But the fact of the matter says the season is a brutal marathon. Both season-ending injuries and plain old nagging-injuries will plague all 32 teams down to the wire in December. Secondly, let’s get over Monday Nights Thrashing. Yes it was the most embarrassing in awhile. Yes it was horrid to watch. If you think you had it bad, I was in a lobby filled with Patriots Fans because my company is based out of Andover, MA and we’re all in training at the moment. The bottom line is if the ST’s were doing their jobs, Miami could be sitting 4-0 right now. The fact is the ST’s were putrid all season and preseason and the coach was fired this week. That doesn’t mean the ST’s are suddenly fixed. It just means that Sparano is acutely aware of what I just stated above. Fix the ST’s, and the Dolphins Football Team is essentially fixed. My fear is that this is going to have to happen before the players start to lose confidence in the staff. We won’t know for sure until the Greenbay game in a couple of weeks.
Problems that need fixing as I see it:
1. The spread offense with Ronnie Brown at QB needs to be put back in the box. There was no excuse for Henning’s absolute arrogant 3rd and 6 call that killed the opening drive.
2. The run defense should be fine once T. McDaniel, Crowder and Odrick all return. It was horrible against the Patriots. Soliai isn’t the answer at NT. He gets moved way too easy for a big guy.
3. WR’s are streaking down the field wide open deep. The protection is there. The WR is open. Henne has the ball and checks down to the short man. The Patriots pretty much banked their entire defensive scheme believing Henne wouldn't throw deep. Henne played right into their hands. He’s either being taught to check it down, or he’s just doing it. Miami won’t beat many good teams by checking every throw underneath. Miami didn’t challenge the Pats once downfield. The one throw, by Thigpen late, to an again wide open Hartline was badly overthrown. Henne either needs to start making those throws, or give way to Thigpen who will. Both make bad decisions on occasion but the upside with Thigpen is he will connect on a few deep balls.
4. The running game is working in spurts but in order for it to work they need to run, run and run some more. Everyone talks about Henne getting in a rhythm. Well the backs also need to get into a Rhythm. Miami runs well and often, they win.
5. The coaching staff – Henning is arrogant and stubborn. He simply will not give up on a play, or formation, that doesn’t work. Conversely, plays that are working extremely well…he rarely keeps running. The screen pass probably averaged about 10yds a play the other night. They ran it about 4 times. The Lions Screened Greenbay to death last weekend with great results. The difference…they were happy to keep running the same screens and it almost got them back into a game they were losing 28-7. I keep hoping that Henning snaps out of his funk. Even in the 2008 season he had this penchant for one great series, followed by one that would make the guy selling peanuts look like a MENSA candidate.
Finally, It is time to up the ante in S. Florida. For year’s we given these guys excuse after excuse. We’ve set low expectations year after year and when they live up to it, we whine. It is time to expect better. It starts here. It starts today.
14-2 Bus Anyone?
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