Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 12 @ Bills recap

That was an inexcusable loss. Just embarrassing.

  • Those are the kind of games that good teams just simply don't lose. Good teams don't even let the other team think they have a chance to win. Well, Miami let Buffalo stay in the game when the fourth quarter rolled around, and by that point all bets were off.
  • Speaking of the fourth quarter, why is this team continually collapsing in that period?
  • Say it with me, "You run when you win, not win when you run." It's nice that Ricky had another good day running, but the most effective running comes in the second half, when a team is grinding out clock and protecting a lead. It's much less effective in building a lead. Miami needs its offense to get out to multiple score leads, and relying on the run so heavily will rarely achieve that kind of buffer. The receivers may be pretty bad, but that shouldn't shut down the passing game entirely.
  • Gus Johnson is an exciting announcer. It just sucks when he's excitedly announcing big plays by the other team. It makes them hurt that much more.
  • The Wildcat with Ricky at the helm isn't doing it for me right now because it lacks the motion man who offers that extra option that defenders must pause to account for. In its current set-up, they all know exactly who is going to have it.
  • Miami's pass rush was really good, but the coverage behind it was horrible, especially, as usual, the linebackers and safeties covering the tight ends and backs.
  • The entire defense is going to be hurting without Ferguson. I just don't think Soliai and company can effectively pick up his slack.
  • The Dolphins likely have to win out in order to make the playoffs now. So essentially the playoffs have just started for Miami. And up first are the Patriots...gulp.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week 12 @ Bills prediction; Oglesby cut

Evan Oglesby didn't even last a week with the Dolphins. He was cut in order to make room to promote DE Ryan Baker from the practice squad.

Baker was needed on the roster since Lionel Dotson will not be playing.

Jake Grove will also not be playing because of an ankle injury. And that should surprise no one. Here's what I wrote less than two weeks ago when reviewing the offensive line's performance:

I will say this as well: I absolutely hammered the team's decision to sign Jake Grove this offseason. So far, he's proven me dead wrong. He's been a pleasant surprise. Of course, a lot of that has to do with him bucking a career-long trend of injury woes, so we will have to wait and see how long that continues.

Apparently not long. Grove has never been able to stay healthy and that is one of the major reasons why I disliked his signing so much. Hopefully, this injury is only a one-week deal, but who knows with him.

As for this week's game against the Bills, this is the easiest game Miami will play for the rest of the year. As confident as I was that Miami would beat Tampa Bay, I'm as confident that they will beat the Bills this week. Of course, that doesn't guarantee a blowout (as the Tampa game surely made clear), but it really shouldn't be a game that comes down to the wire.

Miami crushed the Bills in their first meeting this year, and Buffalo has lost even more key players to injury since then. Their offensive line is horrendous, and Miami should be able to pressure the QB all day long. Really, the only scary aspect of the Bills is their special teams.

I'm picking the Dolphins to win. My season record predicting the Dolphins is 7-3.


Miami's playoff chances currently stand at 23.7%

Friday, November 27, 2009

Andrew Hartline promoted; practice squad update

After all the roster moves that happened earlier this week, Miami still had one open spot on the 53-man roster.

They filled it by promoting T Andrew Hartline from the practice squad.

Also, S Nate Ness was re-signed to the practice squad as well as G/C Mark Lewis who had been with the team in training camp and on the practice squad for a short time.

The Dolphins practice squad now looks as such:
  • DE Ryan Baker
  • CB Will Billingsley
  • WR Julius Pruit
  • TE John Nalbone
  • RB Tristan Davis
  • LB J.D. Folsom
  • S Nate Ness
  • G/C Mark Lewis

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Matt Roth waived; two players added

In a very surprising move, the Dolphins waived LB Matt Roth on Tuesday. No reason was given. The move is surprising to me because Roth had really stepped up his play all last season as he made the full-time transition to starting outside linebacker and became an elite run stopper. He also finished second on the team in sacks. But then he got hurt this offseason and a huge cloud of suspicion has followed him around ever since, concerning whether he lied to the team or not. But nothing has ever gone public about the perceived standoff between him and the team. It just seems really strange to get rid of a guy who is a young, developing, monster of a run-stopper on the outside. What kind of run-stopping presence does that leave this team with now at the OLB position for both the present and future?

The team also placed NT Jason Ferguson on IR and released S Nate Ness. Ness had been promoted from the practice squad and he may find himself back on it later this week.

So with three open roster spots, the Dolphins signed CB Evan Oglesby and DE Ikaika Alama-Francis.

Oglesby (5'11, 182) is a five-year veteran, coming into the league as an undrafted rookie from Northern Alabama in 2005. He is 27 years old. Oglesby has played in 36 games in his career for the Ravens and Cowboys, primarily in a special teams role.

Alama-Francis (6'5, 290) is in his third year out of Hawaii. He is 24 years old. He originally was a second-round draft pick of the Lions in 2007. He played in 19 games for the Lions with two starts.

These roster moves still leave one open spot on the roster, which will likely be filled in the coming days.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reader Question: Ted Ginn; Roster updates

Before I get into a reader question, it should be noted that the Dolphins promoted S Nate Ness from the practice squad prior to the Carolina game. He took the roster spot vacated when Ronnie Brown was placed on IR.

Also, it appears as if Jason Ferguson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. He hasn't officially been placed on IR yet, but that seems to be the direction the team is leaning.

Now, here's the reader question:

With the new RB the Dolphins signed to the practice squad do you think that it means Ted Ginn will be traded?

The new RB he is speaking of is Tristan Davis - a definite return weapon in college. But the trade dealine for this season has passed already, so no player can be traded until the season is over.

Even so, Davis is just a developmental project at this point. And Ginn has been doing very well on returns so I don't think the front office is looking to upgrade there.

That being said, Ginn is more than just a returner, and as a receiver, well, let's just say he's a good returner. So the team definitely should explore any and all opportunities to trade Ginn this offseason. But they shouldn't simply sell him off for whatever they can get. As we are seeing, he can still bring good value as a kick returner and situation receiver. But if they can get a third round pick or higher, I'd say they should probably pull the trigger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ronnie Brown done for the year; Week 11 @ Carolina Prediction

Well, this sucks.

Ronnie Brown has been placed on Injured Reserve. So he's done for the year. It's believed that his injury is a Lisfranc fracture. It's unknown what kind of timetable there is on his injury, but that will depend on whether Brown opts for surgery or extended rest. It seems likely that he will undergo surgery to correct the problem. He could miss parts of training camp next offseason.

And for those people who continue to say that Brown is just unlucky when it comes to getting hurt, I'm sorry but no. He's injury-prone. And that's a major reason why this team probably shouldn't make any long-term investment in Brown. We all love him, but his age and injury history simply present too much risk and downside to hand him a huge contract extension.

*****

As for tonight's game, even without Brown, I'm picking the Dolphins to win. My season record predicting the Dolphins is 6-3.

Miami's playoff chances currently stand at 12%

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Practice squad update 11/18

Miami has re-signed LB J.D. Folsom to its practice squad after releasing him before last week's game.

Last week, the team also signed RB Tristan Davis to its practice squad.

Davis (5'10, 212) is an undrafted rookie out of Auburn. He is a speed-back who didn't get a whole lot of carries in college, but he is a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. He's also very dangerous as a kick and punt returner. The return game is where he made the biggest impact in college.

The Dolphins practice squad now looks as such:
  • DE Ryan Baker
  • CB Will Billingsley
  • WR Julius Pruit
  • T Andrew Hartline
  • S Nate Ness
  • TE John Nalbone
  • RB Tristan Davis
  • LB J.D. Folsom

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reader Questions 11/17

I got some good questions from a reader that I'd like to address here today:

How do you rate the Dolphins offensive line? Is the NT position a need for the 2010 draft? Do you think that Cameron Wake will continue to improve? If Ronnie is out for a while isn't that a major problem for the offense?

Let's take them one-by-one.

1. The offensive line
Just looking at how successful the running game has been overall this season, I'd have to say that the unit has been pretty good. Of course, we've seen the running game stall on more than one occasion, which has led to the offense completely bogging down. So consistency is an issue that must improve. But let's look at the unit's numbers (through Week 9):
  • 4.42 Adjusted Line Yards (4th best in NFL)
  • Power Success - 81% (1st)
  • Stuffed - 14% (1st)
  • Adjusted Sack Rate - 9% (26th in NFL)
Well, those numbers paint a pretty clear picture don't they? Miami's offensive line is an elite juggernaut in the running game. Those Power and Stuffed percentages are pristine, and are huge reasons why this offense is able to sustain long drives without a dynamic passing game. If your running game can always be counted on to convert short yardage situations and likewise never get stuffed behind the line, you have a scary rushing attack.

Now the pass protection is another story. Miami's QBs have been sacked 23 times this season and the adjusted sack rate of 9% is atrocious. The offensive line definitely has played a part in this mess, but I think a lot of blame has to lie with Chad Henne's inexperience and inability to make quick reads and get rid of the ball quickly when the pocket is collapsing. He seems to be getting better in that regard, but it will take some time to develop his pocket awareness.

I will say this as well: I absolutely hammered the team's decision to sign Jake Grove this offseason. So far, he's proven me dead wrong. He's been a pleasant surprise. Of course, a lot of that has to do with him bucking a career-long trend of injury woes, so we will have to wait and see how long that continues. But right now, I'm more than happy to eat crow.

2. Nose Tackle
Although Paul Soliai has definitely made vast improvements in his play this season, the nose tackle position remains a high priority for this year's draft. That's because Miami's 3-4 defense requires a stud at the position and can't get by being simply average. Hopefully, Jason Ferguson will decide to play another year for Miami so that the team is not pressured into reaching too highly in the draft for his replacement. There will be plenty of top prospects at the position, so one or two should inevitably be available when Miami is picking. Of course, there's another scenario that Miami could explore should Ferguson decide to hang up his cleats after this year, and that's free agency. Possible nose tackle options that may be available on the free agent market include Vince Wilfork, Casey Hampton, Ryan Pickett, and Aubrayo Franklin among others. If Miami could land any of those guys to pair with Soliai, they could save that draft pick for some other position (cough*receiver*cough).

3. Cameron Wake
Wake's already made visible improvements from game to game this season, so I would expect that to continue. The question I have with him now is what is his ceiling? Can he be a future starter at OLB or at least a primary backup? That's hard to answer, because unlike so many first-year players, Wake is already 27 years old. He turns 28 in January. So he still definitely has plenty of good years left, but it will be critical to see how high he can push his abilities.

4. Ronnie Brown
Losing Brown hurts. He's been the team's best player this season. So his loss will obviously affect the offense, but I don't think it will hurt as much as some are fearing. And that's solely due to who his backup is. You see, according to DYAR, Ricky Williams is only trailing Ronnie by a count of 124 to 120. Those numbers are essentially equal and are good for 7th and 8th best in the league. And Ricky is actually beating Ronnie in DVOA (24.3% to 12.7%). So while we may be losing an elite running back for a game or more, we are replacing his carries with another elite back. The big problem comes when you take the leftover carries that Ricky can't take all by himself and spread them among Lex Hilliard and possibly Lousake Polite. The Wildcat will also be hindered since Ricky is not nearly as good a triggerman in the formation as Ronnie is, and someone new will have to take over Ricky's role as the Wildcat coming around on the sweep. So Brown's loss will hurt, but it's not nearly insurmountable.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2009 First Half Review and Awards

Before the Dolphins embark on the second half schedule of the 2009 season today, I wanted to take one last look back on what has transpired in the first half.

And frankly, almost nothing of what has happened has surprised me.

I've seen some bloggers talk about how Miami's 3-5 record at the halfway point should mark a shift in expectations for the rest of the year - a tempering of playoff expectations if you will. But if you have been a realistic fan and observer of this team, you shouldn't have to change your expectations because this team is pretty much exactly where we expected them to be at this point.

But of course, those same people who call for a lowering of expectations only now, after the fact, are the same ones who were pumping this team up to be another double-digit win squad before the year began. That's because it's easier to ignore all the critical signs about a team and only accept the reality of the situation when the outcomes inevitably match the rational predictions.

And injuries are no excuse. Chad Pennington has never had two healthy or effective seasons in a row. Absolutely no one should have been banking on him playing up to last year's level or remaining healthy for the whole season. And guess what, he did neither. That's just what the tea leaves wrote, and anyone could have seen it coming if they opened their eyes to it. Same thing goes for Channing Crowder, Jason Ferguson, Justin Smiley, etc. These players have all been hampered recently by injuries. An incredible run of injury luck last season was not going to carry forward into this year.

Also, a lot of people simply wrote off the talk of Miami having a brutal schedule this year by saying, "Well, you can't judge a team based off last year's record, blah, blah, blah." But if you use a more predictive tool like DVOA, you'd have gotten the same prediction. And so, of course, Miami has indeed faced a brutal schedule up to this point. In fact, according to DVOA, Miami has played the toughest schedule in the league thus far. Their average opponent DVOA is 12.4%, which means Miami's schedule has been 12.4% harder than the average schedule so far. Compare that to New England, who has the 17th hardest schedule so far at 0.5% DVOA.

Thankfully, the schedule eases up considerably from here on out, with Miami's remaining opponents having an average DVOA of -2.0%. They are going to have to take advantage of that schedule if they are to have any chance of contending for the playoffs once again.

But there have been plenty of positives about this season too. Most notably has been the extensive run of play the rookies and youngsters have been receiving. That's a good sign for the future.

Let's move on to some half-season awards:

Offensive MVP: Ronnie Brown - this one's pretty obvious. The running game is this offense's weapon, and it's lead by Brown's powerful running and expert handling of the Wildcat package. The craziest thing may be that, as good as Brown's been, Ricky Williams has been nearly as good. I'd also give an honorable mention for this award to Justin Smiley who is, without a doubt, one of the premier interior linemen in the NFL. He is a joy to watch play.

Most Improved - Offense: Not really a whole lot to pick from here, but I'd go with either Chad Henne or Donald Thomas.

Most Regressed - Offense: Ted Ginn. Everyone expected some measure of improvement from Ginn this year, but he has regressed as badly as anyone on the team.

Best Rookie - Offense: Brian Hartline

Defensive MVP: Randy Starks. He's the only player putting consistent pressure on the QB, easily leading the team with 12.5 combined sacks+QB hits. He's making big plays for a defense that is sorely lacking in them. Honorable mention goes to Jason Ferguson.

Most Improved - Defense: Randy Starks

Most Regressed - Defense: Joey Porter. Just to show how far he's fallen, Tony Sparano has benched him for this week's game, and not because of injury. Porter's flat-out sucked this year. It's quite a fall from 17.5 sacks last year to this sorry output.

Best Rookie - Defense: Vontae Davis. Some will say Sean Smith, and while I won't argue with it (because I think he's been quite good) something just really bugs me about how scared of contact he is and just how much he shies away from hitting or getting hit. Also, he's yet to pick off a pass, and that was supposed to be his strong point. Davis, on the other hand, in less playing time has made some huge plays and also is not afraid at all to shed blocks and make huge hits near the line of scrimmage.

Week 10 vs. Buccaneers Prediction

I'm going to keep this prediction post short and sweet because quite frankly, I'm about as sure about this game as I have been about a Dolphins game in some time.

Miami will win this game easily.

Wow. When is the last time anyone could legitimately say that and not be thought foolish?

But it's true. Miami is a pretty good team right now and the Buccaneers are putrid. There really shouldn't be any trouble leaving this week behind with a win.

If Miami should somehow struggle, or even lose, well, the season's pretty much over at that point, I'd say. But I'm not worried about it. I don't view this as a trap game or anything like that. Miami just has to go out there, put in a hard day's work, and take care of its business.

I'm confident they will. I'm picking Miami to win. My season record predicting the Dolphins is 5-3.

After last week's loss, Miami's playoff chances fell to 14%

Folsom cut; Sperry called up

On Friday, the Dolphins opened up a roster spot by releasing LB J.D. Folsom who they had called up from the practice squad prior to last week's game against New England.

The open spot has been taken by TE Kory Sperry, who the team also called up from its practice squad.

Calling up Sperry may mean that Anthony Fasano's hip injury will sideline him on Sunday. If that is the case, Miami will have to rely on Joey Haynos and Sperry as the only two tight ends.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pat White story

File this in the "things most of us already knew about Pat White" folder - he's a good kid.

And the Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington received an email from a Patriots fan who attended last week's game with his son talking about Pat's notable gesture before the game began. Here's the bulk of the email:

Hello,

I am a longtime New England Patriots Season Ticketholder who attended this past Sundays game against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots held a pregame Veterans Day ceremony honoring veterans from the greater New England area. I am not a veteran but greatly appreciate the men and woman who dedicate their lives to protecting our country.

As the National Anthem came to a close I told my son to watch to see which of the Patriot Players approached the veterans being honored to thank them for their service. Unfortunately, the Patriots disappointed me. Not one of them acknowledged these men and woman. As the veterans left the field one Miami Dolphin, Pat White, jogged over to them and shook every one of their hands. It was the highlight of the game for me to see there is at least one player in the NFL that understands what these people have given up for us.

Even if a lot of the players met some of the service men and women on the field during warmups or whatnot, it's still nice to see a player take the time to personally shake every single one of their hands following the ceremony.

I'm just surprised Pat was the only player on either team who took the time to do it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 Pass Defense Review (First Half)

Continuing on with my look back at the first half of this season, I want to talk about some of the defense's pass defense stats for individual players.

Below, I've created a table of every player who has recorded a sack, quarterback hit, interception, or pass defense. Take a look:



Scks
QH
INT
PD
Jason Allen



1
Will Allen

2
2
6
Yeremiah Bell
1.5
1

1
Tyrone Culver


1
3
Vontae Davis


2
6
Nathan Jones


1
4
Kendall Langford
1
1


Tony McDaniel



1
Phillip Merling
1.5
3


Joey Porter
2.5
5

1
Sean Smith



8
Paul Soliai



1
Randy Starks
4.5
8


Jason Taylor
5.5
3

2
Reggie Torbor

2
1
2
Cameron Wake
3.5
4


Gibril Wilson
1
3

3
TOTAL
21
32
7
35


What stands out immediately from that table?

Not sure? Look at who is not on that list - Akin Ayodele and Channing Crowder.

That fact both astounds me and doesn't surprise me at all, if that's possible. What I mean by that is I know our starting inside linebackers are terrible coverage and blitz players, but to go through an entire half season without registering a single meaningful play in pass defense? Hell, even Reggie Torbor has five total stat-plays, and he's only played a fraction of the snaps as those two.

When the opposing quarterback drops back to pass, there is just a gaping hole in the middle of the field, and that's shown itself in Miami's inability to stop opposing tight ends, running backs, and receivers on underneath routes. This team needs a lot of things, but one of the most important is an inside linebacker who can rush the quarterback.

Another disappointment is Joey Porter's production. Is he simply hurt, or has he slammed into a brick wall in terms of his ability? He does have five quarterback hits in addition to his 2.5 sacks, but that total is equal to Cameron Wake, who has barely played this year. As the year moves forward, the coaches have got to give Wake more playing time. Kendall Langford also needs to step up his pass rushing.

As far as positive surprises go, Jason Taylor is on pace for double-digit sacks after his disaster season of a year ago. But most exciting has been the development of Randy Starks, who leads the team by a wide margin with a combined 12.5 sacks/QHs. He has probably been this team's defensive MVP so far this season. Starks is one of the few free agent additions that has really worked out for the team, and he's still very young so his future is bright.

Special Teams Coverage Review (2009 First Half)

Instead of posting any recap of the Pats game, I'd rather start taking a few looks back on what the first half of the season has shown us about this Dolphins team.

To start things off, I'm looking at the special teams tackles numbers to get an idea of who the most active special teams players are.

Of course, Patrick Cobbs was expected to be one of the coverage unit's aces, but he unfortunately was lost for the season. Thankfully, his replacement on the roster, Lex Hilliard, has stepped in and played quite admirably in his stead, placing second on the team with nine special teams tackles.

But the biggest surprise is probably the guy leading the team in special teams tackles, Nathan Jones. It's not a surprise that he's a good special teams player, but he finished with 9 STTs last season and has already recorded ten of them this season. Not only is he stepping up big time on defense with Will Allen lost for the year, but he's stepping up big time on kick coverage units as well.

Here's how all the players stack up according to special teams tackles:


Tkl
Ast
Comb
FF
Jason Allen
5

5

Charlie Anderson
5
1
6

Chris Clemons
2

2

Patrick Cobbs
1

1

Tyrone Culver
5
3
8

Vontae Davis
4

4

John Denney
3
1
4

Brandon Fields
1

1

J.D. Folsom
1

1

Lex Hilliard
8
1
9

Nathan Jones
7
3
10

Reggie Torbor
7
1
8

Cameron Wake
3
1
4

Erik Walden
5
1
6

Gibril Wilson
3

3

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 9 @ Patriots Prediction

Forget the Jets. This is the real divisional rivalry game that matters most.

Unfortunately, Miami is entering this game knowing that two of its defensive starters have already been taken out of the game by injury (Crowder and Ferguson). Losing Ferguson is the biggest blow. New England has a pretty good if unspectacular running game, but without Ferguson manning the trenches in the middle, New England will have a much easier time nursing any lead by turning to its ground game.

And it's likely that Miami will have to mount a comeback at some point in this game since the Pats' aerial assault is second only to the Colts, and we all saw how Indy absolutely sliced and diced this secondary up in a matter of seconds.

Not only is Belichick scheming against two rookie corners and a first-year starting QB, but he's had the bye week to make sure everything's accounted for. If Miami can sneak anything past New England's scheme this week, it would be a tremendous surprise.

For my money, the Patriots are simply the best team in the league right now, regardless of their recent cream puff schedule. Too many factors are stacking up against the Dolphins for them to pull out the victory this week.

Of course, nothing ever surprises me about these Pats-Dolphins games, and Miami should know that a win this week is crucial to staying alive in the division. That being said, I'm picking the Pats to win this one. My season record is 4-3.

After last week's win, Miami's playoff chances now stand at 28.6%

I'd also like to take a moment to quickly address a few questions I received in the wake of last week's game:

Why couldn't the Dolphins offense get anything going with the Jets? Is it possible that Ginn could be great at kick off returns or wide receiver? Just not both at the same time?

First off, the Jets defense simply played the perfect scheme against Miami's offense, and we should all look for teams to copy that game-plan in the future until Miami proves it can adapt. The Jets were consistently bringing up to 8 or 9 defenders into the box to stop the run and they just derailed the offense by doing so. They pressured from the outside, giving Henne nowhere the scramble, and Miami's receivers could do nothing against the limited coverages they were seeing. Until these WRs and TEs can start getting open and making some plays, there's no reason why any team should worry about stacking the middle of the field against Miami.

As for Ginn, I've long said that he will not be a great receiver, no matter what his other responsibilities are. Good? Maybe, but even that's in doubt right now. If anything, I think his return skills are unquestioned and he could certainly be great in that arena. Of course, being heavily involved in the offense may negatively impact his success on special teams. Was his limited snap count the reason why he exploded on those two returns against the Jets? I'm not sure. It's easy to see how asking a guy to run 9-route after 9-route is going to wear him down and cause him to lose his burst as the game wears on. If that's the case, then Ginn definitely should see a reduced number of snaps at WR. I certainly don't advocate moving him to returner full-time, as he can definitely still be an asset on offense, but the coaching staff will have to pick and choose its moments more carefully. And if that is the plan moving forward, I think Ginn should be given the punt returning duties as well. Davone Bess does nothing for me in that role.

Kershaw released, Folsom called up; injury update

On the eve before playing the Patriots, the Dolphins have tweaked their roster.

Out is LB William Kershaw who had just recently been re-signed. Taking his place is practice squad member and Miami's 7th round draft pick this past spring, LB J.D. Folsom.

This move may have been precipitated by the fact that LB Channing Crowder was moved from 'doubtful' to 'out' on this week's injury report. Also downgraded to 'out' is NT Jason Ferguson.

Taking Crowder's place in the lineup will be Reggie Torbor. Paul Soliai will assume most of Ferguson's snaps.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nalbone signed to practice squad

I wasn't sure that TE John Nalbone was going to clear waivers after Miami cut him last week.

But he did. And now he's back with the Dolphins on their practice squad. The team released WR James Robinson to make room for him.

The Dolphins practice squad now looks as such:
  • DE Ryan Baker
  • CB Will Billingsley
  • LB J.D. Folsom
  • WR Julius Pruit
  • TE Kory Sperry
  • T Andrew Hartline
  • S Nate Ness
  • TE John Nalbone

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hey Nos!

In honor of Joey Haynos' second career TD, I'm posting the below video - again.

The video and song are so good I may have to start posting it every time he scores.




Nate Jones!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 8 @ Jets Recap

Time to get out the brooms because that was a J-E-T-S Sweep, Sweep, Sweep!!!

Let's get right to the bullets, shall we?

  • First of all, Miami certainly got outplayed in many (most) areas of this game, but not all of them. So Rex Ryan, you huge steamin pile, stop trying to convince yourself and everyone around you that your team "totally outplayed" the Dolphins today. Did your special teams outplay Miami's? No. Did our quarterback continually throw horrible worm-burners on third downs? No. Did our running backs forget to hold onto the ball? No. Did your offensive line ever have Miami's front seven on its heels? No. So Rex, learn what the word "totally" means and pull your head out of you-know-where while you're at it.
  • In keeping with the theme of the Jets seemingly living in some alternate reality, it's rare to see a team this out of tune with their actual talent and performance level. You'd think a team that just lost to the same team twice within the span of a month would realize that they are not better than that team. Basically, the Jets players and coaches are acting like most of the fans of the Dolphins I criticize for being irrational homers. The Jets built these Dolphins games up so much, that it is just an absolute pleasure to know that they lost both of them and now will have live with that festering truth for another whole year. And no amount of foolish talk will cover up the fact that these two losses will eat away at the Jets.
  • Yeremiah Bell is to blame for that TD run by Sanchez. He's the outside contain guy and he never even thought about looking for Sanchez to run. He simply ran right into the backfield which wouldn't have done anything even if it was a handoff.
  • Ah, Jay Feely. You also did fancy yourself something of a tough guy didn't you? You wanted to be the guy who broke the mold on kickers not being tough enough to run down the field and make a tackle on returns. And I'll give you credit - you are pretty tough and you can make tackles, but the thing is, as the kicker you've got to make those tackles when they come to you as the safety man and not simply run headlong into the pile trying to manufacture 'glory' to stroke your ego. By abandoning your duty as the safety valve and running right into the crowd, you allowed Ted Ginn to slip outside and have a free race to the endzone without you challenging his angle. So thanks for being so irresponsible Jay.
  • Oh, and Ted Ginn, thank you for not losing your return abilities along with your confidence and good hands.
  • On a negative note for Miami, I can't recall seeing another secondary player as averse to contact as Sean Smith is. We all knew he wasn't a physical player, but this is getting embarrassing. Whenever the opposing team throws a screen pass or a toss sweep to Smith's side, he either runs himself out of the play to avoid getting blocked, or just gets tossed aside. He puts no effort into beating his blocker. He's also a pretty poor tackler in space it seems. He needs to watch how Vontae Davis and Nathan Jones and Will Allen lay wood on people, in the run game and pass game. As much flak as Ted Ginn gets for avoiding contact, Smith should be getting just as much. Being a corner isn't all about ball skills.
  • Speaking of the secondary, finally the coaches realized that what Gibril Wilson does best is blitz the QB. He, Bell, and Jones are lethal when rushing the QB.
  • It was nice to see Matt Roth back on the field if for no other reason than it will lessen the amount of times I have to watch Joey Porter get embarrassed as an edge setter against the run. Seriously, it looks like he's not even trying when a run comes his way (and a lot of them do since opposing teams know he's helpless to stop them). The tackle usually just kicks out, gets his hands on Joey, and that's it - Porter's completely out of the play, with a huge gap between the tackle and guard for the running back to saunter through. With Roth in there, he works to shove the tackle back and closes that lane off quick, then sheds the block and can make a tackle or string the play out until help arrives.
  • The offensive line was bad in the running game today, which is pretty inexcusable when the Jets are without Kris Jenkins. As far as pass protection goes, they were just OK. Chad Henne really needs to work on making his reads quicker and not taking so many sacks. He also has to be more aware of the pocket. On one sack he just kept shuffling to the left. Jake Long had his guy beat, but Henne just kept shuffling right past Long where the defender had an easy sack.
  • How about this trio of guys coming up big - Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, and Brandon Fields. Fields' booming leg gave the Dolphins defense a fighting chance in the field position battle all throughout the first half. Starks has been a force as a pass rusher this year, not just in this game. And Soliai is taking his opportunities and proving to this coaching staff that they may not need to look outside the organization anymore for a future nose tackle replacement. I've been impressed with him so far this year.
  • Oh and one last thing. I've already seen some Jets fans calling Braylon Edwards a "Dolphins killer." First of all, you have to actually beat the Dolphins to be called that. Secondly, maybe if the Jets still had that special teams ace (Jason Trusnik) they traded away for Edwards they wouldn't have been the first team to give up two kick returns of 100 or more yards in one game.

Sunday, November 1, 2009