Saturday, November 20, 2010

Give me a break

The Dolphins start to struggle, and suddenly you start to hear about how much the media and fans miss Ted Ginn and his big play ability???  Are you insane?

The guy was average at best, and was a bust.  Yes, he had two long kickoff returns against the Jets, and one or two other down-the-field catches, but he was otherwise useless.  This year, for the most part, the team isn't even trying to get it down the field.  Rather, they are content to toss it short time and again.  Would Ted Ginn being here change the playcalling?  I think not.

Besides, 40 times are overrated.  Sure, he's fast without pads - but that doesn't make someone a football player.  And think about this: Ginn was timed at 4.38 coming out of college.  His teammate - Brian Hartline - was timed at 4.44.  I contend that Hartline is flat out a better player, and can/does rival Ginn in football speed.  

But like I said - they don't do enough to take advantage of it.

Support Shawn Wooden's ride

I am not participating in the ride, but I thought I should support it in any case.  So please join me in supporting Shawn Wooden in the ride.


Dolphins Cycling Challenge
Hello,
Iâ?Tm sure all of you have been affected by cancer in some way or another. I was directly affected a few years ago when my Mother, who is my best friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Iâ?Tm riding 30 miles on Sunday in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge â?" Tackling Cancer One Mile at a Time - in honor of my Mother and many other family members and close friends. Iâ?Tm hoping you will support me as I ride to raise money for cancer research benefitting the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Please visit my page at http://www.ridedcc.com/dcc/pfp/?ID=ws0001 to sponsor me. It's easy to do and it's for a great cause! Every little bit counts.
Thank you!
Shawn Wooden

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Jake Long

Coach Sparano watched the game film, and he wasn't too pleased with Jake Long's performance on Thursday, even though his play was hampered by injury.  He was taken advantage of time and again by Julius Peppers, and Long ultimately allowed 3 sacks.

Sparano suggested that he "might shut down" Long to allow him to heal.  Long says he wants to fight through his injury and is ready to play.

As we hear it, Sparano will have Long sit out pretty much all contact drills between now and the Raiders game, and then he'll evaluate him.  But, an uncredited source is also saying its likely that he'll actually deactivate Long for that game, and go one more week before making a decision.

We'll see...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Next week let's play our games in a high school gym

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/sports/ncaafootball/20wrigley.html?_r=1&hp

This seems odd to me. And as my brother pointed out: what does a player do when he picks off a pass?

hey kids, we need some help!

My friend Alan sent this to me with the tag line "Sugar's Bitchin' Look At the Washington Redskins"

I found it amusing, and there a few points in there that a Dolphins fan can relate to...

http://www.hogshaven.com/2009/10/12/1081566/look-kids-big-ben-parliament


On the bright side...

For the rest of the season (except for the Browns game), my Sundays are now free!

I will not be watching any more games live, its all Tivo all the time for me.  I watched 8 of their 10 games live this season, and made a point of making it appointment television.  Now, its time to revert to more fun things than watching this stinky team play.

Its over!

I hate to be a Friday morning QB that's being pessimistic, but we have to face reality.  The Dolphins still hold out hope that they can make it to the playoffs, and you'll hear it from the coach, and some of the players.  And, sure, they're mathematically alive.  But they're 5-5, have only won once at home, and only of two of their wins were against quality opponents (Green Bay and Tennessee).

In other words, stick a fork in them: they're done.

The division leading Jets and Patriots are 2 1/2 games ahead with 6 left.

And in the wildcard race, they're looking up at the Jets/Patriots, Steelers/Ravens (1 1/2 ahead, each with a head-head win), and Tennessee, Jax, Oakland/KC (1/2 ahead). 

Its an insurmountable lead against teams that are flat out better.

They'll have to win 5 out of 6 to even be competitive, and then as coach Shula might have said "we need some help."  I just don't see that happening.

Tough to swallow

This guy wrote a pretty good summary of the game, from a Bears' point of view.

But Dolphins fans, its tough to take

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/rosenblog/2010/11/bears-defense-monsters-of-the-misery.html

IMHO: the play of the day

We're early in the game. The Bears are backed up to their own endzone. Its second down, and Jay Cutler sprints backward 10 yards into his own endzone.



Clearly he is in the endzone, and clearly he is between the tackles.

He is under pressure, and releases the ball. But, (a) there's no one near where he throws the ball, and (b) the ball does not make it to the line of scrimmage (the black line).




And the result *should have been* a safety, since the intentional grounding occurred in his own endzone.

Most of the Mimai defemders were aware of it, but not the officials.

In this case, the lack of a call did have an impact on the game. Can you imagine if Miami had gone up 2-0 early and had gotten the ball back? It might have (maybe) been different. At least we know they wouldn't have been shut out!

adventures in officiating

The officials got both interceptions right in the game and on review. I was impressed that they applied the rule correctly. Twice.

Where I was having a little trouble was here: The Bears had a down in the 2nd where Cutler dropped back and was between the tackles. He clearly was trying to go screen, but he simply threw the ball to the ground and "took" the incompletion.

The problem I have here is that (a) he was under pressure and between the tackles and threw the ball away, and (b) the ball didn't reach the lineof scrimmage, which is the usual litmus test for intentional grounding.



Then it was the next play, and the play clock showed all naughts. The rule is that if it goes from 01 to 00, its a delay of game. You don't get an extra half second to snap the ball. Its dead when it gets to zero.

And I've seen many a game where this rule was applied. But not here. Its at 00, and the ball hasn't been snapped.

Now these are minor infractions, and didn't lead to the win or loss directly, but it drives me crazy when there's inconsistency in officiating.

Wanker of the week (#2)

I've wanted to see what Tyler Thigpen had since the Dolphins traded for him last season.  Sure, he had a few plays here and there.  But now he was starting.  Would he be any good?

And unfortunately the answer was a resounding NO!  Now that doesn't mean that the guy could still be good, but on this day he was downright bad.  Heck, my grandmother could have played better than him.  With one arm tied behind her back.

Joe Theismann called him out time and again as making mistake after mistake and really hurting his team with his play.  He threw the ball poorly, made bad reads, and should have thrown it away a few times. 

I was underwhelmed, and for a guy finally getting a shot, he sure didn't take advantage of it.

Wanker of the week (#1)

Brandon Marshall led the charge as a wanker this week.  He mostly seemed disinterested in the game, and didn't appear to be trying at times.  Maybe the frustration we heard about last week was true?

He wound up with just a couple of catches before leaving the game with a hamstring injury he sustained while trying to twist past the linebacker.  It was silly.

And then there was a little matter of an unsportsmanlike penalty when he threw the ball to his old QB - Cutler after one catch.

WTF, dude?  Really?

I think he did more to hurt his team than to help it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

pathetic

It seems like twice a year, I write the following sentence: the performance by the Dolphins today was pathetic.  They really sucked.

The Dolphins had a chance - a "real shot to be something special" to borrow a phrase from Jim-muh - to stand out.  They had played well in previous weeks, and were at home.  Sure, the injury bug was hurting them, but they have a good defense, and they have Brandon Marshall, Ricky, Ronnie, and have some potential at QB.

But they only ran 13 times in the game.  Thirteen!  Thigpen struggled mightily, and they gave him no help from the run game.  Brandon Marshall was no use, either.  Even before he got injured.

And the defense could not get off the field.  Sure, they made Chicago punt 4 times, but that wasn't nearly enough and time after time they let the Bears "off the hook" with conversions on 3rd and long.

In fact, it was so lame overall that I did something that I almost never do: I fell asleep during the game.  Heck, it wasn't really pathetic.  It was coma inducing.

Blech.

Hyper fantasy football

A buddy if mine is developing a new kind of fantasy football, and you can check it out/try it out during tonights game.       


You predict the plays. 


Visit http://www.hyperfantasyfootball.com and sign up for an account. Then you can click on the button to get in a game for free.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More on Merling

The charges were dropped against Merling yesterday.  Why?  Because his girlfriend moved back to South Carolina and police were unable to contact her and serve her with a subpoena to testify against him.  Given the lack of evidence without her testimony, the state decided not to file charges.

And yet Merling has said he's been talking with her.

And now that his mysterious injury has healed itself (just in time to coincide with the charges being dropped!  How remarkably coincidental!), he may make a return to the team next week.

A Marlins comment

The Marlins made a pledge that basically said "if you build us a stadium, we will build a team, and open the payroll."

And then immediately upon approval started purging the payroll.  In particular, they traded a third baseman (Jorge Cantu) to the Texas Rangers, and he contributed in the world series race; and they dumped Cody Ross who went on to be the NLCS MVP, and really helped his team (the Giants) win the series.  And yesterday they dumped arguably their best player in Dan Uggla.  And lest we forget, they fired their manager in mid-season. It goes to show you that you can't trust owners.  Money always comes first. 

The NFL would do well to keep that in mind as they continue CBA discussions.

Also, as it happens the stadium is progressing along, and it appears that it is on-time, which is unexpected.  One reason that its on time?  Apparently the Marlins are VERY involved in day-to-day construction, and push everyone on the job to stay on pace.  In a way, that's good because its a government job and delays seemed inevitable, and ultimately it means that they'll leave Dolphins stadium as promised.  But come on. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

still more cheerleader voting

Last week's vote totals are in, and moving on are:
Samantha
Lilly
Nikki
Jessica

But don't worry, as the other 4 still have a shot to win this thing.


And now here are 8 more to vote on with new pictures:
http://bitchindave.com/cheer/vote.asp

Interesting

The Dolphins had announced a press conference to talk about the health of the team.  But they abruptly cancelled it. 

Tony Sparano appeared on the Finsiders (a Dolphins-run broadcast) at around 8, and was a little sketchy on some of the injuries.  He said Pennington was "done" but didn't say he went on IR - we got that from the NFL.  He said they signed Ramsey, but didn't mention the guy they signed to the practice squad.  And he said Henne was "day-to-day" and hoped he might be ready to play against Chicago - which pretty much everyone knows isn't accurate.  The guy will miss this game, and probably at least one more.

He didn't address any of the other injuries, though he did say Jake Long had a shoulder injury and might not play.

Most of Long's information came from a different source; he has an injured labrum (some of the cartilidege in the shoulder).  He can play with a brace, and may.  It might heal enough to not bother him in a few weeks, but he probably will need surgery at some point.

So we learned about what's going on from a combination of sources - but of course no one could ask followups to the coach.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Top secret!!!

I don't understand it, but the Dolphins think everything is a big secret. They feel they can't tell us anything because they want to "maintain a competitive advantage" or something like that.

Yesterday, Chad Pennington got hurt. His season, and his career, are over. Everyone knows it, and anyone who saw him around town today has been told that by him. He isn't afraid to admit it. And yet, the Dolphins haven't said boo.

Chad Henne suffered an injury, and is out for some period of time. Had an MRI done this morning. And we don't know if he'll play this week or is lost for the season. They're not going to tell us, except through an injury report that has to be filed by tomorrow. I bet they list him as doubtful and don't expand on it.

Meanwhile, they worked out a couple of QBs today, including Patrick Ramsey (as we hear it). But the Fins (naturally) haven't mentioned it. We have heard they signed someone, but we don't know who that is [edit: published reports say its Ramsey, but there has been no announcement from the fins]. They also contacted several other QBs, to have them in for workouts next week. And that would signal - what, exactly? They're not sure what will happen next?

Cameron Wake and Jake Long both left the game and had MRIs done today. No word on their status, but according to a source, its unlikely either will play on Thursday.

Why so freakin' secretive?

Dolphins win one at home!

The game was a little odd...

You started with the QB switch in the week leading up to the game.  Pennington was *the guy* and Henne was relegated to the bench. 

The game starts and the Titans came out, and on the second play from scrimmage, called time out.  Then, a couple of plays later, they challenged a play and lost, and thus gave up another timeout.  In comes Pennington and on the first play, he gets hit - nothing that looked too bad but he was slow to get up.  And after his second play, he calls timeout and leaves the game.

I'll admit, my first thought was that this was some sort of a ruse - that the Dolphins made Pennington the starter to throw off the Titans, and were going to insert Henne at times just to keep them off-balance.  I'm in the stands, so you really don't know what's happening.  A while later, I heard some guy who was listening to the radio say that it was a shoulder injury.  And sure enough, Pennington left the sidelines a short time later.

While I give them credit for being aggressive on the first couple of plays, when Henne entered the game, they went run, run.  Its third down, and ANOTHER timeout is called.  Its been 3 minutes of gametime, and we already have a record for most timeout calls.  Anyway, on third, he goes long, and the Dolphins score.  No settling for field goals here. Sweet.

The game goes on for a while, with the Dolphins continuing to be aggressive on offense.  The db covering Marshall claims to have known exactly what play was coming, and that pretty much shut Marshall down.  But what the rest of the team didn't know was that there were other players on the field, and Miami used them all well.  In particular, Fasano got open, and they went long to Hartline a few times.  It was some good playcalling, and good execution.

And the Dolphins seemed to ignore Randy Moss most of the day.  They let him run his routes with mostly a zone defense.  How weird is that?  Maybe he doesn't have 'it' any more?

At the end of the half, there was a little weirdness as the Dolphins elected to let Tennessee run out the clock, rather than forcing them to punt, and putting on a rush, but that's fine.  Special teams are not-so-great in Miami.  At one point, the Fins had a fake punt themselves that was so poorly executed - and so telegraphed - that the Titans were in position for an easy score.

Okay, we're in the third, and The Titans Kerry Collins limps off the field, so Vince Young comes in.  He bobbled one that the Dolphins gobbled up to set up a score.

And now we're late in the third quarter, and Henne drops back to pass and has a rush, he's brought down as he tries to pass, and he lays there for a while.  He is helped off, and we're ready for Thigpen.  Except that there are about 2 minutes left in the 3rd.  If Thigpen comes in, Henne can't come back - assuming he's able to.  Thigpen starts onto the field and gets called back off.

The Dolphins (wisely) choose to go Wildcat for a few plays to see if Henne can re-enter and/or to wait until the 4th because if Thigpen enters then, you can still bring back Henne.  Fans boo, because they don't like the wildcat anymore.  But a little trickeration changes their mind: you had Marshall throw a pass that was nearly complete.  Then, some exceptional blocking springs Ricky a couple of times, then Ronnie.  The 4th ends, and Thigpen enters.

He does a pretty good job of moving the ball around.  He's got 'wheels' so he moves around and runs a couple of times, he uses the playaction, and he generally made good decisions.  Now early on, his passes were off-target, but seeing as how he hasn't played in the better part of two seasons, I'm not surprised.

The defense pretty much stifles the Titans last few chances, and the fins come away with their first home victory.  As for that defense, they did a really nice job of coming up with variations in personnel and scheme to keep the Titans guessing.  I saw Smith, Davis, Bell, and Clemons alternating with (newly signed) Harris, Reshad Jones, and an occasional linebacker, along with the more expected sets.  It was odd, but extremely effective, and that really set up he defense well.

Now for the bad news: Pennington is done for the season, and is expected to be put on IR as early as today.  Henne is out for at least a few weeks (and they'll consider IR later).  And that means that the Dolphins have one QB left in Thigpen.  Speculation at the end of the game and into this morning has been rampant.  I'm sure Jeff Ireland pulled out his rolodex and started looking up numbers in the 4th quarter.

And with the Fins playing on Thursday, this is a tall task...

Also troubling, Vernon Carey left the game at one point, but returned.  And Jake Long never left the game, but is having an MRI on his shoulder today.