Friday, September 28, 2007

Now that's funny.

I heard an ad on the radio for one of the Dolphins shows. It was presented by the "Huzienga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University."

Does any one else see the humor in that? I mean, of course its presented by another H product! LOL

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Update from across the pond...

Our own Rich Wanker reports from England:

well, you must have thought," what a wanker" when I haven't sent you so much as a single line since you asked me to contribute. However, the truth is that except for all those NFL fans, who watch the games weekly, who watch the US networks NFL preview shows and who look at the internet sites like, no one else seems to know that the game is nearly upon us. There has been nothing I've seen in the national press or on the national network stations.

When Cam and Jason visited, it seemed to pass by without any headlines. I briefly heard them on an sports talk show in the middle of a weekday afternoon, when most people are working. Jason said they the players were a little suspicious at first but now felt is was an honour to be the first NFL match in the UK that wasn't an exhibition game. Maybe their match fee suddenly made them all honourable!
Cam was asked if Trent Green was a short term measure, to which he replied "long term in the NFL is no more than a season!".

There is to be a huge tailgate party at Wembley on the day of the game, but London at the end of October is similar to NY, bloody cold and probably wet! I wouldn't fancy having a BBQ dressed in an overcoat and gumboots!

Hopefully, I'll have more to report the closer we get. Sky Sports, our satellite/Cable provider here, shows a tripleheader every Sunday evening, with a choice of 6 games plus it airs the FOX and NBC NFL preview shows on a Saturday morning. The fact that the Fins matches have been shown here every week is testament to the number of Dolfans here.

Be in touch!

I personally expect that the reason they get no coverage is because, well, they suck.

Tough talk

Sayeth Joey Porter:
"We're forced into a situation [where] our backs are against the wall. This is a must-win for us. Write it how you want to write it. We will win on Sunday."
Can he back it up?  Or will he be a wanker?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looking forward

You have to wonder....with Daunte Culpepper likely starting for the Raiders this weekend....will he light it up?  Will he have a 70% completion rating with 400+ yards, and a couple of TDs, and maybe 100 yards rushing and another TD?
One can only hope.  Not.

Home Team Challenge










A.J. Duhe







Troy Drayton







Greg Pompos







Brian Miller







Joe Rose







Jimmy Cefalo







Dwight Stephenson














Barry Buetel














Dave Kennedy







New Found Glory







Adam Kuperstein







Nat Moore














Bob Ball







Andy Kent







Tom Tatera







Roly Martin







Dave Buchler







Monday, September 24, 2007

The return game (football 112)

It was such a simple play. With respect, look at the position of the players on the field. The idea is that you have to stay in a lane - that is, cover a portion of the field.

As we talked about before, the guys on the outside are the fastest, and their job is to turn the guy in toward other blockers, or to make a tackle. The other guys have to stay in their area, or there's a space for the returner to go into.

In this still, who is to the right of the numbers? That's right. No one. And hence the kick return for the TD.

Football 111

[image removed]Again with respect...The o-line started off on the wrong foot. Early on, There was a play where Trent Green got sacked. Take a look at Vernon Carey (arrow) looking at the guy toward the center of the field, while a lineman goes low behind him.

As the play ends, Carey is mostly standing around, and the guy is making the tackle and Carey doesn't seem to notice.

As for the run game, early on, the Phins ran a two back set with Mauia being the lead blocker for Brown. For the most part, the linemen were using straight up blocking to try and move the linemen and linebackers, and Mauia was expected to clear the path (yellow line). This had limited success.

In the second half, Miami adjusted, and had the guard on the opposite side go into the hole first, and take out an additional player on that side, as shown by the red arrow. Or, they ran a trap block, where the guard would unexpectedly release his man and move to someone else, thus creating a hole.

Miami used the play shown here to set the tone and then changed it to make it work. And seeing Brown get over 100 yards shows that it did work.

a couple of notable plays

With respect to CBS, the NFL, and the Dolphins, I'd like to make a few observations:

(1) Although Dan Dierdorf was adamant that Channing Crowder made a helmet-helmet hit on Chad Pennington, he was wrong. Although its fuzzy, you can see Crowder's head is up and he did no such thing. The ref got it wrong.

(2) After the game, Vonnie Holliday made a comment that he was caught out of position several times, and wound up playing nose rather than defensive tackle, and that led to some problems. This was actually a problem the Jets pace caused; and it also led to a pair of penalties where Miami had too many men on the field. Pennington was hurrying to the line, and if there was a substitution it had to be made quickly. And in the case of Holliday's comments, there is a difference of technique, and the way you attack the line. The nose tackle is all about controlling the center and what the guards do. The defensive tackle is trying to fill a gap. Holliday is better at the latter, and at times, the Jets would force him into the "wrong" position by scheming. This picture illustrates the issue. Holliday is circled over the center. He and the guy with the arrow should have been the opposite spots.

(3) On this play, the tight end moved from the left to the right of the formation. Again, Dierdorf mis-stated things. He said the penalty was for having two men in motion. The reality is that Peele turned toward the line before the ball was snapped. That's a no-no when you're in motion. Your shoulders must be facing the sidelines, then you can turn upfield when the ball is snapped.

We almost forgot!

We would like to congratulate the University of Georgia for handing Nick Saban a loss this weekend!

Predictably, this was okay because its his first season and they went all the way to overtime for gosh sakes...

Nick said afterward:
"I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned about how we played in the first half of the game. I was concerned about the intensity, focus and concentration we had this week in practice, and I think it showed in the first half performance of the game. I think that was the worst we played all year long."

Sounds like something he said after any Dolphin game last year.


October 5, 1981
The clock showed no time remaining in sudden-death overtime when Pat Leahy's 48-yard field-goal attempt headed toward the Orange Bowl goalpost tonight. The kick was short and wide, the game was over and so was the strange mastery the New York Jets had held over the Dolphins. Although the 28-28 result preserved the Dolphins' undefeated season, after four victories, it did nothing for the Jets, who are now 1-3-1. But it ended their six-game winning streak over three seasons against Miami, a streak...

Read the whole article at the New York Times

One more trend

I was curious how their 1st pick in each years draft worked out.
 In '67, you had Griese who lasted 14 years.
 In '71, the Phins had to give up a pick for Shula, who lasted for 26 years.
 in '83, it was Marino's 17 years.
 And you had Tim Bowens and Richmond Webb lasting 11 years each.
So, here's what's interesting - even taking out Shula - the trend is that players spend less time with the team.  That's partly an NFL trend due to salary cap, but clearly there's some root cause related to how well Dolphins picks do.
In 8 years, the Dolphins traded their 1st pick for something. 
Interestingly, Miami has only expended their first overall selection on a QB twice, and both worked out well.
They've picked (or traded for) a RB 10 times (including the two picks they gave up for Ricky), and most had short-lived careers in Miami
6 times they've gone for a receiver, and with the excpetion of McDuffie, they were short-lived as well.
Note on the graph that Shula's last year was 1995.  Only Patrick Surtain and Daryl Gardener have exceeded the 5 year mark.  (Though of course the jury's still out on Carey, Ronnie, and Allen in terms of longevity)
It does go to show that Miami hasn't hit a lot over the last decade or so...

Trends a deux

So, how has the team done in terms of final record?  Here's their year by year win percentage (since the league switched to a 16 game schedule a few decades ago, and there have been games lost due to player strikes):
Here we see a trend downward.  In this case, its close to being statistically significant, but lets be cautious and say its not.  They have gone from winning just over 60 percent of their games to around 57%.    And very recently, its been pretty bad.


I was musing about the Dolphins failures over the last few years, and it struck me that I wanted to see how they were doing as a team.
So, first I looked at their first 4 games.  How have they done historically?
Interestingly, they've been improving year over year in the first 4 games.  Its not statistically significant, but it does show that the trend is generally upward...


I have decided to suspend the comparison of Ginn, Jr and Hester for the time being. 
And that's because its not a fair comparison.  Hester overall is a better and more skilled return guy who is feared around the league.  Jr is just a rookie who shows some great dance moves.
Instead, lets look at the whole NFL.

There have been 5 kickoff returns for TDs thus far this year.  Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston,  New England, and of course the Jets each have one.

Meanwhile, there have been 4 punt returns for TDs, from Buffalo, two from Baltimore, and of course Hester in Chicago.
So, each of Miami's foes in the east has a return TD.  And Jr doesn't!
As a side note, Miami put a lot of emphasis on its special teams this offseason.  A new kicker, a new punter, a return guy, some young draft picks to bolster the effort.  I had said it might pay off, because Miami was devoting attention to it. 
Ummmm, yeah.  Most of the rookies haven't seen the field on special teams, and Jason Allen isn't getting it done.  And we know about Jr.  And Leon Washington's style - which is similar to Lorenzo Booker's by their own admission -gets a TD while Booker is in danger of being cut.
Forrest Gump gets a TD against us.  How do you like that?

He sucks?

"I didn't get to the quarterback. I suck right now. It's as simple as that. So there -- there's your headline."

a quote from Mr JT. We agree.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So what did Dave do?


He went and got his hair cut, and then ran some errands. But, through the magic of Tivo, he was able to watch the game in all its glory.

He's a little pissed off at the Phins, but at least they were competitive.

And if there's a bright side, its that there was a return for a TD this week! Oh wait, that was by the Jets, so never mind that one.

Okay, so the bright side might be that Ronnie Brown actually ran the football well today. Too bad it wasn't enough, but its a start.

A couple of additional comments for now:
(1) Why hasn't Miami had an interception against Pennington since, I dunno, the 90s?
(2) Did Trent really throw another pick? He sucks.
(3) Did Joey Porter play today, or was he at home with Zach Thomas?

What would Dave do?

I was asked by a friend to attend a horse, err, equestrian show this afternoon.

See horses jumping gates or watch the Dolphins go 0-3. Hmmm. Tough choice.

What will Dave do?