Saturday, November 08, 2008

And the winner is...

But most importantly - to me anyway - is that this very site was voted "Best Features and Fan Columns" by my peers.
Thank you all!!!

Web Weekend

All the Dolphins webmasters have once again gathered for "Web Weekend" the annual event hosted by the Dolphins.  Tonight we heard from Keith Sims, Bryan Weidermeier, Jeff Ireland, and Tony Sparano.
Good stuff - and I'll fill you in on more later.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Joey has a point

This week, Joey found out that Jags receiver Matt Bryant was suspended for a couple of games for cocaine possession, but not fined.  And he's appearling the suspension.
And Joey was fined $20,000 for talking bad about the refs - in a bad call that was never reviewed - and had no recourse.
He wondered what the NFL is coming to, and why Goodell is applying this sort of a standard, and what message he is sending.
And I would say "a mixed one."  Goodell's problems are far-reaching, and at the season outset - when he declared he was going to be tough on players - I made a comment that it was going to be difficult to do.  It appears as though I was right.

Mmmm. relish.

My friend, Alan, pointed this out:
An article appearing in the Miami Herald had the following headline"Miami Dolphins receivers relish underdog role"
And asked 'is relish the secret sauce?'
I hear that relish is good on nice piece of dolphin.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What? Is it Tuesday?

Joey Porter was quoted as saying that Tuesday is the day that cuts happen.  Every week, the team comes in on Wednesday and finds out someone is gone.  He was a point.

This week was no exception.  Derek Hagan was released yesterday.  This after he was listed as the starter during the preseason, and catching all of a half dozen passes in his first few games before being relegated to the inactive list week after week.
I never met Derek, but did have occasion to meet his dad who seemed like a good guy, who was as bewildered as we are as to why his son dropped on the depth chart. 
I do remember a quote from Derek - that this coaching staff was the first one who took the time to teach him good route running skills.  Seemed odd at the time, but I guess it may feed into it if he wasn't a polished receiver.
In any event, we wish him well...

War of words

Joey said of Brandon Marshall that he was "soft" and that he "got in his head" as he trash talked throughout the game.

Two days later, Marshall had a George Costanza moment (you remember the episode - he could never come up with a witty comeback until much later) and said:

You've got one of those guys that talk a lot of trash and just want to talk about people or put people down, they have their own insecurities. All those muscles are popcorn muscles. He's soft. We hear stories floating around the league all the time about him in nightclubs dancing with his shirt off like a girl or on the playground getting beat up in California. He's one of those guys that no matter how big he is can get knocked down on his butt. He's soft, soft at heart.


Several players have said "yeah, why not?" when asked if they had a shot to make the playoffs. Even coach Sparano thought it was a possibility.

Then, Merrill Hodge over at ESPN boldly predicted that Miami will win the AFC East this season.

Yeah, I had to read that again. I don't expect it myself, but it was an interesting comment...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hopefully he'll learn from this

I got give props to my son - bitchin junior.  We were watching the game, and Ronnie Brown ran the wildcat left with the intention to pass.  I said there was nowhere to throw the ball to, and thought it was okay to take the sack.  My son disagreed and said he should have thrown it away.  I watched the play again, and he was outside the tackle box, and it would have been okay to simply fire the ball out of bounds.
He was right.  I have quite the football fan I'm developing.

No wonder they won

I did as I said I would, and watched the game on Tivo, starting about 90 minutes after kickoff. 
And I gotta say, its a helluva lot better not watching any commercials, but sticking with the entire game!

Who was that?

Dan Dierdorf made a comment at one point yesterday that "Chad Pennington and the Jets...." and a moment later said "did I say the Jets?"

Mid - season report card

Who would have thought at the midway point we'd say Miami was 4-4 in playoff contention?

Not me. But, they are.

I like what I've seen from them at this point.

Here's a look back-
Best game: The win at New England was sweet.

Worst game: In Arizona, Miami gave up and was outplayed a week after the New England set.

Mid-season MVP: Give it up for Joey Porter and his 11 1/2 sacks.

Top offensive player: I think Greg Camarillo deserves it, since he's been the most consistent offensive weapon. But we tip or hat to Ronnie Brown for his outstanding play.

Top defensive player not named Joey Porter: this is a little more challenging because on the whole the defense has played well. But, given that Jason Ferguson's absence cost them against the Texans, and overall his play against the Broncos and others helped clog the lanes for running, I will give the nod to him.

Magician's award for making $6 million disappear: that goes to Ernest Willford, who at this point probably wouldn't recognize the field if he saw it. He's been inactive for 7 of the 8 weeks.

Top rookie: There are a couple making impressions. I like how Jake Long is progressing, and he gets serious consideration. And kicker Dan Carpenter also gets a vote. But, I have to say that all-in-all I am most impressed with Kendall Langford and his ability to step in at defensive end and play it very quietly, but well.

Biggest disappointment: That we didn't beat the Jets or Houston when we had the chance.

Funniest moment: Oh I think the Joey Porter - shutout receiver in Denver war of the words is pretty amusing.

Mid-season wanker: I would have to say its Willford. The guy hasn't even been active for 7 weeks of the season.

My prediction on the year: I said they'd win 6, if I'm not mistaken. I may have been wrong. In a good way.

Hanging around

All of the other teams in the AFC East are 5-3. Miami is 4-4. I would say that means its anyone's division to win this year.

That's not a bad place to be...

J Peasy

Joey had another big game. But his biggest contribution was getting in the head of Denver's best wideout - Brandon Marshall. JP has a way of getting in players heads, and he has a motor mouth.

He talks nonstop throughout the game, and usually will dog the best players as he goes. At first, Marshall wouldn't respond, but as the game wore on and Miami's coverage shut him out, he started talking back to Joey. And that's when Porter knew he had him.

The quote was something like 'I'm not even covering you, why are you talking to me?' And it went downhill from there.

Oh and by the way, Joey got an excessive celebration penalty at Colorado State University's game on Saturday. Seems he was so excited he ran onto the field to chest bump a player and got flagged for it.

That final drive

Miami got the ball back on their own 20, leading 19-17 with 11 minutes left. Their offense had been somewhat inconsistent, and really had not put together a sustained drive in the game.

But now it was time, with the crowd roaring....Miami staged a TD drive that saw them chew 8 minutes off the clock. There was a 3rd and about 16 that they didn't convert, barely, forcing them to go on 4th and 1, and then they converted their first 3rd and 10 or longer of the season with a completion to Ricky on 3rd and 18.

In this case, with first and goal at the 1 with about 3 minutes to go, I did not advocate running down additional time by taking a knee. There was too much time left, Denver still had its timeouts, and a TD made it insurmoutable.

I give Miami so much credit. They put it on their offense to win it. And they did.

special teams

Dan and Greg made it seem like it was some great kick return by the Broncos that gave them the ball at the to setup their first TD the one that closed it to 13-7.
But, I'm here to tell you that it was NOT a breakdown by Miami, nor was it a great return.
There wre FOUR illegal blocks in the back that sprung the returner.  Any of the first three of which could have brought it back, and the fourth would have pushed them back to the 20.
1. As the ball is taken to the left, a player gets knocked into a goup by the back.  Not the mst aggresive foul, but it is a foul.
2.  As the returner makes the cutback, someone is out of position and blocks from the back
3. As he finds the corner, a player is going for the tackle, and a Bronco catches him sqaure on the numbers on the back.  This was the one I was screaming for them to call.
And 4.  As he makes his way down the sideline, Carpenter gets pushed.  Look.  The lineman has his hands extended into his back.  And he pushes him a second time a moment later.
So it was clearly a situation that shouldn't have happened had the refs done their job.

key play of the game

This game turned early, when Will Allen made a break on the ball and took it in for a score.
CBS pointed out that this has happened in 5 of the last 6 meetings between these teams, but I would say this was unexpected.
It was such a simple play, because Cutler telegraphed his throw (he was looking at the receiver the whole way), and he threw it kind of soft.  All Allen had to do was make a break on it, and he was gone.
Maybe not quite as easy as Jason Allen's pick a seris earlier (he had to turn, but it was thrown right to him), but easy nonetheless. 
It was 13-0 and that was pretty much the ballgame.

Dolphins win #4!!!!

Although this was the 4th win of the season, I would argue that this team is more than 4 times better than last year's 1-win season.  This team, which for all intents and purposes (considering the roster turnover), is an expansion team is pretty darn good.  Sure, they've had a few bad games, and a couple they *should* hvae won.
But beating the Broncos in Denver?  And basically dominating them was really something.
Make no mistake.  They dominated.  The defense took control of the game, and the offense held the lead, and Miami never looked back.
And consider that the Phins only allowed 14 yards rushing.  That's not a typo.  Just 14.  Denver is one of those teams that always has a 100 yard rusher.  Heck, you could have me in at tailback, and I'd get close to 100, because of the"system"....but Miami shut it down.
And as you might expect, 14 is Miami's best defensive performance against the run.  Ever.  The previous bext was 16 way back in 1966.