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2 posts from June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013

Tuesday 6 p.m. update: Tannehill, Sherman address issues; Heat chatter entering Game 3

PLEASE SEE THE LAST POST FOR PRE-GAME NBA FINALS TIDBITS LIVE FROM SAN ANTONIO. By the way, ESPN2 says it will air ABC's NBA pre-game show at 8:30 tonight in South Florida because WPLG-Channel 10 is foolishly preempting it. Meanwhile back in Davie,….


The Dolphins are allowing offensive coordinator Mike Sherman to speak to the media only once this entire offseason (don’t get me started on that), and only for nine questions.

That session was Tuesday and was ended before he could be asked questions about any players other than Ryan Tannehill and Kyle Miller, of all people.

Here’s what Sherman had to say:

### (On what they can do with Ryan Tannehill compared to a year ago during the season) – “I just think that we can do is do things better than what we did a year ago. This time last year he was coming into an NFL camp not the starter and had a lot of growth, just getting caught up to the speed of the game. Remember the mini-camps we had last year with him, he improved each minicamp, but the speed of the game is really what got him. I think that he has adjusted to that obviously now, and my expectations for him is that he is going to get better and better which is what he has done through these OTA’s and minicamps.”

### (On if they can do more with him now than they could at the end of the season) – “He’s doing more, as far as what he sees. He is doing things better, we did a lot last year and maybe that was my fault, but he is doing things better than he did a year ago. There’s not a whole lot of changes from that standpoint or from a protection standpoint as far as him recognizing things, we have a few more concepts in. We want to push the ball down the field vertically and so we have some of those in there more so than maybe we did a year ago, but from his standpoint I don’t think he notices a whole lot of difference from what he has done in the past, except that he is seeing the defenses. I think that is the biggest thing.

### (On how much of the offense has been installed) – “Probably about…you always say there’s game planning, but we probably have about ninety-five percent of what we are going to do during the season. We do way too much in these camps, but there is a reason for that and we come back to preseason we cut it back a little bit, but we want to be able to draw things off the shelf that we have already built. So pretty much what we are going to do is, and a lot of the kids are say why are we doing this now, it has relationships to maybe New England, to maybe what Buffalo is going to play or what the Jets are going to play or Cleveland or Indy and so we will be able to pull things off of the shelf. So we have done a lot more. They have about five game plans worth of information at their disposal right now, whereas its cut when we play a game its one-fifth of what we are doing, so I think that they will be relieved when we get to game week and they won’t have to practice all of this and remember all of this stuff on the spot.”

### (On the biggest difference in Ryan Tannehill from Year One until now) – “I think just his recognition of what defenses intents are. He can see a safety start to creep up or lean a certain way, or a linebackers depth from the line of scrimmage from the heels of his defensive lineman. Determining whether we turn and protect there or do we go the other way because that guy is in coverage, which I think more recognition of defenses even more so what we are doing on offense. We threw the book at him last year in the hopes that he would get to a point where we are at right now, where now he is just focused and not so much on the offense but on the defense.”

### (On whether any unit on the offense has surprised him with their progress) – “I wouldn’t differentiate one from the other. They’ve all had their days of good and days of not so good, me included. We’re a little too early to anoint anybody the group of the OTAs or minicamp just yet.”uch the offense but what he sees defensively.”

### On whether he is happy with the tempo of the offense) – “Yes. Today I was firing plays at them left and right and I was actually trying to keep up with them because they were going. I said, ‘hey we’ve got to get our tempo better.’ Coach Philbin has been making a point of that and I was very impressed by how they finished. To do that at the end of practice with that kind of tempo, it was faster than I expected. I’m very pleased with that result.”

### (On whether the pace of the offense from year one to year two is drastic enough where it would be noticeable to fans watching the game) – “I think we were one of the leaders last year in no-huddle offense in the National Football League. I don’t know if they will see it. Execution is the bottom line. If we are executing it, yeah they will say that’s pretty good. If we’re not executing it, it doesn’t matter what you do. If you execute, maybe they notice we’re executing better. That’s really what I want to see, more so than any flavor of the week.”

### (On how much progress Kyle Miller has made since last year) – “He's made a lot of progress as far as learning and understanding the offense. He still has a ways to go in relationship to how he is going to fit in. He has excellent hands, but we’re anxious to see him with pads on blocking. He really never got that opportunity last year because when we picked him up, we weren’t doing a lot of hitting per se or scrimmaging. We were into the season, so I am anxious to see him in camp and see how he responds to the challenge of the contact of banging into people and then getting off the ground and running a vertical route. Can you do that? We have to wait and see on him.

### (On the one thing people should notice different about the offense this year from last year if everything is going correctly) – “Well I hope the fact that we are getting in the end zone a hell of a lot more than we did a year ago. Obviously that was something that held us back from being the type of team Coach Philbin wants us to be. We need to score more points. We can’t rely on the defense, so I think we need to score more points and hopefully we will find our way into the end zone.”


And a few comments today from Ryan Tannehill after the first day of a three-day minicamp:

### (On how he feels now going into his second year compared to how he felt last year at this time) – “Well it’s night and day compared to last year. Just the confidence and the knowledge of the game and what is going on. I still have a lot of work  to do, but I am comfortable with where I am at and where this team is at. Anything we can do to get better, myself included, it’s easier to build this year compared to last year. Last year, I didn’t know what was going on, where I was going to be on the depth chart and competing for a starting job. So now that I’m kind of in that spot, we can work on chemistry. I can work on connecting with the receivers and making plays.”

### (On what he wants to accomplish during minicamp as opposed to OTAs) – “Well it is a longer practice is a little bit more competitive, a little bit more tense. You see how guys respond to the heat, respond to a long practice. Being in Miami, it’s not the easiest practice situation where it’s 75 and you go out there and run all day, but we’re pushing the tempo, we are challenging the offense and seeing how guys are handling it. So, I think today was a good first day. We have a lot of work to do, but it was a good start for us.”

### (On how he has seen the offense progress in year two under Coach Philbin) – “I definitely think we’ve progressed. I think that’s the natural progression of not only a quarterback but also an offense. The more time you are in a system, you more comfortable you can get and the more you can do. It’s more of a reaction and not overthinking. I’m excited about this upcoming year, and I’m excited these next couple days of minicamp, and we just need to get better.” 

###  (On what Dustin Keller brings to the offense) – “He definitely brings a vertical stretch inside. When you add Keller along with (Charles) Clay, you have two tight ends who stretch the field inside.”                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Tuesday afternoon Heat report from San Antonio

Some pre-game Heat tidbits (please check back later today for lots of Dolphins and Canes and more Heat):


SAN ANTONIO -- Chris Bosh -- who comes across as a thoughtful, thinking-man type -- said the Spurs are playing “mind games” with him in this series, and he doesn't want to be outsmarted.

The mind games relate to Bosh shooting three-pointers, which – until Sunday - he had done with far more frequency this postseason than during the regular season.

After shooting and missing four threes in Game 1 – making him 15 for 35 in the playoffs on that shot -- Bosh did not attempt any in Game 2.


“With this team [Spurs], it seems like that’s what they want me to do, so I’m not going to do it right now,” he said. “They want me to shoot threes. And I can tell by looking at the film. Nobody was closing out at me, and that means they want me to shoot it. It’s a little mind game. I know what they’re doing.

“I want to get in an area where I can be more aggressive and work against that game plan they have. If I’m closer [to the basket], they feel more at risk. Even if I don’t shoot it, I want them thinking about me a little bit more. I can always step out and knock those down. To get a better rhythm, starting closer to the basket is ideal for me.”

In fact, Spurs center Tiago Splitter admitted after Game 1 that the Spurs want Bosh to shoot threes.

Heat assistant coach David Fizdale said if Bosh shoots a three-pointer, the Heat prefers it be from the wings.

### Former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, a friend of  Spoelstra’s, said on his 790 The Ticket radio show that “it’s killing” Spoelstra not to be playing Shane Battier much in the past four games – entering Game 3 -- because of all Battier brings to a team.

Asked if Van Gundy is right, Spoelstra said: “Look, I love Shane Battier and everything he represents. Where I had Mike Miller right here [Spoelstra pointed to his pocket] in Chicago and Indiana, that’s where I have Shane. He’s the next man up. There will be his moments in this series still.”

Fizdale answered more directly, saying Van Gundy’s comment is accurate because “Shane’s reputation preceeds him and it’s real. He’s 100 percent team, into the details, doing extra preparation.

“Obviously, Shane hit a rough stretch. It’s not easy for Spo not to play Shane as much, but he also has a responsibility as a head coach to do what’s best for the group.”

Battier entered Game 3 shooting 16 for 72 in postseason. But “I made my last shot” in garbage time of Game 2, he pointed out Tuesday afternoon. “You’re only as good as your last shot. So technically, I’m 1 for 1.”

### Asked before the game if he’s familiar with the statistic that the winner of Game 3 in a 1-1 NBA Finals goes on to win the series 92 percent of the time, Bosh said: “I was familiar with it until we won Game 3 of the 2011 Finals and lost the series.”

### Through two games, Tim Duncan is 3 for 16 when Udonis Haslem is in the game, 8 for 16 otherwise. Haslem has done very good work on him but wisely takes no credit when asked about it. "I just do what I do," he said. "He has no weaknesses."

### Mario Chalmers entered Game 3 with just four turnovers, compared with 16 assists, in his past seven games. And he has averaged fewer turnovers in these playoffs (1.17) than during any regular season or postseason of his career.

“He takes that responsibility probably more seriously than he ever has,” Spoelstra said.

### Chalmers said it’s “always special moment when I come” to San Antonio because of his two late three-pointers in Kansas’ 2008 national championship win against Memphis at the Alamodome, about 10 minutes away from the AT&T Center, where the Spurs play. One of those shots tied the game at the end of the regulation, the other helped win it late in overtime.

### The Chalmers/LeBron James pick and rolls have been especially effective, partly because “people don’t want to take a body off LeBron,” Chalmers.

And “he’s a great screener,” Chalmers said, laughing. “His offense makes him more of a great screener than him actually being a great screener.”  

### ABC’s 8.7 average rating through two games of the Finals is down from the 10.1 two-game average for the Heat-Thunder Finals in 2012 and the 9.2 two-game average for Heat-Mavericks in 2011.

WPLG-Channel 10 generated 34.0 and 29.7 ratings for the first two games, but both were below the 37.2 local rating on TNT for Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers series.