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dolphan9954


Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 6955
Location: Miami
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Things I Think I Know Reply with quote

The premise of this is stolen from Peter King's MMQB, but I have some thoughts and this is the easiest format for me to express them (WARNING: 2 cups of coffee and 2 hours of sleep in me)

1. The greatest part of the coaching staff is their collective situations. Joe Philbin brought along Kevin Coyle to coach the defense, due to his inexperience he will not be a head coaching candidate this season. Mike Sherman has had a rough stretch as a head coach, therefore also will not be a candidate. The coaching staff should be completely (or at least mostly) in tact for years. I see great teachers across the board, and the continuity is huge for this young team.

2. As a team with depth issues, the Dolphins are building depth as the season goes. Let's look at guys who made major contributions yesterday: A. Matt Moore proved to be a good back up QB. A team in the playoff race needs a solid backup (see Houston Texans 2011 season)
B. Daniel Thomas has been running hard this season. I am scared for his career longevity with the recent concussions, but he has run hard this season in his last few outings, and has a nose for the endzone. He has 3 TD already this season, and has missed time.
C. Jabar Gaffney and Marlon Moore solidified the receiver rotation and added dynamic ability to the offense, now we are seeing more 4 and 5 WR sets.
D. Olivier Vernon and Tony McDaniels made large contributions. We already knew that McDaniels could play, but he has found a home in a dominant DT rotation. Vernon has come on strong the last 2 games, he has proven he is a playmaker. I think he is gifted with the "right place, right time" attribute that goes unnoticed, but makes for solid football players.
E. Austin Spitler- Played crucial minutes in the absence of Dansby. Didn't make costly mistakes. In our least deep position that is huge.
F. Jimmy Wilson- For a guy who has no true position, he has been promoted to the "wildcard playmaker" role of the team. Blocked a punt, sacked Sanchez, played well in coverage, and was named "Player of the Week" by Peter King? Oh yeah that's a dime back.

3. The emergence of Nolan Carroll- One of the more polarizing players of the last 2 seasons is Carroll. One poster went as far as to say Carroll only made the team because his mother is a Lieutenant Governor. Carroll has planted himself as the nickel corner on the boundary, and has done an admirable job in stepping in for Richard Marshall. This guy plays physical at the line, and has excellent breaks on curls and slants. I need to see more from him before I will commit long term, but he is promising thus far.

4. Secondary finding a niche- Sean Smith in my eyes is one more step from being an elite corner. He gets better each and every week, and by the end of the season, may find himself in the upper echelon of corners in the league. He uses his length now to bother smaller receivers, and break up slants, and uses his strength and athleticism to contain the elites. Not many corners can contain AJ Green and Larry Fitzgerald. Giving up one TD in 2 weeks against those guys is all you can ask for. Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones seem to have great chemistry, and are both playing complete football. We are talking about a safety unit that is forcing turnovers, and not blowing coverage. It's not unrealistic to see 7 INT out of our starting S duo. That's impressive. Richard Marshall when he returns will return to what he was signed to do, cover slot WR. Carroll will likely man the outside, and Marshall the slot. Marshall on the boundary in 2 WR sets. Jimmy Wilson will be a blitzer, be the 6th DB on the field, and will have the ability to help out on TE which could grow to be huge asset down the stretch.

5. Joe Philbin the innovator, the leader, the gamechanger- Philbin has a quiet confidence to him. He has his Miami Dolphins team playing with a swagger that I haven't seen in years, if ever in my lifetime. Offensively, the Fins are dictating to their opponents. They are attacking down the field, they are protecting the ball and the QB. On defense they are attacking the line of scrimmage, forcing turnovers, not allowing other teams to score. On special teams the Dolphins are opportunistic, forcing fumbles on coverage units, faking punts, onside kicking, blocking punts, blocking field goals (remember that isn't the first block of the year, Starks blocked one that didn't count due to a timeout) and excellent return play. Special teams are a huge reason for the success of a team, and that is the sign of a good coach and a ballsy coach. Philbin said to Jesse Agler the Fins were going to onside kick on the opening kickoff had they chosen to kick. When is the last time a Dolphins coach had that kind of confidence?

6. I think Paul Soliai and Randy Starks are the anchors of the defense, and the best duo in football- Ireland caught flack for resigning Soliai to a big contract. But what do see now? We see two disruptive, dominant defensive tackles. Offenses have to double one of them, and when they do? Usually the other one is in the backfield or pushing the pocket. This season I would like to see the front office commit to Randy Starks in the way they did Soliai, they are so underrated in what they do, but they are the main reason for the success of the defense.

Add your own if you like. I have more but I am scared to say to much to soon. I might add to this weekly if you guys like it.
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phinmun


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post! Smile


One thing I'd warn people about is going overboard after this week's crushing defeat of the New York Jets.

Sanchez did have time in the pocket quite often which tells me that our pass rush still needs help. We got only limited pressure from the RDE position.

Our secondary looked good but it was against a horrible group of receivers quite frankly. Some of the worst in the league. They still allowed 280+ yards and again that's to bad receivers, a bad QB and a bad offensive coordinator.

Say what you want about Sean Smith but he was a big reason our secondary allowed Clyde Gates, a guy we cut this offseason, to rack up more than a half dozen catches and over 80 yards. Sean Smith was also one dropped ball away from giving up another TD. He made a handful of good plays but allows quite a bit of yardage so he's not nearly elite. He's never been able to shut anyone down during a game to my knowledge, especially not the league's better WRs.

It took a really aggressive day defensively where we blitz early and often and sent guys from our secondary. Alright, it worked, that's fantastic, but we can't do that every time. We're not going to get Corners and Safeties with strip-sacks every game. We benefitted from turn-overs, a blocked punt TD, a huge 50+ yard return in the second half and a blocked FG as well. And plus Reggie managed to fumble, too.

There were a lot of bad things yesterday but thankfully we were playing one of the worst teams in the league.

Offensively we were solid. Matt Moore did what we needed him to do but once again Reggie Bush was held to minimal gains and not a single one of our WRs was dominant.


Last edited by phinmun on Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dolphan9954


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We spent most of the second half in a prevent defense.
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phinmun


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolphan9954 wrote:
We spent most of the second half in a prevent defense.


I'm sure we played a softer 2-deep shell. I would call that our base look. Not really a prevent but point taken nonetheless.
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DOLFAN016


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolphan9954 wrote:
We spent most of the second half in a prevent defense.


+1...not to mention most of the second quarter as well. We were already up 17-0 after the first quarter. The Jets had no choice but to keep throwing. Keep in mind they threw over 50 times, that's about 5 YPA. Our D did good yesterday. There's no need to take it away from them.
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phinmun


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DOLFAN016 wrote:
dolphan9954 wrote:
We spent most of the second half in a prevent defense.


+1...not to mention most of the second quarter as well. We were already up 17-0 after the first quarter. The Jets had no choice but to keep throwing. Keep in mind they threw over 50 times, that's about 5 YPA. Our D did good yesterday. There's no need to take it away from them.


What the heck does that have to do with our rush not getting home? Sanchez's inaccurate throws are what killed the Jets. He had time in the pocket and couldn't do anything with it.

If we give that time to a top-tier QB, he'll pick us apart, especially with better WRs. I'm just sayin', be thankful for what ya got and that was a VERY inept Jets team yesterday.
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dolphan9954


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pass rush wasn't bad...they were harassing Sanchez often. When you go into prevent defense you rarely get pressure. The whole point is to cage the pocket and drop 7 or 8 into soft coverage. The last 20 minutes of the game were all prevent.
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DOLFAN016


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phinmun wrote:
DOLFAN016 wrote:
dolphan9954 wrote:
We spent most of the second half in a prevent defense.


+1...not to mention most of the second quarter as well. We were already up 17-0 after the first quarter. The Jets had no choice but to keep throwing. Keep in mind they threw over 50 times, that's about 5 YPA. Our D did good yesterday. There's no need to take it away from them.


What the heck does that have to do with our rush not getting home? Sanchez's inaccurate throws are what killed the Jets. He had time in the pocket and couldn't do anything with it.

If we give that time to a top-tier QB, he'll pick us apart, especially with better WRs. I'm just sayin', be thankful for what ya got and that was a VERY inept Jets team yesterday.


Did I say one thing about the pass rush? I was giving our secondary credit for limiting the yardage with so many attempts. Sanchez sucks and we all know it, so there's no need to mention that. 4 sacks I wouldn't exactly call not showing up...even if they were secondary blitzes. Our TEAM is progressing every week and that's what is most important.
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bpastermack


Joined: 17 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still think it's funny how people put one of our biggest needs this upcoming offseason as a pass rushing DE. With how Vernon continues to improve and impress and the pressure we are getting on QB's, I think that is one of the strong points of our team. Defensively altoether we have gotten better every week. We are a borderline top 5 defense in the NFL. Don't take my word for it

5th in the NFL in points per game allowed
5th in the NFL in opponents QB rating
5th in the NFL in sacks
2nd in the NFL in Yards per carry allowed

Those would be the major categories I would look at for any defense. The only thing we have not done well so far is causing fumbles. We have yet to cause even one fumble according to ESPN stats. That's highly unusual after 7 games.
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SUG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

. . . . . . CORRECTION . . . . . .

Excellent post.

I do however disagree that Croyel was the best hire.
Our Deff was stacked with more than enough talent to transition into the 4/3 Deff.

To me, the best hire was Sherman & just how quickly he got a rookie QB in with an avg Off talent &
played highly competitive not to mention a steady wk to wk improvement.

I ain't complaining, just an opinion.

sug Smile
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Manic


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah i loved the Croyel hire. I had been preaching for a few years that we needed to just abort the 34 defense. It just never worked and alot of posters on her scoffed at the idea cus they said we didnt have the personnel to go back. Looks like we are doing just fine with the same cast we had last year, and proved me right in thinking we were more suited to play a 43. The 34 is just too hard to get players for
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dolphan9954


Joined: 22 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manic wrote:
Yeah i loved the Croyel hire. I had been preaching for a few years that we needed to just abort the 34 defense. It just never worked and alot of posters on her scoffed at the idea cus they said we didnt have the personnel to go back. Looks like we are doing just fine with the same cast we had last year, and proved me right in thinking we were more suited to play a 43. The 34 is just too hard to get players for


To be fair, the improvement is in the technique of the secondary. The front 7 really was never a problem in the 3-4, in fact Odrick was dominant in the 3-4. It's arguable that the front 7 was just as good in the 3-4 or damn close. Starks, Soliai and Odrick were always a nasty DL. The difference is Wake has learned how to play the run now.
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phinmun


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bpastermack wrote:
I still think it's funny how people put one of our biggest needs this upcoming offseason as a pass rushing DE. With how Vernon continues to improve and impress and the pressure we are getting on QB's, I think that is one of the strong points of our team. Defensively altoether we have gotten better every week. We are a borderline top 5 defense in the NFL. Don't take my word for it

5th in the NFL in points per game allowed
5th in the NFL in opponents QB rating
5th in the NFL in sacks
2nd in the NFL in Yards per carry allowed

Those would be the major categories I would look at for any defense. The only thing we have not done well so far is causing fumbles. We have yet to cause even one fumble according to ESPN stats. That's highly unusual after 7 games.



This is a good post, but I do take issue with it's underlying message.

At this second, what's happening in the NFL is offense. There are occasionally strong defensive performances but they don't come every week (49ers/Giants vs 49ers/Cardinals) nor are the strong defenses of this league that strong anymore.

Let me ask, who's really dominant on defense in the NFL right now?

I'm not sure anyone is. I'd look to the 49ers but they got blown out against the a team they'll surely have to face if they want a Super Bowl appearance. Besides the 49ers, who else?

The point is, very few defenses are playing well right now. Being top-5 or top-10 is meaning less and less to me versus looking at a defense, watching them play and simply asking myself what I think a strong, Play-Off caliber offense would do against them.

In that regard, we are in trouble and that was my point.


I think it's great that our biggest strength (Front-7) looked good against a very bad Jets team. I love that we beat them and how we beat them. Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that no matter how well guys 'stepped up' in this game, it's going to matter more how well they step up against teams like the Patriots on down the road. Even the Bills will probably pose more of a challenge than the Jets did this past weekend.
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dolphan9954


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, if you look at the team it's hard to pick out many weaknesses worthy of a first round pick. WR or CB are the only true glaring ones, but the third choice is probably DE. Out of those three positions in the first round you have to make a draft board of those 3 positions and pick the best guy available. I mean obviously if we sign Dwayne Bowe that might knock WR down to the 2nd or 3rd round, or even if we sign other players in general. But certain positions don't meet the eye test and the opposite DE is one of them. Vernon is a solid piece, and I think he is an excellent 3rd DE and that is crucial especially in today's NFL. I think his ultimate future role on this defense is a JACK player. Stand him up on 3rd down, move him inside on passing downs, etc. He is a matchup problem because he is a great athlete.
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Russ57


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolphan9954 summed up my feelings pretty well. I am one who advocated going DL in the first round. That was because I thought our record would be worse and I didn't see a WR worthy of a top 15 pick but I did see DL guys that were.

If I could trade back, pick up another 2nd round pick, and get the TE from ND late in the first I'd be loving that. I think he could contribute sooner than a WR. Being they are from the same team Fasano should take him under his wing (even if he sees his future replacement).
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