Friday, September 26, 2008

Coach Sparano

....and Tony Sparano was named coach of the week...
But, Merling didn't make rookie of the week.
Still not a bad showing.

Porter voted Week 3 GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Week

National Football League

Linebacker Joey Porter of the Miami Dolphins, is the GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Week for games played on Sept. 21-22.

Porter was selected from among five finalists by voters on The other finalists were defensive end John Abraham of the Atlanta Falcons, defensive end Juqua Parker of the Philadelphia Eagles, linebacker D.J. Williams of the Denver Broncos and cornerback Antoine Winfield of the Minnesota Vikings.

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on throughout the month of January.

Ronnie Brown has WON FedEx NFL Ground Player of the Week




Players' Cities Each Receive $1,000 Donation For Local Safe Kids Efforts

Quarterback PHILIP RIVERS of the San Diego Chargers and running back RONNIE BROWN of the Miami Dolphins are the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week for games played on September 21 - 22, the NFL announced today. 

Philip Rivers completed 19 of 25 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in the Chargers' 48 - 29 win over the New York Jets. Rivers constantly put the Chargers in good field position allowing them to score at least one touchdown every quarter in their first win of the season.

Ronnie Brown scored four rushing touchdowns including a 62-yard fourth-quarter run in the Dolphins' 38 – 13 win over the New England Patriots. Brown totaled 113 yards on 17 carries and also completed a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Rivers and Brown were selected from among six finalists in Air and Ground categories.  The other FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week finalists were quarterbacks JASON CAMPBELL of the Washington Redskins and BRIAN GRIESE of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and running backs FRED TAYLOR of the Jacksonville Jaguars and MICHAEL TURNER of the Atlanta Falcons.

Fans voted for more than their favorite players. The weekly FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week Awards are also a win for local communities. Along with the player awards, FedEx is making a $1,000 donation in the winning players' names to the local Safe Kids USA coalitions in San Diego and Miami to support pedestrian safety efforts. Safe Kids USA is a national non-profit organization that works to prevent accidental injury among children. This season, FedEx plans to surpass the $1 million mark in terms of charity donations they have made to deliver safe kids through the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Player of the Week Awards program.

During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIII, FedEx plans to announce the 2008 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year in Tampa Bay. FedEx will also make a special delivery for the Tampa Safe Kids chapter, as well as make a special donation in the winning players' names to Safe Kids USA. 

FedEx, the premier global provider of transportation, e-commerce and supply-chain management services, is the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. Through the weekly FedEx Air and Ground awards, FedEx recognizes those NFL players who represent the same speed, precision and teamwork that their customers have come to expect from the full range of FedEx air, ground, freight and international shipping services, delivering safer kids in the process. With thousands of trucks out on the roads each day, FedEx is committed to improving pedestrian safety for children, by funding education programs and environmental improvements, from signage and crosswalks to pedestrian walkways near schools and playgrounds.



        AIR     GROUND 
Wk. 1   Donovan McNabb, PHI     Michael Turner, ATL    
Wk .2   Aaron Rodgers, GB       Darren McFadden, OAK   
Wk. 3   Philip Rivers, SD       Ronnie Brown, MIA      

#     #     #

Wildcat - and football knowledge

Earlier this week, a former NFL defensive player explained part of the reason that Bill Bellicheat couldn't defend the Wildcat.  What it boils down to is that no NFL defense ever accounts for the QB in their scheme.  And splitting a QB wide on the top corner causes mass confusion for the defense.
For those of you who wonder what I'm talking about, allow me to explain:  While the offense lines up 11 players, there are only 10 who are involved in a running play in most cases.  The 11th is the QB.  His job is to receive the snap and hand it off, then "get out of the way" the defense is using 11 guys to try and stop 10.  In those relatively rare cases where a QB is involved further in a running play, it makes the hilight reel, because they're throwing their bodies to block someone - and that's unusual - or its some kind of a trick play.
But let me add that during most passing plays it is 11-11, because the QB is actually throwing the ball.  Only when he lines up wide and someone else takes the snap, do we have a similar situation to the running play.
So by putting a running back "under center" (he was in the shotgun), you now have a different threat.  The QB splits out wide and the CB has to cover him.  Now in most cases last week, they put Pennington on Ellis Hobbs.  One thing the Dolphins apparently noticed was that the Pats only have two true corners on their roster, and its all about scheme with them.  So, on most defensive plays its their better corner (Hobbs) and Deltha O'Neal who is 32 years old, and has been cut by several teams in recent years, lined up to take on the receivers. 
When the play starts, Pennington has to be covered.  Now, he's no threat really, to catch the ball.  But, he makes Hobbs cover him.  All Pennington had to do was jog a little upfield - away from the play - and take Hobbs out of the play.  Now, you've got 10 on 10, with Brown being able to see the defense from his position and start running right away.
And because he had no other corners, Bellicheat was stuck.
The other part to this play was that the Phins attacked the very good Patriots defensive line at the point of attack, and took out the younger linebackers with offensive linemen.  That left the rest of the actors - Williams, Martin, Hagen - to either distract the slower, older players or chip them and let Brown use some speed to rush through and make a good gain.

Gov Palin

Maybe I should file this under "wankers"...but I had to share this.  Watch the video, read the column, and think about whether she is a good VP candidate, or a good miss America candidate.  After all, her answers sound an awful lot like those of a stereo-typical beauty contestant.

[the editor's would like to apologize for Dave standing on a soap box again]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does everything have a sponsor?

I was voting on all the award I noted in a previous post, and I couldn't help but wonder: does everything have to have a sponsor?  And more importantly why doesn't Bitchin' Dave have his own sponsor?  Tidy Bowl presents Dave's Bitchin Look at the Miami Dolphins or something.
Seriously, There's a sponsored question that appears in a small area of the screen and an ad for the sponsor on a larger part of the screen...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Four Dolphins Nominated For NFL Honors. We Need Your Support.

There are 4 nominees for NFL Honors this week.  Take a look and vote for your Dolphins team!!!!


Coach Sparano is a nominee for Motorola's Coach of the Week for Week 3. Sparano and the Dolphins earned their first win of the season and Sparano's first win as a head coach.  The Dolphins ended their 11-game road losing streak and the Patriots 12-game home winning streak at Gillette Stadium by gaining a total 461 yards and controlling the ball for over 32 minutes. Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown had a hand in all five of Miami's touchdown, running for four and passing to TE Anthony Fasano for one 19-yard third-quarter score. The defense contributed to New England's biggest loss at home in seven seasons by causing two turnovers and limiting the Patriots to 216 total net yards. to vote for Coach Sparano. Voting is now open, and will remain open until this Friday at 12:00 p.m. (ET).


Brown is a nominee for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week for Week 3. Brown scored four rushing touchdowns including a 62-yard fourth quarter run in the Dolphins' 38 - 13 win over the New England Patriots. Brown totaled 117 yards on 17 carries and also completed a 19-yard touchdown pass. to vote for Brown. Voting is now open, and will remain open until this Friday at 11:00 a.m. (ET).


Porter is a nominee for GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3. Porter recorded three sacks, a forced fumble, and six tackles (three for a loss) in the Dolphins' 38-13 win over the Patriots. to vote for Porter. Voting is now open, and will remain open until this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. (ET).


Merling is a nominee for the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week for Week 3. Merling made three tackles, had his first NFL sack for a loss of four yards and recovered a fumble in the Dolphins' 38-13 win over the Patriots. to vote for Merling. Voting is now open, and will remain open until this Friday at 12:00 p.m. (ET).


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Monday, September 22, 2008

why we love Jets fans

need I say more?

I got news for Matt Casell

"You are no Tom Brady."
Thanks to Joey Porter for proving the point.

Damn straight!

"There's not much to say. They outplayed us, they outcoached us."
That's the wisdom from Bellicheat. 


"It's something we hadn't seen.  We made adjustments and didn't stop it. We made more adjustments and still didn't stop it."
So sayeth Rodney Harrison.  Yeah, its hard to stop something you hadn't seen on game film and when you didn't know the playcall like you *used to* do, isn't it?

err, its the "wildcat"

My mistake: the formation was called the "Wildcat" not "Wild Hog"
But, as I've noted, whatever you call it, it worked.
Ronnie Brown goes on to become the only player in franchise history to score 4 rushing TDs in a game. 

here's an oddity for you

On ocassion, I have not watched a game live, preferring to catch it on Tivo sometime after it has started.  Yesterday - obviously - was one such day.  But, everyone I know - and I do mean everyone - called me to ask if I saw the game.  Which, of course, I hadn't.
I didn't get around to watching it until after it had been over for about 6 hours due to other things I had planned and my own (muy estupido) decision to not watch it around the time it was on.

At least I held to my convictions.  LOL

One question

The game was decided by mid-way through the third quarter.  Why didn't we see Henne come into the game in mop-up duty right at the end?
Its nit-picky, perhaps, but I am curious.

Great pic

Hey, Bill, you don't have the advantage of knowing the play calls because you had no video of do you like them apples?
[thanks to Yahoo Sports]

The Buoniconti factor

Nick was invited to become a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, and not suprisingly they picked the game against the Dolphins to induct him.  What a freakin' slap in the face to the Dolphins to have Robert Kraft decide to do this to a member of the 72 Fins on the day when they faced the Patriots.

And my first thought was to rip Nick for going along with it.  I think he's a bit of a jerk, anyway.
...but then I heard him on the Fins TV show say something like he was a 7 year vet of the *Boston* Patriots and had that SuperBowl ring, so he was always a Dolphin at heart...
And so he sat and watched a team with the same name that he played for match up against his team...and maybe they won it for him.  Or maybe he was actually listening in on the plays and telling the Dolphins what to expect.

Speaking of mediocre play

I have never been a fan of Matt Light, the LT of the Patriots.  I always thought if the word "over rated" applied to anyone, it applied to him.  Yeah, he made the probowl a couple of times, but Tom Brady made his line look a lot better with his play...
JT used to absolutely dominate him, and other players gave him some trouble.  Then, on Sunday, he looked like a rookie.  Credit him with not handling Joey Porter on the 1st and goal early in the game, and for whiffing on some other blocks against Holliday and Langford.
Meanwhile, Randy Moss pulled the same thing he has time and again before last year.  He wasn't being thrown to, so he pouted and took plays off.  Most of the time, the Patriots were playing 10 on 11 because he took himself out of the game.  How long do you think it will be before he blows up in the locker room?

After the play

There was a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct on both teams after the 62 yard TD run.  But what happened?  Ricky ran up the field and set his sights on Vrabel.  He catches up to the slower Vrabel and engages him at about Ricky's shoulder to Vrabel's chest. 
Since they are both running, and Ricky is coming from behind, Ricky slides down to the ground and winds up taking out Vrabel's knees and upending him.  Intentional?  Not a chance.  It was a clean hit.
But Vrabel didn't think so and came up mad as hell.  I couldn't tell what drew a flag from Ricky, but I have to assume that it was a verbal exchange...
In any event, Vrabel was a bit of crybaby.  He had no reason to get upset...except that the doormat of the league last year was kicking his team's ass!

Wild Hog blocking

On this play - the one that Ronnie ran for the 62 yard score - we see the scheme calls for the two guys on the right end of the line to block their guy up, while the tight end (Martin) is to take out the outside linebacker.  The guard (Ndukwe) blocks down, creating a small space.  Smiley comes over from the left side and goes into the space as the lead blocker.
Ricky goes in motion right in front of Ronnie.  Ronnie fakes a handoff, and then dashes into the line behind Smiley.  Its all about timing, but it worked out really well.
The variations are that Ronnie could go wide to the right, or reverse field and go left.  Or Ricky can take the ball and sweep wide, or cut into that same hole.  Or either could pass, or effectively run a reverse to another player coming across.

What counts here is that the blocking scheme will change a little to accomodate the motion, but the positioning won't change.  Its all designed to confuse the defense.  And boy did they ever!!!

Wild Hog formation

Take a look at the way the team lined up on the play.  Pennington is wide, Ronnie is inside him.  But, the critical piece is the unbalanced line.  Fasano plays what amounts to tackle, but is eligible.  And Long moves to the right side to help block.
Its weird, but very effective.

Hog Wild

There were so many sub-plots in this game.  Miami's 11 game road losing streak.  The Pats 22 game win streak (in the regular season, of course!).  Miami's general ineptitude.  The Patriots general success.  Tom Brady being down.  Joey Porter's war of the words.  Bill Bellicheat going up against his former master (though Parcells had less to do with this game, you have to figure he gave some sage advice to Sparano)...
And the Fins literally exploded for 38 points.  But, just how did they do that?  Turns out that they were running a play called "Wild Hog" which is the play that foremer Arkansas OC David Lee drew up for Darren McFadden last year.  And Lee is currently the QB coach for the Dolphins, so he got Dan Henning and Sparano to agree to put it in the playbook.
It has a fair number of variations, but basically, the RB lines up in the backfield, and another back lines up at wideout and crosses in front of him.  The line has to block well, but the misdirection can cause defenses to be out of position.  You can sweep, handoff, run inside, or even pass out of the formation.

And it can be run in either direction from the line play.
And the greatest part was that Bill Bellicheat couldn't come up with a way to stop it.
in the next few posts, I'll break the play down for you.

Greatest moment

For my money, the greatest moment in the game was this one...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maybe I was wrong?

As promised, I am not watching the game....but I was out and went into a store, and saw the Dolphins did have a lead, and it did appear they were giving some effort.
I guess I'll have to watch the game.  :)

In case you missed it...

Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick did the rounds on Fins Radio and appeard on most shows over the last 2 weeks. We did a recorded interview with each of them; we'll probably play one this coming week, and the other the following week.

Meanwhile, David J Neal of the Herald dropped by for a visit to share some insights about the Dolphins this past Friday.

...and of course Kim Bokamper was on last week!

Check out our archives to listen in!

Why sports sucks these days

I decided to take in a Marlins game last night. It was $10 to park, and I wound up getting tickets in the upper deck behind home plate for $25 a pop. Add in a few miscellaneous concessions and I spent $100.

The opposing team is the Phillies, and there are a lot of their fans in attendance (big surprise, right?).

Many are noisy and rather obnoxious. ONe group of guys are sitting behind us, and they're not being particularly rude but its f-this and f-that, just loud enough to make one of them say 'hey you're being to loud, there are kids around.'

And then a family shows up with tickets to the seats they're occupying. Its not quite enough for someone to come up obviously looking for *their* seats, they have to wait to be asked to move. Then they complain about it 'we don't like Marlins fans. You guys come late to games.'

To me it sums up what sports fans have become. I pay a bunch of money, and there's silliness like that? C'mon.

The game wasn't bad, and for value, it might have been better than football. Though I'll admit I'm not much of a baseball fan...