Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bandwagon Fin Fans Pick a New Team, New Team then Loses for 1st time All Year

The Dolphins constant losing has forced some fans to start rooting for other teams as seen in this video below. Funny part is, a week after this was taken the Panthers (his new favorite team who hadn't lost all year) then lost to Atlanta. So, memo to the Father and Son in this video, maybe its not the Dolphins it's just that you have a black cloud over your head and every team you root for you jinx and they become losers. Just Sayin!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dolphins 2016 Opponents

HOME : New England, NY Jets, Buffalo, Tennessee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Arizona and San Francisco
AWAY: New England, NY Jets, Buffalo, San Diego, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Seattle and St. Louis 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Week 13: Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Sun Life Stadium
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein

As the season has about come to a close, the Miami Dolphins welcome in the limping Baltimore Ravens in a battle of 4-7 teams. 

It has been another forehead slapping season in South Florida, as the Miami Dolphins all but sealed their fate with their 7th loss of the season and the 5th defeat in its many tries within the division.  While there are many things to complain about, one thing is certain:  The Dolphins are faced with ANOTHER rebuild after the coaching staff (Philbin, Lazor and Coyle) have all been released.  Dan Campbell is now coaching to at least give himself an interview for the HC spot once the season ends.  Bill Lazor was fired on Monday, after failing to establish a sound running game and to continue to the growth of Ryan Tannehill.  In steps QB coach Zac Taylor, who promises to give the reigns to
Tannehill with the ability to audible out of situations as he sees fit.  The last 5 games will also be telling for the front office and what to do with many key positions, that includes QBs.  I for one, am a big fan of Tannehill and believes he is the guy, but its becoming less apparent that he will be beyond next season.

Lets move on to this weeks game.  The Ravens come to town after pulling off a miraculous win over the Browns on Monday nights.  They will ride that momentum into south beach.  The biggest difference between these two franchises, is that the Ravens work of Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome has kept this team competitive, even with the losses of Terrell Suggs, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith and their franchise QB in Joe Flacco.  Miami could really use their blue print moving forward.  Here are the keys to this weeks game:

1)  Convert more third downs then what you lose- this has been a troublesome spot this season and it needs to change going forward.  Miami has dug themselves into holes each week, whether its not running the ball effectively or taking sacks or penalties, this team is in a hole seemingly every third down.  Taylor must get this team in third and manageable to convert these conversions.  It will build confidence and put the Ravens on their heels

2)  Devante Parker- Taylor needs to get the ball in his hands.  After a 4 catch, 80 yard performance in his first opportunity this season, he showed what made him the 14th pick overall.  Parker can do some damage, especially against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

3)  Win the line of scrimmage- This goes for both OL and DL.  Both units have struggled all season to establish the run and protect the QB AND get after the QB and stop the run respectively.  If Suh jumped on his teammates last week and they get kicked around defensively.  This is the time to win the battles up front.  This should help lead to victory.  Conversely, Tannehill needs to be protected.  Far too many times he is getting tagged.  His durability has never been in question, but it can start if he keeps getting killed week in and week out.

4) RUN A HURRY UP OFFENSE- when Philbin and Lazor were here, they wanted to implement a hurry up, fast paced offense.  We have yet to see one, minus the 2 minute offense.  Taylor, who was with Tannehill in Texas A&M, where it was a fast paced system.  If Tannehill is getting more control of the offense, lets see if this gets implemented.  And the home field advantage of the heat, can become a factor in this game.  Does Taylor have the guts to run a hurry up?  We will see on Sunday

5)  Finish Drives- Another problem all season is the stall out inside opponent territory.  Miami needs to put up points on multiple drives to establish themselves as more dominant.  Even if its field goals, points matter.  Unfortunately, Miami is not putting up much.

At the end, this game comes down to who wins the battle up front.  Baltimore, even though they struggle, has shown they can get after the QB and protect theirs.  This will be the deciding factor.

Ravens 21- Dolphins 17

Monday, November 30, 2015

The offense and Ryan Tannehill

As we get ready to close the book on a very disappointing season, the Miami Dolphins announced today that they have fired offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. While there were strides made last season, the 2015 products has been nothing short of disastrous. The Dolphins averaged under Lazor in 2014 24.3 points per game (11th in NFL). They were also 17th in passing at 233.1 yards per game and 12th in rushing at 117 yards per game. With tons of optimism coming into this season, the offense has fallen flat. With the team not addressing their offensive line woes, the a Dolphins sputtered to a 1-3 start which led to the firing of Joe Philbin. Dan Cambell hired Al Saunders to assist Lazor with the offense but the offense has continued to fall off, even after putting up 82 points the two games following the bye week. Currently, the offense is ranked 17th in pass yards per game at 244 and 27th in rushing at 91.7 yards per game.

Based on these stats alone, called for all the changes to be made. The rush yards per game being down 26 yards year over year is troublesome. Granted, the Dolphins have been in a hole every game but two this season, has forced more passing and less running. But it seems that the run was abandoned after only a few attempts. For example, the Dolphins had Lamar Miller rush for 20 yards on the opening drive and go for not much there after. They fell down 7-0 and felt the need to pass. With the lack of rushing, the offense has become one dimensional and has allowed opposing defenses to get after the weakest link on the team, the offensive line.

While we can blame the woes to horrible play calling, the franchise QB, Ryan Tannehill also needs to be held accountable. I tweeted a quote from Armando Salguero this morning, showing a quote from Ryan Tannehill regarding the offense. It seems based on this quote, the offense is just going through the motions. There is a possibility, that the team tuned out Bill Lazor. Ryan Tannehill, at times, seem to just shake his head at the putrid protection up front. When Pouncey went down against the Jets, 70% of Jamil Douglas' snaps were at his feet, causing disruption with the timing routes. Receivers also have had no separation. The quick hitting plays are getting read by opposing defenses regularly. There is nothing dynamic about the play calling when opposing teams are stuffing the quick routes and zone read runs. Play calling has been horrible, execution has been worse.

Now we come to the main part of the offense. The quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is signed through 2021 but with team options beginning in 2017. So Tannehill has at least one more year under center, with his fourth OC beginning in 2016 and his third HC. Let's take s look deeper at his stats through week 12:

Ryan Tannehill stats through 12 weeks:

7th in yards passing (2,991)
9th in yards per game (271.9)
T-24th yards per attempt (7.2)
9th in TDs (20)
T-7th INT (11)
8th in 20+ pass plays (41)
T-2nd in 40+ pass plays (13)
4th in sacks (33)
26th in passer rating (88.7)

While we look at these stats and see some progression in his long ball, which have become dimes compared to the severe over throws and under throws we we're accustomed to. The sacks continue to kill this team. Miami is also under 30% on third downs for the season. This can be placed on Tannehill but let's consider the OL play has not helped. Look at the situations for a majority of their third downs. I wish I could tell you what their average third down yardage has been for the season, but they have to average 7-10 yards per third down play. Miami has become one of the more penalized teams and their offense line is dead last again. While we can always blame the QB for the woes, the front office lack of providing even mediocre protection for Tannehill has caused a majority of the problems on offense this year.

Tannehill is our QB, through 2016 at least. But his career will be defined by the front office decisions this off season. What HC will be in place? What system will be run by this HC/OC? What changes will be made to shore up the OL, CB and LB? The team has talent. With Suh, Reshad Jones, Jarvis Landry, Devante Parker(flashed his potential yesterday), the team has some top end talent. They need to get better back ups and better starters at core areas. With five weeks left, more questions than answers continue to be the theme for this team, and we have a long off season to look forward to. It will start with the changes at the top, let's see if Ross really wants a winner.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rants Before Kickoff, Hue Jackson Moves Up

In reality the Dallas game was a microcosm of the Dolphins franchise for as long as I can remember, but not to age myself too much, at least the Joe Philbin/Dan Campbell era. Think about it, playoff implications on the line, coming back home, after a win, playing against a beatable team . . . and the Dolphins self-destruct.  Jay Ajayi gains 18 yards, 1st and 10 on the 28, called back by a Jason Fox holding penalty; 2 plays later Ryan Tannehill throws a pick 6.  Olivier Vernon sacks Tony Romo on 3rd and 8, pinning the Cowboys inside their own 5-yard line, but a ridiculous penalty on corner back Jamar Taylor, gives the Boys an automatic first down.  What ensues, the Fins defense can’t get off the field, and it’s 14-0.  Lamar Miller carried the ball the first two snaps of the game, first one went for 12 yards, the second carry for 9 yards; so Lamar Miller got 5 more carries for the entire game? Inopportune penalties, Ryan Tannehill turnover, defense can’t get off the field especially on 3rd down, abandoning the run – sure this debacle happened last week, but couldn’t that exact description be used for games in 2014 or 2013 or for more than most games over the past 15 years? It is time for a change.

Miami Dolphins New Head Coach Rankings:

1)   Hue Jackson – He moved ahead of Dan Campbell this week because Campbell needs the Dolphins to finish with a winning record to get the permanent gig. This week stories came out that the Front Office and coaching staff disagrees on Ryan Tannehill’s ceiling; this almost paves the way for Jackson.  If he can make Andy Dalton almost seem like a franchise QB, maybe he can work the same magic with RT. Plus I think Jackson could bring Jim Schwartz in as defensive coordinator.  This would be the dream scenario
2)   Dan Campbell – He moves  down a spot. Just like I said last week, if he wins, he stays, if he makes the playoffs he definitely stays. Both prospects are quickly slipping.
3)   Sean Payton – This is a popular name attached to the Dolphins. It checks all the boxes. The media meme with Steve Ross is he will want a big name.  You could easily replace Peyton’s name with Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher.  I don’t like any of them. Please name me the successful Head Coach that took his 2nd team to the Super Bowl after coaching for a decade somewhere else? The Dolphins have been down that road with Jimmy Johnson, it rarely works.  And usually leaves you looking for another Head Coach within 4 years.  Even worse, Payton may cost you draft picks.
4)   Dirk Koetter – He has been able to get the most out of his rookie QB and has resurrected Doug Martin’s career, he should get some sniffs for a Head Coaching gig. His recent comments about analytics will hurt him with teams that are spending more and more on it these days.

Everyone try and enjoy the game. 


Week 12 preview: Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-4)
Met Life Stadium
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts

At 4-6, the Miami Dolphins face quite possibly their biggest test.  Can they keep their slim playoff hopes alive?  With a win, the Dolphins move back to 5-6 and a tie with the Jets.  More importantly, they will get a win in the conference which may help them down the road.  A loss basically ends the season and the search for a new head coach begins.

How will the Dolphins get a win in a tough environment?  Here are some keys to success:

1) Stop the Run- as most of you are aware, Chris Ivory gashed the Dolphins in week 4.  Miami has had an inability to shed blocks and stuff the run consistently.  To force the issue, look for Miami to put an extra guy in the box.  This also means they need to win their 1 on 1 match ups with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.  It is imperative they get after Ivory to force Fitz to beat them with his arm

2) Sack the QB- Miami has been getting ton of pressures since the bye week but it needs to lead to more sacks.  Vernon has been on a terror and while the Jets OL is banged up with Nick Mangold out, it is up to Suh and Co. to get after Fitz and force him into bad throws and turnovers

3) Is there a page in the playbook for running?- FEED LAMAR MILLER.  He is gashing defenses week after week but yet Lazor abandoned the run.  Miller and Ajayi need to touch the ball 30 times to win this game today.  Will it be the same old same old?  Let's hope not

4) Big plays by Tannehill- RT needs to continue to get the ball down the field to stretch the defense.  With Revis out today with a concussion and Cromartie rated as the worst CB in the league (per PFF), Tannehill needs to exploit some match ups with Landry and more importantly Jordan Cameron. 

5) Get Parker going- Its time to let the lion out its cage.  Parker needs to start getting more reps and the ball thrown in his direction.  He is too dynamic and too big of a playmaker to continue to sit behind Greg Jennings.  Hopefully Parker gets 20-30 snaps today with a few catches.

This game is the season for the Dolphins.  If they didn't give the game away last week to Dallas, this team would be in the hunt and possibly taking over a higher seed with a win.  It is now desperation time and with the results of the season,, this team is not good under pressure.  The road game will be tough and the Jets will continue to gash the D.  However, the loss of Revis will hurt the Jets and Miami will make one more big play to win.

Dolphins 21- Jets 20

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

RUMOR: Fins Headed back to London in 2016

There is a rumor circulating this morning among NFL circles that the Miami Dolphins will once again be headed back to London in 2016 to play a game. This time though the Dolphin's won't be giving up a home game. The rumor is the Miami @ Cincinnati game next year in 2016 will take place over the pond.

DolphinsTalk.com hasn't been able to confirm this rumor at this time. More on this developing story as we get more information.

UPDATE:: Rumor is not true and Miami won't be going to London. The NFL announced their 2016 London Schedule and Miami is not a part of it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Impressive, But Can They Keep It Going?

The Fins showed some grit last week. Down by 13 early, I like many others,  thought another blowout was on the way. But the young guns came to play. Rookie free agent  linebacker Zach Vigil’s blocked punt ignited the Dolphins, and they were able to squeak out the win. Surprised? Shouldn’t be, the Eagles have a lot of similarities to the Fins. It is the type of team that Miami should beat if they are on their game. But it was still impressive especially when you factor it was their 3rd straight road game.  The wheels could have easily come off the wagon, down by double digits, giving up another embarrassing safety, but they battled back and truly showed me something. It is the type of win that I doubt  Joe Philbin would have been able to coax out of this team but Dan Campbell can.
Before last week’s game I alluded to seeing what the young guys have. We certainly got to see it. Along with Vigils’s big special teams play, RB Jay Ajai galloped for 48 yards on only 6 attempts. Corner back Bobby McCain played 95 out of 96 snaps on defense and DE Chris McCain got a big sack on Sam Bradford that knocked Bradford from the game.  The young guys came to play. Now can they continue it against Dallas?
Today starts the string of “quality” QB’s the Fins are going to face, albeit that Tony Romo is coming off short term IR.  With the Dolphins line backing core banged up and showing zero ability to cover the tight ends when healthy, Romo will certainly be looking for Jason Witten & Gavin Escobar.   Will the Dolphins be able to stuff  running back Darren McFadden and the highly praised Cowboys offensive line?  Miami should be able to score points on offense, keeping the running game in check and controlling the Dallas Tight End’s should be the key to the game. Romo scares me, but I think the Fins win the game 27-17.
A caveat to last week – Do I think Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is still the true front runner for the Miami Dolphins Head Coaching job? Yes and No. Yes I still think he is the front runner, but I do think if Dan Campbell finishes with a winning record it will be hard to replace him.  It will be impossible to replace him if somehow the Fins make the playoffs.  So right now,  while Miami is still in playoff contention Campbell still needs to be looked at as the front runner.  

Miami Dolphins New Head Coach Rankings:

  1) Dan Campbell – He has to be the front runner with a winning record and the Fins still in Playoff contention

2)   Hue Jackson – Tannebaum #1 target.  There will be competition to get him, rumors have it that the Titans are already interested as well.

3)   Urban Meyer – Any Dolphins HC list needs to include a big name, just so the media can continually harp on the meme that Steve Ross will want a big name. But Meyer could make sense, plus it would be a huge bonus for Michigan to get Meyer from Ohio State.

4)   Dirk Koetter – Will not be a popular name amongst Dolfans, but has a relationship with Mike Tannebaum 

Everyone enjoy the game!  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rants Before Kickoff, Waiting For The Hue Jackson Watch To Begin

It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for Dolfans the last 5 weeks. The reality of a once promising season came crashing down but was given life support with the firing of Joe Philbin and the hiring of interim HC Dan Campbell.  Though history was against Campbell’s success, it seemed at first that enthusiasm and competition was enough to breath life back into the 2015 season. But then reality struck, sure Campbell may be enough to get the Fins to beat teams they should, (which was obviously missing against the Jags) however not enough to compete with the better teams. His inexperience in time management has been costly, and the play calling still questionable.  The Miami Dolphins are still the same organization they have been for the last 12+ seasons.  Bad. It’s not easy for me to write this.  I have always put my faith in the organization and supported their moves believing in the process. I’ve been a homer. It hasn’t worked. After watching the whipping by the Bills last week I had to admit several obviously sad things to myself, and Campbell not being the answer is certainly one of them. But that’s not the only one.

The talent level is not there.  The team is not close. (Whew! It feels better to say it out loud.)  General Manager Dennis Hickey has made some good picks, but has still left many areas void of talent.  I am not ready to jump off the DeVante Parker bandwagon, but with Landry, Mathews, and Stills already on the roster, was WR the best pick in round #1? A trade back while obtaining other assets, especially since the Fins were missing there 3rd round pick from the Stills trade would have made more sense. Was Jordan Philips the best selection in round #2 since we had already signed Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell the last 2 off seasons and had plenty of promising youngsters on the roster? Maybe a middle linebacker would have been nice. To go into the season with Louis Delmas as part of any safety solution was ludicrous. Glaring needs at guard and cornerback were essentially ignored or at best were afterthoughts.  But there’s more.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not the answer.  Miami Dolphin fans so wanted him to be. We believed the hype. We convinced ourselves of the improvement because the numbers got better, but the results have not.  He still wilts under pressure. He has a horrible record against AFC East opponents and a losing record overall.  Dolfans need to ask themselves, do they feel confident in Tannehill steering a 4th quarter comeback drive when you need it the most? The answer is no. The Fins should look to cut bait on him and his contract as soon as they can.

So what are Miami Dolphins fans to do for the 2nd half of the season? Hopefully look forward to seeing some of the young guys play and see what we have to build around. Running back Jay Ajayi looks like he might be getting more carries. Philips might be getting more snaps. I like that linebacker Mike Hull was signed off the practice squad, realizing it is a mostly short term/special teams move because Spencer Paysinger did not travel with the team. Though I would not mind seeing him play some middle linebacker. Bobby McCain might be getting more playing time at cornerback. Chris McCain is finally active, lets see what he has. What else?  The Hue Jackson watch begins. I strongly believe Jackson is the front-runner for the job. I believe that is whom Mike Tannebaum wants and whom he will target.  I would not be shocked if the deal gets done while the Bengals are on their bye week during wildcard week.  More on my Hue Jackson belief later, until then get what you can from every game.


Week 10 preview: Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Kickoff 1:00pm
Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon

After another disappointing AFC East game, the Dolphins try to rebound on the road again.. This time against the Eagles.

Many Dolphins fans, including myself, believed the season was turned around after the bye week. However, that was quickly turned around on back to back divisional losses, for the second time this season. The same issues keep popping up. Poor OL play, lack of establishing the run and lack of stopping opposing teams from running. This weeks match up poses another problem. While Bradford isn't a world beater, the Eagles offense has been clicking. With Murray starting to come around and Ryan Matthews adding an additional punch, it's hard to see Miami winning this game. However, any given week can have one team beating another. Here are the keys to victory for Miami:

1. Run, run and run- the Dolphins find themselves in a hole early most of the season which doesn't allow the ground game to get established. The wrinkles that Miami ran last week against Buffalo need to continue, to keep the Eagles guessing where the ball is going. Adding Ajayi into the line up gives Miami a bruising back with the ability to break a big play. Expect Miami to get both Miller and Ajayi early with runs and passes out of the back field

2. Stop the run- this theme is week in and week out. This game will hinge on Suh and co to force Bradford into third and long. Bradford (10 TD, 10 INT) has been inconsistent. The Eagles recent success is due to a ground and pound offense, picking up big chunks which has been allowing for better play action passes. Miami needs to force Bradford into mistakes to give them a chance, but it starts up front.

3. Air it out- Tannehill has found success in recent weeks in getting the ball down field. With the Eagles secondary giving up big plays, Tannehill and the Receivers need to open up holes for the running game. Landry, Stills and Matthews need to get YAC to keep the Eagles reeling.

4. Protect the QB- the above only works if the OL can give Tannehill time. Sacks have been major drive killers. If they can give Tannehill time to go through progressions, the offense will click as it did versus Houston and Tennessee. The Eagles have a monster in Trent Cole and he will be a headache up front if he gets established early and often in the Phins backfield.

Prediction: while this is a game with similar schemes offensively, the Eagles have been running it better. Until Miami can prove to establish the run and stop it, we, as fans, may be in for another long week

Eagles 24 Dolphins 20


Monday, November 9, 2015

Coaching wish list and possible candidates

The honeymoon is all but over after multiple mistakes by Dan Campbell in Sunday's defeat to the Buffalo Bills. With Campbell's lack of experience, Tannenbaum and co will start doing their search shortly to see who may be available. Here is a list of potential candidates:

1. Urban Meyer (OSU)- his name has been popping up for years and his proven track record and coaching abilities may help this team grow. Albeit a long shot, don't be surprised if a phone call is made to Ohio State requesting to speak with him.

2. Sean Payton (Saints)- there is no secret the turmoil over who is running the show down in New Orleans. With Brees having 30 million against the cap and lack of defense, Payton has an out. The news dropped in recent weeks that he is open to different jobs if he chooses to leave. Miami may be on his short list.

3. Chuck Pagano (Colts)- another coach with turmoil and on a lane duck one year deal, Pagano has ignited the Colts resurgence over the last four years. He didn't receive an extension and he doesn't get along with the front office from what's been reported. He may be available at seasons end.

4. Les Miles (LSU)- yes, history states hiring a coach away from LSU hasn't been ideal, but this guy can coach. He brings passion and enthusiasm to the side lines. As long as he leaves Cam Cameron in LSU, he may be a great hire but may be a long shot as well.

5. Jim Schwartz- here is a very likely candidate to be brought in. His defenses have always been outstanding and he was Suh's coach in Detroit. He would need to bring in a very good OC since his downfall has always been having great defenses and little to no offense in his tenures.

The usual suspects (Gruden and Cowher) will come up when the season ends but don't hinge any bets on either leaving their current jobs. Unless a blank check is handed to either of them, don't get your hopes up. The more realistic possibilities are in the list above, granted a few I listed may be long shots as well. An experienced head coach is needed. The coordinator route since 2007 is over. I put this on Stephen Ross to bring in the best guy for the job, that has coaching experience and a proven track record for results.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week 9 preview- Dolphins vs Bills

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
1:00PM Kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium
Announcers: Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots

After a difficult road loss to the Patriots and suffering major injuries to Cameron Wake (done for season) and Ja'Wuan James (4-6 weeks), Miami goes to the not so friendly confines in Buffalo where they have, historically, struggled.  This game poses a serious tests to this teams fortitude as this is a do or die game for the season.  The Dolphins, currently 9th in the wild card standings, 1 game behind Pittsburgh and the New York Jets.  Why this game is important is on tie breakers going the rest of the way.  With tough games coming up against the Eagles and Cowboys, this game is vital to get a victory. 

How will they get there?

- RUN THE FOOTBALL.  They abandoned what got them two consecutive victories, in convincing fashion mind you, real early against the Patriots.  Their identity was lost and the game was lost as well.  They need to get Miller going early and often, and if Jay Ajayi can get some touches since he has been officially activated, he can get those tough yardage carries to help get first downs. 

-Protect Tannehill.  The Bills have been a nuisance to Ryan Tannehill throughout his career and needs to get off to a good start with quick passes and timing routes to get the Bills off balance.  The Patriots, Jaguars, Giants and Bengals have all been successful against their secondary by keeping the QB clean.  This is a top priority and can help.

- Keep Tyrod Taylor in the pocket.   He has shown tendencies to get happy feet once pressure hits.  It is up to Suh, Vernon and McCain to get continuous pressure on him but also not allow him to break containment to scramble.  He is deadly with his legs and can hurt Miami if they can get Buffalo in tough third down situations.  Misi may be spying most of the game.

-Stop the Run.  This has been a strength recently but needs to be at its best.  McCoy is a game changer and can really shred a poor tackling team with his cuts.  Miami needs to stay disciplined and square him up to bring him down.

This game is huge for both teams.  It is really going to come down to which defense can get after the QB.  If history continues, it will be the Bills who take advantage of Miami mistakes, which was prominent in their 41-13 thrashing of the Dolphins in week 3.  I unfortunately believe the Bills will win this game, based on Miami's poor history of playing in this stadium.

Bills 21 Miami 17


Friday, October 30, 2015

James OUT 4-6 weeks, DVP's Foot is Fine accroding to Campbell

WQAM in Miami is reporting Dolphins right tackle JaWuan James will miss 4-6 weeks with a toe injury. If I am the Dolphins I wouldn't rush James back to play in the last 3 or 4 games of the season (which could very well be meaningless at this point.) I would rest James up and get him ready for next year. It would be a wise decision to shut him down for 2015. Toe injuries are very serious and caused the retirements of players like OJ McDuffie and Larry Csonka.

In other news Dan Campbell told the media that DeVante Parker's foot is "fine." DVP had to be carted off the field last night and brought to the back. What does "fine" mean, we don't know. Will he play in 10 days vs Buffalo or will he miss significant time?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Nightmare in New England

The last 2 games showed to be the exception and not the rule. Miami was destroyed and owned in every way tonight vs the Pats. Dan Campbell's honeymoon is over in Miami after this embarrassing loss.

To put salt in the wound the Dolphins saw Cam Wake probably play his last game in a Miami uniform. He ruptured his achilles tendon and his season is over. Wake who is older and has a huge contract already told the front office he wasn't going to take a pay cut in 2016 prior to the start of this season. Miami now has no reason to hold onto him and pay him anything as he is an older player coming off a major in jury. Expect to see him let go in the offseason.

The news got worse for Miami when Devante Parker had to be carted to the locker-room with a foot injury. The same foot injury he had at Louisville and caused Parker to miss almost all of training camp and the preseason. Another first round draft pick for the Fins that looks like will not make a contribution this year.

And the Fins started the night losing JuWuan James to a toe injury. And don't just brush that off, a toe injury caused the retirements of Larry Csonka and OJ McDuffie. Those are very painful and serious.

With 4 losses and being 0-3 in the division the Dolphins playoff hopes are all but over. Now its a matter of how much heart this team plays with the rest of the way.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dan Campbell's Favorite Meal

Week 7 Preview: Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins

Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins (-4)
1:00PM Kickoff
Announcers- Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots

After 3 long weeks, the Miami Dolphins return home to Sun Life Stadium to take on the Houston Texans.  While this match-up is pretty even on paper, it could go in either direction.  Let's start talking about the Texans.

The Texans (2-4) have had inconsistent QB play week in and week out.  Brian Hoyer was named the starter in the preseason, only to be benched in the second half of the home opener in favor of Ryan Mallet.  Mallet started 3 games and he was then benched in favor of Hoyer, who is now the QB for the forseeable future, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.  The Texans have a great front 7, led by arguably the best player in the NFL in J.J Watt.  In Tannehill's only start versus Houston, he was tortured by the Texan's defense led by Watt, albeit Tannhill's first start of his career.  Houston's defense ranks 11th in total yards per game and 22nd in points allowed per game.  Watt, currently has 4 sacks on the season with 5 passes defended, to go along with 28 total tackles.  Look for Watt to put immence pressure on RT Ja'Wuan James.  Clowney is questionable with an ankle injury but is expected to suit up for this contenst. 

On the other side of the ball, the Texans offense are 6th in yards per game and 21st in points per game.  While they gain tons of yards and Arian Foster continues to recover from his injury, they typically stall.  They are a -5 in the turnover differential which has hindered their success.  D'Andre Hopkins has been a beast and he is going to be a headache in the secondary with Brice McCain banged up.  Look for the Texans to try and get Arian Foster started early, to see if they can have success as the Dolphins first four opponents have had. 

As the Texans came off a victory on the road versus the Jaguars, the Dolphins returned from their bye week with a convincing and dominating win on the road against the Titans 38-10.  The Dan Campbell Era was ushered in with a very aggressive defensive front, and an offensive line that helped protect Tannehill and game Lamar Miller some serious holes to run through on the way to 119 yards on the ground.  The team tallied 180 yards total on 30+ carries.  While the turnover bug hit, the Dolphins Defense performed at a level we all expected when the season began.  Led by a 4 sack performance by Cameron Wake, the Dolphins defense stifled Marcus Mariota and stopped their rushing attack.  I expect to see a heavy dose of run from Houston, so watch for Suh and company try and shut the Texans run game down to make them one dimensional going forward.  Miami is currently ranked 24th in yards per game defensively and 12th in points allowed per game.

The Dolphins need to continue their offensive spark from last week.  They currently rank 24th in both yards per game and points per game.  Look for a heavy dose of Lamar Miller and possible read option/designed runs from Tannehill to get the offense going.  While a quick passing attack featuring Mathews and Landry to pick up decent yardage in short down and distances.  Dan Campbell will not veer from his game plan he deployed last week, but look for Lazor/Saunders to sprinkle in some wrinkles in the offense to keep Houston off balance.  Their major task is to keep J.J Watt out of the Dolphins backfield and pocket.  James and possibly Cameron/Sims will need to take on Watt just about every play.

The Dolphins come in looking to get to .500 before a trip to New England, so it is imperative that they get this win this Sunday at home.  The Dolphins are 4-5 in their last 9 home games and 0-7 lifetime versus the Texans.  I hope to see a filled stadium and fans screaming at the top of their lungs, propelling the Dolphins to a much needed home victory, to keep the hopes of the playoffs in balance as they approach the difficult part of their schedule.

Prediction:  Dolphins 27- Texans 21
Season: 3-2

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 6 Preview: Dolphins at Titans

Dolphins @ Titans (-1.5)
1:00PM Kickoff- Nissan Stadium
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Buereline

After a very busy week, the Miami Dolphins look to get back to business in the football sense.  The Dolphins come into Tennessee with a renewed hope for their dreadful start.  After the firing of Joe Philbin, the Dolphins promoted tight ends coach Dan Campbell to be their head coach.  Within the first few days, Campbell made many moves.  He started with the hiring of long time offensive coach Al Saunders to assist Bill Lazor and fired defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.  While these moves are a start, it is by no means the correction to the current problems.  Miami ranks near dead last in defense and offense in most major categories.  They will look to get that turned around against a stingy group coached by Dick Lebeau. 

Dan Campbell has stated it starts with being more aggressive on both sides of the ball.  In his first practice, Campbell started out with full pads and the Oklahoma drill, pitting offense versus defense one on one.  He wants more intensity, which is needed after Philbin's lack of it for 3+ years.  The problems really seem to stem from lack of running the ball and lack of stopping it, area's that made the offense successful last season and the defense for the first 10 weeks in stopping the run.  There is hope that will change this week, with Miami bringing in a more simplified attack on both sides of the ball.

On the other side, the Titans will look to rebound after a tough loss to the Buffalo Bills last week 14-13.  They were unable to hold on to the lead late, with the Bills applying pressure to Mariota and making him make bad decisions with the football.  These teams are quite evenly matched offensively, with both struggling to run the football and put up points.  The biggest difference is defensively, where the Titans rank 3rd overall in yard allowed per game.  They are only allowing offenses to convert 31% of third down attempts, an area where Miami struggles as well. 

This game is vital.  If the Dolphins do not find a way to rebound and string together a couple wins (Titans/Texans are a good start), this season will continue to downward spiral.  With a new head coach and hopefully a new mentality, the Dolphins can find a way to pull this one out.  I believe THEY WILL, establishing the run in the process and not turning the ball over.  Getting a lead early is important, as the Titans have shown an inability to come back.  Will the Dolphins start quick?  We all hope.

Dolphins 24 Titans 23

Season record 2-2


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Game prediction @ Titans

Dolphins @ Titans: The bye week came at the right time for this Dolphins team and it will as they will play inspired for their new head coach. For the first time this season the Dolphins offense will start off fast as Ryan Tannehill finds Jordan Cameron in the back of the end zone for one of his three touchdown passes. Mariota will do all he can, but much like last week he will be unable to lead his team back from a deficit. Dolphins win 27-17

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dolphins Interested in Sean Payton

ESPN and other various outlets are reporting that Saints Head Coach Sean Payton  is on the Dolphins (and various other teams) radar. Now, Payton is still under contract to the Saints for a few more years so if any team this offseason wants Payton they will have to part with draft picks.

While I would have zero problem with Payton as the Dolphins head coach I am not in favor of trading away any draft picks to get him.  But the clear sign this news sends is that Dan Campbell has zero shot of keeping this job after the season. This report and news leaking is a clear sign that the Dolphins front office wants a coach with a big name, a big reputation, and a big time track record of success.  Sure, in "Fantasy Land" if Campbell leads the Dolphins to the playoffs he will probably keep the job. But if you think the Dolphins are making the playoffs, well not sure how to break this to ya but I got some news about Santa Clause that you might want to sit down for.

It's not happening! Campbell is just a guy to coach the next 12 games then he will be sent on his way.  I am not sure if this Sean Payton story has any real legs but the one thing it does do is let you know the mind-set in Miami right now and what they are looking for at the end of the season.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Coyle Canned

Embattled Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle joined former head coach Joe Philbin in the unemployment line today in a move that should shock absolutely no one. Defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo will take over for Coyle.

It's going to be interesting to see what these guys can do in 2 weeks. Now, my colleague Mike Oliva is very likely 100% correct when he says "Campbell is just here to coach out the season till the end of the year and then he will hit the bricks too and be out of work", but I want to see how it goes before drawing any conclusions. Though not likely, what if Campbell turns it around and the Dolphins win 7 or 8 of their final 12? Does he deserve a shot at the job permanently?

I didn't have as much faith in the Dolphins having a big season as others this year for 2 reasons, and those reasons are both gone now, so forgive me for a little wishful thinking :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Don't Let The Door Hit Ya on the Way Out Joe! Good Riddance

Always looked lost and confused
THANK YOU GOD! Joe Philbin is finally gone! How this move wasn't made at the end of last year I have no idea. Well, actually I know exactly why it wasn't done at the end of last year but that is a different story for a different day. Joe Philbin is gone and it's time to clean house with this roster and coaching staff.

Joe Philbin never looked the part of an NFL Head Coach and never looked like he was comfortable in the role when he was in front of the camera or on the sideline. Always looked out of place and as I said when they hired him on Day 1; he looks more like the organization's accountant and not the head coach.

Philbin never showed any fire, never showed any emotion, which is a style but not a style that you can continue to keep when you underachieve year after year after year.  At some point you have to try a different tact to see if you can get a better result and for Joe that never happened.

Where did Joe Philbin go wrong, well the question is where to start I guess. If Philbin had his way Mike Sherman would still be the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2015. Philbin's loyalty to Kevin Coyle after last season was his eventual downfall. I mean as a head coach you are given one of the elite defensive players in the game today in Suh and the defense gets worse than it was the year before and the year before it was utter garbage. It's a sign your defensive coordinator is clueless and you as the head coach are more clueless because you keep sticking by this guy.  The other nail in the coffin is the inability to fix the offensive line. Training camp isn't that long and Philbin and his staff were always moving guys here or there, trying them out on the right side, trying them out on the left side. I mean for christ sakes Training Camp is only about a month long or so, you don't have weeks on end to tinker like that. Jamil Douglas has only played the left side of the offensive in his college career, so why waste the first 3 weeks of training camp where he is working on the left side only to put him on the right side and then give the kid only about 10-13 days to figure it out and when the games start for real he is your starter on the right side? Either put him on the right side of the o-line from Day 1 or don't put him there at all.  You can't throw him to the wolves like that and expect a good result. Another example, last year Branden Albert goes down to injury, instead of putting Jason Fox to LT and keeping James at RT, they move James to LT and put Fox at RT. Since that move JuWuan James has regressed and has turned into a bad offensive linemen on both sides. Before that he was growing into an above average RT. Not to mention this year, Albert still injured instead of going back to last years plan he does the move that he should have done last year in keeping James at RT and putting Fox at LT. Philbin couldn't ever make up his mind he was like a woman in a shopping mall.

But the blank stare, always dumbfounded, clueless head coach is finally gone. The season is over, don't think Dan Campbell is going to step in and win a bunch of games and lead some miracle turnaround. The offensive line still stinks to high heaven, the secondary is brutal, and there is a laundry list of other problems that no magic wand can fix.

Campbell is just here to coach out the season till the end of the year and then he will hit the bricks too and be out of work.

So, that leads the question who will the Fins be looking at once the season ends to be the next head coach. Here is the "SHORT LIST" of names you can take to the banke...

1) Urban Meyer--Ross loves his Michigan and he can hurt Ohio St by stealing Urban
2) Jim Schwartz--Total opposite of Philbin personality wise; knows how to coach Suh
3) Adam Gase--Brilliant young offensive mind
4) Mike Sumlin--Respected young up and coming coach who has turned down NFL interviews in the past and might be ready to make the jump now
5) Kyle Shanahan--Like Gase a brilliant offensive mind
6) Eric Mangini -Ties to Tannenbaum (although Tannenbaum did Fire his ass in NY, he is close with Ross)

To me if Urban Meyer wants the job he gets the job. He has won at Florida, won at Ohio St and he has stated he will go to the NFL someday. Someday might be now. If the Fins let him pick his own GM, he has a capable QB in place with Tannehill, and he will probably have a Top 5 draft pick to work with....that's as good a situation you will ever walk into in the NFL.

The Fins have been spurned before by coaching candidates, those days are over. This team is attractive for many reasons and the Fins will be players for the big name coaching candidates.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Prediction

I see writers and fans all over predicting a Dolphins victory today and I wonder why? What have they done to make people think they will pull out a victory today over the NY Jets? They can't run or stop the run. They have made mediocre quarterbacks look like All Pros. They can't block. They have coaches who seem clueless as to how to fix these problems. Why would anyone predict a Dolphin victory today?
Some are pointing to last year, saying this is a similar situation. In a way it is. Miami was 1-2 and had lost 2 in a row coming into the London game. The difference is Oakland was a weak team last year and the NY Jets are not. Todd Bowles (who was my choice to retain the job in 2012) has the Jets playing very well this year. Even last week when they were down big they fought back to make it a close game. The Dolphins have no such fight in them. They are not playing with fire or any sense of urgency.
The Jets play smash mouth football, similar to Buffalo, the kind of play Miami has trouble dealing with. In the end, the Jets come out on top:
NY Jets 27  Miami 10

Halftime Comments
The Dolphins are flat and playing uninspired football as I thought they would. Their lone score was set up by 2 long pass interference calls. If not for a couple of bad passes by Fitzgerald the score could be worse. The Dolphins offense can't do squat and the Dolphins defense is struggling to stop the Jets. Joe Philbin better have some magic up his sleeve because, if you believe some of the reports, his job could be on the line.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week 4 preview- Jets vs Dolphins

Jets (-2.5) vs Dolphins
9:30am London
Commentators- Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts

The Dolphins arrive in London in the same position they were in last year. At 1-2, the turmoil is more on the coaching staff than the QB. Miami looks to rebound from a terrible defeat at the hands of the Bills in the home opener. While this game is a "home game", the team has to make the trip across waters to London, England. Miami went on this trip last year only to come out victors against the Raiders 37-13, which cost Dennis Allen his job. With the hot seat basically on fire under Joe Philbin, a loss could seal his fate before the bye week if it doesn't get turned around.

The Dolphins will be once again without LT Branden Albert as he continues to rebound from a bad hamstring. They will also be without the services of Dion Sims, who is still recovering from the concussion in week one. Jason Fox will again start at LT. This game will rest on his ability to protect Tannehill's blind side.

The Jets (2-1) come into this game after a defeat at the hands of the Eagles last week. The Jets, under Bowles, with an aggressive defensive and powerful running game. Two of the things Miami has struggled with all season. Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to manage games well for the offense, with Marshall and Decker leading the way. Decker was held out last week, but returned to full practice in preparation for this weeks game. With issues in the Dolphins secondary, watch for Grimes to shadow Marshall and have Taylor/Bowman get after Decker.

The biggest question leading up to this game is if the issues on defense will continue, or finally live up to the hype from the pre season. While optimistic, this team cannot be trusted until they prove it on the field. Look for the Jets to run the ball and control the clock and force Tannehill to make plays. If Miami can get the running game on track, this could be a different outcome. But like I said earlier, can we trust them to do that?

Prediction- Jets 24 Dolphins 17

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Miko Grimes Update

WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco Recently arrested Miko Grimes has been given permission to travel to London this weekend to watch her husband play. She has a scheduled court arraignment on October 27th and she is facing 2 felony charges. The judge allowed her to go to London on the condition that upon her return to Miami she must return to court to prove she is back in the United States.

Miko has been fired by her WQAM weekend radio show following the arrest.

Game prediction vs Jets

Jets @ Dolphins: These teams travel overseas to London for this game and one of these teams will look to get back on track with a division win. This will game will be closely contested, but Ryan Tannehill will lead the Dolphins to a victory by throwing two touchdowns and over 300 yards. Dolphins win 20-13

Monday, September 28, 2015

Conversation With a Friend

I had a conversation some time around the draft with a friend who is also a fellow Dolphins fan and a Joe Philbin supporter. I also expressed my opinion to a few other Dolphin fans who thought I was crazy. This particular conversation went like this....
ME: I really wish the Dolphins had fired Philbin and brought in Rex Ryan.
My Friend: Are you crazy? Ryan is not a good coach. He will never amount to anything in Buffalo. He'll be lucky to win 4 or 5 games.
ME: I don't think so. He had nothing to work with in New York.
My Friend: What has he done that's even worth considering?
ME: He did go to the AFC Championship game twice with Mark Sanchez.
My Friend: Yes, and what has he done lately?
ME: Not much, but like I said, he had nothing to work with.
My Friend: We'll be fine with Philbin. He's a good coach and we need to keep some continuity.
ME: Yes, that is what Ross says too, but Philbin is not a motivator, he doesn't inspire. Ryan does.
My Friend: (laughing) Well, we'll see.
ME: OK, so Ross wanted to keep Philbin for continuity sake, but he should have made one of the conditions that he replace Kevin Coyle. He is a horrible defensive coordinator.
My Friend: Coyle will be just fine. They signed Suh. That will take care of their run stopping problems.
ME: I think it takes more than just signing good players. You have to have good coaching too.
My Friend: The defensive line will be like a brick wall. You'll see.
This week my conversation with that same friend will be, if another former Dolphin (Jets head coach Todd Bowles) embarrasses the Dolphins on national TV, does Ross use the bye week to pull the plug on the Philbin era and do something to try and save the season?