Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feel good story

This year's feel-good story has to be wr Davone Bess.

Okay, the short bio is that he had a scholarship to Oregon State, but was arrested in his senior year, and spent 15 months in a juvenile detention center. He naturally lost his scholarship.

BUT, he played on a 7-7 team while in the facility, and a recruiter from Hawai'i saw him, and recommended him to June Jones who offered him a four year scholarship.

He put up some big numbers in that pass-whacky offense (293-3610 and 41 TDs in *3* years), but went undrafted.

Miami signed him as a free agent, and he worked hard and made the Dolphins roster.

We love stories like this guy.

More cuts

Three more of last year's holdovers were cut: Edmond Miles, Courtney Bryan, and Justin Pelle.

And there are two guys on IR who were with the team in '07.

That means there are only 26 holdovers from last year's roster on the 53-man roster.

And while that number may still change, we're looking at an ab-so-freakin-lotuely crazy number of 50% roster tunrover from last year to this year.

the juggernaut

As we anticipated, Reagan Mauia was cut by the Phins this afternoon. We loved his defensive lineman mentality, and his blocking was great. But, that's all he brought to the party, I guess, and it wasn't enough for the Tuna...

Nothing to do with football

A few years ago, I was at Disney World with the kids. We did the character meet and greets, and at one point saw "Alice in Wonderland." The girl who was portraying Alice was striking in her beauty. She had made an impression on me when I saw her.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago. I was watching an episode of "The Girls Next Door" on E! (the show that follows Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's girlfriends through their day) and they were focused on the Playmate of the Year for 2006, one Kara Monaco.

Hugh makes a comment that she used to be a princess at Disney, and a lightbulb goes off. I go and look for pictures of her (and let me tell you what a hard job that was...I mean in many of them, she has her clothes off!), and compare them to the picture I have.

Sure enough its the same person. That will be something to tell my son when he gets older. /smirk/

Friday, August 29, 2008

I love this story

Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco, and is considering wearing his new name on his jersey.


I like it.

Tears of McCown...

The Dolphins traded Josh McCown to the injury-depleted Carolina Panthers today, ending his stay in Miami - really before it started...

I guess John Beck is safe. For now.

The screen (and how to defend it)

Early in the game, New Orleans tried to run a screen against Miami. What exactly is a screen? Well, its a passing play to a back or widereceiver a few yards down the field. But, the cool thing is that the offensive linemen don't block the defenders, instead they move out to be blockers for the intended receiver.

The object is to get the defenders rushing upfield at the QB, and then to quickly get a pass off to the back who can use his blockers for a decent gain. Its like a running play from a pass.

Anyway, the Saints were running this formation, and I've approximated the various movements of the players.

At the snap, Brunnell does a play fake (pretends to handoff to the back), and drops back.

The intended reeciver fakes a block and then gets a few yards upfield to make a catch. The defenders are all trying to get to the QB.

But something interesting is happening along the o-line - none of the players are getting out to block for the receiver.

So, finally Brunell gets the pass off, but you can see the RB is on his own, and the LB is in a good spot to make a play, and does.

In general, the best way to defend the screen is to be aware that when as a d-lineman you are not being blocked, there's some trickery going on. And as a LB, if you see it developing that way to be sure you cover your responsibility, such as watching the back.

And if the linemen all move out, you better be ready. I might assume in this case that the Saints were trying a variation where they didn't put a blocker out there to try and confuse the LB (Miles, I think) into not being sure where the play was going.

In any case, it worked out for the Phins as they snuffed out this and many other screens during the game.

Henne's interception

Chad Henne threw one pick last night, but right afterward Nat Moore made a point of saying it wsas't all Henne's fault. And here's why (with respect to the Dolphins, the NFL, and CBS4). The receiver (Armstrong) ran a curl route to the sideline (the pinkish dotted line), but he allowed the defensive back to get between him and the QB.

This was a case where he should have fought for position with the db, to stay in front of him. If he had challenged and run the route to the x the interception would not have happened.

This was a timing (precision) route to a spot, but the Wideout has to be aware of the defensive back and make adjustments to maintain his position on the field.

There are other types of routes that ask the db to get behind a defender, such as a deep sideline pass or post pattern. But, this is not one of them.

So, oops to Armstrong. But Henne can't be held blameless,either, because he should learn to recognize that Armstrong erred and throe it to another receiver or simply away.

Dolphins 14, Saints 10

And now returning to football, the Dolphins had a preseason football game last night. They played the Saints in a contest in which Henne looked like a rookie and made a lot of mistakes, and the Dolphins offensive starters were bested by the Saints defensive starters.

The Saints offense was stuck in neutral, so it only got as bad as 10-0 before Miami finally found a new life against the second teamers.

Ernest Willford finally came through with some clutch plays. Bess remained consistent. And the defence looked solid all the way around (was the Saints problem because they were playing so poorly or because Miami's defense was playing so well? Hard to say)

All the backs ran with some authority, though I would say that Brown was the best among them and he scored a TD.

Beck came in for what amounts to mop-up duty, and did nothing to solidify his position. But then again, McCown has not played at all since the first week of pre-season. Whice one stays is anyone's guess.

The game started at 8ET, and amusingly the Miami Herald only had a 6 paragraph article about the game; no other information, articles or stats though the game ended around 11pm - plenty of time to make the press run.

But, the Marlins and Hurricanes were both isn play last night, so I guess its somewhat forgivable.

A brief word

I'm not one to get political in this space, though I have done so on ocassion. And I'm going to do so now, and won't say another word until the election - reminding YOU - to vote in November.

I was not sold on Obama; and then he gave his acceptance speech last night. I was inspired by it, more so than I have been by any candidate in recent memory. It may not come as a surprise, then, that I suggest you watch the speech and listen to what he has to say. Make your own choice, but think about it.

/end soap box/

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More on the game

Okay, now that I've had time to let the euphoria pass, I'd like to provide a commentary on the game.

  • First, the Chiefs are a mediocre to bad team. Yes Larry Johnson is there, and they did shut him down, but the team has limited talent beyond him.
  • Still, the Dolphins offense looked outstanding against the first teamers. Miami ran a nearly 9 minute drive to start the game, and though they couldn't punch it in, they did come up with a three pointer and set the game in motion.
  • When Ted Ginn received the punt and reversed his field I cried outloud "nooooo...the NFL is faster, you can't outrun every...." but by then he had gotten around the end and turned the corner. So, I'm wrong and he's fast enough.
  • There was a goal line stand that shows that Miami's defense has some moxy. They stopped the Chiefs on 5 plays inside the 5 yard line. Very, very impressive at any level.
  • Channing Crowder had a great day, hilighted by a blitz that caused a sack and a forced fumble that Roth recovered.
  • There were three other turnovers - all interceptions - and a few other opportunities. I think that's more turnovers than they had last year.
  • If it weren't for the guaranteed money (and even so), I would say Willford would not make the team this year. He's playing that poorly.
  • John Beck came up in mop up duty and fumbled the ball. I think that may be the last time we see him take the field in a Dolphins uniform (unless they want to try and showcase him next week)
  • Jalen Parmalee showed some good speed as he rumbled for 75 or so yards, and I thought locked up a roster spot. Until he fumbled very late in the game, trying to press for extra yardage.
  • Jake Long looked solid in the run game, but struggled against the pass.
  • Donald Thomas was outstanding
  • I'm not sure who will make the team - if either - between Soliai and Wright
  • Mauia looked good blocking when he was in, and he helped Parmalee score his TD. But is it enough to stick around? Grigsby was always doing good things, including special teams.
  • Though its subtle, I saw all the injured players on the sidelines wearing their jerseys. They were included as a part of the effort, which I appreciate.

    I'm starting to get the feeling that this team will be pretty good (meaning 7 wins?) this season.