" bomb on occasion, its how was i raised, coached, and how i coach now.. im working on it.. with that being said I need you F'n guys to be elite, F this and F that lol
Our dlineman coach was Jim Tomsula, the Dlineman coach for the 49r's now... He was a funny guy too..

One last statement regarding the run:

This coaching staff has poven to be a very aggressive offensive coaching staff. Just saying "we need to run" can also be the same as "playing not to lose" instead of playing to win" the game.

I expect this coaching staff will remain agressive in thier offense attack. However, if the Colts show propensity to be unable to slow or stop our run game, then obviously you give them heavy doses of it. But, just saying run the ball to keep Luck off of the field, could be counter-productive in the end.

Thier could be fine a fine line between running the ball and just playing not to lose. That's a line I greatly hope we dont cross as an offensive unit or in our offensive game strategy.

Running late when needed to close out a game has always been far more productive. Running forthe sake of running can also produce backfire type results. You play to win the game. You dont play not to lose.

Scoring wins games, not playing not to to lose. You just may get your wish.

Colts deserve to lose every game from here on out because they are an unethicl team. They purposely threw the season last year. They could have gotten a veteran QB that could have gotten them a couple of wins. The team looked absolutely horrible last year and now they look pretty good. Luck has helped, but he alone could't make the night and day difference we are witnessing. Bottom line they threw the season!

They did bring in a veteran QB in Collins

Playing not to lose has very rarely ever won anything. We only need to be effective running when we really have to run. Or if the opposing defense can neither stop nor slow it.

..Craig M..I would say it doesn't have to be one guy that has 100 yards or this or that. I think as a conglomerate we need to be able to pound it. Everyone on the planet who hs seen the Colts know they love it when they can be a 1 dimensional defense..When they have the lead and can pin their ears back..This is their MO.

As far as keeping Luck off the field...This has nothing to do with it. This about re-establishing some dominance up front. This is who we are. The Colts aren't a juggernaught on offense. They don't score abunch of points either. Keeping Luck off the field is either here nor there(unless he has the ball last in a close game..That would be the scenario I would try and avoid)..

Establishing the run doesnt mean forget the pass. It doesn't mean lose aggression. It is a statement of attitude that we will do what we want, and will not allow you to do what you do well. Shove it down their throats..Until their will is broken. Don't allow them the opportunity to fly around.

YG...point well made. I see so many teams doing just that....running for the sake of running. Where coaches egos get in the way of winning.
"I'm going to stuff the ball down their throats with a ground and pound approach".
Smart coaches allow their QB's to make a read on the line and adjust the play to offset the D that is stuffing the box to stop the run.

Tom Brady is a master at this and usually hits Welker for a quick slant to gain 8+ yards vs. the RB getting stuffed for no gain.

If the run game gets established, you're golden...if not, a 70/30 blend of pass/run is in order to WIN the game.

matty,

Is that RON Lancaster you're talking about?

On Sunday.

The more I look at the match up. The more I see the fins dominate the game! Specially if T-Hill is the starter! It's still winnable with Moore.

This game will start upfront!We are reaping the benefits of building up both lines. We should benefit in the run game on both sides of the ball. Nobody can consistently run on us! And the colts are a little light up front! In the run game as long as our rb's are running hard. No dancing. Maybe more Thomas. Thighpen? If he wasn't such a special teams player! L.Miller is stuck in a numbers game! So he might not see time unless someone gets hurt. If Bush runs Hard he can get 100+ every game! But he doesn't!

On the pass Rush.

The colts as a Unit are not that good! Freeney and Mathis have lost a step! And Now they are playing OLB not DE. And the 3 D-linemen they use are below average.

On the fins D-Line. The reason we are a TOP 10 defense! We Have 4 linemen that can stop the run! And rush the QB. 5 if u include OV!

Craig,
Ron is his dad, i think he was the head coach for the ticats.. his son Bob was my position coach in college...

http://www.gocatawbaindians.com/profile.asp?playerID=23

The colts should be worried we have been in every game except Houston and are two carpenter field goals away from being 6-1.


I'd like to see a screen or boot leg very early.

Maybe the first obvious passing down.

Need to get Bush going.

Hey Kris @ 9:37.

As a new poster on here, how am I supposed to know which post is legitimate, and which one is a troll messing about? Am still trying to work out 1) People would want to waste their time doing that and 2) Why the Herald allow people to do it?

If you want new posters on here (I presume you do), you are going to have to accept outside of the regular posters, other people will not be as aware of what goes on in this blog. They will not know that there are people who spend their days pretending to be other people.

Therefore innocent mistakes will be made. Sorry, but just the way it is. So rather than assuming they are trolls, how about a little bit of leeway and understanding, just in case they are actually fans who want to talk about their team the Dolphins.

By the way it is AnthonyUK and not AndyUK.

Craig, I thought he was referring to Ron Lancaster too who is a CFL legend and who's name carries a lot of weight in this part of the world but then he said his coach Lancaster player QB in 1994. That wouldn't be the same guy. Coach Ron Lancaster played professionally in the 1960s I believe.

The only one scared is Armando. We are going to whip them colts!

Mark,
Bob is Ron Lancasters son...

NHFINS,

EXACTLY!

If the Colts show an inability to stop the run. I say pound it down thier throats 50 times. But running for the sake of saying "we have to establish the run", even though it isnt very productive, can have counter productive ending results.

Also, if the Colts show propensity to be unable to stop the pass. I say throw it 40 times. Lets the flow of game dictate strategy. Exploit what seems to be the opposing defense's greatest weakness in heay doses, beit running or passing the ball.

matty,

I met RON a few times. Really good man. It's unfortunate he's not with us any more. I had a lot of respect for that man.

DD, I agree with everything you said in your both above. Only thing I'd disagree with is I DO like the idea of keeping Luck off the field. No, the Colts aren't offensive juggernauts YET. They'll need to add more pieces in the next couple of years. But Luck DOES scare me. Smart, athletic QB. He's not getting the attention he deserves because of RGIII right now, and that's dangerous too. To me, the Colts win this game because of turnovers or failure to execute on offence and because of Andrew Luck.

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