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Assignment football: Stop Gronkowski

The New York Jets might have thought themselves unlucky last week when their scheduled game against the New England Patriots coincided with the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the lineup.

Well, the Dolphins might think themselves less fortunate because the Gronkowski they will see play against them Sunday has a game under his proverbial belt. He's had a 51 game snaps to knock off some rust. He's had an extra week of practice -- although admittedly limited.

Great, right?

"Yeah, I mean certainly he’s an impact player, and any time you have guys like that that are out and you’re fortunate enough to get back, they certainly make a difference and give your team a boost, and I thought he did that on Sunday," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. "Hopefully we’ll be able to build on that going forward.Yeah, we ended up – we had to throw a lot of passes last week based on the situation in the game."

Stopping Rob Gronkowski has to be a major goal for the Dolphins this weekend if they hope to beat the Patriots. When healthy, he has been among the most accomplished tight ends in the NFL. And when facing accomplished tight ends, the Dolphins have not exactly had awesome success.

Remember Jimmy Graham caught four passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns against Miami. Remember Coby Fleener had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Remember Jordan Cameron caught nine passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

But there is some hope.

The Dolphins limited Tony Gonzalez to only four catches for 24 yards without a TD. And Gronk is more a Gonzalez type TE than he is a Graham, who the Saints flank out wide like a wide receiver. Gronk is more an in-line, traditional tight end.

"He’s a unique guy in that his combination of size and strength, his ability to body position people is really what separates him. I thought the Jets did some things that at times they did some good things with him in the ball game, but yet he still caught the ball and had over 100 yards of receptions in the game. You don’t want him to catch the big balls down the field, if you can kind of keep him contained where he’s catching shallow balls that is a good thing. You have to be able to do some things to try and take him out of the game, so that’s going to be a big challenge for us."

So what do the Dolphins do? I'd imagine because the Patriots have no accomplished outside threats, Gronkowski will draw doubles. He'll be bracketed by either a linebacker and a safety or a nickel cornerback and a safety, probably Reshad Jones.

Gronkowski one-on-one against either a cornerback or a safety is a mismatch because he's more physical than they are. Gronk one-on-one against a linebacker is a mismatch because he's faster than the linebacker. It is a sure-fire call for bracket coverage and fulltime attention.

"Remember Gronk is a good player for us – he’s a really good player for us – but we have some other guys that I really count on too that I’ve been playing with," quarterback Tom Brady said (suggesting he's got other weapons that he really doesn't have to any consistent degree). "It’s going to be a big challenge for our guys going up against a real good coverage secondary. I’m sure – they’re very much a game plan team, and they’ll have their different elements to their particular game plan, but even playing them last year, they’re a good defense."



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Wake is back this week and he needs to bring the AAAAAAA game.

Kris where did I say that these were not going to be our WR for the next few years?
Kris I have to think you're not reading what I write. I merely stated that until we put more $$ on the offensive side of the ball....TE, RT, LT, RB, then we will never have the talent around Tannehill that he needs to succeed. Tannehill will never carry a team. He is not Marino!!
So in essence I was right you were debating just to debate and that's ok bro....you still bring value to the blog unlike many others!

Kris, Bill is right. This year.

2013 Salaries by position:

Guards $8,032,552
RT $4,766,666
WR $7,643,403
QB $5,859,205
Center $2,525,371
LT $2,230,568
RB $2,412,417
TE $1,757,127
Lowest offensive payroll in NFL in 2013....its just a fact.

T-Fumble is a poor excuse for an NFL QB. His 29th ranking is worse than Henne.

Lowest offensive payroll in NFL in 2013....its just a fact.

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | October 25, 2013 at 03:54 PM

Ross is too cheap to pay for good players. So we stink again.


Hence we should have kept Riggie Bush until that long term solution arrived. Brandon Marshall too....I do give Tannehill a ton a credit to finish 7-9 last year with Hartline as his #1 reciever! Hartline is good but for sure not a # 1. Mike Wallace needs to stop being a punk and stop dropping balls too!


Tanne is completing 60% (16th)of his passes...NOT 65%...and he is 18 thin the league with YPA...with 7.20 yards per attempt...and 18th in yards...with 1,577....

everything is...meh....

but a win this week and next would be AMAZING...is it so wrong to wan your QB to be better than average....

I didn't ever love Chad Henne, Daytona. I merely wanted him in there to see if he was the one. He was not. Tannehill is producing at above average in a number of key metrics for NFL Qbs, Henne maybe did that in his first handful of starts if ever. I hoped Henne could be the guy and I though his college results might indicate he could do it but I never voted for Chad Henne to any pro bowls....

Now here is the irony of my point today. I am not happy with Ireland and his draft gambles....however next year we will be around $40 million under the cap again. We could have a better offense while paying less for that offense because we will be dropping some higher salary players like Keller, Clabo, Moore, Jerry and Garner and hopefully replacing them with more talented players that may be less expensive...like players through the draft?

IN what category is tannehill ranked 29th???


My theory has always been last season was the Evaluation Season, This Season is Year 1 of the Rebuild.

Last year Philbin couldn't spend on free agency so he couldn't make the team better that way. He had to evaluate the roster and see what needed replacing and what needed upgrading for this off season.

This year was Philbins First Year to Rebuild the team to his liking. Notice all our WRs are above 6' and almost 200lbs. Plus they can run. He also added CBs that can get INTs.

But Rome wasn't built in a day. And the Dolphins won't be rebuilt in a Year.

Next off season, Philbin will complete fixing the O-line. Getting Good O-linemen that can Zone Block. The O-line is the Only thing that needs fixing on the Offense next season. I know some want a TE. Some want 2 TEs. Here is a Hint to all for the Billionth time. The Dolphins Offense isn't predicated on the TE. It is Predicated on WRs. The Fins want to go 4 wide so the defense will have to use its 3rd and 4th CB. Thus Creating a Mismatch favoring the Fins. Gibson is better than any teams Nickel CB.

Plus, If you have WRs that are 6' 200+lbs they can usually Run Block pretty well.

Have faith CHEAP FISH it's not over yet! The Fins only got a beat down from the Saints which sit on to of the NFC. We have beaten the COLTS with defense! With 100% healthy defense we will win a good share of games!

Carly I was a huge proponent of keeping Bush. His 2013 salary hit is $2million....kinda cheap when you consider then2 bozo's we kept are being paid close to that with far less production. In fact if we kept Bush and Long with Martin staying at RT I am sure we would be 5-1 right now. We lost 2 games we couldn't close in Buffalo and Baltimore!!

What's sad is how much time Chad Henne apparently spends posting on here under various names.

Maybe you guys are right....

There is no denying that Tanne needs a better line....but @ the end of the day....big time players make big time plays....like he did against the Colts and Falcons....

To know the rush is coming...and still make a play on a consistnt basis.....when he can do that (or we find a guy who can)...then we will have our QB

Dashi, I like your statement above! I was going to write a similar one but I agree we will get better with a better O-Line and besides CLAY is doing a pretty good job right now.

Dashi....I'm with you bro. Love the 4 wide set but we still need that pass catching TE for 5 wide and for times we do run to keep an D honest. This is where the NFL is now. Its a passing league. Hence the rules changes and hand cuffs on the D.
Marino would pass for 400-500 every game today!!

Tannehill, Hartline, Gibson, Pouncy, Clay, and (maybe) Wallace are keepers for us on offense. With a good offensive line, we'd be 5-1 right now. I blame Tannehill for fumbling too much and not throwing the ball away, but those are correctable mistakes. He has the ability to be great, and he's already proven to be good. The three main things he needs to correct beyond what I've already mentioned? Deep ball accuracy, pocket awareness, and making accurate reads when the first and second options aren't there.


Correct. My bad. He was over 65% his first 4 games. Hadn't looked at his stat since then. The last 2 games throwing 50% lowered it to 60%.

Don't worry. Tannehill will bring it back up to 65% in no time.

Kris....gotta love ya!! You're honest bro!
Tannehill will never carry a team but put talent around him and he is the real deal. Of all the 2nd year QB's I would only pick Luck ahead of him. I have heard some QB experts say the same.

Can u idiots get the f..k off of the post. Look at Houston,pitt,bal,wash,. We are not gonna win them all. Who knows what Tanny would be like if he had time to throw. This is not life or death People. Grow the F..k up. If u want, come see me like Men.


Very true, Reggie was also a great recieving back that kink of masks the o-line a little on check downs. I think that our QB would have done better his rookie year with Marshall in the mix as well. MIAMI had a ton of money they could have spent so CAp was never an issue keeping him. O-line with long would not be great but good enough to wait to pick a good one instead of recycled ones!

hahaha, @ Anderson. He's at least ETF ....

60.7 is still at the league average mark. Tannehill is at least at the league average at completions, completion %, YPG, yards per attempt, Touchadowns per game. He is only below in INT and Rating. Only 7 QBs in the NFL are above average in all of those, and it's a who's who of NFL QBs ...

Peyton Manning, QB
Philip Rivers, QB
Matthew Stafford, QB
Tony Romo, QB
Drew Brees, QB
Andy Dalton, QB
Matt Ryan, QB

Notice, no qbs with less than 3 years experience. Kudos to Dalton and Stafford for getting on that list quite early in their careers ...

Kris, Dashi, Mark, JJ......this year all we wanted was to see improvement. We have seen glimpses of what could be. 3-0 was fun and had everybody juiced up. Some in here knew we still had to get more talent and warned we could wind up 3-3. We did. However we all KNEW this team was not going to be in the Super Bowl this year. We also KNOW that we are going in the right direction. Next year with $40million in cap space and hopefully a new OC and the sky will be the limit for the 2014 Dolphins. This isn't wait until next year like before...this time its real.

Tannehill curbs the INTs and he will be there too....

You could say that Tannehill is a well raised, straight Country boy, and so, he perhaps lacks malice. It could be that he's concentrating so much down field that he completely obviates the pass rush and his own safety, until it's too late. That shows a lot of guts and he's commendable for that, but it is not healthy for the Team and much more so, for him. MO


Agreed. Adding a Good Pass Catching TE that can also line up as a WR will be a great weapon to add. The Fins almost did that this season if it wasn't for that dirty hit on Keller in the Preseason.

But expect the Fins to go after a player in the Keller/Clay Mold. A H-Back TE. A TE you can line up anywhere. Making the FB Obsolete.

Picture if Keller comes back next season healthy and we draft another guy in that mold in the 3rd or 4th rd. Moving Clay to the FB/TE role he excels at.

This offense will truly be allowed to do everything they want.

With that said, I still feel a Big WR is a Bigger Priority. We need a WR that T-Hill can throw a Fade in the Red zone to. A K.Britt or H.Nicks type that will be FA's next off season.

the players are fungible. games are won and lost by the coaches.

I do like when Miami throws the play option twist in there. Tannehill was a reciever in college so he can move and every time they have used it they have gashed defenses. I'm not saying go option offense but Tannehill has more athletic ability than people give him. He's already taking a beating in the back field, give him a chance to win games with his legs every now and then until the problem is fixed!

Dashi good post again....as we don't draft the WR and TE positions well I would love it if we picked up players of that caliber....remember Graham TE is a FA again next year.

I hope Keller comes back, I always liked him and he was showing great chemistry with Tannehill in the pre-season!

Graham will stay in Saints as long as Brees is there!


Saints are in cap trouble and Graham wants to be paid like a WR. Graham is most likely going to be a FA in 2014. He also played for the U and would love to come home!!

Hey, Armando, how bout some tickets for the Personality profiles here!

The Saints are projected to be over the 2014 cap and have about 35 players under contract for next year. So without some huge renegotiations or player cuts they will not be able to sign Graham.

Bill and Dashi,

Everything is good whith the offensive changes in my book.....what do you think on defense? This year our defene is what will give us those chances to win games. WAKE is back! PATTERSON needs to get healthy. I'm not talking Super Bowl here but wild-card would be nice this year. We got to 3-0 with defense and beat ATL and INDY! If we can some how pull NE this week we can get some momentum back that we lost to the Bills!


You might be right about GRAHAM but I dont really see them letting him go tht easy......which might end up hurting them in the end! If it does happen MIAMI really needs to step their game up and get him!

I think our D is in good shape. I think that Starks will be gone and we will see Jordan become a starter. We need another CB, LB and S. In fact we need monsters at those positions.

Carly there is a sit called spotrac where you can see everything you need to know about the cap ad what FA will be available next year. The business side of football is just as important as the X's and O's.


Yes we do but we have good (not great) D-lines and CB. 2 goods make a great in a team effort in my opinion. 2 greats make a KC defense!

Carly a lot of the D goes to scheme remember. When Coyle was sending corner, safety and LB blitzes we were winning. The last 3 games he stopped??? We need to use the talent we have the right way.....seems to be a problem for our DC and OC?


Oh yeah I agree. I just have to find time to get it all in! All my kids play football so I'm usually running like a headless chicken all week. Today I am at work kinda goofing off since our mission for the week is done but I will sure check it out!

Oye Boriqua...I gotta get on my Coqui and get to the Casino....my money is waiting for me to visit!


True, why he stopped will remain a mystery!!! I think it had a little to do with the loss of Patterson and Wake on the line! But hey, grow a pair and go at it. Our offense really needs to re-evaluate how many deep patterns they throw. We have recievers that can get open quick! And Lamar Miller is a speed demon! What he lacks in vision he has in speed! Give him a chance to get some YACs on short passes!

Ok Bill take it easy!

Dashi and Bill,

Sorry I just can't jump on the wait until next season bandwagon. For Petes sakes how long have you guys been fans?

What is it that makes you guys think we will make the right moves with that money??

There is a possibility that we may lose both of our pro bowl caliber DT's. And as you say we still need a TE, a CB, and apparently an OT.

While I realize whining on this blog isn't gonna help matters, patting them on the back after losing to a team at home with a 4th string QB just isn't my style.

I sure hope your right about Sunday Dashi. It's gonna be a tough one with Gronk and Amendola back.

Well it sounds kinda cruel but all you gotta do to stop Amendola is hit him once!


Same gay bar , tonight or back to the gym for some easy reps with 350 lbs, while somebody holds your wallet cause it's so heavy earning 5 times the household average

Amazing all this blogged while Mark from Toronto was sitting down peeing and blogging

just saying ...

I've given up on the idea the Dolphins may have a shot to do anything thing this year and Gronkowski is on my fantasy team..therefore I say go Gronkowski and Fireland.

We are dead meat cause we still suck

Our team bites

Fire this whole shitty staff

All the Dolphins need is a good FA RT.
Posted by: Vontae's Grandma | October 25, 2013 at 01:26 PM

They tried that last week, it turned into a shart

Put Dion Jordan on gronkowski. Play him at linebacker. He has experience in coverage.

When Philbin said 3 weeks ago, This level of play is not sustainable, and consequently has done nothing about it, is he implying most of our Players sukk?


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