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Some curious coaching decisions on Sunday

I do not blame the Dolphins defense for Sunday's loss. I do not blame the coaching. I don't blame the special teams even though they cost the Dolphins points. I put the blame for Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots squarely on the collective shoulders of the Dolphins offense and its paltry touchdown production.

Ryan Tannehill cannot blow two easy TD throws as he did when Brian Hartline twice got behind the New England defense. Can't happen. I'll have more on that later.

But having said all that, I do see some curious work being done by the coaching staff.

My first issue is the manner in which the Dolphins use their running backs:

I do not understand the love affair with Daniel Thomas. I do not understand the underuse of Reggie Bush. I do not understand or like the shelving of Lamar Miller.

Firstly, let us establish that Bush is Miami's most productive running back. He averages 4.4 yards per carry and he gets the most carries practically every game. But why only a dozen carries or so?

Through 12 games Bush is averaging 13.75 carries a game. That's one carry less per game than last year on average so that doesn't seem to matter, but the thing that bothers me is there seems to be no room made for feeding the hot back and keeping the cold guy on the bench.

Yesterday, Bush was running well. He was averaging a healthy 4.3 yards per carry. Thomas was averaging 2.0 yards per carry. Yet, on several occasions, Bush came out and Thomas got to tote the football.

By the time the game was over, Thomas had five carries for 10 yards. Oh yeah, he also blocked the wrong guy on a blitz inside the red zone and it nearly got Ryan Tannehill broken in two. Nonetheless, the Dolphins insist Thomas is the next guy up and they continue to feed him when his stats suggest he is not on par with Bush while playing behind the same offensive line, in the same condidtions, in the same games, against the same opponents.

This year Thomas has gained 3.6 yards per carry. That's almost a yard less per carry than Bush.

Look, I'm not saying shelve Thomas. He has a place in the offense. But when things aren't working for him, or when the game situation dictates Bush is doing better, give Bush the carries Thomas would ordinarily get. Trust me, Bush isn't tired. He's in better shape than practically every guy on the team and he's healthy.

Then, of course, we have the continued non-use of Miller. I would understand not giving Bush enough carries if you're spreading them out to a guy who has proven in college that he can be dynamic. That is Miller. He was a 50-yard TD run waiting to happen at the University of Miami.

Yet, he is usually inactive and even when he is active -- like yesterday -- he often does not get any carries.

What makes Thomas better than Miller? Oh yeah, nothing. If he's missing blitzers, if he's averaging 2-yards a carry, what is the point?

And, with the season in its final month, why not trot out Miller more? Give him work. Let's see what he's got.

My point? Either ride Reggie Bush more or split the carries between Bush and Miller. Thomas? To me, he's running third in a three-horse race. To Miami coaches, he's a close second. I don't get it.

I also don't get the coaching decision on Cameron Wake in the final quarter.

With 8:28 to play and the Patriots protecting a tenuous 20-13 lead, New England got the ball at their own 20 yard line. Cameron Wake was on the Miami sideline -- not injured, not tired, standing by coaches with his helmet on waiting to be let in the game.

Then the Patriots ran off eight plays and churned three first downs with Wake on the sideline. Then Miami called a time out. And Wake remained on the sideline. Then New England ran two more plays, putting them at the Miami 18 yard line. And Wake was still on the sideline.

Finally, Miami called another time out and Wake was sent back in the game.

So at a pivotal juncture the Dolphins had their most productive defensive player on the sideline as the Patriots marched 62 yards and took over four minutes off the clock.

“They were running the ball," Philbin said, explaining the reason Wake wasn't playing. "We have a play count that we want to keep guys to [in order] to keep guys fresh."

Three things:

So a hard-and-fast play count determined in an air conditioned room during the week supercedes in-game situational needs that is before your eyes on the field on Sunday? 

Also, keep them fresh for what? The fifth quarter? Next week? Next year? It's the last chance the Dolphins had to stop New England. Try to do it with your best players on the field.

Also, the Patriots passed the ball during the drive. Brady completed passes of 8, 6 and 10 yards before Wake got back in the game. Think maybe Wake, among the league leaders in sacks, might have provided a bit more pressure on those plays?

[UPDATE: Philbin was questioned about having Wake on the sideline again during his noon Monday press conference. He repeated that the team has a plan about keeping players fresh and having a snap count for each player and that was the reason Wake was out. Asked if he sticks by that decision, Philbin said yes.]

Look, I think the Miami coaching staff generally is doing a good job with a flawed roster. They get it absolutely right about 85 percent of the time.

But turning Cameron Wake into a spectator in the fourth quarter when the game's on the line? Not using Reggie Bush or Lamar Miller more? Using Daniel Thomas like he's really good?

That's part of the 15 percent.

 

Comments

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DD,

All that Dead Money is From All The High Priced FA's!! PArcells Brought In! The Fins Haven't Been Free Agent Shopping Since Dansby And Marsha!

This OffSeason Will be that Kind Of OffSeason! Expect The Fins To sign 2 Good Free Agents! Finally For Once! Since The Wilford and Smiley Debacle of 08!

=======================================================

People Are Going To Say The Same Thing about Whoever Takes Over The JETS! THE JETS ARE IN A CAP MESS FOR THE NEXT 3-4 YEARS!

Whoever Takes Over the Jets has about 3 Years OF $15+ Million In Dead Cap Space.

Posted by: Craig M | December 03, 2012 at 01:02 PM

And you sound like Obama. You do realize you just described that fraud TO A T!

Criticizing everyones plan and touting your own which NO one has ever even seen.

Stop trying to be cute. You know nothing of American politics or football for that matter.

You're best advised to stop talking at risk of making yourself look even dumber than you currently do.

Last time because you have the comprehension of a baby in its mothers womb. You will change your name because its what you do every time you act like an a%$hole and the blog turns against you. It has nothing to do with what I want or don't want. It's all about what is. Prediction, by next Monday DUH will have long disappeared. Another prediction, if DUH doesn't disappear not one person in here will talk to him. Just telling it like it is. See ya!

"Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it would cost the Dolphins $15.365 million to use the franchise tag on LT Jake Long in 2013.
"It's a ton of money for a player whose effectiveness has waned in the face of nagging injuries. Long is currently on the shelf after he sustained a triceps injury Sunday and could be done for the season. Schefter is the latest to suggest that Long may have played his final game as a Dolphin because the team can't -- or doesn't want to -- pony up that $15 million. Rookie Jonathan Martin projects to get a tryout at left tackle over the final four games."

Good-bye Jake....Hello cap space. Why would we re-sign a player whose play was declining over the last two years & now has a new injury??? That makes NO sense but then again this will be Ireland's 4th straight losing season so nothing would surprise me.

Ireland has to use a chunk of the cap space to sign a play maker like Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings. Re-sign Hartline, draft a WR with speed, & draft a top tier TE. This offense needs weapons.

Will Ross DO SOMETHING about it, is the question.

Posted by: billcale | December 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Yep, he's going to keep Ireland. Whether fans like it or not, he's going to stay the course for now. Remember that Philbin came in with a totally different game philosophy. One that Ross bought into. The problem is that Philbin has inherited Parcells and Sparano's legacy roster. Ross will give Ireland some time to build a team to match Philbin's vision. I hope to be wrong though.

DUH: 'My plan is to go with anyone from the Steelers or the Ravens management tree'. God you REALLY are a DUH!! Who's 'anyone'? You're such a DUH, you couldn't even NAME anyone from the Steelers or the Ravens. Great plan Romney!

I have educated you time and time again, and yet you forsaketh me. I shall pray over it.

Great post at 1:09 WHDP.

Heisman winners:

Steve Spurrier
Me
Timmy Tebow

"We play the 49ers next here comes 5 and 8. At least Dansby will get a first hand look at what a real MLB looks like in Patrick Willis."

Clue,

No doubt about it. I'm so sick of watching Dansby's overpriced a@@ miss a tackle. His skills in pass coverage have declined so if we're TRULY rebuilding we should cut him loose.


The guy who says 'you know nothing about football', can't even name anyone from the Steelers or Ravens FO, but that's who he wants. God I just figured it out, I'm talking to a 13 year old. You don't know who you want, you just want someone from one of those teams. GREAT!!

And this plan of yours, would we have read about it on hear at any point before today?

..Dashi good posts today..Well done.


You must have seen the same breakdown of the dead money that I read(Can't remember the site)..I disagree that the dead money is all from the Parcells Regime. I get confused as to where Ireland gets the blame or the credit..So I stick with 2010 as where I draw the line.
Anyway..The only real big contract on the hook is Brandon Marshall(At least we did get some picks out of it..i'll give credit where it is deserved)..But go look again..Most of this dead money is from guys that IMO Irealnd was responsible for...again my crieria begins in 2010. If you want to debate that ok. But look at the dead money from that time on..IMO it has Irelands name all over it.

If Ireland isn't FIRED after this season....

Both he and Philbin will be fired in 2-3 years....

for the sake of continuity....Ireland needs to save Philbin's job...and FIRE HIMSELF....

show some mercy on the FINS....

Craig, lol at 1:11. I read that and couldn't believe he posted it without even knowing who those people are. And he doesn't understand that people in winning organazations dont leave unless they are bottom of the food chain looking for someone to take a risk on them. Sheesh, this person doesnt get it.

Organizations


Last time because you have the comprehension of a baby in its mothers womb. You will change your name because its what you do every time you act like an a%$hole and the blog turns against you. It has nothing to do with what I want or don't want. It's all about what is. Prediction, by next Monday DUH will have long disappeared. Another prediction, if DUH doesn't disappear not one person in here will talk to him. Just telling it like it is. See ya!

Posted by: Phins78 | December 03, 2012 at 01:07 PM

Oh lord you're such a girl!!! Did you forget to put your big boy pants on today? Stop whining!

You dramitically overestimate the importance of a blog. Than's your 1st problem.

2ndly, that I'd actually hide under fake names to avoid detection from a bunch of homers with no life? Like you and Craig M?

LMAO

Do you HONESTLY believe 2 blow hard bloggers are worth such effort?

Unlike you & your ilk, I'm not here to preach, lecture or be well received. I have fulfilment in my life that ACTUALLY matters other than the fraternity of douchers on a blog that you two share.

Don't confuse me for people like you. I'll be here sunshine, bet on it.

WHDPs,

So you're getting rid of Dansby now too? You do realize he's hurt right? But I guess he should just sit the rest of the year out, that would be better.

Yeah OK, let's get rid of him too! Why not. It's not like there are other needs on this team. You moan about wanting playmakers and TE's and yet you want to give Dansby and Long away. How about you tell us your plan?

WHDP @ 1:09: good post. I agree with you everything you said.

To the two morons, why do I need to select a name?

I'D BE THRILLED WITH ANYONE OF COMPETENCE FROM THOSE 2 TEAMS!

Yet, Craig Big mouth M thinks the status quo is a plan?


You freakin girls are a hoot!

Probably the fugliest chicks the world has ever seen!

..I would like to carry on with this debate..something tells me we will have plenty of time down the line..So have a good one fellas..2nd part of the Avalance course today..Freekin B.S. that I have to take this certification course again. 3rd time.

Craig M, Could you get more specific about your status quo plan?

Please, if I must be specific, I feel you should as well.

The blog would love nothing more than your 2 page ProIreland rants.

Im out for the day ladies. I've had enough for the day. I'll be back phins78, no worries.

At least, bring your big boy pants to the dance tomorrow if you wanna tanlge.

Enjoy your fraterntiy with Craig M.

The Idiot League!

DUH,

I'm with Phins78, I'm done with you too.

But before I go, let me tell you why. I couldn't give a sh8t about the fact you change your name more often than your underwear. I'm here to talk football and my beloved 'Phins. You Sir are a whiner, who probably thinks he's hard done to in life and that everyone has it in for you. You probably contribute nothing to society and you're probably hated by those you work with, if you even work.

If you haven't noticed we don't have a 'status quo' with this team. This is Joe Philbin's team now. We're going to sink and swim with this guy. I wanted Jeff Fisher but that's irrelevant now. This is the guy who will make or break the team in the next 3-4 years. He'll either get it done or he'll be gone, and Ireland with him and that's how it should be.

You're simply a MMQB, who complains about everything after the fact. No plan, just 'give me anyone from the Steelers or Ravens'. Good job, bub!
\

13 duh duh duh duh. Duh

Run away DUH.....do some research on some of the names in the Ravens and Steelers management tree. Tells us what you find....

With everything for and against Ireland, drafting Tannehill at #8 was the ultimate job preservation move. It ensured him an extra year to get things straight. Despite his hit and miss results, he should get next year based solely on not having any expectation starting a rookie qb.

Man, yesterday's game is a real head scratcher...I mean, I've been in Philbin's corner from the start, but I don't know anymore...It's like, you have both your starting DE's on the bench and it's the most important, critical time of the game...WTF? I don't know...

Philbin is an animated corpse.

"Look, I think the Miami coaching staff generally is doing a good job with a flawed roster. They get it absolutely right about 85 percent of the time.

But turning Cameron Wake into a spectator in the fourth quarter when the game's on the line? Not using Reggie Bush or Lamar Miller more? Using Daniel Thomas like he's really good?

That's part of the 15 percent."

Mando,

I'm not going to question how the coaching staff used Wake yesterday. It was the first game in quite awhile that I can remember where we finally were able to maintain a consistent pass rush.

As for Thomas CLEARLY the coaches want to see what he can do & what he can't. However I don't understand why we aren't using Miller to see what we have for next year. I think it's pretty obvious that Bush will not be a Dolphin next year so as far as I'm concerned we should be using him less not more. The more we use Bush the more we're not looking to the future.

With that said I think it's obvious that Thomas is really a 3rd down back. He's pretty good in pass protection, he's a good receiver but he's not a lead back. But my biggest problem with Thomas is that he still puts the ball on the ground too much. He fumbled again yesterday but we were able to recover it.

If we're not going to see what Miller has then we know we still don't have a starting RB.

Trading up for Thomas...Another head scratcher...Trade up for a RB and draft another one in the 4th round the following year, despite having one that rushed for over 1000 yards...No wonder we can never win more than 7 games...

hahaa, love it when someone tries to belittle someone else and their entiore country but can't spell.

what the fukk is an invilid?

it's invalid.

and grow up man, you really need to make broderline racist comments? that shows a lot of maturity. just argue your points ...

I saw that one too, Mark. Took me a while before I figured out the word he was looking for. Could be why his sign name is DUH. Also easier to spell.

Tannehill played against the worst pass D in football and still sucked. Time to move on guys. Lets not waste any more time or money on him.

Have a good day guys. I'm off to find out who works in the Steelers and Ravens front offices, besides Ozzie Newsome.

For the 10th time this is the ideal offseason.

Get rid of Dansby, Dansby, Clemmons( Overpaid not producing)

Dont re-sign Bush, Long

Resign Starks, SS (to a reasonable contract,)

GO out and Sign Mike Wallace and SS Goldson from 49ers. Move Rashod over to FS and keep Goldson at SS (would be the best secondary in the league)

Draft LBs, CB, WRs, OLs (Guards)

Please tell me if any of you see anything wrong with this offseason moves. Ireland would be the man if this happened

Burnett**

We might of seen the last of Jake Long...Thanks again Mr.Parcells for that wonderful gift...You got us the next Tony Boselli and set this franchise back another 5 years...Now you're making more $$$ on ESPN while we'll have to start all over AGAIN...And you might end up getting in Canton...You are a FRAUD Sir, and a very good one who knows how to make $$$ DESPITE failing miserably. I hate you even more than Nick Saban, both of you shouldn't be allowed to set foot in Miami EVER again...I hope your Hall of Fame speech includes a big THANK YOU to Scott Norwood, you OWE him big time for choking at the worst possible moment...

In what decade do we get a franchise QB?

I see that hes talking about me in his posts because I can see phins78 as I scroll on by but I'm not reading one word in any post with the name "DUH". I love that he's wasting his time trying to talk to me as if I care. Priceless! rofl

The reason that Cam Wake was on the side line is that it would not be fair to the Patriots and their fans to have Cam Wake in the game sacking Tom Brady and causing havoc.

Unfair advantage.

Wait, wait, less clarify something. My idea of moving Long to RT entails his accepting average RT salary. Better now?

Phins 78 = Racist Pig

MANDO: SHERMAN IS AS BAD AN OC AS I'VE EVER SEEN.NO
WONDER THEY FIRED HIM TWICE BEFORE. MILLER, EGNEW &
BUSH SHOLD BE PLAYING INSTEAD OF THOMAS.THEY'RE COVE
RING THE FACT THAT HE IS ANOTHER WASTED 2ND PICK BY
U KNOW WHO.HE HAS BLOWNED A FEW CLOSE GAMES BY NOT U-
SING BUSH MORE. AFTER ALL HE'S THEIR BEST PLAYER. NO
EXCUSE FOR YESTERDAY'S LOST. PHILBIN BETTER TAKE FULL
CONTROL OF HIS COACHING STAFF OR THEY ALL SHOULD BE FI
RED.IT'S OK TO BE PATIENT WHEN U HAVE A GOOD PLAN, BUT
THIS IS NOT LOOKING GOOD RIGHT NOW. MR ROSS IT'S GOING
TO HAVE TO MAKE A FEW DECISIONS, BUT ONE THAT IS A NO
BRAINER IS FIRING U KNOW WHO. HE'S WASTING DRAFT PICKS
& GIVING AWAY PLAYERS LIKE BM & VD. TANNEHILL IS OK,FOR
NOW, BUT HE NEEDS A RUNNING GAME FROM THE START OF THE
GAME, NO ON THE 2ND HALF, WHEN THEY R BEHIND.

Here's the thing. The reporters don't know the truth and neither do we. With Philbin sticking to his guns on the Wake thing this could be an internal matter. As in Wake might have done something on the sidelines an we will never know. Yelled at a coach? Blamed a teammate for a play, pointing fingers? No one knows, so while we are guessing as to what happened why not go in different directions? Do we really believe it's a snap count thing? Come on man, all sounds like excuses to hide from the truth of why Philbin wanted him out. Maybe its a disciplinarian thing and he's keeping it in house.

You can disagree with him for being a disciplinarian, Tiki Barber and another Giants player did it to Coughlin and were shown the door when he was building the team. But it's his team, his rules, you have to follow them as a player.

I'm not saying this IS what happened, only offering an alternative reason because I don't buy the company line. It goes deeper imo.

I wouldn't let Long walk for nothing at least franchise him and trade him for a pick... he may be having an off year but he is still one of the best tackles in the game. JMO

So you're getting rid of Dansby now too? You do realize he's hurt right? But I guess he should just sit the rest of the year out, that would be better.

Yeah OK, let's get rid of him too! Why not. It's not like there are other needs on this team. You moan about wanting playmakers and TE's and yet you want to give Dansby and Long away. How about you tell us your plan?


Craig,

It's very simple--we actually rebuild. We stop trying to 'retool' or 'remodel' with stop gap player like Reggie Bush. We stop overpaying for players like Long & Dansby whose skills are declining & we replace them with guys who are younger, cheaper, & hungrier.

On offense we have a nice core of young players like Tannehill, Hartline, Bess, Pouncey, & Martin but we need to continue to hit on our draft picks like we did this year for the next two drafts to see a major difference on offense. No one wants to hear that but let's face it--we still don't have a TE who is a consistent threat, we don't have a game changing WR, & we still don't have a starting RB. Plus if Ireland has any sense at all he'll let Long walk & move Martin to LT then we're still going to need to find a RT.

On defense we are solid against run defense, Wake is one of the best pass rushers in football, & I've seen improvement from some of our younger players. Jones & Misi are developing nicely but we need to address ILB, CB, & we need a Safety who is better is pass coverage than Clemons. Clemons is a pretty good player but he's not a starter.

Oscar, I agree. Man, I absolutely hate having to draft another OT in the first two rounds. I just hope Long has some reasonable contract demands. Whether his future is at RT or LT, I would love to not HAVE to use up another premium pick on the OT so fast.

Dolphins need a new high profile GM and put pressure on Philbin, honeymoon's over. Anyway, Ireland must GO!!!
Tannehill is not the answer! He'll become average at best. Another waste of a high draft pick.
How much is Soliai doing?
Please boycott for a new GM!
Same sh*t different year, enough is enough!

Flipper flipping again, now over RT.

U would have to think after so many years of a poor record they could have a wr on this team to get behind the defense. The lack of talent is on ireland but some of the coaching decisions yesterday have to make u wonder if its not time to go get a new gm and coach. The last time the dolphins had a better game plan vrs the pats was when they turned out the wildcat. Penalties, fumbles, bad snaps, dropped balls is not the way u beat the pats. That's fundamental football. U wait all week to hope these dolphins are just good enough to have a shot for dec. football to mean something. Only to be let down again. Guess its time to start looking at the draft. That's what being a Dolphin fan has become, the season is over in Dec and u look forward to the draft with a month to go in the season.

"How much is Soliai doing?"

And with this utterly ignorant and useless comment, I'm out.

WHDPs,

I'm Ok with your plan but what you're professing is a SLOW simple approach and it doesn't strike me that's your personality. If you're following that plan then you're talking to a 3-4 year plan. It also means you need to keep things as is for the next 3-4 years and I don't think you're OK with that.

If you're going to judge a GM on a won/loss record, as you and many others are want to do, then you can't expect him to get rid of assets (see Davis and Marshall) and then hold him responsible for the team's won/loss record. Are we rebuilding or are we trying to get into the playoffs? If it's rebuilding then let's be patient and do it properly. I don't think this fanbase is OK with that.

I can't say that I'm totally bummed after the loss,I was really worried that the Fins would get trounced.So,the close game and score was a bit of a relief.That being said,the D was stout and deserves zero blame for the loss.This one was all on the Tannehill and the Offense.More to the point,I blame the coaches;if Moore had been the starter the Fins would have scored at least two more TDs.BTW,last week it was Bess slipping behind the secondary only to have Tannehill miss or ignore him.

"For the 10th time this is the ideal offseason.

Get rid of Dansby, Dansby, Clemmons( Overpaid not producing)

Dont re-sign Bush, Long

Resign Starks, SS (to a reasonable contract,)

GO out and Sign Mike Wallace and SS Goldson from 49ers. Move Rashod over to FS and keep Goldson at SS (would be the best secondary in the league) Draft LBs, CB, WRs, OLs (Guards)

Please tell me if any of you see anything wrong with this offseason moves. Ireland would be the man if this happened"

Clue,

It would be great. But what people don't realize or don't want to realize is that this roster is more than ONE draft & FA away from being a good team.

A guy like Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings would help immediately but we have to re-sign Hartline too. I'm tired of watching only two players of offense who can catch the football.

But then there's still the TE position, the RT position if we move Martin to LT, we don't have a starting RB, etc.

Dolphins, at least last year we were looking at the draft in September.

Phins78, I missed that Soliai comment? The guy is an all world DT, who made that one???

Dead Money
Name Position Cap
Value
TOTAL $18,924,186
link below
http://nyjetscap.com/Dolphins/dolphins2012.php

I agree with Duh. There isn't a pro ireland defense Craig M hasn't tried. It's increasingly annoying & pathetic.

Ireland sucks. That's his record. Come to grips with it!

Staying with him 1 more year accomplishes nothing considering he has accomplished almost nothing in 5 years.

Making a switch at least offers the glimmer of hope for better someday. Having a new GM bomb would yield the same results you're getting with the ball boy. You can't lose.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side. But, if you don't try to get to the other side, you'll never know.

All you dunces content with the status quo deserve exactly what you're getting. An inferior product and a bottom tier franchise.

Perfect for the ignorant fan base clammoring for more of the same. That's exactly what you deserve.

Mando, all great points! Keep at it!

Tanny reminds me of Flacco - you can win with him but you can't depend on him to carry the team. Will the accuracy ever improve - can it be 'learned'? Luck and RG# put the ball on the $$.

Could be a lot worse. We could be the Jets or the Eagles or Cardinals, all franchises that are going NOWHERE. There will be some coaching changes, some new QBs....lots of change.

At least we've got out fresh start already started and some draft picks coming up. We've got at least a year on those teams. Now time time to make this offseason count.

About R. Bush's reps or lack thereof: Bush must have pissed Philbin off some way or other. Only thing I can think of.
BTW, Philbin is still trying to use Bush up the middle. That isn't and never will be Bush's strength.

About sitting Wake & Odrick: Philbin's explanation does not make sense. Was he trying to lose?

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