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Special teams negatively affecting chance to win

The Dolphins special teams has had some great moments from Marcus Thigpen this year and got excellent all-around games from the entire unit, particularly at New York, this season.

But lately, the special teams have had to fight to merely keep from hurting Miami's chances of winning games. And on Sunday, special teams fully hurt Miami's chances to win the game.

Three weeks ago, special teams set the tone for the game (in exactly the wrong fashion) when Leodis McKelvin returned a first quarter punt 79 yards for a TD and a Bills lead.

Two weeks ago, the Dolphins fought to tie the game against Seattle in the fourth quarter and on the ensuing kickoff Leon Washington returned the kickoff 98 yards to give the Seahawks the lead again.

In fairness, it must be said that Thigpen eventually answered McKelvin's blow with a kickoff return TD of his own. And the Dolphin overcame the lapse against Seattle by rallying late.

But Sunday, there was no bailing out of the special teams by Thigpen or other units.

Yesterday, long snapper John Denney delivered a bad snap to punter Brandon Fields after Miami's first possession. And Fields didn't field the snap and then didn't cleanly grab the ball on the ground, having instead to snatch it twice. The hesitation was a killer so Fields decided to run to get himself daylight and a position to kick.

He was tackled at the Miami 12 yard line.

And the defense, put in a tough spot, could not save the Dolphins. They gave up a touchdown.

Seven points.

In the second quarter, the Dolphins apparently stopped Tom Brady and company on downs at his own 29 yard line. But when the Patriots punted, Jimmy Wilson rushed headlong into Zoltan Mesko's thigh. Roughing the punter. Fifteen yards.

The Partiots drive had new life at their own 44 yard line.

And, again, the defense wasn't able to bail out the special teams. The Patriots drove the rest of the way in 11 plays for another touchdown.

Fourteen points.

Obviously, it was not the special teams that gave up the points. Obviously the defense didn't provide heroics on the first New England opportunity and basically caved in giving up 56 yards more on the second New England opportunity.

But the Miami special teams cannot give up such opportunities.

As center Mike Pouncey said, "We have a low margin of error."

And the special teams lately has been hurting that margin.



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The rumor is that Phibin is in contact with Tony Sparano for lessons on how to fist pump for field goals. Sparano is, however, now learning to high five for penalty first downs given the QB woes of the the Jets.

Albert, @ 3:20 PM

You are right on the points you list in your post.

Ireland and Ross stated after the 2011 season that the Dolphins were just a few players and an upgrade in coaching away from Championship level/contender football. The coaching staff was completely changed and the personnel upgrades have, unfortunately, been quite minor indeed insofar as the 2012 season goes in terms of wins and losses.

Tannehill appears to be regressing, which is probably the primary concern at this point. He's behind Luck, RGIII, and Wilson among rookies. In fact, he's behind almost everyone.

Oscar, not the reason we lost but it was not an equally offciated ball game. Then again, I've come ot expect that against the pats. You always have to beat them and the officials. It's always like that against the top teams. NFL does have a bias to giving the benefit of the doubt to the top teams to keep perpetuating myths of greatness.

"The thing that became apparent in Sunday’s 23-16 loss to New England, and a number of other games this year, is the Dolphins don’t have the players on their roster to score more points.

This is a front office/scouting issue. And it can’t be fixed until the offseason, when there’s the draft (the Dolphins are loaded with one first-round pick, two second-round picks, and two third round picks) and free agency.

Getting players that can score might be more important than re-signing left tackle Jake Long, cornerback Sean Smith or defensive tackle Randy Starks. It’s a big deal. This is a scoring league."

From the SS, validating what I've said on here for a VERY. LONG. TIME!

This blog is excellent today. People talking and debating football.

You take over the Game, Son. You are more intelligent than your Coaches and probably most other Coaches in the NFL.

Sigh, How's about you shut your phvcking ugly face?

Alex Smith will get his job back.

Dude goes 25-3 and gets benched????

Bad karma for 49ers.

Sigh, they were LYING TO US! Saving face, as most public figures do. I doubt they really believed. But, like the Republicans this year, if they did, they now know the truth.

We need talent. Can't get around it.

Good news is we have 5 picks in the 1st 3 rounds. We have a HC who is no nonsense and has an eye for offensive talent. I don't see him being led to his grave like Sparano without kicking and screaming. Next Draft and FA will tell us a lot on where the Dolphins will be next few years.

Dansby is weaksauce

Some of these chumps would've been hollering "PEYTON SUXXX" during Manning's first season.

If Tannehill's not playing high-quality ball after his 3d season, then let's get rid of him. Meanwhile, let's work on the kid.

This day-trader mentality where you sell every time your stock dips is just brainless, either on Wall Street or in the NFL.

Just read, and this may have alread been brought up, but Adam Scheftner reports the Fins wont tag Long, and will prob offer him a short term deal which he would prob turn down. Thus putting Martin at his natural position which works out because the scheme theyre running is zone blocking and Long and Incognito are maulers..
Looks like the JL chapter is ending in Miami but maybe not.. its still Decemeber

I have watched Tannehill now for 11 games. I don't see the "it" factor in this young man. Luck, RG3 and Wilson have all had games and plays this season that are just unbeliavable. What has Tannehill done? Is he a bust? I don't know.But at this point he sure does not appear to be a franchise, can't miss prospect.


I see your point too. I like Philbin. I am optimistic for next year that they have space and lots of picks. I think Philbin helping in player eval will be big.

I think the team makes a big stride next year. I can understand not being sold on Tannehill, up and down. Last game was bad. Though overall he has skills and has made some plays. Gotta stick with him now anyways, but I think at the WORST you are looking at an average NFL QB.

Here, an insight for you. You know why most of you here find any kind of fault with any Dolphins Team? Anger. You have lost substantial amouts of $ betting on the Fins, for or against. The Team is really not to blame fo your actions.

Teams are built in the offseason. Given all that has happened in the past ten offseasons, that is not a reason to believe that things are going to improve in 2013.

The Colts, Rams, Redskins, Bucs, and Seahawks were all worse or about the same as the Dolphins last season. Each of those teams look to have a more promising future than the Dolphins do today.

Keeping up with the Bills, Titans, and Jets is not progress.

In my own opinion, the loss to the Titans was the wakeup call of the season. It showed the Dolphins are just a bad team. Again.

Tannehill was inexperienced coming out of college. He went from starting 19 games to facing NFL defenses. The two passes he missed yesterday for TDs are inexcusable but hes still a rookie. The kid held out for one day and signed a clause in his contract that said if in his final year then they dont have to pay him. Which means hes here to play, be the man the Fins have been wanting and is wanting to be the man. In the offseason i see him working like crazy and building chemistry with whomever is going to be here next year..

Ross needs to clean house INCLUDING the GM this time. Otherwise the Fins will be on the hamster wheel forever.

The HOF is moving to Joe Robbie Stadium because all of the busts will fit right in with Irelands roster.
Posted by: chief uppa u.s. | December 03, 2012 at 02:50 PM



Lauren @ 3:32

But my face is really good looking. ;)

Tannehill should be flipping burgers not footballs. Can you say total bust?


I am hopefull Philbin will develope some of these young players too. However, to expect a huge upgrade in the W-L record next year with the schedule that they will face and the holes that need to be filled will be very difficult.

DC Dolfan @ 3:32 PM

I agree with you that the front office was probably lying to save face. But it's fair to point it out to them and I hope the local sports media does just that in the coming weeks.

In any case, we are in agreement that the Dolphins do need talent. You are right they have a lot of draft picks. I hope they use them well; it's just my opinion, but I have doubts about Ireland's ability to pull it off. I could well be wrong. But I have doubts.

wow anyone calling the kid a bust after 12 games doesnt have a clue.. Manning would have been called a bust his rookie year by some of your

Fair enough Sigh. I think Ireland gets somewhat of scapegoat treatment. If something doesn't work it must have been his fault. Also depends on if you give him credit for Parcells moves. No one thinks of other teams either and the TERRIBLE moves (think NYJ, Raiders, Chargers, etc), that it could in fact be much worse. At the least Ireland doesn't make costly mistakes, and his so-called "bust" happen to be starting.

What happened this offseason, cutting Marshall, trading Davis. Shows, imo, that Ireland is onboard with Philbin and working with him. I think between those two we will have a good draft again (this years was good).

wow the same people that love Tannehill loved Henne

Well, I think it's about Coffeee time with "Home".

Sanchez craps out and the jets Coaching Staff turns to McElroy instead of Tebow(snicker, snick)?

(Ahem...)....What says YOU now Home?

I mean, you'd imagine the jets staff would know both QB's pretty well.


Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

odin.. McElroy is actually the best QB on their roster. Tebow as inactive btw....

Anyway, I'm outtie odin and home would just be too much

There is a reason Bush has more TD's than Thomas, Bush creates his own plays, more than half of his TD's were purely on his skill alone. Yes he causes negative plays but some of his rushing plays have kept us in games this year.

I'm starting to get irked by Philbin. He doesn't like Bush's style, he doesn't discuss injuries, he likes everything vanilla by the looks of it, did we really change coaches at all? Tired of secrecy BS and not involving the playmakers exactly like every damn regime has done since Shula and maybe Jimmy retired.


We all knew Tannehill was NOT a first round pick or franchise QB

... simply a desperation pick and a reach to pacify the sheeple and have them believe that they actually had a number one franchise QB

Home has known this was ridiculous from day one and posted as such

The Sheeple got what they deserved

Now they must suffer

0 passing TDs in 6 games so far for TannREACH

1 fixed game to give TanneREACH a fake comeback FG win

1 Jets Win by Matt Moore and the defense

Home predicted 6 wins if Tannehill starts

So far
Tannehill is 4-7

Moore 1-0

Seems Home knows this team

Now Fireland and Blow It Up!

Nah Tony just jumping the gun on a kid with a total of 12 starts in the NFL and calling him a bust is ignorant. Stop using Henne as a scape goat.

Henne > Tannehill

2009: 7-9
2010: 7-9
2011: 6-10
2012: shaping up to be 7-9 or 6-10

The more things change, the more they stay the same. And who is the constant in all of this? Ireland.

Now, now, isn't it True that most of you People here have lost huge amounts of $ playing the Dolphins(for or against). C'mon say the Truth. Nobody else will know.

Tannehill has 6 or 7 TD in 12 games, not saying hes a bust but if it looks like one and smells like one guys he just might be one. At least Peyton throuh over 20 TD his rookie season, Lets hope Tannehill can see double digits TD passess LOL

Tebow as inactive btw....

Posted by: CommonSense | December 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM

As well he should be.

Nice post!

I agree Clue, he needs to get his TD passes up. If he plays near the same next year then yeah its time to get that feeling. Not in year one which 90% of the people on here and the "experts" expected him to sit year one and not be put in until the season was lost. If Garrard doesnt get hurt, that happens, or is Moore doesnt lose what he earned last year then this happens..

wow, I missed a w. You completely discredited me sir. How could I be so dumb?

Get a life.

mattyb I suppose, thus far Im not sure why anyone would be impressed with him. Luck, RG3, Wilson, Weedon has all played much better than Tanny

Exactly Tony. By the way, I was done with Henne AND Sparano in 2010. Argued all offseason and into 2011 with Craig M that neither would work out and we needed to go another direction.

Difference with Tannehill is, first off, this is his FIRST FREAKIN' YEAR! Secondly, I have MUCH more faith in this HC, his philosophy, and offensive outlook in general. So I'm willing to give him time to make it work.

But, again, it wasn't going to happen IN HIS FIRST YEAR. This is the FIRST 1st-rd QB pick since Marino, so whatever happens it was the right pick by Ireland. NO ONE was going to take a chance on Russell Wilson in the 1st round (though maybe they should have) and Weeden looks worse than Tannehill. And Miami wasn't going to give up enough for RG3. So Tannehill was the best choice Ireland could make at the time. And if it doesn't work out, then hopefully we won't wait another 30 years before we draft another 1st-rd QB. But that's the winning formula in today's NFL. You draft a 1st-rd QB and hope he's the guy. And you put talent around him.

We've done A, haven't done B yet. Let's do B and see what's what after that, whatdoyathink?

Hartline was wide open for easy TDs again

That's on Tannehill

the inaccurate REACH of a first round QB

This is not the first time Tannehill has missed wide open WRs for TDs

Tannehill does not have the "IT" factor

Moore and Henne are better

Tannehill will only get worse, not better

Big Mistake by Ireland trying to force a fake 1st round QB down our throats

Clearly Tannehill is not better than what we already had on the table

6-10 Do It Again!


I will agree that Ireland has made some good moves and avoided some bad moves.

A new GM may or may not do better. I actually hope Ireland does well. I just have my doubts.

The Tannehill pick, however it works out, is going to be key since QB is always key in the NFL.

Clue, im not impressed with the kid yet, he does seem to correct mistakes that he makes. Philbin is known for developing players and was impressed with things he did in practice this preseason. i thinK Tannehill makes vast improvements in the offseason.

home did you check oUT Hennes performance yesterday?

Home, on the 2nd play, Tannehill said it was a hook, but Hartline decided to keep going since he had a step. So it was a miscue. By the way, look at the play again in slow-mo, Hartline turns around, ball goes through his arms and hits his mid-section. So, first it was a miscue, that's on BOTH players, second, it was a CATCHABLE ball. Not for a TD, but for long-yardage and definite first-down.

But of course you're too blind to see anything other than what you want to see.

Actually, McElroy is the most intelligent QB by ligtht years on the Jets Team. He just doesn't have the physical Tools that Tannehill has.


Very true. I don't see the guy as walking on water either. Though I get annoyed by the constant bashing because a good 85% + is complete nonsense and people just repeating others rantings.

Cause honestly if you want to point out one glarringly obvious bad Ireland pickup???? COLOMBO and I've never seen that one mentioned.

Anyway, really outtie this time. Have a good one.

With Philbin here I see the graveyard of players coming from Dallas to die in Miami being closed down... No more Colombo pick ups lol

Ross went on record by saying, if we don't have a winning season, no ones job will be safe.

He made the statement in response to a question about Ireland's future here.

I think it could go either way at this point, depending on how the season plays out. I can see a few scenarios pn which Ireland gets his walking papers.

Having said that, I get the feeling Ross in all in on the new Philbin/Ireland relationship. I believe Ross gives Ireland one last pass.

Ross knows were rebuilding, Ross knows what Ireland did under Parcells and Ross knows what he's done working with Philbin. So for the record, I believe Ireland gets to play Bigshot one more time again.

Anyone still saying RT is the future is in denial. Denial is a river in Egypt. Bottom line Tannehill is a total bust at the very bottom of his rookie class. Play Moore and go back to the draft in April for a QB. Try Tanny at WR or get a 4th rd pick for him if they can.

Home, lets be fair now. We all watched the game.

MANDO, you too.

On ONE of the Hartline throws, John Jerry got blew up and pushed right back into Tannehill.

Tannehill barely got half a step into that throw. Then it still hit Hartline in the gut for a timely drop.

C'Mon Ya'll!!!!

So, have much $ have you People lost in betting Football? This is an open Forum on Internet, nothing will happen to you if you declare.

I mean jezus h krist we go into a game with the NE Patriots where it takes everything to win and we have a freakin' fumbled punt/snap block giving them 7 points and then roughing the kicker.

No excuse for roughing the kicker. That was the first such penalty in the league since 2003.


Joe's in *way* over his head.

So the other two clowns disappear from the blog and miraculously 'The Truth is' comes along singing the same tune. Couldn't be a coincidence, could it?

I'm not allowed to suggest that it might be time for Tannehill to take a break? Where is that written? Because it doesn't agree with your viewpoint, then somehow it's moronic? Interesting take, bud....I wasn't aware we'd moved to a dictatorship. I'm all about what's in the best interest of the kid, and guys think he should be out there every week, regardless of how he plays, then so bit. I'm simply saying there comes a point when maybe he needs a breather. Doesn't mean I'm down on him.

Lastly, Armando reported today on Twitter, after talking to a high-ranking Dolphins official, that ALL options are on the table regarding Long, including frachising him. For the LIFE of me, I can't understand why guys are ready to make a decision on Jake Long on December 3rd, when a decision doesn't need to be made on him until March. He's been a warrior for this team and what that speaks to, I believe, is a bunch of guys who can't get over the fact that we drafted Long over Matt Ryan. Keep living in the past guys and hanging onto every little bit of bitterness you have!


I hate Baltimore (-1) last night. Should have been a sure thing. It would have cashed two tickets for me, probably paying me $600. That's how it's gone for me the last two weeks. Last week I think it was Philly (+9) on the Monday night game.

LOL, he stole your name too Craig. I knew it wasn't you though, never even responded.

Funny, no one complains about the OL or receivers when Moore plays.

Craig N,

Yeah OK, bud. Tough talking words from the other side of your keyboard. I'm shaking....

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