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Philbin challenges his RBs to break tackles

One of the more disappointing things about this season (there have been some, you know) came in the Buffalo loss in November.

The Dolphins lost but it was how it happened that truly frustrated. In losing the Dolphins showed an unexpected inability to run the ball. Understand that the Bills at the time were 32nd in the NFL against the run. That means that as NFL teams go, the Bills against the run basically, um, stink.

And yet Buffalo held Miami to 60 yards rushing. Buffalo limited Miami to 2.5 yards per carry.

It was completely unexpected.

So what up with that, I asked coach Joe Phiblin today.

“They did a good job of getting off of blocks number one, I felt," he said. "Unfortunately, we’ve watched that game a couple of times. We watched it in live color there when I was there. We watched it on the way home from Buffalo. Watched it the next day and I’ve been watching it a couple times this week.

"Number one, they got off blocks very well and the second thing I thought they did is they tackled well. I know that’s simple, but we didn’t have a lot … As you know, a lot of times you’ve got to have backs break a tackle to get explosive runs and we just didn’t have a lot of those. So it’s a credit to them. They got off blocks. Credit their coaches. They had a good game plan and they tackled well."

Did you catch that?

Yes, the Bill get credit for getting off the blocks. Yes, the offensive line has to do a better job of staying locked up. But in those sentences you can find a challenge to Miami's running backs.

And that challenge is this: Break a tackle, will ya!

Philbin appreciates backs that break tackles and definitely Reggie Bush didn't do a ton of that against the Bills. He also didn't make them miss very often.

The idea that Philbin likes backs that break tackles is evident in how he speaks of Buffalo's C.J. Spiller, a player very much like Bush in both size, speed and style.

"Their running back does a great job of breaking tackles and that’s why he's averaging so many yards per carry," Philbin said. "We’ve got to break a couple tackles and we’ve got to sustain our blocks better."


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little late for philbin to challenge anyone with two games left on the season....you are what you are at this point, not much is gonna change that!!!

daniel thomas had red flags coming into the nfl. scouts lamented he had an upright running style which is a detriment in the nfl; his running style will make him prone to injury. ireland then gives up 3 picks for him?

Hell, Tannehill can run the option, just like RG3 or Kaepernick can, but carefully, please. You slide sideways, you know, sideways on top of the ball.. Like Fetal position. Yes?

Reggie can break tackles, we've seen it. We've seen Thomas break tackles, too. But that was last year and in only 2 games in which he seemed motivated.

Otherwise, Thomas was lacking last year and has shown very little this year. Lamar Miller has an opportunity to show his stuff Sunday but he better do far better than in the last 2 games -19 yards on 9 carries with 1-8 yard gain ain't gonna hack it.

Some of the rookies and new guys have to step up for this game with Buffalo. Particularly in the passing game -both offensively and defensively.

The Bills offense enjoys a 24 yards-per-game advantage over the Dolphins this year, all of it in rushing yardage. Average passing yardage is close to equal.

Tannehill and Fitzpatrick are pretty close on meaningful QB stats except on a very important one: passing touchdowns. Tannehill's 10 TDs are not close to Fitz's 22 through the air.

So, we need some DB's to step up and cut into Fitzpatrick's avg passing TDs per game. And, of course, the Dolphin receivers need to locate the endzone. Hopefully Tannehill will find them there.

The run blocking scheme is a little different for the RB's we have. Bush likes to bounce out and run wide so the O line has to contain the D line, That also works great for screens. Where as to run between the tackles the O line has to spread the D line to open up holes for the RB to hit. That is where we get beat with the speed rushers. Pouncey is great across the board, Inconsisto is ???? Martin just moved to LT (his comfort position). Gardner as RT with two games under his belt playing along Jerry needs to compliment eachothers strengths and weaknesses to be sound on the right side. Also our receivers and TE's are not drawing the LBers away from the plays. But it will get better.

The Dolphin offensive line has sucked all season.

Bush never was and will never be a bruiser. He is a get to the edge, juke, and speedster. He has shown he can run up the middle but look at the Jacksonville game.. with the stretch runs, does he not realize the number of yards he left on the field by stringing it to the outside when the hole was developing for him on the inside... There were a few times that happened. Bush may be the best playmaker on the team but doesnt make the plays that elite RB's make. I like Bush and I am glad towards the end of the year they are actually using him in the passing attack, not sure why it took Sherman so long to realize this, but if he walks its not a huuuuge loss. Miller seems to be a faster Bush, as one of his 9 yd gains, he exploded through the hole like a man on fire.


Did you see last week when THill threw a pass to Clay in the flat and Clay promptly caught it and ran directly into the Jags defender a few yards down the field then promptly fell down? Or when Hartline is in the clear only to have someone breath on him too heavy and trip him up? This is not a RB thing, or a TE thing, or a WR thing. It's simply that Miami does not have playmakers. Playmakers bust threw shoe string tackles, not get tripped up by them.

felix, they're actualy decent,watch the tape.
y was garner on the bench????

yeah matty, saw that inside he mixxed.

Philbin was mic'd up for Sundays Game against the Jag's on NFL.com .

People bag on Tannehill about his passing TD's and they are low and it is partially his fault. Do we ever stop to think about the YAC that the receivers have or the big play making ability from his WR's and TE's?

jax suxx.shudn't looksy at that tape.

The oline with Martin on the left and Garner on the right actually is pretty decent. That may be due to as Armando pointed out in the last article running more double TE sets or offsetting Fasano in the back field as a personal protector but they havent been too shaby as some may have thought with Long going out.

D Thomas is totally useless. What a waste of 3 picks down the drain. They have to resign Bush or they'll have no RB's .

28 teams WISH they had the Dolphins OL.

I think I read somewhere that the Dolphins want to keep Garner as a versatile OL backup. He's looked good for that so far. But it means that if Martin works out on the left side and they let Long walk, a RT needs to be found.

Long is expected to make a full recovery. If he's under 10 mill/yr they mine as well keep him. He's still a top 3 LT when he's healthy.

Too many bloggers here don't have the attn span to make it through half a paragraph.

On the last touch down catch by Fasano against JAX, Mastrud was behind him under the goal post. That means that our O line held up against the pass rush and the TE were not used for blocking. We are getting better.
Its tough trying to evaluate the needs against the draft order because of the inconsistency. We lost games we should have won, TEN and BUF. We won games against better teams, CIN and SEA, Lost two close ones by missed FG. Gave NE and SF a good fight until the Kaepernik run. Philbin knows his needs, but the order in the draft to address those needs is yet to be seen. All our speculation goes out of the window after the season, when players are cut and FA are available, and what we get before tha draft will dictate our needs in the draft.

I KNOW what will happen personnel-wise this offseason:

Ireland will screw the pooch yet again.

Breathtaking, Peter-Principle-Proving Incompetence.

So sad that the Dolphins lost their season in that 10 days tretch where they lost to softies like Tennessee and Buffalo. Should've been 9-7 at season's end and in the playoffs. Tannehill picked the wrong time to hit the rookie wall.

Tannehill IS the Rookie Wall.

Fans hoping he's "The Answer," if not already sorely disappointed, will be greatly bummed-out as he stumbles through next season before the "Brass" realize they need an NFL-caliber QB.

Dashi hears that Ireland WILL BE FIRED immediately

after the seasons over!!

Tannehill has done fairly well so far this year. One can't expect to have their rookie QB carry the team on his back. Defensive letdowns in the 4th Quarter; kicker misses; inconsistent play from receivers; lack of running game -all things that were viewable from the fan armchair this year -contributed to a less than stellar year.

Hopefully, Tannehill continues with another winning performance against Buffalo this Sun.

Please Dashi.............Let it be so & Santa Claus will definitely be for real!!!

The Seer,

Have to agree with you, cant put any stock in Tannehill's game vs an injury riddled Jaquars team that was poor even when they were healthy. If you remember Henne had a few good games, too. Tannehill is a carbon copy of Henne except he cost a 1st rd.

What is abundantly clear is that the Dolphins problems at the running back position are not the fault of Jeff Ireland.

billcale, all the other 1st rd QB's are carrying their teams. Heck, a few 3rd and 4th rd QB 's are carrying their teams. But lets make excuses for Tannehill like we did for Henne, huh?

the team just got better at rb.

Joe Philbin has hired a good coaching staff, and together they've done a very good job with the second-youngest roster in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has stood out, leading a unit that's given up just 279 points, sixth-best in the league. In fact, I'm impressed with the entire organization, including general manager Jeff Ireland, who has done well to improve the team. This was a splintered group, but Philbin and his staff have really pulled everything together.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill seems to get better with every game, playing very well in the second half of the Week 15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Dolphins should have plenty of cap money to spare, but they'll have to prioritize whom to sign among a group of potential free agents that includes offensive lineman Jake Long, running back Reggie Bush and receiver Brian Hartline. Still, they've shown they can make the right moves recently, like trading cornerback Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for some extra draft picks in 2013, which they can use to add receivers with size and speed.


Why dump on Tannehill? Is he the next Marino? No. But he doesn't have to be. He may just have enough talent to make his own space in Dolphinland, though.

We saw him bust up a bad Jax team Sunday, running and passing. I don't think he even got into his groove until the second half. I could have watched him play for another half, he was so entertaining. That's more than I can say for most of the games lately.

Beating the bad teams in the league is something all good teams must do. There are a lot of Ws to accrue if your team can beat the middling and bad teams it faces during the year. Case in point: if the Dolphins had beaten the Jets, Cardinals, Buffalo and Tenn -all games for the taking -the record would be 10-4 right now instead of 6-8.

And that's why I liked the Jax game. It was mostly Tannehill. Not a Marino-styled Tannehill; not a "put the game on my back" Tannehill; but an efficient, young QB leading a well prepared offense. The team seemed ready to follow Tannehill and he was prepared to lead. That 4th Q drive ate up 9 Mins and sealed Jax' fate -an exclamation point provided by the 2-point conversion!

Was the Jax game Tannehill's watershed event? Don't know but it makes the Bills game that much more intriguing -a 6-10 Miami team against a 5-9 Buffalo squad. It's another win-able game and maybe another game in which Tannehill shows that he can be a difference maker in a game.

If Tannehill plays like he did against the Jaguars, and the team follows with like play, the Dolphins win against the Bills. Sure, as with all middling teams, the Dolphins will make mistakes but so will the Bills. Tannehill could be the difference.

Opti Mist,
If Tannehill had the talent around him like these other teams do then your point about making excuses for him is valid. If next year he has the talent level around him like these other QB's do then you we can say he isnt what he was thought to be.
You cant compare apples to apples in this case because the talent level isnt the same on all of these teams that have rookie QB's.
Im not trying to make excuses for the kid just saying lets judge him equally when we can. Right now we cant.


sad but true..........wish it were otherwise, and I am a damn fool enough to hope next year proves me wrong........but I cannot get over his failures in big moments vs real teams.

As we Fin Fans have learned to feel post-Shula........wait & see, cuz the front office always takes the most sugar-coated view.

People talk so easily to get rid of such or such. Fine, but, when they are gone do you have = or better replacements for them(Marshall, maybe Long, Ireland??!!)

Opti, I get your point. But there have been more than a few moments this year when my faith has been shaken in the QB, RBs, Offense, Defense, coaches, scouts, Ireland and on. I'm a fan. I need to believe.

You don't believe, then certainly nothing will be given to you.

Fire Ireland & save the franchise

The Dolphin "cheezecake" RBs cant break a sweat let alone break a tackle.
Why have the players now wearing shorts instead of actual football pants? Everybody is so concerned about injurys, and now the WRs, TEs, RBs, are wearing shorts. Another smart move by the ever intelligent NFL player. But then again Im not black enough,,,lol,,lol,,,

Maybe we can bring in the GM from SF, or from Pitt or from GB, from NE. Then, perhaps, we could fire Ireland.

Something that makes a lot of common sense must be......The Truth.

Be Easy!! (Good Imitation Though!! ( . ) ;) ( . )

Dashi Will Never Fire The MotherLand!! Dashi Is Ireland's Only Fan!!

Dashi Knows Ireland Is A Smart GM!! And The Fins Are Finally Close!! Real Close!! Can't Wait Til The OffSeason!! Let's Win These 2 Games!! Or At Least Be Competitive!!:-) Let T-Hill And The Chipmunks Play!!

Who Hired/Wanted Philbin? Who Hired Some Real Assistants!! And Sherman!! Who In Turned Advised On Some New Young Players(T-Hill, Lane)!! But Has No Heart!!

(Dashi Believes If Sherman Has To!! Give Up On T-Hill Cause He Stops Learning{Not Saying He Will}!! Or Finds A Better Qb!! He Will Do It!! Sherman Is That Cold!! And Old School!!)

Look At The Current Draft Board!! 2 Of The Top 5 and About 5 Of The Top 32!! Were Recruited Out Of High School!! And Spend At Least 2 Years!! Under Him! And His Staff! The New A&M Coach Is Still Living Off The Last Coaches Players!! A La Cooker!!
Not Saying Sherman Is B.Davis!! But He Definitely Is Not Wannstedt!! Quick Question? What Would've It Been Like If The Fins Hired Butch Instead Of Wannstedt? Back Then!! Just Saying!! Butch Never Got Players In Cleveland!! Butch Would've Made Ricky Run For 2000 Yds!! Or Drafted One Of His!! Just Saying!!

With That Said!!

Ireland Has Earned!! His Last Year In His Contract!! Next Year He Is Playing For His Extension!! Only Right!!

We don't settle for = or less around here. We want better, preferably, the best.

You really shut them up with that one, Oscar. Except Dashi, but he's exceptional.

Agreed!! Oscar!!

Common Sense!!

Ireland Doesn't Suck!!

"Alpha, go get Beta!", GCScott in the movie The Day of the Dolphin talking to a Dolphin that had been taught our Language. Alpha flipped and jumped over the recint.

Sorry Mr. Philbin but obiously you didn't see the last Buffalo game. I don't care how big and strong your RB is, if there are 3 defensive linemen in the backfield before the RB gets the hand off it doesn't matter how strong he is. The reason why a RB is a good tackle breaker is because once he gets a couple of yards moving downhill he plows people. That doesn't happen if he is hit 1 yard in the backfield. Case in point is Javorski Lane. He is a huge tackle breaker, but only when he gets moving. How many times is this guy hit in the backfiel. A RB needs to build momentum to run over people.

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