Saturday, August 26, 2006

Invincible


Count me among those that will see the move "Invincible" the almost-true story of a guy who goes to open tryouts and makes the Eagles squad.

I love the underdog story, and when its a football story, all the better.

...Didja know that nearly all NFL teams held open tryouts? I can still remember the Phins tryouts. They'd have 100s of guys who had played at some level - or sometimes never played football at all - coming in to work out. Some of them were maybe halfway to decent, but only a small handful were offered an opportunity to come out to training camp, and none made the the squad.

Players of the week (and not)

Chris Chambers showed me some different stuff than I had seen before. He
made some tough catches, and some easy catches. He caught a TD from
Culpepper that was called back on a rather questionable offensive
interference call.

Dan Wilkinson did some more amazing things in this game. Wow! He's
astounding.

Jason Allen might still be a wanker owing to the fact that he's still being
paid a lot of money, and was "juked out of his shoes" and did have his
number called when Welker went down. But, I'm not going to put too fine a
point on his wankerering at the moment.

The botched offensive play

Miami got a first and goal down around the 10, with their first team offense
still on the field.

1st down, Sammy Morris sqieezes through for a yard
2nd down, Daunte's pass for McMichael is off target
3rd down, Daunte finds Chambers over the middle, and he nearly makes it into
the endzone. He's marked down at the 1.
4th down, Miami decides to go for it, being behind just 3-0.

I can't fault the decision. You want to see what your players can do. But,
Miami called what amounts to a slow developing play. Ronnie Brown took the
handoff, and they ran a trap to the right side. Anderson got his guy.
Hadnot got his guy. And Jeno James pulled to go into the hole first and
knock out the linebacker.

Only...James got his feet tangled with Culpepper, and tripped. He dove for
the pile, but succeeded only in hitting a defender on the ground. Brown
went into the line, the untouched linebacker clobbered him.

(a) I wonder if they would have called the same thing if the game had
counted, and (2) I wonder if Brown might have given a little more effort had
the game counted.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Panthers 19, Phins 10

Heading into this game, I was hoping for just a few things:
(1) no one gets hurt
(2) how would the o-line play against a very good defense
(3) how does Daunte react to situations with this team
(4) can the secondary make anything work

And I saw all 4. Thankfully, no one was hurt on the Phins. The o-line did
a decent job of protecting Culpepper and making holes for the runners (the
fact that the runners didn't do much is inconsequential - see my first
note), save one play that I'll discuss later. Okay, even Bennie Anderson
seemed okay out there, though he did whiff on a couple of plays.

Daunte made some good decisions, ran a little, and even slid. I liked what
I saw there. And the secondary - generally - held up pretty well. At least
they didn't allow any long TD passes.

BUT, on a few ocassions, the secondary was caught flat footed on short pass
plays, and allowed first downs in front of them. They could have done more
there.

Still, I thought it was a solid, though wholely unspectacular performance.

I was, however, very surprised on the breakdowns on special teams. Jason
Allen apparently pushed a guy into Wes Welker while he was attempting to
make a fair catch. I say apparently, because I didn't see it. He made
contact and then the guy changed direction. Still, the tackler surprised
Welker after he made a (late) fair catch signal and caused a muff.

And later, the Phins kick coverage team found themselves out of position
(players are told to stay in their lanes), with 4 players in the same space
on the field, and the Panthers scored an easy TD.

I don't worry too much about those things, but they were unexpected....

And as I often say during the preseason, the score doesn't matter.

This is a fun look inside the lockerroom

I recommend stopping by and checking out
the Seninel's inside look at the Phins Locker Room. Its
amusing.

Sign of the times


My comments:
(a) don't they know a dolphin is a mammal, not a fish?
(b) what's with the spelling? ('hav-in tonite!')
(c) where in the heck did they get a hook that big?
(d) catching dolphin is morally reprehensible (poor Flipper!)

I guess it is the south, and we can cut them some slack.

Educating fans and players


I noticed this last season, and meant to comment on it. Every so often one of the assistant coaches holds up these cards. I think its nice that they're trying to teach everyone their colors!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's all good


Unlike Manny Wright, Jason Allen took Nick's criticism's openly, and realized Nick was only trying to help him reach his potential.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rules rule

You may have seen the play in question. Daunte Culpepper drops back to pass, but there's a heavy rush. He rolls out to his left to evade the would-be tackler. But, he also moves a little backward, in sort of a semi-circle move.

Anyway, the rush catches up with him, and he heaves the ball out toward Chris Chambers, who is a few yards past the line of scrimmage.

The referee stops and evaluates the situation, and then drops a flag, calling intentional grounding. But, what happened? Daunte was outside the tackle box. Chambers was clearly "in the area." But, the pass came down at about the 20 yard line, and the line of scrimmage was about the 22. So, the pass didn't make it back to the line, and therefore, the penalty.

Quite correct, and a nice job by the official.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Phins 13, Bucs 10

Compared with the last game, this game was actually kind of interesting. The Phins starters played for most of the half, and looked pretty good. And frankly, Daunte showed me a lot: he took hits, he threw some balls into tight spots, and he moved well enough.

And, wow, what can I say about Big Daddy? He was a stud out there. He had 2 sacks in his half of work. Who needs training camp, anyway?

Miami led early on a Mare field goal, then they got a nice cart-wheeling TD from Sammy Morris, and finally a 52 yarder by Mare rounded out the scoring. Tampa scored a field goal when it was 10-0, and then managed the late TD over Jason Allen.

But, Miami snuffed out a late opportunity when Jack "Michael" Hunt made an interception in Dolphin territory.

Jay Fiedler didn't play, so we couldn't see him against his old team. David Boston did play, but didn't catch a pass.

Its preseason, and I'll take it. Its not about winning or losing, its about seeing some performances that make an impression...and as most players will tell you - not getting injured.

Odd, isn't it?

The Dolphins now embark on a bit of an oddity: their next 3 games will all be played on Thursdays over the next 4 weeks.

What was that again?

"The training camp schedule was always subject to change and based on the
needs of our football operation. I feel bad for any inconvenience this
might cause our fans, however, we're excited to shift our preparation for
the regular season." --Dolphins President Bryan Wiedmeier

That was his comment about the end to practices being open to the public. I
guess they cancelled one and moved one into the practice bubble.

The matchup that wasn't...

It was to be the re-match between former team mates Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. Only Williams didn't play.

So, I guess Ronnie wins this round.

Broadcast of the Phins-Bucs

Bob Griese pointed out that he was doing the color analysis of the Bucs
game, featuring Chris Simms as the QB; while Phil Simms was doing the
broadcast of the Chicago Bears game, featuring Brian Griese as the QB.

They both had a chance to have some fun at the other's expense, but alas,
neither took it.

Rookie talent show

Though most of the proceedings are ususally kept quiet, we hear that this
year's rookie talent show featured DT Fred Evans donning a Saban straw hat
and doing an impression of Saban...

...and the best part is that Saban loved it.