Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Draft

The Dolphins will have the 19th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pathetic

I think that one word about sums up how the Dolphins ended the season. A season with so much promise. A season that started 3-0, then saw a 4 game losing streak and Bullygate, After a loss to Carolina left them at 5-6, they looked done. Then they turned it around and won 3 straight, including a game in the snow at Pittsburgh and the next week at home against New England. The playoffs were well within reach with Buffalo and the Jets left to play. We all know how the story ends so no need to go any farther. The question is, what changes need to be made?

Who, if anyone is safe? If you can Ireland do you let the new GM have the choice to replace Philbin? Does Philbin deserve another year? I hear people say that if you fire Sherman, it will stunt Ryan Tannehill's growth. Why is that? Other QB's come into the league and do fine without their college coach holding their hand.

Well, here is my opinion, like it or not. Start at the top. Ireland has had his chances and has failed. 2 things stick out in my mind this year. First, he failed to improve a lousy offensive line. Jonathan Martin clearly was not ready to start at left tackle (let alone play in this league). Jake Long had a fine year in St Louis before getting injured. Tyson Clabo was just ok after a horrible start. The other thing that sticks out is Dion Jordan. If you trade up to the 3rd pick in the draft, that guy better be an immediate starter. Jordan was not.

So you start by parting ways with Ireland. You want a top GM and you will not get a top GM if you tell him his hands are tied because he has to give Philbin another year. No. If you can get a top GM you tell him the team is his to run as he sees fit. If he wants to bring in his own staff, then so be it.

I think if Ross stays status quo, he may see a lot more empty seats next year.

My Prediction

Which Dolphin team will we see today? The one that started December off with a bang by thumping these same NY Jets 23-3 in New Jersey and followed it up with stirring wins over Pittsburgh in the snow and a statement win over New England? Or the one that came out flat and emotionless and laid a big goose egg in Buffalo last week? The Jets are playing for nothing but pride and don't think for one minute that they would love nothing more than to knock their division rivals out of the playoff chase. Don't think that they won't try to emulate what Buffalo did on defense last week. The Dolphins better have an answer for those blitzes today or it will be another long day. 

So what do I think then? Well, I've been going back and forth, but I think the Dolphins coaching staff will have at least addressed the blitzes Buffalo ran on them and have some plan in place to slow them down. If they didn't they shouldn't be coaching in the NFL. The Dolphins had success in the first meeting with the Jets on the ground and I think they will (should) try to establish it early on. On defense, they will stack the box to stop the Jets run game and try to make Geno Smith beat them with his arm.

So how do I see it? I say a low scoring game.....
Miami 13  NY Jets 6

Friday, December 27, 2013

Four Dolphins Selected to the Pro Bowl

Four members of the Dolphins have been selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. CB Brent Grimes, DE Cameron Wake, punter Brandon Fields and center Mike Pouncey will represent the Dolphins in Hawaii.

Monday, December 23, 2013

They Let Us Down....Again.

The Dolphins took the field yesterday with everything in front of them.  They had full control of their playoff destiny.  Very simple it was two wins and they were in.  They were the more talented team and they were playing well.  Also you would think they’d be seeking revenge after an unthinkable loss from earlier in the year.  With all that on the line, they never even got off the bus.
`           Twenty four hours later the Dolphins and their fans are still dealing with the fall out of an embarrassing performance against a 5 win team with a back up quarterback.  So what if one of their 5 wins were with that very same quarterback against you in October?  For the Dolphins to come out and play the way they did isn’t acceptable.  With a fan base that is losing interest and patience, yesterday was more of a reason to push them out the door.
            Miami was dominated in every aspect of the game yesterday.  The Bills ran the ball better, they blocked better, they passed better, they rush the quarterback better, they tackled better and they were just BETTER.  Miami did everything wrong and now will possibly be left thinking about a season that just slipped out of their hands.  Just like the first Bills game, the Ravens game, and collapses against New England & Carolina.
            I’m convinced that this team doesn't know how to deal with success.  Start the season 3-0 and then get blown out by the Saints and lose 4 straight.  Beat a strong Bengals team and then lose to the winless Bucs 10 days later.  Beat San Diego and then collapse against Carolina.  Win three straight including games against the Steelers & Patriots and then don’t even bother to show up in Buffalo.  See a trend here? 
            Sure there are a million things to blame.  You can talk about how the offensive line that was a bandage over a stab wound the past few weeks, and it fell a part against a tough Buffalo front.  Or how about an offensive coordinator who continues to give up on running the ball quicker then rats off the titanic.  It’s easy for me I’ll blame Joe Philbin, he didn't have this team ready to play, and he hasn't helped them take that next step.  Sure it’s good to win games against the Colts, Bengals & Patriots, but hey the Rams killed the Colts and the Jets beat the Pats, and there will be no playoff football in St. Louis or New York.
            As Sunday approaches we’ll hear more and more about how the Dolphins still have a good chance to get in the playoffs, and logically they do, but why should Dolfans have any faith?  This is a team that has knocked us down more then Ryan Tannehill was yesterday.  For once I’m Waiting for them to pick us up, and I could be waiting for a while. 

Billy Dowling
@BDowling33 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

So much for my bold prediction. The Dolphins can out flat and emotionless and played that way all day. They had no answer for Buffalo's defense. They looked like a shell of the team that beat New England last week. Now the Dolphins need help from those same Patriots this after noon. They need New England and San Diego to win today which would make Baltimore, Miami and San Diego all 8-7. That would be the only way for Miami to get the 6th seed if I am not mistaken. Then they would need a Baltimore loss and a win over the Jets next week. They would win a three way tiebreaker with San Diego and Baltimore and a two team tiebreaker with San Diego. I believe that is the only way they get in. Can we say GO NEW ENGLAND here?

Update:
Despite their putrid effort in Buffalo today, Miami is still in a decent position for that last wild card spot. Miami, San Diego and Baltimore are each 8-7. None of them, however control their own destiny. Bottom line for Miami, they need a three way tie or a two way with San Diego. Baltimore will be at Cincinnati and the Bengals will be playing for the 2nd seed and a bye (they do need help for that). San Diego will be home for Kansas City. Miami and Baltimore play at 1:00 so they will know their fate when their game starts. Kansas City is the 5th seed no matter what happens, so they may rest starters as they have nothing to play for.

And if you are wondering what happens if everyone loses? I can only assume the Dolphins would be eliminated because...the Jets are already eliminated and if they beat Miami next week, they will move into 2nd place in the AFC East based on divisional records.

My Prediction

This was a game that worried me at first. A divisional game in bad weather. The Dolphins having just beaten the Patriots, I thought maybe they were due for a let down. The Bills always play them tough and beat them in Miami earlier this year. But head coach Joe Philbin has this team focused. The offensive line is playing better. QB Ryan Tannehill is maturing. This team is on a roll and I don't think the Bills or the weather will stop them today.

Miami 24  Buffalo 10

Buffalo Weather

For those wondering about the weather in Buffalo, there has been freezing rain falling on the area this morning, but it should subside by game time. According to The Weather Channel, at kick off it should be 41 degrees, cloudy with the wind out of the south south west at 11 mph. Mild for Buffalo at this time of the year.

Dolphins Fans Message to Chris Berman


Late Night Chaos at Dolphins Hotel in Buffalo, NY

According to multiple reports at around 3:15 am or so a Fire Alarm was pulled at the Dolphins Hotel in downtown Buffalo. The team is staying at the Hyatt Regency and the alarm woke up the entire hotel of 396 rooms. The alarm went off quickly but it didn't stop the fire department and such emergency vechicals from going to the scene causing a little commotion making it difficult for the team and guests at the hotel to get back to sleep. Multiple Dolphins players took to twitter to give a play-by-play of the events and stated they had difficulty getting back to sleep.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Look On Field Installed for Sunday

The Endzones have been customized and the mid-field logo has been made larger as well



Sunday, November 17, 2013

MEDIA MALPRACTICE AT IT’S FINEST


By now there is not a human being alive that has not heard something about the Jonathan Martin / Richie Incognito controversy surrounding the Miami Dolphins. The smear merchants in the national media, led by the likes of ESPN insider Adam Schefter, ESPN radio host Mike Greenberg and lawyer/ blogger Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com, have been writing, tweeting and dispensing as much “information” as possible – the truth be damned. But it hasn’t been just the national smear merchants; the local ones have been out in full force as well. And why not, they have been asked on national television shows, national radio stations and they have become household names as well. Everyone searching for his or her 15 minutes of fame.

The problem with the rush for sound bites and clicks however has been, in a lot of cases, the truth. Just think of some of the things the con artists have continually said, that have now been refuted, and curiously enough, some of the things that the media has seemed to ignore.

We were originally told that Jonathan Martin met with Coach Joe Philbin in the spring and told him about the allegations of being bullied by Richie Incognito. ESPN ran out with some strong words like “cover up” and "lack of leadership" but later we learned that that meeting never took place. We’ve been told for weeks that the coaching staff gave the directive to Incognito to “toughen” Martin up. In fact both local and national media a like have talked about who ordered the “CODE RED”. But now according to Armando Salguero, of the Miami Herald, there is no reference, no text, and no order that ever took place. (Or at the least cannot be proven in any way.) And Richie Incognito did not site it in his recent grievance filed against the Dolphins.  And of course there was the story that constant fan and media punching bag, General Manager Jeff Ireland, told Martin’s agent, before Martin snapped, that he should just punch Incognito in the nose. Then it changed to after he snapped,  (the time frame being very important) and now the context has changed to more of a question, as in “if Richie was bothering him so much why didn’t Martin say anything or confront Incognito and just stand up for himself." Big difference. So the original media meme of the Dolphins organization knew for months, ordered a code red and management suggesting handling violence with violence, followed by a dramatic cover up has now turned into nobody knew, including the players and coaches around him, nobody suggested violence and there was no cover up. Not as interesting of a story, huh.

But what about the things we haven’t heard as much from the media. First, there was a supposed text from Martin to Incognito after he left the team saying he does not blame Incognito, just the "culture of the locker room."  That would immediately turn this into a mental health issue, but that does not ensure clicks.

Further, nobody in the media has really looked at the selection of David Cornwell as Martin’s attorney. This is has always been interesting to me. Cornwell was a finalist for the NFLPA’s job of Executive Director, but lost out to DeMaurice Smith and has been a critic of both since. He has also had an ongoing feud with super agent Drew Rosenthaus. Just look at the athletes he has represented and cases he has represented them in.  He is currently Alex Rodriguez attorney appealing the Yankees third basemen’s 212 game drug suspension. Wide Receiver Donte Stallworth called him from the back of a patrol car when he killed a man and was later found guilty of DUI manslaughter. He represented quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a supposed rape case in 2008, it later got resolved. MLB outfielder Ryan Braun originally used Cromwell when he tested positive for PED’s, they successfully dragged the reputation of the piss collector through the mud, and got Braun’s positive test and suspension overturned. A year later, Braun willingly took MLB’s suspension when his name came up in the Biogenesis Investigation. The list goes on and on. Cornwell is known by athletes as the one to get  “when you are in trouble.” The Washington Post did a story on him in 2008 comparing him to Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction, Winston Wolf or the ‘cleaner.” Why would someone who was supposedly a victim of bullying need a lawyer who is know for getting athletes out of trouble?  A professional spin-doctor? The media seems disinterested.

Another story the media shows little interest in is Jane Howard Martin, Jonathan’s mother. We have heard plenty about how she went to Harvard and is a corporate attorney for Toyota. What we haven’t heard as much is how she was a premier attorney on work place discrimination and harassment for 20 years before that. In fact in 2002 she wrote an article published in USA Today entitled ““Stop workplace harassment in your company”.  That sounds like more than a coincidence to me, but obviously not so much for the national media.    
       
We may never know what really happened between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. The media has already played the roll of judge, jury and executioner. The media took this story, had a meme about bullying and ran with it from day one. The truth was and still is secondary to them.  They painted a portrait of a locker room run by Neanderthals, picking on the gentle, educated soft spoken giant, and a front office and coaching staff that was cognizant and just as guilty as the Neanderthals, and either facilitated it or just looked the other way. In reality, at best it seems like a difference between two employees that nobody knew was going on, possibly even one of the employees. Or at worst, a well-orchestrated plan to feed a bogus story to the media that the supposed victims knew the media would love and run with.           

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley                       

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mike Tirico to interview Stephen Ross tonight

ESPN is reporting that Mike Tirico will interview Dolphins Owner Mr. Stephen Ross tonight. Either on the pregame show or at halftime.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Martin to Incognito: `I will murder your whole f—king family’”

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Things I Liked, Things I Didn't, Things To Look For Against The Buccaneers


It seems like the Dolphins last played a month ago. It was nice to just sit and watch the Bengals game again. As always, I pulled out some nuggets.
Things I Liked:
·      Cornerback Brent Grimes’s play. It is hard to believe this guy is only 5’9’’. Sure the 92-yard interception return for a touchdown was huge, but he comes up and sticks people on runs as well.  His initial hit on Bengals running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis forced a punt early on and his form tackle in overtime was a thing of beauty.  I hope the Fins are thinking about an extension.
·      How about Michael Egnew playing fullback! Most Dolfans saw him get castigated by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman on Hard Knocks last year. He easily could have tucked his tail and ran off to mommy and daddy, but instead he worked hard and now is getting credit by Sherman for Miami’s improved running game.  He threw some key blocks that helped running back Lamar Miller get his first 100 yard game in the pros.
·      Charles Clay bowling over Bengals defensive back Dre’ Kirkpatrick for a 13 yard gain. I wish Daniel Thomas could run that hard.
·      Cameron Wake is a beast!
·      Jimmy Wilson drilling WR Mohammed Sanu in the open field and Dannell Ellerbe coming up with the interception. (By the way, Karlos Dansby would have never been that far deep down field and never would have made that interception.)
·      Caleb Sturgis coming back and drilling a 44 yard field goal to tie the game with 13 seconds on the clock.
·      Quarterback Ryan Tannehill really impressed me this week. Not only for his game tying drive going 50 yards in under a minute. He went 20 /28 in the game completing over 70%, but the way he handled all of this media attention. He quickly is asserting himself as the face of the franchise and it is good to see.
This was a difficult week to be a Miami Dolphins fan, but I want to focus on the things I didn’t like about the Bengals game
Things I Didn’t Like:
·      Richie Incognito totally whiffed on Geno Atkins giving up an early sack (Didn’t think I was going to go there did ya.)
·      Daniel Thomas needs to be benched. He could not pick up 2 yards on 2 carries in overtime. We need to start seeing Mike Gilislee.
·      Why didn’t Lamar Miller cut left and take the ball into the end zone?
·      All season long I have harped on the Dolphins 3rd down defense for not getting off the field, but it is getting worse, not better.  On three separate occasions they Fins defense had 3rd and 10 and they gave up 17 yards, 18 yards and 26 yards. On a 3rd and 8, they gave up 19. On a 3rd and 16 they gave up 21. These plays are back breaking! Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to do something about this.
·      I don’t want to sound like too much of a homer, but how can the same referee call Brian Hartline for offensive pass interference at a critical point in the 3rd quarter, but not call Pac Man Jones for mugging Hartline in overtime? The calls against the Fins (or lack there of for them) have been atrocious the last couple of weeks. (Ok, I sound like a homer.)
The Buccaneers may be winless, but they do have some talent. They played hard against the Seahawks last week in Seattle and almost pulled off the upset.
Things To Look For Against The Buccaneers:
·      Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is considered one of the best run stuffers in the league. How now starting guard Nate Garner plays may go a long way in determining who wins.
·      Buccaneers rookie QB  Mike Glennon does not turn the ball over. Tannehill needs to protect the ball better than Glennon does in this game if the Fins want to win.
·      Tampa Bay rookie running back Mike James was impressive last week against the Seahawks. Dolphins need to bottle him up and put the game on Glennon’s shoulders.
·      Tannehill needs to be aware of Darrelle Revis at all times.
·      It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins players handle this week and how prepared they really are!
I think the Dolphins team uses this as a rallying cry and comes together as a team. I hope they are pissed and Philbin borrows a line from Coach Bill Yost and “leaves no doubt.” The Dolphins bully the Buccaneers (couldn’t resist) Prediction: Miami 31 Tamp Bay 13. Try to enjoy football Sunday and the game on Monday night. 

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley


In Case You Missed It.....

Richie Incognito sat down with Fox Sport's Jay Glazer for a one on one interview. The interview will be shown during the Fox NFL Sunday show that starts at noon today.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Embarrassed Dolphin Fan With Lots of Questions

I have to say that as a lifelong fan of the Miami Dolphins, I’m pretty embarrassed about this whole situation. Out of all the things we’ve had to endure as fans of this team, Ricky’s abrupt retirement, Marino quitting the front office after three weeks, a one and fifteen season, Ireland and Dez Bryant, Manning, Harbaugh, etcetera, etcetera…this is by far the most embarrassing.

That being said, there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

First off, why didn’t Jonathan Martin ever reach out to the coaching staff or maybe another player? Why didn't any other players step in? Things must not have been that bad if reports are true that Martin participated in stealing OL Josh Samuda’s car keys and moving his car to another location as a prank. Incognito even tweeted a picture of Martin behind the wheel of Samuda’s car during the prank. Was he just trying to fit in? After checking out some of Incognito’s tweets I even saw an Incognito selfie that included Martin while they sat next to each other on a flight to Houston. They look pretty chummy to me.

Secondly, why isn’t anyone bringing up Incognito’s past issues with drugs and alcohol? Is Martin the only one “ill” here? The voicemail that Incognito left could have been nothing more than a drunken rant left on a friend’s phone. Haven’t you ever insulted or threatened to “kill” one of your friend’s in jest? I call my friends assholes and pieces of shit all the time.

Just a few months ago NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington did a great piece on Incognito’s fight against alcohol and drug abuse. During an interview promoting his piece on Incognito, Darlington “challenges” the audience to watch the piece and that he sought out Incognito, not the other way around. Darlington says, “The mental illness aspect is the most important,” and that “he [Incognito] wants to change as a person.” Here's a link to the video version of the piece. Richie Incognito's Demons

My point is that it is difficult to know or understand the context of the remarks, especially in the complex culture of an NFL locker room. Not to mention the fact that it looks like we could be dealing with two mentally ill individuals.

It’s easy to sit back from a TV studio and criticize the parties involved without hearing both sides of the story or even the truth.

All of these former player pundits with their holier-than-thou attitudes are a bunch of hypocrites. Like they never made a rookie pick up a tab or played a mean prank.

“This league is a group of elite men. It is a fraternity. It is a brotherhood. It’s a lot of things and there is a membership,” says DE Cameron Wake. He goes on to say, “You have to pay your dues to get certain privileges.”

Was Incognito’s behavior over the top? Maybe. Is Martin blameless? Absolutely not. The coaching staff and GM Jeff Ireland were either na├»ve or just plain stupid. Either way, the fact that they were oblivious to what was going on shows a lack of institutional control. They better hope this team strings some wins together. If not, this could be the year Ireland loses his invincibility.







Monday, November 4, 2013

Dolphins Bring Back Moore

Finally, some football news. Miami Dolphins sign wide receiver Marlon Moore. Moore was recently let go by the San Francisco 49ers. He had 1 catch for 6 yards this season. Moore played for the Dolphins from 2010-2012. To make room for Moore the Fins let go of Ryan Spadola.


Report: Incognito Suspended

Jeff Darlington of NFL network and NFL.com has reported that LG Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins for conduct detrimental to the team. Considering that were pretty thin on the offensive line, the team must know something pretty bad that Incognito did that we don't know about. So we have now lost our starting tackle Jonathan Martin and Left Guard Richie Incognito in less than two weeks. Keep up the great work, Mr. Ireland and Mr. Philbin.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Martin goes AWOL from team

Dolphins RT Jonathan Martin has gone AWOL from the team after being the victim of a prank orchestrated by his teammates. As per Jay Glazer, Martin was in the team cafeteria and none of the other players wanted to sit with him. Then he reportedly “flipped out, smashed a food tray on the ground, took off, and they haven’t seen him since.” Hes now at a treatment facility for an unknown condition. I dont have an opinion on this until I know for sure what exactly happened, but he's been under a lot of pressure and this appears to be a serious issue.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's time to clean house....again.

Despite that we played in Gillette Stadium, a very difficult place to win games in, and that we faced one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now; A good football team would not have squandered a 17-3 halftime lead. A good coaching staff would not have allowed a missed field goal, no matter how critical it was, to change the momentum of the game as much as it did, and were talking about a complete 180. The whole cry for firing Jeff Ireland has grown a bit tiresome so I won't get too deep into that, even though he does indeed need to be fired. Joe Philbin and the rest of the staff continue to allow the same mistakes to cost us games over and over again. The 3-0 start is long gone and other teams picked up our weaknesses and the coaches continually fail to make adjustments to it. It's becoming more obvious what Ryan Tannehill's strengths are as a QB but it is rarely seen in games, granted because he's always being sacked thanks to this dreadful offensive line. It may be wrong to say this so soon, but I've seen this movie many times already. This season is over. Were not going to the playoffs and were not going to finish the season with a winning record. The only reason I could think of that could excuse Joe Philbin of keeping his job would be to fire his offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and Stephen Ross FINALLY pulls the plug on Jeff Ireland, who in my opinion has overstayed his welcome. And what Stephen Ross needs to understand is, there is good continuity and bad continuity. Ireland is unable to draft elite talent and continually overlooks critical positions. If you think I'm wrong, take a look at this offensive line.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brandon Gibson OUT for the Season with Knee Injury

Albert Breer of NFL.com reporting Brandon Gibson is likely out for the year with his knee injury he suffered in the first half vs New England. Torn Patella tendon is the reason

Matthews will need to step up. Will be interesting to see if the Fins also look to add a WR as well. WR Brian Tymes was just taken off our practice squad last week, talk about bad timing!

Dolphins Vs. Patriots Inactive List

The Dolphins and the Patriots have released their inactive lists for today's game:

For Miami it is the usual suspects, loaded with 2013 draft picks:

Will Davis - cornerback*
Mike Gillislee - running back*
Jamar Taylor - cornerback*
Dallas Thomas - guard / tackle*
Danny Watkins - guard
Will Yeatman - tackle
Pat Devlin - quarterback

*indicates 2013 draft pick

For New England there are a couple names that may be a benefit to the Dolphins:

Chris Barker - guard
Steve Beauharnais - linebacker
Juke Bequette - defensive end
Josh Boyce - wide redeiver
Tommy Kelly - defensive tackle
Aquib Talib - cornerback
Leon Washington - running back.

The loss of Aquib Talib makes the Pats defensive secondary weaker. He has 4 interceptions on the season and also missed last weeks game against the Jets.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gut Check Time

Week 8 in Foxborough is gut check time for the Miami Dolphins.

It’s time to see what this team is made of. After giving away a division game last week to the Buffalo Bills, this is a chance to make a statement in the division. Going on the road and getting a much needed win against the division leading New England Patriots will give this team something to build on. The Dolphins won’t see another division opponent until week 13 when they travel to New York to face the Jets. A Dolphin’s win and a Jet’s loss and they’re right back in second place in the AFC East.

It won’t be easy but it is probable. First off the Dolphins are healthier than the Patriots. The Dolphin’s D will be at full strength with LB D. Ellerbe back in the lineup. CB D. Patterson and DE C. Wake will be playing in their second game back from injury. Considering QB T. Brady has only thrown one touchdown in three games, hopefully the Dolphin’s defense can get back on track.

Of course the Pats will be without All Pro NT V. Wilfork and starting OLB J. Mayo. With these two key players out the Dolphins should run, run, run the ball. And then run it again! This would be a great week to build on last week’s 103 yard rushing performance by D. Thomas and L. Miller. The Pats are second to last in the NFL against the run. So that means the Dolphins should…run it again!

Things I Liked, Things I Didn't, Things To Look For Against The Patriots


I warned you last week that the Bills game was the type of game the Dolphins usually lose.  Little did I know that the Fins would go out of their way to do it. There wasn’t much to like about the game, and yet the Dolphins still should have won.
Things I Liked:
·      Miami ran the ball much better. Daniel Thomas ran the ball well, and didn’t dance as much. Lamar Miller had a nice 30-yard burst up the middle. I just wish the Fins had remembered that with 3 minutes left on the clock.
·      Jared Odrick continues to impress playing defensive tackle.
·      Ryan Tannehill trying to throw a block on the end around to Mike Wallace.
·      Brandon Gibson had his best game as a Dolphin. He had a great leaping, “1 knee equals 2 feet catch” extending the drive before the half. Plus 2 touchdown grabs.
·      Sacks by Reshad Jones and Dimitri Patterson.
·      Ryan Tannehill’s effort avoiding a sack and getting off a Hail Mary at the end of the game.
I told you, there wasn’t much to like.
Things I didn’t Like:
·      Tannehill’s pick six. Why even throw the ball? Gibson probably would not have gotten the first.
·      Stupid penalty by Don Jones.  It was a 40-yard penalty that was unnecessary, anyone could have downed the ball. It nullified a 74-yard punt by Brandon Fields. On a short field, the Bills went on to score.
·      It is tough to win games when you are down 14-0 nine minutes into a game. The Dolphins came out flat. . .again. I am losing faith in this coaching staff.
·      Tannehill’s 2nd pick.  What was he looking at? Turnovers are obviously bad, in the redzone they are unacceptable.
·      Dolphins getting a turnover, deep in Bills territory and coming up empty after a Caleb Sturgis missed field goal.
·      Reshad Jones missing a tackle in the hole, Bills fullback goes for 18 yards.
·      Wallace still seemed to need to slow down for Tannehill’s deep ball.
·      Dolphins 3rd down defense still giving up big yards. 3rd and 15, the Bills got 21. 3rd  and 17, the defense gives up a 28-yard gain. 3rd and 7, Jimmy Wilson misses a tackle and gives up 8 yards. 3rd and 11, Bills pick up 18 on the play and tack on 15 more for a roughing the passer penalty on Jelani Jenkins. 3rd and 9, they give up 12.  These are momentum-changing plays.
·      The fumble. Why call a pass? I know it has been debated all week and the players and the coaches defended the play call, but it makes no sense. The Bills only had 4 possessions in the second half to that point. 3 punts and a field goal. Bills QB had been sacked 4 times, hurried 10 times and knocked down 10 times before their final drive. You had the ball at the 50. Worse case scenario you make a guy, who 2 weeks prior was on the practice squad, drive the length of the field to win. Bad play call.
Things To Look For Against The Patriots:
·      Rob Gronkowski. I don’t want to seem like a broken record, but stopping the Pats tight could be the key to the game. He had 8 catches for 114 yards last week in his season debut.
·      Keeping Tannehill upright. Pats defensive end Chandler Jones has 8 sacks on the season.
·      The Dolphins need to pound the rock and keep quarterback Tom Brady off the field. With Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo out for the season, the Dolphins need to see if they can run on the Pats defense.
·      Tannehill needs to protect the football if the Dolphins hope to pull off the upset.
The Dolphins have not won in Foxborough since 2008. I think the Dolphins have the talent to beat the Patriots, but like I said earlier, I am losing faith in the coaching staff. And if it is the Fins coaches vs. Bill Belichick and his coaching staff, I have to take Belichick. Prediction: Patriots 31 Dolphins 13.  Have a great weekend and hopefully enjoy the game.

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dolphins-Raiders to play in London

The official Miami Dolphins twitter account just posted that the Dolphins will travel to London next season to play the Oakland Raiders. The game was originally to be played in Oakland but will now be played in the UK. The scheduled date of the game has not been announced.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Conditional Late Round Pick for McKinnie

The Dolphins have sent a conditional late round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for OT Bryant McKinnie. It's likely that some kind of shake up is coming along the Dolphins offensive line. They could insert McKinnie at LT and move Jonathan Martin over to RT where he played as a rookie or they could just have him compete with Clabo for the RT job. Is this a desperation move by Miami? It could be. Ryan Tannehill can't take to much more of hits like this....
McKinnie has given up only one sack this season compared to Clabo's 8, then again he has been inactive the past 2 weeks.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/21/3702801/miami-dolphins-trade-for-veteran.html#storylink=cpy

BREAKING: Dolphins trade for Bryant McKinnie

No details of the trade as of yet but the Miami Dolphins have traded for OT Bryant McKinnie of the Ravens.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buffalo vs Miami PREDICTION

The bye week is over and the Fins are back in action, I have seen alot of Dolphins fan in "panic mode" after 2 losses. But's keep things in perspective and remember the Fins didn't lose to some garbage teams here. There is no shame in losing AT the Saints and at home vs the defending champs in a close game. Miami is 3-2 and the easier part of the schedule is upon us. Starting this week with a beaten up Buffalo team.

I am not going to do an in-depth write up this week because I don't believe this game deserves one. Look at each teams rosters, Miami has far superior talent on both sides of the football. I also feel they have a big edge in the coaching staff department as the few times I have seen Buffalo this year I have not liked what I have seen out of rookie head coach Doug Marrone.

Cam Wake is back at 100% and will be playing and with no knee brace and one would like to think that with the bye week we will see some improvement with the Dolphins offensive line. The Bills are starting a 3rd string QB who is banged up. I think this game will be ugly and get ugly quick. Easy Miami win   Miami  41  Buffalo 10

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things I Liked, Things I Didn't, Things To Look For Against The Bills


The Dolphins had an excellent bye week . They got some much needed time off to heal while gaining ground in the playoff race with the  Colts, Titans, Jets, Bills, Browns and Ravens all losing. Speaking of the Ravens, I got a chance to  look at the game again. It was brutal. There were lots more things to dislike then like, even with the game coming down to the final minute.
Things I Liked:
·      You know it is a tough day when your first positive note in a game is “Brandon Fields is a weapon.” By the way, Brandon Fields is a weapon.
·      Olivier Vernon easily had his best game all season. He continually applied pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and picked up a sack along the way. He also made some nice plays in the backfield and in the open field.
·      Paul Soliai’s lunging tackle of Ravens running back Ray Rice, causing a fumble.
·      Koa Misi had a very good game.
·      Ryan Tannehill made 2 big plays rolling to his left. The first one on 3rd and 10, to Brian Hartline, to pick up a big first down on the touchdown drive before half. The second on the big play to Brandon Gibson on 4th and 10 to give the Fins a chance to tie or win late in the 4th quarter.
·      Dion Jordan’s athleticism and enormous wingspan caused the interception returned for the touchdown.
Not a whole lot to like, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Things I Didn’t Like:
·      Careless clock management cost the Fins. Burning a timeout in the 1st quarter, on your first possession on 3rd and one is unacceptable. Not getting the first down made it even worse. Late in the game, on 3rd and 14, the offense was obviously confused, up against the play clock they burn another one. The next play the Dolphins give up a sack. That wasted timeout cost the Fins on their final drive when they needed a time out instead of spiking the ball.
·      Why have Lamar Miller carry the ball twice on short yardage (and not make it ) but have Daniel Thomas as the target for a screen pass on 3rd and 16 (and not make it)? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
·      Dolphins came out flat.
·      3rd and 5, the Fins give up 41 yards to Torrey Smith. On 3rd and 11, they give up 11.  3rd and 5, Flacco scrambles for 14. 3rd and 10, the Dolphins give up 22. See a pattern? Dolphins 3rd down defense let them down.
·      It’s difficult to pick out which offensive lineman played worse. Richie Incognito looked lost on several plays. Jonathan Martin was manhandled a couple times during the  game. Tyson Clabo continues to remind Dolfans of Marc Columbo.  John Jerry got pushed around.  Poor, poor, poor.
·      Tannehill needs better pocket awareness. Though the offensive line play was bad, there were a couple of times when he held the ball too long, and he could have taken off and scrambled for positive yards.
·      Tannehill and wide receiver Mike Wallace  still need lots of work on their timing. 
·      Too many drops the entire game, especially on the final drive when Miami needed someone to make a play.
I could list a couple more things I didn’t like, but why harp on the negative. That’s what bye weeks are for, to get the team moving in the right direction and forget the past.
Things To Look For Against The Bills:
·      Mario Williams. The offensive line is going to have its hands full all day with him.  They need to account him  on every pass play or it could be a very long day for Tannehill.
·      C.J. Spiller is the type of small,  fast back that has given the Fins defense fits. Darren Sproles anyone? Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to come up with an answer for him.
·      The Bills are ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Stopping the Bills running attack will be key if the Dolphins are going to win.
·      Look for the Dolphins to try and give Tannehill more time. That could be tight end Dion Sims staying in to block, a running back to chip block, or both.
·      The Bills are ranked 28th against the run. Look for the Fins to try and pound the rock. Could Miller get his first 100-yard game of the season? Maybe we see an end around with Mike Wallace or Marcus Thigpen.
·      Kevin Coyle has had 2 weeks to prep for a rookie QB in his 2nd start. I expect to see some exotic looks to try and confuse him and cause some turnovers.
This game makes me nervous. It is the type of game the Dolphins should win, but have lost in the past. The Fins have been outgained on offense in every game so far this year, I expect that trend to be reversed. The rest does Miami good. Prediction: Dolphins 24 Bills 10. Everyone have a great weekend and enjoy the game!

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dolphins looking to make a Trade

Nick Barlotta of FootballNation.com is reporting the Dolphins are trying to make a trade for 1 of 3 players. They are RB MJD of Jacksonville, OT Jordan Gross of Carolina, and OT Michael Roos of Tennessee. According to Barlotta the Fins would only trade for 1 of these players as they are only offering one draft pick.

I would qualify this as a "rumor" at best so take it with a grain of salt.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things I Liked . . . Bye Week Edition


If I had told you the Dolphins would be 3-2 at their bye week before the season started, you would have been thrilled, admit it. The schedule the first five weeks seemed brutal, having to face Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco in that order. You would have taken it.  But after opening up 3-0, many fans are disappointed with the Fins 3-2 mark at the break.  The bye week comes at a great time for the team and gives me an opportunity to look at how the season is going so far.
Things I Liked:
·      Ryan Tannehill. I went into this season with a cautious optimism about Ryan Tannehill. I saw a lot of good things last season, and heard all the reviews this off-season, but, as a long-suffering dolfan waiting for our next franchise QB, I didn’t want to get too excited.  Tannehill’s play so far this season has indicated that my optimism is warranted.   He is averaging 276 yards a game, which ranks him 9th in the NFL. He has shown he can make all the throws, though his deep ball needs work.  He has proven that his  ability to run can be a weapon,  and obviously he can take a hit.  He needs to hold onto the ball, and he still stares down receivers way too much, but he has shown great improvement over last season and is developing into the franchise QB Dolphins brass imagined. He is the team MVP at the break and a main reason the Fins are 3-2.
·      Charles Clay. Tannehill might be team MVP, but  tight end Charles Clay is the biggest surprise. Like many dolfans, when Dustin Keller went down with a season ending knee injury, I wondered what the Fins would do. Trade? Waiver wire pick up? Neither, it was next man up and Clay has exceeded everyone’s expectations.. He has 3 touchdowns on the year. ( 2 TD receptions, 1 rushing TD.) He ranks 3rd on the team with 23 receptions and ranks 2nd in receiving yards with 297.  5 of Clay’s 23 receptions are over 20 yards, 2  are over 40 yards.  Those are big  chunk plays! With all the money that Miami spent on revamping their receiving core, it has been Clay who might be Tannehill’s most trusted target and big play receiver.
·      Paul Soliai. I know Pro Football Focus rates Randy Starks better than Soliai, but in my mind Soliai anchors the defensive line. He constantly needs to be double-teamed. Several times a game he is the driving force that collapses the pocket around opposing QB’s. I would not be surprised if Soliai signs an extension  and Starks does not.
·      Jared Odrick. Now that Odrick is playing in his correct position at defensive tackle, his play has looked like the 1st round pick the Dolphins had hoped for. He is another disruptive force in the backfield, can stay on the field for all downs, and his constant hustle and effort catches your eye.
·      Caleb Sturgis. I already feel much more confident in Sturgis then I did in Dan Carpenter last year. A lot was made of Miami using a 5th round pick on a kicker, but current hindsight makes it look like a smart move by Ireland and Company.
Strangely enough, even though I am pleased with the Dolphins winning record at the break, there have been plenty of things that I haven’t like so far this season.
Things I Didn’t Like:
·      The Offensive Line. The lines poor play has been talked about ad nausea the past couple weeks. Funny how losing magnifies your flaws.  The most upsetting part for me about their play on a whole is watching them get whipped one on one. Jonathan Martin has justified all of our preseason fears. I noted early on that Tyson Clabo looked eerily like Marc Columbo, sadly he has proven me right.  Guards Richie Incognito and John Jerry have not been any better, If they do not improve,  O Line coach Jim Turner should be shown the door.  DolphinsTalk.com blogger Darren Shore suggested trying Jerry at left tackle, a position he proved capable of playing in 2011 when Jake Long got hurt. You could then swap Martin back to right tackle or even try him at guard.  I don’t know what it is going to take, but something needs to get done and fast or the season could crumble apart quickly. 
·      The running game. I realize this goes hand in hand with O line play, but it is not all on them.  Lamar Miller is averaging a very respectful 4.2 yards per carry, but he isn’t getting enough touches. He needs more than 10 carries a game (his current average.) Daniel Thomas’s play has been poor, which is why I originally predicted he wouldn’t make the final 53-man roster.  Mike Sherman's play calling has not helped.  It may be a pass happy league, but teams that can run the football win games, especially in November, December and January.  A running game will make the passing game better and would help keep Tannehill upright.  And if it is 3rd and inches, go with the QB sneak!
·      3rd Down Defense. Week in and week out the Fins have a problem getting off the field on 3rd down. It seems that they have no problem shutting teams down on 1st and 2nd downs but collapse when 3rd comes along and give up big yardage.
·      Opposing Tight Ends. We were told this off-season the Dolphins revamped their line-backing core to get younger,  faster and improve in pass coverage. Yet so far, opposing tight ends have been having career days against Miami. To be fair, the Fins have faced some good tight ends, and it does not all fall on the linebackers, (Reshad Jones has been beaten as well, ) but this is unacceptable and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to come up with something.
·      Dion Jordan. He has been effective, but in a very limited role. There is no apparent  reason the coaching staff is handling him with kid gloves.  I realize he was hurt, but you traded up to get him for a reason, it is about time we start to see him more.
·      2013 Draft class. I was expecting more of an impact. When your 5th round selection of a kicker has had the biggest impact, something is wrong. Like with Jordan, injuries to cornerbacks Will Davis and Jamar Taylor have played a part, but that is no excuse for the rest. The draft class has under performed. Third round pick offensive tackle Dallas Thomas has been inactive for EVERY game. It is even more upsetting when I see the Chicago Bears starting Jordan Mills at right tackle and he was selected 2 rounds after Thomas. The draft report on running back Mike Gillislee was he was a good pass blocking back, yet he has only been active for 1 game. Thomas and Gillislee are even more upsetting when considering Miami’s problems with protecting Tannehill. And when Taylor was in the game,  Dolfans wished he were inactive.
The big question coming out of the break will be what the Dolphins look like going forward. I don’t know what to expect. Hopefully, they will get healthy with a week off. A couple of things I hope to see moving forwards.
Things To Look For For the Rest of the season:
·      Tannehill using his feet more to get out of trouble. Some of the sacks can be blamed on Tannehill holding onto it too long. I would like to see him step up in the pocket and take off a little more. It will give opposing defenses one other thing to worry about.  While doing so, he needs to protect the football better.
·      More Dion Jordan. Olivier Vernon started slow, but has picked it up the last few weeks. Even so, Jordan is a playmaker and needs to be out on the field. If he can’t get out there for any reason other that injury, then there is a problem.
·      Hopefully Dimitri Patterson and Cam Wake are back healthy. That would  be a big improvement for our defense.
·      Look for more tight end Dion Sims on pass plays. He can help out with blocking and be a safety valve for Tannehill.
·      More carries for Miller. More offensive touches for Marcus Thigpen. Fewer touches for Daniel Thomas.
I am really excited to see what this team looks like after the bye. I expect them to come out blazing against the Buffalo Bills. The homer in me could see them going 13-3, running the table against everyone and splitting with the New England Patriots. The realist in me could see them splitting with the Pats and the New York Jets.  I also see tough games against the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Charges (both at home), and losable games on the road, like the Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers ( I know the Steelers suck, but it could be a trap game with the Patriots the following week.) Prediction : I am going to split the difference and say the Fins finish at 11-5 and make the playoffs.  I hope everyone enjoys the bye week and has a great weekend!

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley