Saturday, August 20, 2016

Let's All Panic About the Defense?

    The number of shrill headlines following the Dolphins defensive performance versus Dallas is truly mind-boggling.  While it is true that the Cowboys walked up and down the field at will last night, it is worth remembering that different teams use the preseason for different reasons, particularly in week two.
    It was clear that Gase wanted to get the offense going last night.  We saw some things that were not quite vanilla- RT's rollout bomb to Stills comes to mind, as do a few designed QB runs.  Last night the defense, however, seemed to be playing a very limited game plan.  Sure, it would have been nice to see better tackling, more one-on-one effort in the trenches, and above all better coverage, but I suspect that the Dallas O unit and Miami O unit were more under examination than the respective defenses.
    But don't take my (speculative) word for it.  Take a look at a few preseason results from last year.  The following are the 30+ point performances against defenses:

WEEK ONE:
KC 34, AZ 19
PHI 36, IND 10

WEEK TWO:
PHI 40, BAL 17
CAR 31, MIA 30

WEEK THREE:
PHI 39, GB 26
WAS 31, BAL 13
CLE 31, TB 7
AZ 30, OAK 23


Baltimore surrendered 30+ points twice in the preseason, but was number 8 in total defense during the regular season.  Arizona got lit up by Kansas City but was fifth in the league.  Tampa Bay had the league's number 10 defense and gave up 31- to CLEVELAND.  And Miami hung 30 on Carolina- and we all know what that meant, long term.

So:  relax!  It is going to be a long season, with ups and downs.  Last night was neither.  But if you really want something to worry about, the running game might be a good place to start...

Jay Lopez


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22 comments

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I think it's also worth noting that Dallas has had the same offense for several years with the same nucleus of players. Miami has had three different offenses in the past four years and the OL has been in flux every year.

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Great post Jay.

The tackling will get better. The coaches will emphasize it in practice.

I agree with vanilla Defensive game plan. I would have liked to see the DL play a lot better against one of the better OL in the league. They got manhandled by Dallas.

We may not be as good as we hope the team to be but it is early and Tannehill played well so I see some light at the end of the tunnel.

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Great post Jay.

The tackling will get better. The coaches will emphasize it in practice.

I agree with vanilla Defensive game plan. I would have liked to see the DL play a lot better against one of the better OL in the league. They got manhandled by Dallas.

We may not be as good as we hope the team to be but it is early and Tannehill played well so I see some light at the end of the tunnel.

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If it weren't the Dolphins, they might be good points...been here before and seen the same old stuff before...again and again...Until I see something to change my mind...haven't yet

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Gary- That is more or less my point... In spite of our emotions, this is just another football season. It is new- we should treat it as such- not as an extension of some past that we are still stuck in. Franchises exist for fans and historians of the game; for players and coaches, there are only teams. This is a new team.

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Carl- Tannehill looked SHARP. I am excited about his play. Worried about our secondary until we get Culliver available.

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Bad is bad...this team seems to covet there's always tomorrow philosophy...!The only problem is tomorrow never comes for the Dolphins...True,it's only preseason,but getting torched is getting torched....!!This defense is not the Seahawks,who can press a button and dominate...I'm so tired of excuses every week...preseason or not...!

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As I have said over and over and over:

Our CB depth sucks. Our LBers suck. BUT, let's give Gase and his Staff a chance to coach a few real games before we get all crazy. Look what happened to the raiders? They didn't score all game and Derek Carr had like 38 yards and a pick I think. Wasn't their offense supposed to be great this year? Look at Arizona, their starters played like crap too. The sky isn't falling for Miami.........YET........

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Dan- I get your concern and I feel very much that patience is getting old. Still, I think the coverage is pretty shrill. First our d was making the o look bad in practice, now the d can't keep up... I think we just need to level out a bit and see what our new (smart) coaches cook up.

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Lawrence: Culliver gives us almost a unit at CB, but not until October. Linebacker is a real shame- we passed up on some excellent picks last year while panic buying for farmer Joe's pantry of useless tools. We really have made a mess of that position, as evidenced by our opponents ability to throw in the 5-7 yard range all day. Alonso may help, but we are a year away there. At least the safeties will excel.

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The LB's and CB's will look a lot better if our DL doesn't give QB's all day to throw the ball. They DL played pitiful.

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The LB's and CB's will look a lot better if our DL doesn't give QB's all day to throw the ball. They DL played pitiful.

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true story- but I still worry about those positions!

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We go through this every preseason, no coach is going to show his hand or expose most of his stars to injury, I recall the undefeated 72 dolphins had a mediocre preseason, and other years when they went undefeated, they stunk in the reg season. Take it with a grain of Omar Kelly. Aka garbage.

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Nothing to panic about here...under promise and over deliver...don't expect us to make the playoffs...don't expect us to win two of our first 4 games...it would be impressive if we even "show up" to the Seattle opener. I would honestly be happy to see us play a close competitive game in Seattle..maybe lose by a touch or so late in the fourth...I wouldn't be happy...but you know what I mean. It's a wait and see approach.

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Also...a little FYI...I'm a game day optimist...I have realistic expectations during the week...but the minute I wake up on Sunday...read the paper and get my Dolphins gear on I truly believe we will go undefeated all they way to the Super Bowl...lol...that's just how it is

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kelly- hilarious. that Omar comment kills... Nice!

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Jason- I love that we start on the road vs what most people think will be a superbowl contender. Just what you want- no expectations, a great opponent, just BALL. You sound like the right kind of fan to be around on game day... thanks for the comments!

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Mr Pead comes to Miami...! That is one of the only 3 things to take from this game. The other two, K.Stills, working with his QB since March shows results, and finally the OLine looking decent in protection.The rest ? Toss it in the dumpster. Defense was gased and was gashed by the Cowboys. They need to wake up the nxt two weeks, OR let's see some of the newbies more like the Giants game. I am tired of this "overhyped" Dline which has done nothing if you subtract Vernon from last year.
Lots of press, ots of BS,no tackles,no sacks !!!

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'lots of BS'