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Sunday proves Tannehill an untouchable while Bush is not

Reggie Bush fumbled in the first quarter on Sunday. It was his fourth carry of the game.

And he didn't get another the rest of the game.

Truth is he didn't see the field the entire rest of the first half. He did enter the game in the second half, but by then the game was a desperation affair for the Dolphins and they were passing practically every down. So Bush got no second half carries.

Afterward, Bush admitted he had been benched by coach Joe Philbin for fumbling.

"I was benched," Bush said. "And I deserved it. If I was the coach, I would have benched myself."

Interesting. Honest. And very respectful of Bush to let his coach off the hook ...

Because Philbin's approach with Bush is worthy of examination.

First, the coach could not bring himself to admit he benched Bush although that is exactly what he did. When he was asked, the man who benched Bush for fumbling, fumbled over his words on the benching.

"We had planned to – we’ve got a game coming up real fast – we had planned to use guys," Philbin said. "We’d been using Daniel Thomas and we used Lamar [Miller] sparingly last week. Our hope was to, not for this reason, but our hope was to spread the plays out a little bit."

That's a fair explanation except that earlier this year after a Bush fumble, the Dolphins coach benched Bush similarly. And the club didn't have a game four days later that time.

And, of course, it was merely a coincidence that the so-called spreading of plays began immediately after Bush fumbled.

But here's the question: Philbin had a quarterback on Sunday who threw three interceptions. That's three turnovers to Bush's one. One of those interceptions was even returned for a touchdown.

And Philbin stuck with Tannehill until the game was well decided midway through the fourth quarter when Miami trailed by the final margin of 37-3.

And Philbin was equally displeased with Tannehill as he was with Bush for his misdeeds.

"He had gone ... I don’t want to jinx the kid, but he had gone 98 throws without them," Philbin said of Tannehill's interceptions. "So I don’t know that you necessarily have to throw three. I’m not blaming him for every single one either. I don’t know that it’s absolutely mandatory to have a game like this."

So why the difference in how Bush and Tannehill get handled?

It's simple, folks.

Tannehill is the future. Bush is not.

The fact is the Dolphins are going to live or die with Tannehill this year. And next year. And probably the year after that, as well. If he plays well, he's going to play. If he plays poorly, he's still going to be on the field this year and next year for sure.

That simple.

The Dolphins are committed to Tannehill. Rightly so, I might add. They have a huge investment in him and that's the way it's going to be.

Bush is another story.

What you saw Sunday is basically how the Dolphins feel about Bush. They love him. They start him. They roll with him.

But only as long as he doesn't make a mistake.

And if he does make that mistake ... the Dolphins feel they have viable options. Daniel Thomas, whom they like gets the next most carries and actually had more than Bush on Sunday. And Miami also has rookie Lamar Miller in the stable. Coaches like him, too. Those guys are the future. Those guys will definitely be here next year.

Sunday proved Bush is not an untouchable.

And because of that fact, Bush's future is uncertain. He is unsigned for next year and it is certain he will not get a new deal before the season ends. When he eventually signs (with someone), he'lll probably get a deal that pays him in the millions. If you combine what Miller and Thomas will make next year it might only barely reach into seven figures.

This is not just a math problem for Bush. Thomas and Miller are younger than Bush. At the running back spot, age is important because younger typically means fewer carries and less wear. So unlike Tannehill, Bush's future in Miami is not certain just as his carries play to play are not certain.

Bottom line: Ryan Tannehill is an untouchable.

Reggie Bush is not.

Comments

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DC, from the last post, thanks for filling in the blanks for me. I have a better idea of what happened yesterday. Still don't understand how they could be so flat but at least I know what the game was like. I wonder if the team looked past the Titans, to the Bills game this week. It's a very big game and maybe the team took the Titans too lighly. My guess is Philbin was pissed after the game and again this morning.

I wonder about the logic of benching perhaps your best player on offence. Would you ground your kids every time they make a mistake? Don't you create an environment where players are afraid to make mistakes? Don't players start playing too tight? Mistakes are going to happen...it's inevitable. I just wonder about the logic of basically taking our best offensive player out of the game, after he fumbles on his fourth carry of the game. Bush said all the right things but you have to think this would bother him.

Plus Sherman wants to implement a pass-first offense (like in Green Bay) and RB just isn't important in that system. So I don't see Bush re-signed next year (much better to keep Starks/Wake/even Long, guys like that).

The whole benching/not benching was stupid IMO. Sure bench Incognito for a play or two because of the type penalty...personal foul, tempers flare sometimes. And yes bench (for the rest of the game) a rook QB who's having a bad day. But to PUNISH your star RB for one (1) fumble? That's just foolish. I expected more out of Philbin.

DC,

Do we have ANY confidence at this stage of the game that Thomas and Miller can carry the load next year? I don't. To me that's one of the biggest difference I see in this team the last few games....we're not running the ball effectively? Why? Is Bush hurt? Does the coaching staff not trust Miller and Thomas? Is the OL beat up or just tired? Whatever, it HAS to change. If we'd run the game effectively against the Colts we would have won the game. Seems to me that we're asking Tannehill to do too much right now, which is what happened with Henne. We need to get back to what we do best and that's running the ball to set up the pass. I don't know how we do that but something has to change.

Craig, remember that one line earlier in the Season Philbin had, something about Bush dancing too much (I'm paraphrasing). And it wasn't a horrible game by Bush. I read that as Philbin not loving Bush's style (a home run and a bunch of strikeouts). I saw it as him saying he'd prefer more consistency. Because he goes out of his way to say Thomas has good runs (when he runs with purpose, one cut and up the field). I think that's the run style Philbin prefers. Not the shifty style of Bush that's a gift and a curse.

I don't see Bush being on the team next year. I think they see Lamar Miller taking his position.

But, I agree with you. Bush is the ONLY talent you have in the skill positions. So keeping him out all half was silly IMO. Also, I knew after the first possession of the 2nd half that Tannehill was not going to improve, so I would have given Moore a shot then, not with 3 mins left in the game. I don't think that would have shaken Tannehill's confidence any more than 3 INTs did. And might have lit a fire under him to keep progressing and not getting complacent.

We are a very young team that is in year 1 of a major rebuild so let's just sit back and watch our beloved dolphins transform into joe philbins vision of an nfl team go dolphins


Yesterday's Gone--

You are my special little princess! Your mother and I are very proud of you! We love our little ballerina!

DC Dolfan--

We are not as proud of you! You are an ugly and naughty little girl.

If you don't plan to use Bush as a receiver then he has severly diminshed value to the team. So might as well go with a bigger tandem of Miller and Thomas. it's obvious Philbin has no patience for Bush's negative runs and turnovers. He's a $5m a year player. And that's a big cost for a guy that doesn't fit.

Sunday proved Ireland was Masterful.

Craig, I don't think that's the mindset of the Coaches. They will live/die on a pass-first approach. I think they only need Thomas/Miller to provide a semblance of balance. But really they want to be like the Patriots/Packers, fast-paced, fluid passing game. Can Thomas/Miller fill that role, probably. I don't see them asking for 100 yd. RBs every game. Just doesn't seem like what Philbin/Sherman are trying to develop.

Problem is, can Tannehill be the QB that can make that system work? I don't know. What he's shown is his ability to learn from past mistakes. We'll have to see how he bounces back Thursday. But Phil Simms said something interesting on ESPN radio the other day. he said Tannehill is good at most everything he does, but he doesn't see him being great at anything. And one thing I do agree with him, he doesn't take the run option when it's there. He's a pocket passer strictly. And in this day and age, your QB needs SOME mobility. And it's weird, because he was a WR, so should have that ability. Not sure if it's just the injury, or he doesn't fully grasp defenses or what. He needs to be monitored to see how well he progresses. Certainly not writing him off (he gets a couple years to grow). Just saying yesterday was a step in the wrong direction.

Mondo, guess the Dolphins are no longer puzzled why the fans are not buying tickets to the Titans game?

Ofcourse you don't bench Tannehill. He's a rookie, learning, he has to fight through these things. Bush is a veteran who has to protect the football. Silly.

Good Thing it's Philbin running the Team! And Not Some Amateur!

SAY IT WITH ME GUYS!!!

THIS IS AN EVALUATION SEASON!!!

Meaning U see what U got! Who can help U For Now and the Future!! That is what Philbin is Doing! Remember he didn't Gut the Roster!! He's Evaluating!!!

The Coaches! Have seen Enough of Bush!!!

Mando Complains! For D.Thomas not Running Hard!!!

But he Cries! When DWTS(Dancing With the Stars)!! Doesn't Get his carries!!! Reggie Dances More than MJ in his Prime!! REGGIE RUNS SCARED!!! AND PHILBIN AND THE COACHES KNOW THIS!!!

MAJOR DIFFERENCE! BETWEEN FIRST 2 Weeks!! AND NOW!!

REGGIE'S DANCING!!!

This Is the NFL!! THE MOST U GET IS 1 CUT!! AND THEN BURST!!

A.Foster is a Lot Less Physically Talented! Than R.Bush! Or C.Johnson! But he is a Better RB! Because He Doesn't Dance!!

And Can We Stop Being "Morons"!!

T-Hill! Got Drafted To be The Franchise QB!!!!!!!!!!!!

U guys do know what that Means!!!

It Means!!! HE IS THE GUY!!!!

R.Bush! Will be close To 30 Next Season! Magic Number for a Running Back! Meaning he's Over the Hill!!

And Reggie Has Never been a Feature BACK!!!! SO GET OVER IT!!!

L.Miller is Still Only 21!!! And D.Thomas can Do in a Rotation!!

But R.Bush!! HAS FUMBLED MORE THAN D.THOMAS!!!! AND U DIDN'T CRY!!! WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! Over D.Thomas Getting Carries!

Now that Philbin Does the Same Thing!!! To Bush!!! PHILBIN IS A IDIOT!!!!

Common Sense!!!!"MORON"!!

4 Fumbles with Less than 100 Carries!!!!! RIDE THE BENCH!! REGGIE!!!!

Heck!!! L.Miller Might be the Best RB SECURING THE FOOTBALL!!! On This Team!!!

Cause Even the FB Fumbles!!!

And one more thing, why hasn't Sherman called more RB passes to Bush? Everybody and their brother know that Bush's strong suit is out in space NOT up the middle. I know Bush wants to be a 'every down back' meaning up the middle a lot. But screw what Bush wants to do. Do what's right for the team.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | November 12, 2012 at 09:57 AM
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Mark, you said it before I got it typed. But I agree 100%

Philbin is an idiot. He goes well with Irescum and the rest of the clowns running the Dullfin circus.

DC,

I disagree with what Simms is saying (I don't think it's you who is saying it). To me, one of Tannehiil's strengths is his mobility. But what have to figure out, is Tannehill the next Flacco or the next Matt Ryan. I don't think we know that yet. I'd be fine with either but we need to know because it will dictate what type of offence we run. I think the coaches want it to be a more wide open aggressive offence. What we don't know yet it whether Tannehill is capable of running that. Time will tell.

Bench Bush for 1 mistake but let Hennehill make 4 mistakes and continue playing?? WTF??

Maybe Philbin is beguinning to come to the Sean Peyton conclussion about Bush. He's not a consistent feature back. Neither is D Thomas. 2-3 yrs in the weight room and Miller could be.

You dont pull Tannehill either. It could send the wrong message. Geez, right now the entire offense is a jumbled scrambled mess. So what do you do, steal away your 8th overall rookie qb's self confidence too?

Tannehill's far from the real problem with this team right now. Pulling him early would have only greatly added to that list.

Mark,

I believe this team is misusing Bush. I don't think he's been used as a WR often enough. Why? I have no idea. He's one of the fastes guys out there and could do a lot of damage in the passing game. He's be great in the slot, great on swong passes and you could even set him up wide. He's not the biggest guy but he's a guy who should do damage every time he touches the ball. Based on Hard Knocks I always figued that Philbin was a big fan of Bushs and what he brings to the table. I'm not so sure any more. I'm not sure how embarassing your best player and benching him after a fumble helps the team. Mistake on Philbin's part I fear.

I typically don't post, haven't in a very long time because of some other contributors on here who want to talk about anything but football.

Tannehill's performance yesterday taught me a few things about him.

1. After Incognito's penalty, Tannehill slapped Richie on the helmet and Incognito's eyes went to the ground as if to say "I'm sorry". That shows respect. Tannehill has earned the respect of his O-line and the veterans on offense. Signs of being a leader.

2. After his 3rd pick, Tannehill didn't throw his hands in the air and pout. He took an angle on the Titan linebacker and stopped him from taking it to the house. He didn't quit yesterday. It would have been easy for him to let it go for a score, but he hustled. I didn't see anyone else chasing the linebacker. Another sign of being a leader-this time by example.

3. When Moore came in, Tannehill wasn't crying or whining, he was still paying attention to the game. He never lost interest.

His stats are what they are, no excuses, but Tannehill showed how he reacts to adversity. He didn't wilt and run for cover-he stood fast and remained strong for his team.

That's why you don't bench him Mando. If he would have pulled a "Cutler", then you look at yanking him. Pulling him wouldn't have destroyed his confidence, but it would have interfered with his development as a leader.

For Tannehill to take the next step in becoming a true franchise QB, he needs to put the team on his back this Thursday against the Bills and put on a winning performance.

All of the above is true we are now entering the hardest part of our season here we go again we will have a top 10 pick but that's ok draft day is when you build your team

I think the players have lost confidence in both Tannehill and Philbin. Neither one is part of a quality team.

Craig, don't know if you were listening to the FAN590 this morning but I won the Bills-Seahawks tix they were giving away. Not sure I wanted them but the question was related to the Miami Dolphins so I had to call in.

Q: Who were the two starting QBs the last time the Miami Dolphins won a playoff game?

CraigM,

Even if Tannehill's the next Flacco, that's far better than what we've had in Miami for quite some time. I'll take Tannehill as the next Flacco.

Its not Tannehill, its the crap around him on both sides of the ball that needs fixing most.

YG,

I don't think you look to Bush to be a feature back but I don't agree with how he's being used and to punish him and the team for a fumble is just dumb in my opinion. I'm not sure what the score was when he did this but imagine the Eagles did this with McCoy or if the Ravens did this with Rice. What message are you sending to the team, basically embarrassing your vet. Don't like it.

bush ran for 21 yards on 4 carries. do the math. forget about the fumble. keep him in the game. bush is bush. philbin is bush league.

You make sense in what you say here, Armando. Still, and I believe some concurr with me here, Miller and Thomas will never be as good and as explosive either running or catching the ball as Bush is. So, what do we do?

Joe, Craig, I like Reggie and agree he is being misused. I've been saying it all year - there's a tremendous resource being untapped there - especially with no real receiving threat at TE. Don't know why Bush isn't bein used more as Terry Kirby type with as many rushes as receptions. I can't figure it out.

This is Reggie's second year with the team. It's not like he has earned the type of respect guys like Rice or McCoy have earned. He had an good season last year. What has he done lately? Since his injury he has been pretty awful that's about 5 games of running soft. I don't believe he is a #1 RB anymore. He should stay a 3rd down back and spell. Lamar Miller looks like he could be the future, D Thomas is playing better even.

Mark,

I missed that. Congratulations! I was in Cobourg all weekend and I'm so out of touch with what's going on in the world. Trying to get my bearings again.

Last time they won a game, eh? Was it Fiedler and the kid from ND (Seattle). I'm getting old....memor not as good as it used to be.

Mitchy/Chopper, depends on what the plan was for this year. Sure, if it's JUST evaluation, you don't bench Tannehill. But if you actually wanted to make a run at the Playoffs, then this would be the type of game where you bring in the next guy to try and light a spark. It was evident after the 1st Quarter this game was lost.

Generally, however, I agree, this is an evaluation year and Tannehill needs to learn from his mistakes (and get all the experience he can). At the same time, you NEVER play for next year in the NFL (never know when you'll have a chance to get to the Playoffs again). So you need to weigh both those things. Not sure why they didn't just keep Tannehill in the game if it's about evaluation. Injury? Didn't seem like that was a threat.

In Tannehill, we know what we have. A gutsy, very smart kid who still needs to learn a hell of a lot of QBing and, assuming healthy, he will be our QB for the next 10 years.

CraigM,

I dont believe Bush can be consistently used a wr. This means he's now covered by a corner instead of a lb. That isnt a mismatch because it would be advantage corner because he's guarding a rb that isnt a full time wr.

CraigM, there are guys who have played wr all of thier football life that dont turn out to be very good nfl wr's. Now you expect Bush to instantly excell as a wr?

This means youre sitting a real wr to let Bush play in the slot. That doesnt make a whole lot of sense.

The real problem getting Bush out in as a reciever out of the backfield is. In passing situations, when defenses see Bush in the backfield, they blitz to force him to become a pass protector. They know if allowed to become a reciever out of the backfield he's a mismatch for most any lb in coverage.

Rick Mirer? Did he ever take the 'Hawks to the playoffs. Doubt it. Was that the big game Lamaar Smith had?

Or was it Warren Moon? Geez, the wheels are turning this morning. Doubt it was Moon...just taking a guess.

Craig, it was a long time ago but Feidler was Miami's starter. The opponent - peyton manning and the Indy Colts.

Lamar Smith ran wild with over 200 yards rushing. What an angry runner he was that year.

SO LONG AGO.

For a minute there I actually thought it was Flutie v Fiedler when Moulds had over 200 yards receiving on us and Armstrong ended the game by almost breaking Flutie in half on a sack. But there was one slightly more reccent.

DC, I think Philbin knew early his guys didn't have it. That's why he benched Bush/Incognito. If he thought his guys were into it, he would've let them come back.

At this point I wouldn't even resign him at the 5 mil he's getting paid now. The rookie RB class is going to be impressive this year. It's time for a rejuevenation at RB. If that means drafting a RB again with an early draft pick so be it. As far as I'm concerned they need to draft Offense with their first 5 picks. WRx2 TE RB G T. Joeckel outta Texas A&M would make sense at LT in the first even. Get rid of overpaid players.

Tannehill wasnt a winner in college so how does anyone expect him to win in the pros? 6 pts in the last 6 quarters from him wont win anything.

YG,

I think you misread my comments. I didn't say use Bush exclusively at WR (how did you read that anyways). What I said is that Bush has rare skills. They're not being used fully. To mix it up from time to time and move him around would be far more effective than how they are using him right now. The way they are using him right now is predictable. It has nothing to do with sitting WRs and everything to do with using him in the slot and flanked outside from time to time. He's our best offensive weapon and to remove him from the game plays right into the Titans strength. I've been a fan of what Philbin has done this year but to me this is one of his first misteps this year....unless the game was well out of reach and he figures 'save him for the game in Buffalo'.

Mark, were you embarrassed to give that answer? C'mon, just a little (that's a LONG TIME AGO). By the way, I agree with Kris from yesterday. Wish someone would just go undefeated so we could stop hearing from the damn has-beens about the "Perfect Season." Who gives a FLYING F*CK? I care about them winning in MY LIFETIME, not my Father's/Grandfather's.

This is not rocket science. Tanny is a rookie and Bush is a struggling veteran. Nothing like stirring the pot and piling on when the team is down Mando. I think it goes without saying your 8th pick in the draft is untouchable when you start him as a rookie. Unless of course you want to stir the pot. SMH

In all, it was a very poor effort by the whole Team. Basing myself on his post-Game comments, could Philbin be preserving his Players with Buffalo coming up on Thursday(Division Game) followed by tough Seattle and NE? I hope he outsmarts us all and we'll see pretty soon if it is so or not.

Mark,

Thanks for the update. Yes, I remember now it was the Colts. It's all running together for me. So looks like we'll both be watching the Bills this year, me this Thursday and you in TO. Taking my gf to her first ever NFL game Thursday. We have great seats. I've told her not to get too loud if the Dolphins are winning because it's been a rought year in Buffalo and they hate the Dolphins. I just hope we're not in store for what happened yesterday.

Makes sense if Philbin knew the game was out of reach the he rest some guys.

DC, yeah, it was embarassing. It's emabarrassing whenever I go to a sports store and can't find even one Dolphins piece of merchandise. When I was a kid, there were Dolphins fans everywhere up here but now we are all approaching middle age and none of the high schoolers want anything to do with the team. Thank you Dave Wannstedt you piece of $*&@&*@^6!!!

MarkAllen, Mando could care less about the Dolphins and their fans. At least he hasn't joined the idiot brigade asking for Matt Moore yet.

I was cooking up some crow until yesterday. Then I had to put it back in the freezer.

"So why the difference in how Bush and Tannehill get handled?"

A better question is why the difference in how IRELAND treats black players and white players.

WITHOUT REGGIE, RYAN SUCKS.
WITHOUT REGGIE, THIS TEAM SUCKS.
WITHOUT REGGIE, MIAMI IS A 5-11 TEAM.

Mando can verify its the real JackSparrow.

Beerphin,

Respectfully bud, I think it's an INSANE plan to be drafting RBs and LTs high this year. INSANE. I don't see how that makes us better. So we draft the next Ryan Matthews or Ryan Williams. How does that make us better? Too many other holes, too many things we need to add. Morris, the RB from Washington seems to be doing a nice job this year and he was a 6th round pick. Stevan Ridley? Ballard from Indy. Say NO to highly drafted RBs.

At this point I'd offer Hartline, Smith, and Clemons contracts. Everyone else needs to prove something. Question: Is Randy Starks playing injured???

CraigM,

Using Bush at wr at anytime during a game means two things:

1. Youre sitting a true wr on the bench.
2. He's now be played by a corner.

A corner covering Bush is not a mismatch for us. And why do you want to pull a true wr off the field for a guy who isnt a true wr at anytime during a game?

I didnt misinterpret what you said. I think you forget a corner(even a nickel) would be covering Bush. Thats a matchup a defense would take everytime.

The real trick is getting Bush out of the backfield on a lb. That's the mismatch favoring us. But as long as defenses are playing 8-9 men close to line st-2nd downs the passing lanes will be congested too.

Until we get a wr or wr's that can force 8-9 men from close to line of scrimmage. Almout everything we do, run or pass, will be challenging. Of course on 3rd downs defenses just blitz and force Bush to become a pass protector to eliminate mismatch coverage by thier lb's.

Craig, have funn at the game and don't worry about cheering. The Bills fans are so beaten down. Way different than how it was when we were kids. They don't have any more fight in them. Kind of like our fanbase.

This Thursday will be a big test for our young QB. He needs to bounce back. Some impact by our defense would be nice too. 2 sacks and no picks in the last two weeks against so bad o lines. This is even more worrisome than our QB because that unit has some big tickets on that side.

Yeah, agree with Craig. We need DBs and WRs and TEs (unless Egnew magically appears).

Can someone put together some numbers for me?

Chad Henne's first 9 starts and Ryan Tannehill's first 9 starts.

Why do I feel like Chad had a better 9 first starts?

I'd give Clemons 5 mins after the last game to pack his things and get lost. If he's Miami's FS next year, we're in big trouble.

I wouldn't mind drating another Trent Richardson next year if he can be found.

Thanks Mark. I was thinking the team would be in really good shape for this game but they've come back down to earth and Buffalo has come alive.

How did Tannehill look guys? Is he moving around OK yet? Were all three picks his fault? Ill advised throws?

So the rookie had a rookie game? So did the rest of this Dolphins team...

When Brandon Fields has a bad game you know something wasn't right, there heads weren't in this game, they were caught looking at the Bills game and it cost them their dignity, their ticket sales, and their season.

acorns.

Henne was a 4 year starter at Michigan, "experts" knew he didn't have it coming out of college, knock on Tannehill was lack of experience

Craig M, I understand you beieve you can find RB's late, it makes sense theres proof... Why leave guys like Trent Richardson out of the equation? I'm not saying use the 1st rd pick. I'm saying there are some very interesting RBs going to be drafted between rd 1-4. I could name 4 that I'd look into that will be gone before the 4th rd. Why not build upon a strength and let Philbin develop his guys? If he likes Miller and Thomas and let's Reggie go why not use a pick on a RB? Atleast for depth... This is assuming Reggie Bush demands more than 5 mil a year. I wouldn't be interested in paying that much for Bush. Not unless he does another 180

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