strngly believes in preparation, and values that immensely.
The rains (and more importantly, lightning) came, and there was talk
of the game might simply be cancelled. Bob Griese was saying he
thought that would be awful from Sparano's point of view because he
knew how important this game was to him.
But the show must go on, and Miami came out on defense. They stopped
the Jags, but then were pinned insdie their own 5. It was a bad
series of 3 plays that nearly resulted in a safety - twice - and
that's when [edit: Brandon Fields] had a punt blocked. Now I'm not 100%
positive because of the camera angle that was used, but I think Miami
had only 10 men on the field. But whatever, it was a gaffe, and
Clemons didn't pick up his guy and for the second week in a row, we
had a block.
Jason Allen forced a fumble on the kick, and Miami got another shot.
And this is where things turned around. We started seeing more
production on offense; and the defense held the Jags mostly in check
for a spell. But special teams were still a bit of a thorn, because
they kept giving the Jags good field position.
Then, for a while, I was wondering if Brandon Marshall was going to do
anything. To this point, we had seen two dropped passes, a pass
interference call *on him* and a throw to him in coverage. But the
effect he was having was obvious - teams were taking his threat
seriously which meant that others had to be open; Miami just had to
figure out how to leverage that. For example when Henne threw into
Marshall at the goal line, 4 players were around him. But Martin was
open in the end zone. Then, a while later we saw Marshall's value.
He had a couple of nice catches, and he drew coverage down the field
leaving Fasano covered by a lineman; then Marshall threw a block that
sprang Fasano for a 55 yard TD.
And so it went. We did see some of Pennington, and he looked good for
a guy coming off shoulder surgery. The question for me is whether he
was being showcased for trade value. Remember Miami still has 4 QBs,
and Pennington has the most value in a trade from the GM perspective.
But he also has value as a player....I guess we'll see. Thigpen had
an up and down outing...
Nolan Carroll had been praised all week, and was brought back to
earth. The TD he allowed in coverage - and there were 12 men on the
field - was embarassing.
I think we finally have our starting offensive line - Long, Incognito,
Joe Beger, John Jerry, and Carey. So that means three new starters
from last year on the inside. Hey, if it works, I'm all for it. I
also think that Patrick Turner hasn't done enough to get that 5th
wideout spot, but Marlon Moore has...though it is possible that Miami
might look elsewhere for another guy.
Over on defense, I think your down lineman are set. It will be a
rotation between Odrick, Langford, McDaniel, Grant, and Dotson at the
ends, and Starkes and Soliai at tackle. And then out OLB we have Misi
and Wake as the starters, with Anderson and Moses backing them up.
Inside its Dansby and Crowder, with Dobbins probably getting a fair
amount of playing time.
In all, I would say this was a mostly satisfying performance. The
first half was very good - save for the couple of miscues on special
teams - and the reserves played an adequate game.