Archive for: December 2010

Miami Dolphins News and Notes 12/30

As we trudge towards the finale of the 2010 season for the Miami Dolphins, many fans are already looking ahead to 2011 and what that may bring.  Who will be coaching?  Who will be playing QB?  Will there even be a season with the labor negotiations in peril?  There will be plenty of time to dissect and over-analyze all of that in the weeks and months to come.  Here’s a look at what’s going on around the Miami Dolphins this week:

Pro Bowl Bound

Cameron Wake, the NFL sack leader with 14 sacks, is headed to the Pro Bowl.  He’ll be joined on the AFC squad by teammate Jake Long at the left tackle position.  This marks Wake’s first Pro Bowl and Long’s third in three years in the league.  Congratulations to Jake and Wake!

Injuries Mount

Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel takes a look at the Dolphins injuries heading into week 17 against the New England Patriots.   Karlos Dansby, Nolan Carroll, Anthony Fasano, and Lydon Murtha could all miss the season finale against the Pats.  The Dolphins will look to finish at 8-8 on the season in a game that they should be playing against mostly backups for the Pats.

Parcells DID NOT talk to Ross about Sparano?

The NFL network reported yesterday that the Dolphins previous Football Czar, Bill Parcells, spoke with Stephen Ross about retaining Tony Sparano for one more year.  Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald refutes that report and says that conversation did not happen.

Why to watch the finale Sunday?

Matty over at Thephinsider.com gives us 7 reasons to watch the game on Sunday.  We’ll be watching to see how much fire the team plays with.  Could this be the end of Chad Henne’s reign?  Can Brandon Marshall break the team records for receptions?

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Why Tony Sparano should stay in Miami

Today we are going to look at reasons why that Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross should stick with Tony Sparano as his head coach in 2011.  Later this week we will examine the reasons he should replace Tony Sparano for next year and beyond.  After laying out all of the reasons for and against a regime change, we’ll see what you think and open up a poll to see what Phin Nation thinks the Dolphins owner should do.

theredzonereport.com

So why should Tony Sparano get another season to coach the Miami Dolphins?

1.  He’s coaching for his job

Some people will say that he was doing that this year.  But let’s not forget what Tony has done in his brief tenure in Miami.  He took at 1-15 team in 2007 and turned them into a division winner that finished with an 11-5 record in 2008.  Overall he is 25-24 before this Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots.  Many expected a drop off after the magical 2008 season.  Why?  Because it’s one thing to take a bad team and make them good, but it’s a tougher task to take a good team and make them great.  In 2009 and 2010, Sparano failed to do so, albeit facing a tough schedule in each season.  Now that the defense is corrected and improving every week, Tony must turn the offense into a upper echelon group.   If he has no contract beyond 2011, he knows next season will be his last unless he takes the team deep into the playoffs.

The players love Sparano and play hard for him.  A few tweaks to the offensive side of the ball and he could have a title contender in Miami in 2011.  The biggest change on offense could come in the way of the offensive coordinator.  Dan Henning is going to retire, make no mistake about it.  Finding a good offensive coordinator to help the offense play to it’s strengths would go a long way towards helping the Dolphins.  A new playcaller, even if he’s working from a similar playbook, would help this team, immediately.  No more play action passes on 3rd and 17.  No more Wildcat on 3rd and 9.  No more mass confusion in the 2 minute drill.

2.  Labor Dispute

This one hasn’t been talked about nearly enough.  I’ve been a Dolphins fan for 25 years and completely understand that disappointment in this year’s team.  BUT, with the owners set to lockout the players early in 2011, there is a chance that many OTA’s, mini camps, etc. will not happen.  If the Dolphins bring in a new coach, he likely won’t have the luxury of a full offseason to shape the team in the way that he wants.  This means continuity is key.  Say the Dolphins brought in Jon Gruden.  He might not have a chance to install his offense and overall philosophies until August or even later.  Do you really want the Dolphins to go through another rough year?  I, for one, do not want another lost season.

3.  He doesn’t buy the groceries

Sparano and the trifecta brought in Chad Henne and it goes without saying that he has been inconsistent.  He has not progressed to where the Dolphins hoped he would be by now.  Sparano, I’m sure has a say, but the offensive line is constantly being rebuilt.  They have 2 underachieving, aging running backs.  Yes, he does have to take the fault for part of this, but it’s not all on him.  Jeff Ireland must take some of the blame here.  The Dolphins have drafted a number of offensive linemen since the trifecta took over and only 2 are still on the team.  Sparano should be developing these players, BUT you can only squeeze so much orange juice out of an orange.

4. Other Options

The names being thrown around right now for the Miami job, if it were to become open, include Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden.  BUT, what if Stephen Ross decides to fire Tony Sparano, and the bigger name coaches DON’T come to Miami.  I don’t want to see Brian Billick or an up and coming coordinator in Miami.  Has Sparano had issues?  Of course.  But, do you really want to risk another Cam Cameron at the helm?

Any others that we may have left out?  Please hit up our comment section and let us know what you think.  Later this week we’ll have the reasons Tony Sparano should be out in Miami.

Dolphins lose at home AGAIN

Sitting in my house in NJ as the blizzard os 2010 is sweeping through, I had the perfect day planned. I was going to be snowed in so nothing could distract me from the game. I could have a few drinks, enjoy the second to last Dolphins game of 2010 and start to think about 2011. With the Dolphins playing the Detroit Lions, I thought it would be a happy day, as the Dolphins should’ve moved over .500 with a win.

Well, the Dolphins played pretty well until the fourth quarter; when everything fell apart. Chad Henne showed everyone why he has so many critics, throwing two game altering interceptions. He should begin polishing up his resume. I’m disgusted with him and this team at this point. He is at his WORST when the game is on the line. Look up his fourth quarter numbers, they are atrocious!!

Oh, and Mr Sparano, I think you are a great coach, but you might want to think about working on your resume too. We have a lot to breakdown and discuss over the next couple of days. I need a few hours to unwind before going through the whole game recap.

We’ll leave you with this for now- 1-7 at home in 2010, disgraceful….losing 34-27 to the Lions who just won
their second home game in about 3 years….embarrassing……having a new coach and new qb in 2011, probably.

Gameday Breakdown: Detroit Lions @ Miami Dolphins

As those of us in the northeast prepare for a massive snowstorm, the Miami Dolphins are preparing to welcome in the Detroit Lions to Sun Life Stadium.  The Dolphins are looking to win their second game at home this season.  They are also looking to perhaps save their head coaches job.

The Dolphins strength this year has been their defense.  They welcome in a Lions team that is 17th overall in total offense.  They rank 23rd in rushing and 11th in passing.  Expect the Dolphins 3rd ranked defense to shut down the running game and force the Lions to pass the ball.  I’ll personally be looking at the play of our young corners, Sean Smith and Vontae Davis.  One, or both will lock up with Megatron (Calvin Johnson) at times during the game.  This is where they can show how they’ve progressed this year.  It will also be interesting to see how Cameron Wake does against the Lions offensive line.  Can he add to his league leading sack total?

On Offense, the Dolphins will take on the 20th ranked defense in the NFL.  It is worrisome when you think of the poor interior Oline play of the Dolphins, as they match up against Suh and the Lions front 4.  The Dolphins offensive line will need to get a push up front so the Dolphins can establish the running game early and often.  Ricky and Ronnie could be playing their last few games in Miami, but I expect Lex Hilliard to get a few more carries this week. There should be running room as the Lions rank 23rd against the run in the NFL.

Chad Henne will look to fend off the critics this week and show that he can lead his team to victory.  He must show in these last 2 games that he deserves a shot in 2011.  Pressure is on Chad, good luck!

I look for the Dolphins to man up and play with some pride this week.  They are tired of hearing what could have been this year and they are determined to win.  Dan Carpenter should also bounce back after his 4 miss performance last Sunday.  I’ll say Dolphins 24 – Lions 13

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Merry Christmas!!

From all of us at PhinNation.com, we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!! Even though our Miami Dolphins are struggling in 2010, here’s to a happy and healthy 2011!!

AFC East Preview: The Week Ahead 12/22

It’s fun to do these week ahead previews when the Miami Dolphins still have a shot at making the playoffs.  But thanks to a no-show by the offense and their kicker on Sunday, we will be doing just that today.  The Dolphins were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.  All we are left to do is to root against the Dolphins rivals.  Here’s a look at what is in store in week 16 of the NFL season:

New England Patriots (12-2)

The Pats didn’t look as impressive as in previous weeks, but they did enough to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.  They travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills this week as they look to wrap up the division and home field throughout the AFC playoffs.   If they wrap things up this week, look for them to play the starters for about a half against the Dolphins in week 17.

New York Jets (10-4)

The Jets won a game on Sunday against the Steelers that few people thought they could.  They all but clinched a playoff spot with the win and put an end to the ‘Same Ole Jets’ talk.  Rex Ryan, wanting to keep things interesting, has yet something other than football to talk about this week.  You see, he and his wife apparently have some kind of foot fetish and there are videos on YouTube.com.  He wouldn’t talk about the incident and would only answer questions about FOOTball at his press conference today.  This week the Jets look to punch their ticket to the playoffs in Chicago against the Bears. If the Jets make the playoffs in back to back years, what a FEET it would be.  Alright, I’m done!

Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Every other week we seem to say the same thing.  After a home game, it’s the same thing.  Why can’t the Dolphins play consistent football and win home games?  No one seems to know.  But, there are rumblings that Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden could be interested in the Dolphins job, should Stephen Ross decide to make a change.  The offseason may be starting early for the Dolphins, but it is sure to be an interesting one.  After being eliminated from the playoff race by the Bills last week, the Dolphins host the Detroit Lions this weekend in Miami.

Buffalo Bills (4-10)

The Bills are prime to play spoiler for their AFC East foes.  Knocking the Dolphins off last week meant dashing their playoff hopes.  This week, they host the Patriots, in a game they should lose.  In the final week of the season, the Bills take on the New York Jets.  If the Jets lose this week in Chicago, they may need the game to make the playoffs.

If you are interest in tickets for sporting events or hard to find concert tickets, click on our TicketCapo.com banner to the left.  Use Discount code PHINS10 and receive $10 off for purchases of $100 or more!!

What I’m Reading: Miami Dolphins 12/21

It’s an off day and all seems to be quiet in Phin Nation. There is an increasing buzz about the future of the Miami Dolphins head coach and GM. I even heard Mort on ESPN radio this morning say that Bill Cowher would be interested in Miami next year. He went on to say that Stephen Ross is looking to make a splash to compete with fans attention in Miami. Here’s a look at what I’m reading today:

Keep the Regime, but make better decisions

In the above article Armando Salguero lays out a good argument as to why the Dolphins should think long and hard about changing their GM and head coach this offseason.  He says that wise player decisions would make the team better sooner than changing the management.

Who’s to blame for Phins offensive woes?

Omar Kelly does a good job of breaking down the Dolphins 31st ranked scoring offense.  Is it Henne?  Henning?  Both?

Parcells to blame?

Greg Stoda has this interesting article about Bill Parcells and how culpable he should be for the state of the 2010 Miami Dolphins.  Is he to blame?

The Dolphins are back at practice tomorrow as they begin preparations for the Detroit Lions in this weekend’s game.   If you are looking for tickets to the game, check out TicketCapo.com and use promo code PHINS10 and receive $10 off a purchase of $100 or more!

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What I’m reading: Miami Dolphins 12/20

We don’t know about the rest of you, but here at Phin Nation, we still can’t come to grips with the fact that the Miami Dolphins season is essentially over.  Sure, they have 2 games left this year, but they have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.  There will be a lot of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’s, but the reality is that the Dolphins offense is not ready to be a contender.  The defense is on track, but the offense can’t even manage the game when it needs to.  Here are some interesting articles to chew on today:

Cowher returning to coach?

When we heard it yesterday morning on ESPN we were just as shocked as you were.  Bill Cowher the coach of the Miami Dolphins?  Mort said that the Stephen Ross may be looking to bring some big name coach in to excite the fan base.  We like Tony Sparano, but Bill Cowher, if interested, is worth talking to.  Our hopes aren’t too high because Cowher will likely go somewhere that they are ready to win now, with a QB in place.

The Psyche of the Miami Dolphins

PhinPhanatic.com takes a look inside the mind of the Miami Dolphins team.   How could they possibly be so good on the road and so bad at home?  Interesting fact – The Pittsburgh Steelers have won more games (2) than the Dolphins (1) have this calendar year.

Is Henning Really the Culprit?

Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel looks at Offensive Coordinators past to review if 2010 is really Dan Henning’s fault.

Looking at the Draft

We said a few weeks ago that it’s too early to start thinking about the draft. Well, with the season on the brink, it’s worth looking ahead to see who the Dolphins might have available when they pick (probably between 13-18).  Drafttek.com, which runs simulations every week, has the Dolphins selecting Mark Ingram, RB from Alabama.

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Dolphins miss field goals, playoffs

Disgusting and embarrassing. Those two words sum up the 2010 Miami Dolphins. They couldn’t beat a 3-10 Buffalo Bills team when their season was on the line. In fact, the Dolphins showed today just how far away they are from being a legit team in the NFL.

The Dolphins, much like the fans in attendance, showed too little heart and energy in today’s 17-14 loss to the Bills. It may have been the last time Phin Nation sees Chad Henne taking snaps in a Dolphins uniform. Henne looked off at times and threw ye another interception. He did complete most of his passes for over 250 yards, but he lacks command of the game. It was never more evident than in the final minute of the game. The Dolphins needed only a field goal to tie the game and Henne struggled AGAIN in the two minute drill. The main reason people don’t see him as the future QB in Miami is that he has been terrible for the most part in the clutch moments of games. Some of this has to fall at the feet of the coaches, but Henne just doesn’t appear to have “it”.

Today’s loss wasn’t all Henne’s fault, however. The Dolphins ran the ball just 19 times against THE WORST rushing defense in the league. Tough to completely blame Dan Henning though, as the offensive line created very little running room for the running backs.

We haven’t forgotten about the Dolphins Pro Bowl kicker. Forget about the 61 yarder that Dan Carpenter missed short. That’s a tough kick for anyone. BUT, the Miami Dolphins kicker missed key field goals that his team needed. He missed two from 48 and one from 51. In case you didn’t realize, this game wasn’t played in cold, blustery Buffalo. It was played in 67 degree Miami. Carpenters 48 yard miss in the fourth quarter would have tied the game and may have kept the Dolphins in playoff contention. However, the kick, like the Dolphins playoff hopes, was no good.

Gameday Breakdown: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

Welcome to gameday Phin Nation! The Miami Dolphins look to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture today. The Dolphins welcome in the Buffalo Bills, a team that is only 3-10 on the season. Despite their record the Bills have played tough and with heart AT TIMES. In other times the Bills have looked awful.

The Dolphins are just 1-5 on the season at home and must improve on this record to stay alive in the playoff race. They will look to do so behind their struggling young quarterback, Chad Henne. Henne must show he is capable of being a starter in the NFL over these next 3 games. If not, the Dolphins will need to take a long hard look at the qb situation in 2011.

To win the game today, the Dolphins will need to establish their struggling running game. They are facing the WORST rushing defense in the NFL. There are no excuses after today Mr Sparano. NONE!

I expect the Dolphins to control the clock and improve to 8-6. Final score Dolphins 27-Bills 13.