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Day of truth for the Miami Dolphins Thursday

Thursday is typically the day the Miami Dolphins make their three coordinators -- offensive, defense and special teams -- available to the media. So the day is known as coordinators day.

Except that during Thursday's session coordinators day turned into truth-telling day at Dolphins camp.

Both offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph fielded questions on delicate topics in straight-forward fashion and in doing so somewhat veered from the narrative coach Adam Gase set earlier in the week on the topics.

Topic No. 1 is whether the offense was responsible for costing the defense a chance to perform better Sunday at New England. Gase had made the point after the game and then the following day that because the offense didn't extend drives early in the game, it was the offense that hurt the defense and put the unit on the field for so long against the Patriots.

And because the defense was on the field so long early in the game, it was gassed later in the game when the contest was close and needed a strong defensive stand. Gase made the point that, essentially, it was the offense's fault the defense was gassed. The head coach had his unit, which he helps to coordinate and is the play-caller for, taking the responsibility for the loss.

So does Joseph, the defensive coordinator, agree?

"That's our fault," he said. "Third downs are key. First of all, first downs are key. If you win first downs they're in second and long, they're going to probably end up in third-and-long. If you lose first down, and they're second-and-four, you're going to probably end up first-and-10 again. That's our fault.

"If we're playing 80 snaps, we have to do better on third down. The first game was a different kind of game. But last week it was solely on the defense to get off the field. In the first half, they were four-out-of-six on third downs. They had a nine-play drives for touchdowns. That's solely on the defense. They [the offense] played well enough to win the game and we didn't."


Totally agree. Look, the defense is a unit of men. They can handle it when they deserve credit (as they got in the season-opener at Seattle) and when they deserve criticism (as in last Sunday at New England). I would have been worried if Joseph had agreed with Gase and pointed the finger at the offense.

Another narrative that is making the rounds now is that Ryan Tannehill did everything he needed to do in Sunday's game at New England.

"I don't know how much more he can really step up considering that he's doing everything right now that we need him to do," Gase told the Cleveland media on a conference call. "It's just that we need every guy to pull their weight."

Two things:

One -- Who is not pulling his weight?

Two -- I asked Christensen if Tannehill is doing everything the Dolphins need right now and the coordinator found a couple of obvious things by which quarterbacks are judged that Tannehill is not quite there on yet.

"We gave one up there at the end of the half," Christensen said of the first of two Tannehill interceptions. "it was kind of a unit wide, same symptom. It was a big turnover. They're all big. All possessions are big. So eliminate giving them [a chance] to get easy points at the end of the half right there."

"Ultimately, at the end of the day, you got to find ways to win football games."


Yes, that's what a quarterback has to do. Win.

"That's what he has to do," Christensen continued. "You have to win games. You have to find some way. It's not always conventional. It's not always pretty. We got to find some way to win games. That's our job as coaches. That's his job as the quarterback. That's the unit's job ... That what we're all measured by.

"If you're leading the league in offense and you can't figure out a way to win football games, then what's it worth? Then they're just numbers. At the end of the day you have to find ways to win football games. He's measured just like the rest of us. All the rest of the stuff is OK but figure out how to win. Win playoff games. All those things. That's the bottom line measuring stick. It's not yardage. It's not leading the league in passing. It's not quarterback rating. All that stuff is fun to look at when you're winning but not worth a whole bunch if you're not winning." 

Look, this isn't about the Dolphins coordinators going against the head coach. I understand what Gase is doing. He's protecting the unit that he doesn't coach. He's also protecting his quarterback.

That's the head coach view of it.

But Joseph and Christensen speaking the truth? Awesome.