Friday, September 21, 2007

Nat Moore

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Nat Moore, along with some of the other Dolphins web site owners. 
Nat clearly has a lot going on: he works for the Phins in alumni relations, he does radio for them, he does the broadcasts for Gator football, he has a charity, and he runs a small business.  And yet he always finds time to help the youth out - or to sign an autograph!
You can listen to the whole interview here:

Home Team challenge

Here is my lineup for this week -

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jason Taylor trade?

I've been meaning to comment on this one. Armando Salguero said the Dolphins would be irresponsible if they didn't try and trade Jason Taylor.

I have to ask, what is his motivation? To try and get the team more motivated? Nope. To give management some suggestions? Uh-uh. To sell newspapers? Oh yeah, that's it.

I've read and heard Armando over the last few years, and he talks like he knows all about the Phins, because he's the beat writer. But, I have to tell you, he has scant little more access than I do. He just has a different forum for espousing his views, and gets paid to do so.

In short, I have trouble taking anything he says seriously.

Puh-leese. Trade JT? What are you going to get for him, anyway?


The Bill Belichick situation is not over.  Far from it.
The NFL may talk tough (or act tough) when it comes to players smoking pot, getting into fights, or making it rain at strip clubs.  And its an important ascpect to the overall success of the NFL.
But, there are two things the NFL has to take great precautions about.  The first is gambling.  And make no mistake that while the NFL allowed the common perception about Mike Vick being about dog fighting , the reality is that it was scary to think that Vick was bankrolling the operation.  Because bankrolling means he was the agent in a gambling operation.  Okay, so he wasn't gambling on NFL games so far as we know, but his alleged crime could lead people to believe that - or maybe he had information he was sharing with his friends who were.  His indefinite suspension speaks volumes on that topic.
The second is closely aligned to gambling, and that's cheating.  You can't allow the game to become tainted because someone gained an unfair advantage.  Maybe in Belicheck's case, it wasn't about gambling.  It was about egos and winning.  But, the fact is that he did something that changed outcomes, and it makes the game seem less important, less fulfilling.  Less fair.
So, I expect that Billy boy will one day soon find himself out of a job.  I don't think he'll be recovering from this one...

Gotta love those Phins...

A buddy of mine is a lifelong Phins fan.  Grew up in South Florida.  But, his interest in the team has been waning.   And he's been turning more to college football.
Now, I will say that he's an alumnus of the University of Florida, and with the Gators' recent success, its somewhat understandable.
But, he made a comment to me yesterday that he is now "divorced from the Dolphins."  He can't understand how the team could have missed on the playoffs (or success for that matter) for so long, and then decided not to draft Brady Quinn.  His reasoning was that it least it would show that the team is committed to something.   Ted Ginn (Jr) may be a nice guy, but he's not a gamebreaker.  And that was telling the fans that you don't care.
I can't argue with the sentiment, of course.

Interesting comment

Jose Lambiert had a bit of a candid discussion with H Wayne recently.  Among the comments he posted on his blog is this one: "We should have extended everybody’s seats for a year [at the old prices]. We should have let people see the improvements to the facility. Once people see this, they may understand.”
But I loved how one fan candidly responded: “But forget that. Wayne shot himself in the foot. Playing in a palace is useless until he puts a goddamn team on the field.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dancing with the stars

We here at Dave's try and bring you information that only we can provide. 
When we heard that Ted Ginn, Jr was "dancing around" a lot as he was returning punts and kicks, and that this seemed to cut short his attempts to get yardage, we wanted to know more...
Our crack staff went to work, and we wound up talking with his friend's cousin's housekeeper.  She told us that Jr wanted to learn about being a professional athlete, so he asked Emmitt Smith for some tips.  Emmitt, fresh off his dancing with the stars win, gave him *dancing* advice, and Jr took that to heart.
Now if only he had clarified that he was asking for *football* advice, we'd be all set.
[editor: collective groan]

Home team challenge

I did pretty well in this week's home team chellenge - I had the second highest score, catapulting me to 11th place...A couple more good weeks, and I'm good.
  Name 1 2 Total  
  A.J. Duhe 125 142 267  
  Jimmy Cefalo 95 153 248  
  Brian Miller 114 131 245  
  Joe Rose 97 140 237  
  Greg Pompos 101 136 237  
  Jennifer 96 135 231  
  Troy Drayton 94 131 225  
  Nat Moore 88 125 213  
  Dwight Stephenson 93 114 207  
  New Found Glory 95 109 204  
  Dave Kennedy 54 147 201  
  T.D. 130 70 200  
  Barry Buetel 103 91 194  
  Tom Tatera 92 95 187  
  Bob Ball 90 90 180  
  2Michelles 86 92 178  
  Roly Martin 61 116 177  
  Adam Kuperstein 82 89 171  
  Dave Buchler 66 102 168  
  Andy Kent 68 73 141  
And in the eliminator, my team won....after a second attempt.  I had Denver, and they lost, and then won, which was doubly exciting.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thanksgiving memories


Miami 40, Dallas 21

By JAIME ARON, AP Sports Writer
November 27, 2003
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Jay Fiedler took the first snap, dropped back and threw deep to Chris Chambers. While pass interference prevented them from hooking up, the theme was set.
Fiedler and Chambers connected on three touchdown passes and Fiedler ran for another score, leading the Miami Dolphins past the Dallas Cowboys 40-21 on Thursday in a much higher-scoring game than expected from the NFL's two best scoring defenses.
``We talked all week about how we needed this win, and they came out and made it happen,'' Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said.







In his first start since Oct. 19, Fiedler was nearly perfect. He was 14-of-17 in the first half, then just 2-of-3 in the second half when the Dolphins opted to protect a big lead by handing off to Ricky Williams.

The former University of Texas star responded with 104 yards, putting him over 1,000 for the season.

For all the offensive firepower displayed in Miami's highest-scoring game since getting 49 in the 2002 opener, the biggest play came from the defense.


On the third snap of the second half, with Dallas down just nine, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye ticked the ball away from quarterback Quincy Carter and Jason Taylor returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to make it 30-14.

Miami (8-4) is 1 1/2 games behind New England in the AFC East and 1 1/2 games ahead of Denver and Cincinnati for the conference's final wild-card spot.


The Dolphins have won three straight and are 5-1 on the road, the kind of momentum they need considering their history of disastrous Decembers and a schedule that could set them up for another: at New England a week from Sunday, then home against Philadelphia.


``We're definitely happy with the win, but we're not satisfied,'' Taylor said. ``We know we have to stay poised for the next four games. We feel we're a different football team now than in years past. We think that's going to lead to success in December.''


The Cowboys (8-4) lost for the third time in six games, making the kind of mistakes that coach Bill Parcells hates most. With errors on offense, defense and special teams, the only person who might escape criticism is Richie Anderson, who had the first two-touchdown game of his 11-year career.


``We had no chance at a win,'' Parcells said. ``This team does not have the maturity for this kind of situation. We have young players who do not understand what's going on. ... We were just awful.''

Dallas fell out of a first-place tie with the Eagles in the NFC East, and out of a four-way tie for the best record in the conference.


Plus, the disappointment will linger for 10 days, until the Cowboys play at Philadelphia, and the lopsided loss erases the joy of a 24-20 victory over Carolina that brought tears to Parcells' eyes.

The game-opening interference call against Mario Edwards set a tone for Dallas, too. The Cowboys gave up a TD on the opening drive for the first time in 22 games and never looked like the defense that had allowed the fewest points and fewest rushing yards in the NFL this season.


``It just didn't seem like we were ready to play. That surprised me,'' said Anderson, who had his first rushing touchdown since 1996 and a 25-yard TD catch. ``They played better than we did, more focused than we did and made more plays than we did.''


Fiedler finished 16-of-20 for 239 yards with no interceptions. Not bad for his first start since Oct. 19.

The Dolphins lost that game and Fiedler went out after that with a sprained left knee. Miami went 2-2 with Brian Griese in charge, then was down 13 late in the third quarter against Washington on Sunday night when Fiedler returned and guided the team's biggest fourth-quarter comeback since 1980.


``I don't know if anything has changed since before the injury,'' Fiedler said. ``I just know I've had a good flow with our receivers the past (five) days.''


Fiedler capped the opening series with a 1-yard TD dive. The Dolphins would lead by at least a field goal the rest of the game.


Dallas hung close with Anderson's two second-quarter scores. Fiedler and Chambers answered each time.

First came a well-thrown 39-yarder, then Chambers made a big stretch to haul in a 6-yarder, tapping the tips of his toes while falling out of the back of the end zone with 10 seconds left in the half.


Their third connection was a 35-yarder in the third quarter. Chambers finished with five catches for 96 yards.

Williams' third straight 100-yard game gives him 15 since joining Miami, tying Larry Csonka for the most in team history. It's his fourth straight 1,000-yard season and second in a row in Miami, letting him join Csonka as the only Dolphins players to do it more than once.


Carter was 24-of-40 for 288 yards -- 141 in the fourth quarter -- and two touchdowns, but had three interceptions and the costly fumble. All fourturnovers came in the second half.



Fiedler's rushing touchdown was his 10th for Miami, most by a quarterback in franchise history. ... The Dolphins clinched a 15th straight non-losing season. ... Dallas was allowing 15.3 points, Miami 15.5. ... The Cowboys were giving up 82.4 yards rushing, with only Tampa Bay's MichaelPittman going over 100.


Updated on Thursday, Nov 27, 2003 9:38 pm, EST

Bench Trent!

I'm not usually one to call out a player, and I'm pretty forgiving as a rule.
But, I'm going to deviate from that this week, and suggest that its time to bench Trent Green.  He had a horrible game on Sunday, and with the Dolphins already at 0-2 and things ooking bleak, I have to ask what the point of leaving him out there might be?

To let him play through it, so the Phins can impove?  Because he gives us the best chance to win.  Puh-lease.
I say if its too early for Beck then we should have Lemon taking snaps.
I've already seen enough from Trent to not want to see any more.


I gotta tell you that Ginn Jr's upsatnding character really was great out on the field yesterday! I mean, that really helped him to score all those TDs. Face it: dude got tackled by my grandmother.

In 2006, Hester had these stats for week 2:
Receiving: 0-0
Kick Returns: 0-0
Punt Returns: 4-12 (3.0 avg)

In 2007, Hester's week 2 stats:
Receiving: 0-0
Kick Returns: 0-0
Punt Returns: 5-140, and a TD (28.0 avg)

And Jr's stats:
Receiving: 0-0
Kick Returns: 6-180 (20 avg)
Punt Returns: 2-35(17.0 avg)
And he had one rush for a 3 yard loss.

Advatange....Ummmm....wait its too close to call....errrr...Hester.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What's up with that?

Miami gave up the ball 5 times in the game. And the defense came up with none of its own. They had opportunities. How many times was the ball batted, and it fell harmlessly to the ground?

It was pretty sad all the way around.


I had said before the season that as long as Miami was competitive week in and week out, I'd be okay with them losing. Last week, they were in the game, and in spite of the loss, I felt they were competitive, except maybe in OT.

This week was different. The Phins weren't competitive. They weren't playing smart. They fell apart and lost. And I felt frustrated by it.

And the main reason for that was this looked and felt just like any game over the last 4 years. What's different between what you saw today, and what you saw under Dave or Nick?

I'll tell you what. Nothing.

This team blows, and is no better than they were last year.

Football 110

[image removed]Once again, my respects to FOX, the NFL, and the Dolphins (by the way).

Mandich was right to a point. After the play I showed in the 109 class, Miami had to punt. It was a boomer, but Miami was offsides, and the play was blown dead shortly after it started. Then, Miami lined up again, and the punt was another good one. Jason Allen (if you can believe it) got in good position and made the tackle to prevent the receiver from taking off.

... but there was another penalty on Miami, which made it 4th and 17 (rather than the original 4th and 2), and the punt was shorter, and there was a good return on it. The returner is right below the arrow. Allen is shown in the circle. He has a bad angle on the play, and is hopelessly behind the returner. There's no way he can catch him. And Michael Lehan is being knocked down right in front of the returner and that creates a lane for the returner to go 48 yards.

So, those two penalties cost Miami a ton of field position and changed the momentum, but only after the blown opportunity on 3rd down.

And now a word about the punt unit. Like the offense, you have to lineup 7 men on the line. There's the long snapper in the middle, and 4 blockers. On the end - spread out far - are "flyers." They are wideouts or defensive backs who can quickly get downfield and make the tackle. On the ends of the line, you have the wing backs. They stand at an angle to the line, and help to protect the punter from a speed rush from the outside. Behind the line is the upback. He's watching the defense line up and makes the calls for the punt unit. He calls for the snap of the ball, as well. And finally you have the punter, the specialist whose job it is to get the ball downfield. There are specific things you may have him do, like get a high punt, so the tacklers can get down there. Or, he may do a positional kick, like intentionally kicking it to a corner.

The object is to get the flyers down the field to make the easy tackle should the returner turn outside. Or, they force the returner inside where there's a lot of traffic. There's a rule quirk you saw on an earlier punt where the return team may force the flyer out of bounds to try and stop him from getting downfield. But, he has to get back into the field of play as quickly as possible.

Allen was playing flyer, and he did turn the receiver in, but he also has to be aware of the flow of the play; and each player should be in a lane (an area) to prevent such a thing.

Football 109

...the thing about momentum is that it can change easily. On the series after the stop on Owens, the offense had a problem.

Now, I listened to part of the radio broadcast, basically after the odd sequence of punts that came after *this* play, and Jim Mandich suggested Miami imploded, and their problems could all be traced to the punts. I actually think it can be traced one play back; to this one.

[image removed] Again with respect to FOX, the NFL, and the Dolphins, here's the play: Miami was in a 3rd and 2. They had three wide receivers and a tight end on the field. One wideout was split right (at the top), while everyone else was on the left.

I've approximated the routes they were supposed to run. The object was to get to the yard marker, and turn around. Green would find the open guy and get a first down.

[image removed]Dallas' rush started to collapse the pocket very early in the play, as it had done countless times throughout the game. Green's first target was the receiver on the right (circled). But, a couple of things to note: (1) the receiver hasn't turned around yet because the protection broke down early, and (2) Dallas' rush is overpowering that side of the field.

Green's decision to throw to that side was flawed because there were two defenders between him and the receiver, plus there's a linebacker reading Trent's eyes, and the db on the receiver. In essence, at this point, the play is doomed.

Trent throws the ball and #90 (arrow) sticks his hand up and deflects it. And thus endeth the drive.

This was an example of some poor play on the field, and I think it summed up what I saw that didn't work, and also gives an idea of what Trent was doing wrong.

Football 108

Miami came out in the second half, and started well. And with about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd, they had a trememndous defensive play that I thought (at the time) would force the momentum their way, and might make the game turn completely.

[image removed]With respect to FOX, the NFL, and the Dolphins, here's what was going on:
It was 3rd and 7, and Dallas spread Owens out to the left side, but in the backfield. Its an unusual formation because the guy farthest out is almost always on the line, but in this case, Owens was in the slot behind the line (in the red circle). Its legal, but can cause confusion. His route is shown by the red line.

Miami frequently put two defenders on him and ran either "double coverage" where they blanketed him, or a zone like the one shown here. Travis Daniels is #1 in the picture. His responsibility is the area inside the circle. Tillman was the safety on that side, and he was providing a deeper zone; he's #2, and the zone is around him.

DB #3 (I think it was Lehan) is basically matching up man-man against the receiver in front of him, but may get help from Tillman as the play develops. It was simple, yet effective. TO ran into what appeared to be a "seam" (the space between the two defenders), but they actually had him pretty well covered.

When the ball was thrown, they closed in on him, and were able to knock the ball away from him as he tried to make the catch.

The dirt infield

The TV announcers said it. The radio announcers said it. What they said was that kicking off the dirt infield is difficult or precarious. And kickers often have trouble with it.

I thought about that for a bit, and realized that I have not seen any kickers have "trouble" with it, with one exception. In fact, I don't believe that they are statistically less likely to miss from the dirt than they are from a comparable distance from the other end.

The one exception would be Olindo Mare, who *always* had trouble on the dirt. And on the grass. And with shoes on.


The second quarter was completely dominated by the Cowboys.

Dallas had a 10-play drive that was about 4 1/2 minutes.

Then, Miami went 3 and out. That took less than 2 minutes.

Dallas came right back with a 12 play drive that ate up another 6 1/2 minutes.

Miami's defense wilted, and couldn't stop the Cowboys and they scored a TD.

Miami's offense was completely inept. Take the series with 20 seconds left before the half where Green tried to spike it, but instead fumbled it, then spiked it, then threw it to some guy in the first row of the 400 section. Jay Feeley at least came through with some points to salvage some measure of respectability.

Unclear concept

There was a play near the end of the half where Romo threw out to Barber. The officials ruled incomplete, and Barber fell on the ball.

Cam Cameron attempted to challenge the play. Why? I have no idea. Let's suppose the ref had allowed it. They would have reviewed it and found it was a lateral that was recovered by the Cowboys. Miami would have lost a timeout, and the result would have been the same.

Now its possible he was trying to get the officials to pay attention on the field, and it wasn't about that specific play, but come on!

I was watching commercials, and a game broke out.

There were seven seconds left in the 1st quarter. Dallas is facing 4th down, Miami takes a time out. We go to commercial. They come back, and the Cowboys kick the field goal. They go to another commercial. They come back, and there's the kickoff, followed by....another commercial. They come back from that one, and the Dolphins run one play, and its the end of the quarter. So, Fox goes to commercial!

Wow. There wasn't much football in there. But, then, in seeing Miami's performance through one and a half quarters, there wasn't much football from Miami either.


I just saw the clip of JT trying to take down the banner before the game. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. Was there a reason for that? And if there was, how did the guy get the banner back?

Different directions

I watched a couple of miniutes of the 9ers game today, and it got me to thinking....

Back in 2004, Miami and San Francisco finished with the same record. By virute of their schedule, San Fran got the first pick; Miami was second. They were both in need of new head coaches.

The niners picked up Mike Nolan, drafted Alex Smith at the top, got Frank Gore later, and started letting go of the lesser performers, regardless of how high they were drafted or how much they were paid.

Miami got Nick Saban, drafted Ronnie Brown with the next pick, and, uhhhh, no quarterback in any round, and kept a bunch of stiffs, some of whom are still around.

The Niners are 2-0, and look pretty good as Nolan has the team headed in a good direction.

Miami is 0-1, and facing a tough task this weekend. They have antoher new coach, still don't have a QB (well, maybe they do, but he's not playing yet), and Ronnie Brown isn't half as good as Gore, IMHO.

Talk about going in different directions.


It was really strange not being out at the game today. I turned on the TV to start watching a few minutes ago, and I was thinking about how strange it felt to be sitting in the comfort of my home, while the Dolphins were playing in theirs.

No tailgating. No hanging with the guys. No jawing with other fans. And worst of all, no girl watching.