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5 Keys to success this year

  1. Protection of Ryan Tannehill. This kind of goes without saying but the way Miami addressed the giant holes at OG makes you wonder. I still wake up in a cold sweat watching Dallas Thomas get treated like _____________ (You fill  in the blank with your favorite punching bag example here because everything I came up with was way too non-PC). I’ll state the obvious by saying that having a healthy Alberts back is mandatory to success here.  I listed this number 1, because when the protection began to break down last year, so did the Dolphins.

  2. Coverage –Given Miami was 24th against the run, this might surprise you. However, when you analyze Miami’s pass defense there are some unsettling facts. They were 20th in TDs allowed and 18th in QB rating against them. So opposing QBs were very effective against Miami even when the Dolphins were limiting the amount of damage in the total yards department. You can blame scheme, personnel or anything you want to blame. The problem as I, and a few others, saw it was scheme. Miami would often run a lame zone blitz that was highly telegraphed. The inside backers would be in the gaps and the DBs would be in zone coverage. Big problem. All the QB has to do is isolate his RB in the flat against one of those ILB’s who is currently wedged between the DT’s or simply hit his WR on a quick pass to the outside. The CB is 10yds off and the play is a quick 5-7 yards. The net result is a very efficient QB playing against a very poor scheme.

  3. Run Defense – Miami was bludgeoned on the ground. Suh will likely single handedly fix this problem. I just don’t see teams running up the middle against him like they did last year.

  4. Passing  game – moreover, the big play passing game. Miami was 30th in plays over 40yds. They were only marginally better in plays over 20yds and were ranked 28th. Life for an offense in the NFL is really tough when you have to earn every yard. Defenses tighten up, they make you play against a short field. Safeties inch closer making it tough for the running game. Big plays ignite players emotions and are vital to this team achieving anything in 2015.

  5. Teamwork – Every team goes through emotional ups and downs but Miami hasn’t fielded a cohesive unit on either side of the ball in a long time and it shows. This really can’t be measured; however, having success early in the 2015 campaign will likely help. I really disliked the fact that 1 teammate tweeted congratulations to RT after signing his contract this year. Paramount for a team to succeed is their desire to help each other and to have each other’s back.



I think if you were to label coaches on the hotseat, Philbin’s name would have to be near the top. I’m not saying he has to win the superbowl to keep his job but I do think he needs to make the playoffs.  Even then, I think an early exodus without a good showing on the field may still be his undoing.  A lot of things have to go right. Miami has pretty good starting tackles on both sides of the ball but no depth. They have a thin, and average LB corps that can only be described as serviceable. They have a completely revamped WR corps and nothing will be known until they take snaps in September. Although I will go on record as saying the decision to trade Wallace was good for both parties involved.  Finally RT has to take this team on his shoulders. He’s been the best option Miami has had at QB since Dan the Man retired. He has shown remarkable growth and solid fundamentals. Miami needs him to take it one level higher and start winning games with his arm.

Go RT!


Bill Arnsparger ... a great defensive mind.

Since I am writing to mostly Dolphins fans, then you understand that Bill Arnsparger was Don Shula's Bill Bellichick ... without the "cheat". I'm not taking anything away from the greatest coach to ever coach, but there was something special between Shula and Arnsparger.

Whatever players you had, Arnsparger could get the most out of them.  His "No Name" and "Killer Bee" defenses were the best in the league. When he left, the defense went downhill. When he left the second time after the Super Bowl loss to the Deadskins, his Killer Bee defense ranked #1 in the NFL. In two short years that defense fell drastically under Chuck Studley. Did you know that Studley's '84 run defense, in Danny's only Super Bowl appearance, was ranked dead last in the NFL? Yet, Dan the Man took them to the Super Bowl in a record breaking year. Yep, if Marino had Arnsparger running the defense on his teams, there would have been Super Bowl rings.


Dan Marino not good enough???

Yep, that is what the football hack writer said over at the Sun Sentinel. I would be very much tempted to buy a Sun Sentinel sports subscription due to how much I enjoy reading Dave Hyde's articles, but I've never taken the time to read much of what his protege has to say. There's little substance to Omar's blogs.  Why do I have the image to the right on my site? It's due to his comment this week that Dan Marino was not good enough to win a ring ... and in my opinion, he should be run out of town. Tar and Feather him if you'd like.

Yep, in a way, to put a twist, Dan wasn't good enough to overcome the lack of talent around him, because everyone with a brain stem knows that to win Super Bowl is a team effort ... not a one man show. Before the Jimmah Johnson years, Danny had the talent to elevate the talent around him on the offensive side of the ball, but he didn't play defense.

By the way, there are 3 South Florida writers that I check out religiously every day because they are top notch:

Miami Herald's Armando Salguero and Barry Jackson, and the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde. My other favorites in the past, Jason Cole and Alex Marvez, moved on to bigger things in the NFL, so, I am a guy that likes quality over fluffy hype.


Nick Saban with another excuse for failure.

It came out this week that Saban blamed the NFL Draft for his team's lack of cohesiveness the past couple of post season appearances. Also, another article came out saying that he would have never left the Dolphins if his wife hadn't complained so much about living in Miami. Do you remember the time Saban said that it was Huizenga's fault because he talked him into a job that he didn't want?

Come on. Has there ever been a coach that has had so many excuses for failure? One thing I know is that it is never Saban. I honestly believe that Saban could have been a very good coach with the Dolphins if he had the patience to build, but he needs his God-complex stroked all the time.

I am happy that Saban is in his element which is College Football. There isn't anyone greater at recruiting talent and coaching that talent. But, I still remember how he left the Dolphins. I still remember that he took off to meet his adoring fans and left Huizenga to let us know that Saban was gone.
Coaching Ability = 100%
Character = 0%


Matt Moore a "serviceable stand-in"?

I'm not one of those Matt Moore guys that thinks he should have started over Ryan Tannehill in Tannehill's rookie season. Even though Moore had a very good year the year before, Tannehill showed that he could handle starting in the NFL and he was our designated franchise quarterback. Maybe I would have waited a few games before inserting in as the starter, but there is a learning curve that increases significantly with starting experience. Lucky for us that he was not ruined playing behind a poor offensive line.

NFL.COM put out their ranking of back up quarterbacks, and Matt Moore was ranked 12th. What chaps my rear end is that they have Mark Sanchez at #1, Garoppolo at #4, and a few other quarterbacks that have not shown they can win in the NFL. What are they thinking? Just because Tannehill's health and performance has kept him off the field is no excuse to insult him. The Dolphins understand his importance and are paying him accordingly.


1. Mark Sanchez, Eagles
2. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots
5. Zach Mettenberger, Titans
6. Kirk Cousins, Redskins
7. Derek Anderson, Panthers
8. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
9. Drew Stanton, Cardinals
10. Ryan Mallett, Texans
11. Chase Daniel, Chiefs
12. Matt Moore, Dolphins
13. Shaun Hill, Vikings
14. Matt Hasselbeck, Colts
15. Christian Ponder, Raiders


Stoops on rookie DT Phillips: "Just scratching the surface".

I thought the Dolphins had a very good draft this year, and one player that I am excited to see is DT Jordan Phillips. Yes, the Dolphins should have drafted an guard instead, but if you are of the "best player available" mentality, this was a very good choice as Phillips had a late first round grade. He's talented enough to be a first round pick, but his lack of consistency made him fall in the draft.

His college coach, Bob Stoops, had this to say about Phillips this week ...

You don't see guys that can do what Jordan can do athletically [at 325 pounds]. He can be an every down player. For a guy that big, his pass-rushing skills can develop. He is just scratching the surface. He’s a great kid.


ESPN Insider had this to say about Phillips in their evaluation, "He is a massive, wide-bodied nose tackle prospect with excellent strength and elite mobility for his size. There are only so many human beings his size who can move like he does."

You can check out our top notch draft analysis on Jordan Phillips here.

Personally, I might have saved the money on Mosely and made what we have step up, but there are real questions at middle linebacker at the moment. Misi can definitely play the position, but will we see him in and out of the lineup again this year?


Go Dolphins!

Big Dave


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