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A look ahead and PFF look back at Saints game

This is a short week for the Dolphins and this blog so let's combine a look ahead with a look back, shall we?

Looking ahead to the Ravens, the Dolphins are practicing today. Well, most of the Dolphins are practicing today.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson is not practicing. Indeed, he's not even rehabbing his groin injury on the sideline. He comes out for the stretching portion of practice and leaves when the practice or rehab work begins.

Not good.

Linebacker Jason Trusnik and defensive back Don Jones -- two special teams stalwarts -- are not practicing but working with trainers off to the side. With Trusnik's injury, now you understand why the team signed Austin Spitler today.

Defensive end Cameron Wake is working. He was working at his usual position with starters during the open portion of practice. So that suggests he'll be available against the Ravens barring a setback.

Now a bit of a look in the rear-view mirror for the final time this year. Here's ProFootballFocus.com's study of the Dolphins loss to New Orleans:


WR Brandon Gibson got his highest grade (+2.4) this season and played the most snaps (49) he has seen in 2013.

WR Mike Wallace had his lowest graded performance (-3.3) since his very first game as a pro in 2009.

RT Tyson Clabo (-2.5) had another poor performance, allowing 4 hurries, 2 hits and a sack.

Tight ends Dion Sims (7 snaps) and Michael Egnew (6 snaps) didn’t see much playing time, with the Dolphins employing their 11 personnel for much of the game.

The Saints were able to generate pressure without blitzing. Against the blitz, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 3-for-3 for 78 yards, including his 50-yard checkdown to Marcus Thigpen.

All four sacks of Ryan Tannehill came when the Saints did not blitz. That does not speak well of the Miami protection.

The Dolphins gained 75 yards on 9 designed rushes to the left side, and just 18 yards on 7 carries up the middle and to the right.

Brandon Gibson and Charles Clay caught at least one pass against five different defenders.

The Dolphins’ receivers had 150 yards after the catch on 22 receptions.


OLB Philip Wheeler had another poor game, but did not miss any tackles. He missed six tackles last week. Wheeler allowed all seven targets against him to be completed. They came against Kenny Stills, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, and Darren Sproles, who had two.

Dion Jordan played 23 snaps as a nickel defensive end. He rushed the passer 17 times and dropped into coverage twice.

DT Marvin Austin played 18 snaps in his Dolphins debut, showing well against the run (+1.3).

CB Jamar Taylor was forced into action due to injuries and saw 29 snaps, primarily at right cornerback for Nolan Carroll. He was beaten for a TD and three first downs.

Taylor was picked on by Drew Brees, giving up Jimmy Graham’s 27-yard touchdown, and two Colston catches for a total of 60 yards.


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“Up front we just kept taking advantage of their weak tackles and their inside guys,” Galette said after Monday night’s game. “I wish we could play them again so we could tee off on them again.”
He continued: “It was a nice win, but I don’t think that team was as good as everybody was saying. We just abused their offensive line all game.”

All four sacks of Ryan Tannehill came when the Saints did not blitz. That does not speak well of the Miami protection.

Oh Boy! Meanwhile Brees was reading the newspaper in the pocket most of the night. That's gotta change

I said I wasnt impressed with Wheeler after the game, not just against NO but with what he's shown in the 4 games so far--might be younger but doesnt look to be an upgrade over Burnett, in the early going at least.....and coverage was supposed to be a strength, but doesnt look like it.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me during the Dolphins/Saints game was the Dolphins lack of playmakers. Cam Wake is their only guy on either side of the ball capable of dominating a game.

The Saints have lots of playmakers. The Dolphins have one.

Lets see what Sunday brings....T-Hill and Wallace need to get on the same page quick or $60 Mil is out the window. I still wish he could throw a better deep ball and Wallace could catch a better deep ball. Lets go Phins!!

sorry but time to force Wallace the ball again....we came out doing that right away against Indy and it set the tone, was very effective.....opens up everything on offense.....screens, quick slants, reverses, whatever....get the ball in his hands--cant see Miami going too far throwing alot to Hartline and Gibson....they're good/dependable, effective.....but Wallace is the playmaker.

It's true, Coyle didn't seem to plan at all for Sproles who was the O Player that inflicted the most damage on us. Also true, Payton designed some great match ups, Sproles vs LBs, Graham vs rookie #22. Plain outright abuse.

Did you see the formations where Payton was running his plays? Would line up tight with 2 TEs then throw from there. Would split out 4 wide then run a draw play. Both for TDs. Ow!

for the seeming lack of Wallace targets, theyve said "you gotta take what they give you"--I dont buy it....you mean to tell me that defenses dont try to take away Welker?--or C Johnson, or J Jones?--of course they do....but the OC and player have to figure out a way to get open--dont worry about "what they give you"....be creative, figure it out, force it....design a play and get open.

As far as Lamar Miller...good back, fast, but he seems not to go for that extra yard when he's going down. I'm not sure if he's afraid to fumble, get hit...maybe he's smarter than the average back. But I'd still like to see him get that extra yard.

***** five reasons why i'm lovin me some dolphins *****

i'm o.k. with the fact we played an ugly second half in the loss to the saints, why?... because that is NOW an enomoly, we all know that this team is different, we've seen what they are capable of doing on a consistant basis, and we all know in our gut that this team has the strength and the smarts to weather a string of negative plays and not collapse. the saints loss will proove to be a rare showing by philbins dolphins.--here are my five reasons:
1) player talent - 2) coaching - 3) loss to saints was NOT the cause of an inferior roster or lack of talent, the culprit here is fixable mistakes that WILL get corrected, in which i have no doubt(see #2)
3) the same people who built this years team are only going to add more quality players again next year. 4) the current players on the roster(who stay) will be that much better next year(things only will get better for philbins dolphins. 5) they needed this loss to put lazar beam focus on these faults that otherwise may have gone overlooked only to show up in the post season(good timing and more acute ears in practice)
p.s.--someone has to tell tanny, if he decides to run with the ball, don't hesitate, once you make your mind up JUST GO!--

benz, I've never bought that, 'take what they give you' as a absolute. That's a sure way to lose. True that every game/team is different and sometimes you have to go with that. But winners usually dictate the direction of the game.

If you want to use #11 effectively, I'm telling you, crossing pattern. Audible into that when you catch the other team in man coverage and havoc ensues. When people refer to his one trick pony - that is it - not the deep ball. Guy has hooks for hands.

And I'll add, that's one of the reasons why I don't like 'bend but don't break'. I say, hit 'em in the mouth

Fine, get #11 involved, but I LOVE the fact that Tannehill doesn't discriminate on who he passes the ball to. I prefer having that than a QB who uses WR as a security blanket. Shows immaturity and lack of intelligence when a QB does that.

What's with the o-line pass protection?

It must have graded out with a D.

Cocoa, bend but don't break has it's time and place. Where Coyle got caught is he's been running the same dam defense for four straight games and it has been less effective each time out. By the time Payton got his hands on the tape - he was jerking it to the excitement that was in front of him.

If you want to use #11 effectively, I'm telling you, crossing pattern. Audible into that when you catch the other team in man coverage and havoc ensues. When people refer to his one trick pony - that is it - not the deep ball. Guy has hooks for hands.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Mark, I've thought with a little more experience, Tannehill will start seeing some of the dumb plays Sherman calls and changes them. Maybe later in the season or next year at the latest. As much as I'd like to see Philbin make some staff changes, he probably won't. Tannehill maybe the only chance.

There was no pass rush. Is Wake that critical to having any rush? Jordan was absent.

New arrival Austin had a sack. Maybe he gets to play more?

I am not mad that we lost the game. I am disappointed on how we lost the game. In the first have running the ball was effective, but not great. This however kept the defense honest, instead of letting them just rush the QB. Yeah its a passing league, but the o-line isn't the best. To win their matchups the D needs to be off balanced. Just saying

Wallace had a long pass go right thru his hands in the first quarter that seemed catchable and could have lead to a TD.

Kind of hard to rip on Wheelers pass coverage skills in this last game.

Sproles, Colston, Stills & Thomas? He's a LB'er!

All those guys are most likely faster than Wheeler & probably allot faster. What a tough matchup. Can't & won't kill him for that.

Ellerbe is another story I see nothing great about this guy. VERY ordinary.

It's time to start considering the scheme is the issue, not the players. I mean, it's been YEARS since we could cover a TE or RB in the flat.

I find it very hard to fathom that every linebacker we've had the last 6 years have been poor cover guys. Something is wrong schematically.

Could it be Coyle & that double A gap blitz look where the lbers are ready to come & then have to drop back in coverage?

Yea, that doesn't put them at a MAJOR disadvantage. Especially against teams with players the likes of Sproles & Colsten.

How is that even fair?

Is Martin the best option at LT?

Cocoa, bend but don't break has it's time and place. Where Coyle got caught is he's been running the same dam defense for four straight games and it has been less effective each time out. By the time Payton got his hands on the tape - he was jerking it to the excitement that was in front of him.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 02, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Mark, I absolutely agree. I see the same...call it inflexibility...as in Sherman. It's like they're stuck with a gameplan and can't change it

Well, that long ball that Wallace failed to catch was severely underthrown by RT. Check it out.

Im screaming for Sherman to begin moving Wallace around. That's what I see as most effective way to use him.

Im not opposed to using sparingly on reverse running plays. Give the defense more to think about than just doubling him over/under.

Our oline plays right into the defensive plan by not allowing Tannehill enough time for Wallace to blow the top off of the safety. Wallace did have one deep pass he allowed to sail right through his hands. But, Ireland should have been well aware of this before the Wallace signing. The rest of the NFL were.

The formula for beating the Phins offense is in - don't blitz, only rush 4 - or even 3, drop the rest into coverage. Because there is no reason to blitz, feel free to bring up one safety in the box to stop the run, and drop into coverage if it's a pass or passing down.
The formula for beating the Phin's defence - isolate the LB's in coverage against RBs and TEs. Get to the weaknesses in the secondary, which is basically everyone but Grimes.
Let's see if this team can adjust to this, as every team will be doing this moving forward.

Oh, no. We are going to go play by play where our guys fukked up and in detail. Then we hope the Coaches replay these major fukkkups to the culprits x10, in front of their teammates, of course.

Please tell me we wouldn't be better off with a REAL LT and Martin back at RT where he belongs? This would make our line stringer as then we could move Clabo inside or back up the RT. As for us using 11 personnel all game....what damn choice do we have we don't really have 1 real TE! If the Jags are having a fire sale then make an offer for Marcedes Lewis. He is a good run blocker that would allow us to use 12, 22 personnel with pass catching Clay at TE.


Oscar, not severly underthrown when #11 is upright, the defender doesn't touch it, and it goes through his hands. maybe a touch underthrown as it just would've resulted in a long gain instead of a touchdown (difference of inches) but any NFL WR worth his salt makes that catch let alone a $60M dufus

Massdolphan has a point. DC's will take this tape and use it as a blueprint. It's exposed that defenses can effectively get to our qb with 3 or 4 down linemen. No need to blitz. 7-8 in coverage and Tannehill may throw a pick.

Both our coordinators may need to greatly revise how they go about their game planning.

Greg, I targeted Lewis in the preseason as a replacement for Keller and I agree. Two TE set with Clay and Lewis (over under) would give Tannehill a multitude of options ... not that he really lacks for targets right now tho...

And Tannehill has made his living passing vs the blitz this year. Nice sign but when the other team doesn't need to blitz to get the same pass rush then it's bad - for any QB. It's like you're playing with 13 or 14 defenders.

Looks like the 2 biggest signings of the offseason are 2 of th ebiggest bums on the team - Ellerbe & Wallace.

Ireland is terrible.

Hilarious to watch the homers rush to his defense.

Mark, it just makes sense. If the opposing D had to respect our underneath game then it would open it for #11 to earn that $60million. He should be embarrassed!

scheme is only one aspect of solid play...players need to execute.

Example: Clay is designated to pick up the OLB rushing the QB. He pushes the OLB a foot to the right, then looks inside to engage someone else.

...meanwhile that OLB laughs all the way to the QB and gets an easy sack.

Play called for the TE to engage/stop the OLB blitz and he failed in his execution of the scheme.

You can blame Coyle for missing any scheme to stop Sproles, but the players must executed on basic blocking schemes or we are doomed.

Unless and until we get a true hitter in the safety position teams will eat us up going across the middle. Where are the Blackwood brothers.....or their kids?

Massdolphan has a point. DC's will take this tape and use it as a blueprint. It's exposed that defenses can effectively get to our qb with 3 or 4 down linemen. No need to blitz. 7-8 in coverage and Tannehill may throw a pick.

Both our coordinators may need to greatly revise how they go about their game planning.

Posted by: Sam I Am | October 02, 2013 at 04:27 PM
It's time that Joe Philbin & staff take a honest evaluation of themselves. If not now, during bye. Our coaching is the single most problem we have right now. Need proof? Look at defense line play last year and compare with this year. And that's just one unit.

for many of the above....good teams/players/coaches figure it out....everybody watches tape, everybody uses that info and more "as the blueprint"....that applies to all teams.....but good teams figure it out.....or dont.

Greg, this isn't past NFL football. Roger Goodell hasn't taken the vicious hitting safety out of the game.

Every week it seems another safety gets fined for a vicious hit. Eventually facing suspension for repeated offense. It now safe for our grandmothers to catch passes over the middle in the NFL.

Both were to blame, Toronto, RT AND Wallace. btw, how many little children did you fukkk in Havana when you went there this past weekend? You back safe I see.

lets fix the secondary and quickly. we already knew wheeler sucked. martin has got to be a lot better

They never post my comments!!!!Here goes
1st:We spent money on lb's and we NEEDED ol desperatly very negative move, will haunt us for a few years.(blame the gm)
2ND: We run a swep on 3rd and a inch terrible play calling terrible why not qb sneak if you cant get a inch somethings wrong.Blame the off. coach)
3rd:either we have stupid db's or stupid d coordinator after 3 weeks if he cant' t figure out how to cover receivers that cross at the line of scrimage soenthing is terribly wrong The SAINT'S DID IT ALL NIGHT AND CRUCIFIED US!!!But easily fixed Coyle email me I will tell you how I am a expert on the old Washington Redskins Pettibone era willing to share it with you guranteed to work!!!!!!!

Still like our chances against Baltimore. I see no matchup nightmares with their offense. Although they may try and use this blueprint to get mismatches of cb's on te's or wr's on lb's, if Coyle doesn't install an adjustment when this happens.

Raven offensive weapons aren't nearly as scary as Saints.

Coach Coyle email me I will share teach you the Washinton REDSKINS defense from the Rich Pettibone era, triangle, invert triangle,can cover any crossing pattern without giving the receiver any room can never get beat many variations but very easy to learn email me I will fly down to you on my own dime tired of seeing us get beat up no one would even know so your ego won't take a hit Mattp3623@aol.com

I saw Jonathan Martin allow 2 sacks trying to cover that NO speed rushing LB. Armando, enlighten us with PFF on that one, please.

How is Carroll doing? We were very thin in the secondary against NO with both the #2 and #3 CBs out.

Se clavaron al Bernie Kosar.

Is it true, Mike, is it true? - Yes

Random observations -

It seems like Wallace was not engaged, and while he hasn't had a blow up since the first week, I'm waiting for another Brandon Marshall. At least he won't stab himself. Get him involved early. The Saints were routinely playing 10 yards off him. If Philbin is taking what the give us, then why no short drop/quick hits to Wallace?

There was a lot of concern about losing Bess. I liked Bess, but Gibson has everything Bess does, plus he can run after the catch. Two weeks in a row I've seen him make a play Bess could not.

I think we should have kept Burnett at least. I thought he was the best LB we had last year. When we signed Wheeler and Ellerbe, I thought we'd replace Misi. He seemed to be the weakest link. Now, none of the three seem to be able to tackle. Hopefully it's a sign of the new CBA - no hitting in camp means missed tackles in the early season?

I've quietly been a Thomas supporter. I saw a few games where he ran hard as a rookie, but I'm seeing nothing now. It seems like he won't stick his head in there...maybe he's afraid of another concussion.

Regardless of what is being said by some, Tannehill holds the ball too long. I'm optimistic, he seems like a smart kid - but this needs to change. Did anyone see him get PO'd in the huddle at someone? That to me is a good sign.

Finally, read this article on Bleacher Report. It's pretty informative and gives some insight on how we s&*t the bed.


One of Martin's sacks should be attributed to Cog's.

Martin was blocking his guy and Cog's comes over and knocks Martin off his Guy and off his feet. Yeah, Cog's just levels Martin(would like to see Cog's hit defenders like that. It was a nice hit. But in Martin's defense, he wasn't expecting Cog's to crumple him).

Anyways, Cog's levels Martin, then Martin's guy got a free run at Tannehill for a sack.

Truly a WTF Moment.

I disagree with most of the comments on this board. We just ain't that bad. There are some corrections for course but everyone loses a game. We simply can't expect a linebacker to cover really fast receivers. And then to criticize the guy for trying to cover fast receivers is really stupid..
I thought we should have stuck to the run game until they stopped it. And they really didn't stop anything. Our number 2 running back looks like a number 4. Daniel Thomas does not run big. He runs small. Nobody should be able to tackle him around the shoulders if he is big.
Tannehill should not run the ball unless he is willing to protect it.
Running screens and short passes and running plays takes a lot of pressure off of our offensive line. Run more of them interspersed with 15 - 20 yard plays to our receivers. We have excellent receivers.
If we lose faith the team loses faith.

-@ Kindry

I agree with you regarding Thomas - but with regards to the LB's, they should at least be able to tackle. It just seems like they are going for the strip instead of wrapping up.

I see them flying all over the place, but rarely making impactful tackles, regardless of their cover skills, which were touted, but so far, lacking. Your thoughts?

we signed 2 mediocre lbs for big money. most of us called it when it happened as the worst 2 signings they made this off season

Ellerbe and Wheeler are not playing bad. Day and night, crystal CLEAR upgrades over Burnout and Mouthsby.

Ellerbe is tops in the league in tackles and Wheeler has made multiple key plays, including a game winning sack. Last year Wheeler was rated the 2nd best 4-3 OLB when rushing the passer. He's continued that trend to date.

They are both upgrades over Burnout and Mothsby in coverages as well. The aberration is a result of how Coyle was out-schemed by Sean Payton.

Against the Saints, Ellerbe and Wheeler BOTH were put in ridiculous situations in regards too coverages. The announcer and commentator were both laughing about how many times Wheeler was lined up one on one against Slot Receivers(Do any of you really believe that Burnout or Mouthsby could cover the Saints Slot Receivers? Puh-Lease!).

We got an Old Fashioned Butt Whippin and Coyle got schooled by Payton and Brees. I'm not going to point any fingers at Ellerbe and Wheeler. In defense of Coyle, Brees and Payton are pretty Fvcking Good at Schooling DC's.

We have to LEARN from that game and then PUT IT BEHIND US. WITHOUT all the "Sky Is Falling" type of finger pointing-LOL!

We're 3-1 on the quarter with our ONLY loss being to one of the better Playoff teams. That translates to a 12-4 record. That loss hurt, but you have to temper the pain with a little.......**PERSPECTIVE!**


Ellerbe is tops in the league in tackles.

Wheeler had monster games in our wins. He's batted down passes and made tackles all over the place. He even had a game winning sack.

I think you're disregarding our 3 wins and using tunnel vision on the ONE Loss.

Youe Thoughts....?

we signed 2 mediocre lbs for big money. most of us called it when it happened as the worst 2 signings they made this off season

Posted by: dusty bottoms | October 02, 2013 at 05:41 PM

ROTFLMAO - BOY, you SO funny!


These coaches better earn their pay this week!!!

I blame them more than the players this week.

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