Dolphins' loss says it's time to start over on offense
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"We watched the Jets game this week and saw Henne was getting hit a lot and didn't look comfortable in the pocket,'' Florence said. "We knew they'd had some [problems] on the line and that Tony Sparano was a line coach.
"So we knew two things. One, Henne wouldn't be holding the ball long on most plays. And, two, if they were going to throw medium or long, they'd have maximum protection and only send two guys out."
All Sunday, that was the case, Florence and Wilson said. Easy to defend, huh?
"It's not complicated,'' Florence said. "Henne had one shot of anyone open deep all day when [Kevin] Curtis got behind us. But he missed him."
Does this help explain how this offensive problem is systemic? It's not just Henne's lack of development. It's this offensive line, too. It's seasons of issues not being addressed and polluting another season.
Now, on this third-and-9 play, Davone Bess and Brandon Marshall came to one side. Florence knew from filmwork what play was coming. This was the other part of a predictable offense.
So Florence covered Marshall over the top, just as the Bills' defense called. Henne saw he had no one to throw to.
"Remember, he doesn't want to hold onto the ball long,'' Florence said.
He checked down to Bess, who was running a route just over the line of scrimmage. Sparano said Henne made the right decision there. That sure seems a flaw in the play when your leading receiver isn't running a first-down route.
Florence slid over when he saw Henne going there and knocked down the pass.
"I would've had it, too, if my hand hadn't got caught in Bess' facemask,'' he said. "I'll take the [pass defensed], though. That worked for us."
To cap that off, Dan Carpenter missed the 48-yard field goal attempt. And that was that. The end for the playoff hopes, the 2010 season and no doubt a lot of this offense, both coaches and players.
Offensive coordinator Dan Henning is the easy target today. But don't go overboard here. Because across the way Sunday was another guy who was Dolphins offensive coordinator when he didn't have a quarterback to trust.
Chan Gailey does now as Buffalo coach. Ryan Fitzpatrick made the kind of throws to again suggest he could be a franchise quarterback. That shows why the Bills have won four of their last six and have hope riding into 2011.
The Dolphins? What did they accomplish this season? Cameron Wake became a star. Cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith progressed. But did anyone on offense take a step forward?
Two games to go. Nothing to play for. We've been here before over this past decade. But now even Buffalo looks to have a better tomorrow.