Friday, September 08, 2006

Jason Allen watch

Jason did not play on defense, though with the play out there, you might
have mistaken someone for him.

He did, however, play a few downs on special teams. His only "notable"
moment was a holding call during a punt return.

I guess he earned his millions this week, huh?

H Wayne sez

"It would be nice to do that for this year or in 2010. But we don't want to wait until 2010. Let's try to do it this year.

"I think my first goal is OK, let's get to the playoffs. Then with the playoffs, the second season starts. So let's just worry about the first season -- and that is getting to the playoffs.

"Some years you're more excited than other years. And I'm excited this year. We're definitely on the right track. I'm impressed with [Dolphins coach Nick Saban], and I spent a lot of time with him this summer. He's the right guy at the right time for the right job."

(wait, isn't that what he said about Dave a few years ago?)

--------------------------

"Usually, during a game, you don't really want to just watch the quarterback. You want to watch what else is happening out there. But tonight, I'm going to watch Culpepper."

(hmmm. so is Culpepper the next AJ Feeley? H had once said that he hoped AJ Feeley was the next Dan Marino, you may recall)

---------------------------

I was figuring H should just say 'we're going to host the AFC Championship game this year.' And if Miami didn't make it to the big game, he could simply invite fans to watch the game on the HD screens (in case you missed the joke, he'd be hosting a party at the stadium).

One good thing

I did like Mike Mularkey's additions to the playbook. In particular, I liked the call on one of the TDs. The fins had a 1st and goal at the 2. They lined up with no backs in the backfield - Brown was a wideout.

Then, pre-snap, Chambers moved into the backfield, as the tailback. A moment later, Brown shifted to fullback.

At the snap, the motion went right, and Chambers put up his hands as if receiving a handoff, and ran left. The linebackers showed a moment of hestiation, and Brown got the call right up the middle for the TD.

It was well designed and very well executed.

That's challenging

In the 2nd quarter, Booker caught a pass - or at least appeared to - for a first down. He was tackled and the ball came out. There was a scramble for it, and the officials ruled the pass was incomplete.

Saban had thoughts about challenging the ruling, but the officials said he was unable to because they ruled it incomplete.

This is incorrect...that was last year's rule. This year's rule is to play to whistle, and to allow for a wide range of issues, including passes that were ruled incomplete.

In other words, the refs messed up.

Strategy, shmategy

In addition to his gaffe with the replay, Nick actually called for 3 punts while on Pittsburh's end of the field.

You are dancing with the champ. You have to seize every opportunity to win that's handed to you.

Too bad you didn't.

Wes Welker

During the preseason, several local columnists and radio personalities thought Wes Welker wouldn't make the team. Some even went to the point of dissing him.

I guess Welker took the comments to heart, and really had an amazing game Thursday night.

Shame on those of you who thought otherwise!

Daunte's Inferno

Man, Daunte had a bad night last night. His QB rating was so low (how low was it?)...it was so low, that it equaled a good night by AJ Feeley, and he was actually looking up at a typical Jay Fiedler rating. (for the record, Daunte's QB rating was about 46, while Jay's was usually in the 70s)

He threw some balls wildly, forced two balls in for picks, didn't look off receivers all that well, and seemed way out of synch with Chris Chambers, and to a point, Marty Booker.

The Dolphins Ranter suggested that maybe Daunte needs to take the receivers on a cruise....now there's an intriguing idea!

Then again, maybe they rushed him back too soon?

Oh, and one more comment: the big knock on him is that he fumbled in critical situations. At least he didn't fumble at all in this game!

Home cooking



A buddy of mine commented before the game that he hoped there wouldn't be a lot of ref bias toward the Steelers.

And, yet, I think there was. Sure, they didn't make a call on a play when Miami interfered with a receiver. But, there were some specific instances when they blew it in Pittsburgh's favor:

  • Santonio Holmes made a catch to keep their first TD drive alive. The ball clearly hit the ground (screen capture provided).
  • Charlie Batch was down before throwing an incompletion on a late drive (another capture)
  • There was an interference call against Miami, where the db and the receiver had their arms locked. Madden said it was clear the db had interfered. I was not convinced, because the wideout was trying to puch off and got his arm around Gooden's.
  • And finally, there was a block in the back on a big run by Parker that went uncalled. It was right in front of Saban, and I was dubious. The pulling guard hit the db in the back, and it should have been an illegal crackback block.
  • The play that changed the day



    Miami had the lead, and had just punted, pinning the Steelers back at their own 13.
    The Steelers lined up a pro set, and Miami was clearly thinking run. Batch dropped back, and looked left, thus drawing the safety that way. Heath Miller came a few yards upfield, and got behind Zach. Will Allen was caught flatfooted and Miller simply kept running all the way to the endzone.

    I watched the replay, and there appeared to be some confusion on the coverage: Allen was gesticulating at the snap, and I can only assume that someone was out of position, and he was trying to fix it.

    But, a TE gets behind the secondary? And then is able to outrun them? What is up with that?

    ...oh but of course, it doesn't end there. Miller clearly was out of bounds around the 2. But Saban had a brain fart, and decided not to challenge it. I'm guessing he was saving his challenge for when it really mattered. He should have hit the official with the flag, or run on the field with his arms flapping. Anything would have been better than what he did.

    And take a look at the screen captures I found. Miller actually stepped out at about the 10! A review might have shown that to the officials as well, and Miami might have been able to recover.

    Instead, that was the play that changed everything.

    Steelers 28, Dolphins 17

    I was looking forward to the season finally getting started. And the Phins had a date to dance with the champ on opening night, no less! Wow, talk about what could be a great start to a season.

    And, instead, I was underwhelmed. The Dolphins underperformed for about a quarter, and then played a decent half between the 2nd and 3rd quarters, matching the Steelers performance, and taking the lead.

    ...and then came the 4th quarter. Early on, Miami allowed a long TD (see my post about that topic!), followed by an interception, and then an interception for a TD.

    I admit, it wasn't all *that* bad. It was simply an implosion in a quarter of a big game. Kind of like the way they played against the Browns last season, but shorter (the Browns game was the entire game) and on a bigger stage.

    I can only hope that they learn from this and move on.

    Check out my wanker to see how Nick Saban takes on this "honor" this week.

    Equipment violation?



    In any given week, the team decides what color shoes to wear, and everyone must wear the same color. No exceptions. And, the tape players use on their ankles and such must be of the same color as the shoes.

    The Dolphins wore white shoes, and while some are accented with orange, they're all clearly white. But, throughout the game, I kept noticing Chris Chambers shoes because they were black. Turns out, at least from this photo, the shoes are actually white, but have a lot of black tape.

    While the officials didn't call it during the game, I would assume Mr. Chambers will be receiving a letter and a fine sometime this week, because he was not conforming.

    Yes, its trivial, but it is an established rule, and players have had to leave the field and change shoes or change the tape before returning.

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Dishonorable mention


    The Dolphins Make Me Cry will be unveiling a new inductee to the "Ring of Dishonor"
    on September 10th.

    Be sure and stop by and check out the festvities. I'm sure Tom Olividotti will be making a speech.
    Ring of Dishonor

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Welcome

    I've been remiss and haven't welcomed those of you who posted to the frappr
    to say where you're from!

    So welcome to Dave's Bitchin' to:
    Thom (FL)
    Larry (NM)
    Alexander (CA)
    Peiffer (PA)
    and of course, Craig (CA) sporting a nice Dolphin tattoo!!

    Enjoy the site and feel free to email me if you have any questions or
    comments.

    The Steagles

    Here's an interesting piece about the wartime combination of the Steelers and Eagles, called the Steagles -
    Steagles story

    Keeping up with Wanny

    Dave's Pitt Panthers defeated Virginia 38-13,and a lot of credit goes to Pitts speedy linebackers.
    Said Dave afterward "Speed can make up for a lot of mistakes... The guys up front made some big plays today.
    Just quickness. We're obviously a faster team. We've increased our team speed all the way
    across almost at every position. Fifty-some yards rushing defense was great. You have no
    chance if you can't stop the run. The run defense was real good."

    And from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pitt's opening drive set the tone for what was clearly the Panthers best offensive performance of the Wannstedt Era.
    The Panthers used a near-perfect blend of run and pass plays to keep Virginia off balance, and quarterback Tyler Palko was flawless as he completed all seven of his passing attempts. The Panthers drove 65 yards in 14 plays and scored on Palko's 1-yard pass to tight end Darrell Strong. Palko finished with 17 completions in 22 attempts for 283 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    More transactions


    As it happened last year, the Phins didn't stand pat after their "final" cuts. As the Sentinel pointed out they had a "rash of roster moves"....they should really have that looked at!

    Joining the team is Lee Suggs, who you may recall was traded to the Jets a few weeks ago and returned because he failed his physical. I like this one.

    The others involve players way down on the depth chart, who merely provide depth at this point.

    And the Phins also established their practice squad, and it includes Marcus Vick, Fred Gibson, Shirdonya Mitchell, Gerald Riggs, Jr, and Kay-Jay Harris, among others.

    This seems like a reasonable way to bring along some of these players for use in the future. And who knows? One or more of them may make the active roster this year.

    This year's draft class

    - Jason Allen made the team, but he still has a *long* way to go before he'll start
    - Derek Hagan also made the team, but he's buried on the depth chart for now
    - Joe Toledo wound up on injured reserve and won't play for the Phins this year
    - Rodrigue Wright came in injured and is on injured reserve
    - Fred Evans is a great pickup and will see some playing time this year
    - Devin Aromashodu was cut yesterday.

    - and lest we forget, Manny Wright also cost them a draft pick for this year. And he's off crying into a pillow somewhere.

    So, I wouldn't say that this was a spectacular draft at this point, though time will tell how this works out in the coming years.

    Big Ben is out (again)


    Ben Roethlesberger was injured last season, and underwent minor surgery. But, he came back and won the Superbowl.

    Then, he decided to be a hot dog on his motorcycle and nearly bought the farm when he came face to face with a windshield. But, he came back and played during the preseason.

    Now comes word that Ben had an emergency appendectomy last night. No timetable has been set for his return, but you can be sure he won't be playing against the Phins on Thursday night.