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Clearing out the notebook: Friday edition

The Dolphins have two home games remaining and that should be a big deal because Baltimore, for example, plays only one more home game. And playing at home is supposed to be better than playing on the road.

Except this year the Dolphins haven't exactly done a great job of protecting their house. They're 3-3 in six games at home and would have to win their final two games at home to merely tie the 5-3 home mark they posted last year.

So how would coach Joe Philbin grade Miami's play at home this year?

"About 3-3.  Seriously, we have to play better," Philbin said. "I think the fans have gotten their money’s worth in terms of excitement in relation to the games have gone down to, literally all six games have been almost to the last play of the game if I’m not mistaken.  We have to do better, we have to do better."


Do you recall the 2011 season-opener? The Patriots threw for 500 yards. They had a 99-yard pass play from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. They won the game 38-24.

Nolan Carroll remembers that game.

I talked to Carroll about that game this week. If you recall, both Vontae Davis and Sean Smith suffered cramps that night. Carroll had to substitute in for both players.

And as if on cue, the moment he came in the game, Tom Brady went to work on him. Three consecutive passes to Carroll's side went for completions including a TD pass. I asked Carroll if he agreed that he got picked on that night?

"Yes," he said.

Well, earlier this year, the Dolphins managed Dimitri Patterson's groin injury in such a way that he was able to start the October game at New England. And Patterson played well. But he had to come out in the second half for a series and when that happened, Carroll came in the game.

Carroll had started five previous games in Patterson's place but, again, as soon as he entered the game, Tom Brady went after him. And the Patriots connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass in which Brady went to Aaron Dobson who was matched out left against ... Nolan Carroll.

Carroll is a starting cornerback the rest of the season apparently with Patterson now on injured reserve. Is he worried Brady is going to be picking on him Sunday as has happened in the past?

"That doesn't worry me," Carroll said. "What happened years ago has no affect on me. I'm a different player than I was then. This is a new game."

Carroll better be ready because the Patriots seemingly always know where he is.


The Dolphins had no answer for covering Darren Sproles out of the backfield the fourth week of the season when they played New Orleans.

Well, on Sunday they face Shane Vereen (who missed the first meeting between Miami and New England due to his wrist injury) and he is a defacto wide receiver coming out of the backfield -- a matchup nightmare for linebackers.

Vereen has been active only five games but already he leads all NFL running backs with 74.6 yard per game receiving average. He has 40 catches for 373 yards. Last week he caught 12 passes for 153 yards against Cleveland.

Phillip Wheeler or Jimmy Wilson better bring their A-game on Sunday.


I hate doing playoff projections, but I feel the need to clear up some confusion that Thursday night's San Diego victory over the Denver Broncos may have caused.

Multiple people on my twitter timeline (Follow me @ArmandoSalguero) were saying that if the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers all end up with the same record, the fact the Chargers enter the scenario and turn it into a three-team race erases Baltimore's current edge over Miami built by a head-to-head victory.

Not necessarily true.

If for example, the three teams finish 9-7 and are tied for the sixth and final playoff seed, the Ravens would still be the qualifying team if the one loss they suffer is this weekend to NFC opponent Detroit. In other words, the Ravens could lose to Detroit but if they beat two AFC opponents -- New England and Cincinnati -- they would still be the 9-7 team getting in the playoffs.

If, however, the Ravens beat Detroit but lose to either New England or the Bengals, they would be 9-7 but the 9-7 Dolphins would be getting in the playoffs ahead of them, assuming the Chargers are also 9-7. (If the Chargers drop off, the Ravens again win out over Miami based on head-to-head meetings).

Bottom line: The Ravens can obviously build a seemingly hefty lead in the playoff chase against the Dolphins and Chargers if they win this weekend while the Dolphins lose to the Patriots. But if the Dolphins recover the final two weeks of the season, and the Chargers keep winning, and the Ravens stumble in one of their two remaining games against AFC opponents, the Dolphins would jump ahead of Baltimore.

If we're talking teams going 8-8 that's a whole different formula that might involve other teams and it's too early for that now. 

Glad I made that totally clear for you.


The Dolphins have lost seven in a row to the Patriots. I picked Miami to win on Sunday. I think the loss of Rob Gronkowski is devestating to New England's offense. But looking at the last meeting, Gronkowski caught only two passes for 27 yards. I worry that Aqib Talib did not play and Brady threw for only 116 yards, had a 69.5 QB rating and the Patriots still won by 10 points.


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You like Steel Panther?

I picked the Pats to win the game on Sunday but I hope to God I'm wrong. We are TOTALLY capable of winning this game but we need to stop beating ourselves in games against the Pats. Pats are running on fumes and Dolphins are a confident bunch right now. Its there for the taking. Grab it!

Posted by: Craig M | December 13, 2013 at 09:13 AM

Craig, you would pick your nose before you would ever pick the phins to win, BANDWAGON fan at its finest everybody.

I was in those stands at Shea rooting for The Dolphins...yes those upper decks definitely did SWAY and MOVE!! I was also at the Orange Bowl and then at JRS....it is since we moved to JRS that I began to notice the amount of opposing teams fans. It gets very annoying to have our home games turn into Jets, Pats and Bills home games!!

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | December 13, 2013 at 03:17 PM

O.K. then you remember! The thing was Robbie built the Stadium on Countyline Rd. looking to cater to the Broward County fanbase (I remember in those days talk of unifying the Counties with Metro-Rail which would have granted Public Trans. for everybody who didn't want to pay the Stadiums neighbors $20 to Park on their lawns with no real security for what was then a hood!)

The one who starts the B.S. with the opposing fans was Joe Robbie's son Tim who took over after Dad's death. He offered those packages which basically held 5,000 tickets to Bills fans in travel plans in the late 80's. You probably remember this and the heavy Bills fan presence of 5 to 6K in the stands back then. The usual Jet fan in the stands lived in Miami.

rdubs, I knwo a bit about them. I have told myself a few times to give them more listening time but haven't got around to it yet. But I hear nothing but good things.

That's exactly why there were so many fights in those days in the stands

That's exactly why there was so many fights back at that time

Odin, I agree with for the most part on both points. Two good posts sir.


Check out the video for Steel Panthers "Fat Girl"

Funny as a mofo

As it stands, Jordan's snaps are ridiculously limited. All the while we have guys like Phillip Wheeler, Koa Misi and even Jason Trusnik getting snaps. This while Jordan rides the pine.

Whatever happened to getting your best 11 players on the field?
Posted by: odinseye | December 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM

Same Old argument we've been having since the draft were it was stated we would go HYBRID on D shifting 3/4 & 4/3 alignments depending on opponent.

I still believe Solia at NT with Odrick and Starks at DE works best for what we have. The trick is the LB's were Vernon would move outside as well with Jordan splitting his snaps on both sides (I believe he plays both sides weak and strong with ease) Weakside rushes more and gets the glamour sacks but strongside covers alot of RB's and T.E.'s were Misi was a liability in our 3/4 under Nolan.

I would look to give Misi every shot in the World to be a MLB in this situation with Ellerbee the MIKE LB of course. I then have an eye on maybe (I know it won't be popular!) trading the older Wake in 2014 were he still has value to a contender going with Vernon and DJ as the future. This scenario makes to much sense for me but what the hell do I know?!

By the way been a while! Happy Holidays Brudda!

Brady is out YOU MORONS,what part of that do you not understand? again it is retards who are North of the Border who will always be the cluelss homers Eh?

NFL Insiders..."Coming up Teddy Bruski more on the Pats game plan without Gronk".

Not what the two teams were likely to do but just the Pats game plan. So sick of these biased 'reporters'

Good lord Odin,Keep your Posts to a 1000 words ...

Posted by: fin4life | December 13, 2013 at 03:51 PM

Good post! Its pretty much in line with what I feel should be our defense on first and 10 and the shorter down and distances. I think our run defense has suffered somewhat without having Solia, Starks and Odrick on the field at the same time.

Dion Jordan has proven he is a disruptive pass rusher with good cover skills, why not play him as an OLB? I would have Wake and him line up as the OLBs and put Vernon in as an ILB alongside Ellerbe.

Just win baby!

yesterday somebody who knew I was a dolfan gave me a Zach Thomas number 54 jersey. Looks brand new.

I think I'll end my work day, try it on, have a beer, and daydream about a Phins victory.

The way we can beat the Patsies depends on 3 things: 1. and most important, keep blitzing and get Tommie boy on the ground every other play. Even if you don't get him on the ground, make him hurry it up, disrupt their "flow". 2. Dolphins absolutely must have an effective running game. Don't abandon it, just ground and pound, because it sets up the play action pass. 3. O-line absolutely must protect RT and give this fine young man 3.5 seconds or more to pass. If our boys can do that, we can absolutely win on Sunday(providing referees play fair also).

Did you know that the Gator's mascot was so depressed over there season he joined the army????


How sad is this for Wally Gator?????

HUH?, 1 Thing ,Brady is hurt YOU ???? "fill in the blanks
'--- ---- --- ----- ---- - - --- - - -- - " Eh?

No. Give us our money's worth by WINNING. You are paid to win games, not lose close games.

Posted by: PatriotPhin | December 13, 2013 at 03:20 PM

Best rebuttal on the board today. Hit it right on the head. Just another coach in Dolphin history who is ok with being average or just not good enough. Its like saying. "well i almost kissed the prom queen", but just cant get around her boyfriend. Oh well. Loser mentality Philbin

Posted by: dolfan29 | December 13, 2013 at 03:23 PM

That's ridiculous! Both of you guys are FORGETTING the question, then EDITING his answer and taking it out of context to boot! OMFG and ROTFLMAO!

First, what was Philbin supposed to say? Was he supposed to say, yeah we suck, my Coaching Staff sucks and my Players all suck........?

Actually, Philbin's answer, the part of his answer he EMPHASIZED and repeated a couple of times was this:

"We have to do better" and "No doubt about it, we have to do better".

On the bright side, for your troubles, you two get the "C'Mon Man" of the day award!


The way we can beat the Patsies depends on 3 things: 1. and most important, keep blitzing and get Tommie boy on the ground every other play. Even if you don't get him on the ground, make him hurry it up, disrupt their "flow". 2. Dolphins absolutely must have an effective running game. Don't abandon it, just ground and pound, because it sets up the play action pass. 3. O-line absolutely must protect RT and give this fine young man 3.5 seconds or more to pass. If our boys can do that, we can absolutely win on Sunday(providing referees play fair also).

Posted by: Westcoastphinfan | December 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM

On the blitzing, I said it earlier. You're 100% right.
IF Brady had his full complement of weapons you OBVIOUSLY don't employ this game plan.

BUT! Dobson is likely not playing. Gronk is out. Their biggest weapon is a RB out of the backfield!

Blitz at least 75% of the game. Send Jones, Clemmons, LB'ers, Corners...every play. Change it up, make Bradys head spin b being unable to know whose coming next!

NE is a timing offense & quick screen offense. Play up & don't allow the quick throws! None of these WR's should win matchups consistently where we have to fear getting burned deep. These are ALL intermediate weapons we face.

Blitz Brady. Hurry him. Disrupt the quick passing game. Quick screens have almost zero chance of being productive plays if the DB is in the WR's face! Force them to all be 100% on the same page on hot routes. DICTATE to them.

If Coyle plays soft, Miami will not win because his line is quite good at keeping Brady clean under a normal rush. And with extra time, someone will eventually get open.

Play press & Blitz. If not, don't expect a win.


Odins Brown EYE,. How did you,yes you, get the Miami Herald to delete my instructions on how to make your tiny dink disappear with your 12 gauge while you are in the U.P. Eh?

Odin, Any "HOTTIES" Tonight?

Only ONE Hottie tonight(I'm taking it easy).

She got a little upset when I suggested an itenary that included her Mom, her Sister, a twister mat and a bottle of Hot Baby Oil(all 3 are younger than myself-LOL and even Mom's is pretty Hot.)

I just LOVE my Old Twister Mat!!!!

You go BOy......

what a huge game. u guys see the new endzones, old school miami,love it other than new dolphin

Was just watching Tannehill's big gainer on the read option left.

4 offensive lineman blocked down most excellently. John Jerry of course whiffed again Big Time. It's actually embarrassing watching him whiff play after play. It gets worse too, he **ALWAYS** ends up face down and butt up(it's OFFICIAL, the John Jerry "Experiment" is over. We obviously need an upgrade at Right Guard).

Garner destroys his guy by driving him backwards and away from the play for 10 yards. McKinnie and Pouncey handle their respective blocks like Pro's. Clabo too. The play went away from him, but his guy wasn't going to make a play REGARDLESS. Other than John Jerry, EXCELLENT STUFF!

Clay comes from the opposite offset Fullback spot and gets just enough of the free safety to supply the key block.

Hartline did some weird type of block/attempted block. Had he sustained his block **AT ALL* Tannehill EASILY scores on that run.

This was a fantastic play call by Sherman. He caught the steelers in a good defense. Other than Jerry and to a lesser degree Hartline, the play came off just like it was drawn up. Textbook Example!

The great stuff comes from Daniel Thomas and Tannehill on the READ and the FAKE hand-off. Tannehill reads it perfectly and the Defensive End takes himself out of the play by attacking Thomas.

The rest is ALL Tannehill and his speed. Did anybody notice the speed he exhibited on the bad, snow covered field? He hit the hole and was pulling away from EVERYONE except the Corner-back that eventually ran him out of bounds! The one Hartline "Partially" blocks.

Of all the Tannehill runs I've seen(I've seen everyone of them)this was most impressive. This one really showed his speed and it showed how quickly he gets to top speed. For the first time I saw Tannehill exhibit the type of speed it took for him to play WR.

All I know is I want to see **MORE** of it. So Sherman was right in making Tannehill learn how to play QB from the pocket FIRST! But I'm here to tell you, he's proven he can do it. Now it's time to take the training wheels off and turn Tannehill loose. I'm hoping to GOD ALMIGHTY that this is the new wrinkle that Wallace alluded too.

I'm convinced that Tannehill can be an effective dual threat in league with Newton and Griffin. He might not have all the "Shake and Bake" that those two have. But he's proven that he has enough and he can be effective. And the top speed he showed was REFRESHING. I can't get over it. Sherman has done his job well in teaching Tannehill how to hang in the pocket. And I know Tannehill still needs work/experience.

But it's time to unveil "The Whole Package" against the patriots this Sunday afternoon!


Beating the Patriots is no puzzle. The Baltimore Ravens and for a while, Houston Texans gave everyone a blueprint. But honestly, it wasn't that big of a mystery. There is one common thread the runs through the Patriots. Tom Brady is the key, the cog that the entire show spins around.
The key has always been known, the trouble starts when your defense really goes after him and fails to get there. If you blitz, or send 5 or 6 after him, you'd damned well best get there and get there fast. If not he'll tear your secondary apart.
So... If Miami is going to beat NE Sunday, it isn't going to be Ryan Tannehill and the offense running up and down the field like deer. We'll lose a shootout with NE. EVERYONE loses shootouts with NE.
Nope... This game falls on the defense just like a piano or safe falling on them in a "Looney Tunes" cartoon. The defense is going to HAVE to get to and disrupt Brady. The HAVE to shut down NE's running attack. And they must at least manage the scat back out of the backfield. That means the Linebackers need to step up and earn those ridiculous paychecks they have been given.
If the Dolphins and they're fans are going into Sunday hoping our offense will outscore Brady & Co. in a shoot out.... Then go ahead and give NE ANOTHER AFC EAST title in the Visitor locker room of Miami's stadium. NE has won 3 AFC East titles there already...

You would think this team has finally tired of being embarrassed by the same stupid team over and over... At what point does this Miami team sell out to winning? At what point is losing gone too far? At what point does pride and ambition finally win the battle with quiet resolve with losing?

Does anybody ever read more than three sentences of these half page long winded posts?

Actually...I just read several...and good post Troop!!!

I think the biggest key to this game is to go into the final minutes with MORE than a 6 point lead...If we are up by 6 with 3:00 on the clock I will be VERY nervous. They need to put them away...not in the 1st or 2nd or even the 3rd...we been there...done that...results usually not in our favor...being up 17 going into the 3rd means Jack! squat...this game must be won by building a 2 or more score lead in the 4th!!!

I dont read a word of those long posts

Don't forget the zebras they always goes with the f... Pats

Also notice how these Miami Dolphins and specifically Tannehill started to get their SWAGGA!!! about the time McKinnie made his presence in town...coincidence??? I think not...

I cant see the Pats getting up for this game. What have they won 7 straight against the Fish?

Brady ALWAYS has a field day against NOlan Carrol. Dimitri is out. It does not look goof for us.

Expect Belichek to throw us some curve balls. He is not going to be content with the just the division title, he is gunning Denver for home field advantage.

It is no coincidence this OLine -and team- started playing better without Martin and Cogs. Natural addition by substraction. Martin was a mediocre OL and Cogs was a clown that made this entire team that much unprofessional and lack seriousness.

Since Bullygate this team has started playing like a professional bunch thanks to the absence of Cogs. After the Tampa game debacle these players understood the seriousness of the situation and ultimately corrected the ship. Kudos to Philbin too for being a soothing and steady captain when someone flashy like Rex would have made matters worse.

Next season we need to land two good OL, the kid from FSU at LT unless Mike Evans is somehow still available, he is a beast and would make that offense unstoppable (we could
buy sometime st LT with McKinnie), and we must find a new RG, Jerry is done.

Mckinnie has said this is his last year.....

We started off 3-0. Then we went downhill. Then a scandal. Then just enough wins to keep hope alive. But...history don't lie. This is where it ends. We finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

Next season, we finish 9-7. But still it won't be good enough for the playoffs.

Regime change.

Ireland should be fired for bringing that jackass Incognito to the team. And for drafting Martin.

Finman should be taken to a gay prison for trying to imitate a blogger.

Posted by: Warden | December 13, 2013 at 09:34 PM

If you liked those moves you have to be a Jet fan.

Finman | December 13, 2013 at 09:37 PM

If that is all you have to say than you are either still in the closet or a very lonely person...likely of low wage.

LOL at the last 4 posts!


I agree! It's a bad idea to plan on winning a shootout with Tom Brady at the helm.

Having said that, we do have to score a lot of points to win the game regardless. That's what we have had trouble with last year and running up through today.

Again, I agree! The defense will have to be on point. In all aspects of their "A" game. Of all the teams in the NFL, thanks to Brady, the patriots are difficult to make one dimensional. Brady is equally effective when he sets up the pass with the run or the run with the pass. With the patriots it's often been a pick your poison proposition.

So, I'm not advocating trying to goad Brady into a shootout. But I do believe that this is as good a time as any to turn Tannehill loose.

We have to play a complete, solid game on defense. All the way around, all aspects. Solid against the run, great in coverage and mainly, we have to be excellent, creative and TIMELY on our blitzes. We even have to be able to get after him with just 4 pass rushers at times!

After all the "Normal" Huff & Gruff, I still say we have to unleash "The Tannehill" - LOL! I doubt that Bellichek is game planning for a bunch of QB runs.

Our offense has progressed to a point where teams are respecting our passing threats. If you remember, it was just last year that DC's were crowding the box and forcing Tannehill to beat them with the pass. Now, DC's are ALWAYS backing off at least one safety and that's because of Wallace's presense ALONE. When we go 3 wide and keep Clay in at Tight End(FB or the Slot), a lot of teams are now dropping BOTH safeties. This is usually a good time to run the ball. This is the formation we used against the steelers on Tannehill's big gainer and they did back their safties off pre snap.

So I'm not advocating any shootouts with Brady. Not in any way, shape or form. But I do think it's time to turn Tannehill loose on some running opportunities. I don't think Bellicheat or his DC will be expecting this or game planning for it.

I think the timing is perfect for this new little "Wrinkle". And I believe it will catch the patriots off guard. By the time they catch on, they'll still have problem's trying to stop it. Just as they tighten up the box, it'll be time for Tannehill to show us the progress he's made on the play action deep pass to Wallace!

Forget about the mathematical possibilities. If we can't beat NE, we don't and shouldn't go to the playoffs. At some point you have to beat your foe. They have regressed. We THINK we progressed. The time is now. If not, we really haven't progressed.

odinseye | December 13, 2013 at 09:57 PM

So where is the hottie you (fibbed, imagined) told us about? You are still blogging? Oh, yeah..right...she is coming over later.....truck stop is humming this hour.

Remember a few months back you said she just arrived yet you were cutting and pasting another three hours here? Remember?

Of course you do!


Forget about the mathematical possibilities. If we can't beat NE, we don't and shouldn't go to the playoffs. At some point you have to beat your foe. They have regressed. We THINK we progressed. The time is now. If not, we really haven't progressed.

Posted by: Socrates | December 13, 2013 at 10:00 PM

That sounds pretty accurate.

Dream on! You guys forgot 2 things- Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Belichick will out coach Philbean again and is light years ahead of him in coaching experience/scheming, Brady? Tannehill is not even in the same ball park. Keep dreaming. Love my Phins but got to be realistic.

Odin has been busted so many times with his dumb hottie stories it really is pathetic a grown man has to come to a blog and project his fantasies to a bunch of strangers.

Of all the sad pathetic bloggers here, which there are countless, odin is the only one that ever has the need to convince others he has a sex life.

Gosh darn sad.

Has Irescum been fired yet?

Dream on! You guys forgot 2 things-

Posted by: tiredfinfan | December 13, 2013 at 10:35 PM

You've forgotten Belichek hasn't won a monkey's testacle since Pioli left.
You've forgotten they have lost to teams we are better than.
You've forgotten that yesterday don't count. There is only now.

So that is 3 things. You are laggin bro!

tiredfinfan is TIRED!

Just think how many posts, opinions and sheer time spent on the blog will be all for not, wasted like waste, once we are eliminated from the playoffs.

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