On the eve of this year's most interesting match up versus the Philadelphia Eagles, I have a few thoughts on the Dolphins offense.
One of the crazy and must unimaginable things that has happened in the Dolphins winning 4 out of 5 is that Matt Moore has played better than any QB the Dolphins have had in a long time.
Matt Moore has shown glimpses of the efficient quarterbacks such as Matt Cassel, Drew Brees, and even Tony Romo.
If I look back on what I know about Matt Moore before it was a very telling, very interesting game he played versus New England on the road in bad weather where he almost led Carolina to a victory. He could throw the deep ball in windy and wet conditions and was not afraid to attack the defense. As an avid watcher of film, I looked at this game before the San Diego game this year because I was wondering what the differences were between Moore and Henne.
Here are my observations:
Moore goes through progressions quickly. He moves in the pocket to get more time to throw. He focuses his attention down the field instead of just checking it down to an running back. Moore reads the defenses to the point of anticipation. In other words, Moore predicts what is going to happen next before it happens thus giving him time to uncork a bomb or pass for a first down.
Henne on the other hand, depends on receivers to get open and when they are not open, he checks down, runs, or takes a sack. Henne fires the ball down the field out of reach of a receiver or often into the sidelines. In the red zone, Henne's passes often traveled into the back of the end zone as un- catchable or as interceptions.
If you look at the particular pass play in Dallas, the one to Marshall, Moore realizes that Marshall is lined up one on one v. the Cowboy corner back with minimal safety coverage. The pass play works and is executed with precision despite Cowboy defenders in Moore's eyes. Moore shows the accuracy in that the ball is thrown with just enough touch that as soon as Marshall gets under it, the defender as to grab Marshall, but Marshall makes the play because the ball is thrown perfectly.
One thing I want to see today is Moore take care of the ball, but take chances deep with Marshall and Brian Hartline. Check downs are OK to Tight Ends and running backs like Reggie Bush or Daniel Thomas. Getting Davone Bess in space will be critical and finding him on 3rd down will be especially helpful in attacking the Eagles defense.
I am so impressed with Moore's aptitude to find the right target in a game that make the offense more successful.
All of the success today would be a result of Moore being in attack mode in order to keep the Eagles on their heels, but the offensive line has to absolutely dominate and to get the running and passing game going.
Go Dolphins! Fins Up!
The more I try to rip Sparano, the more the play of the Dolphins pull me back in.
If the Godfather III was written about the Dolphins, that's the line I would include in the script.
Dolfans, this is true: The Dolphins won in a total thrashing of the Oakland Raiders.
There is just no "I" in team in this Dolphin team of 2011.
The Dolphins got scores from Bess, Reggie Bush, Moore on a QB Draw, and Kevin Burnett on an interception. The blocked punt was the only thing missing. But why complain?
This year's Miami Dolphins are now 4-8 with 4 games to play. Can we see the Dolphins beat up their next opponent?
I have so many questions about this win. Are the Raiders for real after their performance? Are they a true 7-5 team? They lost games to Buffalo and Miami, but yet beat the Broncos (without Tebow) and could not contain their penalties in each of their losses.
I'll take the win. I'll take that the Dolphins are trying to win out and show the NFL and the hosts of Mike and Mike on ESPN.
What is not favorable is if the Dolphins had a chance to get a QB, that is slowly diminishing since Washington could not beat the Jets.
Do all Dolfans want Sparano back and Matt Moore? Matt Moore is has 9 touchdowns to 1 interception in 5 games plus 3 rushing touchdowns.
Please feel free to comment!
What exactly happened last January? Did Ross simply forget to interview a minority coach to satisfy the Rooney Rule and therefore the deal for Harbaugh would be nullified.
Did Harbaugh even think about the Dolphins offer? What exactly happened?
In a bumbling, yet spoiled child manner that Ross went after Harbaugh reportedly offering 7 million per year, one would have thought, "This is so awesome, Harbaugh will be the coach of the Dolphins!" To the dismay of many, "how could Ross treat Sparano this way?" and "We don't want another Saban!"
But it was not to be. A key figure to the madness was Hugh Jackson. There were so many reports coming out of the Bay Area that Hugh Jackson was at the airport meeting with Ross about the Dolphins job on that Wednesday night. Did they meet? Was there evidence to suggest that? And then the report that killed most of the Dolfan nation if Harbaugh was even possible, "Hugh Jackson has agreed to be the Raiders Head Coach."
Ross had no idea how to manage the firestorm and no idea how to evaluate the head coaching possibilities.
If hindsight is 20/20 would Hugh Jackson have been a legitimate fit for the Dolphins?
Hugh v. Sparano: Hugh (Carson Palmer) v. Sparano (Henne)?
Do you see how the idea of Hugh Jackson would have been a nice fit? A QB? Isn't that what we want as Dolfans? A jersey we can buy without having to remove the name on the back.
Hugh Jackson has a 7-4 Raider team playing football and playing with a QB that the Dolphins also coveted before the lockout was concluded in Carson Palmer.
It's amazing that this is the same exact Raiders team the Dolphins ran over in Oakland except for the QB. The Raiders are running over teams with their running game and the passing attack is vertical just like Al Davis would appreciate.
Today's task for the Miami Dolphins will not be easy. Almost a year later, the Dolphins find themselves on the outside looking in of having a head coach and a great quarterback.
Dolphins win 34-14 over the Oakland Raiders. I cannot understand what that means without all of the games being played today. Does it mean the Dolphins have an outside chance to make the playoffs? Not sure.
I will calmly and quietly eat my words that Hugh Jackson is a good coach. He made the biggest blunder of all, playing Rolando McClain.
He looked like a man that could not control his players with all the penalties.
3-8…..Some fans can take the high road and remain optimist but I have chosen to see this season for what it really is, a big disappointment. The Dolphins started 0-7 arriving way too late to the party before rallying for a couple of wins and taking themselves out of the Suck for Luck sweepstakes.
Currently the Dolphins stand at 3-8 and in position to be drafting 5th overall. Obviously there is no way to predict how the season will end and where the Dolphins will officially be on the draft board but hey, one can have some fun.
Hopefully the 13 year tradition of not drafting a QB in the first round has ended. This year’s QB class as most of you already know is a pretty darn good one.
Andrew Luck leads the way as the clear number one pick, followed by a debate on whether Robert Griffin the third (RG3) or Matt Barkley will go next. Both QB’s seem like prime time NFL prospect and have a shot at being really good NFL players down the road. Landry Jones is a little bit behind having his stock drop a little this year but still makes a strong case to be a top 10 draft pick. Ryan Tannehill will be a border line 1st rounder but seems like an adequate project for a team looking for a solution long term at QB.
The Dolphins will have some competition in terms of drafting a QB, most likely coming from Washington, Seattle and Cleveland. It appears all but a certainty that Andrew Luck will go number 1 to Indy leaving them out of the conversation. I can live without Luck if the Dolphins snatch Barkley. Watching Barkley put one thought in my mind : Drew Brees !
Washington is sitting at 4-7 with winnable games against Minnesota and Philadelphia still on the schedule, if the Skins can manage one more win 5-11 could put them at a higher picker then the Dolphins giving them the Phins the choice of RG3 or Barkley. Washington is the Dolphins biggest threat at this point in terms of the draft. RG3 would seem to fit more into Shanny's system then a guy like Barkley or Jones but who knows.
Seattle now 5-7 coming off a big Thursday win still plays St Louis and Arizona and one would have to think they will finish with at least 6 wins this year which most likely will take them out of the top 8. Pete obviously has connections within USC and probably would love the chance to connect with Barkley.
Cleveland is 4-7 and only really has one winnable game on their schedule being Arizona. The Browns get Pittsburg twice and Baltimore, so anything more then 5-11 might be a stretch. The Browns have other needs but could be a real dark horse in terms of going after RG3 or Barkley.
An outside player in this might also be Kansas City also at 4-7. I wouldn't be suprised if this was the landing spot for Landry Jones.
Arizona and Minnesota and Jacksonville are three other teams in the pits however they seem to have their QB situation figured out at least for the time being and most likely would address other needs.
No one really knows what will be for the Dolphins down the stretch as 6-10 is a possibility but so is 3-13. While I never will be rooting for a Dolphins loss, I think it is pretty clear to most rational fans that this team is better off with Barkley or RG3 going forward.
My hope is that the Dolphins can land a top 8 pick and have the option between the two, but usually my hopes for the Dolphins are unfulfilled so we shall see.
I said I would not do this in one of my twitter posts, but I really have to now. I said I would refrain from playing NFL front office, but I will.
Things are heating up in the way of college coaching black Monday if you will. There are at least 10 new job openings for NCAA Division 1A coaching positions and soon there will be more.
The aftermath after a dismal performance in Dallas is that the Dolphins are no longer going to have a winning season and at best they can win maybe 1 or 2 more games.
But, why do so now? Why put in the hard work? Why have the players play for 8-8?
Why stay with the coach who will no longer be the coach after this season?
Why stay with the QB who will not be better than he is already? Better is being 3 for 4 in the red zone as opposed to 0-4.
Better is driving a team down the field and taking advantage of two early turnovers in the first half.
Matt Moore, thanks for keeping the seat warm, and now it's your job to train Mr. Rookie QB (The face of the franchise).
The best we will see Matt Moore is what we have seen already.
Let´s move on. Let´s not continue with this charade of hoping that the Dolphins can capture lightning in a bottle to go 8-8.
I have as much Dolphin pride as any Dolphin fan and I can´t stand losing, but I really also want to find a way of starting over.
I really want a GM (A tireless worker with a track record of evaluating talent), Head Coach with a proven track record of coaching in the NFL, and a QB that can start right away. It would be fine for the QB to take bumps and bruises and learn how to win in this league with the support of a good running back and the leadership at wide receiver already in place.
To get there, the Dolphins are going to have to find a way to part ways with Tony Sparano sooner rather than later, maybe after this week.
Sparano is a hard-nosed, but yet staunch defender of his players. In the NFL, players are expected to work hard because they are professional. They are also expected to win and 0-7 is awful in the NFL. It's as bad of start that a team can have and to turn it around is a monumental undertaking.
In college it´s acceptable to win only 6 or 7 games and make a bowl game for some programs. Let´s have Tony look for an opportunity as a Head Coach in college this time and place an assistant such as Mike Nolan or Karl Dorrell as the interim coach for the final remaining games.
Let´s do the right thing Mr. Ross, let´s make a change for the better and get your man in place by the end of the season!
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.
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!