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Wannstedt's unchanging approach finally a plus for Miami

Earlier this year I shared with you how Dave Wannstedt, former Dolphins coach and current Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator, had not changed a lot with age.

His scheme is still the 4-3.

He still wants his cornerbacks to press.

He still believes in playing a very unsophisticated system that doesn't do much in the way of disguises or blitzes or, well, changing from game to game.

This approach, which worked great at the University of Miami in the 1980s and with the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s, is probably a good way to go when it's backed up by superior talent. Ultimately, talent trumps everything.

You got it, you got it.

You don't, you beter figure something else out.

Well, as you know Wannstedt didn't have it to the degree he believed during his time with the Miami Dolphins. He certainly doesn't have it with the Bills.

And yet, his philosophy has. Not. Changed.

So much for adapting or evolving.

This philosophy was fine for a while with the Dolphins but as with most things in the NFL, somebody eventually studies the problem and solves it. The Dolphins' defense got solved eventually.

That's why Wannstedt won the AFC East his first season and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs. They made the playoffs again his second year and then they missed the playoffs three consecutive years, eventually falling to 4-12 in 2004 and quitting before the season ended as he was going to be fired anyway.

Folks figured out the Dolphins defense. Players complained about it. I wrote about it extensively at the time. And Wannstedt did very little to correct the issue.

The most obvious proof this was happening? The Dolphins typically started fast but swooned as the seasons closed. Why? It wasn't the change in weather. It was the lack of change and in a defense that was apparently too easy to figure out.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in AFC East play. As the teams played each other twice, it gave opponents a second chance to figure Miami's defense out. And they did.

The Dolphins had a 10-7 record in first annual meetings against AFC East opponents during Wannstedt's time. They had a 6-9 record in the second annual meetings against those same opponents. (Wannsted left in October of 2004 which accounts for the 17 games on the first end but only 15 on the rematches).

So why is this history important?

Well, Wannstedt is basically the same coach only older in Buffalo. Earlier this year, the Bills didn't blitz, didn't change or disguise things on defense. They basically played their defense game after game and Wannstedt expected it to work.

When he was asked why he wasn't blitzing early on, he answered, "The front four has to get there."

And that brings me to this:

After all those years of being victimized by Wannstedt's unchanging approach, this week the Dolphins can benefit from that same stone age, unchanging approach.

Yes, the Bills beat Miami in the first meeting between the teams. But this week offers the Miami coaching staff, particularly the offensive coaches, another crack at the same looks, same scheme, same approach, for the second time.

This game is an opportunity for the Miami staff to show itself able to absorb information and solve the problem.

And they can do it with a degree of certainty that the Bills are not changing the variables as they prepare for the game because that's not how Wannstedt works.

What can I say? SMH.

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It's Joe Philbins domain now. We either live or die by It.

Whats their record? Also its Egnew +. Not to mention, pretty sure Philbin didn't want to coach the guy...

Posted by: CommonSense | December 20, 2012 at 03:34 PM

PS - Who the f*** cares what their record is? Do you think 1 player makes a team? Do you think Dez Bryant sucks because the Cowboys haven't won with him around?

Where do you people come up with these RIDICULOUS excuses to defend Ireland?

The Bears haven't been in the playoffs a couple of years in a row now. Take Marshall off that team and tell me what you think their record would be?

He isn't the reason they're losing but, you can bet your life savings that when they've won, he's been the deciding factor more times than not.

Enough with the lame-o excuses.

fyi we have another 3rd rd pick for marshall coming up, and got a second rd pick for awful davis. and dealing marshall was right move they just havent used the first of 2 picks for him wisely. they took egnew instead of hilton

Dave Wannstedt legacy will be that his teams, in Chicago, Miami and The University of Pittsburgh never progressed. They became stagnant, morale suffered, losses mounted. I suspect once the season is over Wanns will again get the ax and join the likes of Gary Stevens and Tom Olivadotti. Never to be seen on a sideline again.

Dusty, that's EXACTLY my point.

Just trading them away means nothing! HOORAY WE GOT PICKS.

What good is it if they wind up being garbage? You have to DO something with those picks to justify getting rid of them & Ireland has not.

Period, end of discussion. That's why this team sucks every year.

Marshall having 10 tds this season only either confirms how horrible the qb's he played with in Miami are. Or it also confirms Marshall now catching the tds he routinely "dropped" in Miami.

Take your pick. My pick is that its 50/50 of both.

Can we all agree that Dave Wannstedt's stupidity and incompetence is not the fault of Jeff Ireland?
You know, I think we can!

I agree with what you say, but this coaching staff should have been able to figure it out the first time around.

Just fyi,

Fyi, homers will be homers. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to understand what ails this franchise.

Unless you're a homer!

man I cant figure you out, are you really a firm supporter of Ireland or sarcastic? lol I ask bc some of the stuff you say can be directly linked back to him and then you make the comment about Wannsted lol

fyi we got picks to get better players. davis was and still is horrible. we stole that deal

Also, if Egnew just become a 50% better blocker than he was in college, he'll routinely see the paying field and absolutely shock his naysayers.

Still, then the nayayers will turn on the coachingstaff and say they were idiots for not playing him sooner.

Naysayers, if a guy cant block not even one iota, he's at risk to get his teammates injured on any given play.

agreed you need to get value for what you gained by trading away a player. Thats risky bc a kid can have all of the upside in the world and then flop..

he drove the team into the ground from which we still haven't recovered. If JJ would have stuck around for a few more seasons we would have been awesome.

Egnew dropped easy passess thrown to him in pre season games where are theses great hands he supposleley has?

unless you use the kid like he was in college and spread him out, similar to Hernandez in NE... Take away his blocking ability... put his big body on a cb to block if need be until he can put his hand on the ground and block inside

fyi we got picks to get better players. davis was and still is horrible. we stole that deal

Posted by: dusty bottoms | December 20, 2012 at 03:51 PM

What in Ireland's draft history tells you he will be bale to replace Marshall & Davis with the extra picks?

Aside from Pouncey, who has he taken that's been remotely good enough to replace a guy like Marshall or Davis?

I don't disagree that Marshall & Davis weren't great in their time here but, for god sakes, you can't let them just go for picks when they guy making the picks SUCKS as bad as Ireland does.

Let's get real. Under Ireland Miami is renting overpriced/overrated players at a HIGH premium & dumping them for guys who wouldn't even be on practice squads on other teams.

What Ireland is doing in Miami is a travesty.

i live in kc and seen egnew a ton at mu. he has great hands but i knew when they took him it was a bad pick. all those mu tes who have never had to block get drafted and then struggle in nfl cause they cant block anyone. so unless he can learn to hes not gonna play. hilton was the pick, so the trade of marshall was the right move they just took the wrong guy. nobody here would be complaining if we had added hilton and still had another 3rd rounder coming this year in deal

The 2nd rd pick for Vontae, should the Colts make the playoffs, becomes a "glorified top of the 3rd rd" pick.

Still, no fret, because this still puts us in position to get a very solid player. Im guessing, "borderline starter" at worst. I think its best to go bpa and not reach with this pick.


You have a great memory. I dont even remember Egnew even being on the playing field during preseason.

Funny, TE is such a weakness for this team.

Everyone knows TE's must block.Even if just a little bit.

Miami tried to develop 2 of them with ZERO blocking ability in preseason. Les Brown & Egnog.

Knowing TE's must block, about 1/3 of the TE's in camp had no blocking ability whatsoever.

This is great General Managing!

He didn't change a thing but we didn't win.....


In hindsight, yes TY Hilton would have been a great pick. But still, the pick wouldnt have done anything to address our murky TE situation.

Im sure the fins knew Egnew's blocking skills had to be developed from "GROUND ZERO" before they placed him on the playing field, It was too blatantly obvious when scouting him.

But because of what he showed as a reciever at MIZZOU, they felt if they could ever gety his blocking developed, he could be a very special nfl TE. I think this kid has a chance to be special once he gets the "BLOCKING" part of his game in order.

I had the same thought of just putting egnew out wide. He played in a spread offense and philbin and company run a version of a spread O so why not put him out there. At 4th wr so he draws a dime cb and binns can play slot drawing attention from the middle so egnew can fly downfield. Gotta be something this kid can do to help.

We are stuck with Joe Philbin for now as HC. There, Armando, you have one(Wannstead) who I think Philbin is better than. Albicias! Albicias!

YG he sure was.. He proceeded to drop a couple of good passess thrown to him by Moore and Tannehill, I believe on 1 of the drop balls he slammed his hand of the grass. Just some of the dumb details I remember


Im thinking the fo and coaching staff felt that Fasano buys them time to develop Egnew. No one in thier right frame of thinking believed this would be a solid playoff team this year, Mchael Egnew or not.

Fasano is solid enough to buy time for Egnew's "development" which is learning to block, beginning at "ground zero". That's te only hitch in Egnew's game. Just unfortunate it was a HUGE hitch coming in.

I agree you gotta replace them, and I 100% thought that was coming after Marshall went. That was a big mistake, but this was a transition year lets not kid ourselves. So no biggie, imo.

Also, I didn't make any excuses, so idk what you are talking about... I point out their record because they aren't doing any better with or without Marshall. He is good, but disappears when things get tough. Better off with the 2 picks...

Anyway outtie for awhile, happy holidays.

Also, Davis was replaced with Marshall. Sure you knew that because you apparently know everything...db


Mizzou had Egnew spread out wide in college. But when it came down to having to make blocks, he was a complete none factor. He couldnt even block db's.

Even if we played him like this, if the ball isnt thrown to him, or its a running play. Youre better served having a a true wr on the field who blocks much better.

Knowing he was absoutely terrible at blocking, it wouldnt have taken defenses long to figure out everytime Egnew was on the field, it automatically signaled it would be a pass play.

Then they just pin back thier ear and come after your qb. "TOTALLY" ignoring the run.

Yes, the 2 picks we got that will likely amount to nothing.

Nothing excpet losing a Probowl Caliber WR.

We still think that Education and Learning are the Prime Movers of Humanity.

Yes, the 2 picks we got that will likely amount to nothing.

Nothing excpet losing a Probowl Caliber WR.

Posted by: Just Fyi | December 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM

LOLOLOLOL What Mr. Sense just admitted is that, if he is faced with 2 options:

A. Keeping a borderline elite WR & his off again on again drama. Alla Owens, Moss, Ocho, Bryant etc...MANY OF WHOM HAD ATTITUDE ISSUES BUT, MANAGED TO PLAY MANY YEARS AT A HIGH LEVEL


B. 2 draft picks, to be selected by a GM with a bad track record, which will likely result in nobody remotely close to the player you traded away

He'll go with B!


but it would of helped our murky wr sit

Plus, if you had Egnew on the field being a terrible blocker, now you need to have a blocking TE(Fasano) on the field to compensate for his non-blocking prowess.

2 tightends on the field means pulling a legit wr off. Rarely do you see 2 TE sets unless its a short yardage situation. In short yardage situations both TE's must be able to block.

But I believe eventully Egnew's blocking skills improve and he becomes a very good nfl TE.

Mr. Yesterday,

I am just curious, how many posts can you make saying the exact same thing? You are becoming the King of redundancy & monotony.


Its highly debateble how much TY Hilton would have helped this team. Remember, he has a pro bowl wr(R Wayne), pro bowl TE(D Allen), and a rookie qb(Luck) who has far more college experience than our rookie qb Tannehill.

Those are some major critical elements to weigh into the factor.

Fyi.... U DON"T KNOW S H I T!!!


For As Much As You Cry And Moan!! He Traded Marsha!!








Let Me Guess!! You Are One Of Those!! Who Thought Ireland Should've Traded Pick For Orton!! Got Mad When He Signed Moore!! Now You Can't Let Moore GO!!!!

Give It A Break!!




The Fins Had $6 Million To Spend And Needed To Get At Least!! 4-5 Players!! Basic Math!! You Will Get 1 Average WR!! FOR THIS PRICE ($6 Mil)!! OR SIGN 8-10 PLAYERS! For the Minimun!!

But He Should've .... (Smack) Shut Up!! And Listen FOOL!!

V.Davis Was Already Replaced!! R.Marshall Was Signed As Nickel/#2 CB!! And Guess What He Outplayed Him!! Ireland asked Philbin!! Can We Hold Without Him!! And Guess What? N.Carroll is Even Better Than VD!! SMARTER TO!!

On Marsha!!!

Really Fool!!! What About The Last 20 Years!! When The ONLY WR THE FINS HAD!! THAT SCARED ANYONE!! AT LEAST HALF THE TIME!!! IS C.CHAMBERS!!!


Done Thinking?

Never mind! That Ireland Has Been Turning The Bottom Of The Roster Like A Mad Man!! Bringing CB's And Wr's!! EVERY WEEK!! Trying To Hit On Something!!



And Chad Could've Been The Answer But His Clowning!! And Personal Problems!! Are more Of A Liability!! Than His On The Field Persona!!

Curious, Vontae Davis appears as a complete sociopath while his brother Vernon is gathering accolades as a painter around SF. What you think?

C-Wake and Pouncey makes the pro bowl team. C-Wake as a starter.

Armando, why no blog on this yet?

course, but hilton would of been a solid rookie with big potential

Dont be surprised if the Bills defense changes it up and confuses the dolphins. You know why? Because everytime Mando writes a story about how the Dolphins can take advantage of a teams weakness he is dead wrong. The team he writes about rises to the occasion and makes his blog ridiculous. So no doubt the Bills will show Mando his wrong again.

Wanny's press coverage D forced more turnovers than this bunch. Sam Madison, Terrell Buckley, Pat Surtain, all had ball skills.

YG to your comment about Egnew and Matthews. You prove my point that its the QB that makes the greatness in a receiver come out, not the other way around. They will not be good because Tannehill is the QB. I know you will say Gabbert is not a great QB, and he is not, but in college he was good!

Dashi!! YOUR POSTS! are LUDICROUSLY LONG!! And! Why do you!! USE! this COMPLETELY BIZARRE! and NONSENSICAL! writing! STYLE?! That turns your! THOUGHTS! Into a SALAD! OF INCOHERENCE!!

Nobody has answered my question about the Vernon Brothers.

gabbert wasnt very good in college

I have decided not to answer your question about the Vernon Brothers. I am sorry.


IMO, I just believe Hilton's success would have been a lot more limited here than in Indy. Indy still has the big wr who's still a deepthreat(Wayne). His numbers dont lie. We dont have that.

They have a pro bowl TE in Dwayne Allen. We dont have that.

They have a far more experience rookie qb in Andrew Luck. We dont have that yet in Tannehill.

TY Hilton is more "BENEFICIARY" of all of these things, than just that great on his own. Plus, he's small, and team would have completely taken him away because we have no other really potent weapons for them to focus on.

When is the next time we play the CINCINNATI BENGALS?


From watching Mizzou highlights, believe it or not, it seems Michael Egnew's recieving ability did a lot to pro up Gabbert.

Gabbert used Egnew as a "security blanket".

Noww, noww, tell the truth here, would you guys want to be queers or complete sociopaths. In between. We know .

YG to your comment about Egnew and Matthews. You prove my point that its the QB that makes the greatness in a receiver come out, not the other way around. They will not be good because Tannehill is the QB. I know you will say Gabbert is not a great QB, and he is not, but in college he was good!

So, if your point is proven, why is Gabbert such an awful nfl qb? I would take Sanchez over Gabbert right now. LOL...

"Pro up?" Is this the latest ridiculous 'jock talk' term the talking heads on ESPN are using?

YG to your comment about Egnew and Matthews. You prove my point that its the QB that makes the greatness in a receiver come out, not the other way around. They will not be good because Tannehill is the QB. I know you will say Gabbert is not a great QB, and he is not, but in college he was good!

Posted by: dolffnman | December 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM

So, if your point is proven, why is Gabbert such an awful nfl qb? I would take Sanchez over Gabbert right now. Egnew was his college "security blanket". LOL...

Tomorrow, at a certain Moment, Everybody will know what they want, or not.

I'm uncertain why there is still argument about who and why caused the departure of Brandon Marshall. The man has gone public several times in several interviews stating he wanted to be traded out of Miami. He wanted to play on a team with an established QB. He an Cutlet (Yeah... that's right... "Cutlet") are big buds and he wanted to go play with him(self)there.
There is no BLAME to be given since it was a mutal choice. I also find it amazing how some would consider ignoring his propensity for killing QB confidence and causing them headaches that are unnecessary. OR just how volatile he was in a locker Room. I attend no less than 5 or 6 Training Camp sessions every year... The camp preceding the 2011 season (His last in Miami) I saw Marshall in arguments with staff and with players, throwing and kicking the ball all over in childish anger outbursts... I'm not saying that Brandon Marshall is not a fine W/O... what I am saying, however, is that some players don't fit on certain teams... We just took a CB from Cleveland who left there after several arguments with the coaching staff... It happens.... I'm also a bit distressed with him stabbing himself with a shard of mirror... and the 4 other police altercations he had in Miami that never went reported by the team because he wasn't actually arrested... Talent is great... But at what cost???

Back again for another dose of propaganda at Miami Harold.Im going to take creative liberty using the same screen name and combine the last two articles of this blog into ONE sentence.Eggnew is gonna play Sunday, and overcome crappy strategies by his own Sherman, and burn the heck outta Wandsteads vanilla alignment.Check his musttach after the game it will real burn marks.

El entrendador de los bisones va tener el bigote cemado depues de el juego jueys.

After the game Ron Magill of the zoo will definitely win the battle of the beards.

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