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Tons of news and notes from Dolphins coordinators

Coordinators Monday was very interesting today. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle gave insight into a number of topics including the future at left tackle, the surprise at right tackle, Ryan Tannehill, Jason Trusnik, and more. 

I thought the most revealing statement of the day came from Mike Sherman, who gave team credibility to the idea that next year's left tackle might not necessarily be JaKe Long. As you know, this space and my column has discussed at length the idea that if Jonathan Martin plays well at left tackle, that will affect the Dolphins approach to re-signing Jake Long for next year.

Bluntly, Martin is cheaper than Long and if he's about as good as Long, Long has a problem returning to Miami at a high salary.

Sherman gave voice to this stream of thought.

"I think he has a chance to be a very good tackle in this league," the offensive coordinator said of Martin. "He still has some growing up to do and learning and whatnot and strength development. But I think he has a chance to be an excellent left tackle or right tackle in this league, wherever he ends up next year."

Martin has started two games and faced two premier pass rushers both times in Aldon Smith and Jason Babin.

By the way, the Dolphins are pleasantly surprised by Nate Garner at right tackle. He was struggling to make the roster in camp. Now?

The club is still concerned mostly about his pass blocking, but so far so good.

"He's put together a couple of really good games," Sherman said. "You worry about how he's going to handle the pass rush but he's done a good job."

Up next for Garner will be Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills.

As you know, this season is mostly about the progress of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Well, call Sunday a step in that progress because Shermas was very pleased with the rookie's performance to the point he said it "would have to be right up at the top" of his showings this season.

"Yesterday was a good indication of what he's capable of doing," Sherman said. "I think he's had some very good games. I think he shows a lot of promise. You have to understand, he hasn't played that position as much as some other quarterbacks have at a very high level. He's learning on the job. I think he processes things and tries not to make the same mistake twice.

"I think he has an excellent future and he'll just continue to get better."

Sherman says of Tannehill there's "not a whole lot of things we don't ask him to do." One thing the Dolphins don't ask Tannehill to do a lot is run the ball a la Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III. Obviously, they're concerned about him getting hurt.

So don't expect a ton more of spread option runs for Tannehill even though he's shown good mobility and ability to gash the defense on certain runs.

"I think at this level you have to be very careful," Sherman said. "You don't want to build your offense around that in particular. I think we want to do it when people aren't really defending that as much and you just throw it on them once in a while. If people are defending that, there's ways to defend it and it can really cause some havoc for your quarterback. And also, if they do that, your offense.

"You have to be very judgmental when you do that. It's something we'll do but not a heavy dose."

Some side notes from Sherman:

Receiver Armon Binns had 10-12 snaps and "had a winning grade," according to Sherman. Not bad considering he joined the team on Tuesday and played on Sunday.

When Charles Clay went down Sunday, the team moved Anthony Fasano to his position. It was a position Fasano hadn't played all year.

"He knew exactly what to do as we had to move the tight end group around," Sherman said.

Fasano this year has been spread out, in tight. even In the backfield. Yes, he's versatile. Not great. But good enough to be versatile.

On defense, the issues are different. The defense is frankly ahead of the Miami offense. While the Dolphins offense is striving for consistency, the defense has mostly reached that and is looking to take the next step.

I believe this is a playoff defense that is a couple of playmakers from taking a step to dynamic. I asked Coyle if his unit is a playoff defense.

"Well, it's tough to say," he said. "I think statistically in a lot of areas we're doing fairly well. They're key area we've talked about a lot during the course of the season -- scoring defense being one. Looking at the stats today I think we're No. 6 in scoring defense. When you can keep people from scoring, you're going to have a chance to win a lot of games. Consequently, you're going to put yourself in position to be contending for the playoffs. So that's a positive.

"Third down defense has been a positive. I think right now we're fifth in the league in third-down defense. there's a lot of good things that way. We're No. 1 in red zone defense after looking at today's stats. We were down there a few times yesterday and fortunately we didn't let them in the end zone. All those things being positives."

But what makes defenses good enough to get a team in the playoffs into defenses that succeed in the playoffs? Big plays.

"We've got to make more impacting plays on defense. We're not making the turnovers that [the media] has alluded to. We're not creating field position like great defenses do. Ultimately that's what we want to be. We want to do all the things we're doing now, but do them better and create more opportunities for offense and score on defense. We're not pleased that we haven't put the ball in the end zone."

Some notes from Coyle on a handful of players.

The coach said Jason Trusnik, starting for the injured Koa Misi, had a good day.

"He showed up on the fourth down play obviously but there were a number of plays in the run game where he fitted just exactly right," Coyle said. "Coverage-wise there were a number of plays where he covered the tight end down the field where I thought he did a great job. We were worried about their tight end being a vertical threat and Jason on a couple of occasions had him man-to-man and did a good job. He had a couple of good zone drops. Overall, I think he played really well."

The Dolphins had issues in the secondary Sunday -- not so much in performance but in numbers. Both Nolan Carroll and Chris Clemons left the game for multiple snaps -- and that thrust Bryan McCann and R.J. Stanford and Tyrone Culver to step up.

"We had to juggle some people around and that created some opportunities," Coyle said. "Bryan McCann played a number of snaps, quality snaps in the game and came up with some big plays later in the game."

Coyle said the Dolphins got their hands on more footballs and tipped more passes away than other game. Unfortunately for Miami, no interceptions -- even if it was Chad Henne throwing it for Jacksonville.

Jared Odrick is an interesting player. He was drafted in the first round as a 3-4 defensive end. Now he's caught between and betwixt because the Dolphins are running a 4-3 scheme. So Odrick is starting at DE even though that really isn't what he's best suited to do.

Can he play 4-3 DT?

"Could he do it? Perhaps," Coyle said. "I'm not sold that his best position right now."

By the way, safety Chris Clemons had his "most consistent game" for the Dolphins on Sunday. Clemons graded out at 90 percent. That means that on 90 percent of his plays, he got a plus. The Dolphins give a plus and minus on every play.

Execution is a plus. Failure to execute is a minus.

"He's been quietly consistent for the most part," Coyle said.

Comments

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The Dolphins offensive line sucks at run blocking. That's why Daniel Thomas looks ordinary, because the line sucks. D. Thomas is a beast.

If the Dolphins don't upgrade their offensive line (especially run blocking) this team isn't winning anything next year. They haven't run the ball consistently all year (except against really bad defenses like Oakland and Jax).

The Dolphins lost against Indy and Buffalo because they couldn't run the ball. The RBs are good, the line is awful except for Pouncey

I hope Philbin/Ireland realize the offensive line is terrible and decide to upgrade in the offseason

Funny Armando. We both agree on the Martin issue.

He has played VERY well for Long, contrary to the monotonous blogging to the contrary from some big mouth bloggers who insist on keeping a worn down former 1st overall pick. You know who you are!

He had an ugly play vs SF, other than that, he played real well against a speed rusher. He was very good yesterday against a speed rusher.

Martin knows how to play LT. He is younger & cheaper. Long shouldn't come back unless it's for dirt cheap. let someone else overpay for an over rated LT, on the decline with injury history.

Martins weakness, coming out of College, was strength. He needs to spend alot of time in the weight room working on more upper body strength so he doesn't get steamrolled. That's when he looks bad.

If he does that, Martin can be a bookened LT. Keep in mind, most draft analysts had him rated as a 1st rounder coming out as a LT at Stanford. They knew he was weak whcih is why he slid. It's not like this guy can't get it done.

trusnick will be good. Maybe he can take dansby or burnetts spot in a couple of years when they are FAs

Fake GM. Are you hiding your name so people don't know who you are? Because You have to be one of the dumbest human beings ALIVE on this planet.

Ross is too cheap to pay for good players.

LOL Trusnick is a free agent this year who knows if he will be back he is a back up linebacker exactly what he is he knows it we know it

Harmel, extremely stupid comment...

Fins 38
Bills 9

#winning

Martin knows how to play LT. He is younger & cheaper. Long shouldn't come back unless it's for dirt cheap. let someone else overpay for an over rated LT, on the decline with injury history.

Posted by: LOL | December 17, 2012 at 02:03 PM

So we can count you in as: Pro Ireland?

If what you're saying is true and viable, then Ireland hit a Grand Slam Homer in drafting Martin.

How many other GM's got a Tackle in the 2nd round that's good enough to replace their Pro Bowl Left Tackle?

LOL just jumped on the Ireland Bandwagon! Nice!

Clemons definitely has been solid this year, not great but decent and improved from last year--along with R Jones development, safety position isnt nearly as much of a need as in past years--could add some depth for sure and a clear upgrade would be fine, but that position in general looks much better going forward--CB, on the other hand......not so much. Draft/sign 2.

Ireland's drafting of Martin will also free up TONS of Cap Space too!

WTF?

LOL....such an angry little man....f8cking hilarious!

And he's got the nerve to call anyone a bigmouth.

This is the guy who wants anyone from the Ravens or Steelers to be the next GM. Has no clue who any of the people are just wants someone....'anyone'. Steelers 7-7 and one game better than us and Ravens dropping like a stone.

Yes folks....this is one smart cookie we're dealing with...

If Ireland is smart enough to dump Long and plug Martin in at LT next season than I will firmly be on the Ireland bandwagon.

also agree about Martin--kid has done a good job overall, at both spots, and no reason to think he cant be a long term answer (as long as he gets stronger......that is an obvious weakness, but can be addressed)--came out of college as a top tier prospect and protected Luck for 3 years--I like Long and will be sorry to see him go but cant see paying him all that much, given his situation and Martin's progress--good, cheap alternative. Keep Long only for reasonable money.

odin,

Don't talk to the guy. He's an angry little man. His plan is just to get rid of people. Has no depth or intellect in his thoughts, just 'let's clear house'.

A neandrethal actually....

Fake Gm,
look at Minnesota, AP has 8-9 in the box every play bc their QB is horrible and he still has 1800 yards.. their o line is the greatest.. Its on Thomas not the line. When you go down after youre hit once, thats on him

lol

Did Clemons score that high because he wasn't playing? I swear that guys sucks.

LOL,

You say 'Martin can become a bookend LT'. Care to elaborate on what you mean by that? A bookend? Did you hear that during the commentary of a game. You do realize for a guy to be a 'bookend', it usually means he complements somebody at the other tackle spot, right, usually an established vet you can count on. Hence the term 'bookend'. Who's that guy on this team right now?

You're using terms you don't even understand. It's not your fault. To be honest I think you're just some snot-nosed kid who's all full of p8ss and vinegar. You come across as some angry little punk. But keep it up....and get your aliases to join in too. That's always amusing....

IF Martin can hold it down over the next two games and Garner keeps taking advantage of his opporunity.. Then if Long wants top 5 LT money, so long. Frees up alot of CAP space, the back up plan is there and the Fins can focus on getting in play makers on both sides of the ball.

Firstly, Craig M, I'm not angry. Stop ASSuming, you do that A LOT! You are acting like a jaded little boy. I school you routinely here. Deal with it!

As I noticed weenie & truth did the same to you on the last blog. Are you going to statrt accusing me of being them? The countdown has begun! it's predictable of you to resort to that tactic.

You know, more than 1 person can't find you to be a doucher. What a blow to your ego to not be liked by MORE than 1 person. Right?

Nothing you say has any relevance. You are an annoying lil twit with the IQ of a hamster.

As for odins comment about being proireland? Nah, I don't think so. Anytime you have a highly rated player falling. Especially a first round talent, falling into the 2nd at a position of need, you snatch him. In fact, I'd be a proponent of moving up to get a guy like that.

The same holds true for Miller who many had rated as a 1st rounder. Was RB a need? Maybe not, but talent is a need & he has a roster he's assembled sorely lacking talent.

With the amount of holes he has left this team with, the more talented players you can add the better.
On paper, the draft looks OK. Time will tell. I am FAR from proireland. I think ANY competent GM would find a player, especially at a position of need, and pull the trigger to get him.

That doesn't make Ireland a genius or even below average. He is just doing what he should do.


odin,

Don't talk to the guy. He's an angry little man. His plan is just to get rid of people. Has no depth or intellect in his thoughts, just 'let's clear house'.

A neandrethal actually....

Posted by: Craig M | December 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM

What's the matter Sally? Not enough attn from bloggers today that you have to steal mine?

Petty, childish tactics! Let people talk to whom they want di*ck face. In america, we can choose who to talk to. This ain't a nanny state but, you do act like a ninny, I mean, Nanny!

its the combination of money and Long's recent injury history that makes Martin a good option to replace Long......Long is a better player at this point, maybe still by a good bit and even with the injuries.....but the gap is reduced alot when factoring in the salary he'll command and the fact that his body seems to breaking down--and the likelihood that Martin will get better from here.

I have to give it to Clemons. I don't like him, I think he will always be an average S, but I know he was stung in the 1st Qt, playing hurt, still hung in there. To be considered.


honest I think you're just some snot-nosed kid who's all full of p8ss and vinegar. You come across as some angry little punk. But keep it up....and get your aliases to join in too. That's always amusing....

Posted by: Craig M | December 17, 2012 at 02:46 PM

That's great Craig but, NEWSFLASH. Nobody gives a sh*t about you let alone what you think about others. Why do you feel you're so important that people care to read your nonsensical drivel?

PS, you sound like a woman. Criticizing everyone's opinion. You come off as a fat, middle aged, balding female in menopause.

When you have that much weight on a persons knees along without contact its almost damaging just walking. When you combine that with how much pressure is put on the knees when hitting and holding their weight on top of yours its bad on the knees. Pair that with injuries and trying to play through them I think Long is breaking down. Some guys break down quicker and heal at a slower pace once an injury happens. If you look at his false starts compared to the last 3 years, they have increased. I think its due to the fact he has lost a step and is trying get his kick step out quicker because of the talent across from him.
I like Long but if Martin proves a good replacement and we wouldnt have known it other wise unless Long gets hurt then you have to say thank you for what you ve done while you were here.

agree that Clemons is an average safety (at best) but I also thought he sucked last year, so in an admittedly weak way, I see that as an improvement--and hope for more going forward, since he is still a pretty young player--just thinking it might not be another hole we need to fill, based on his and Jones' improvement.....and "average" aint terrible after all

Yep....doesn't sound like an angry little boy to me....

Keep it up fella....we're laughing at you.

It's funny reading this blog. The same people that are bashing Long and requesting his release are the same people that wanted the Dolphins to sign Kyle Orton and Donovan McNabb and Vince Young. These are the same folks who bashed Ireland for trading Branon Marshall who is beggining his implossion in Chicago.

I hope Odin appreciates my response to him. I mean, he addressed me courtesouly so I replied in kind.

Unlike Craig. Who acts like a total schmucker, you get treated as such.

Take notes from others on politeness blubber craig. It might help your seeverly lacking image.

Adios all! Time to enjoy life! Enjoy Craigs meaningless drivel. I'm sure that's why you're all still here!

The floor is all yours big mouth!

LOL,

One last comment and then I'm done with you kid. You talk about 'fat, middle aged, balding female in menopause'....FINALLY you talk about a topic you're very familiar with. We've been waiting to hear you talk about something you actually know something about. I know it's the best you can do but look on the bright side, at least you're a happy go lucky guy, who talks fondly of your football team, and know a bit about what you're talking about......OH WAIT....too bad!

Have a good day CHUMP......

Who's bashing Long? All I have read was that if Martin proves to be a good replacement then why not let him walk.

Mando--

Who really cares? We are not going to the playoffs again! We beat an obvious bad team! Tannehill is not a good Q.B. The seats in the stands are empty. Ross doesn't know football. Long was overpriced from the beginning. Good reporters tell us something we don't already know.

matty,

Take a look at the kids comments from above. That's who's badmouthing Long. Kids got a anger problem and it comes through in every single hatred word he spews about this team....only problem is he's too dumb to realize his problem.

mattybfromNC, Because then you have a hole at right tackel if you move Martin to LT. Look, I would not pay Long as the best LT in the league but I would make him a fair offer and do my darnest to sign him. You dont build a team by letting players that have been productive every year they have been here walk for free.

Let Long walk, use the money to sign playmakers (WR,RB, TE, DEs)

This year they got rid of Marshall, next year they'll get rid of Long, Moore, and Bush. IDIOTS!

Craig M,

LOL, At the "BOOKEN" explanation! (Wink Wink)

In reality though unless we FRANCHISE Long I feel he does play for less just not here.

Long isn't just a Univ. of Michigan alumni but a St. Native from a Town named Lapeer, so it's a real good possibility he grew up watching the NFC North were Home St. team Detroit needs a Tackle desperately along with G.B. and Chicago.

Why take less here rather than sign something long term and go home were the teams are all alot more competitive and probably you cheered for growing up??

Truth be told I start going on my FA theories but everybody forgets when Marshawn Lynch came up available for a 4th RD pick in 09 his College Q.B. Rodgers publicly begged the Pack and Ted Thompson to make this trade (their mistake he would have made that O unstoppable and masked that weak OL) they passed.

Afterward Thompson said he built the old fashioned way and kudos to him but they had BUKO luck along the way with players who were undrafted like Tramon Williams, Erik Walden and lower Rd picks like Sam Shields ect...

So maybe we actually sign NO-ONE AT ALL or some low money blue chipper stop gaps at best and our little round robin discussions are nothing but spit balling from wishful thinkers, we don't know but I feel we either FRANCHISE the BIG GUY or he walks for less cash and goes back to his neck of the woods.

PREDICTION:

THEY'LL STINK AGAIN NEXT YEAR

go finsssssssssssss

Albert,
I like Long and if they can resign him at a decent price, so be it. But if Martin proves worthy at left and Garner continues to take advantage of his opportunity at RT then the isnt a hole. You continue to draft linemen in the lower rounds to stock pile your stable. Theres not competetion really along the line and Long getting hurt may have created that.
Again if Long is wanting Top 5 tackle money, and I can understand why he would, then you have to let a good thing walk sometimes. He has been breaking down and once that ball starts rolling down hill, especially with a big body like that then its had to stop. He hasnt finished a year in the past two seasons, counting this one.

Miniature or just donkeys.

fin4life,

Good points and a makes a lot of sense. We just don't know what strategy this team will employ. Time will tel..

Philbin came from Green Bay. So did Mike Shreman. They have both stated that in GB, priority was alway re-signing your own players and building thru the draft. I think that is what they will do.

albert seems like balanced-minded Person.

When you dont bring someone in or draft them though sometimes you dont consider them as your own.

You're lucky, LSD, I used to see Tigers, chasing me.

Matty, I understand your point. And it is a valid one. However the OL is a weakness. In my opinion you don't let a viable player like Long walk because then you make the Ol even weaker. The drafting of OL in lower rounds was Jimmy Johnsons philosophy. That did not work out well for him in Miami.

Meanwhile, up north, Marshall is starting to blow up the Bears locker room. I'll give him credit - it took him until the last couple weeks of the season - but he's starting to eat the paint off his teammates' lockers. I love Reggie, but let him go. Miller will be ready to step into his shoes next year, young, fresh, and cheap. I'd still keep Long on the franchise tag. It's just too tough to find a guy of that quality, even if he does get hurt too often. Let Moore go, and let him find another chance to start. He deserves it. There's lots of journeyman backups that we can sign cheaper. Sign one of the top WRs on the FA market, and draft another in the 2nd round. Use our first pick on the best DE we can match with Wake. Ta-da! Contender. (If only it was that easy.)

Since drafting Jake Long we havent one 1 playoff game. Dont sign him and sign playmakers

I agree but that was Jimmy Johnson and Wayne had to beg him to come back his last year here so I dont know how much time he spent researching players etc.

Many People, either before or now, don't give a sh-t about anything including themselves. The Truth.

Matty, Bill Parcells also drafted OL in later rounds during his stay in Miami. They also did not work out well. Seldom do you see LT or RT in this league succeed for an extended period of time that were not high draft picks.

The West Coast Offense, as developed by former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, is a finesse offense that utilizes a short passing game designed to control the ball.
In most conventional offenses, the idea is to run the ball to draw the safeties and linebackers in closer to the line of scrimmage, thus opening up passing lanes for a vertical attack. The West Coast Offense does just the opposite, using a quick, horizontal passing attack to set up the running game.

Based on the above and where Martin played college ball and Jin Harbaugh's offensive system(WCO), I am sure that this is the reason for our O line collapse prior to Long getting hurt. Martin is very comfortable with pass protection assignments and that is his strength. Long's strength was Run Blocking and that is not the WCO that we are playing now. Maybe now that we have a LT that is familiar with the WCO and the direction Philbin is going in, he can only get better. Yesterdays game was a testament to having the right players in the right places to fit the system and not good high profile players that do not fit the system.

Ross should hire Kiper to do the drafts.

Excuse me. Stanford does not play the West Coast Offense. Neither do th 49rs. If you look at the 49rs offense it is as physical and smash mouth as there is in football today.

Clue,

That's the DUMBEST stat I've read on here. Did you realize Tony Gonzalez has never won a playoff game either? I guess he's not a very good player either, right?

Some guys will make up any crap to make a point....

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