Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ain't that a peach?

SI's Tim Layden also had some things to say about the Brees-Culpepper decision.  Quoth he:
 

If Nick Saban only knew last winter that Drew Brees was going to heal up so thoroughly and play this well, surely the Dolphins coach would have signed Brees instead of Daunte Culpepper.

Trust me, it's not like Saban didn't agonize over his decision. I talked to him about it in June, and even with Culpepper way ahead of schedule in his rehab (boy, was that misleading), Saban was still uncertain if he had made the right decision. "I love Drew Brees,'' said Saban, who coached against Brees in the Big Ten when he was at Michigan State and Brees was at Purdue. "But here you've got a throwing athlete with a shoulder injury.'' Saban played with the pinch of chaw he keeps inside his lower lip and shook his head. Tough call. He went with what appeared to be the safer play and here he is, approaching late October with a 1-5 record, while Brees has led the Saints to a 5-1 mark.

This is not entirely shocking. Brees has been a courageous winner at every level of football, despite suggestions that he was/is too small, too weak of arm, too hurt. Saban made the wrong call and the Dolphins are paying in a big way, while the Saints are the story of the young season.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'd buy that for a dollar!

I saw an ad on the Dolphins site for an ebay auction.  The title of the auction was "Dolphins Cheerleader Experience"...and that sounded like an open-ended statement (pun intended) if I've heard one!
 
What amused me even more was that I clicked on it this morning, and here's what it said:
 
"Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity to Stand with Cheerleaders for the Introduction of the Miami Dolphins Team Dol-Fans will have the opportunity to bid on a “Game Day Experience” when the Miami Dolphins play host to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 22nd at Dolphin Stadium.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m."

 

Except that the game is this Sunday, and as of this morning, there were still 5 days, 24 hours remaining on the auction...

 

So, maybe it was what I thought it was, after all ???

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Hurricanes

I was waiting a while to say anything about the fracas on the field during
the 'canes game last week. I'm an alum of the university, and have been a
fan of theirs for a long time.

...this just sticks in my craw. Its not good, and it shows how the program
has gotten way out of control. It was bad under JJ. It was bad under
Ericson. But, this is worse. A bunch of thugs taking out their
frustrations on another (lesser) football team.

And I think the coach, the university, the ACC, and the NCAA have totally
missed on this one. Marcus Vick gets kicked out of school for stomping on a
player. And these guys face a one game suspension, except for one guy?

I believe that the guy who swung the helmet should have been kicked off the
team. Any player who kicked or threw a punch should have been suspended
indefinitely. Any player who left the bench should have been suspended for
one game.

...and if that meant that the university couldn't field a team for this
weekend's game, then so be it. Forfeit, have a bunch of walkons play, or
take the one game suspensions and cut them in half, so that only half of
them are suspended this week, and the other half would be suspended next
week.

Marcus Vick

Coach Saban elevated Marcus Vick from the practice squad to the active
roster, and released wideout Cliff Russell.

...I hear there's no truth to the rumor that Vick will be the #3 QB behind
Harrington and Lemon.

But, I'll be curious to see if he's active come game day. With Booker's
injury, I would say its at least possible.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pro Bowl balloting begins

Its already that time again: time to vote for your favorite
players...because, c'mon the probowl is a popularity contest, not a tribute
to ones skills. Why else have the balloting start in week 7 of the season?

Anyway, we here at Dave's see only a couple of real contenders for the pro
bowl this year:
Jason Taylor is quietly having a good year. Maybe not a probowl year, but
I'd be okay if he made it. Keith Traylor is also having a good season, and
as a nose tackle, I think he deserves consideration. I would have no issues
if Channing Crowder or Zach Thomas made it.

Over on offense, I see one possible candidate: Wes Welker. He's been
nothing short of astonishing.

And that's about it.

TMQ Comment

Here's what the Tuesday Morning Quarterback had to say this week about the
Phins:

Miami Dolphins Sack-O-Meter: The Dolphins surrendered no sacks at Jersey/B
-- but three turnovers versus none for your opponent will pretty much do it
to you. The serious pun potential Mike Mularkey ran a dreadful offense in
Buffalo for two years: dull playcalling, poor offensive line performance,
erratic quarterbacking plus a megabucks running back struggling to seem
average. Now Mularkey is running the Miami offense, and does anything sound
familiar? Meanwhile with Drew Brees playing fabulous and Daunte Culpepper
benched, Miami's offseason looks ever-worse. Brees was eager to join the
Dolphins as a free agent; Nick Saban decided he'd rather give up a
second-round draft pick to trade for Culpepper. If you had to choose now,
what would you say was the worst management decision of the offseason: Mario
Williams over Bush or Young, or Culpepper over Brees plus a second-round
choice?

Wrong concept

Why is it that over the past several weeks, we've been talking about a particular play that might have *tied* a ballgame? Why is it that we're not talking about a play that might have *won* a game?

There's something wrong with this picture: week in and week out, Miami has a strong comeback that ends when they fail to tie the game. Shouldn't we be playing to win?

Take Sunday's game. Miami at 1-4 should have made an effort to score a TD on the 3rd down play. And on 4th down, they should have gone for it. If time runs down, and you have to kick the field goal to tie, then fine. But there was a lot of time left, and Miami conceded that a 51 yard attempt was good enough.

It wasn't.

Da Bears

I just watched the Bears find a way to win a football game. They turned it over like 20 times on offense, had no run game, and their passing game was shut down. And yet, their defense scored a couple of times, and their special teams scored a TD.

Why can't Miami do that? Sure, the defense holds opponents to under 20 points, but when was the last time they scored any themselves?

Bonus point: I think the Bears have a reasonable shot to go 16-0 this year. And Miami will have a shot to knock them off in a few weeks. I suspect the Phins won't be up to the task, and then they'll have no one to blame but themselves for allowing another team to go undefeated, should they manage to do so.

pet peeve

You know what I hate? You're over at a party, or at a friends house, and there's a game on TV. You find yourself getting into it, maybe checking it out with one eye. And so are some other people around.

And then suddenly, without warning, someone - almost always the host - grabs the remote and switches it to golf, or car racing, or some other inane sport.

HEY! WE'RE WATCHING FOOTBALL HERE! That's what I'm usually thinking. But, I'm polite, and I let the host have his way, and I find something else to do...

But it irks me anyway.

Monday, October 16, 2006

perspective

I was watching SportsCenter on ESPN this morning, and they re-ran the
"Outside the Lines" segment that aired Sunday night.

It detailed the incident surrounding Pat Tillman's death, interviewing his
fellow soldiers, reciting the findings of the inquiry board, and producing
an animation of what happened the day that he died.

It was compelling, and I was moved by it. He is no less a hero because he
dies by friendly fire; in fact, he died while trying to protect some of his
comrades who were taking fire.

We here at Dave's salute him, and his decision to fight for a cause he
believed in.

What's wrong with this picture?


Olindo Mare said the snap was fine, the hold was fine, the wind was fine, and that he just missed it.

But, look at this photo. The ball is being held slightly to the right, and Mare is slightly off balance. I have to figure that since the ball was short and to the right, these factors constributed to the shank.

...and one comment: this field goal attempt was to tie the game. Something I've noticed is that in each of the comebacks the Dolphins have had, they were playing for the tie, rather than the win.

That's something I just don't understand.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Play of the day

Miami faced 4th and 1 at the Jets 29, with 7:37 left to go in the half.
Mularkey calls a slow developing rushing play, where Ronnie Brown is
supposed to hit the gap next to the right guard. Only, the left guard (Jeno
James) whiffs on his block, and the defender gets in the backfield when
Brown gets the ball.

I was pretty sure his forward progress got him back to the line, but I was
equally sure he did not get a first down.

Saban challenged the play and it was upheld as the spot being correct, which
I really don't understand, since it was clear he didn't lose yardage.

It typified the types of situations Miami faced this game. And this season.

Rookie update

Jason Allen did not play a down on defense. He came close to making a
tackle on a kick return, when he was the first guy down and the Jet player
knelt in the endzone.

Derek Hagan was the third receiver and had 6 catches for 66 yards, but
dropped two big ones, one that would have been a TD on their penultimate
drive (yes, they scored on the drive anyway).

Fred Evans was inactive again.

Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!

Miami shuffled LJ Shelton to right guard, and moved Damion McIntosh back to
left tackle (where he played all of last season, before getting cut because
"he wasn't good enough"). The result was 150+ yards rushing, and no sacks
allowed.

Meanwhile, the Jets started two rookies on the o-line, and had nearly 100
yards rushing and allowed 2 sacks. And this unit is coached by the
offensive line coach who couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag under
Dave Wannstedt in Tony Wise. How is that possible?

Also, Eric Mangini took over a so-so Jets team, churned the roster, has been
competitive and his charges are 3-3. Nick Saban has his stamp all over
Miami's team, they are competitive (in spite of the fact that they start
slow and find ways to lose), and his charges in year two are 1-5.

I don't get it!

Dolphins lose again...this time to the Jets

The formula goes something like this: start the game slowly on offense, and
play good defense. Let this go on for about 3 quarters. Then, allow one
big play from the opposition, and follow that up with a bad offensive
series. Allow the other team to take a bigger lead, then mount a late
comeback. But, come up short.

I think I described every game that they've played this year. And this week
was no different. Miami was down 3-0 for a long while, then 6-0 for a
while, then they allowed a long TD to make it 13-0, and when Miami's rally
started it was 20-3...

Describing these games sounds like a broken record. And frankly, I'm tired
of it. This week, they managed to run for about 150 yards, but the outcome
was the same. They played an inferior team that has two rookie starters on
the o-line and has no running game to speak of, and the outcome was the
same.

They're 1-5, and its time to start looking at Mel Kiper's big board to see
who we might blow our draft pick on next year. There are just too many
holes on this team to fill.

But, then, at least we're not the university from the same town. There's a
team that's bad *and* out of control. That brawl on Staurday night was
embarassing.