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Dolphins (struggling vs. TEs) must contain Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez is good. He's Hall of Fame-bound good. Well, so far this season he hasn't been that good, but that's probably a result of him taking much of training camp off after striking a deal with the Falcons that allowed him to do so.

But the guy is generally good.

And that's not the best news for the Dolphins because tight ends have been something of a concern for Miami this year. Now, let me define "something of a concern:"

ooooh crud, here we go again.

“Let’s see, the Cleveland game Cameron (Jordan) had a big game," coach Joe Philbin said Tuesday, recalling the Dolphins efforts against tight ends so far this year. "He was very, very productive. Last week they obviously hit (Coby) Fleener down the seam on a big play, but I think we have the capability of doing a good job against the tight ends."

The Dolphins probably do have the capability of playing better against tight ends. But they have to clean up the issues of the past two weeks to do it.

In the Cleveland game, for example, the Dolphins gave up 10 completions for 117 yards and a touchdown to Browns tight ends. In the Indianapolis game, the Dolphins gave up 5 completions for 82 yards and a touchdown to Colts tight ends.

Opposing teams have targeted their tight ends 24 times vs. Miami so far this season and come away with 15 completions -- that's a 62.5 percent success rate every time the opposing team throws to the tight end.

Compare that to the 50 percent success rate (36 of 72) on targets to all other players, including easy, short throws to running backs and fullbacks and you see that Miami has work to do on limiting tight ends.

This is nothing new, by the way. Long-time Dolphins fans know the team has for some reason struggled covering tight ends for years and years. (No idea why).

But as the Dolphins actively tried to improve their pass coverage this year -- including the signing Phillip Wheeler -- so the hope remains the team can improve on tight end coverage as the season unfolds.

One variable that should buoy the Dolphins is that in Sunday's game, the Falcons won't bring the best tight end in the league to the game. Yes, Gonzalez has been in the past. But he's 37 years old now. He's off to a slow start with only seven receptions for 69 yards. And he's averaging a modest. 9.9 yards per catch, which is over two yards less than his career average per catch.

Despite this apparent decline the Dolphins respect Gonzalez and know he can hurt them.

 "He’s outstanding," Philbin said. "He just knows he has so much route skills. He’s just a tough guy to defend, no doubt about it. He knows how to get open. He’s got extremely good hands. It will be a challenge, but I think we are capable."


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give 'm his yds. just no td's.

All three of those teams will have major challenges this year. I think the Steelers are done, for some reason try to be a rushing team when they have a 2* world champion qb and a crap o line and no rbs. They also have key injuries.

Ravens will be relying solely on Flacco and he won't be able to carry the mail enough - especially if Rice will be banged up for a while.

Indy - they may be the best fo the bunch but as we saw last week - beatable even in their own house.

Craig, Poizen has a helluva team .. good luck ...

rdubs, I finish with a bang and end up asleep...

mark we need to beat those teams so we have tie breakers if needed

Mando - I have no idea why you are addressing Vernon vs. Shelby or Defending TE's. Looking at 2 games does not generate enough concern for me around either issue.

I simply reinforce again:

The Fin's' Defense have only allowed three touchdowns this season, just six points in the second halves and no fourth-quarter points. They're tied for third in points allowed per game at 15.0.

Who cares which players do what or which positions caught passes when your Defense is not allowing points to be scored in the end?

Wilson is a banger for real


and a trash bin full of tissues or is that just me?


To many points to compare the 2. Sex is more like baseball. Soccer is to low scoring and more of a same sex thing to qualify.

In baseball if you are getting crushed you can always call on your relievers(your hands) to finish the game.

dusty, i want to win EVERY game. This isn't like alst year or years passed when we just concede games as fans because the other teams have more talent, better Qb, better coached, etc.

like r dubs says, this is my team, son and we roll over for nobody!!!

rdubs, just a tip, don't leave the lobstertubing for too late at night, may fall asleep too quickly before all the evidence is put away and be caught red handed.

Learned this one the hard way...


I didn't give the Steelers much of a chance before the season started. I gave them less of a chance now.

Ravens will still be there. They have issues and they'll miss Rice if he's out for lunch but there's still enough vets over there to keep them competitive. We should be hoping the Texans lay a whipping on them this Sunday.

and the tissues must go down the toilet .. not the bin.. can't have all that forensic evidence hanging around.

The more I look at this team the more I like what is going on. I said 10-6 this year but I need someone to tell me where the 6 losses will come from if this team keeps playing like it is and injuries stay at a minimum. I really like our chances to beat Atlanta this week if we don't have a let down. Don't like New Orleans game because it is sandwiched between two tough home games and Baltimore is no doubt gonna be tough. After that though??!
Jets 2X
Buffalo 2X
New England 2X this is not the same New England Team
Cinn at home
Tampa Bay maybe tougher then we think
San Diego at home
Carolina at home
Pittsburg pedestrian and looking old

If we beat Atlanta and/or Baltimore, I find a hard time finding 4 or 5 additional losses in this schedule

All the talk about the players is fun...but what about Philbin?

He's installed a great program and the players are responding.

He's made the right call almost every play and seems to have an air of extreme confidence in his abilities.

Fisher and Harbaugh would have been distractions as they are high-maintenance people who need to share the lime-light with the players.

Philbin is the mild-mannered guy who is more cerebral than motivator. Kinda reminds me of a younger Bill Walsh.


Learned this one the hard way...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 18, 2013 at 01:07 PM

I don't know if that comment was intentional but it was funny to Dashi.

I really hope we re-sign Paul Soliai. He is one of 2 players i would love to see retire a Dolphin, the other being Cam Wake. Paul took a huge discount and wanted to stay here. I agree with how Dawn negotiates, but I wish she would bend her rules to get Paul signed to a nice contract.


The Ravens aren't that good. And the Biggest thing they are missing is someone that can lead them.

The Bengals are the Only team in the AFC North that worries me. All the Divisions in the AFC are Top heavy. Only 1 good team per division. 2 at the most. And that would be the AFC South and East.

Rashad Jones will be big Sunday....i expect at least 2 picks by our secondary.

guessing paul would be franchised if not resigned, lets hope they get grimes locked up before he cost an ass load

disagree dashi kc has a legit shot at being solid

sometimes...there is nothing wrong with an ass load...

sometimes...there is nothing wrong with an ass load...

Posted by: Jack! 10.6 | September 18, 2013 at 01:27 PM

Just ask Daytona!

I Hope Gonzalez has a great game He's on my F.F team. Though I do hope the Air-Breathing Mammals win...

bobby the one game that is looking tougher by the day is San Diege. Granted we have them at home but Rivers is throwing the ball all over the place. Our key there will be taking advantage of lead foot Fluker and whoeever else they have playing OT. man, this def line is an equalizer against almost everyone on paper.

san diego?? really mark. not worried about any team traveling cross country to play us at 10 am there time. take the pats out is the mission

and NH, Fisher is one of the worst in game managers in the NFL. He acquires talent but his in game decisions ... pewwww stinky.

Dashi it was indeed intended ... punny as my bud calls it

Cuban Menace scored 70.18 points last week, the lowest mark in the league.


Cuban, this weekend you go down to me in FF

Next weekend, i go to your old country and enjoy the spoils of victory...

love it or hate it but it's the best thing going today .... WOOO!

dusty, that will be the tough part for the Chargers but they definitely look better than I thought they would be...

then again, get Rivers to make mistakes ... he is apt to ahnd over 7-14 points on some weeks.

What a slob that guy is ... I know he wants to be Dan Marino but man, don't emulate his worst traits ... ie. not working out. it's 2013, can't smoke in training camp anymore.

go finsssssssssssss marino was the man. rivers just blows


Are you referring to PhilliP River's as a slob? Maybe its all the daggone kids he has. He is getting his workout in the bedroom and smoking afterwords lmao

Ha!! Yeah, I hear he has a tonne of kids. Still, he's a rich man, he can afford to hire people to help maintain his kids enough to get some workouts in. This guy is a professional athlete ... maybe he would've been better in baseball where working out consists of light stretching while joking aound with all the other guys ....

6 kids by 31... he married good stock - that wife has good birthing hips and spits em out like pez. Good for Phillip - nice choice in mating partner...

I bet my boss that the Dolphins will finish with a better record than the San Diego Chargers. I have a lunch riding on this and ya'll know how expensive lunches are getting nowadays LOL

By the way, anyone watch the Don Shula documentary where he spoke of making his wife do foot drills on the beach on their honeymoon to see if they had any chance of having athletic kids?? HAAA`!!! That's our DON!!

Rivers always throws the ball all over the place... it just happens this year its happening more to his receivers than the opposing defense lol

rdubs better hope we do, chargers arent winning more than 7 games

about $20 for every five minutes in these parts...

true Matty, when the Chargers play, someone is going to score often that's for sure!!

This has been a topic recently, and I haven't read any of the threads in the last couple of hours yet, but I just wanted to let you guys know shut-down corner is predicting Fins to win AFC East and saying they are jumping on Fins bandwagon....So, Fins are starting to get the love everybody has been wishing for. This may sound strange, but I HATE this. I wish media would leave us alone.....We don't need their love! Be careful what you wish for.

dont want any love deaners, less pressure the better. hope we stay under radar all year


More Dolphin articles

More Dolphin stories on pregame

Bobbyd12 @1:09

I agree with you 100% with one adjustment:
If the team we have on the field now can stay intact for the whole season then we SHOULD be able to win all of those games in the 4th qtr.

Our D is giving up a lot of yards and some points so our O is just going to have to keep grinding for all 4 qtr.

I can't think of any team in the league that we can't be in the game with.

Rivers , 28 turnovers last year and 142 for his career ... can't win with that...

That would be a great stat if Armando can post it. How many snaps are our 3 DTs getting. What is the Split. Are the 3 rotating equally? Or are 2 getting way more snaps than the 3rd.

Posted by: Dashi | September 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Dashi, I saw this stat posted somewhere. They are playing close to equal 3rds with a slight edge going with Odrick getting the most snaps. I think Soliai had slightly less than Starks because he comes off the field in obvious passing situations.

Off Topic but I just learned Jimmy Snuka has a daughter that is a wrestler and now I want to visit lobstertube, but cant cuz I am at work LOL

Thanks Woodshed. So it really doesn't matter who is starting. All 3 see about the same time on the Field.


KC doesn't convince me. A.Reid has to reprove himself to me after the last couple seasons in Philly(was it his fault or the GM, he was the GM). I have always liked A.Smith and it seems like he finally has got it the last couple seasons. But they are still a question mark to me.

At most that would still only make 2 teams in the AFC West. The NFC is the Better Conference this season.

Rdubs...after perusing several of your posts I suggest you change your handle from Rdubs...to Drubs...


She is a wrestler but nothing special to look at. Dashi will still knock her down though.

maybe dRubs...to break it up...

Jack I dont get it? I dont flor or beat anyone with a stick......Oh I get it LOL



Perhaps its my preference for brown skinned girls, with that island look, does that sound racist? She is muscular and kind of scares me in a good way. maybe I just have visions of her jumping off the top rope Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka style on my.....um....whats a godd word...umm...weiner!

John Abraham was always a Dolphin killer...particularly a Jake Long killer...always had his number...well both those cats are gone...so...time to go 3-0!!!

Craig, I like the ambition, My talking will be with my boyz on the field... lol...

No one asked...but me??? I perfer a lady with a sturdy base...yeeaaahhhhH!!!

And a son I believe too but he was quickly relieved of his job with the WWE

Blitz, blitz, blitz...then, blitz some more! Gonzales can't burn you if his QB is laying on the ground. He'll have to stay back and block. Use the "Speed Package" that we hear som much about. Line up Dion Jordan over Gonzales. He's athletic enough to keep up with a 37-year-old TE and he's supposed to be pretty good in coverage, plus he's part of the speed rush. Keep Gonzales busy and make him pay for sliding out over the middle.


Schlereth and SVP giving the Phins some love on ESPN Radio...deya go!!!

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