Saturday, January 02, 2010

Intriguing

The NFL's competition committee is "looking into" the practice of resting starters by teams that have already clinched their playoff position.  At issue here is the simple premise that each NFL club has a mandate to try and win games they play in, and resting starters is not doing that.
 
This was all prompted by the Indy coach benching pretty much everyone late in last week's game, and the pronouncement that the Saints and others will rest key players this week.
 
What I find strange is that you have four *meaningless* preseason games where starters may play a quarter, then about 12-14 meaningful games, followed by 1-2 meaningless end-of-season games by every team (consider the team that's already 6-9 heading into this week).  And many of these not-so-worthwhile games are at home in front of the paying customers who gave you their time, money, and cheers.
 
NFL: the message to you is to change the playoff format. I like the idea I heard floated that the entire tournament should be seeded.  The top 12 teams across the NFL make the tournament (8 division winners and *any* 4 wildcards), then the teams get seeded in a tournament based on a formula (so half the teams are in bracket A and the other are in bracket B and A vs B plays in the Superbowl), with the #1s playing #8 in their bracket.
 
The challenge laid down to all teams, then, is that they will need to play the games to ensure their seeding!
 
 

Friday, January 01, 2010

I wonder

When Rex Ryan said he'd rather be in his (the losers) locker room than the dolphins we made fun of him.

Now his team can make the playoffs with a win.

So I wonder if I was wrong and the jackass was right?

Naaaaah.

I like it

Dick Clark's new years celebration might have been called Miami Dolphins ownership presents new years.

All we needed were the Williams sisters.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new year!

We here at daves bitchin want to wish everyone a happy and safe 2010.

And hopefully the phins will fare better in this year!

Covering a few items

The ranter posted some comments on posts over the last week, and I've gotten a few emails that are along the same lines....so I thought I'd take time to address them:
 
* Chad Henne.  I think he is somewhat Fiedler-esque in his decision making.  I know its his first year, and maybe I'm being hard on him.  After all, we know he has no receivers to speak of...but there are other teams in a similar predicament, and that's not an excuse that they use.  I know Henne still may have some upside, but I am seriously beginning to doubt his ability to manage games.  And having him throw 50+ times in a game because you've fallen behind does not boost his confidence!
 
* The tripping call.  Maybe its semantics, because his leg did go upward.  But the reality is that the defender jumped over a falling Polite, and in doing so - diving toward Henne - it may have looked like he tripped, but it was his own momentum that caused him to fall.  In the heat of the game, it may have looked like a trip to the ref who only saw the guy go over and a leg in the air.  But what of the dozens of other cases every week where you see a players stick a leg out and literally trip a guy and that doesn't get called?
 
* Gibril Wilson: the ranter is right.  He just plain sucks, and can't cover my grandmother.  And you don't usually expect dbs to make catches.  But sheesh, this one was so easy, and he nearly gave it back to Houston.  This was just an illustrative example of a guy you don't want on the team.
 
* My comment about where to take the points.  (a) My basic philosophy is that you always take a field goal unless you're way behind or its the 4th quarter.  And given that they were down by 4 scores and had not generated much to this point, they needed some momentum on their side.  Given the location on the field, it seemed odd.
 
Here's the play-by-play:
1-10-HOU 28 (:53) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 82-B.Hartline. PENALTY on HST-98-C.Barwin, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at HST 28 - No Play.
1-5-HOU 23 (:47) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short left to 82-B.Hartline.
2-5-HOU 23 (:42) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 83-G.Camarillo.
3-5-HOU 23 (:37) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 82-B.Hartline ran ob at HST 9 for 14 yards.
Timeout #1 by HST at 00:31.
1-9-HOU 9 (:31) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short right to 19-T.Ginn [91-A.Okoye].
2-9-HOU 9 (:22) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short right to 19-T.Ginn (40-J.Busing).
3-9-HOU 9 (:17) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short middle to 80-A.Fasano.
Timeout #2 by HST at 00:12.
4-9-HOU 9 (:12) 5-D.Carpenter 27 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-92-J.Denney, Holder-2-B.Fields.
 
So Miami had a 1st and goal at the 9 with 31 seconds remaining.  And they had a timeout left. Anyone ever hear of a run?  Or how about some trickeration?  Or maybe Pat White coulda come in.
 
Here's what the Tuesday Morning QB said of it:
Houston leading Miami 10-0, Tony Sparano ordered a punt on fourth-and-1. Who cares if it was at the Dolphins' 29, you're already down 10 points, if you are afraid to gain one yard you might as well go home. As that punt boomed, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook -- and the Texans immediately drove the other way for a 17-0 lead.
 
Trailing 27-0 and facing fourth-and-goal on the Houston 9 on the final snap of the first half, Sparano ordered a field goal. Gotta keep a shutout of the resume! Miami was doomed without a touchdown at that point, and as the field goal boomed, TMQ wrote the words "season over" in his notebook. Just to prove all this was no fluke, trailing 27-17 with 5:22 remaining, Miami punted on fourth-and-5. To top it off, though Miami coaches called 58 pass attempts in a comeback bid, almost everything was ultra-short, even in the fourth quarter. Remember, this was essentially an elimination game for the Dolphins.
 
It seemed like a waste to me.
 
And (b) when you're down by 10, and have little time left, I say you should always go for the TD first, because its harder to get, and you can kick a long range field goal as time expires. 
 
Here's the play by play:
1-10-MIA 22 (4:39) 7-C.Henne sacked at MIA 14 for -8 yards (sack split by 92-J.Zgonina and 94-A.Smith).
2-18-MIA 14 (4:25) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 19-T.Ginn ran ob at MIA 28 for 14 yards.
3-4-MIA 28 (4:20) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 15-D.Bess ran ob at MIA 40 for 12 yards.
1-10-MIA 40 (4:14) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short middle to 19-T.Ginn to MIA 47 for 7 yards (59-D.Ryans).
2-3-MIA 47 (3:46) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short middle to 80-A.Fasano.
Timeout #3 by MIA at 03:40.
3-3-MIA 47 (3:40) 7-C.Henne pass short right to 81-J.Haynos to HST 44 for 9 yards (29-G.Quin).
1-10-HOU 44 (3:17) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass deep left to 83-G.Camarillo pushed ob at HST 26 for 18 yards (40-J.Busing).
1-10-HOU 26 (3:11) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 26-L.Hilliard pushed ob at HST 23 for 3 yards (54-Z.Diles).
2-7-HOU 23 (3:04) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short right to 34-R.Williams to HST 20 for 3 yards (56-B.Cushing).
3-4-HOU 20 (2:41) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 81-J.Haynos.
4-4-HOU 20 (2:35) 5-D.Carpenter 38 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-92-J.Denney, Holder-2-B.Fields.
 
And again - what about a run or something other than a predictable pass?
 
In either case, given that Miami scored with 2:35 left, its conceivable that they could have kicked deep and tried to stop the Texans and still have time to get the other score.  What was Sparano thinking?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pro bowl

The dolphins record of 7-8 coupled with their who dat roster means only Jake Long will be participating in the probowl in the dolphins stadium.

Fwd: MiamiDolphins.com Programming This Weekend


 

This weekend with both the Don Shula Birthday Celebration and our game against the Steelers, we've got a number of online programming initiatives that we would like your help in promoting on your sites and through your message boards:

 

1.       This Saturday night, we will be hosting a private 80th birthday party of the greatest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. We will be streaming live starting at 7 pm. You are welcome to post this link on your sites so as many fans as possible can watch the tribute. It is not being televised so this is the only place to watch it! The link is: http://www.miamidolphins.com/aquavision/video/don-shulas-80th-birthday-celebration

2.       On Sunday starting at 11:00 AM is Dolphins Game Day Live – Pregame, which contains both the Tony Sparano Show and Dolphins Weekly. A logo for this show is attached. Please feel free to link to this show and get the word out! The link is: http://www.miamidolphins.com/aquavision/video/dolphins-gameday-live-pregame-1310

3.       On Sunday starting at 1 pm, former Dolphins great Kim Bokamper will conduct a LIVE CHAT during the Dolphins-Steelers. A logo for this chat is attached. To participate in the chat, please direct everyone to: http://pwr.com/1FY

4.       After the game, is the Dolphins Game Day Live - 5th Quarter Show on MiamiDolphins.com. As you know, it's a live postgame show hosted by Barry Buetel and Nat Moore and will features live press conferences, player interviews and much more. A logo for this show is attached. The link is: http://www.miamidolphins.com/aquavision/video/dolphins-gameday-live-5th-quarter-1310

 

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This was just odd

Turk punted with 4:46 left, Miami down by 10. It went off the side of
his foot. The coach (I think its Bonemago) shown here is waving his
arms telling Bess to move away from it. Bess listens, and backs off.

Now I know there's a guy coming at him, but a fair catch her would
have netted about 10 yards from where the ball was downed; and its
possible he could have returned it for a few.

What was the coach thinking???

My wanker

Coach Sparano is my wanker this week. Although there were many things
that bugged me, my biggest "concern" was at the end of the half.
Miami was down 27-0 and driving. You have a 1st down inside the 20,
and the drive bogs down. It gets to 4th down and you make a decision
to kick a field goal??!!!

I say in this situation you go for broke. Its 7 or its nothing. He
went for the 3 and got it.

I also need to remind everyone that when you're down by 10 and there's
little time left, you *need* to get the TD first, so you set yourself
up for a potential game tying FG....once again Miami didn't do that.

Why Gibril Wilson won't be back

He was the Phins worst off-season acquisition. He's missed many
tackles, and here missed what should have been an easy pick and NEARLY
bounced it back to Andre Johnson.

Dude, what a mistake!

For what its worth, nice play call

Pat White came in for a play near the goal line. Most of the times
he's come in, he's run the option and goes with the flow of the play;
and often that's been left.

This time, they ran a counter play with a pulling guard, White deeked
left, but handed off to Hilliard who came right and got in for the
score.

I thought it was well conceived and well executed.

Leg whip?

I went back and looked at the tripping call on Polite (on the long TD
to Ginn). When I saw it live, I was dubious. The evidence via the
broadcast doesn't help particularly, but I can kinda sorta see it,
though I don't think it was correct.

In the first image, Polite goes low for a block
In the second, you can see his momentum carried him into a roll, and
the defensive guy leaps over him
In the third, you kind of get the feeling that Polite lifted his leg
while rolling, either (a) because his momentum while falling carried
him over and his leg went up for balance, or (b) he was trying to slow
the defensive guy down.

In any case, that is not tripping. "Definition: Using a leg or foot to
trip another player is illegal." He didn't *trip* him, he blocked him
with his leg. The player didn't kind of fall over, but that's because
he was trying to dive over Polite.

The reality is that this is not the only play the ref messed up on.
He also blew the replay on the fumble recovery by Miami earlier in the
quarter. It was ruled incomplete, but it seemed clear the guy made a
catch and fumbled, and Miami recovered. Ref dude went under the hood
and then came back and told Sparano it wasn't reviewable. Hunh? Can
someone 'splain that to me?

Can you imagine?

Watched da Bears game last night. Devin Aromoshodu came up big. 7 catches for 150 and the game winner.

Since he was originally drafted by the fins can you imagine if that #19 was here in place of our #19?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chad Henne

I'll get into this more later, but I wanted to go on record as saying that I think the Phins need to continue to look for a long-term starter at QB. I do not believe Henne is the answer.

He's adequate, but he makes way more mistakes than I think the team can handle, and he tries to do too much. Maybe a top-flight receiver would help, but I am beginning to realize that the team hasn't found a great QB in Henne.

Maybe I eat these words later, but I doubt it.

Yesterday's suckfest

Much to my misfortune, I was there yesterday. There was a whole incident about the tickets to the game going missing, and in retrospect that would have been better.

It was *THE* single worst first-half performance I have ever seen from the Dolphins, and it was totally disappointing. Reggie Torbor summed it up best when he said something like "we had front row seats to the performance, too bad we weren't playing."

You have the playoffs on the line, and with the outcomes of the other games Miami would be in the wildcard now and could retain it simply by winning next week. Instead, they lay an egg. And not just any egg. They were totally uninspired and looked like they simply were playing out the string, and had already made the arrangements for their winter trips for a week from today.

It was horrible and embarrassing.

Sure, their second half was "better" but that is at least partly because Houston backed off in the 2nd half and just let Miami run the clock all they wanted and let Miami gain short yardage on any play.

I'm not going to dwell on the specifics too much in this space. I will come back and make some comments during the week, but since I was at the game, I recorded my thoughts as the game moved along. I will be editing them into my weekly podcast, which will be available Wednesday morning.

I encourage you to check it out.