It seems the celebration of being a team on the right path was a bit premature. I am sure we all had our share of skepticism, however I doubt any of us expected a 3 game streak of losses. A lot of talk about the poor play of the offensive line, particularly at the Tackle position. This week the front office decided to go back on a former decision, and traded for LT Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens. McKinnie and obvious force on the line when healthy and in shape, is neither healthy or in shape at this point. It appears that it will be a week or so before we see him on the field.
The general feeling is that Bryant will play his natural position on the left side, while Martin will be switched back to his natural position on the right. It is a clear move of desperation; the offensive line has been an issue for a couple years now. Not many people could foresee Tyson Clabo struggling as bad as he is, and most of us saw it as a good signing. Unfortunately he has struggled to have the same type of play here as he had in Atlanta. Some blame the schematics of the offense we are trying to implement, however we heard the same excuses last year with other players. At some point you have to wonder if it is the system, the player or the coaches. One thing is for sure, this is not the type of offensive line play I expect to have when grooming a young QB, and the choices made by the people in charge are beginning to wear thin.
We have debated the endless question of who’s to blame, looked at formations, space, throws etc. It is clear to me that all things happening on offense stem from one spot, and that is the line. I have personally counted of a dozen or so plays a game where RT only has 2 seconds from the snap to get rid of the ball. I have also noticed multiple times where a run play had nowhere to go, something that carried over from last season. Reggie had the instinct to go somewhere else, and try to make something from nothing. This year we have “his guys” as people like to call it, and they take what is there. The end result is teams do not fear or respect the run game, and our offense plan feeds into it by being pass happy. And lets not forget this team, well the QB has turned the ball over 11 times in 6 games. The bottom line is, in my opinion, that the core of this teams struggles can be blamed on one unit. The decision makers, for failing to find suitable players in an area we knew was in need, and for failing to find a way to work with what they have. Unfortunately, it is probably something we will all discuss for the next couple of months.
This week we go on the road to face our division rivals. They are not the high powered team they have been over the last decade, however they are arguably one of the best coached teams in the NFL, and the offense is led by a future HOF quarterback. Our chances are slim, but yes, I am saying there’s a chance. Stopping the return of Gronk is probably the most difficult part for people to figure out. However we have a fast, lengthy, powerful DE that I felt was drafted to handle players like Gronk. A little creativity and Jordan could easily play as a LB and cover Gronk. A package our defense has yet to show, and may create havoc on the short slants to the TE that seem to haunt us year in and year out.
I will continue to hope, at some point in time our OC, Mike Sherman will overcome his recent amnesia and remember what his QB is capable of. Tannehill has never been a pocket passer in my eyes, he is much more effective and dangerous when on the move. Rolling out to his left or right, he has shown great accuracy. He is capable of making plays with his feet, and even running for a first down. He needs to protect the ball better, but only 1 of his 11 turnovers have come when on the run. For the most part, his turnovers come when staying in the pocket. Coaches have been open about wanting him to move more, and give himself more time. I am hoping the coaches implement more of the movement that he is capable of, he is young, and he is struggling right now. A little creativity could go a long way, and its not the first time this team has added a new wrinkle to the offense on the road in NE. I am not calling for the wildcat, but a roll out to the left or right could help now and then.
I do not expect to see a high scoring shoot out, this will be a chess match of coaches. And ours will need to think outside the box in order to win.
Happy Friday. Go Dolphins!!
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