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The fallout from a third consecutive loss

The honeymoon is over for Joe Philbin and his coaching staff, as I wrote in today's Miami Herald.

After weeks of watching sweeps on third-and-inches, or having Mike Wallace always line up on the right side of the formation, or not committting to the running game, or watching Jimmy Graham shred Miami one week getting free releases but getting shut down by New England when they tied him up at the scrimmage line, the tipping point came on Sunday.

Off a bye, against a fourth-string QB and offering no solutions to old problems, the Dolphins coaching staff deserves some critical scrutiny.

They are not alone.

The offensive line, was mostly good enough on Sunday. And then Tyson Clabo, a good man having a bad season, gave up two sacks the final two Miami possessions.

"Those sacks are my sacks," Clabo said. "There's no way around it."

It didn't help that coaches asked Clabo to block Mario Williams one-on-one on the play which Williams beat Clabo and forced a Ryan Tannehill fumble. What was offensive coordinator Mike Sherman thinking?

Look, it's one thing to have the other team beat you.

But when you beat yourself with poor decisions in the coaching booth, the frustration is palpable.

Obviously, the coaching staff was not totally responsible for this upset loss.

Tannehill had a horrible first half -- throwing two interceptions -- despite inconsistent pressure on him from the Bills, who managed no sacks until the fourth quarter. One was returned 19 yards for a touchdown. He floated another near the goal line and what seemed like a scoring opportunity turned into another turnover.

The defense didn't do great work.

They gave up two fourth-quarter field goal drives that gave Buffalo the game.

They allowed the Bills to convert 9 of 19 third down plays (47.3 percent success rate).

About that defense: I have not questioned the defensive coaching staff but perhaps they merit a look as well. They inherited a defense that was sixth in the NFL in scoring in 2011. It wasn't perfect but it was good. Well, they were seventh in scoring under this staff in 2012 and are 20th in scoring this season.

That's going in the wrong direction.

Dion Jordan, the third overall selection in the draft, is only a part-time player. Players that were here and deemed too slow or too old -- Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett -- are playing better elsewhere than they did here.

It all raises eyebrows.

The Dolphins opened this season on a hopeful note with three consecutive wins. Now they are on a three-game losing skid and must travel to New England next Sunday trying to dig out of being in third place in the AFC East and already owning a home loss to the last-place Bills.




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I've been as big a TH supporter as there is, or preaching patience with him at the very least--but how much longer can you ignore the fact that KEY parts of his game arent improving....decisionmaking, pocket presence and turnovers (which are all related, obviously)--yes, he's raw and inexperienced but shouldnt we expect SOME improvement on these issues by Game 6 (in year 2)? His pocket presence is terrible (moves/reacts slowly, seems to have no idea that defenders are coming at all); ties in to decisionmaking, which ties in to his turnovers--wow, the guy just cannot fumble every game, can he?--whats not clicking for him, that he needs to protect the ball ALOT better when in the pocket?

The Miami Herald seems to have an elitism on the other blogs

Posted by: KingShula | October 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM

What exactly are you inferring, KIng????? hmmmm?

Fed Up's friend @ 12:35,

He is right. I could not agree more. Mr. Magoo needs to be canned.

A + yesterday was DJ. He never let up on his blind side sack on Lewis, he didn't slow down this time and hit him straight in the middle of the back and Lewis was lucky to hold on. There is very little doubt in my mind now that Jordan is a special kind of Player and a Game changer. Needs to be on the Field more.


T-Hill was not rushed or hurried on his two interceptions yesterday against the Bills.

we can all see TH's athleticism that everybody talks about....we've heard "he's an ex-WR, he's a great athlete" many times--but I think that now needs to be qualified.....he's fast once he gets in the open field, but he's NOT very agile or quick--big difference--which is very evident when he's in the pocket, as his movements/reactions there seem slow and deliberate.....so he has trouble avoiding the rush, or deciding quickly what he needs to do....and when he tries to escape, he's not quick enough to evade tacklers and get out of there--he's athletic but not "quick" in the pocket at all.....he looks slow, honestly.

silver lining is if the Jets can beat New England then we certainly can too, and also Buffalo's record might not be that great but they played all of their games close to three pts each . The AFC east is not as weak as everyone proclaimed

Ah, but wait Oscar...that would go against the Coach's preconceived ideas regarding the "mix" we have, as it relates to the "scheme"...does it with the RB's ...with the DB's....with the TE's....

...he has a certain predetermined way to play, and his players need to learn to play it, as opposed to him adjusting his game day plan to fit who he has available...

I agree with previous posts. T-Hill is just not that quick or agile. He is slow to release, slow in the pocket, slow to decide to scramble and well it all shows. Franchise QB; No

agree Oscar.....the Jordan haters should back off, the kid is very talented and just needs to progress, needs playing time, experience....he's the LEAST of our worries--plus, the O tackles that knuckleheads have said we shoulda drafted instead are hardly setting the world on fire.....Fisher and Joeckel werent available at 3 (LJ is out for the year and was struggling anyway0--Lane Johnson has been struggling in Philly too, and some of the others are either injured or non-factors--Dion will be a good player.

Stick with Tannehill (tho ow, that 1Q ...). Keep pushing the straight-ahead run game. Bench Clabo.

And, fire Sherman. Man up. Show that expectations for this team have consequences for the sidelines, not just the guys on the field. RT isn't going to develop properly & this team is not going to improve with a Sherman-led offense.

Beerphin....the Pats just suffered a nasty loss at the hands of the Jets....Belechek will have them at practice, wishing they were dead this week, and they will come out with a vengeance, so as to avoid that same fate next practice week..

..believe me, they come out on fire, and we have a snowball's chance in hell if we come out lackluster, and make the same tired mistakes...


Again Craig, I'm not absolvign Tannehill but the defense could've bailed out the offense just like Buffalo's defense bailed out their offense.

I mean, if you aren't going to beat up on Thad lewis and two rboken RBs, then what will your answer be against healthy elite NFL players?


I get what you're saying and I agree that 3 Shotgun plays in a row were ridiculous, but I'm just saying I don't like the idea of not mixing it up when there is 4 minutes left on the clock. Our defense hasn't exactly been stout. We gotta run the ball and we have to wind the clock down, but moving the chains once or twice allows us to continue winding down that clock and throwing in a pass here or there, keeps their defense honest. Teams that are good at closing out games are also good at executing those crucial final plays.

Apparently, some suggestions given regarding the O System got to the Coaches. and they tried and end around, draw, roll out by TH, even some straight ahead blocking, but they were feeble attempts, they soon reverted to their game. You could tell that, either their heart is not into this kind of O or they are unable to change their System at this Time.

Craig, tell us again how Tanne is the problem.

You fluffer.


I'm not sure if THill is slow or if he's just not anticipating the rush very well. He also often "escapes" into the wrong space. He needs to watch Romo, Brees, Rodgers, and Luck. For whatever there other weakness are, they're all exceptional with pocket presence.

Oscar: correct. I don't think the problem is that RT can't learn. I think it's that no one is teaching him.

There is a lot of blame to go around but T-Hill was not rushed on either interception. Moreover he is just not accurate and although he has a strong arm, Matt Moore is more accurate with his deep ball. Ross calls T-Hill a franchise QB, well I'm not sure about that. Has Sherman ever heard of the screen pass.

Posted by: promichael | October 21, 2013 at 12:49 PM

They don't have the talent to run the screen game!

You need athletic guards & tackles to run screen. Pouncey is the ONLY athletic lineman we have.

The rest of them are statues! This team does not have the oline to run this system.

Mark, "but the D couldve bailed them out" is essentially absolving TH, like it or not--lets be real, the bigger issues here are disturbing to say the least--geez, the D wasnt all-world but only let up 1 TD; gave up 16 points, and held 3 scoring drives to FGs--even if they bailed them out, this loss is squarely on TH, the coaches and the Oline, in that order--TH cannot throw a pick 6, a gift INT in their endzone, and fumble there at the end at midfield--cant happen.

Just to clarify MY position, I'm not asking for Tannehill to be benched (to me, that's the worst thing we could do. He needs to play to prove if he can be our long-term answer at QB or not, and the faster we find that out the better). I AM blaming Tannehill for the game yesterday (and no, not ONLY for the fumble at the end, which WAS partly his fault, because he took a 3-step drop and should have gotten the ball out quicker). I am blaming Tannehill for giving the Bills a 14-0 head start (with his Pick 6 and taking points off the board with an INT in the red zone). That Pick 6 was unacceptable, there IS no excuse for it. Ditto the flutter ball INT in the endzone. This is the first game he played a large role in losing this year IMO, so it's not like he's a total disaster. But he has been less sharp in his last 3 games (noticeably so). And one thing this team needs at the QB position, is consistency. Even if you're a consistent game manager, that's better than being up-and-down (which is what we all hated with Henne).

Tannehill needs to fix these issues and stop turning the ball over!

'Mando--- T-Hill and his turnovers WAS the reason the Fins had to stage a come-back; which they nearly pulled off until he fumbled the game away.

..something else here, regarding our Defensive play..without the T-Hill pick six, our D gave up only 16 points....a team is supposed to win when the defense holds the opponent to that few points...and the Offence scored more...21 points....and we had the LEAD in the 4th..no matter it was only 1 point at 21-20, it was still a lead...

...it was the failure to diminish the play clock by running the ball, coupled with the lack of understanding the value of field position, which punter fielder consistently delivers, that ultimately cost us this squandered opportunity to keep the record on the plus side..

...time of possession, field position, and minimal turnovers and penalties will always be the key to Championship football, and any Coach who disregards that approach flies in the face of reason.

Also, come Thigpen on that run back, juke out the bloody kicker. You had him in the open field. This guy excites you with run backs but just can't finish them regularly enough. Same thing on that 50 yarder against the Saints. That should've been a TD too.

oscar.....i think its both but mostly that "their heart is not in to that kind of O"--Philbin clearly leans toward the pass, or at least that type of game/WC offense--and seems unwilling to change/alter much based on the personnel and/or game situation--BUT, he apparently hasnt realized that he doesnt have Aaron Rogers at QB anymore.....

Craig M,

I agree. I am rooting for these coaches, but if I had one wish, it would be to see Sherman start calling a smart game from start to finish. He just does goofy sh.t at the wrong time. I don't feel he is going to change his stripes, ever. He is too old and stubborn. I also am pretty sure Philbin would never fire him. If Sherman doesn't improve, Philbin is doomed as the HC. Reminds me so much of that DC Olivadotti under Shula. Shula was too loyal to his friend and Shula sank with the ship. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but Sherman's refusal to help the protege QB out will probably get Tanne put on IR this year. This will be one more nail in the coffin for this coaching regime if they don't start scheming better.

benz, I am not abolving Thill, nor do i attempt to. i'm just saying this defense is rather ordinary and unspecial. i expected it to be great.

"The honeymoon is over..."
How 'bout a divorce?

DC, he's taken a step back in the last three games because teams stopped blitzing. His #s against the blitz are unreal. But teams finally clued in and play coverage knowing the team won't/can't run and their front four will get there evenutally anyway. Don't look now but nobody's open again. Most passed were heavily contested by defenders yesterday unless Tannehill bought time with his legs.

There is NO excuse for those 2 Tannehill's interceptions. Those shook my confidence in his overall ability. - But I only needed half a second. - You don't have it, son.

It's now a case of 4 dolphin receivers against 7 opposing defenders.

I hear ya Craig.

Tannehill had a bad game, I'm not arguing that. The only thing I ever stood up for him about was the "fumble" because some people in here yesterday were acting as if it was all on him. As if he was running with the ball out or something. And I mistakenly threw you in with the other people suggesting he be benched. Still a ridiculous notion but not yours so I apologize.

I just love how our second year qb is being held up to some ridiculous elite standard. Everyone is so quick to point out why others had a bad game, making excuses for other people but when it comes to Tannehill he isn't allowed any excuses. The defense is injured, the rbs are young, the oline was good (for the most part ha!), the coaches called a good game till the end, the fans dont want to go to games because it's too hot.

Tannehill? Nahhhhh, he just sucks and everything is his fault. If we had another qb in there the o-line would all of the sudden be able to block, the rbs would all of the sudden gain vision to see the holes and block, the te's would be able to contribute (do we even have tes?) AND BLOCK.

I don't know why this is so hard to comprehend for some people. If the entire unit sucks at blocking why do we blame the qb for being rushed and turnng the ball over?

Why is it okay to make excuses for hall of famer Tom Brady when he doesn't get protection but is against the law to use the same excuse for a second year qb.

Eli is sucking this year and he's having the same o-line issues. Why does no one see this?

agree DC, as frustrated as I am with TH, the wrong thing to do would be to put in Moore at this point--I dont think that helps or accomplishes anything--Moore should go in only if TH is injured....let TH play, try to protect him more (unlikely, I realize) and see how it plays out--we need to find out whether he is indeed our long term/franchise QB, or not....and benching him doesnt help answer that question at all--we all know what Moore brings to the table....mediocre/solid, but thats it.

Okay...most of us agree, the QB has question marks, and is still developing.....so why the hell then do they give him a read option play? Why not just call a straight run, and take the young QB out of the equation?

It just shows that the OC is not thinking conservatively when conservative was required...

...team worked hard, against odds to crawl back from 14 down...

...it was the OC 's responsibility to make decisions with the least liability attached, in order to preserve that effort....and he simply failed...

...he has no clue !!!!!!!

The way all you non experts are talking about Tanny, I should probably sell my new Jersey.


The thing that pisses me off the most about the loss yesterday is fan loyalty. Why is our young qb not allowed to have a bad game once and a while? I sit in here and read posts that stroke off Kaepernick, Wilson, Luck, RG3, all of whom have had bad games. All of whom are not much better and even worse in some statistics than our qb. Why do Miami fans love to hate their own players and give up on them after 1 season?

Dion Jordan is being talked about and even the announcers were saying yesterday how great of a player he is and what a great career he will have. Miami fans in here? He sucks, can't make the field, bust.

please Mr.Ross if you are reading this please, please fire Sherman and Coyle ASAP! We need to change up the atmosphere in the locker room coz it looks like the guys don't think that a divisional game is a must win especially going up against a 3rd string QB let alone having two weeks to prepare and playing infront of home crowd...... pathetic!

I disagree on the pick 6. That ball was intercepted because Posey KNEW where it was going. He jumped the route. He was quotedd on SS aftervthe game saying it wasn't like he had not seen the play on film. The play was a "read" play. Tanne either calls a run, or pass based on the look the defense is giving. This is Sherman's call, not Tanne's. Tanne read the defense, went to the pass option and the rookie made a good play.

Well, after we sweep the Bills and Jets, we should split against New England, then....oh...wait...

DC.....maybe its the "first game he's played a large role in losing" but its the trends and patterns that are the issue, and that are troubling--his INT #s arent great but the # of fumbles are getting out of control....and happen consistently--thats the issue--he turns the ball over, one way or the other, way too much to be successful--at best he's not improving on that front, and at worst he's regressing.

Craig couldn't agree more. The coaching carousel has to stop if this team is ever going to be built properly.

Everyone wants lightning in a bottle because it's happened for a couple of teams. Again, the exception not the rule. The rule is you build a program. The exception is you are forced to hire a coach and get lucky he turns the team around quickly (with mostly the last coaches players).

If they fire the gm, then the coach will be fired, and the assistants will mostly be fired. Then we bring in a new unproven guy and what, cross our fingers and pray to God? How long can a team keep doing this? Apparently forever if they want to keep losing.

Armando your right about Clabo, he just having a bad year.Because I felt he was solid last year and years before with the Falcons. I don't understand what's going on with his play this year. I think more blame should go on the offensive line coach.

Anyone feel good about next April's draft ? Ireland will be hard at work again in the team's war room, Ross by his side. You can rest assured that Ireland and his expert staff of brilliant talent scouts will secure the services of only the finest NFL prospects. Another off season of Ireland's top notch work and the Dolphins will be perennial contenders yet again. Ross and Ireland hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Soon to be renamed the Ireland Trophy.

Oh btw Mr.Ross, i hope you are starting look for your boy (Ireland) to start scouting for a new QB coz i don't think Tannehill is a good QB, 2nd level at the most........ i hate to say this Philbin, start Moore now! who knows, Matty might create a spark that will get us pulling in some wins when they count!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so frustrating i tell ya.

last chance to trade Moore for a LT

Long for Moore

IF Sherman wants to extend his NFL life expectancy, he better start putting Wallace in the slot & put Gibson outside. It can & should be done. Just like Cruz going inside & Randle going outside.


Gibson is decent in the slot but NO explosive plays at all & it's because he isn't being used correctly IMHO. Wallace in the slot MIGHT create big plays. We KNOW Gibson in the slot does NOT.

no one is giving up Phins....its called venting, its called reality....the QB ratings of the other QBs you mentioned are all higher, and were last year for the most part (maybe Luck's wasnt, but Indy did make the playoffs)--c'mon, look at the stats....I think TH has done a decent job, but seems to be regressing in the last few weeks, not just 1 game--havent given up on him but is it unreasonable to question his play, and projection, given the past few weeks? Uh, and how do you come to the conclusion, at this point, that Dion Jordan stinks?--he's being used in a rotation, he missed nearly all of camp with an injury so was behind to begin with.....and the players in front of him are good players, so he can only get so much time at this point--what are you talking about?

Start by benching Clabo, sorry he is not cutting it.

Garner should get a shot.

make a trade? someone may become available soon?

Smoke and mirrors? Sorry bud completely disagree. Here are our guys, we are lined up in shotgun, we are going to pass, try to stop us. The falcons, Colts, and Browns could not. There was NO smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors are trick plays and gadget plays, we barely ran one before yesterday.

Smoke and mirrors is not the reason this team won those games. Smoke and mirrors isnt the way Ryan produced two fourth qtr comebacks in 6 games. Would be 3 if Clabo wasn't such garbage and Ireland could actually put a decent line together

Some teams need a Qb

Mark, so teams can game plan around tape on other teams? Seriously? Is that ALL teams, or just 31 teams NOT named the Miami Dolphins?

Because it doesn't look like we can find anything in that tape. Or can trick other teams by doing something they don't expect. I noticed they've only been rushing 4. And since we can't run. Now we can't pass. Heck, why don't we go back to the Wildcat (I'm joking about that).

and the dopes here that continue to want to knock Ireland or Ross should focus on the the team/players/coaches--yes, I realize that Ireland put most of them in place but why bother commenting on the 2 at the top when NONE of us can make a change there?--Ross owns the team and he decides whether Ireland stays or goes....not us....so to sit here and complain/comment about them is pointless--Philbin and his staff are well known/experienced coaches that have had success....we have some talented players....its up to Philbin and his staff to figure it out--Ross, in this context, on this board, is irrelevant....he aint going anywhere.

I have determined that THill's performance yesterday is an accumulation of the pressure he has endured from the beginning of the season. He wants what we want, wins, but he is not getting support from the OL nor the OC. I am sure his digression will only worsen in the coming weeks if his protection up front doesn't improve or more importantly if the play calling does not improve.

I am sure if he had it his way he would be spouting off expletives galore to Sherman for his inept play calling, but he simply seems too timid for that kind of reaction. His pressers sound and look scripted. He is simply going through the motions and looks completely lost at times.

At what point do you think he tosses in the towel and gives up? Kid deserves much better than what he has had to endure. He did well with nothing to work with last year and is doing worse this year considering the weapons he has to work with. I think his confidence level has dropped off considerably and he is now playing scared, why else would he be turning the ball over so much and making such bone headed decisions?

I think he needed a mentor from the beginning and Sherman isn't that guy. We should have sat him last year instead of expecting him to produce without any experience or weapons to work with. Trial by fire is not always the best approach and it is starting to show as the season and the sack totals climb.

Ireland was "excited" about having five picks in the first three rounds.

Of course, I'm not the one taking those shots that Tannehill is taking, that, eventually, will hurt him physically and psychologically, if not already so.

Miami, year after year, have the same holes(oline) & wind up with new ones to fill as well.

This is ALL on the people in charge of acquiring personnel.

If you got a competent GM in here, it will get better. Until then, expect more of the same.

I mean, if you STILL can't figure this out after 5 consecutive years of losing then you NEVER will.

Dan Carpenter had a great day Sunday : )

Does Philbin get fired if the Dolphins are 3-10 in two months ?

I for one, am not bashing Dion Jordan, the player. My criticism is 3 fold: 1)You do not trade 2 picks, move up to No. 3, and pick a player to strengthen THE STRONGEST PART OF THE TEAM. 2) If you pick an RDE no. 3 overall, he is THE STARTER by game number 6, not a freakin role player. 3) At 7-9 we had alot of holes last year and really could have used that other 2nd rd pick - not that Ireland would have used it properly. And all the draft pundits were saying there were no real standouts in the top 15-20 picks in the draft, so why the f#ck move up in the first place? Similarly leveled talent could have been had at No. 12.
So my frustration is with Ireland and the coaching staff, not Dion Jordan.

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