Saturday, September 01, 2007
Can you live with 6-10, Dolfans?
I am reminded of Mr. T in one of the Rocky movies being asked for his prediction in the upcoming fight. He responded "Prediction? Paiiiin."
[we love youtube]
The battle of the bulge given each year to the player who tips the scales, and who in older days would have required a cattle scale to weigh in : Keith "Tractor" Traylor had the inside track again this year....but LJ Shelton came to work over his playing weight, and basically ate himself out of a job, so the nod goes to Sheldon.
Dude with the best name. There are a lot of good names on this team. You have KGB's brother for one. But, AGB doesn't flow off the tongue. Our winner this year didn't make it to the team until last week. His name is Jorge Cordova, and we love him because it evokes memories of Ricardo Montalban 1970s commercials for the Cordoba.
[editor's note: if you don't recall the commercial, watch it on Youtube]
Offseason cheerleader moment award A new award, this is given to the cheerleader who had a "memorable" offseason. In the past, we've had cheerleaders lose their tops at tryouts, and former cheerleaders telling us amusing stories about how they prevented that. But, we're going in a different direction this year. Bibiana was the hottest NFL cheerleader. And she came to tryouts this year overweight. Director Heather made a comment that she didn't know how Bibiana was going to lose the weight. And yet, she did.
The Yatil Green memorial award, as demonstrated by Will Poole given each year to the player who injures himself very early in training camp : Joe Toledo injured a knee early in the preseason last year, and was placed on injured reserve. He came back from the injury, and then just before training camp, he gashed open a toe while exiting a hot tub. He was placed on injured reserve again. Nice going.
The Ricky Williams award Given to the guy who simply quits on the team Its obscure, sure, but Miami signed a rookie free agent named Marino Dukes (OT). A few weeks into training camp, he walked into Cameron's office and said "this isn't for me," and left.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Jacksonville beat Tampa.
Tampa beat Miami.
As a result, the state champion is indeterminate this year. We therefore conducted a wholly unscientific survey of 10 Dolphins fans, and asked who they thought should be state champs.
The results were:
Don Shula: 2
I really like the color blue: 1
So, we pronounce the Dolphins this year's state champs. Congratulations!
* Manny Fernandez (Monday, August 27, 2007)
* Randy Mueller (Wednesday, August 29, 2007)
* Andy Cohen (Friday, August 31, 2007)
This is a live call-in radio show. They give out the call in number "on air"... Go to MiamiDolphins.com to learn more. You can call up and ask your questions. And please do tell them you heard about it from Dave's Bitchin' Look at the Miami Dolphins!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
MIAMI (Ticker) -- Election controversy may be all the rage in Florida, but no one can question which NFL team has the state's best defense.
Forcing five turnovers in a game played under a steady rain, including four interceptions of Jay Fiedler, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers posted a 16-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the first regular-season battle between the interconference Florida rivals since 1997.
"The wet ball had a lot to do with it, but a couple were just bad throws," Fiedler said. "I put (the loss) on my shoulders because we gave them 13 points on mistakes."
The Bucs defense, which entered as the second stingiest in the NFC with 204 points allowed, scored or set up 13 of the 16 points and yielded just one touchdown.
"They (the defense) stepped up and got the job done, creating turnovers and field position," Bucs coach Tony Dungy said. "Anytime you have five takeaways, you've played very well."
Middle linebacker Jamie Duncan, the successor to former captain Hardy Nickerson, was the Bucs star with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery in Miami territory that led to Martin Gramatica's game-winning 46-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Miami entered as the league's second-ranked defense with 166 points allowed but forced just one turnover on an interception by safety Brian Walker. They had four sacks but had problems containing Warrick Dunn out of the backfield despite the rainy conditions.
"We were out there playing today to see who has the better defense," Bucs safety John Lynch said. "We had a challenge today and to our credit, we stepped up."
The win was the sixth in seven games for the Buccaneers (9-5), who moved into sole possession of second place in the NFC Central and firmly in control of their playoff destiny.
The Dolphins (10-4) fell behind Tennessee (11-3) and Oakland (11-3) for the top record in the AFC, but remain one game ahead of the New York Jets (9-5) in the East. Miami can clinch a playoff berth if Indianapolis loses to Buffalo on Monday night.
"You can't turn over the ball five times," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We just made too many mistakes and did not give ourselves a chance to win. It's as simple as that."
Linebacker Shelton Quarles intercepted a deflected pass and returned it five yards to the Miami 32, setting up a 38-yard field goal by Gramatica on the final play of the first half.
Miami reached the Bucs' 19 in the final minute and appeared to be in prime field goal position for Olindo Mare, but Fielder was penalized 11 yards for intentional grounding as he tried to evade a strong pass rush by tackle Warren Sapp.
On the next play, Fiedler attempted to complete a pass to Oronde Gadsden between two defenders, but Robinson made a leaping interception at the Tampa Bay 8 with 14 seconds left to preserve the win for the Bucs.
"I saw the play was coming my way and I said to myself, 'This guy will not come down with the ball,'" Robinson said. "I wasn't sure if I was going to get it, but I knew I had to keep him from catching it, and I did. Luckily, I was able to get the ball in the process."
Dunn had just 59 yards on 28 carries but caught six passes for 84 yards, including a 45-yard reception that set up a tying 30-yard field goal by Gramatica with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Miami's Lamar Smith rushed for 79 yards on 23 carries, giving him 1,016 yards this season.
Fiedler was 13-of-28 for 175 yards with four interceptions. He had gone 93 consecutive attempts without an interception before Duncan's touchdown early in the second quarter and had just nine all season.
The Buccaneers lead the series between the Florida rivals, 5-2.
Miami struck first when Mare kicked a 35-yard field goal with 3:11 left in the first quarter. Fiedler completed 4-of-6 passes on the drive for 70 yards, including three to Gadsden for 56 yards.
Duncan, a third-year player in his first season as a starter, shifted the momentum to Tampa Bay early in the second quarter.
Rolling right, Fiedler flipped a short pass for Smith, but Duncan cut in front of the running back and picked off his second pass of the season.
Defensive end Chidi Ahanotu blocked Fiedler and Smith was unable to run down Duncan, who raced 31 yards untouched into the end zone with 14:01 left in the second quarter.
"I read it kind of late, but I did see the back come out, then I think the quarterback through the ball a little behind him," Duncan said. "I stepped in front of him and just made sure I caught the ball first."
But Fiedler returned for Miami's next possession and had his first pass deflected by linebacker Derrick Brooks into the hands of teammate Quarles, who returned it five yards to the Miami 32 with 13 seconds left in the half.
After a 12-yard pass from King to Dunn, Gramatica kicked a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
"I was dropping back in zone coverage and Derrick made a great play by tipping the ball, and I was in the right place," Quarles said. "I thought to myself, 'I cannot drop this ball.' Luckily, I didn't."
Despite the injury, Fiedler returned in the second half and led Miami to 10 third-quarter points.
"I talked to him and he said he was fine," Wannstedt said of the decision to stay with Fiedler. "He said a combination of the wet ball, the rain and his shoulder didn't help him as far as having a lot of zip on the ball."
Fiedler engineered a nine-play, 48-yard drive, hitting Tony Martin with a 16-yard pass, to set up a 23-yard field goal by Mare 6:35 into the third quarter.
Miami took the lead on a one-yard run by Smith with 3:18 left in the quarter. Fiedler hit Gadsden with a 19-yard pass and Smith broke off a 19-yard run to highlight the drive.
Tampa Bay responded with a 13-play, 77-yard drive that featured a 45-yard pass to Dunn on 2nd-and-33. Gramatica capped it with a 30-yard field goal 4:24 into the fourth quarter.
On the Bucs' ensuing possession, Fiedler fumbled a snap from center and Duncan recovered the wet ball at the Miami 30. After three running plays netted three yards, Gramatica kicked a 46-yard field goal with 8:12 remaining.
This item appeared on SI.com
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He ran what is known as "the statue of liberty" play wherein they fake a pass in order to run. Its highly unusual to see this play run, and on the NFL level, I don't think its been run since the early 1980s. Cam ran it for a few reasons. The biggest was that he is tipping is hand a bit to the NFL: nothing is off limits; the playbook is wide open so opponents be ready.
He said he basically took the play from the Boise State BCS game this past season. For BSU, it was the winning two-point play that beat Oklahoma. So, for that reason, we're going to break it down based on *that* play, rather than the one the Dolphins ran.
[with much respect to the FOX network, and the "Best Damn Bowl Classic," I present these screen captures for your education. They will be removed in about a week.]
The players line up in a three wide receiver (trips) formation to the right. I have noted the routes that the receivers will be running. Everyone along the offensive line goes into pass protection.
[image removed]The quarterback drops back to throw, and looks right. You can see him setting up. Note how the defense is reacting to the fact that it appears to be a pass play. They're rushing the QB and covering the receivers. The running back (circled) is standing to the right, and it appears that he will be heading out for a pass to the right, or possibly pass blocking.
[image removed]Okay, so now the QB quickly moves the ball to his left hand, and moves his right hand forward as though he's passing. His left hand (with the ball) is now reaching out behind him. You might also notice that the defense has left part of the field (the left side of the offense) wide open. And the pass protection scheme has "slid" to the right to be sure the defense does this. There's one offensive lineman who has disengaged from any blocking and is turning toward the left side of the field. This is an important part of the play setup; he's needed as a lead blocker.
[image removed]The running back turns, and takes the ball from the QBs hand (in the circle). And the offensive lineman moves out to be his lead blocker.
[image removed]The running back now has a clear path to the endzone. His lead blocker has "sealed" the end of the line by getting the outermost defender out of the way; he's the guy just above the logo on the bottom left.
[image removed]And voila, the running back scores untouched. It worked for them, and it worked for the Dolphins in much the same fashion.
[image removed]Here's a closeup of the QB making the fake throw. You can see the ball in his left hand, as his empty hand makes a throwing motion.
[image removed]And here's a closeup of the handoff. The QB's left hand is extended behind him, and the running back takes the ball to run.
But losing timeouts isn't so good. On Tampa's last TD, the receiver was clearly out of bounds when he made the catch (and possibly stepped out before he caught it, because the official had thrown his hat down, I couldn't be sure). The officials conferred and called it a TD. There was no force out, so Miami *could have* challenged. But, they were out of timeouts.
Derek Hagan looks to be in a bit of a bind, as well. He was playing late in the 4th quarter, and dropped a couple of passes that by all rights he should have caught. After all, he played in NFL last year, was coached on his route running and ball handling, and was playing against guys who will be on the waiver wire on Tuesday. And yet, throws that were slightly off target were mishandled. The phins will probably keep 5 receivers, and you know Chambers, Booker, and Ginn will be the top 3. PK Sam is making his bid for the 4th slot, and who knows if Hagan can or will beat out the other guys?
Trent Green had a so-so outing. Don't tell me that it was all Ronnie Brown's fault that the interception was returned for a TD. It wasn't a great throw toward a covered receiver. Lemon had a better outing, but not great, either. John Beck is a stud. I really like what I see in him. He is a franchise type QB, and should be starting at some point late this season.
Brandon Fields is a remarkable punter. His distance and placement are phenomenal. There's a good punter Miami picked up.
Knight made arrangements, and then threw a chair or something and decided to go see a little league world series game instead.
Gotta love the guy.
The Dolphins have Steve Fifita, which is pronounced like "fifty-a"...but he's wearing number 60. What's up with that?
There's also a guy named Harry Tuff. He had some big tackles, because, well, he's a tough guy. But we hear that he sleeps with a teddy bear.