Sucker punched four times.
Knocked onto the canvas, no rope in sight.
Blows the head, stomach, and side.
Double zero, the final knock-out.
Everything has finally come to an end for the Miami Dolphins and all the Dolfans who believed that 9-7 was a possibility.
How the Dolphins were going to miraculously pull a Tebow and bring back the franchise, get to the playoffs, and win a Super Bowl at 9-7. (Tebow is the only explanation I can use right now unless he starts to lose.)
How Tony Sparano would be a cult hero in the streets of Miami as children play in a park and rec center named after him.
How Matt Moore would be the face of the United Way commercials like every QB of yesteryear.
Those were the lofty expectations that surrounded the halls of the Davie headquarters and the mood that swirled the pages of the Herald and Sun Sentinel.
Ok...maybe not the Super Bowl, but Jim Nantz and Phil Sims acknowledged for the first time that this Miami team was a tough bunch of guys that were learning how to win and maybe just maybe they would earn that respect by running the table.
So, what now? 8-8? 8-8 screams Jimmy Johnson's first season with a win in St. Louis versus a terrible Rams team. 8-8 screams NFC West and not making the playoffs (St. Louis last year).
8-8 is not what the halls of Davie and the offices of our beloved owner should be focusing on.
The Dolphins need to now wake up today, realize that everything they fought for was because they themselves pushed the envelope too far. They pushed the coaches too far about doing it their way only to realize that they fell flat on their face yesterday. They all tried to be heroes and became goats.
That drive was capped with a Texas Style ground and pound like Emmit Smith once did or Tony Dorsett or anyone before them.
I am frankly very disappointed and my thanksgiving turkey gave me such indigestion because it was hard to swallow this loss.
This loss was so magnifying because it had such an "I told you so" element from Jerry Jones who knew he lost a good O-line coach and good scout. (Sparano and Ireland) But never bothered to blink when both Ireland and Sparano were gone to Miami. Jerry responded clearly with an even better team, a team with talent.
The end of this regime is near and not one Dolfan, Dolphin player, or current scout can change at this moment.
Dismal is the title of this post because we are back in the doldrums of the Dolphins losing ways.
Sucker punched four times.
Don't get me wrong, there are some glaring issues with the Miami Dolphins. The fact that the Dolphins could be heading to near mediocre status is nothing new in the last 10 years.
However, here are the aspects of the team that I really like and can appreciate as a Dolfan.
1. Charles Clay: as that H-Back threat. Last week we saw why Charles Clay was drafted and what he brings to the table. He brings speed at his position and hands. He brings a Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins type of player to the Dolphins. Combined with Anthony Fasano as threat, that combination can be special. Charles Clay can be set out wide or off the line. I like him in a play as a TE screen. Will we see him go Keith Byars 1993 versus Dallas on us??? I sure hope so.
2. Reggie Bush: He can continue to thrive if he's being used in space. When Reggie turns up field and has nothing but green turf/grass in front of him, he shows you what he can do. He has the speed and agility to make defenders miss. It's actually quite comical when defenders are flying and flailing to catch him. Reggie has also shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Will he rush for 200 yards in a game? No, but he will threaten a defense because you never know where he will be.
3. Matt Moore: Matt Moore has been a very productive QB and has thrived in this offense. You can't discount that he has gotten better and shown greater efficiency every week. He rebounded from the Jets game to the Chiefs game where he threw for 3 TDs and no interceptions. Matt Moore has also showed leadership and earned the respect of Jake Long and others which helps with team chemistry when you win. The key for Matt Moore to be the guy in Miami is to throw for 3TDs versus Dallas. Is he better than Romo? Romo is 18-2 in November. Moore is headed that direction.
4. Brandon Marshall: Right now, I like Brandon Marshall on first and second down. I like his chances in the redzone, but he has to catch the ball. He's still a very real threat. I believe he has something in store for the Cowboys. If he scores, I encourage him to go T.O. and spike the football on that stupid star at midfield.
5. Jimmy Wilson: I know he's a young player, but he is a total stud. He hits with a fury and he loves to play defense. Not to mention, he's fast and in 3rd down or nickel packages he can change the game. Yes, as a CB he's been beat, but I will take this 7th round talent any day and count on him to make a stop more than Sean Smith. Is he better than Jimmy Smith of Baltimore? It sure looks like the Dolphins drafted the better Jimmy. At least Jimmy Smith can hold on to the ball after an interception.
(Tied for 5th): The Dolphin secondary: Much beleaguered to start the season. They have become a physical bunch. I am starting to believe that most teams do not want to throw into the secondary with Yeremiah Bell and Tyrone Culver running like a freight train at a "defenseless" receiver. Having Vontae back has taken away the deep threat for teams that like to go deep.
(Tied for 5th): Jared Odrick: I am starting to see why the Dolphins drafted down to get him in 2010. However, I want to see more. I want to see him get more sacks and would be curious to see if he can stop the run more frequently. Is the 3-4 the best D for him? I believe that the 4-3 might suit him more because he would have more freedom to pass rush from the outside. Jared Odrick's dance ranks up there with the best of them after a sack. He made it his own, even though it's Pee Wee Herman's dance. Classic.
So, there you have it. 5 things that I really like. After tomorrow's game v. Dallas, I am hoping there will be Moore of more. A totally pounding of the Cowboys offense that they'll have to peel their line and QB off of the turf like the decals on their helmets!
This blog might be a little hypocritical because I live in Montreal, Canada and I only attend 2-3 Dolphins games a year however can Dolfans start showing a little more love. This Sunday in a home blow out against the Bills the Dolphins improved to winning their 3rd straight game however no one was their to witness it. The crowd was non existent and I don’t mean that because they were quiet, I literally mean there was hardly a crowd.
I know this is a frustrating team to follow but when you’re a fan you have to stay loyal and support your team. So I encourage all Dolphins fans, if it is financially within your means and if you have the time to do so please make an effort to go to Dolphins game so I don’t have to be continually embarrassed by the empty quiet stadiums at Sun Life.
Note to Steve Ross, stop with the celebrity ownership stupidity and do something about this issue and create fan excitement and put the fans back in the seats where they belong.
That’s all for now! Fins Up!no comments
It's been awhile. While I have been busy writing for my real life job as a grad student, I have been pondering what to write here as an amateur blogger.
For this blog tonight I will cut to the chase and give you three reasons why we as Dolfans are being duped: The Dolphins have won 3 in a row, the defense is living up to it's billing as a top 5 defense, and lastly the play of Matt Moore has been Pennington-esque.
First, the Dolphins are 3-7. The Dolphins are 3-7 with a mish-mash of pieces that barely fit in the first seven games, but all of a sudden they look like they are playing like they are 7-3. Are the Dolphins 7-3? Hardly. Yes they beat the Chiefs, Redskins, and Bills, but the Chiefs win was probably the most significant because they had won four in a row leading up to the game v. the Dolphins.
Second, the recipe has worked the past three weeks of scoring in the first quarter and forcing turnovers. Isn't this the way that good teams play? How come the Dolphins didn't force turnovers after the Browns game? Why?
Third, the Miami Dolphins have a QB that has now thrown 7 TDs to 4 INTS. That is classified as Pennington-esque because of the accuracy. Matt Moore has been on fire. Resilient, but not consistent. No TDs last week in a win. 3 TDs v. Chiefs the week before and then 3 TDs today.
In the 2nd half, Matt Moore did not throw much. However, he didn't connect with many receivers and it's not like the Dolphins advanced the ball. With the exception of a near fumble that was reversed by the replay officials, the only big play in the second half was the blocked punt for a TD by Lex Hilliard, courtesy of Chris Clemons the new Special Teams ace.
So, I won't argue that the Dolphins wins have been pleasantly surprising...but where does the buck stop?
It stops at Steve Ross' office in Manhattan.
Ross sees every game. He wants Sparano to win every game left. Ross wants attendance to rise in the closing weeks of the season. He wants to make good on his investment.
Sparano is no longer embattled at 9-7 hypothetically, but he is not in the playoffs unless something strange happens. Marty Schottenheimer while in San Diego was canned after losing in the playoffs after earning a bye and lost to New England.
Ross will fire Sparano because Ross watches the 49ers. He watches what Jim Harbaugh did with a makeshift offensive line, a draft bust QB in Alex Smith, and lastly Ross sees what a good defense looks like and how that model has consistently worked for the 49ers who are now 9-1.
So, what will the Dolphins do at the end of the season after the Dolphins are 5-11 or 9-7? Mark my word, someone will be fired. Either Ross fires Ireland and hires Peterson to be the head Czar in Miami to hire a coach and GM, or Sparano miraculously keeps his job.
All I know is when the Dolphins win, it makes Ross look darn good because he's been faithful to Sparano up until the end of the season. That's when it's easier to relieve Sparano for his coaching duty. That's when it's easier to cut the chord that has crippled the Dolphins with the same recipe for disaster the past decade. Make-shift team building and no franchise QB.
It's a plane, it's a train... it's the Dolphin Defense! The reemergence of the Dolphins D!
After a disappearing act by the Miami Dolphins D forcing turnovers, the Dolphins like an act in Houdini have reappeared!
The Miami Dolphins defense rose to the occasion backed by a huge interception in the red zone by Karlos Dansby in the 4th quarter.
It just keeps getting better for this team. Dolphins go from a horrible tasting, cheap two buck wine, to a more full bodied merlot in a couple of weeks.
A win at home? This is unheard of and it took 7 losses at home to get the win...finally. A home win!
What a difference a couple of weeks makes!
Where was this intensity and urgency to win games early in the season from the defense? Was it coaching? Player personnel?
Who cares at this point?
Have the offense and defense caught up to eachother and started to feed off each other? It looks like the players are gelling and they are playing to win games and by more than a touchdown.
Truly, this team is a Jekyl and Hyde of going 0-7 until the month of November.
November has been magical and the next two opponents prove challenging: Buffalo and Dallas.
Could the rest of the schedule give way to a six win season?
The red zone touchdowns are happening, with two touchdowns today by Reggie Bush who looked fresh in the 4th quarter to score from 18 yards out.
Big plays from Anthony Fasano (3 catches for 98 yards) and Brandon Marshall (7catches for 98 yds) are happening down the field as well as huge third down conversions from Davone Bess (4 catches for 47 yards) allowing the Dolphins to go 8/14 on 3rd down.
Matt Moore (20-29-0-1) played efficiently, making his throws despite the costly interception early in the game.
He managed the offense and lead the team on the field. He did the little things such as scrambling to get first downs or manageable third downs.
Next up is the Buffalo Bills, if I am the Bills I'd be "very very afraid" of the Miami Dolphins Defense (Billy Madison-Adam Sandler).
Next week, at home, is going to be a blast and hopefully a big win for the Dolphins!
Go Dolphins and yes Fins Up!!!
So, coming off of the Dolphins first win... in...November, I have a new found appreciation for Sparano's style.
Of course I have been so adamantly blasting him since the Cleveland game and wishing for his firing.
Surely, I have wiped my closet clean of half-sleeve Dolphins pullovers, bent-bill caps, and dark sunglasses.
However, maybe it was the early December of 2007 parody of Sparano stuck in an ESPN Mayne Even that sold me on his style where I was sold that Sparano would be a head coach in the NFL and certainly better than Cam Cameron at the time.
When I heard his name mentioned as a candidate and Ireland and Parcells were giving him serious consideration I was thrilled!
Sparano opens the scene mimicking the same gestures that the real Soprano does in the last episode of the Sopranos. Tony Sparano looks around the diner and notices people moving about the place. It's a great parody, but I am not so sure he was super thrilled to be in it, but it must have made interested GMs laugh before he did job interviews that season.
Sparano the Grinder
You see, Sparano is a grinder and a hard worker.
Who goes against doctors orders after a hernia surgery and game plans for the Patriots game? Tony Sparano.
Sparano shows that he cares for his entire football team right down to the front office staff and his support staff in the building.
Sparano isn't complaining about the wrong Little Debbie Cakes like Nick Saban did.
Sparano isn't complaining about his wack-job of a GM who can't put a team together that features playmakers and a darn QB.
Have the Dolphins ever had a good GM?
Sparano just goes about his business and fires up the team every week. The team plays fired up and will down the stretch of this season.
Sparano doesn't care what the critics think nor does he care what Ross thinks and he doesn't care what we as fans think.
If the Dolphins keep Sparano
Here's what I think, keep Sparano if he rallies to save the season with an at .500 or better record. Keep him and then support him with better coaches and players.
Fire Ireland because he can't think for himself and he makes bad decisions with roster and talent development. I am not convinced that Jake Long was the best pick for this passing era of the NFL, but he selected him because Parcells said so.
Sparano is running a team that lacks talent yes, but if guided correctly then this team could win more than 4 games down the stretch.
Lost in all of this has been a clamoring for a new coach by the media and fans.
Sparano unwavered, along with Daboll put together the greatest gameplan for a Dolphins game I have seen over 15 years.
I am sure that the Dolphins have been marred by poor play at the QB position.
Who's to say that Sparano doesn't have the plan for a QB next season?
It took 9 weeks but in week 9 the Miami Dolphins have finally joined the NFL this season.
The Dolphins played by far and away their best game of the season dominating the Chiefs from beginning to end in every aspect of this game.
Whether it was Reggie Bush being used correctly and running up and down the field or it was Brandon Marshall proving maybe he does have some talent left, the Dolphins truly played a complete 60 minutes of football.
Not only did they show offensive fire power behind Matt Moore who played almost a perfect game but for the first time this year the Dolphins defense lived up to their preseason expectations.
Matt Moore proved he can be a capable backup this year as he has increased his value in what most would consider an unfavourable situation. Reggie Bush has also showed his value as he has been nothing short of dominant these past 2 weeks.
Kevin Burnett had his best game as a Dolphin and even the old man Jason Taylor showed up outdoing Tamba Hali in the pass rushing department.
Tony Sparano got everything he could have wanted out of his team in a much needed first win for Tony. This was I’m sure feels quite good for Tony who obviously hasn’t removed the monkey off his back but at least might have lessen the load.
Obviously their will be cynics as when your 1-7 its hard to feel stratified, the Suck For Luck crowd was pretty disappointed as it appears the dreams of Andrew Luck in aqua and orange have all but faded.
Well next up is the Redskins another winnable game for the Dolphins and probably a date with Matt Barkley at the 2012 NFL draft.no comments