Tag: Karlos Dansby

Dolphins get younger, faster with Wallace, Ellerbe, and Wheeler

The Miami Dolphins entered free agency with a lot of pressure to improve their roster.  Jeff Ireland knows that 2013 is a make or break year for him….and on the first day of free agency, he showed that he is swinging for the fences.  Shortly after the new league year started at 4pm on Tuesday, the Dolphins quickly agreed to terms of a deal with Mike Wallace.  The deal is for 5 years and will be worth $60 million with $30 million guaranteed.  The Dolphins plan to hold a press conference Wednesday morning to introduce Wallace.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins weren’t done there.  They actively pursued Jared Cook, the top tight end on the market, but ultimately lost him to the Rams.  The Dolphins are still in the market for a tight end….more on that in a bit.  News quickly leaked shortly after that the Dolphins had come to terms with a free agent of their own, Chris Clemons.  Clemons signed a one year deal, meaning the starting safety combo will return in 2013.  Clemons will need to show progress to get a longer term deal.  I would also expect the Dolphins to draft a safety next month.

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If I were Jeff Ireland……….Part 3 (Who to draft)

Alright Dolphins fans, this is the third and final installment of our offseason plan.  The Dolphins haven’t even gotten to the point where they have resigned any of their own free agents and we’re about to finish our full offseason plan.  Can you tell we’re anxious for the offseason to get underway?!  If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of our plans, you can click on here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Some Dolphins have posed some good questions regarding our plan, most notably about our desire to sign Jermichael Finley.  It’s a risk, I’ll admit that.  However, if he is released and will only cost money, I think the potential upside far outweighs the downside.  Besides, how many other seam threat tight ends are out there?

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Part 3 – Which players to draft

Alright, so we’ve made it this far in our offseason plan.  We’ve added some speed and explosiveness on offense, adding Mike Wallace and Jermichael Finley, while resigning Reggie Bush.  On defense, we’ve resigned Sean Smith and Randy Starks, but there are two big needs remaining as we enter the draft.  We need to find a starting cornerback and a defensive end that can provide some pass rush opposite Cameron Wake.  We will also be looking for a QB for depth and a young receiver to add to the mix.  The rest of the draft will focus on depth.

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Dolphins show they aren’t ready for prime time with 19-14 loss to Bills

Two weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins were 4-3 and fans were talking about the possibility of the playoffs….Two weeks ago, the Dolphins players looked like they were buying into Joe Philbin’s system and philosophies….Two weeks ago, Ryan Tannehill was proving doubters wrong, posting 85+ QB ratings week after week…..Two weeks ago, the Dolphins were headed to Indianapolis to take on the Colts and the winner would improve to 5-3…..Two weeks ago, the Dolphins had hope.

What a difference two weeks makes, huh?  The Dolphins that have showed up the last 3 games have looked nothing like the team that went on a 3 game winning streak.  The Dolphins are turning the ball over on offense, not creating turnovers on defense, not stopping the run, not blocking anyone, and their rookie quarterback has looked like a rookie quarterback.

Last night, the Dolphins offense through the first 3 and a half quarters made the NY Jets offense look like the Greatest Show on Turf, Rams team.  The Dolphins offense was so bad that they failed to convert a 3rd down through the air or on the ground until the 4th quarter.  For 3 quarters, their longest drive lasted all of 5 plays. The defense, to their credit, shut the Bills out in the second half.  The Dolphins had 2 chances with the ball late, but both drives ended with Ryan Tannehill interceptions.  The Dolphins fell too far behind and their comeback effort was too little, too late.  The Bills held on for a 19-14 win and moved into a tie with the Dolphins for second place in the AFC East at 4-6.

What I liked

Marcus Thigpen – Thigpen broke a 96 yard kick return for a touchdown in the first quarter. At the time, I had hoped that this would wake up the sluggish Dolphins team that fell behind 10-0 early.  Thigpen has now returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season and is really one of the only players on the Dolphins playing well right now.

Rashad Jones – Jones led the Dolphins with 14 tackles last night. His play this season has been much improved from the last few years. He needs to create more turnovers in the passing game, but he has been solid against the run.  However, it speaks volumes when your leading tackler on defense is the furthest guy from the ball when it’s snapped.  Jones made a ton of tackles, but I’d rather see Burnett or Dansby leading the team.

Situational Defense – The Dolphins defense that hasn’t been able to get off the field on 3rd downs, turned things around last night.  They held the Bills to just 2 conversions on twelve 3rd down opportunities.  That’s a stark improvement from recent weeks.  The Dolphins red zone defense also did a great job, keeping the Bills offense out of the end zone the entire game.  The Bills were 0-4 in the red zone and had to settle for field goals each time.

Brandon Fields – You know we’re stretching for positives when Brandon Fields is on the list.  Fields did a good job last night, averaging just under 50 yards per punt, with 2 of his 6 punts downed inside of the Bills’ 20 yard line.

Davone Bess’ TD Grab – Davone Bess caught the Dolphins only offensive touchdown of the game by doing a great job of keeping 2 feet in bounds, while falling.  The play was initially ruled incomplete, but the Dolphins challenged and it was overturned.  Great play by Bess.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Dolphins Gameplan: Defense must dominate

Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby called the Dolphins game on Sunday against the Cardinals a ‘must win’.  The 1-2 Dolphins certainly have their work cut out for them if they hope to beat the 3-0 Cardinals.  The Dolphins offense has been sporadic and the defense is not ready to carry the team at this point.  The Dolphins must get more consistent play from quarterback Ryan Tannehill (I know he’s a rookie!), but he also must get some help from receivers other than guys named Bess and Hartline.  By the way, has anyone seen Charles Clay?

The Dolphins are also dealing with a couple of injuries that could greatly impact their chances of pulling off an upset.  Reggie Bush is working his way back from a knee bruise that he suffered against the Jets.  And yesterday, Richard Marshall’s back injury resurfaced, causing him to miss practice.  Although it may seem bleak, the Dolphins do have a chance in this game.  Here’s what the Dolphins need to do to pull off the upset in Arizona:

Protect the Football

Coaches always say that if you win the turnover battle, you have a much better chance of winning.  The Dolphins are -3 in the giveaway/takeaway department this season.  A big part of that statistic is the fact that Ryan Tannehill has thrown 4 interceptions.  3 of those came in the first game against the Texans, so he’s been doing a better job of protecting the football.  His only turnover in the last 2 games was the pick-6 he threw to LaRon Landry last week.

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Week 15: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills – Winner Takes All…of 3rd Place…Kinda.

So…last week ey…what a week, am I right? Had high hopes, got blown-out, Sparano got fired, but now it’s on to Buffalo.  This Sunday at 1pm, our (4-9) Dolphins head north to New York to meet up with the Toronto…err… (5-8) Buffalo Bills. This preview is going to be pretty short considering the last time we faced the Bills we won by 27; then again we also still had a “permanent” head coach.

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

There’s really not much to mention about the Bill’s offense at this point.  Their best offensive player, Fred Jackson, has been shut down for the remainder of the season and their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has plummeted back to earth after his blazing start to the year.  The Bills offense still finds themselves ranked 11th in the rush game, but good luck against the Dolphins’ 3rd best rush defense that held LeSean McCoy, whom many consider to be an elite RB, to 38 yards last week.  I must say this about the Dolphin defense last week.  They played a hell of a game and had extremely little to do with why the Dolphins lost.  Holding McCoy to 38 yards and Vick to a 69.9 passer rating should win you a game the majority of the time.  The defense really only had one slip-up; on the Jackson blown coverage.  This week against the Bills, they will continue to dominate, much like a few weeks ago when they only allowed the Bills to score 2FGs.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

Wow, last weak (yes weak) was worse than pathetic, BUT what they hell do you expect when you lose two starting linemen, one being a pro-bowler, and have to throw in a third stringer that just got on the team a few weeks ago?  No S*&+ you are going to lose.  We had no threat of a pass and, even though Reggie is laying some lumber, he’s not going to make his own holes against a stacked box.  Sorry if I’m being harsh to Buffalo, but do not think that this matchup has anything to do with what they are going to do and is all about how the Phins bounce back.  After a pitiful performance, a changing of coach, and the season officially being scraped, do they continue to play hard and get the ship straightened?  I have to think so.  Nothing has shown me that they wouldn’t and what a perfect matchup to do so.  The only thing that would prevent this would be health issues.  Will Matt Moore play and, moore (love it) importantly, can we keep him in the upright throwing position?  Ehhh?

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameCircle the Wagons.  Get back to what was working before last week.  We obviously aren’t ready to play with good teams, but still should blow-out the bad ones.

Bills’ Key to the GameLet it Snow. Really the only thing I can see helping the Bills end their 6 game losing streak.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchKarlos Dansby. I had expressed my disappointment with him for weeks, but he has been coming to play recently so I have to give props where props are due.

Bills’ Player to WatchSteve Johnson. The Dolphin secondary obviously can still get burnt and a slumping Bills team may try to break it with some big plays down the field. Why not?

How it plays out:  Not as bad as last time.  I can’t see it being as bad as it was in week 11 for a few reasons.  1. In Buffalo. 2. Its late December. 3. The week the Phins are coming off of. 4. Phins are banged up.

Prediction20-10 Miami.  A very cold and irrelevant game.  Playing for 3rd in the AFC East, really the only thing that can be won here is bragging rights…and a worse draft pick.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 11 Preview: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins – Nobody Circles the Wagons Like the…Dolphins?

This Sunday at 1pm, our Miami Dolphins look for their 3rd win (yes, WIN) in a row against the reeling Buffalo Bills.  Yes people, this is what other teams call a “winning streak” or the Packers call “normal.” On the other hand, the Bills are riding a 2 game losing streak, or as the “Suck for Luckers” call it, “the good ole days.”  This game is important for both teams if they want to consider…playoffs (*suppresses inner Jim Mora).

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

I must say, I feel that the Dolphin defense has been playing better and better each week. Now, is this because of the lack of quality offenses they went against, they have gotten more help from our own offense, or does winning really cure all?  Whatever the reason may be and despite the fact they are still ranked 25th against the pass, the Dolphin D is looking good.  After all, they are ranked 8th in the one defensive stat that truly matters; points-per-game with 19.8.  They also have only given up 20+ points once this year (week 1 against the Pats).

With the Dolphin defense’s success noted, the Bill’s offense started off the season blazing, scoring 20+ points every week, but the past two weeks, it has struggled.  In their last two games, the Bills had below 300 total yards and 7 total turnovers.  That being said, those performances came against tough Jets and Cowboy defenses.  Despite their lack of success last week, Fred Jackson was still able to surpass the century mark, gaining 114 yards on 13 carries.  The Dolphins D has done a better job at stopping the run recently, but haven’t faced a RB like Jackson in a few weeks.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

20+ points two weeks in a row? 2 Reggie Bush TDs? What is going on? By no means is the Miami Dolphin offense high powered, but they are finally finding ways to put the ball in the endzone.  I equate this success to a few things.  First, they are having success when they throw the ball on first down.  They seem to start off throwing on first, then when they have the lead, stop.  Its baffling.  It works to open up the defense, but once we have the lead, they seemingly try to run the clock out in the third quarter.  The second thing I think that has led to offensive success is the use of Brandon Marshall and the TE…that happens to be Anthony Fasano.  Targeting Marshall should be obvious…you would think…but the Dolphins have finally been getting him the ball more and more.  I am also a big support of using your TE; they often can cause mismatches against LBs(right Dansby. don’t be fooled, that INT was luck)  and create short yardage situations.  I hope these success points continue for the Dolphins.  They should have a favorable match-up against a poor Bill defense that has given up 20+ points in all but two games this season. Despite, their poor run/pass stopping and points-per-game, they have been able to rack up impressive 20 takeaways.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Foot on the Gas. As I mentioned before, the Dolphins have a tendency to play what I call “prevent offense” once they have the ball.  If they get a lead, they need to continue to throw the ball on non-passing downs.  Everyone knows we wanna run so your not surprising them when you try to.

Bills’ Key to the Game: Run before you Throw.  The Bills obvious strong suit and the should be possible against our defense.  If they get Jackson going, they may be able to ride him to victory; which may be necessary with Steve Johnson’s health in question.

Dolphin’ Player to WatchBrandon Marshall.  I do not think that the Bills will have anyone that can stop him and with Moore targeting him more-and-more (see what I did there?) he should have a big day.

Bills’ Player to Watch: Fred Jackson.  This guy has a great story and is a great runner.  I still think our defense will have trouble with a strong runner; which Jackson is.

How it plays out: More Competitive…than the past two weeks.  I think the Dolphins short run of easily won games will come to an end here.  As I have stated, I do think the Dolphins will struggle stopping the run; which will open the pass somewhat.  That being said, I see no reason, other than a self-destruction, the offense should be shutdown by the Bills.

Prediction: 24-17 … Dolphins. 24, yes, that means 3 TDs.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 7 Preview: Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins – Tebow-A-Thon

This Sunday’s 1pm matchup between the Denver Broncos (1-4) and Miami Dolphins (0-5) will be the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins all year.  Because cause it might be there best chance at winning a game this season? No.  Because a loss might spell the end to Tony Sparano’s tenure as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach? No. Then why is it the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins?  Three syllables: Tim Tebow.

What to Watch For:

Broncos’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Denver Bronco’s offense trots into Miami being near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to offense. They are ranked 22th in rushing and 27th in passing. This has led the Broncos to finally succumb to the fan’s cries (and billboards) to let Tebow play.  How great did that play out for the Dolphin owners?  To setup, what I’m calling, “Gator Day” and have Tebow make his first start.  I wonder how many high-fives went around the office when the announcement of Tebow starting was delivered.  I feel that you have to throw out the Broncos’ previous offensive performances with this change of QB.  I like the variables that Tebow adds to this offense, with extending plays and running.  A bad team can benefit from this type of QB and the Dolphins do have trouble stopping running QBs (Sanchez TD last week).  He might have to do this with his best WR, Brandon Lloyd, being traded to the Rams this week.  Then again, this Dolphins D has not pressured a soul all year.  This Dolphin D and the supporting crowd should provide Timmy a chance to get off on the right foot.

As previously mentioned, the Broncos run game is nothing special as Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee have struggled.  In their last game, week 5 against the Chargers, McGahee received all of the Broncos’ RB carries (16 for 125 yards).  That performance compiled with the addition of Tebow’s rushes and their bye week leads me to believe their rush game will improve.  Although, the Dolphins are coming off a good, at least for us, defensive performance against the Jets.  On Monday, the Dolphins held the Jets to under 300 total yards and only 104 total rushing yards.  Is this the return of the strong Miami Dolphins D or the struggles of a weak Jet offense?  I’m not sure, but I would bet on the ladder of the two.

Dolphin Offense vs. Broncos’ Defense:

The Bronco defense enters with numbers just as bad as their offense.  They are rated 22nd against the pass and 23rd against the run.  This should be good news for the Dolphins, but there have been reports that Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall have been limited in practice.  I’m not sure, no matter how bad the defense, this offense will do anything.  I was at the game this past Monday and it was hard to watch (it didn’t help having all the Jets fans there).  Thomas had a poor game, but I have to credit that to the garbage play calling.  They are so predictable, once a play works once, they think they can run it over-and-over again.  The phins have no chance in the redzone and should just consider kneeling down three time and kick the FG.  Matt Moore was bad, as expected.  Marshall DID have a good game (6rec for 109 yards), but then fades in the redzone.  O yeah, WTF was he doing on the play he ran out-of-bounds?!  I almost lost my mind in the stands.  I could not believe what I witnessed.  I can’t talk about them anymore.  The Broncos D is bad, SHOULD be a chance for the Dolphin offense to score, but they probably won’t.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameFill the Stadium. Let’s be honest, the only thing the organization cares about this week is filling the seats.  So a win for the Dolphins came with having no blackout of the game this weekend.  Want an actual key to the game?  Score a TD.

Broncos’ Key to the GameFeed the Tebow.  Broncos need to use the great atmosphere for Tebow’s benefit.  Get him going with some high percentage passes and give him the option to run.  Establish confidence, then build off of it.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchUmm? Karlos Dansby.  Not because I think he’s going to break out, but see if he can quite those Suck for Luckers.  SPOILER ALERT: He won’t

Broncos’ Player to WatchLeft Guard Zane Beadles.  You buy that?  Didn’t think so.  Obviously it’s Tebow.  I think he plays well (not great).  Throws for a buck-eighty a Td and runs for one.

How it plays out:  Same old, same old.  This game could be a horrid game to watch with two bad teams going at it.  Both teams struggle to do much of anything, but the Bronco’s bye week, “Gator Day,” and the Tebow boost the Broncos to make a few big plays against this Dolphin D.

Prediction24-16 Broncos.  I can’t believe I’m saying the Dolphins will score 16 points, but I feel the poor Bronco defense will allow them an opportunity to at least put on TD on the board, by accident.  Regardless, this game is a toss-up and one of the Dolphins very few opportunities to win.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

My Karlos Dansby Reaction/Vent: Fair-Weather? What? Where?

We all know about “Suck for Luck.”  You can promote it, hate it, or be indifferent, but you have to acknowledge it.  I do not care if you hate the idea or love it.  I’m not even sure where I fall, but one thing I will not do is accuse “suck for Luck” Dolphin fans, who want the team to be great, as being fair-weather fans.  To me fair-weather fans are those people that when a team sucks, like the Dolphins now, they kind of just stop paying attention and do chores on Sundays, but when they are good, they toss on their “player who is no longer on the team” jersey.  A fair-weather fan is not someone who continues to watch and suffer through the Dolphins’ horrid performance week-after-week and want them to be good at whatever cost (sucking this year).  This is why I have to respond to how Dolphin LB Karlos Dansby reacted when asked about the “Suck for Luck” campaign.

The following quotes from Dansby were initially reported by the Sun-Sentinel here.

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