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Wheeler cannot tackle without opposable thumb

Phillip Wheeler cannot tackle.

And as I type that sentence I'm certain several of you are conjuring jokes about the Dolphins linebacker, who last season struggled to cover, struggled to tackle, basically struggled throughout.

But the seriousness of the sentence is that, indeed, Wheeler is wearing a cast on his right hand to protect a thumb that he fractured (and perhaps had surgically repaired) and he has missed much of practice this week, including Thursday.

And even as Wheeler works some in practices, he's not tackling at all. And without a functioning opposable thumb on that right hand, he cannot tackle with that hand in Sunday's game against New England.

So I don't see how he plays on Sunday. And even if he is the gutsy guy who goes out there with a club-sized cast covering his hand, I don't see how he will be able to tackle with only one hand.

Nope, it's time for Plan B.

Call in Jelani Jenkins. Call in Jason Trusnik.

It would be surprising to see Wheeler be effective on Sunday. It would be surprising to see him at all.


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I cant see how Wheeler tackling can get any worse with or or without the cast his tackling/coverage/ability to read plays is abysmal....

Point me to go the game where the linebackers struggled in coverage...Buffalo II? Not making plays is not the same as being ineffective.

Is Wheeler missing week 1 supposed to be a downgrade?

Gronk, " this is the best that I've felt since the injury, there is nothing like getting into the EZ this week to shake off the cob webs ".

Revis, " NE's schemes are similar to the Jets where I made the pro bowl, don't be surprised when I jump on those short routes for a quick pick 6 or two "..

A Trane,

Wheeler and Ellerbe were the least physical players on the defense last season; and they play for a position that demands physicality.

Their "play" and their attempt at "trying" was atrocious last year. I'm not asking them to make plays, I'm just asking them to play the position with respect to the fans and not their pockets.

That is not what I said. I'm talking about coverage. Their coverage was fine, not terrible. Their problem is the run game its all over the tape. Wheeler is best when he plays off the edge and Ellerbe when he shoots the gap. Ellerbe is good in coverage. He struggles when a lineman puts a hat on him.

Wheeler can still blitz without his thumb, it's about all he's capable of doing with it his thumb as well. So why not throw him out there as a way to take an OL off of one of our productive players, like anyone on our DL.

Posted by: A TRANE | September 04, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I agree that they can cover backs coming out of the backfield, but they cannot handle slot receivers or tight ends. Too many times I watched Ellerbe trail his receiver. If it weren't for a CB shedding his block or Clemmons coming down to help with the tackle Ellerbe would be burned more times than not.

Ellerbe is a capable linebacker, he can perform if he's put in the right position. Wheeler though.....chalk that up as an Ireland mistake - he was enamored with that guy for some reason.

Do we have any starters playing?

Gronk: You are good so I guess every game is the EZ for you since statstically the worst you've ever been, over your career, is against Mia.

Revis: Does that include the time you tackled Brandon Marshall, before the ball was even close, stood on his chest, intercepted it and ran it back and there was no PI call.

I don't think losing Wheeler is that big a deal and if Coyle puts a LB in single coverage on Gronk then Coyle is an idiot. I'll say it, and I'm not a homer all the time, but Miami is winning this one and not by 1 point or something decided on the last play.

Both Ellerbe INTS in Bengals/Jets I came from the trail position. So maybe that is the scheme? Wheeler simply needs to move his feet to be in better position and not grab. He will get called once a game if he doesn't become more agile. Needs to be more of cat and less of a shark.

I am very disappointed in DC Dolfan's behavior here today.

I think the one INT to Ellerbe was literally thrown right into his chest (if I remember correctly). Even Sean Smith couldn't drop that one! But there may be additional INTs that I'm not thinking of.

I would rather see Ellerbe and Wheeler (especially Wheeler as a blitzing LB) get more Force Fumbles than INTs. Though, ideally, if they didn't get any turnovers and just tackled well then I would be happy with that.

The one thing our D has not been good with since the days of Surtain and Madison is getting a turnover, we may be a stout defense, but we rarely help our offense out (like when we let the opposing offense convert on 3rd or 4th & long)

Time for plan C



Well Fins went what 4 years and recovering 3 defensive fumbles or something? Reason why Smith, Dansby, Burnett, Clemons aren't here any more. I think the key though is Wake, if he has one more All-Pro season Fins will make the playoffs.

Some of you do not understand games are thrown in professional sports for multiple reasons.


So if you're Philbin and your future is secure, but want to get rid of Ireland. Your power move is to end the season .500 without reaching the playoffs. Ireland was on the job 6 years. And even though it was a young team developing, Ireland was on the Clock. Even finding the Franchise QB could not help. That falls on Sherman and Philbin.

Tannehill having No Excuses has nothing to do with making the Playoffs!! It has to do with his Performance. Even the T-Sizzle believers, expect at least 4000yds 30TD 15INT/ Rushing 400yd 5 TDs

That falls on Philbin!! And Hickey!! They have Zero Excuse!! Cause Ireland left them with a Young Playoff Caliber team that ONLY NEEDED TO FIX THE O-LINE.

Posted by: -I | September 04, 2014 at 01:04 PM

Forget Wheeler or Trusnik or Jenkins. Run between a 5-2 and Nickle formation most of the game.

How D.Jordan Consistently shoots himself in the foot as a Dolphin!!

D.Jordan would have been forced into the position. And by the time Wheelers thumb heals D.Jordan would already be cemented at the position.

So, Bring in McCain!!

Weakest unit on the team just got weaker. Major mistake by Hickey/Philbin not doing anything about it in the offseason.

R.I.P. Shelley Winters.

Great, great actress.

McCain could be an X-factor. I like McCain and would definitely sprinkle him in a few plays. Still a rookie in his first game going up against Brady scares me.

We'll see what happens Sunday.

You have been doing quite a bit of shouting here recently Dashi.

you're posing this as good news, right Mando?

obviously not ideal as we line up against Brady, but every team has spots where their rooks/young players have to step in and produce--hardly unheard of and it speaks to the teams depth (or lack of).....and we'll find out which on Sunday.

BUT, aint like they're replacing a great player....and the upside is we'll see what Jenkins/McCain or whoever can do, under pressure/adversity--we'll live.

Losing Wheeler is not a huge loss. This is one position where "next man up" might uncover a hidden gem.

If whomever (or by committee) replaces Wheeler, the math would be: If they give up collectively less than 80 or so yards with average play, it would equal the 80 yards or so Wheeler gave up several gays with stupid penalties. The $30 yards in penalties, plus the subsequent 60-100 yards the opponent then manages on what would have been, should have been 4th down. Wheeler gives them a new 1st and 10.

So, put the rookie McCain in, along with Trusnik, who is a tough mother.

Bill Bellichik Is Smarter Than Dashwad:

“Knowshon is versatile player who can play on all three downs,” Belichick said on a conference call Wednesday morning. “He’s got good quickness, good power for his size, good run vision, catches the ball well. He’s an active receiver in the passing game. He does a lot of things well. He can pretty much play on any down-and-distance situation with his skill set.”

See, I told yous so........ :-)

Didn't Shelley Winters die years ago??

haha, games, not gays. LOL Most egregious typo of the day!

McCain's quickness may surprise Brady instead of the other way around.

Reading this blog, you would think the Dolphins have no coaching staff or front office. How can you claim to be a fan of the team and have no confidence in them? A team is a team all the way from Aponte down to the back-up punter.

Are you just a fan of Wake, Albert, Hartline and Starks? I don't think that is how it works.



Or is it

I dunno, just sayin'

it's okay man.

most here are shrugging this off as no big deal, "wheeler's not great anyway", etc (including me), but lets be honest.....could be a disaster, vs Brady--Pats will target that area all day, with one of the best QBs ever--so not only will Jenkins/Trusnik/McCain have to step up, so will Coyle, who needs to call a great game and help/protect that player as much as possible.

All that said, still think we'll survive....and gotta admit that I'm sort of anxious to see what Jenkins or McCain can do a little bit--lets see if they can play, how they respond--Wheeler could be gone next year anyway

Knowshon does not scare Bellichik. Making use of Miller's speed scares him. He can handle known quantities. Miller's speed is scary if you can get him in space, to the house scary.

I would also like to point out that is completely possible to takle without an oppoable thumb. Have you ever heard anyone say,
I would have had that takle but my thumb slipped off?

You takle with your shoulder at point of contact, not your hands and not your thumb. Legs, hips, shoulders and drive. Thumbs or no.

f4l, here's a local lsiting although I have no history with any of these guys and can't vouch for any of them but a few appear to be selling large quantities. No even my baby (who owns a Tannehill jersey) craps that much!


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 04, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Am working it now, thank you very much! Like wise to Stillhardcore (Interesting contacts on that link)

Many happy returns on your Birthday! Although our Inter-Action on line have over time grown to consider you (And others here) Friends!

That falls on Philbin!! And Hickey!! They have Zero Excuse!! Cause Ireland left them with a Young Playoff Caliber team that ONLY NEEDED TO FIX THE O-LINE.

Posted by: -I | September 04, 2014 at 01:04 PM


Only the OL huh? Not the LB'ers? Not the RB's? Not the TE's?

Go find a dumb blog where you may seem smart. It's not working here. Take your Ireland love fest somewhere else where people appreciates stupidity!

SWC,Just curious, (from an earlier blog) do you really think Tanne was Ireland's boy on draft day? Only way Sherman doesn't get his man there is if Luck was still available. I am a Tanne-believer and an Ireland-hater, but be fair now.

Posted by: stillhardcoredolphinsfan | September 04, 2014

This is bad news...for the Patriots.

Enough with this Miller speed crap, whats his longest run 20-25 yards?? Give me a break the guy may have a fast 40 times but it sure haven't translated to the field yet.

Dashiite, tell us again how Mankins and his 3 gift sacks in last seasons Phins win is a good thing he's gone now. LMAO@UDUMBOMER

This is bad news...for the Patriots.

Posted by: Phinbo |

If you can't tackle while wearing a cast, does that mean Ellerbe, Misi, and Reshad Jones wore casts all last season?

A bar stool with a show room dummy on it plopped out there on the field will be more productive than Wheeler.

is that u ^


ABOUT 50%.




Hahaha! How true Phinbo @ 1:46!

Mike Reiss taking Miami on Sunday

This is when you will see Chris McCain on passing downs.

Wheeler sucks. Jason Trusnik is 10 times better and would be a major improvement. I think Philbin has no plans to play Wheeler and is using the same tactics that the Patriots are using with their TE. I wish they would bench Jimmy Wilson too while they're at it but realize the options are limited right now at safety. Wilson is going to get picked on big time.

Jordan Tripp healthy would have been nice.

He is a true 4-3 LB.


No matter where you look everything about the Phins is either outright negative or questions whether their will be improvement.

Put in Chris McCain and call it a day - better than Wheeler anyway!

Nothing but cackling old lesbians on this blog.

Lordy the Bleacher Report breakdown of the game is so unbelievably one sided towards the Pats..like I get it, but they gave the Pats the edge at WR, a Push at RB and DL, and gave the Pats the edge in the secondary because of Revis.


And Mando just found out today?
WTF Mando are you the team's beat reporter or not?

Chris McCain is our starting LB but coaches is it different. Dunno why. Painful and frustrating seeing his upside.

could be a smoke screen of sorts going on here.


Dude have you not kept up with both teams this offseason?
The pats wanted to strengthen their secondary so they brought in Revis & Browner. belichick did that so he could rush the passer with 7 defenders all game long.

We needed to strengthen our DBs because we lost Carroll and Clemmons to free agency. Who did Hickey get? Courtroom Flannagan and Luis Delmas. Flannagan was ranked 111/112 CB's last season.

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