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Dolphins league's worst in gut-wrenching category; Canes, Marlins, Heat chatter

FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN

If it seems like the Dolphins subject their fans to more late-game heartache than most teams do, you’re right.

The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that since the start of 2010, no team has been worse in very close games than Miami. Over the past two-plus seasons, the Dolphins are 2-10 in games decided by three points or fewer.

It hasn’t helped that Dan Carpenter is 10 for 25 on field goals of 46 yards or longer since 2010, with nine misses overall in those 10 narrow defeats.

The only team with a record as poor, percentage-wise, in tight games is Carolina, which is 1-5 in games decided by three points or fewer since 2010. 

Reggie Bush spoke this week of the Dolphins getting "brain freeze" late in close games.

And by the way, Miami is just 3-8 in overtime since 2000.

Ryan Tannehill has been similarly snake-bitten. Over the past 13 months, he is 1-6 as a starting quarterback in games decided by a touchdown or less: 1-4 at Texas A&M, 0-2 with Miami.

Though others are as accountable or more accountable for that 1-6 record, ESPN’s Jon Gruden said last month that his late-game play “is the big concern I had with Tannehill.

“You would like to see a quarterback that finishes games better,” Gruden said. “I would like to see more dominant, consistent play down the stretch. At Texas A&M, they had an opportunity to finish some teams off in the second half and didn’t quite do that.”

The Dolphins do not blame either of their overtime losses on Tannehill, because they say his interception in Arizona was caused by a failed blitz pickup (he was hit as he threw), and because he led Miami into Jets territory before Carpenter missed a 48-yarder.

Down the stretch of his four close losses at Texas A&M last year, Tannehill played well in one (a four-overtime loss to Kansas State) but threw a late-game pick against Oklahoma State and couldn’t sustain drives against Missouri and Arkansas. In his one close win last year (45-40), Texas Tech scored the game’s final 10 points.

The sense here is Tannehill is too poised and talented to keep losing so many close games. And his 94.8 fourth-quarter rating this season is encouraging: 11th-best in the NFL and best among rookies.

CHATTER

The Dolphins are feuding with prominent NFL agents John Rickert and Peter Schaffer, who filed a grievance against the Dolphins with the players association this week because Miami is refusing to pay guard Artis Hicks’ $1.2 million salary. The Dolphins claim Hicks, their first offseason signing, did not disclose a pre-existing neck condition. Hogwash, his agents says. Hicks was released last week.

Rickert said in 2006 that Hicks had a neck sprain – “totally different” from the current bone spurs on his vertebrae - and that his 2006 MRI was negative and he did not miss a game. “Peter has been in the business 25 years, and he and I have never seen a situation like this where a team is so blatantly unfair against a player,” said Rickert, who represents Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett and many others.

Will the agents steer players away from Miami now? Rickert said “if this is the type of treatment” players get, “it would definitely enter our thinking.”

### FOR a look at Dolphins rookies (beyond Tannehill) and other Dolphins notes from this week, please see our last three posts.

### We hear UM wants Duke Johnson more involved against Notre Dame after he got 16 touches against North Carolina State…  Prices for Saturday's game in Chicago are averaging $450 on the secondary market.

### With UM athletic director Shawn Eichorst leaving for Nebraska, UM might re-consider one other finalist for the job in 2011: ACC senior associate commissioner Michael Kelly. The other external finalist, Norwood Teague, left VCU for the Minnesota A.D. job earlier this year. UM acting athletic director Blake James, Maine’s A.D. from 2005-2010, also will be considered, among others.

"I think the last couple of ADs at Miami were thrown into a world they weren't prepared for and left at first opportunity," Jimmy Johnson tweeted, added he's not interested in the job.

### Marlins pitching postscripts: They couldn’t have been happier with Jacob Turner, who allowed opponents to hit .208 in seven starts. Nathan Eovaldi, conversely, was hit at a .284 clip as a Dodger and Marlin (.318 vs. lefties, .236 righties)… Ugh: Ricky Nolasco allowed the third highest-average among all National League pitchers with a minimum of 180 innings (.285)… Not only did Josh Johnson allow batters to hit 10 points above his career average (.252 to .242), but his fastball velocity dropped to 92.8 mph, from 95.0 a couple years ago… With Randy Choate traded, the Marlins need to find a lefty who gets lefties out. Lefties hit .293 off Mike Dunn....

We hear Jeffrey Loria remains conflicted about whether to dump manager Ozzie Guillen. Throughout the organization, there's unhappiness with the not-serious-enough culture Guillen has fostered in the clubhouse. But associates say Loria has gone back and forth about whether to pull the plug, with three years and $7.5 million left on Guillen's contract. He continues to mull potential replacements in the event he fires him.

### Heat forward Udonis Haslem said he took “thousands” of shots this summer, and Erik Spoelstra said he is now shooting mid-range jumpers “like he built his reputation on” - far better in practice than a year ago. “You are seeing him physically and rhythm wise where he used to be,” Spo said. Haslem shot just 26 percent on 10 to 15 footers last season, after topping 42 percent the previous five. Spoelstra is even OK with him taking occasional threes now. He's 0 for 14 on threes in his career but has been practicing them all summer.

### Couple quick broadcast notes: WQAM has picked up gravel-voiced Scott Ferrall's syndicated radio show from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. weeknights... Every first round baseball playoff game will be on TBS except two on MLB Network (on Sunday and Wednesday).... Announcers this weekend: Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock on UM-Notre Dame, Marv Albert-Rich Gannon on Dolphins-Bengals.

Comments

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Juan

The Dolphins have caused more pain and suffering than anything in South Florida since Marino left, aside from natural disasters.

omaximus

Barry can elaborate on Jimmy's tweet as well as the dynamic in the UM athletic department? Beyond the obvious sanctions and $ problems - what is Shalala doing and is her seemingly heavy-handed presence hurting the program? Why do they keep hiring people with no connections to the conference or state, who are clearly more at home in Texas or the midwest?

Justin28

I talked with Eichorst a couple times and thought he was a jerk. Very arrogant.

Cane Trustee

UM and Shalala have to be VERY smart "this time" with the AD choice. It has to be someone who's part of the Hurricane family. This continued failure of hiring some from the outside MUST STOP. I heard Geno Toretta is very interested, and Sadano (QAM) yesterday brought up Jim Frevola, who would be an outstanding choice. The candidates listed in the Jackson Blog would all be failures.

Minter94

"Not serious enough" culture? Whatever that means...

realcomtoncityCANE

PETE GARCIA COME HOME!!!WE HAVE AN AD OPENING FOR []_[]

TheSergeantMajor

I blame Mike Sherman and Dan Carpenter. First I blame Mike Sherman for calling a pass play on 2nd down with little over three minutes to play and Arizona stacking the box against the Dolphins. There was no way our OL could block all those Cardinal players. Ryan Tannehill subsequently had the ball stripped from his hands in the all-out assault.

Secondly, I blame Dan Carpenter for two losses this year and how many more over the course of those close three-point losses? His dismal 10-25 record on field goals of 46 yards or less since 2010, speaks for itself.

Penguin

Good for Haslem; perfection does include practice, no matter how much talent one has.

As for Guillen. He is a little boisterous because he states his truth very directly. But why waste millions in letting him go? The manager does not make that much of a difference in creating a winning team, for it to be worth it to disrupt everything and give away that money.

MJH

The above stat with Dan Carpenter is disturbing. Generally, I think the guy is a good kicker but it did seem to me that he has missed alot of FGs in tight games. Clearly, my recollection is correct. 9 missed FGs in the 10 losses by 3 points or less is a killer, especially for an offensively challenged team like Miami has been. So many winnable games blown. Not all his fault as he can't be expected to make every kick but he clearly has been a contributing factor to the team losing winnable games.

Very frustrating.

tj

Carpenter, your days are numbered. Even on extra points, in great weather, your kicks are not centered. Everyone knows now and I'm sure the coaching staff will have no confidence in you to win games. Nice knowing you.

green

It is also annoying we spent $40+ million on a (20,000-seat) stadium (that has high school bleachers) that can't attract more than 500 or so home fans during a nationally televised (ESPNU) game.
-- All American Panther

Yes, it was very embarrassing seeing the stadium like that.
-- FIUGOLDENPANTHERS1

Also, we have no football program. Our loyal fan base consists of maybe, maybe 5k people. This is so sad. What an absolute embarrassment for FIU on national TV showing that completely empty stadium.
-- Building A Dynasty

who investigates the miami herald for bribery ...
how else do U explain splashing f-i-u-don't-matter on the front page day after day ...
front & center ...
the paper tells us they matter most when they matter least ...
U see ...
these undeserving cockroaches have done nothing to deserve disproportionate coverage besides e-bomb the rag's brain trust & pick a fight with the schoolyard bully ...
something's rotten at 1 herald plaza ...

BIGGER FISH TO FRY

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Don't take 3s Udonis...

The athletic director position at UM no longer matters. They have their football coach and who cares about the other sports?

Georgeh'

I agree Lt. Einhorn. Haslem should stick to boards, steals, blocks, pick and roll D, and that mid-range jumper that solidified him as a starting PF for a championship team back in 06.

Anyone find it ODD how Wade and Haslem, earlier in their careers (and particularly in 06) had WET jumpers that were money from 10-15...and all of a sudden the past year or two their jumpers have just sort of diminished together? Not sure. Just something I've been wondering the past couple of days. Weird that they were so consistent from that range together at the same time and lately they both struggle.

---

I'm actually thrilled Nolasco pitched poorly this year because we didn't compete for anything this year and it lowers his value for whenever he becomes a free agent (is that after next season?) In any regard, Nolasco I think would be a good 3-4 guy in a pretty good rotation.

People should note something important about Nolasco:

The guy shed a lot of weight. His body is used to pitching overweight. When you lose that weight, it takes time to adjust.

Hell, I shed a bunch of weight between my junior and senior years playing basketball and it took me more than half of the season to really understand how to use my body and position it accordingly. The same thing could just apply to Nolasco.

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