To say the Miami Dolphins have been disappointing would be a monumental understatement. Since the Dolphins last game, a loss to the Chargers, much of the attention has been placed on the Dolphins Coach, Tony Sparano. Sparano has gotten much of the attention because many Dolphins fans and ‘experts’ thought that the Chargers loss would lead to Sparano’s firing. After Sparano received a hallow endorsement from the Dolphins Owner, fans’ anger spread to include Jeff Ireland. We believe BOTH are to blame, but today’s focus is going to be on the players…you know, the ones that are on the field. Coming into this season, we believed that the Dolphins were no worse than an 8-8 team, and with some breaks, they could challenge for the playoffs. For the love of Luck, were we wrong! Here is a short list (it could be much longer), of players/positions that need to step up for the final 12 games of the Dolphins season:
Yes, Brandon Marshall is on pace to catch 88 balls for over 1,200 yards and 4 TDs. Considering almost half of his 313 yards came in the Dolphins first game, he needs to do better. He needs to be more consistent. He needs to catch the important passes. Just last week we saw 2 key drops. 1st, on 3rd down, he ran an out route, beat his defender….and had the ball hit him in the hands and fall to the ground. 2nd, he beats his defender on a go route, Matt Moore places the ball where only Brandon can catch it…..and it goes right through his hands because apparently the sun was in his eyes. Big time receivers, ALPHA receivers make those catches. We thought we were getting an elite receiver when the Dolphins traded 2 2nd round picks for Marshall…hopefully, sometime soon, he starts to play like it.
Karlos Dansby/Kevin Burnett
We’ll include both of the Dolphins starting inside linebackers here, because they have both played poorly. Karlos Dansby was the big acquisition last year, brought in for his playmaking ability…..and if we got the Karlos Dansby of last year, we’d all be happy…but we’re not. Dansby is said to be slowed by a groin injury, but if he’s on the field, he needs to be productive. If he can’t be 100%, he shouldn’t be playing. Thus far, he has 15 tackles (1 for loss) and 1 forced fumble. He has also been VERY suspect in pass coverage. Between Dansby and Burnett, opposing tight ends have had a field day against the Dolphins defense. Burnett…you know, the guy who got tough with Omar Kelly? I wish he’d take his anger out on Dolphins opponents. Burnett was brought in by the Dolphins this offseason to replace Channing Crowder because of his playmaking ability (sacks/ints). However, he has registered only 10 tackles and no tackles for loss, sacks, or ints. The Dolphins are NOT getting their moneys worth from Burnett right now.
Vontae Davis/Sean Smith
When you talk before the season about being one of the top CB tandems in the NFL, you had better back it up, or it will haunt you all season. Sure, the future is bright for Davis and Smith, but when is the future going to come? All we hear about is potential….we need to start seeing some more production. Vontae should be back from his injury in time for the Jets game. Thus far, according to ESPN, Vontae has not registered a “pass defensed”. Sean Smith has 3 passes defensed, but neither he, nor Vontae, have come down with an INT yet. What’s worse, the Dolphins secondary COULD be the most suspect part of the Defense through 4 games. Wide receivers run through the Dolphins secondary untouched and uncovered. I am still having nightmares about Andre Johnson being so wide open that he dove for the ball and had time to get up and out run everyone to the endzone. Time to step up #21 and #24.
I’m not even leaving Jake Long out of this one. Yes, I now he’s been hurting, but if he’s on the field, he needs to play better. The Dolphins line has been terrible, especially the right side (Carey/Colombo). With Matt Moore, the human ‘sack attack’, at QB, the Dolphins O-Line had better get fixed in a hurry. Moore tends to hold the ball (even longer than Henne) and will be sacked 5+ times a game if this line doesn’t improve. We suggest benching Colombo, moving Carey to RT and have Nate Garner move in to RG. That probably won’t happen because Sparano and Ireland love them some ex-Cowboys. Pass protection is one thing, but the line also has to do a better job of opening holes and getting to their second level blocks, in the running game. Time to step up gentlemen.
Their are certainly others that could (should) be included on this list. Reggie Bush would be on here, because he hasn’t done all that much. Although, we left him off because we don’t feel the Dolphins are utilizing him correctly. Hopefully, that will change. The Dolphins defensive line could also be on this list, they need to hold their blocks, and allow the linebackers to fill the gaps to stop opposing running games. It’s still hard to understand why the Dolphins defense that ranked #6 in the NFL last year, and returned 9 or 11 starters, could fall to #30. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Is it all because Rashad Jones is starting at safety instead of Chris Clemons? Do the Dolphins miss Channing Crowder THAT MUCH? It’s time for the players to stop talking about how much they hate the “Suck for Luck” campaign, stop picking fights with superhero reporters, and start playing football.
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