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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."

 

Comments

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Will Tannehill score any points against the Pats this time?

Yeah, well, mediocre, good, great, he has to learn to Win with whatever talent he has.

btw, Philbin looked very relaxed and content Today.

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

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

No wonder our offence is pathetic. Ross is a cheap SOB.

2nd lowest payroll in the league. Ross wont spend the money to build a winner or to fix his decrepid stadium.

Bori,

On the Defense.

We have the talent. That is what gets me mad with the defense. We have the players. The problem is that we let the other team convert on 3rd Down. And not just 3rd and Short. But 3rd and 15. Those kill any defense. Extending drives that shouldn't be extended. Can't blame that on Sherman. Coyle needs to figure out what to do on 3rd Down. It is on the Pass Defense. This defense could be dominant, they just don't play like it on 3rd Down.

Mark in Toronto, good points on Thill. After suffering through Fiedler, Culpspper, Lemon, that guy the Eagles raped us for ect. I'm thrilled to have a legitimate qb. Last year he had no receivers and still had a rating comparable to Luck. And this year NO QB, not Marino, Elway, or anybody would put up great numbers behind this line. Most people acknowledge the line has been historically bad up to this point. With that said, I don't understand the criticism here. Yes that pick in the end zone was a horrible throw and he said as much. I think he's actually played well considering the adversity. He's also playing hurt the last couple of weeks.

Its the QB stupid. Eh?

If the idiot under the helmet 17 can hit his targets ? Then eh?

Lots of excuses for TanneBust, yes?

Are U serious, this Dolphin team is horrible, bad offence, coaching, defense cant make a stop when needed. NE is going to paste us, this coaching staff cant coach or adjust, they had 2 weeks to prepare for Buffalo, a really bad team with a 5th string QB and they lose. Your going to see a great coach in Belichek, when NE runs/passes over Miami. They come out flat stay flat and finish flat, Sherman, Philbin and company are in over their heads

If Tannehill could scramble more, have some pocket awareness and actually be accurate, it might make a difference, he panics when pocket collapses, Hartline was actually open at end of game for a TD, buy over thrown. I have not seen a complete solid game all year, even in the wins.

I agree dolfan, i think he just lacks an overall feel of the game that elite QB's have. I am just not sure if you acquire that with experience or if in something innate?

He is serviceable right now with a good defense and power running game.

This team is on the brink of a massive train wreck, the only good thing to come out of this, is Ireland will be fired.

JOE PHILBIN IS LEARNING HOW TO BE A COACH GUYS....IN 10 YEARS HE WILL BE READY OR DEAD..JEFF IRELAND IS STILL LEARNING..BUT HE ONLY HAS 3 MORE YEARS ..AND IN 3 YEARS JEFF WILL BE ONE HELL OF A GM..SO PHILBIN HAS 8 YEARS LEFT..WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING..

Philbins game plans suck, keep it close dont get blown out and hopefully we can win at end, serious, u think the good teams think like that? NO, DEN, SF, SEA? They attack. Philpin is either over his head, a bad coach or knows he does not have the players to win.

Mark

T-Hill looks every bit the part like Flacco(even statistically). Despite his rise in stats there seems to be a robotic progression through his reads rather than seeing something develop like a cheating safety or even his hot reads.

I am worried that is he not hardwired like elite QB’ and you have seen him peak on his phycical tools. Or can you learn this feel for the game?

Change Qb's and the OL & RB's will look better

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTIL IRELAND IS FIRED! WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE LOSING! WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE CLASSLESS INCOMPETENT GM! BOYCOTT AND HELP MAKE THE CHANGE!

Change Qb's and the OL & RB's will look better

Posted by: DanMarinowasdaGreatest | October 25, 2013 at 07:21 PM

No Doubt.

Philpin is either over his head, a bad coach or knows he does not have the players to win.

Posted by: Dolfan | October 25, 2013 at 06:53 PM

Or...all three.

Ireland cant get good players and Ross wont pay for good players so Philbin is doomed just like Sparano.

Interesting question by Walker, Should McKinnie start? Hmm...

I predict that Miami is going to shock a lot of people by completely destroying New England on their own field on Sunday & hopefully if they do that all the critics will shut up for good.

Sporano already misspelled his name wrong, why do you clowns misspell it even more by writing it Sparano is beyond me. It is spelled just how it sounds Spo-ra-no. Simple. You can call him Spo for short if you want to.

I get it though some of you have problems with your vowels. O sounds like A and I sounds like E.

Oscar,

I'd look content and relaxed if I were taking a man's money without doing my job. The essence of coaching is taking strength and maximizing them and weaknesses and masking them. Philbin and the staff has very little of either.

No, nyfinfan, he's not a cynical man.

ASSIGNMENT FOOTBALL: STOP TURNING THE FKN BALL OVER TO THE OTHER TEAM

2012 NFL Draft

Tannehill = bust
Martin = bust
Egnew = bust

Hmmm ….

Didnt ya just know Irescum would bring us Chad Henne 2.0?

Will Coyle follow the same plan he used against NO and Graham for NE and Gronk? Wave the white flag now already.

Bunch of goofballs we have for coaches. Maybe they will surprise us and come up with something intelligent.

Hi Kris,

You've been refreshing the blog page all night, why not leave a comment? Or a compliment?

WhoTH is FTE?

Home-O Yo' Momma is bust for having you.

She looks like a fat version of Jamarcus Russell.

Home-O Yo' Momma is a bust for having you.

She looks like a fat version of Jamarcus Russell.

Posted by: Rick | October 25, 2013 at 07:48 PM

I predict that predictions are NEVER positive for this team...just sayin....

The idiots that criticize Tannehill need to take a close look and see how Peyton Manning and Tom Brady play when they face pressure.Why can't we find two average Offensive Tackles and adequate depth on the Offensive Line? The O line sucked last year, also.

Henne got ruined by Scrapano. He could turn Dan Marino into Joey Harrington.

Some good clips on NFL videos of Tannehill holding the ball too long on some passes. If it wasn't for Chandler Jones, I would sit McKinnie one more week, but TH needs all the help he can get on Sunday.

Interpreting what Shula said Today, I believe he thinks Tannehill doesn't an enough quick release to stand in the pocket until the last second.

The idiots that criticize Tannehill need to take a close look and see how Peyton Manning and Tom Brady play when they face pressure.

Posted by: Guillermo Oliver | October 25, 2013 at 10:26 PM


Mentioning Tannehill in the same sentence as Manning and Brady shows who the idiot is.

According to Bob Griese, quick release is the time when you decide to throw it to the time the ball gets off your hand.

Accoring to Ann Landers, quick release is the time when you put it in until the time you lose your wad.

This blog is really dead without the trolls. Armando needs them to keep the blog alive.

Accoring to Ann Landers, quick release is the time when you put it in until the time you lose your wad.

Posted by: Dr. Frederick | October 25, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Wasnt that Dr. Wuth?

OK FINFANS

I KNOW ITS LATE BUT....

READY FOR THE POLL OF THE WEEKEND?

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE ROSS TO DO?

A) FIRE IRELAND

B) SELL THE TEAM

C) BOTH A AND B

D) WHO CARES LETS GO HEAT!

This blog is really dead without the trolls. Armando needs them to keep the blog alive.

Posted by: Alfonso | October 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Dolphin fans are an extinct species. They've all become trolls.

Assignment Football: OK, I would assign Rookie Jelani Jenkins to Gronk. I would also give him safety help of course.

You already know you can't use Misi, Wheeler or Ellerbe, so why not give the faster Jenkin's his big shot. Jam him every play, "hang on" for dear life and **KNOW** you have safety help. Double Jam him like they did Gonzales. What do you have to lose?

So it gives Brady some one on one match-ups on the outside, better than watching Gronk running free down the seam all day.

I've seen Jenkin's play decent at times as a rookie. I'd go ahead and give him his "Big Chance". See if the Puppy Bites. With a safety helping all day, Jenkin's is probably the best combo we could muster anyways. If you have any better, I'm all ears.

Also, I think McKinnie could make a bigger impact than a lot of people think. It doesn't matter how he's played anywhere else. What matters is that he's definitely an upgrade to what we had **HERE**. Thus, Martin becomes an upgrade to what we had.

We went 3-0 until teams figured out Clabo and Tee'd Off on Tannehill. We won't have a great O-Line obviously, but we'll have a better O-Line. To me, that means our Run Game improves, which improves our pass game, which improves our ability to EXECUTE the plays called. This in turn also gives the Defense a break and allows them to play Stronger.

It doesn't matter what McKinnie has done. The point is, we'll be an IMPROVED Team with him here. All he has to be is better than Martin, get it? All Martin has to be is better than Clabo. I think BOTH have PROVEN that they CAN BE!

Home, I think we get your point. Bust, bust, bust or so you say. You were much more intertaining with the chemtrails HARRP waves and such. We can see the obvious short comings from our players.
But we also have players that are showing up.

I like Jenkins on Gronk. I would actually prefer we use Jordan against him though.

Having a guy that is 6 '7" covering a Tight End would really make those passing windows shrink. Gronk ain't winning those jump balls! The guy covered WR's in college for FAQs sake!

Honestly, it amazes me to see how inflexible this coaching staff is with their scheme designs on both Offense and Defense.IMO, coaching has killed this team the last 3 weeks.

I agree with Just Saying, jus sayin.

The key is not to cover G-ski, the key is to stop Brady and Bellishit's game plan.
The only game G-ski has played this season was a lost. So he's not the key. He's just one more of several weapons the infamous Patriots have to beat the Dolphins. Stop Brady, and it will be a different story. But, even in that instance is not a warranty. Look what happened last week against the Bills.
Many, too many thinnd would need to combine for the Dolphins to beat the revolting Patriots. So our chances are like one in ten.

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