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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.


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Forget about Ireland building thru the draft. He's shown he's way too stupid.

Fake Gm you have a similar draft pick mentality as the Real Gm,but this will be the real Gms last draft as a Miami Dolphin if the team dosent improve by at least two wins from 2012 to 2013.I hope Ireland is thru spending high draft picks o offensive linemen.

Check out the below.


Jim Harbaugh's reverence for Bill Walsh has been palpable since the San Francisco 49ers named him head coach this offseason.

Harbaugh has sought to round up old coaching tapes featuring Walsh installing game plans. He has embraced Walsh's offensive philosophy, pledging to run a similar version of the West Coast system. He has paid homage to 49ers tradition. Before Walsh died in 2007, he backed Harbaugh at Stanford, where Walsh was twice head coach.

This is an excerpt from espn. Any questions.

Not quite sure WTH a WCO is. We are quite sure what zone-blocking is.

Ireland will be fired at seasons end. He's gone albeit 2 years too late.

KingShula, You hit it right on the head. If the Dolphins don't resign Long then count on another high pick for an OL. That would be foolish at this point.

Check out the way super bowl winning Green aquired their very good offensive line it wasnt anything like what Parcells did in the 80s or what Ireland is trying to do this decade.

oscar is dumb

Sorry meant to type Green Bay

albert I think they have two picks in the third round this year thats where I would pick my next o-lineman in the draft FA is another matter.

Harbaugh does not use the WCO. He went from a VERY conservative, run-intensive style with Smith at QB to one incorporating more QB option runs with Kapernick. Neither was the West Coast Offense.

He didn't use it at Stanford, either. Just ran a basic pro style there with Luck.

You can bet that Craig M and JJ here are the same person. They both typed Dumb. Probably Yg.

Yes, I have questions. Watch the 49rs under Bill Walsh and watch the 49rs play today. No resemblance in the run game and no resemblance in the passing game. Roger Craig and the FB under Bill Walsh would catch a ton of passes from Montana. How many does Gore catch? Rice made a living running crossing routs how many did you see the 49rs run yesterday? Jim Harbaugh may have reverence towards Walsh just like Philbin may have reverance towards Shula but their styles are different.

True, I really didnt like many of Parcells Draft picks though

The way Irescum drafts they'd be far better off trading draft picks for established players.

Parcells made some very good picks. Wish he was still here.

Who was that, Tyson Crowder? HOHOHOHOHO!

Matty, In my opinion the Dolphins should concentrate their top five picks in this years draft in a WR,TE,S,DE and maybe RG. If Long is gone then I guarantee you that they will use a high pick on either a LT or RT and that would be foolish.

Isn't it a little ironic that none of the teams actually ON the West Coast use the WCO?

For that matter, it was first developed in Cincinnati, when Walsh was an assistant there under Paul Brown.

Maybe Cincinnati was on the Pacific back then.

The West Coast Offense employs a variety of formations and pre-snap motions designed to confuse defenders. It also relies heavily on an ability to flood a defense with more receivers than they can handle. The quarterback often moves around more than in a conventional offense with designed roll outs and bootlegs that are tied in with the patterns being run by the receivers.

The objective of the West Coast Offense is to:

•Spread the defense out horizontally as well as vertically, forcing slower linebackers into coverage.

•Maintain possession of the football by utilizing a short passing attack almost as an extension of the running game.

•Create mismatches with speed, size, or number of receivers.

•Avoid tendencies that defenses can key on by throwing on any down and distance.
Ideal player qualities:

•Quarterback - More of a focus is placed on decision-making and accuracy over arm strength in a West Coast system. A quarterback must be able to choose from multiple options and deliver the ball quickly. Mobility is also a big plus.

•Running Back - In the West Coast Offense, running backs are generally used more as receivers out of the backfield than in other systems, so you need a guy with all-around skills. Good hands and route-running skills are a must.

•Tight End - The tight end’s role is generally that of a possession receiver and blocker. The ability to catch the ball in traffic is a huge plus.

•Wide Receiver - With the focus on a short passing attack, precision and timing are of the utmost importance, so receivers have to run precise routes. Straight-line speed isn’t as important as an ability to separate in traffic. And an ability to make plays after the catch can turn a good receiver into a superstar in this offense.

•Offensive Linemen - You’re generally not trying to pound the ball on the ground in the West Coast Offense, so guys who can consistently blow defenders off the line aren’t necessary. Actually quicker, more mobile linemen are more ideal because of their ability to pull or get outside in a rolling pocket on plays designed to get the quarterback outside.

We might have talented players that need to be groomed to get to where Philbin is leading the team. Those that just cannot get it needs to be replaced.

Long not Gone. Yet.







Nathan, while with the Dolphins what picks did you like?

Tony Nathan ^

Craig as much as posters attack you, youve lost all creditability. Nothing you say matter give us all a favor and disappear forever from this blog.

Matty, I meant to put down CB instead i said S. Sorry CB is needed much more.

Opti/Pessi Mist:

If you're going to cut and paste articles (like this one about the WCO that you just did: http://football.about.com/od/offensivestrategy/a/West-Coast.htm) you really should give credit where it's due unless you are trying to have people think you wrote it---which I hope isn't the case.

I know that I said I wasnt posting in this "regular blogs" until the offseason. Live bolgs not included.

But watching C-Wake drop off in coverage instead of rushing the passer yeasterday, kind of intrigued me. I dont think it was all abad thing.

Now, in preparing for our defense, opposing qb's have to stop and think before trying to throw "quick slant passes" in Wake's area of the field. Wake could be dropping or wake could be pass rushing. Just that little bit of wrinkle could cause some qb's to hold the ball a split second longer giving other pass rushers chance to get there.

Or it could be Wake himself getting there. Also, btw, Wake a chance to pick a pass yesterday when dropping off. Unfortunately, it seems the pass surprised him and he more batted it away than trying to catch it. LOL...


Hartline, Long. and Smith were all good Parcells picks.

Opti/Pessi Mist:

If you're going to cut and paste articles (like this one about the WCO that you just did: http://football.about.com/od/offensivestrategy/a/West-Coast.htm) you really should give credit where it's due unless you are trying to have people think you wrote it---which I hope isn't the case.

Posted by: homework help | December 17, 2012 at 04:14 PM


Ouch! LOL

We have always Hunted in Packs and not alone. Something like a Team Sport.

Clue, Craig is as clueless as oscar

Time to go home. Nice talking with you all.

I think is credibility, Clue.

So out of 20+ picks you liked 3 and wish he were still here?
Smith is a #2 and isnt consistant

So Parcells had three good picks so I will counter those with JUST 3 horrible picks, White, Merling, and Murphy. I through in Murphy since Hartline was a 4th.

matty also uses the "consistant". WTH is going on here! This is not France.

Hey, Parcells had us in the playoffs in one year. Biggest turnaround EVER. He engineered the huge turnaround. And its been straight downhill since he left. You ever hear the saying The proof is in the pudding?

Yeah, yeah Tannehill. Its really to bad the Dolphins cant play 2-12 teams every week. The score should have been 56-3 but the red zone isnt one of Tannehills best situations. Over throw here, one there, ooops here comes the field goal kicker.

WHOTH is Kitty Carlisle?

Oscar go talk psycho babble on a football blog and then bag on Cubans.

actually the QB coach and Sparano instituted the Wild Cat Offense which had their best players on the field at the same time. Thats the reason we made the playoffs and got blown out in the first round by the Ravens running a gimmek offense. Parcells was credited for the first three years. before he took his money and left. Parcells picks and over paying for players is why we had 6 million in cap this year and we were paying players to either play for other teams or to coach high school football teams.. dead money

We need to defeat the Patriots at home to handicap them as much as possible going into the playoffs


Oscar is this better for you? Consistent... grammer police in full swing today. I wish some people would actually talk about football on a blog dedicated to Miami Dolphins football. If you dont have anything football related to write to me Oscar then please disregard acknowledging me.

Hopefully we start drafting players that can play now. We need guys that can be the backups but push for starting time. All our backups should be young hungry players, not low ceiling vets.

I probably sound like a broken record there. Every time I see a player mess up I know there's nobody to replace them. We over pay free agents because we have no other option on the team. Ireland needs players that can start now in this draft even if they are the primary backups. Trusnick is filling a void we have no one else to fill. There's too many of those on our team.

Agreed Darkoak,
There isnt any competion for the starters. They arent deep.



Good Job Mando!!

Great Insight!!

Something Has To Be Said About The O-Line Whisperer(Line Coach)!! The Fins Have!!

The Man Gets The Best Out Of His O-Line!!

Losing Long!! Doesn't Hurt As Much!! When You Can Turn Average Linemen Good! And Good Linemen Great!!

Remember Sherman and His Boy!! Know How To Develop O-Line!! Just Look At The Upcoming Draft!!

Funny to see some posts from old Dolphins in Depth blogs. These are from why Drew Brees went to the Saints instead of us.

Check it out.....We have HENNE people. Have faith. Henne's younger and has a stronger arm. And, we are now opening up the playbook with deep passes. Henne is the annointed one!!! Go Henne!!! And, Jake Long: Protect our QB!!! He is the key to the Division Title once again. We are going to win the AFC East again this year!

Posted by: NJFINSFAN | October 20, 2009 at 09:25 AM

In five years from now Henne could be a leader amongst QB's and everyone will be saying, wow if you had Brees back then we never would have held onto Henne.

Hindsight is there all the time.

Posted by: Slater | October 20, 2009 at 11:11 PM

You know what Craig your are really iritating and you tend to drone on and on like you know something about football. Your comments about "bookend" are completely wrong.

It does not immediately imply there are two great tackles complementing each other. There are many bookends on bookshelves around the world that are used on one side of the stack of books. It presses the books against the shelf wall on the oppoosite side. You would know that if you read books you idiot.

So, you are incorrect and the term bookend does not imply, in real life or in the NFL, that he complements someone on the other side. It simply refers to a quality Tackle who can hold up his side of the line without assitance.

Considering how much time you spend on this board one might think you know something about football. They would be clearly wrong.

We all know you have a man crush for Long and want him to stay. Great that is your opinion. But when someone argues against that, regardless of their age, you shouldn't attack them. I feel a bit bad attacking you but someone has to show you that you are an idiot.

For the record, anyone with any football smats would say that Martin is showing great progress as a rookie Tackle. He was moved in the preseason to RT and he held that new position well. Then when Long got hurt he moved to LT and his doing just fine.

He is obviously smart and physically capable. If Long ends up pushing for too much money in FA it is at least comforting to know that Martin could replace him and we would not loose too much ground.

Yeah Craig, what he said, "give us all a favor"!

Craig M is an out of touch out of towner = CLUELESS

Jpao @5:11 Totally Agreed!!

Great Point!!

Dashi Just Wasn't Going To Make Fun Of The Ignoramus!!

Bookend- A support placed at the end of a row of books to keep them upright (on a shelf or table)

BOOKEND TACKLE- "A quality Tackle who can hold up his side of the line without assistance."

Reason Only Tackles And DE's Are Bookends!! Is Because They Are At The End Of The Line!!

Anything That Is At The End!! That Holds Something Up!! Can Be Considered A Bookend!!

Again, You Clowns!! Love To Denigrate Other Peoples Opinion!! But Some Of You!! Can't Make A "Educated" Opinion!! To Save Your Life!!

Never Mind!! How Narcissistic!! Some OF YOU ARE!! Like Your Opinion Is The Only One That Matters!!




And Even The Smart People Here!! Come To A Compromise!! They Know That They Don't KNOW EVERYTHING!!

You Can Learn Something From The Person You Least Expect!!

Being Stubborn!! Is Not A Smart Persons Trait!!

People will probably hate me for this but is there anyway we can have a starter do long snapping? Denney does an adequate job of it (cost us a game this year), but it seems like a waste to use a roster spot on a guy that does just that.

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.

Posted by: mattybfromNC | December 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM

There is a reason JJ was so successful in drafting lower Rd's in his 1st stint as an NFL GM/HC and it was a combination of 2 very distinct things.

1) He lived and died by the Florida talent

2) He loved those players who were borderline GPA wise and usually tried to recruit them as JUCO (Jr. College) transfers in their Jr. Seasons and was very successful at it.

There is a point made about the Cowboys OL in his tenure having lower Rd picks while being considered one of the greatest ever but you then need to look at were some of these players came from.

LT Erik Williams widely considered the best of his ERA played in College at the NAIA Level (Nat'l Assoc. of Intercollegiate Athletics) given his poor GPA and never went to the NCAA because of it but JJ didn't forget this monster RD-3 in 91

LG Nate Newton went to Florida A&M and ate his way out of the draft but JJ took the flyer put him on a diet and these 2 would become maybe the greatest leftside combo in History

Center Mark Stepnoski was a Univ. of Pitt kid he drafts RD-3 1989 when Pitt was a rival of UM's in the old BIG EAST CONF. so JJ knew him well

The other 2 RG Kevin Gogan and RT Mark Tuinei were holdovers from the Landry ERA he developed and got credit for but in reality lucked into. They were by the way low RD picks but of Tex Shramm not JJ

His STAR RB Emmitt Smith was to slow for the NFL

His blitzing OLB's Dixon Edwards and Godfrey Miles (RIP) were 2nd and 3rd Rd from UF ect....

In short his teams were built from Fla. talent Conf. opponents while at UM and JUCO bubble players he knew about coming from College and being a very astute talent evaluator. All based on speed back when people wanted the big guys while keeping them fresh on the DL with heavy rotation which nobody did before him.

In Miami he wanted to prove Jerry Jones wrong about who built the team and luck involved especially when he passes on NO-BRAINER pick Ray Lewis RD-1 1996 for Darryl Gardner ect...

Also the Marino fued burned him out as the 2 never saw eye to eye.






thanks for the kind words....now go f8ck yourself!

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