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It was a long day for Jake and what that mean

It used to be that the overarching conversation surrounding Jake Long was about whether he indeed was the right pick as the No. 1 overall selection in 2008 over Matt Ryan. And the argument could be made that even if Ryan turned out to be a franchise quarterback, picking a Hall of Fame left tackle was still a wise choice.

Well, Long has not been playing like a Hall of Fame left tackle this year.

And on Sunday he didn't play like a Pro Bowl left tackle. Or even a good left tackle.

Matched against Dwight Freeney, who had been struggling with injuries and production prior to this game, Long was beaten soundly in the matchup. Freeney got a sack that stripped the ball from Ryan Tannehill and, ironically, Long plucked the pigskin out of the air and ran for a couple of yards.

It was a good save. But it wasn't a good look for Long.

He also yielded two other QB hits and at least one more pressure that forced Tannehill to get rid of the ball early. He also had a false start and had a holding call that was declined.

"Yeah, it appeared there were a couple of times, it looked like he got beat a couple of times," coach Joe Philbin said. "We'll have to take a look at the tapes to see if it's a technique thing. It might have been minor little things and some adjustments he'll have to make. But, yeah, we expect better protection."

Long echoed his coach after the game, giving credit to Freeney and his well-chronicled spin move. Long also promised an attempt at improvement.

"He got me on the one," Long said. "He gets off the ball quick and it's a hell of a move. He did well on that one and I just have to correct it and get better."

The truth is Long has not been Miami's best offensive lineman this year as he was in years past. That mantle has been passed to Mike Pouncey.

But the problem is where do the Dolphins and Long go from here? Long, you see, is a free agent after this season. And general manager Jeff Ireland is on record as saying he will not let Long get away from the Dolphins.

I get that because letting Long walk only creates another hole that has to be filled and the Dolphins have plenty of those as is. In fact, my column in today's Miami Herald makes the point that because quarterback Ryan Tannehill is good (but not great) the Dolphins have to surround him with more weapons and a better team to compete with teams that indeed do get great quarterback play.

And, by the way, Andrew Luck delivered great quarterback play against Miami on Sunday and has convinced me he's going to be great. Indeed, Luck has thrown for 2,404 yards this season. Peyton Manning? He's thrown for 2,404 yards this season.

The point is the Dolphins need to add talent, not lose some they already have.

Which brings me back to Long. It's going to be a hard negotiation if Long's agent, Tom Condon, is going to insist on having Long paid as the best left tackle in football -- which is exactly what Long was coming out of college as the No. 1 pick. Long was the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

But after gutting through a couple of injury plagued seasons in 2010 and 2011 and still not playing at his highest level this year, I don't see how the Dolphins can justify paying Long like the best tackle in football. He's probably in the top 10 some games. But not every game.

Certainly not on Sunday.

"They're a hell of a defese. Their front line got a few on us. We just have to watch the film and get better and we will."

Comments

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Well wake up. Some guys are going to command some bigger paychecks. If we want to keep Long outside of the franchise tag..It is going to cost. Starks..He deserves a big contract. Wake..Any of our core guys who will be the disscussion of contract talks will deserve big money. Ask yourselves this. Do we let these guys go in the name of saving cash, or do we explore the unknown and try to save? IMO, we did that this year..No cash for free premium free agents, release the riff raff, and gain picks in exchange. Let the young guys live and learn. Now it appears that we have some guys that will have a ton of value to not only or team, but others too. It may not be in our best interest to be frugal in these instances.

Darryl,

Well said. Long & Starks are both going to cost big money. That's a fact which is why I'd pay the guy who is playing like he deserves it & that's Starks.

I also believe that Hartline should be re-signed. I really don't know how he'll cost but I do know he's played extremely well & has excellent chemistry with Tannehill. If we added a burner like Wallace (& he'll cost a lot) he'll take our offense to another level.

I'm voting for Obama too!

and not because he's black, but because of the issues, whatever they are.

Craig,

Cruz has become a Number 1.

please dont let Sen Smith go!

just ome more year, i promise you - one more year-

Jpao,

Dansby is still under contract.

CraigM,

Im just going by what the announcers said. I dont follow the Colts doings. The announcers were saying that the Colts management themselves said they drafted TY Hilton as a returner. Dont kill the messenger, Im only repeating what they said.

Still, you have to admit, Hilton is not a true #1wr, he's a fine complimentary recieving piece to unit they presently have in place. Thats it.

Omar,

It's Sean Smith, not Sen Smith.

For the love of God you are embarrassing us people.

Sorry Barrack,

You should grow dreadlocks like me, but after the re-election

:)

i have such a boner where is Shut Down Sean!?

Craig,

YG is right. They said it yesterday & Hilton was taken in the 3rd round @ 92.

Jake Long is overrated and cross eyed like the Deliverance guy.

It's amazing that Mando lets trolls try to take over his blog. Why Mando??? Why???

That's enough of the racism, Omar

DD,

I never omitted the fine job Luck did yesterday. Just illustrating h did it against "very soft coverage" and we failed to capitalize opn his "very crucial mistakes". At least 3 of them.

1. Dansby dropped a pic 6.

2. Smith dropped a pic that at least sends the game into ot.

3. Luck thru into double-coverage and Smith claims he lost the ball in the lights.

#3 prevents the game tying td had Smith located the ball for the easy pic. Luck had a great game partially because we didnt capitalize on 3 crucial mistakes.

Especially Dansby's dropped pic 6 which would have been 27pts for us and had Smith made the endzone pick. The final score may read Fins 27 Colts 16. Thats a huge difference.

Sorry Barrack.

Can't help it.

Bottom line is that Tannehill with little college experience is playing already as a capable NFL QB, is making yardage even with shoddy OL protection, and is improving noticably game by game. His upside is immense while Luck, with much more starting experience, is closer to his peak. I am thrilled that we have Tannehill.

This is a rebuilding year. We are finding out if any of our young WR, TE, defensive secondary and other players are keepers or not. We have the cap and the draft picks to fill several holes. So far it is clear we need a first-rate WR, a dominant pass-catching TE, a cover corner, an upgrade at offensive Guard to press Incognito and Jerry and possibly a replacement of an obviously injured and declining Long. We may want a true middle LB to allow us to move Dansby to his natural OLB position. Between the draft and FA this is doable.

I GOT IT! I GOT IT!

aHH SHUCKS!

nevermind.

f!@# i suck!

Defnsively we failed to capilize on 3 of Luck's critical errors. He doesnt get away with that going against a much better pass d. Luicks should have had 3 picks to go with his fine performance yesterday.

Luck wasn't 'Lucky' yesterday. He was OUTSTANDING! There were times he should have taken the sack and didn't and managed to get the ball to one of his receivers. Let's call a spade a spade. He's set the rookie record for a reason. He'll continue to do this and he'll be one of the best QBs in the league over the next number of years.

..jpao. good post.

Anyway...my point is that we have to make some tough choices. Some of the core guys will get big contracts, others are going to have to be let go. There are also some bigger contracts that we will have to think about(Dansby, Incognito)..

These are the guys that if you had to aks me today that I am prioritizing. Long, Starks, Fields, and yes S. Smith,

The guys that I would have a hard time resigning. Reggie Bush, Hartline, Clemons, McDaniel.

Now I know that people are going to say I lose credibility by wanting to re-sign smith and let Bush go. Hear me out. Corner back is much more important then running back. I onlt think this is debateable if your running back is a top 3 guy. So in this instance when the players are of about equal..Bush who is on the wrong side of his 20's is not worth re-signing to a long term deal. He is a running back. again, running back. He isn't a top running back, just ordinary. He may be a leader, he may be exciting. We should not commit to him. Smith, is not perfect, far from. But he is the best corner back we have. This may not say much, But it is not realistic to think we could totaly re-shape our whole secondary in 1 offseason. The bigger problem is at saftey anyway..This should be the priority..Not finding a bunch of new corner backs.

I never omitted the fine job Luck did yesterday. Just illustrating h did it against "very soft coverage" and we failed to capitalize opn his "very crucial mistakes". At least 3 of them.

1. Dansby dropped a pic 6.

2. Smith dropped a pic that at least sends the game into ot.

3. Luck thru into double-coverage and Smith claims he lost the ball in the lights.

#3 prevents the game tying td had Smith located the ball for the easy pic. Luck had a great game partially because we didnt capitalize on 3 crucial mistakes.

Especially Dansby's dropped pic 6 which would have been 27pts for us and had Smith made the endzone pick. The final score may read Fins 27 Colts 16. Thats a huge difference.

YG,

Even as badly as the secondary played, you're right. We still had chances to win this game if Dansby or Smith makes one of those catches.

Our secondary really made me sick to my stomach yesterday. I thought we were better than that but it looked like they reverted back to the way they played against the Cardinals. The O-line can't get a pass either. Can't allow those big hits on Tannehill's blind side & too many critical penalties!!!

Seans Smith says, Andrew Luck was ballin yesterday. I guess he was when Smith failed to captilize on 2 pick opportunities.

I really hate seeing our corner make a post game comment lioke this. It sounds as if he ws more fan than foe of Luck's performance yesterday.

After all, Smith did greatly contribute to Luck's "ballin" yesterday, completely blowing 2 pick opportunities. Smith also completely whiffed on a 3rd and long tackle allowing the Colts to convert a 1st down.

Guys just so we're clear, I'm saying we can get a guy that can help this offence in the second round of the draft next year. Doesn't need to be a number one receiver. Guys get hung on that stuff too much. Part of what makes GB offence work is that they have a number of guys that step up as top receivers. One week it's Jennings, the next week it's Jones, another time it's Nelson, maybe it's Cobb. It's irrelevant. What you need it guys that bring different things to the table. With the Giants, some weeks it's Nicks, another week Cruz, we've even seen Dixon step up. Same with the Saints. Colston's the guy, but when that offence is clicking all guys are contributing.

It's the same with this offence. It's part of the reason Marshall isn't here. He wanted to continue to be the guy that gets all the looks and all the touches. That's not what Philbin and Sherman's WCO is built around. Multiple targets, able to do different things.

I think that when our Defense goes against the scout team this week, they should just go 7 on 7 and let Moore have all the time he wants, like they did in yesterday's game.

Also, I think Moore throws too flat of a ball to be the scout team QB. He needs to toss more passes up into the "lights" so our DBs can simulate defending real passes.

there, I feel a little better.

CraigM,

I said Lucky was "Lucky" we didnt capitalize on 3 pick opportunities. Are you denying Smith blew 2 opportunities and Dansby blew the pic 6 opportunity?

Werre you taking a a snack or bathroom break when these things happened? If not, then you'll also agree Lcvuk was good yesterday, but also lucky to not have "3 PICKS(including a pic 6)" on his stat sheet yesterday. Capiche?

Luck wasn't 'Lucky' yesterday. He was OUTSTANDING! There were times he should have taken the sack and didn't and managed to get the ball to one of his receivers. Let's call a spade a spade. He's set the rookie record for a reason. He'll continue to do this and he'll be one of the best QBs in the league over the next number of years.

Craig,

I agree. Luck is a special player & the score could have easily been been more like 37-20. Luck was outstanding BUT Hilton, Avery, & Allen were wide open all game long. Our secondary was pathetic & Dansby &/or Smith has to come up with those INT's.

CraigM,

I agree, if we can find a wr 2nd rd that emerges into the #1 wr role, sobeit. Hartline isnt a #1. There isnt a dc in the league having great worry preparing for Hartline.

Sure Hartline can have some great games, but he doesnt place great fear in defenses consistently able to beat them over the top. He's a great move the ball down the field player who occasionally can beat you deep.

Our pssing offense will continue to have ebb and flows until we get the consistent take to the hose #1 wr. That wr will also force teams to take 8-9 men out nof the box in our run game.

Teams can afford to put 8-9 in the run box because we dont have the true home run wr. That type of wr would open up both our run and passing attack.

Craig,

I understand what you're saying about WR's & maybe you're right. Maybe going after Wallace & breaking the bank is not the way to build a well rounded offense. I thought GB would really struggle w/o Jennings but they're deep enough so that they can get by with the other guys. If we could have another couple of guys like Hartline or Bess this offense would be that much tougher to defend.

I trust Philbin & Sherman's ideas on offense even though I'd like to see us run the ball more than 17 times. However there's absolutely no question in my mind that we need to finally nail a pass catching TE.

My fourth losing season in a row w the Dolphoons!
Now pay me bietches!

Wasn't my freakin fault, everyone knows i'mz great!

Tannehill overthrew again twice in the final drive. He can't close. Luck is much better. Should have started Moore.

So Tebow beat me last year in my house. so What!
I'm shut down sean and imz da best. yup!

Sean Smith PFF 2011 ranking 105th out of all starting NFL CBs

LMAO!

YG,

Tannehill is getting it done through 8 weeks with basically two reliable receivers. I think that's pretty amazing. While it would be fun to add a Mike Wallace to this offense it would cost a fortune & there's no way to predict how Wallace would fit in with Philbin's locker room.

The more I think about it I'm starting to think MAYBE Craig has it right & add multiple options instead of signing one big name. You add Hilton & Avery to our offense & that's a big upgrade over what Gaffney or Moore can do.

YG,

Settle down. The old addage is you've got to be good to be lucky. Luck played very well yesterday. We can argue whether the problem was the secondary or the line, it really doesn't matter. I'm just making the point you can put two new corners back there and it's not going to make any difference if you don't get pressure on Luck.

I'll agree with DD's comments from above. Those are the guy I want to see back also. I'd bring Bush back also, but only at the right price. He's a PIECE of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle. Running backs do in fact grow on trees and as well as he's played for us at times, you don't pay a running back top 5 money for what we got from him yesterday. Nobody is saying he isn't a good player but I don't want this team making the kind of mistake the Panters made with D'Angelo Williams.

Tannehill choked. Philbin knows it.

WHRB's,

Please, no more Hartline/Bess type wr's for this team. Do you realize how difficult it is to drive the length of the field almost every drive in the nfl? Its one of the primary reasons we have such difficult time putting points on the scoreboard.

Teams putting lots of points on the board have one thing in common: They score many "easy points". Those easy points usually come over the top of defenses. Bess/Hartline types dont give you that.

They are intermediate field threats and Bess is more short than intermediate.

This offense needs two things:

1. A legit consistent over the top threat.

2. A great sem threat te.

Doesnt hurt to get much better play out of Jake Long either.

How is "Shut Down Sean" working outfor ya!

LMAO!

YG and WHRBs,

I think we're all saying the same thing but in different ways. We want someone who can ADD to what Hartline and Bess are doing. YG, don't knock Hartline. He has some pretty big gains this season on pass plays. I don't have the stats in front fo me but he's has several plays over 30 yards. No clue what his YPG is but I bet he's up there in the league standings. And he's doing this with basically only Bess as the other threat on offence.

You don't need a Marshall or a Calvin Johnson for this offence to be successful. It's about YAC. Give us a guy who can take it to the house once in a while and this offence can be more successful.

More Bess/Hartline type recievers, you guys gotta be kidding right? Thats just more of the same. Nearly every drive has o go the length of the field. Google the percentage of very successful offenses that have to consistently do that.

Im sure you'll find them middle of the pack in scoring offense and lower. You have to score to win the game. Hartline had zero td's and Bess the same. These types dont consistently help thier qb put td's on the scoreboard.

One thing we DON'T need is a Vincent Jackson type contract on the boks for this team. Very good player and he's helping TB but there are other ways to accomplish this. Let's see what the draft brings.

I meant to draft RB Doug Martin who is on Tampa Bay.
Not the RT Martin that has let up the most QB hurries in the NFL and almost got Tanny killed again.

Sorry, my bad
Jeffy

i gotz me a haircut and a new suit, no gives me zub dub hub mize money. i beez shut down sean. yup!

CraigM,

I love Hartline, Im not knocking him. I love what he adds, just saying he isnt a true #1. With a true #1 wr Hartline can become even more lethal going against #2 corners. His speed, size and athleticism would be a little much for most league #2 corners to handle.

But when Hartline's your best team reciever, it makes you deficient in other areas of the passing game. But with Hartline as the #2 and a legit #1, the entire unti is instantly upgraded to a much higher level.

It also opens up the run game game because teams cant afford to put 8-9 in the box. We would kill them with playaction and going over the top to the legit home run threat. It would also make Hartline a greater homerun threat consistently going against #2 corners in the same situation.

I'm better than Brandon Marshall. Ask Jeff Ireland, he made the trade!

Huh?

Going back to the Long argument, a comparable would b Ryan Clady of the Broncos. Taken 12th overall in the 2008 draft. He's allowed 24.5 sacks in the past three seasons, which seems high to me. He's also played through injuries and made Pro Bowls.

Now why aren't the Broncos moving away from this guy? Why don't they decide to let him go and draft another LT, who they can get for less money. True answer, because they know his value to the team and they realize that they have an immobile Manning back there who wouldn't be able to do what he does best with protection.

Incidentally, the list I'm looking at from ESPN, lists the top LTs in the game. Joe Thomas is number one, Long is two and Clady is three. This list was done in May. Long may have slipped slightly but HIGHLY unlikely he's fallen out of the top ten.

Also with a legit #1wr, when teams have to play our run game honestly, we'll see runs of 4 and 5ypc or more at a far higher rate. This will give Tannehill 2nd/3rd and shorts at such a high rate he'll almost always have the defense on its heels.

YG,

Respectfully, I think you're getting a little too hung up on 'who's the number one receiver'. I don't think it really matters. I used the Giants and Packers and Saints as teams that don't focus on who the number one guy is.

I believe the model that Philbin is using doesn't take into account who number one recievers are. TO be honest, we don't want a number one receiver. They're divas and expect to get the ball ALL the TIME. Give us a guy who adds to what we already have and let's move the ball around. Getting hung up on 'who's number one' just causes problems on the team.

What up losers?


OMG you dolphin fans are so fickle. So Jake Long and Sean Smith had bad games. So what. They're still better than most NFL players at their position. We don't need to get rid of solid players, we need to keep adding more. The bottom line is that we lost a close game with potential playoff team by 3 points. We could have won that game in many ways but the truth is we're still a few players short of consitently winning tough games against good teams.

On offense Tannehill needs more weapons including a true #1 receiver and a seam stretching tight end. On defense we need some more pash rush help for Cameron Wake and another solid corner to take the pressue off Smith. A better strong saftey would be nice too.

With our cap space all thses things are easily attainable through our slew of draft picks and
free agency. We'll probably be a playoff team next year. This year, well probably end up just outside. But that is still a heck of alot more then what was expected prior to the season. Be happy....we could be the JAGUARS.

CraigM,

The Packers have a wr who could be considered a legit #1 on almost any team. They can consistently beat most defenses "over the to". They also have a great "seamthreat" te. Those are two things missing here.

Look at points scored for offenses on nfl.com. The ones with over the top recieving threat have scored far more often than those without. GB has scored 239pts. We have scored 170pts. We need guys just like the ones the leading scoring offenses have.

Guys that make scoring points far more easier, not just moving the ball downfield.

Carlos,
Don't get me started on the Jags.
If you're on the Jags you're nowhere with the exception of Chad Henne who is making $6mil ($3mil bonus + $3mil salary) to hold the clip board.

YG,

Who's the Packers number one receiver?

Are you guys for real...those of you blaming Tannehill for this loss have something I refer to as rectal-cranial inversion.

You need to pull it out. Go ahead, use both hands.

Just when we were ready to leave NE for dead.....

They lead the NFL in points per game @ 32.8....

Fins come in @ # 20...with 21.0 points per game.....

Man do we miss Daboll's offense, no?

The Bears beat the crap out of the Titans....so much so that the owner stopped just SHORT of an apology tho jeff fisher....

We had better win this one by 10.....

CraigM,

Greg Jennings would instantly be a #1wr here, James Jones would also be an instant upgrade as a #1 wr in Miami. Jones alone had 8 recieving tds last season, Jennings had 9.

Hell, even Randall Cobb could be a #1 wr here. He currently has 6 recieving tds this year, though I think it could be as a benifiary of having other great scoring threats around him.

Still, we have no deep threat wr the calibre of Randall Cobbs even.

As long as i'm playing, you know we will win.
I',m da greatest and soon we will have our first winning season. I can catch and run backwards. yup!

Dabllol's offense scored 22.3 PPG....so a little over a point better...but not enough to win...REMEMBER 0-7 under daboll....

NE is actually a point better on offense then they were last year....when they averaged 31.5....

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