Saturday, November 11, 2006

Shed Phone

Calling all Dolfans! Want to have some fun during this weekend's Dolphin game? Then, you should call "The Shed" and talk to Mike, Sean, Barry, and the rest of the guys in Newfoundland.

And not only that, you can watch the live video feed of them answering your call.

Simply call 709-745-DAWG and tell them what you think about the Dolphins game thus far!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cheerleader of the year

This year, we're trying something new: we're going to have a round-robin playoff to select cheerleader of the year. Here's how it will work: suggest your favorite, and I'll put together the top 16 in tournament format. Everyone can vote, and the last one standing will win the Dave honor.

So, email me your favorite cheerleaders, and I'll include them.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Our old pal, Ricky

Well, well. Ricky is in the playoffs in Toronto, and who knows, he might win himself a champeenship.

He was asked the other day about when he plans to return to Miami, and his response was predictable - to paraphrase - 'I like it up here. I don't think I'm going back to Miami.'

And, of course, there was some debate about it. Miami owns his rights, and he's contractually obligated to return, and can't play in Canada any longer. His agent jumped in and said that Ricky would be returning after the season is over, because that's what he agreed to.

Several insiders pointed out that the $8.6 million that was set aside for now will once again motivate him to return.

Mid season report card

Well, here we are at the half way point of the season. The Dolphins are 2-6. Let's take a look at the goods and the bads of this half of the season.

Best Game: until last week, it seemed the Pittsburgh game was the best one, because at least they were competitive, although they lost. But, after last week's win at Chicago, I would say that was their best effort.

Worst Game: Well, with 6 losses, there are a lot to choose from. You could make a case that any of the games against the division foes was bad and ended in a loss. But, I'd have to say the loss to the Texans was my pick for the worst. They coulda shoulda woulda won that game. Except that they had a few lame plays, and wound up down by 11 with very little time left. And then game management became suspect. Nick went for a fieldgoal when he was inside the 5, and then had to go for 2 to *tie* the game late. Mularkey had Ronnie Brown throw a left handed pass. Ugly.

Top rookie: As Drew Rosenhaus would say "next question."

Top offensive player: Ronnie Brown has been consistent, but they haven't found enough ways to use his talents. But, I also have to give a tip of the hat to lineman Vernon Carey for his efforts.

Top defensive player: Jason Taylor is da man in most situations. But, I can't overlook Crowder's accomplishments.

Mid-season MVP: Wes Welker deserves this for his all around effort. He has been amazing to this point.

Biggest disappointment: Choose one from - Randy McMichael; Chris Chambers; Daunte Culepper; Jason Allen

Funniest moment: Watching Nick Saban throwing the red flag pretty much any time during the season.

My prediction: I said they'd go 11-5. That was a dumb thing to do. They'll be lucky - LUCKY - to finish 8-8.

Mid-season Wanker: Its hard to figure that anyone deserves it more than Daunte Culpepper. See the wanker section for more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now that's funny

Lyle Blackwood played for the Phins in the early to mid 1980s, along with his brother Glenn. They were the starting safeties on the team that last went to the superbowl.

Lyle was interviewed on Joe Rose's show this morning. They reminisced for a while about their playing days, and though most of the interview was great, there was one moment that was fabulous. Rose asked about the first game Lyle played in for the Phins.

The story went that Lyle had recently been traded to Miami, and his brother was trying to tell him about Shula the coach. Lyle didn't listen. The first game comes and there's a play to the Kansas City tight end in the endzone, and he catches an easy TD. Shula is standing on the sidelines ranting and raving asking "who had the coverage on that play?" and Lyle - who is standing next to Shula - says "that would be me, coach." Apparently, there was a mixup in substitutions and Lyle came out when he shouldn't have, and the TD went to the guy he should have been covering. Shula dressed him down, and he later realized what his brother was trying to tell him.

Anyway, the story goes that on the next defensive series, Lyle was so pissed about being yelled at that he had a big tackle on first down, came across the field on a coverage and broke up a pass on second down, and then intercepted a ball on 3rd down, spiking the ball in front of Shula.

Shula learned that Lyle would play a better game if he yelled at him, so he often did, and Lyle played for a good, long time in Miami. Fairly successfully.

Jason Allen

Allen got his first significant playing time this weekend. And he acquitted himself nicely. He wound up with a few passes thrown his way, but had a tackle and an interception. Suddenly, he's putting pressure on Derek Hagan for rookie of the year honors. Hagan had 1 catch for 7 yards in the game.

By the way, Allen had a great quote over the weekend. I can't find it speciifcally, but it was something like 'this defense is hard, and though I'm not the brightest guy, I'm not an idiot.'

Jason Taylor

JT became one of only a handful of players to record 100 or more sacks in his career. Way to go!

And, he was named AFC Defensive player of the week this week, just as Jimmy Cefalo suggested during the radio broadcast.

Who got the better end of this trade?

Ogunleye was traded to the Bears for Marty Booker and a 3rd round pick that became Channing Crowder.
Ogunleye's stats on Sunday: 1 tackle, 2 assists
Booker's stats: 3 catches, 14 yards, and a TD
Crowder's stats: 8 tackles, 2 assists
I'd say that worked in Miami's favor, wouldn't you?

Dolphins pushover the windbags

I did watch the game...

All week, Jason Taylor kept saying the Bears put on their pants one leg at a time, and could be beaten. He sounded a bit like a crakpot, since the Bears were 7-0, and Miami looked bad...but he turned out to be right.

But before we get into this game, lets look back at 1985. The Bears were 13-0 coming to Miami. They had one of the best defenses the league had ever seen: the Buddy Ryan led 46 defense. It relied on Mike Singletary as the middle LB to be athletic and control the defense. The d-line's responsibility was to push up field. The other two linebackers were to create havoc by coming in behind the line. The safeties generally played up at the line in run support, but could blitz or drop into coverage. And you never knew which was coming. The corners covered man-man. Singeltary was the critical factor because he could be anywhere doing anything.

On offense, you had Sweetness (aka Walter Payton) and a somewhat weak passing game led by Jim McMahon. The Dolphins won that game by using Marino's skill to beat the 1-1 coverages and by using quick passing to move the ball. Mixing in some runs also helped to keep the defense off balance. Meanwhile, the Phins defensive game plan was simple: take Payton out of the game and haurang McMahon.

Enter the 2006 Bears. Their defensive coordinator is Ron Rivera, who was one of the LBs to play on the 46 under Buddy. He learned his skill well, and now uses Urlacher in the Singletary role, playing a modified 46 defense. Most teams can't deal with it. But, you may have noticed that last year's Bears lost to the Panthers in the playoffs. Why? Because Steve Smith got open in single coverage, and Delhomme was able to pass short; and the Bears had little offense to speak of.

In this past weekend's game, the game plan on Miami's defense was simple: disrupt Grossman's timing. Hit him as often as possible and knock him off the rhythm. And for the dbs to jump routes and be prepared to grab some balls. Certainly, after watching film of the Cardinals - Bears game, Miami saw that weakness they could explout.

On offense, Miami had a sort of secret weapon in Joey Harrington, who had played against the Bears twice a year for the last several. He may not have won much, but he knew what to expect. And Mike Mularkey came up with a pretty good game plan: lots of motion, a bunch of sweeps (some with a pulling tackle!), slip screens, and plenty of short passes. The line blocked well, and Miami was on a roll.

6 turnovers was enough to give Miami the slight edge, and in spite of a few seemingly critical turnovers, the offense moved the ball well enough to pull out a victory.

An impressive victory, no less. One that left me aghast. I did not think this team had it in them. Sure, it was certainly possible, because they're better than 1-6, but did I think they could do this? Nope.

My hat is off to them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where was Dave?

I said I wouldn't watch the game against the Bears. And I didn't. I was headed down to the Keys for an extended weekend. I did see a small part of the game on a TV in a restaurant, and I did catch some of the game on the radio. But, I didn't sit and watch the game, nor have I seen any real hilights since the game was played.

But, I do have it on Tivo and hope to watch it tonight. Sure, I know they won, and it was "big" but that's really all I know. It feels weird, but when they went in at 1-6, it just didn't seem to matter so much.

Incidentally, one of my stops was at the Dolphins Research Center. At first, I thought it was a place that was trying to understand why the football team was so bad, but it turns out that they're studying the mammals. And it is cool and highly recommended.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

what the..... ?

Marty Booker was asked about the trade that sent him from Chicago to Miami, and whether that motivates him to play hard. He responded: "Look, I'm not going to go up there thinking about sticking it to them. I look at it as what happens is going to happen. Things are predestined. So I guess it wasn't meant for me to have a successful season somewhere."

So, is he saying that he doesn't need to play hard because the outcome and his performance are pre-determined? C'mon dude, lets not get all existential or anything, but how can you not have any influence over what happens to you or what you contribute in your life or in a game?

If this is, in fact, what you believe, then you can't possibly contribute and shouldn't be around!

...and just what does he mean by 'it wasn't meant for me to have a successful season' he talking about being 1-6?