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2 posts from December 3, 2012

December 03, 2012

Dolphins coordinators address several issues; Marlins, Canes

Comments of note from the Dolphins coordinators' weekly Monday briefing with reporters:

### Several analysts, including former Colts GM Bill Polian, said Ryan Tannehill can't completely be judged until he has a better supporting cast. I asked offensive coordinator Mike Sherman if he agrees with that.

“Well, I think he’s evaluated every day with the people we have here right now," Sherman responded. "I’ve always thought this, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around some good quarterbacks, I think your really good quarterbacks, your really great quarterbacks make those around him better. I think that’s the mark of a great quarterback. I don’t think the book is written on Ryan Tannehill just yet. I think there are going to be a lot of chapters, a lot of great chapters. Eventually the benchmark will be how good does he make those around him, and I think the really, really good quarterbacks make everybody play at a higher level. I’m assuming that Ryan will be that type of player at some point.”

(Frankly, it's impossible to ASSUME that will happen Tannehill. At this point, hoping would be a more accurate description.)

### Sherman has said he wants to make more use of Anthony Fasano in the passing game. But it's still not happening. Is he having difficulty getting open because of his hip injury?  “No I don’t think so," Sherman said. There have been times where he's been open but he didn’t get the ball (because) we went in another direction."

### Sherman, on whether he liked what he saw out of Marcus Thigpen on his only carry of the game, for eight yards:  “Yeah. I mean it wasn’t a great call by any stretch because the end played the play perfectly. They defended it, and so they bailed us out, bailed me out, on that play. I went into the game thinking that I wanted to have some misdirection, some fake misdirection. So I had that in my head we’re going to do some of those things, but on that particular play they read it perfectly and Thigpen made a great cut and got downfield and got us eight yards which could have been a seven yard loss. So I’m very thankful for his abilities on that play.”

### Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said there is no justification for questioning his decision to rest Cam Wake and Jared Odrick on eight key fourth-quarter snaps, insisting that Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby filled in splendidly.

“Shelby’s done a hell of a job," Coyle said. "I don’t know if you guys are privy of watching the film as opposed to trying to see what you can see at the game or maybe some highlights on TV, but Derrick Shelby and Olivier Vernon on the last drive were plusses in every snap that they had. I’ve heard the speculation and things like that, but it’s not warranted. Those guys went in there and they really did what we needed them to do. There were other break downs throughout the drive. I’ll admit to that, but it wasn’t because of those guys being in the game.”

### Coyle is giddy about safety Reshad Jones, who make a terrific interception: "I’m seeing a young player that’s becoming one of the better players at his position in the league right now. I think he is making plays in the pass game. The interception he made was exceptional. The run back was terrific. He had the sack. He had, I think, 10 or 11 tackles in the game, but he’s consistently starting to put one game after another together and he’s got a very high ceiling. I think he’s going to be a very, very good player for us.”

 ### Coyle has given more playing time to cornerback R.J. Stanford recently because "he played well and very consistent for us.”

###  Coyle said Koa Misi got a lot of work at defensive end, instead of linebacker, on Sunday because "of the style of defense that we ended up going into game believing we were going to have to play, which bore out as the game evolved. Koa played exceptionally I think. (He) had a heck of a game. He’s got as good a motor as anybody on the field. He plays as hard as anybody out there each and every play and he made some exceptional pursuit plays yesterday and just toughness. He dislocated his finger and was back in the game a couple of plays later like nothing (had happened). He’s just a tough hard-nosed throwback kind of guy and you really love having him on our defense.”

### Coyle, asked if he’s worried that Wake might be upset about not being on the field during the Patriots late drive:  “No, I’m not worried about that. Cam’s doing a great job and, if I’m Cam, I’d want to be on the field all the time and I think that’s a positive that he believes he wants to be out there. He’s making a major impact each and every week.”                        

### One other quick note: The Marlins hope to trade Yunel Escobar shortly, with Tampa and Oakland among several suitors. That would create yet another hole - third base - which could be filled with a free agent such as Jeff Keppinger, Ryan Raburn, Eric Chavez, Scott Rolen and Mark DeRosa or incumbent Greg Dobbs or non-roster invitee Kevin Kouzmanoff. Marco Scutaro, Mark Reynolds (good power but poor contact hitter) and Kevin Youkalis (past his prime) are among other free agents available, though pricey. The Marlins have called about Reynolds.

Escobar is due to earn $5 million next season. The Marlins have only $36 million committed to players on their roster for 2013.

 ### The UM men's basketball team (5-1) received seven votes in this week's AP poll, which would have placed it 37th.

Monday afternoon update: Philbin expects more from Tannehill, defends not playing Wake, Odrick much late

Notable remarks from Joe Philbin’s Monday afternoon news conference:

### He refused to comment on Jake Long’s injury, which is feared to be a torn triceps.

### Asked to assess Ryan Tannehill’s play, he made very clear he expects more: “It’s difficult to win games in this league when you’re averaging 19 points a game. He’s making a lot of progress. [But] overall, offensively we’re not scoring enough points to win games consistently in this league.”

 On the two potential touchdowns to Brian Hartine that Tannehill didn’t throw well enough, Philbin said: “You’ve got to make those plays. We talked about making the plays that were there.”

He said he has given no iota of thought to inserting Matt Moore in a game this season, aside from the Jets game when Moore filled in for an injured Tannehill.

### Philbin said he does not think Tannehill’s knee brace is affecting him. “There are times we have to do better offensively as a whole in our passing game. Sometimes it’s the location of ball. Sometimes it’s the depth of the route. All of those things at times aren’t clean enough. Sometimes he doesn’t get the protection to set his feet.”

On Tannehill’s touchdown run, when he stretched the ball over the goal line, Philbin said: “I would like a little better ball security.”

### Philbin asked if he believes he has the players on the roster needed for this offense to thrive. “Absolutely,” he said. “We had some plays out there yesterday we didn’t make. We have to do a better job. It’s hard to win a lot of games scoring 19 points per game.”

### He said he has no regrets about not playing Cam Wake or Jared Odrick on the first eight plays of the Patriots’ game-clinching fourth quarter drive: “When you play the Patriots, it’s important to have guys that are fresh and ready to roll and guys ready to play hard every single snap….

“We believe in guys we put in the game. We don’t put them in the game if we don’t have confidence in them.”

### Why did the Patriots run successfully on that fourth-quarter drive? “At times, we didn’t get off blocks fast enough. At times, we didn’t tackle well enough.”

### On Jonathan Martin moving to the left side to fill in for Long: “He did a good job. He played well. He made a good adjustment.”

### On the performance of his defense: “We got good pressure on Brady. To sack an opposing quarterback four times is a good afternoon’s work. Didn’t play well enough in the fourth quarter.”

### On Marcus Thigpen: “He’s got that elusiveness. It’s hard to coach. If you can make a guy miss, that gives you a chance to get out in space.”