Thursday, December 20, 2007

Interesting turn of events

Last week, there was talk of H Wayne being so frustrated that he wanted to sell the team.

Then came his pronouncement that he only wanted to sell a 49% stake.

But, clearly, the franchise still needs some help. Now this: he is trying to hire Bill Parcells to be his vice president of football operations. You know the job Dan Marino held for 20 days a few years ago.

There is no word - yet - on what the organizational structure of the team will be. Will the Tuna be able to hire and fire the coach and GM?

This tuna, apparently, is Dolphins safe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Talk radio

The radio network is undergoing some changes. We are moving to a new URL:

http://finsradio.net

Check us out...the shows and show times remain the same, but the url and the call in numbers will be changing...

Enjoy!

Just think

At his current pace, Cam will equal little Nicky's career win total in just another 14 years!

And he'll match Shula's win total in 2333.

Way to go! Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jason Taylor in the pro bowl

Jason was selected to the pro bowl, in spite of an up and down year. And we here at Dave's are proud of him making it.

And I'd like to thank JT for this personalized message, which I received this evening:



Dear David,


I want to personally thank you for all your encouragement this past season. It's an honor to have been named today to the Pro Bowl and to once again represent the Miami Dolphins in Hawaii. This recognition wouldn't be possible without my teammates. Football is the ultimate team game, and anything I accomplished on the field was because of their play.


Thank you for your support all season, and I hope you will come out and cheer us on one last time this year when we host the Cincinnati Bengals on December 30th.


Happy Holidays!


Jason Taylor

So, how does he know I voted for him exactly? I mean, what if I voted for someone else, or didn't vote at all? Would he send me mail like "I don't know what your problem is..."?

Vote!

Cleo Lemon has been nominated for the Fed-Ex Air Player of the Week. Cleo completed 23 of 39 passes for 315 yards and one touchdown to lead the Dolphins to their first victory of the season with a 22 - 16 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Vote for Cleo

Coach Cameron is nominated for Motorola Coach of the Week. Coach Cameron led the Dolphins to their first victory of the season with a 22 - 16 win over the Baltimore Ravens in overtime. QB Cleo Lemon led the Dolphins offense to gain 360 total net yards and to control the clock for 35:33. Lemon completed 23 of 39 passes and passed for one game-winning 64-yard touchdown to WR Greg Camarillo in overtime. RB Samkon Gado also ran in another touchdown in the third quarter and kicker Jay Feely notched three field goals. The Dolphins defense forced one turnover and sacked the Ravens QB four times, including two by DE Jason Taylor.
Vote for Cam

Rumor has it...

That little Nicky Saban has contact West Virginia about their coaching vacancy.

Seems he's already had enough as the Tuscaloser, and wants to move on. Yeah, no surprise there.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The future

Now that some of the euphoria has died down, I'll ask a couple of questions:
* Will Wayne sell the team? His crying at the end, clearly displayed emotion, and I wonder if that was some of his frustration being lost via his tear ducts.
* Is 1-15 good enough to save Cam's job, in spite of his mistakes in many games?
* With Cleo having a good outing, and now having secured the QB job for the last couple of games, what do we make of John Beck? And should the Phins draft a QB early in April's draft? (they will undoubtedly pick up one later, and maybe a free agent as well)

Here's what I think:
(1) No. He'll keep it.
(b) Its good enough
(iii) Gee, Trent Edwards and Troy Smith are playing well, while Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, Jeff Rowe, Jordan Palmer, and Tyler Thigpen are securely seated on the bench. But remember that for every player still riding the pine, there's a solid starter ahead of him (except in Jamarcus' case); and yes they'll draft a QB early.

Tastes like chicken

There was several shots of H Wayne during the game as the announcers spoke of his potential sale of the team. I have to admit I felt a little twinge of embarassment for the guy, because in many he was eating. I guess its a good thing he didn't have something stuck in his teeth or something.

Clearly, it was a salad he had on the plate. But we can not confirm the rumor that it was actually topped with mahi-mahi, otherwise known as dolphin.

defensive philosphy

The task at hand was to put pressure on the QB from as many formations as possible. Maybe Dom suddenly remembered how to do this, maybe some of the players started playing better.

Either way, it started to work.

With respect to CBS, the Dolphins, and the NFL on this and a couple of other posts, here's what happened:



On the first play, JT lined up on the left side - over the offensive right tackle. He used a speed rush, and just blew past the guy. It worked, in part, because (1) the defensive tackle lined up next to him moved slightly outward, (2) because there are two extra players - a saftey and a LB - at the line who have to be accounted for. The safety was going to play the back in coverage. The linebacker was rushing, and (3) because on several previous downs, JT dropped into coverage.

The offense was confused and he got to the QB easily.




On the very next play, JT lined up on the right, and the Phins rushed pretty much straight up.

So, now 4 players rushing against 5 players. JT was taken up by the left tackle at the top. The line clearly was worried about him. But, Rodrique Wright used good technique to out leverage the guard and make a play on the QB. I believe in this case a moment of confusion on the guards part about who was rushing gave Wright the advantage.

Oops


The officials blew this call. Boller was trying to get the ball on a quick out to the back, but as you can see, he threw it slightly backward, and therefore this is a lateral and a live ball.

The whistle came too quickly and blew it dead.

Offensive philosophy

For whatever reason, the line gave Lemon more time to throw than they ever did Beck. And the playcalls were more vertical.



Take a look at this relatively typical play. The line set up pass protection, and the receivers ran long routes, while the tight end ran an intermediate route. The back came up for a short pass.

It shows something in the offense we haven't seen since week 6 or so.

Play of the day

Certainly Camarillo's TD sealed the day for Miami. But, it was a decision by Brian Billick and the Ravens that won the game for Miami. The Phins were playing better than they had pretty much all year. And yet, they were in danger - big danger - of losing the game.

Here come the Ravens down the field with less than a minute left. Its 3rd and goal at about the 10. Troy Smith passes to the receiver, who comes down at about the half yard line.


There are 8 ticks left. Baltimore calls timeout, and Billick decides to go for the field goal to tie and take his chances in OT. But, fortune favors the bold. You've got 4 wins. You're on the road. You're dominating Miami on this drive. I commented that most of the Phins players had their heads down when Baltimore got the first down. Sure, they perked up some when it came to 3rd down, but you still have the advantage...


The players linger on the field, and Billick has to yell to get them to come off. The offense wants to go for it. They believe in themselves, and think they can get it. Billick has other plans.


Troy Smith has to be talked down by an assistant.

Sure, Baltimore gets the ball to start OT, but now two things happen: (1) Miami gets new life, and (2) the offense lacks confidence because they were un-inspired by their coach.

Miami effectively won the game on that play.

Looking back

I was trying to find a recap of an old Baltimore Colts / Miami Dolphins game. But, I couldn't find one. So, instead here's the last time the Ravens and Phins met in the playoffs:

Baltimore 30, Miami 23
By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
January 2, 2005

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens did their part to get into the playoffs.

It wasn't enough.

After beating the Miami Dolphins 30-23 Sunday, the Ravens had to wait until the late afternoon games ended to learn their postseason fate.

To secure the final AFC wild-card spot, Baltimore (9-7) needed to defeat Miami and have Buffalo lose to Pittsburgh, Denver lose to Indianapolis and Jacksonville either tie or lose to Oakland.

Buffalo lost while the Ravens played, and the other two games began soon after Baltimore walked off the field for what turned out to be the final time this season.

``Time for a little Chinese food and a little game-watching,'' Ravens coach Brian Billick said before hurrying home.

The late games probably ruined his meal. Denver won 33-14 to clinch the final wild-card spot and officially end Baltimore's season.

``Regardless of what happens with the other teams, we had to win this game in order for us to even have a chance,'' Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller said before leaving the locker room. ``I think we made some good strides today.''

Losses earlier in the season to Cleveland, Kansas City and Cincinnati put the Ravens in a situation where they had to depend on others to reach the postseason. That same kind of inconsistent play was on display Sunday during a game that Baltimore should have won handily.

``If there is anybody to blame for the situation, it's definitely us,'' Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said.

Playing against a downtrodden Miami team that was forced to start third-string quarterback Sage Rosenfels, Baltimore built a 27-7 lead, then allowed the Dolphins to close to 27-21 before holding on.

``If we could win 40-7, that would be great,'' Boller said, ``but that's the way it is.''

Jamal Lewis scored a touchdown and ran for 167 yards, giving him 1,006 for the season.

Baltimore's Jarret Johnson returned an interception for a score and teammate Ed Reed got his ninth interception and returned it 41 yards to get an NFL record for INT return yardage in a season (358).

``He threw me the football,'' Reed said with a grin. ``It's just another record; it will be up there for however long it will be up there.''

But the Ravens' defense, playing without injured linebacker Ray Lewis (broken wrist), was burned for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and later yielded a 90-yard drive against a team that concluded its worst season since 1969.

The Dolphins (4-12) finished 3-4 under interim coach Jim Bates. Nick Saban has already been hired to coach Miami next season.

``When I took over eight weeks ago we were 1-8 and it was a tough situation,'' Bates said. ``For the last seven football games, we've been in every one. Today we were down 27-7 -- 20 points -- and there's no quit in the football team. We came back and still had a chance to get back in it.''

Miami used a 95-yard kickoff return by Wes Welker -- the Dolphins' first for a score since 1989 -- and a 35-yard TD run by Sammy Morris to get to 27-21.

It was 30-21 when Travis Minor appeared to score a touchdown for Miami, but officials ruled he came up short and Anthony Weaver ended the drive with an interception.

Rosenfels launched his first NFL start in grand style, throwing a 76-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers on his initial play. Chambers got behind cornerback Gary Baxter, caught the pass at the Baltimore 42 and sprinted down the left sideline to complete the longest reception of his career.

Starting for injured A.J. Feeley (ribs), Rosenfels went 16-for-38 for 264 yards and three interceptions.

``It wasn't enough. That's how I feel,'' Rosenfels said. ``I didn't make enough plays to win the game. I made some key mistakes that I've got to learn from.''

After Rosenfels shocked the Ravens with his TD pass, Baltimore countered with a 64-yard touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard shovel pass from Boller to tight end Terry Jones.

``You got to come back and answer it, and we did,'' said Boller, who went 14-for-27 for 142 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens led 10-7 before Johnson tipped a pass with his left arm, gained control and ran 6 yards for his first NFL touchdown. It was the team-record eighth interception returned for a touchdown against the Dolphins this season.

Baltimore went up 20-7 at halftime and increased the margin on a 2-yard run by Lewis early in the third quarter.

Notes

Miami Pro Bowl DE Jason Taylor (shoulder) left in the third quarter and did not return. ... The Ravens were 0-6 when allowing 20 or more points.


Updated on Sunday, Jan 2, 2005 7:24 pm, EST

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes...

...I might not have believed it!

I have to admit that I was torn. On the one hand, 0-16 has a certain appeal. The Dolphins would be remembered for *something* in the last 35 years. I mean, the team went to two superbowls, but lost. And Marino set every passing record, but has lost those as well.

0-16 would make a statement, however bad...

But, then, on the other hand, I wanted them to win. Its time to start the healing. It doesn't mean they'll win next week or the week after. It does mean that instead of finding new ways to lose, they actually found a way to win a game. Overall, they played pretty well. And now they don't have the 0-16 legacy before them.


And it figures, doesn't it? The unheralded, undrafted guy who wallowed on San Diego's practice squad after his stint at Stanford; the who-dat on the Dolphins this year comes up with the big 64 yard TD reception to win the game. Greg Camarillo - who I wouldn't have recognized if I saw him - turns the game, looking like the last #83 to play here...

JT had a monster day with 3 sacks and a blocked FG early in the game.

It was something. At least there's something to savor this season...