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Mike Sherman addresses the 'play call,' other things

The Bryant McKinnie trade sidetracked this blog from the pursuit of answers from Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman about his work and his unit's work in a loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Indeed, when Sherman entered the interview room Monday, I was on the phone with a source about McKinnie.

But, unlike Ryan Tannehill, I have time to gather myself and get back on plan.

So here now is Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman answering questions:

(On if he knows anything about a trade for Bryant McKinnie) -- “No, I don’t talk about personnel stuff. I leave that up to Jeff (Ireland) and Joe (Philbin)."

(On if Bryant McKinnie would bring if he did come to the team) -- “I’m not even going to comment on it right now because I don’t know the where ifs or what nots. Ask Joe (Philbin) and Jeff (Ireland)."

(On if he feels there needs to be changes on the offensive line) -- “If we had…believe it or not, we got out there every single game and evaluate our personnel. Every week we put the best guys in the best position. If we thought we had better at certain positions, then we would go in that direction, right or wrong. That’s how we look at it. Take that for what you can."

(On Tyson Clabo’s season so far) -- "Tyson came in as a veteran player. (He has a) tremendous attitude, tremendous personna and work ethic. I thought he brought a lot to the table in relationship to team chemistry and being a part of that group. Certainly we’ve faced some pretty good pass rushers, (Elvis) Dumervil, (Terrell) Suggs, Jordan and no less Mario Williams. We’ve struggled. Mario Williams is going to be a Hall of Fame player at some point of his career or life, I would imagine. They are tough challenges. The first three ball games we didn’t quite face those types of challenges, those types of pass rushers, in the last couple of ball games we had. Obviously, we’ve struggled. We just have to figure out whoever is playing those positions the best way to help them. I can do a better
job of that. At times we do, at times we can’t. You just can’t based on certain parts of it. At times we are good and at times we aren’t so good. Tyson has had his struggles at different times, but he’s brought something to the table as well."

(On decision to pass in the fourth quarter with 3:37 to play) -- "The first play was a run. It was against Bear defense, and they were 100 percent trying to stop the run. We have a lot of confidence in the two receivers, Mike (Wallace) and (Brian) Hartline on the outside. We felt comfortable with that. It was a five-step pass. Obviously the result isn’t what we were looking for."

(On passing the ball during the fourth quarter before the fumble play) -- "I don’t think you can protect a 21-20 lead in this league. I think you have to be fairly aggressive. I’ve been in situations myself trying to protect a 21-20 lead, and I’ve lost those games 27-21. We are going to be aggressive with a one-point lead in the fourth quarter. We aren’t going to sit on it. The difference between winning and losing in this is so much right there. It’s one play that can make the difference in a ball game for you or against you. With a one point lead, my philosophy and Joe (Philbin’s) as well has been to be aggressive. If we got the first down, the game would have been won and we wouldn’t be having this discussion at this point. Certainly it’s a valid question, without a doubt. At the same time the what-if factor is, ‘If you get it, do you have this conversation?’ No you don’t, and it would have been a great call. Those things happen."

(On what portion of four-minute offense is pass plays versus run) -- “That’s not four-minute offense. That’s trying to win the football game. Four-minute offense for us would be under four minutes on the clock. We have a nine-plus lead, probably 10 point lead in the game. You put your two tight ends out there. You try to burn your time outs or time off the clock. The part of it is most of those plays they are different type of plays. They aren’t drop-back plays. That was not a four-minute offensive play. That was a play to win the game. With the ball at midfield and Joe (Philbin) is the best at doing research on opponents, and in our research they had a two-minute drive last week to tie
the ballgame. We wanted to win the game. We wanted to get that first down. We knew the front they were going to play. They played the exact front and coverage we thought they were going to play. It just didn’t pan out."

(On if the amount of sacks to Ryan Tannehill is affected him) -- “Let me just say this about Ryan Tannehill. He’s normally very resilient and physical. If you ever notice how he takes a hit, he’s giving to it. Do I think he’s banged up a little bit? Yes, probably. He wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t. At the same time knowing him, he’s very resilient physically and mentally. I think that is what is going to make him a very good quarterback in this league."

(On if a player would come in via trade, could they conceivably start for the team) -- “Do you want the filibuster? As far as personnel goes my comments are directed to the general manager and the head coach, who are more in-tune with that. The what-if part of it, I’m just dealing with what-ifs today. I have to get through today and get ready for a great football team up in New England. That part of it I’m not going to address, thank you. I appreciate the question though."

(On if he remembers ever having a player brought in before and starting the same weekend) -- “I don’t recall not. I don’t recall doing either."

(On how long it would take someone to learn offensive linemen technique in this system) -- “Are you guys just passing the ball around here? Let’s get this game over with so we can move on."

(On the possibility of giving Tyson Clabo block help on the play that resulted in the fumble) – “I think there’s always ways. It’s a different style of play. (Mario Williams) is going to line-up somewhere, usually on the edge to the open side. He’s going to be a problem somewhere. In hindsight, yes, I think you can always do that. It’s a different call, it’s a different structure. It was a run-pass option, and they showed the pass look. That’s what we went to. We very easily could, if they didn’t play that front, could have went to the run. There are different variables. It would have made it a little bit complicated. In an ideal world, that is a possibility."

(On if there could be a variable where Mario Williams is double-teamed wherever he lines up) -- "We did some of that in the ball-game at different times. We banged him. We thumped him. We did different things to him. To do that consistently throughout the ball game and negate the fact that sometimes he’s not where you think he’s going to be. That happened once or twice. Then we moved to him. That’s another thing. You negate the structure of your pass offense in some ways because your route distribution is out a little bit. Now can you do it? Yes, you are limited a bit from what you can do but you have a chance to bang him in those situations."

(On if the pick-6 against Buffalo was a bad throw, bad read or a good defensive play) -- “All of the above probably."

(On Ryan Tannehill having more turnovers than touchdowns as part of the learning curve) -- “I think we always want to get better than where we are, and I think he’ll be the first one to tell you that. Sometimes on some interceptions he made a bad decision on one. He got hit on the fumble he had no chance of getting out of. It happened rather quickly, and the interception for the touchdown by Buffalo he was hit as he was delivery the back. He probably would have pulled it back if he had time to. I’m hoping that’s what he would have done. There’s a lot of variables to those things. To put them all on the quarterback I think is unfair. I think we all share that responsibility."


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Not attack 2watt, to strong of a word. I think stalk maybe? Misinterpret? Annoy? Troll?

I just don't understand why you act the way you do and why it makes you happy (lol?). I don't know people like you in my everyday life. I do, but they are children and I don't really converse much with them. That's what it's like reading your posts. It's like talking to some annoying spoiled young fat kid who was made fun of his whole life and is now getting everyone back.

I don't know if you're a regular or what you are even doing in here. Can you explain why you enjoy hanging out in here so much? You don't talk football so what is it?

No I got that Jj. I know a lot of people are caught up on where he was picked. I was just trying to explain why a coach wouldn't want to play a guy who is bad against the rush when they are playing a rushing team. He can learn that in practice. Putting him in there would have hurt our team more. Olivier Vernon is a tremendous athlete and is better at this point than Jordan.

I think you're real complaint should be why did we trade up for a DE when that was the strongest unit on our team. That's what I want to know. Why waste that pick there? I totally get why he wasn't on the field, I don't get why he was picked when we had many more pressing needs.


This year's o line would require a whole new grading system. How many points for completely whiffing and having your qb blow snot bubbles, for getting picked up and used as a projectile, or allowing a game winning strip sack when the other team is completely desperate and facing a loss. Crazy levels of ineptitude among these tackles.

Thanks to DD @ 12:33!
You responded to DC for me. Yes, I understand that the coaches want to be a pass first team, but the personnel isn't in place yet to do that. If they keep passing, these coaches may very well lose their jones before they can acquire the players they need. Why don't people see this? Running the ball is not obsolete. Defenses are now being built to stop the pass. Counter that by running. This team can run the ball and keep defenses guessing. Miller is averaging over 4yds per carry, and even Thomas looked goo against the Bills. The coaches refuse to run the ball, plain & simple.

I meant to say earlier, when talking about Sherman. When Sims caught the td he was asked about it. He said, "I didn't think about who was in the game, (they asked why use a rookie in that situation), I just call the plays and whomever is in there has to get it done".

THAT'S WHEN I STARTED WORRYING. Oh my God it sounded like a line from old man Hennings book. So basically it doesn't matter if a guy has more talent than another, he's just calling plays assuming they will all have the same ability.

For this reason I am done with Sherman. Too old, too stuck in his ways,,,NEXT!

That's true about Jordan playign. Wake didn't knwo how to set an edge either and then over tiem became one of the ebst edge setters in the NFL. Same thing with Vernon early in the year. Teams were just running at him. In time, he fixed that. Jordan would too. Get him out there. All he does is make plays when he gets the chance.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

lol @ "snotbubbles".


if u saw me naked 78 u wuld turn ghey and wish i were ghey.

Can't blame Ireland for signing him then. the choices were Clabo or Winston.

Posted by: wallyfin | October 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Really? How about Branden Albert? Too much stock placed in Martin. 2nd rd pick investment in Jordan, a part time player right now. Should have been used on Albert who would have been the best oline fix for now.

Ireland blew it by having too much faith in Martin to overlook the greater experience of Albert at LT and leaving Martin at RT. We would be a much better oline today for it.

Now instead, we've had too trade for a caloric nightmare and chronic party boy. Bryant McKinnie. The Ravens got the message nice and clear. They traded for Eugene Monroe because they had seen enough.

Yep Mark and the hell of it is, unless McKinnie is the answer (and fast) there's going to be a lot of pain in the next couple of months.

Jj great post. And this typo made me laugh,

these coaches may very well lose their /jones/ before they can acquire the players they need.

So if Olivier Vernon was picked last year in the 3rd rd, to be the eventual starter at RDE, why on earth waste the 3rd pick of the draft on another RDE, no matter how good he may end up being? Either you bench your 3rd rd pick from last year (not good), or the 3rd pick in the draft doesn't start (horrible).
Why would anyone pick another DE that will improve the defensive line by about 5-10%, when you can pick another player at another position and improve that position by 50-100%? This is a team f#cking game but Ireland can't see to grasp how everything works synergistically. He reminds me of financial people who improve one line item only to f up the whole budget.

ya'll ain't remember j m krap'n his drawers last season at rt too huh?

p78, remember that from The Program? I loved that movie. pretty simple but very entertaining movie with james Caan as the college football coach.

I asked you why you like hanging out in here.

And then you start talking about people being gay?

To each his own! lol

2watt, that post was just weird.

78, if ever1 was a homer on here what fun wuld that be huh?

mark,since r my posts not* wierd?

Jobs. Stupid phone.

when mixxing ^

Today its all about the CANES down here in Miami. We worry about the Dolphins tomorrow.

Funny thing is, Tannehill has better numbers this season than Brady does. And I'll take our receiving corps over theirs.

Hope RT and the coaches were watching MNF last night for how a QB can and should move around the field.

cocoajoe, he's only allowed one sack and 15 hurries. I mean I don't know how much he played but even if he only played two games, he's already Anthony Munoz compared to their current tackles.

Man, I know McKinnie is 65 and Clabo 66 or whatever but that gulf is freakin large.

Also, we do not have a TE or rb that pass blocks worth a crap. Even if we had doubled teamed Mario Williams with a rb or te, chances are the results would have been the exact same. Strip fumble.

Should have signed that fa from the Ravens. Ireland whiffed on all of the most important things this offseason. All signs pointing to another top 10 draft slot.

Some say relax, we're .500. I say, yes but we're here because the arrow is pointing down, not up. Remember, we're 500 because we've just lost 3 in row, we're sinking not rising.

2watt, good point

2 watt you don't understand the terms you are using.

A homer who is someone who agrees with the team 100% of the time.

An objective fan is someone who see's the good AND the bad.

A d$%schebag is someone who who says there's never any good.

Which one are you? I'm an objective fan. I have never read one good word from you about this team, even after they won in Indianapolis. Refer to the list.

MassD, Jordan wasn't picked to replace Vernon, he was picked to replace Wake. Wake as probably evidenced by the injury is just about done. how old is he? 31 ... the clock is ticking on him. His days as a 16 game force may already be done for all we know...

I did remember Mark and love James Caan, even in Elf!

The funny thing is you used a line from ELF when talking to 2watt. JC says "that was weird" right after Will Ferrell sings him the 'I love you dad' song in the office.

After Sunday, we won't be 500 anymore, try 3-4. The offense can't get out of it's own away, and the defense validated it can't even stop undrafted rookie fa qb's from converting 3rd and longs.

We have an absolute mess in Miami.

78, non homer.

Mark @ 10:45....

I have to ask...and i'm not being sarcastic...

do you waych the games...or do you just look up the box scores and stats afte the game is over....

" a respectable 18th" this...and a "middle of the pack" that....

like stats as much as the next guy....but I trust my eyes more than anything else...and my eyes tell me that Tanne is SUSPECT @ best...and STREAKY @ worst....

He has some talent...but he is slow to react....and that is were the problems happen...

78, u'r just sour b'cuz u'r bulls will get bounced as long as l james is in miami.

Really? How about Branden Albert? Too much stock placed in Martin. 2nd rd pick investment in Jordan, a part time player right now. Should have been used on Albert who would have been the best oline fix for now.

Ireland blew it by having too much faith in Martin to overlook the greater experience of Albert at LT and leaving Martin at RT. We would be a much better oline today for it.

Posted by: Sam I Am | October 22, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Not an Ireland fan....no where close but you have to assign more of the blame to Philbin & his assistants. They are the ones who spends hours reviewing tape. They are the ones who see these guys everyday. They are the ones who evaluate players and ask the GM for a player who they think would help.

Posted by: Phins78 | October 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

So I see you finally agree with what I was saying yesterday? Glad to have you aboard! So now that you see that we have not changed the staff...mindset....for almost 6yrs I have to ask. Is it time to change course? Keep the players we have and get a real coach in here? A Players coach? A coach the players will die for?

mark,since r my posts not* wierd?

Posted by: 2 watt | October 22, 2013 at 01:07 PM

Oh my God 2 watt just acted human and I love it! Does our 2 watt have a personality hiding in there? Hmmm, I don't know but maybe I should leave on this high note!

Im not sure this defense could get a stop if it was 3rd and 50. They would give up a 51yd td.

Having said that, was it possible that Philbin wanted Albert and Ireland said no, go with Martin? Sure is but we'll never know.

2 watt you remebered I'm a Bulls fan heh? f%$#ing Lebron! ;)

Kris, I see the same exact things you see in Tannehill. You are absolutely correct!

Ireland's biggest error of the offseason is that he low-balled Jake Long. He may have not been the same top tier tackle he used to be, but he would have been worth a huge contract until we could find his replacement. It was obvious Martin wasn't the answer. If we had Jake Long at left tackle and Martin over at right tackle, I think we beat Buffalo and Baltimore. We are 5-1. It was a costly mistake.


The most terrible thing of all about Tannehill, his turnovers seem to come in bunches. He can go 2-3 games and not commit 1 turnover. Then, have 3-4 turnovers in a single game.

It's feast or famine with Tannehill in the turn over department.

Sam I Am....

Funny post @ 1:17.....Its funny because its true....

I am not happy with mcmountain either. and I would have drafted a good tackle in round 2 instead of jamar taylor.

While I don't normally react to other's comments, I would like to say this to Dashi: every commentator,whether they be on ESPN or NFL Network,are bashing Shermie's play-calling. So, we disgruntled fans are not alone in our criticism. Personally,I doubt that Shermie could even call a bingo game! But,at the heart of the Fin's struggles is Jeffie Ireland. For the life of me I don't know how he still has a job with The Fins.

Kris, said he has the talent but is slow to react.

I have to ask, slow to react say, like a 2nd year qb who only played the position for 3 years in his entire life?

Can you at least take that into consideration? You say he's talented but slow to react. Aren't there hundreds of qbs who start their nfl careers with slow reaction times because of their limited experience? I believe so, and those qbs for the most part started playing in high school and already have 8 years at qb under their belt,,,,LIKE HENNE.

Tannehill just started his fourth season ever at qb. Most qbs are at that point when they are seniors in highschool. If you are looking with your eyes why are you so blind to this fact?

The fact remains....as it did last year.....this coaching staff has already given away 2 games. A decent coaching staff would have won the Ravens and Bills games. We gave away 2 games so far this year and 3 last year. That's the difference between playoffs and below .500.
Although I do agree with Phins78 that we cannot change systems every 2-3 yrs. No stability=the Raiders!
So You must ask yourself....have you seen enough of this staff to demand change? or do we stay the course and hope they get it someday?

Bill talk to me when the season is over. I'll have an answer then. Stranger things have happened than a 3-3 team ending 9-7.

This is the same team everyone loved after week 3. They have gone through a rough stretch and you guys are giving up on them. Makes me laugh. I fight until the end, I'm not a quitter.

So lets talk about this at the end of the season. Anything worse than 8-8 and the entire front office needs to go. Hope that hold you over until the end of the year.

Time will tell if using a 1st and 2nd rd pick on Jordan was worth it. No question about it, he has to become a perennial pro bowler to be worthy of such pedigree.

I'm placing him on the clock starting 2014. If he isn't a consistent NFL terror next season, Jeff Ireland has blown it again. That 2nd rd pick could have been used in the Albert trade.

Tannehill played Jr and Sr year in high school at QB.

Phins78, this organization was to proud to Suck for Luck. Now we pay!

In reading this it does sound as if though Sherman is taking his shots at Ireland and the depth/talent level on the team but I look at it from both points of view....

Sherman's remark about not sitting on a 1 point lead is from my prospective valid. Sherman is after all the H.C. who tried to sit on a lead in the Playoffs (in 04 I believe) in Philly were he put it on his D only to watch McNabb complete a 4th & 26 play to WR Freddie Mitchell (of all people) which costed G.B. a shot at a S.B. in a Div. Round game were they lose on a last Sec. F.G. (The Yr. Car. went Vs. the Pats)

I personally have NO PROBLEM with being aggressive in that situation but do have a problem with the personnel on the field. In that Position I would put Clay (in the backfield) and Sims (in tight formation on the line) on the field instead of the 3 WR set with D.Thomas as the lone RB. If anything it forces a Safety into the middle of the field. It also gives Clabo help at that point allowing him to focus on the inside move with help off his right shoulder and forces the LB's to stay true with a pass catching T.E. and H-Back in the backfield.

It's a shift in package were DESPITE THE RAMBLINGS OF SHERMAN I DO BELIEVE we have the talent and were I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with Sherman who not only doesn't shift but basically seems to be saying that the 3 WR set with a RB in the I-Formation is our best personnel, period end of story! He won't even shift their alignments during the game with everybody in the same spot after we supposedly signed the guys we signed because they could play all 4 WR Positions?

Ireland took a short cut with the OL last Off-Season but he had alot to address and did giving this OC and the Coaching Staff talent across the board to show/scheme better. I feel this ranting by Sherman is that of a condemned man probably done at Yrs. end and somebody better focus on the falling D well there at it going from 7th overall at the end of Sparano to 20th today with better athletes on the field playing in the wrong scheme to suit there strengths!

New blog up, talk to you guys later.

Phins78 I agree. I would not let anybody go mid season. That's just suicide. However I don't see anything changing with this staff they are stubborn to a fault so less than 8-8 is looking good right now. This sucks because I really though Philbin was going to be the answer. He reminds me of Belicheat when he was with Cleveland and if that's the case we should stay with him and make hi hire new OC and DC.

The defence is the least of our problems. It may look worse than it is because of all Tanny''s 3 n outs and turnovers. That puts tremendous added pressure on any D.


Kris, of course I watch the games. But I check the stats every week to see how he is faring v the rest of the league. I mean, I watch other teams play but I check stats to make sure I'm being impartial and not letting my heart think too much. I mean, it is important to have a big picture frame of mind here regarding this kid. Is he top ten in the league .. of course no. But he is better than he was last year, I think his career path is following that of most QBs. i mean what 2nd year QB is actually leading his team to victories. Andrew Luck you say? Hmm, fair but Andrew Luck has way more supporting cast than Miami does. Indy was 1-15 or whatever two years ago - they are great because of Luck ... ok. I say he has the 4th best rush attack in the NFl. he has a defense that gave him 4 turnovers against Denver and overall the team is 2nd in the league in turnover ratio. yes some of that a good portion is Luck staying clean, but the defense is also giving him a lot more posessions than ours. Luck has fewer passing yards despite more attempts and an awesome rush attack.

We don't have any of that.

RG3 is not doing as much as Tannehill, neither is Wilson. They are basically being caretakers for their repsective teams.

i don't know what you expect the kid to do. He is performing as any up and coming young QB is supposed to perform.

What do you want the guy to be? Brees, Brady, manning? Well how fukking retarded is that, i ask?

lighten up mando, miami is clearly ahead of any expectations and is clearly moving in the right direction, Mr. Ross got it right, philbin and sherman have a quality product on the field and it's only going to get better, i am so happy to have these guys coach are team, tannehill is the best quarterback miami has fielded since marino, the runningbacks were giving absolutely NO effort and were falling to the ground from the slightest bump, it shouldn't have taken this long BUT the backs are now giving the effort they are supposed to, the O-line played much better for the most part of last weeks game, and they've addressed this units short commings with the bryant trade. shure there is lots of work to do, but miami is in the most capable of hands...and wether or not this o-line comes together this year, the dolphins have aquired some interesting depth for this unit...however, the area of concern that requires the most imediete of attention right now is our QB and how he secures the football, all QB's are going to take hits and get sacked, tannehill needs to realise this and prepare for it. there is no other way around it, it IS going to happen. i feel that O-LINE will be better with the bryant mckinney signing as martin moves back to his comfort zone, but as you said, moving a gambling junkie to the outskirts of vegas is a recipe for disaster, i hope that miami can learn something from jerry jones and the dez bryant saga, maybe we can asign a few chaparones to keep our new left tackle on the right path, i am worried about a negative effect occuring off the field, it would be ashame if bryant's knack for partying has an ill effect on those around him.

When you have a player who was a good player in the past and is now playing like a #%$@, there's gotta be something about the coaching and the scheme that does not fit!!!

Sherman just lost any support I had left for him. He "answered" every question without actually answering ANY of them. IrelanD KNEW the oline was an issue for 9 months and did NOTHING. Count me one disgusted Fins-fan-since-1980

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