Heading into the 4th quarter, we are 7-5; right in the thick of things in the race to Post Season 2009. Destiny is in our own hands. We win out, we win the division. If we don't, we need help. Simple as that. The last time Miami was in this same situation; 2002; Six years ago.
The last time we were in this position, Jay Fielder was our starting QB, and Ricky was chasing 2000 yards; our secondary consisted of Madison, Surtain, Marion, and Freeman. Morlon Greenwood and Adewale Ogunleye were still part of the Front 7. We had a man named Tim Ruddy at center, and McMike was just a rookie TE. From that 53 man squad, only one remains today; Ricky Williams.
Since then we have gone through a massive change in coaches, players, schemes, and culture, almost every year. We have had 5 Head Coaches be in charge at different times over the last 6 years. Two of them quit, one in mid-season. One of them decided not to come back (Bates didn't exactly quit obviously). One got fired, and the other is the head honcho right now. We've through different cultures, from the malicious Nick Saban type of coaching, to the lax Cam Cameron. We've seen greats go in Madison, Surtain, and now JT and Zach, and have seen God only knows how many signal callers come and go.
This year though, we are finally doing something that we have not done in the past 6 years. Win football games. Get fans talking heading into Week 14, of possible playoff scenarios, and match-ups; of a possible division win. We're excited about Miami Dolphin football again. Somehow, in one year, Parcells and the rest of the trifecta, have brought in new coaches, players, schemes, and a knew culture; all that are here to stay for a very long time. In one off-season, they have done what every single previous regime has failed to do since Jimmy Johnson, (I want to say since Shula, but Jimmy did have good success here for a few years). They have built a winning team.
While some would say that we are not a playoff caliber team, to you I say: So what? So what if we can't compete with Pittsburgh, and Tennessee. So what if our chances of winning the Super Bowl are slimmer than the chance that Coach Cameron gets another Head Coaching gig one day. So what. We're a better team then we have had in far too long.
Now, for those of you who were around for the great Griese, and Csonka days, and then the days of Marino and the Marks brothers. For those of you whose Head Coach had been Don Shula for 25 years, and who have been spoiled by winning, winning, and more winning, this team might not seem like a great one to you. And maybe it's not. But to me, and the ones who weren't fortunate to live to see the days of Griese, and Marino, this is one of the best teams we have ever had. Enjoy this!
A few of you on the forums have been saying how if we don't have a chance to win the Super Bowl, what is the point of going to the Playoffs? Whenever I hear somebody say something like that, my head spins. I can't believe anybody would be so unexcited at a playoff birth. So unexcited, that finally, after so many years, we are being talked about again. Not because of who we will be drafting in the top 5, or for passing up on Brady Quinn at nine overall. Not for another Head Coach getting fired, quitting, or getting hired. Not for another loss to the Jets, or the Patriots. But being talked about, because we could very well be playing in January.
Playing in January. Wow. What might be a, 'what-ev', type concept to you, is one that's truly amazing to me. I know that I am enjoying, and will continue to enjoy every minute of our season. Whether we get in, or not, this is one of the best sports seasons, that I have ever had; and one that I will definitely never forget.
And now I get back to the title of this entry; How fun is this?!?!
Quick take on Smiley injury/match-up this weekend.
The season ending leg injury to Left Guard Justin Smiley is huge. Not only will it affect the run game, Jake Long's progression, and the total cohesion of the line greatly, but I think that it will really affect the future of Samson Satele greatly.
A report came out a few days ago about how Parcells has been disappointed with the inconsistency of Center Samson Satele. Also, that he is not the size BP would like in a center. Satele had to deal with the loss of Donald Thomas to the right of him early on, and with Smiley trying to learn a new position to the left of him. Smiley has always been a RG, and you could tell it took him a while to make the transition to the left side. Smiley became more consistent and comfortable as the season went on, and as did the play of Satele. Now with Smiley hurt, Satele is going to have to make yet another adjustment, with inexperienced Andy Alleman now the starting LG, replacing Smiley. I fear that if Satele starts to struggle again, the youngster could be on the Hot Seat, so to speak...
The injury to QB Trent Edwards is huge, in my opinion. While many have been saying that it will not effect the game greatly, because of the recent lack of good play coming from Edwards, JP Losman could not be much worse. While I agree up to a certain extant, Losman has not completed a start since 2006. He's rusty. The knock on Losman has always been that he holds onto the football too long. I think that this is a great opportunity to use some of our blitz packages, and put some heat on Losman. I think if we can put pressure on him, we'll be in position to make a lot of plays defensively.
If we can capitalize of those, I think that this is a double digit Miami Dolphin victory. If we allow Losman time in the pocket, and let Lynch get going, than this could be a much tougher game that Miami fans are hoping for...
Get well soon; Camarillo, Smiley.
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