Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dolphins Will Sign TE Julius Thomas This Off Season

      Adam Gase opened his tenure in Miami making a move for CJ Anderson.  The Broncos matched, Anderson got hurt after a hot start, and Jay Ajayi made Dolphins fans forget.
     What we shouldn't forget heading into this off season is that Gase made Julius Thomas a far bigger star than he was ever able to make Anderson.  And Thomas is going to be available (Jacksonville is looking to shed his contract and label him a "bust"- an easy title to earn when Blake Bortles is throwing you into coverage.)
     The Dolphins must, should, and will pounce.  For the first time since Keith Jackson, we will have a dominant red zone target at Tight End, and for the first time since Charles Clay left we will have a seam busting zone-killer.  A few years ago, when Dustin Keller went down, Miami's offensive blueprint changed irrevocably:  consider the inverse of that possibility?
        Imagine getting Thomas a free release since teams have to respect Landry over the middle? Now think Parker (and potentially Stills) running free release on the outside?  Ajayi will see seven in the box routinely.  Tannehill will have time to operate, as opposing defenses are forced to keep safeties and linebackers honest.
     The Dolphins will sign Julius Thomas.  Big name linebackers and corners will draw more ink this off-season, but make no mistake:  Thomas will be the lynchpin signing for the Dolphins this spring.

Jay Lopez

Friday, January 13, 2017

NFL Moves Steelers at Chiefs Start Time

Due to inclement weather forecasted for Kansas City on Sunday morning, the NFL has moved the start time of the Divisional Playoff Game between the Steelers and the Chiefs.

Kansas City is expecting freezing rain early in the day on Sunday. So to protect the safety of fans not only traveling to Arrowhead Stadium but also navigating to and from their seats the start time has been moved back into prime time.

The game will now kick off at 8:20 PM EST. NBC will still televise the game.

So as fans, we get two prime time kick offs this weekend with the Patriots hosting the Texans on Saturday night at 8:15 PM EST.

No need to rush around Sunday morning as the first game with the Packers at Dallas will still kick off at 4:40 PM EST.

Enjoy the games.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dolphins Dawning

From the Philbin/Campbell Denouement to the dawn of The Gase Era, have the Miami Dolphins really changed?

Owner Stephen Ross gets the first credit. For someone universally panned as "...not football-savvy...", he demonstrated great football instincts by signing Adam Gase to be his head coach. Gase did the rest!

Not surprisingly, the Dolphins offense became much better at finishing drives and putting points on the board. The passing game went from 6 yds./att. to almost 7, that's the difference between 24th to 6th in the league! Similarly, quarterback play improved equally well. The Gase Effect!

The Dolphins running game ranked near the top ten with both the departed Lamar Miller and the current Jay Ajayi despite sub-par offensive line play for both runners.

In the give-and-take of turnovers, the Dolphins regressed from 8th to 17th, because of one more fumble and three more interceptions.

Defense stagnated. Forcing opponents to work harder for scores, bending without breaking, actually improved from middle-of-the-pack to near the top ten. Against winning teams and/or good quarterback play, the defense under-performed equally poorly. The Dolphins run defense improved from awful to middling.

Overall, the Dolphins have become more competitive under Gase than they have been in the past. Part of that is due to the draft and free agency, but the greatest benefit to the Dolphins has been their head coach, Adam Gase, who rallied his team to a 10-6 record and playoffs after a 1-4 start.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Injury Decimated & Outclassed But Still A Season To Be Proud Of

Decimated by injuries and outclassed against the Steelers. 

No way Miami wins giving up 7 YPC every single run and not tackling anything.

We are playing with mostly backups at a lot of key positions

This season is still something to be proud of. 

The future looks bright in Miami.

Good season Dolphins!

Phins Up!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Proud Week For Young Dolfans

It's truly been a blessing. And a long time coming.

I can only imagine all the excitement in South Florida.

Back in the 80's, when I lived in West Palm Beach, going to the playoffs was much more commonplace.

Dolfans were pretty pumped up about our chances whenever you get to the playoffs with Dan Marino.

You knew you had a great chance to move on.

So discussions were always about the next round and who or where we would play next.

This year, I find myself looking back on the season. Not really looking ahead.

Not that I don't believe we can win in Pittsburgh. I think we can.

It's just that this whole season seems so miraculous.  So unusual to this franchise.

In the past 7 years, we might string a few games together to create some hope. But never enough wins to get over the hump.

I live in New Jersey, so it's pretty rare to run into another Dolfan.

Today, as I walked into the local diner, I heard someone say "nice jacket". I turned and the guy said "I'm a Dolphin fan too".

"Let's get 'em! Been a great year." A high five. That was about it.

I know this 14 year old kid I see at Mass. A nice kid. He is a Dolfan as well.

It's kids like him and so many other kids ages 12 to 20 that I am most happy for. Those newbies who came on board since 2009.

Not so much for myself but those diehards who have waited their entire cheering lives for their beloved Dolphins to be in the playoffs.

I've been a Dolfan a while. Since Christmas Day 1971. So I have been very fortunate to witness and partake in some tremendous victories.

Enough good memories to sustain me through those lean years.

These kids are tougher fans then I could have ever been. They have stuck it out.

When all your peers are probably rooting for other teams and they get to wear all their garb into school during playoff week, that's gotta hurt a bit.

Our kids were left with there is always next year.

But this week had to be glorious for those kids. For their Dads.

Had to have been some happy campers in the hallways.

That's what comes to mind.

Being a kid and having your team in the playoffs. Walking the halls, proudly wearing a jersey, sweatshirt, tee shirt and/or hat with a Dolphin emblem on it.

Had to have been pretty special this week.

I hope it continues for these kids. I hope they get another week of walking those halls with their heads held high.

Who knows? Maybe a month's worth.

That would truly be special.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Monday, January 02, 2017


   Very happy new year to all!!!  Here we are sitting as the 6th seed going into the playoffs for the first time in 8 years, people ask me if the Dolphins actually deserve or are good enough or worthy of the playoff spot they got, well the answer is a resounding yes they are worthy of the playoff spot they got because a playoff spot is not given it is earned and the Fins did just that.

So they lost to the Brady Bunch, maybe we aren't as good as the Pats, but we are as good as Pittsburgh or Houston if not better, and I'll say this the game against the Patriots wouldn't have mattered regardless of outcome and they didn't get our best shot. Now when we hit Pittsburgh that will be with everything on the line.
I am expecting a great game may or may not be pretty but it's going to be mano a mano (hand to hand combat) between to teams that know it's win or watch from the couch like the rest of us.

Here is something else, I did not like the hit on tony Lippett,  he was completely defenseless. It may be legal but if you hit a defenseless receiver you get a flag and it to me doesn't seem right. That hit could've hurt Lippett on the verge of the playoffs. Good cheering for this game Dolphin's fans let's see if we can make some noise.

Miami Dolphins Open As 10 Point Dogs at Pittsburgh

No respect, I tell ya, no respect!

Take my wife!

We are the Rodney Dangerfields of the Wild Card round.

Houston giving Oakland 3.
Seattle giving Detroit 7 1/2.
Green Bay giving Giants 3 1/2.

Miami gets 10 points.

We got em right were we want em.

Or as Marine General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller said during the Korean War when surrounded by the Chinese Army "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us....they can't get away this time."

We have found some magical ways to win games this season. Looks like the odds makers feel this cat ran out of lives.

Well, we are playing with house money anyway.

Nobody figured we'd get into the playoffs before the season started and after a 1-4 start, we only confirmed their suspicions.

Me, I like our chances. I like the J-Train running wild.

Looks like a sucker bet to me.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Miami Dolphins Play Of The Season

Without this play happening we would be the same old Dolphins.

Thankfully, it saved our season.

More to come?

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Nothing Gained, Nothing Lost For Miami Dolphins

The Chiefs won anyway.

Even if we beat the Pats, we were still going to Pittsburgh as the 6th seed.

When you look at our final score, it looks like we got completely spanked.

We got beat. But it was closer than the final score indicated.

7 minutes left and we were on the doorstep of making it a one possession game.

We had already done that after taking the 2nd half kick off down the field and Matt Moore found a wide open Kenny Stills making the score 20-14.

Lets face it. We have to play a perfect game to beat the Pats with so many subs starting.

But fumbling the ball on the 5 yard line and watching it go 80 yards the other way is not anything close to perfection.

Ok. So we go to Pittsburgh. We were gonna go there anyway.

What did we lose? Nothing.

An argument can be made that we gained a little.

Pittsburgh is tough, but they aren't the Patriots.

They will watch film. They will be ready but they won't be as cranked up as if we beat the Pats.

No. Falling on our faces isn't as bad as it looks.

We know we could play better than we did.

And I am confident we will in Pittsburgh.

Up here in NJ, there are plenty of Steelers fans running about.

Many of my friends, including my sister, will be waving their terrible towels this week.

I sure could use an upset here.

We should open 7 point underdogs. Better for us.

Nobody will give us a chance. Better for us.

We are playing with house money. Better for us.

We have nothing to lose. Everything to gain.

Lets just enjoy the ride, however long it lasts.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971