Monday, December 25, 2017

Dol-Fans Hopes Shift To 2018

Par for the course. Why expect anything to be different in Kansas City?

There would be no Christmas miracle for Dol-Fans in 2017.

No surprise gifts under our tree. Just the regular batch of undershirts, socks and sweaters.

Even though both Buffalo and Tennessee held up their end of the bargain, the Dolphins played their usual disappointing game yesterday.

Putting the proverbial fork into our turkey of a 2017 season.

It's done. Long gone. So sad.

Just truly sad.

This team just couldn't get out of its own way. All season long.

They just continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

How many stupid penalties does one team have to commit before they stop doing it?

Clearly, the 2017 Dolphins have more to give. They have not reached their limit.

4 defensive holding calls lead to points.

Another bonehead unnecessary roughness penalty sidetracks another scoring drive.

Unnecessary. Could anything have been more aptly named?

When will it finally sink in?

Could they just be idiots?

I am serious. Stupid idiots.

This team has all the talent to get into the playoffs but somewhere along the line they must have played too many quarters without a helmet.

I just don't understand what they are thinking about.

Forget the two drive killing fumbles and array of missed tackles for a minute.

Yesterday's game was a microcosm of our season.

In it for a while until our better nature prevails.

Until the shoe drops or the gun goes off pointed at our feet.

Oh well. Gotta draft smarter players.

Gotta find guys with an IQ above 10.

They are out there. Look at everyone else's roster.

Nobody can be as stupid as we are. Nobody.

So Sunday we hang our hats on being spoilers.

That's our possible shining moment now.

No winning season, no playoffs, no chance.

Just try to knock out the Bills.

Who even cares?

Phins Up!

Carl Leone
Dol-Fan since 12/25/1971

Monday, December 18, 2017

Miami Dolphins Path To The Playoffs

Believe it or not, 8-8 can still get us in but not 7-9 so we absolutely must win next week at KC and then win at home against Buffalo. We would then have a division record of 3-3 and an AFC record of 7-5, which is our saving grace.

Before looking at all the possible tie breaker scenarios, of which there are many, here are the 7 teams still in the hunt for the final Wildcard spot, their records, their AFC records, and their two remaining games:

Chiefs (8-6, 5-4) host Miami and at Denver
Titans (8-6, 7-4) host both Rams and Jags
Bills (8-6, 6-4, currently 2-2 in division) at both Pats and Miami
Ravens (8-6, 6-4) host both Colts and Bengals
Chargers (7-7, 4-6) at Jets and host Raiders
Raiders (6-8, 5-6) at both Eagles and Chargers

Here are the NFL playoff tie breaker rules:

BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

  1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in common games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss

Three or More Clubs

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are eliminated during any step, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format).
  1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs).
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in common games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss

BREAK A TIE FOR THE WILD-CARD TEAM

If it is necessary to break ties to determine the two Wild-Card clubs from each conference, the following steps will be taken.
  1. If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tie breaker.
  2. If the tied clubs are from different divisions, apply the following steps.

Two Clubs

  1. Head-to-head, if applicable.
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  4. Strength of victory.
  5. Strength of schedule.
  6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best net points in conference games.
  9. Best net points in all games.
  10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  11. Coin toss.

Three or More Clubs

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are eliminated, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of applicable two-club format.)
  1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.
  2. Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in conference games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss
When the first Wild-Card team has been identified, the procedure is repeated to name the second Wild-Card, i.e., eliminate all but the highest-ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. In situations where three or more teams from the same division are involved in the procedure, the original seeding of the teams remains the same for subsequent applications of the tie breaker if the top-ranked team in that division qualifies for a Wild Card birth.
The only scenarios at 8-8 that hurt us would be if after the tie breakers are applied we are left standing against either ONLY Baltimore and Oakland since Baltimore beat both the Raiders and us OR ONLY Oakland and Tennessee since the Raiders beat both Tennessee and us. We could survive any other combination including all four us at 8-8 since Baltimore lost to Tennessee and we beat Tennessee.  Then no one swept or lost to all and our AFC record would put us over the top.

Now the AFC West is between only the Chiefs and Chargers with the Chiefs holding the tie breaker by beating the Chargers twice. If one or two of them ends up at 8-8, we will have tie breakers against those two based on AFC records.  If all Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers end at 8-8, Chiefs win the Division and Raiders move forward into tie breaker with other 8-8 teams from the other divisions.

Although, these following teams can all finish at 8-8, we can only afford to have one of these following teams finish at 9-7: non Chiefs/Chargers division winner, Bills, Ravens or Titans. Only one of those 4. Every one else must finish at 8-8. If two finish at 9-7, we are out.

We would have the tie breaker against the Bills at 8-8 with a better division record so the Bills at 8-8 would be eliminated leaving us to move forward in the tie breakers with other 8-8 teams.

The Ravens probably aren't going to lose two at home but the other teams could easily fall to 8-8.

Hope is still alive and after losing Tannehill, our opener moved and having a very tough schedule, 2017 could end up being a gem of a season.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dol-Fan since 12/25/1971

Friday, December 15, 2017

Technology, is there a point of too much? How about just slow dowm & let us catch-up?

Man, what an uncomfortable 3 months.....maybe it wasn't that long?  Sure did seem like it.
What is that rule about work?  Don't quit your job unless you already have a job else where!  Changing it just a bit, my advice would be:  Don't quit your ISP(who you pay for your NET service) unless you have another ISP......hhmmff?  I don't know how to finish that?
I did get to see the Miami Dolphins play in PRIME TIME and kick some butt.  Keeping our playoff hopes alive, granted slim, but ALIVE.
So, on the road in Buffalo.  With their famous "squish the fish" cheer, or sign made by fans.  That has been a tough place for us to play ever since the famous no-huddle offense by Jim Kelly. Thurman Thomas in the backfield, Bruce Smith at DE, LB Darryl Talley & WR Andre Reed always seemed to find open space in the Dolphin defense.
This is a much different team though.  Frustration for a Defensive Coordinator is a QB that can pass, yet also run very well.  McCoy is a great back & when has Charles Clay not burned us since leaving??
We turned the corner on a frustrating season in a game we lost.  Bye week opponent Tampa Bay!  We beat Tampa in every part of that game except we happened to give them the ball "FIVE" freakin' times!! 
1 sack, but 7 tackles for loss!!  Our Punter, somehow averaged 53 yds on 2 punts!  They punted 6 times, or 1 time.  However you want to look at it.?.?.?
The New England game up there was a hangover from a game they knew they should have won and weren't able to let it go.
Then we pounced Denver.  And for all we know, Andrew & Vance are supposed good friends.  The game was close to in the bag; maybe Andrew was teaching/showing/helping a friend to always have his players aware?.?.?.  Maybe Vance was so upset with the performance of his players he somehow relayed a message to Andrew asking for an onside kick.?.?.?  OK, I know that is a huge stretch.  But every little bit of momentum adds up.  Like a rolling ball of moist snow.  It collects everything along the way, everything you are going to need to make a near impossible playoff run!!
This Sunday is it Dolphin Fans!!  Cheer loud!!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Gase Shows No Class Calling For Needless On Sides Kick

I don't care if you are trying to best a good friend as in Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph.

But when you are up by 22 points, with 10:29 left, against an under manned opponent, why in hell would Gase call for an on sides kick.

No Class At All. None whatsoever.

 You only risk your players getting hurt from retaliation.

And believe me. None of those Broncos will soon forget this.

They will use it as motivation at some point in the future.

Maybe when we need one more victory to get into the playoffs.

Just stupid. Plain old stupid.

But hasn't that been par for the course this season anyway.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dol-Fan since 12/25/1971

Friday, November 17, 2017

Miami Dolphins, the.....players from Miami

Been reading all the comments and the few contributions we get these days( I think because nobody knows what the heck to say?  It's beyond infuriating ); I have all kinds of reasons running through my head as to why this is/has/will continue to happen.

Cheapest:  Sometimes I think our local media hypes us up so much with positive articles and such?.?.?.

Thought: Said this before in an article, and have heard commentators talk around/about it in different ways; but I do feel we were not as good last year as our record showed.  "A win is a win!"  Hey, that's great for a coach in a post game speech when Pisarcik hands off....I mean fumbles the ball...off a hip I think(??) into Herm Edwards hands for a last second TD, victory, play that will be remembered as long as...???  Anyway, Miami had how many wins last season, not as dramatic as a game in NY(or in a Garden state stadium shared by 2 NFL teams located in New York) that really could have gone either way??  And going along in a season, momentum  can build just like it can dwindle in the wrong direction.
The point being, we were not as good as our record showed.  Maybe that Baltimore game(LAST YEAR....well, any year) should have taken more importance by the fans than just the NFL experts.  Should we have won at SD?  The Jets game I wrote off as repercussions from what Trump said, Kap not being signed, the kneeling players, all that stuff.  I was wrong!
Our other 3 victories!  Should we have won those??  We won them almost in the same fashion as last year.

Thought: Carrying on, when we lost our starting QB, who is better than Matt Moore, then lost our 2nd round draft pick & starting MLB, then a CB that was improving each year, our starting LG for 1/2 the season; resigned a very good Tackle in his prime, but questionable at RG last year to play next to a RT that has been questionable his entire career(he has had some good games here & there, but I think better served as a back-up=James).  Back to the left, traded away a pro-bowl LT for our gas mask sneak pick of the first round.  Ending with what some say is the BEST CENTER in the NFL, or at least the BEST LINEMAN on the Dolphins.  But are you playing this week??
So then we sign a QB that quit in a game to get to the SB; granted a grade II mcl sprain can cause discomfort and probably fear playing against DL's the size of......big guys. But I seriously think the QBs that have that FB fever, like Favre, Marino, guy from NE, many, many more would not take themselves out in a game to get to the SB.  On a personal note:  I tore an ACL & MCL, plus other damage on one play.  First off, you have no control over the bottom portion of your leg(I didn't). If I tossed over in my bed, my body came, the lower 1/2 of my leg remained.  And that kind of pain starts from the minute your body comes out of shock, or your whole leg stops tingling from some of the innate pain relievers our body has.

Personally, I didn't care much about the trade of Ajayi.  There are few great RBs in the league anymore.  And they usually have OLs in front of them that allow them that first burst that enables a RB to cause misses down the field.  Plus, they don't seem to last very long.  Play that position your entire life and your knees are quickly going to get older than the rest of your body.  I know everyone can name this RB, or that RB and so on and so on.

Watching 18 years of futility is very frustrating. 

Thought: And I know a lot of you already think this but will only mention it lightly.  Because all the big money goes to the QB, the WR's, DE's, RB's, CB's, LB's:  Winning teams have great OL's & DL's, PERIOD!!  Reality really hit me about this team during the New York game.  When Cutler went down, I think it was Julius Thomas that stayed there & tried to see if he needed help.  Not "ONE" Dolphin OL came to his defense.  And it was a LATE HIT!!!!!!!!!!!  Any other QB gets hit late and often a fight starts out.  Not Miami.  After watching that, I gave up on this team reality wise.  I knew I would still support, cheer, watch, be a devoted fan.  But I had no more thoughts on this......on the 2017 Miami Dolphins achieving anything.

TEAMS, NFL TEAMS that have losing records and not much to play for unless it's a contract year, become SPOILERS.  AND they enjoy it, you can see it.  But that is regulated for TEAMs!  That's not what we have in Miami.  Worse!!  They are far from out of the playoffs in a normal year.  These players that wear the same uniform, the Miami Dolphins, they ain't going anywhere!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Where is everyone at!!????

This team hasn’t been called by Jon Gruden:

Offensively challenged.

Ridiculous.

A mess.

And it’s all true! Hahahaha

A pick on our side of the field with less than a minute to go PLUS an unsportsmanlike penalty!

Time to tank for a franchise QB in the draft! This season has been over for quite some time already.

Another spanking is in the works for the 3rd time on national TV. This team
Does not deserve to be on prime time. Anyone who thinks so is a fool.

Anyone for a prop bet on how many more times we see a bubble screen??!

Enjoy the rest of this thrashing!

Good night

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Yeah, I'm Still Positive!!

I hang on every year until the percentage points say we can't make it.  Seriously though??  Agreeing with your reply Carl, what in the holy heck was that 3rd & 11 draw play??  It reminded me EXACTLY of momentum being built on a drive; positive yards on every play; then BAM!!  THE WILDCAT is called, we lose 7 to 10 yards, then throw a long incomplete pass & have to punt.  I felt so....empty, surprised, shocked, & xxxxing ANGRY!!!  WHY???

OK, that game is over.  Time for short memories to kick in & start thinking about how we will beat Carolina!!  We aren't out of this yet!  All though it would be so easy to think that way.  We had an identical record last year and made it in.  Granted our schedule looks formidable, but that is why you only look at the team coming up.

I can't help but think I am one of those positive "suckers" who is lost?.?.?.  So what.  Agreeing with you negative losers is just like all the folks that suddenly jump on the bandwagon of the newest winning team of the season.  I don't want on your negative craze.  It's too easy to do.  It's a lot harder to have faith in a team when the chips are down.  And if it does happen, if they pull themselves up and start winning games like NOBODY thinks they will.  The reward is the greatest feeling in the world.

I'm stickin'.  And when they make it; they will!!  There should be a requirement that you need to BEG to get back in.  But that'll never happen because folks with faith don't say "I told you so."  They welcome you back with warm arms.  All in all, chances or percentages are against my hopes that the Dolphins finish as a playoff team, or even finish strong for that matter.  But it will make the games mean something for me.  And when they start winning, beating teams the experts say they have no chance against, that great feeling will be there!

Last thing, for those blaming Cutler, he didn't call that draw play.  He didn't throw any INT's.  He completed his first .....10-12-14(??) passes, & threw 3 TD's.  He is not the reason they have struggled this year.  Also, getting rid of Ajayi was necessary!  He was in it for himself on team.  Unwilling to fight for 3-4 yards in the proper hole, or where the play was called.  He'd break it to the outside where it first appears it's clear, but then suddenly it's full of defenders that are being blocked that way.  That was a BIG PICTURE decision, not an Adam Gase feeling of "I don't like him because he doesn't listen to what I say."  How do you think the O-Linemen felt when they were blocking the called play & Ajayi ran right where the defenders were blocked?  The broadcasters are gonna say "this Miami OL is just terrible."  If that's so, how did our 3rd string running back run for 70 yards?  I know, you'll say 42 was on one run.  Take that away and he averages 3.8 yards a carry.  7 games and Ajayi averaged 3.4 yards with 1 maybe 2 seasons remaining in his career.  Drake is the better long range back, not to mention the effort & pass catching skills of Williams.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dolphins Stink It Up Agiain. What. Fucking Surprise...

this team sucks again what a surprise! All you suckers who post “positive” shit about this team are lost. You guys waste your damn time. This team is pathetic, has been pathetic and will continue to be pathetic this year. Let’s all say what we always say! Maybe next year Miami! Fucking Bums! No wonder they don’t get any prime time games! I have seen more excitement watching high school football! LOL what a joke! Draft a QB Miami! And get some o lineman or you will suck again next year but what do I know? I just see this team not be able to block anything year in and year out! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Maybe we should all cheer for the Seahawks! They at least make shit interesting! Not like these idiots



Friday, November 03, 2017

Y'all Fought & Brought it Back Last Year! Don't Lose it in "1" Year!!


  Here it is, and for those who have not noticed. I am always thinking of a positive way the 'Phins can turn the season and their team into playoff contenders.  This is not an attack or a negative theory on what's going on.  It's more of a possible reality check of what wasn't supposed to happen last year.

 Starting out I believe Mr. Ross finally got a Head Coach he wanted.  Again, I think this because at that time I was not listening to ANY opinions of so called NFL experts.  OK.  We now have a HC with a reputation as an Offensive Guru and a Quarterback Whisperer all in one.  Still, he is HC now, not either one of those.  At the time I was unaware he would still be calling the offense. 

I'm guessing but I don't think many fans felt we had very many above average players on the team Gase was inheriting?.?.?.  Some might find it hard to believe, but Philbin's record for the 3 seasons he started & finished was 23-25.  First year 7-9, with years 2 & 3 .500= 8-8.  I think the biggest issue was we had a chance at the playoffs in 2013 & 2014.  '13 we lost our final 2 games to the Jets & Bills.  In 2014, our final 4 games, we lost to the Pats, and believe it or not we were beat by the Ravens.  We recovered to beat Minnesota 37-35 and needed one more win for a chance....percentage wise I think?  Didn't matter, again the Jets beat us.  Lemon wedges, lime pieces, & grapefruit triangles over sauerkraut was what my spaghetti dinner tasted like that evening.  Talk about a sour taste & feeling going into the off season.

Gase arrives and immediately a horseshoe falls in his lap minutes before the draft begins.  All those people saying marijuana is an evil, bad drug.  We have had our ups & downs with the THC product.  Ricky couldn't get enough, & Laremy....well, in reality who really knows or cared when he fell to us over some Twitter Pics.  It seemed like he would be a good starter right away.  And I guess he was, although at LG, not his natural position of LT.  This year I hope it's just some growing pains, or maybe a collective sickness infecting the entire team?

So last year started out as predicted by many.  Gase's leadership tactics seemed to work and the players it was used on started playing well.  We started winning games and got into the playoff race.  But seriously, other than Pittsburgh without Roethlisberger for most of the game, and beating the Jets quite handily, the victories we had could have just as easily been losses. 

What if last year went like most thought it would??  Probably under .500, missing the playoffs, and setting up for another good year of future Draft Picks!  Honest to goodness, that is what I thought the year would be like.  I'm not complaining at all.  That was fun! It brought back great memories! The attitude of the team, on the field and evidently in the locker room, did something that is considered to be the hardest adjustment a professional organization involved in COMPETETIVE team sports can do.  Going from an accepted losing belief/mindset, by making a 360 degree change in THOUGHT & ACTION= Losing is not acceptable any longer!  We, as Miami Dolphins, EXPECT to win each game no matter how injured we are, how ugly we might play, if we are outscored quarters 1-3, we will play & EXPECT to win each game(when this document was written some joker added in, "Unless were playing Baltimore)!  And it often happened last year.  So much so that the talk of this year was can we overtake the Patriots?  Of course we only play twice a year and both games this year are basically in December(first one is Nov. 26th).  I don't think that was an issue however.  

What if we did not PULL-OUT all those one score, last play, overtime victories?  I don't think we would be as derogatory in our assessment's of what is happening.?.?  A First Year Head Coach with 8 victories by a TD or FG, on the final play, or in OT.  Personally, I could throw all that stuff out the door!  For me it was whatever he did to bring that change in attitude to the Miami Dolphins we all fell in love with during Shula's time.  And God forbid, it seems like this team is teetering on that BELIEF system, that WINNING MINDSET! We cannot lose it no matter what happens & who is traded.  I feel that trade was a statement to all involved.  No One is bigger or more important than the team and the WINNING attitude we achieved last year!

The ATTITUDE STAYS no matter who leaves!!  That is what a TEAM IS!  A common goal.  All thinking alike.  Losing, although inevitable, is not tolerated week to week.  Winning and Playing hard and FULFILLING YOUR ASSIGNMENT on each play is DEMANDED!  The % of players that score the winning touchdown, make the last basket, hit the walk off homerun is/are miniscule.  Lose the attitude and be part of a winning team.  You are making millions of dollars right now.  The stands are filled with people that maybe thought they would make it, or others that admire you, and some that are losing interest in very self-centered behavior.  The time goes quick man, don't waste it!!  Wait, am I preaching?  There ya' go, I am truly a hypocrite!  

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

No More Questions; Dolphin Offense willl be Different!!

The story line for the off season, summer, pre season and beginning of season was Jay Ajayi being our workhorse.  There was talk of 400 rushing attempts!!  The success of this team was on the line blocking for Jay, mixed in with wonderful play action passes deep to Parker & Stills, anywhere 7 yards to 18 for Landry, & Thomas, Fasano & Gray down the middle and in the Red Zone.  That's all GONE....isn't it?.?.?

What I'm sure of is that the offense will be different!  I'm excited about that even though I was a bit surprised at the trade.  But a different offensive scheme can't possibly do worse than we have been doing.  The chatter about Gase not being able to implement his entire playbook because of the lack of studying/knowing the plays; whoever it was....can..now...be...installed??  Yes??  I hope it wasn't rif-raf.

I keep thinking of the year Montana, Craig, & Rice ran over Marino & the Dolphins with their West Coast Offense!  Ajayi never seemed to get any better at catching the ball.  Williams has the hands of a receiver.  I haven't seen enough of Drake, although he is listed ahead of Williams on the Depth chart.  He must be able to catch screen passes if he has no trouble on kick-offs (well, they're different rotations).

With Cutler supposedly wanting to play against Baltimore, I see him starting against Oakland.  Parker as well.  I really feel we are going to be watching a Gase styled formula of the West Coast offense during our second half.  I hope it works!  There is nothing more exciting than watching Fast-Break offense on the FB field.  Please study your playbooks guys, this season is far from over!!

Lastly, I was confused at the all out blitz to get Cutler back in the NFL if he was only going to be a game manager!?!  He's a thrower!!  Let him attempt what he is/was best at.

GO PHINS!!!!

Carrying on Sherrif Gase:

I thought that was what Gase was trying to do. Model the team after the coaching style of Bilichick. Again, I do not keep up on every tid-bit the media has to say so my opinions can often be...from Mars, or unintentionally verbatim.
Possibly all has healed from the pre San Diego game clusterxxxx involving LB Timmons.?.?  When I heard/read about it, and then continued to read about the "no comment," I considered what was at stake for Timmons. I couldn't help but think this issue would continue on.  Whether it's reported over & done with, subconsciously things can often remain.  And not just with Timmons.
As for studying the playbook, I will NEVER understand that to be an issue on any team. We hear about the majority of these players being standouts from pee-wee fb. They continue playing thru middle school, high school, & college. We've all heard about some players not going to classes, not having good enough grades, etc. Times have become more strict, but still many or most have FB first on their minds.

It is their love, their bacon for the time being. I would think it would be like reading about something you love and already know a good deal about.  Are they so confident they actually think they know it all?  If anything they should know that that is not POSSIBLE!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sheriff Gase

"Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals."
THOMAS JEFFERSON

Gase warned them. There will be repercussions for not learning assignments. 

How will this sit in the locker room? More to come?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Still Hanging On; Still Have HOPE!!

I remember the talk during last year's regular season & then leading up to the wild card game.  Word was we had a weak schedule, a weak division except for "them," and even the games we won were very close.  Not to mention a first year coach with not a huge discrepancy in the previous years roster.

Listening to NFL analysts, former coaches & players, lifetime broadcasters, I couldn't help but consider their opinions to have merit.  I didn't like it, but when I support a team I do not like to be blind or ignorant to the problems they might or obviously do have.  So I made a change.  When the game comes on, I turn off the volume.  I don't listen to any NFL shows during the week, the hour or hour & a 1/2 pregame shows; I don't play Fantasy FB any longer, and steer clear of the RED ZONE.  Safe to say that I am MORE than BEHIND the TIMES when it comes to your typical NFL fan.

These are all choices for yours truly.  In other words it allows me to enjoy the game so much more!!  I know this because I have played Fantasy FB.  I have watched the RED ZONE.  And I have spent time listening to all the so called experts during the week & before the games on Sunday.  I have nothing against folks that play Fantasy FB, and in fact love to hear about how they are doing!!  It's just something that interferes with MY cheering for the Dolphins.

This very well could be situational??  i.e. or e.g.(??) Let's see: I'll start from 1990 and list each year we made the post season; 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008, & 2016. 11 out of 27 years & the majority were in the 90's.

What I mean by situational is that the Dolphins have only made the post season 4 times in the 2,000's.  When the broadcasters do speak of them it is normally not in high regard.  I'm not disagreeing with all of their commentary.  For instance in 2008 when that QB for "them" was hurt for the season, and Miami used Chad Pennington to tie/win the division. It is almost as if we are made not to forget that fact.  If Brady wasn't hurt, forget about it!!  But yes, percentages say that NE would have won that year.

My issue is with the reliance by broadcasters on these percentages.  Other than 2,000, 2,001, 2,008, & 2,016 Miami has been mediocre or much worse.  When they are spoken about on one of these shows it is usually about how they can be beat, positions where they are weak, if they lose out what draft position will they have & who do they need.  Will their coach be retained, how many years does it take to build an offensive line?  So few of these VERY LIMITED time wise commentaries focus on anything positive.  And yes, I understand there has not been a lot of positive to focus on.  But I already know that and it's so darn easy to pick apart a bad team.

I've never listened to a derogatory speech about Miami's pass defense and then said to myself: "GOSH, he's right!  I never thought of that!"

I mentioned this before in a piece.  Somewhere during the past year this feeling started to pick up steam.  Now, after the Thursday Night debacle, I am flirting with the feeling that all I felt was delusionary. 

What I felt was that Gase was not only using the 4-week pre-season as a sort of feeling out of your team.  But he was also using the first 5-6-7 games of the regular season as a secondary pre-season.  I think it may sound crazy or just an excuse or feeling of a die hard fan as I look at it.

There is a bit of support for this opinion;  I'll start off by throwing in the Baltimore game(if I don't I have to except that game as a Dolphin effort and it was just so unbelievably embarrassing, inept for a professional FB team);  TJ McDonald, Ted Larsen, Parker; Play calling; Offensive Line; 7 inter-conference games.  I don't want to stretch it farther than I have. e.g. not like Ted Larsen's injury could have been predicted and used for this theory.

OK.  Terrible game against Ravens, and the other 6 games were pretty ugly as well.  Still, I'm not ready to throw in the towel and I CAN'T possibly see how we can play worse.  No matter how tough the schedule is!!
  

   

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tough; What Should I Complain About?

I had very little confidence going into this game.  The Baltimore Ravens have more than a mental edge against the Dolphins; referring to the last 7-10 years.  They have or I should say they man handle Miami every time they meet.  Beat us up they do!!  And Miami seems to enter the game acquiescing to this theme. It's pretty sickening considering they are a professional team.

What really irritated me was something I have considered during games, but tonight it really got under my skin.

There were a few mano y mano competitions in the 4 week preseason.  Meaning Gase was gonna keep one of two players fighting for the same position.  I have grown to trust him because of that great turn around last year.  Here is my beef:

Baltimore's field position to start their drives was excellent ALL NIGHT LONG!!  Their worst starting field position was on the final drive of the game.  Their own 19 yard line.  Their other starting positions were as follows: Balt. 21; Dolp. 42; Balt. 28; Balt. 28; Balt. 40; Balt. 29; Balt. 37; Balt. 19!!

How did they start in such non-threatening field position?  Well, here is a listing of Matt Haack's 8 punts during the game: #1-34 yards; #2-36 yards; #3-49 yards; #4-38 yards; #5-31 yards; #6-41 yards; #7-49 yards; & #8-50 yards.  I'm sorry but that SUCKS for an NFL Punter in Prime Time with beautiful weather.  He wasn't hurried to get the kicks off.  He didn't kick them off the side of his foot.  I believe those were his punts.  His best effort.

40 to 0.  I'm not saying their starting field position won them this game.  But they sure weren't backed-up to their own end zone and feeling some pressure.  And from where Haack was punting, he should have had  3 or 4 inside the 10, with the others inside the 20.  Only one time do I remember him kicking from our end zone.

I don't care anymore about the supposed left footed kicker that makes it difficult for guys to catch the ball.  He can't even reach where they are waiting to receive his punt. 

It may not have changed the final score of this game.  It will if he isn't replaced, or we're in a close game.  Obviously if our offense keeps lighting it up like they do Haack is gonna be on the field quite often.  I've taken dance lessons, I know the cadence: One, two, three, KICK!  One, two, three, KICK!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Surprise From Deion "Prime Time" Sanders To Jay Cutler

And an apology from Deion Sanders to Jay Cutler at halftime!
It went like this from "Prime Time":

Jay, I want to apologize to you. This is not your fault. This offense is atrocious. Watching it live, I now see this is bigger than you. Adam Gase must do something. It's too predictable, too simplistic. Jay I am sorry"

That made watching this joke of a team worth it!

How about this Coach: your receiver screens to Landry don't work, they haven't worked all year. Please bring an end to them! LOL

How about getting Williams and Drake in the game for some snaps? Ajayi hasn't done shit all year. Could be a good change of pace. Oh wait, never mind, that won't work, the O Line is garbage!

On a side note, I wonder if the NFL is regretting giving the Dolphins so many prime time games this year???

Yo Carl!

Hey Carl!

I think we found out if this Miami team was tough or not! They look miserable in the first half so far! 

I wish I could say that I am shocked but I am not.

O-Line sucks as usual and our offense has worn out the defense in the first half yet again. 

Everyone put on their shocked face! Here's mine...  😱

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

About To Find Out How Tough The Dolphins Are Tomorrow Night

After 2 heroic comebacks, one on the road at a Super Bowl contender's house and one in our friendly confines against a Super Bowl pretender, now comes the acid test.

Can the Dolphins roll into Baltimore, against a team who is so similar statistically that they could actually switch uniforms and no one would know the difference, and come out with another win?

Can they play in a stadium that has not been friendly to us in any way? At least not since the first time we played the Ravens back in 2009 and walked out with a 24-13 victory.

Since then its been 3 losses in 3 attempts with 2 blow outs including last year's 38-6 see ya later.

In our 14 game history with the Ravens we won 5 of the first 7 games. Since then we are a dismal 1-6. And that includes 5 home games.

They just beat us up. They diminish our will to win. They shake hands and say "Hope to see ya soon."

In only our 5th Baltimore trip to play the Ravens, tomorrow night will tells us a lot about the quit, or lack there of, in our Dolphins.

Baltimore will be pumped. They are an emotional team. They sense the importance of this game.

At 3-4, they are chasing the Steelers by 2 games. And, believe it or not, they are chasing us as well by 2 games.

So this game is crucial for their playoff chances. The Tie Breaker can come in handy later on down the road.

Yes, I know, I know, this game is important to us too. But by how much???

That is what I want to find out tomorrow night. I want to see exactly how tough we are. Can we be physical on a short week or are we just a lucky finesse team these past 2 weeks?

If you want to be a contender, a true contender, then you have to be able to go into someone else's kitchen and steal the cookie jar.  With them watching!!!

This is going to take some balls tomorrow night. Some big balls. This is not a team taking us lightly nor are they a bit cocky after beating us 3 weeks ago.

Nope. They need this bad and as sure as hell you know Harbaugh will have them frothing at the bit.

They will come out fired up and look to put a beating on us. Like a bully in the neighborhood.

Hopefully, we are up to the challenge. This is going to be our first opponent playing in a must win game this season.

Sparks will be flying!

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Becareful what you "BOO" About Fins Fans

No this is not my pre-Halloween column. It's my famous cliché column about the grass always being greener under the feet of ANY quarterback other than the Dolphin starter.

I was listening to that popular radio show on ESPN yesterday afternoon.  No disrespect to any other members, but the only name I can think of is Stu Gartz...(SP???).  They were talking about the injury to Aaron Rodgers & what it's like to be accustomed to perfection.  You don't get perfect passes (yet???) from Brett Hundley.  Does that sound familiar to any Dolphin fans?

I grew up cheering for Bob Griese. Than Woodley & Strock.  Then....???  I think we drafted someone late in the first round?  After several other QBs.  OH!  Dan Marino out of Pittsburgh!  And then we watched perfection for 10 plus years!!

Thing is, other than his 2nd season the Dolphins never went to the SB.  And beyond that, who really cares about a single player achieving perfection in a team sport?!?!  Hey, I was a huge Marino fan and still am!!  This is not a piece against great QBs.  This is MY personal anger against the Dolphin fans booing Jay Cutler.

It is so easy to find the faults about anyone.  It can spread like an actual wild fire with todays out of control media, and everyone that has an opinion like the hypocrite writing this.

But come on PEOPLE!!  We have a talented team.  We have a coach daggone serious about getting this team to the top.  We have a fan base......yup, we have a fan base.  What to say about them, I have no clue?

Try this!  This team was built (INTENTIONALLY) for the second half of the season.  Unfortunately Irma got in the way a tiny bit....or a lot?  What ever happened last year, in the off season, etc.  I truly felt/feel that Gase picked up something several years ago, or maybe because we made the playoffs after starting 1-4 or 2-5 (whatever our record was, percentage's said we had a 4-5-6%  chance of making the post season).

TJ McDonald I always felt would help our run defense.  Now I'm hoping he's really good at pass defense  also.  Maxwell is coming back.  I think it's been a plan.  Regardless of my crazy thinking, I wish I could convince the fans to cheer for anyone wearing a Dolphin uniform.  All I could think about when I heard the boo's for Cutler were his wife & 3 children. 

How would you explain to your children why people are booing you??

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cardiac Kids South Do It Again!!!

No lead is safe against this current squad of Dolphins. They just keep finding ways to fall behind and then surprisingly flip the coin or switch and battle back to win in heroic fashion.

This week, Miami set up the Jets on the one yard line when Wilkerson squeezed a deflected Cutler pass as part of the Jets building a 28-14 lead in the 4th quarter.

But Matt Moore, who came off the bench for an injured Cutler, lead this "never say die" band of brothers back with two 4tb Quarter TD passes to tie it up.

Then, miraculously, McCann picks off a flutter with a minute left and Parkway splits the uprights with the game winner.

WOW!!!

Two weeks in a row, the Dolphins were left for dead and two weeks in a row they found a way to resuscitate a victory from impending defeat.

You have to love the fight in these guys. You have to love the exhilaration of these come back wins.

I just don't like the frustration beforehand.

This is just amazing that we are 4-2 and in the hunt. Starting today we were at the 6 seed. Let's see how the rest of today plays out in the AFC.

We may not have any more booing Cutler and "We want Moore" cheers because Cutler may not come back if he damaged his lower chest or sprained some core muscles getting popped by Jenkins.

It looks like it is Deja Vu all over again with Moore having to lead us into the playoffs.

Good for us it's a short week, since Moore is notorious for not practicing well. We play at Baltimore on Thursday night so he won't have much time any way.

Just how he likes it!

Remarkable comeback for an incredible win!

Phins up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Well...Damn...

Well, son of a bitch. What can I say?

I thought the Dolphins were dead in the water. Cutler went down and Moore came in and we score 17 unanswered points to win the game?

Our offense started to click. Our pace was faster. The urgency seemed to be up and the defense played with passion. 

Moore also seemed to be making better checks and protection calls than Cutler, I may be wrong but it was just an observation.

A QB controversy anyone?

I personally think Moore should be given the opportunity to start and let Cutler play backup for the year. This gives him more time to get his feet under him in case he is needed per an injury to Moore. The more time that passes, the more evident it becomes that missing training camp has hurt Cutler. Why wouldn't he want to collect 10 Million to hold a clip board? 

I believe this give the Dolphins the best chance to compete this year. I honestly don't think we win this game today with a Cutler at QB.

If you take a closer look at the interception by Moore, you can clearly see that it was Fasano's fault. His head never turned to look for the ball at all during his route. To me, that is on him, not on Moore. 

A QB controversy in Miami! Who would thunk it! All we need to do is keep our O-Line in somewhat decent condition and we are in pretty good shape!

Go Falcons! (Tonight) and Phins Up!! 

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, October 15, 2017

How Bout Them Mammals!!!

Wow! 11.5 Dogs!

Hostile environment! Down 17-0 at the half!

Things were not looking good. Not at all.

But when you have veteran leadership all it takes is a couple of plays to get back into it.

Gotta give Gase some cudos for going for it on 4th down a number of times when all looked gloom. Believing in your players means a lot. And goes a long way.

How about Parkey banging another 50 yarder to tie it up? And that kick was so true it could've gone another 10 yards.

Wake with another big sack. Hayes stuffing the run. Ajayi rushing for 130 yards behind a beleagured O Line not giving up a sack.

So many vets stepped up today.

And finally Rashad Jones, once again, in the right place at the right time.

This was just an amazing win when very few thought it possible.

I know half of the remaining players in their survivor pools were eliminated today thanks to us.

Wow!!!

As I write this Pittsburg is ahead of the last undefeated team, Kansas City, 12-3 at the half.

How fitting would a 17-0 comeback be on a day when 17-0 stands tall once again. Let's Go Pittsburgh!

Phins up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It Is All So Clear Now!!!

Now it all makes sense!!!

Why does an offensive unit with nothing but playmakers not move the ball?

Why does an offensive line with Pro Bowl talent and veterans have Cutler running for his life and have Ajayi no room to Run?

Everyone wants to blame Cutler. Everyone wants Matt Moore. 

That is not the answer. Anyone with eyes can see that Cutler has no time and Ajayi has no lanes to run through.

Adam Gase even Said himself the offenses woes lie mostly with the O-line. 

That’s because the line coach is more worried about snorting cocaine off an internet model’s pu**y, his words, not mine. He has also been thinking about her a lot lately, again, his words, not mine. 

Chris Forester is one of the highest paid assistants in the league and he wants to snort Cocaine in his office before a meeting?!

What a joke!! 

I am glad they fired him for his idiocy. Have you ever heard of “under the influence”? If you cannot operate a vehicle in that state of mind, what makes you think you can perform a job?

This is absolutely ridiculous but let’s all hope it works out and this line gets fixed ASAP because it’s clear why they have been under performing. It could be a blessing in disguise that Forester has an addiction to doing lines of internet models. 

Here’s to hoping the Dolphins fix things....AGAIN!!

And for the record I give zero craps about his “addiction”. Someone who makes 5 Million a year gets no sympathy from me..

Phins Up!!!



Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 08, 2017

This Is The Sign Of A Good Football Team

Yes it is. A Win is a Win is a Win.

Thank you defense for winning this game.

Thank you refs for not blowing dead what looked like an incomplete pass.

Thank you All Pro Rashad Jones who hustled out that "incomplete pass" into a TD.

Thank you Jay Ajayi for your second efforts running the ball.

Why is this a "Good Team"?

Despite your Quarterback sucking wind, we still won.

Amazingly, luckily, finally.

And guess what, despite this crappy QB play, we are tied in the loss column with every other AFC East team with 2 losses.

Yes we suck on O but we are in the hunt.

Thank God for that!!!

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, October 05, 2017

We Got Bigger Problems Than Jay Cutler's Wildcat Role

Can we take a day off already from Jay Cutler's statuesque pose.

It was one play on a dismal day.

It was not, I repeat, not the reason we lost.

Our O Line is getting blown off the ball. Jay Ajayi barely gets his hands on the ball when he is getting hit.

Ajayi is trying to find holes where they just don't exist.

Gase is having Cutler dump the ball off on quick WR screens because, let's face it, he just doesn't have a lot of time to stand back there and do his Wildcat pose looking down field for an open receiver.

If anyone deserves any amount of heat, it's the O Line and the O Line coaches.

Let's rip them a new a_ _ hole. Let's kick them either in the butt or to the curb.

If our offense could get into a rhythm and eat up some clock and yards, everything else will take of itself and fall into place.

The Defense will rest. Field position will favor us and most importantly points will accumulate.

Jay Cutler may not be the great leader of men in comparison to General George Patton.

He doesn't hold a candle to Sgt. John Basilone.  (This one you'll have to google. Hint: huge Marine hero from my neck of the woods.)

But we knew this going in.

Cutler is nothing more than a stop gap between Tannehill starts. That's it.

And frankly, Tannehill would have had problems with the performance, or lack thereof, of our O Line.

Unfortunately, our issue requires 5 guys to work hard and play together. 5 guys.

If one idiot takes a play off, the whole system goes kapoohy. (Hint: to shit)

One idiot. One false start. One missed block. One holding penalty.

Those we have seen plenty of.

In those most memorable words of Rev. Martin Luther King "3 and out, 3 and out, oh Lord have mercy, we are 3 and out!" (Hint: not really his words)

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Sunday, October 01, 2017

It's like DEJA BOOO All Over Again!

I thought FOX TV lost it's signal and with the help of special effects, inserted the Saints uniforms over the Jets uniforms and replayed that game.

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.

Our offense that is.

Which is quite offensive to our fan base.

When your defense holds Drew Breeze to 20 points, you should be able to win the game.

We weren't even in it after Cutler's interception in the end zone.

I bet the refs threw their flags for more yards than Cutler did.

The play calling was ridiculous. Case in point, we ran the ball 2 plays in a row for 20 yards and Gase calls for a Wild Cat Formation!!!

What is he thinking about?

Ok. I have vented. I feel better.

Not really.

1-2 is not the end of the world. But scoring only 6 points in 8 quarters is.

Something has to change. And in a hurry.

It's your turn to vent.

At least it's only 1 PM right now and I can still do something else today.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971


The Dolphins Are...

The Dolphins are the new Jets!

Wait, that's an insult to the Jets...

The Dolphins are the new Browns!

Wait, That's an insult to them as well...

They are truly in a league if their own!

Hahahahahaha. This is great..

Cheers!

This Dolphins offense is bad. Horribly bad. I was very hopeful it would be better but once again Miami has let us all down. 

Cheers to the rest of the season! At least I can cheer for my fantasy players!

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

To Kneel Or Not To Kneel, That Is The Question

This whole situation is getting completely out of hand. What was supposed to call attention to race relations has turned into fans no longer wanting to be fans.

The President has chimed in, owners have locked arms and no one is discussing what initially all this kneeling was intended to have called attention to.

It has now become a discussion on patriotism and free speech. Or lack there of. Not race relations.

Below is a response I wrote in Dave Kennedy's post "Dave's Take On Standing Up" on this site back on August 27th. Since then many of our posts have meandered off subject. So take this opportunity to vent, add, detract, etc on this subject.

Everyone's opinion is valid. Here is mine:

"Athletes, actors and artists not only have a right to stand up for a cause they feel is important to them, they also have a responsibility to use their platforms to assist in social change.

The kneeling players are a perfect example of good idea, wrong execution. I understand, that as an African-American, they feel compelled to call more attention to race relations in the US. Certain venues are perfectly suited and accepted for political stands and announcements.

Concerts are perfect examples. Musicians have for decades use the stage to call attention to a cause and that is a universally accepted location for such.

Never do you find an actor break from the script to make a political statement during a play. The play itself may make a statement or the cast may stop at the curtain call and speak to the audience about a current issue.

Sports is a different story. Players can use their celebrity to good use but not in the actual arena. It just is not universally accepted other than wearing something on your uniform to support a cause. 

Fans go to sporting events to get away from their problems and daily dull drums, not to engage in political or social issues.

I believe the players would have been better served to organize a great number of African-American athletes from all sports to speak to the media in their locker rooms after games about race relations."

Now, followers, you can knock yourselves out but keep it clean.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gase Missed One Today

First of all, let me tell you it was hot today. Extremely hot at MetLife Stadium. The temperature in New Jersey was 91 with a feels like temperature of 99. And that is in your back yard.

I was sitting there in the sun, with no breeze and I was drenched.

It was so hot I would go into the concessions just to get some shade during the time outs. It was brutal today.

I know from officiating high school football that the field turf is filled with black rubber beads in between the fake grass. Those little beads not only absorb the sun shine but also generate even more heat.

So it had to be well over 100° on the field.

In any event, what I am alluding to is simply these numbers and how Gase blew one.

At the 2 minute warning of the first half, the Jets had a time of possession of almost double to ours at 18:26 to 9:34 and yet we were only down by 3 points.

The Jets are facing a 2nd and two from their 37 yard line when Powell gashes us for 38 yards right up the gut.

5 of our 11 defenders, including our left corner Verner, sprint after him and drag him down at our 15 yard line. That's half our guys doing wind sprints.

Luckily for us, we get a holding call against their center hooking Hull at the point of attack. That was a good call.

Here's where, I believe, Gase blew it.

I told my buddy "Take a time out. We are gassed. They are going to go long on us."

I know the second time in a row you have to cover a kick, the return is usually so much better than the first. Your coverage team is gassed.

So now the Jets line up with a 2nd and 8 from their 31. And we are gassed.

McGown hits Anderson right in stride for a 69 yard TD as he blows right by Verner completely untouched.

I really thought we should've burned a Time Out regardless of just coming out of the 2 minute warning and only having 2 time outs left.

Hey, we got spanked. Don't get me wrong.

But it is those little moments when just one play can get one team juiced and another down trodden.

Well, we are on to the Saints as London is calling.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Miami STILL at bottom of AFC's 12 best teams...

When are the Dolphins going to pull their heads out of their asses?

Serious question.

I have been waiting for this offense to put up some serious points and beat the teams they are supposed to beat. I'm still waiting...

These Dolphins have won close games. In the past, GREAT! This should not have been a close game, and it wasn't. It was an ass whooping but it should have been the Jets getting that whooping. 

Josh McCown WAS on a 11 game losing streak as a starter. Not anymore!

The Jets were being accused of tanking for a top draft pick! They proved us all wrong!

The Jets were the worst run defense in the league, how things have changed!  

The Miami offense looks anemic. A pop warner team could have had more success today, not an exaggeration. 

I am seriously starting to question this coaching staffs ability to make in game adjustments. When the run game doesn't work, the offense goes to shit. I seriously thought Gase was this offensive passing guru? That's not a knock against him, I like the guy but that is a serious question. 

The defense still has a miserable secondary. The no name receivers of the Jets worked the middle all day long. It was quite embarrassing.

I don't know what else needs to be said. Next week we play Drew Brees who just lot up the Panther defense which is a lot better than Miami's. Good luck Miami. I hope you fix a lot of things this week, you are gonna need to...


Sent from my iPad

And We All Thought...

and we all thought Miami was going to be a good offensive team...

1 TD in 7.5 quarters so far.

Good Job.


Dolphins Must Stop Short Passing Game Today

    At the game in LA last week, one thing that was glaringly obvious was that the Chargers are poorly coached.  This came across mostly in the fact that they continued to run on first down when the Dolphins had their number all day.  What the Dolphins couldn't answer at all, however, was the short passing game.  Backs and tight ends were open all day, and any route under six yards was a completion and a chunk of yardage, all day.  The only reason the Chargers didn't score more was that they consistently wasted a down trying to run between the tackles.
    If the Jets are at all smart today, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, and Austin Selfarian-Jenkins will be unleashed in the 4-6 yard area beyond scrimmage.  If so, the Jets will avoid our pass rush and keep themselves in second and makeable all day.  They will also control time of possession with ruthless, long drives.
     I don't say this because I think the Jets are good.  They are the worst team in the NFL.  But our defense ha a major hole in its linebacking and our 2 safety is truly among the NFL's worst.  I hope our team has found an adjustment since last week.  If it hasn't, don't be surprised if we are stuck in a real battle today in New Jersey.

Jay Lopez

Saturday, September 23, 2017

#MetLifeTakeover Going To Be Huge

Each year it grows and grows, like an ivy climbing a facade.

Until it reaches the point were it covers the entire house and you can't even remember what color the house actually was.

That's the goal of Dolfans NYC.

To completely take over MetLife Stadium as if the Roman Empire came back from the dead.

It started in 2013 with a few hundred tickets purchased as a group and now has reached 4 digits and climbing.

Soon enough the #MetLifetakeover will seem like Miami North.

You could hear a few hundred fans chanting in unison on TV.  The Dolphins heard them too.

Imagine over a 1,000 voices as one.

It could reach a deafening peak!!

Of course there will be other die hard Dolfans in attendance spread through out the stadium.

I will be one of them sitting a few sections over in 302.

The ivy has taken hold and spread and soon will choke the life blood out of a Jets home game.

What could be better than that?

If you are attending the game or just want to join in on the pregame festivities (you don't need a game ticket to park in the stadium lot, just pay for parking), the #MetLifeTakeover invites you to join them in Lot L4 starting at 9 AM.

Look for the 25 foot high Dolphin flags and listen for all noise.

Dolfans NYC uses this event to raise monies for the Miami Dolphins Foundation which is the charitable arm of our beloved franchise.

Join them on Facebook and please use #MetLifeTakeover in all your social media this weekend as we make this regional event a national story.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Monday, September 18, 2017

Gase's Decision on Timmons will Shape Season (and Possibly his Tenure)

    The Dolphins win games like the one yesterday due to chemistry.  Make no mistake, that game  was won by the more optimistic, joyful, and confident group of men.  As I sat and watched our players sprint the field after the kick went wide (from my seat it had initially looked good) I felt a wave of genuine emotion, pride, and mutual respect among our players.
     Coach Gase is to be commended for building a winning culture, one that is giving Dolphins fans back our pride.  I had written that the game in LA would be at neutral site, and I may have been slightly wrong: that was quite nearly a home game. Our fans were in voice, optimistic, and present.
      Gase has given us our team back through making great decisions about the culture of our team. His model has been fairly clear:  give everyone a chance to earn their keep, run off dead weight, and emphasize high character guys.  Doing so has built a reliable locker room, one that believes in itself and has the professionalism to do what it takes to win.
    Lawrence Timmons therefore seems to have disrespected our core values as a team.  We will all wait for some explanation, but I don't think there is any doubt that our team's leadership was blind-sided by a player's personal decisions.  And now there will be the necessity of drawing a conclusion about how best to protect the culture and team Gase is building.
    The knee-jerk response is "you broke the rules we value, please pack your bags." But this situation may offer a better alternative.  There are times when any great leader must step above the model he has built.  Everyone knows by now what Gase values in his team; might this be an opportunity to wisely invest some of that cultural capital in a second chance?
    Timmons seems the right man to bet on.  Younger players see themselves at career's end in this linebacker warrior.  He seems to do everything right (see consecutive starts and think about the maintenance and discipline such a streak requires).  Here, in his moment of weakness, will the team pick him up, a younger man might wonder?
    Gase may have to move beyond his coaching philosophy here in order to make a decision that benefits all.  And his doing so may make his team see that they are following a flesh and blood man, who understands the importance of rules, but also understands bonds of brotherhood, perhaps enough to forgive another man who seems to have forgotten- or at least de-prioritized- those bonds on a single afternoon.
     Every player in that locker room has made mistakes; every coach has too.  Perhaps this is a moment to show that we can be there, with open arms, for a brother who let us down, but who is still our brother?

Jay Lopez

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dolphins Open Season at Neutral Site

    Four months ago the Chargers unveiled their new logo at Staples Center in LA during an NBA game.  It seemed to make sense: connect with a new fan base that is excited to adopt its new favorite sons.  The logo flashed.  The fans responded.
    With boos- so many boos.  I laughed out loud- it was pretty hilarious.
    I am attending tomorrow's game in Carson.  It will be played in the home of the LA Galaxy, where twenty thousand vaguely committed hipsters pretend to know something of the world's most popular sport.  In between derivative songs, the fan base mills about in a pretty, airy, lazy stadium that is about as intense as a coffee bean at three in the afternoon.
     I bought my ticket to the game last night.  I scrolled around for about an hour browsing options.  I am not making this up.  I will Lyft to the game and possibly Lyft home, since cars can pretty much pull up in front of the stadium. My buddy (also a Dolphins fan) is planning on "parking in the neighborhood."
     So the good news about the Dolphins opener is that it is also the Chargers "home" opener- and LA's second team may feel very much like a jv team playing before the varsity game.  The Dolphins need a break after all the storm related scurrying, and the Home Depot Center/ Stub Hub Center may be that needed break.
     If any of you out there are Dolphins fans attending this game, give a shout.  You will hear me tomorrow.  I'll be the guy actually excited to see my team.  And chances are, I'll stand out.  Phins up.

Jay Lopez

   

Monday, August 28, 2017

Is Jarvis Landry on the Block? Should He Be?

     Let's start with the obvious:  I love Jarvis Landry.  He has been the best Dolphin on the generally disappointing teams we have watched since his debut.  Last year, the team finally made the playoffs and Landry was the player I was happiest for:  he deserved to be respected, to win, to shine.
     And I think the Dolphins will now trade him.  And I think that they have known that they would, and for a long time.
     I am sorry to say it, but this explains the Leonte Caroo trade-up.  This explains the enormous sum the team committed to Stills.  And this explains how the team will eventually keep Jay Ajayi, sign a new linebacker, corner, and safety, and finally make the AFC Championship Game.  OK- how did we get all the way to this imagined reality?  Let's start, as Landry does, in the slot.
     Slot receivers can't be the highest paid non-quarterbacks on your roster.  The reason is that they are covered by the other team's worst defender, don't score touchdowns, and don't earn the "chunk" yardage that this generation of statisticians think win games.  Slot receivers average 8-10 yards a catch at best, and that means that they average 5 yards an attempt.  5 yards an attempt gets you a new OC (think Bill Lazor.)
     What wins in the NFL is generally the ability to take the lid off the defense.  This forces deep linebacking and safety play, which opens up the NFL's dirty secret: running games still win football games.  That is, get 7 men in the box, and you get 5 a carry.  Get 5 a carry, and you win games.  You don't get 7 in the box by having your best receiver playing in the box, where he draws congestion close to scrimmage.
      One team wins in the slot:  the Patriots.  And that is an effective rebuttal.  But few teams have a passer who can complete 80% of his passes to slot receivers.  So- if you don't have Tom Brady, take the lid off.  And if you are taking the lid off, you can't afford a premier slot man.
      And if you can't afford a premier slot, you drag your feet re-upping a contract for your best player.  You (over) draft a replacement.  And you invest fearlessly in the surrounding cohort, knowing where your savings are coming.
     The Dolphins will try to trade Landry out of conference.  They will try to get a handsome package in return and reload with young players who are in their first contract or yet to be drafted.
      We fans will be dismayed, upset, and possibly wrong.  Good front offices tell fans what to think, not the other way around.  One thing we won't be is surprised.  We took care of that just now.

Jay Lopez

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Just A Thought...

So I have been thinking about this whole Jay Cutler thing.

There has been a lot made about Cutler's so so performance against the Ravens. Here is my take. It's preseason! I remember that Ryan Tannehill came out a few years ago with a Joe Philbin coached team and went like 5/6 and had a TD pass in his first preseason drive and everyone thought he was going to be the 2nd coming of Tom Brady. How did that work out that year? These games are meaningless and offenses and defenses run a vanilla scheme. Nothing to see here except to evaluate players on the roster bubble and to help vets shake of the rust. Who cares how they perform?

But since a lot of people want to talk about performance, let's break down Jay's night a little bit. He made crisp throws and seemed in command of the offense, honestly more that Tannehill ever has. Did anyone notice how much no huddle was ran with Cutler under center? It was a lot. The offense played faster with Cutler. His best pass of the night was called back because of a holding penalty. Speaking of the offensive line, it was a patch work line. The line playing versus Baltimore will not be the line playing in the season opener, most of them will be backups. So let's just all calm down! Jay played pretty damn good with what he had in my opinion.

That all brings me to me next thought.

One national columnist made a very bold prediction. He said Jay Cutler is primed to have the best season of his career under Gase and Miami could make a run at the AFC crown. Now let's scale that back a little bit. I firmly believe Miami will be in contention for a wild card spot and should get in. If that is done, which I believe it will, what happens next? What if the offense is as dynamic as we will hope it is? What if Cutler does indeed have the best year of his career? What to do?

Listen, this was supposed to be Tannehill's breakout year. Sound familiar? This was supposed to be the year the offense took off under Tannehill and I believed it would have at least improved. But what if Cutler performs as expected? What to do with Tannehill? This is what I would do:

Extend Cutler 3 years. Redo Tannehill's contract and lower it. I don't think Tanne would have a choice because none of his salary is guaranteed after this year, he can be cut without any cap hit. Have an open competition for the QB position which Cutler will probably win. Draft a QB in the early rounds of next year's draft and develop him to be the new franchise QB. Someone like Patrick Mahomes who KC drafted to sit behind Alex Smith.

Why do this? Are you willing to hinge your hopes on Tannehill as your franchise QB considering he is going to be 30 by the time he gets back on the field. Hasn't proved anything yet. Remember, "this was supposed to be the year!" He is coming off 2 ACL injuries. Don't get me wrong, I think Tannehill is a good player, but I also don't think it's smart to hinge your hopes on him being your franchise QB considering all the things I mentioned above. If Tanne don't want to reconstruct his contract and he don't want to compete for the QB position with a Cutler, you cut him and gain 20+ million in cap space. 

Miami is built that the QB does not have to do everything. He does not have to be superman like Peyton Manning had to be in Indianapolis. This team can win if the QB takes care of the football. Cutler fits that mold, even if it's temporary while a new QB is being developed. 

Thoughts?




Sent from my iPad

Friday, August 18, 2017

Cutler Has Something in Miami He's Never Had Before: A Warm Welcome

    It was refreshing to see Miami fans welcome Jay Cutler with a warm ovation.  The respect the fan base showed to its new quarterback was heartfelt and respectful; it was also new, to Cutler at least.
    A lot is made of bringing quarterbacks along and giving them a chance to start their careers properly.  Placing too much pressure on young shoulders, however competent, can lead to the frequent phenomenon of the first-round-quarterback-never-was.  In this regard, Cutler was immediately set up to fail.
    Drafted in the first round at #11 overall, Cutler left Denver's fan base puzzled.  The team had made it to the AFC Championship game with fan favorite Jake Plummer the previous season.  Fans thought the Broncos would use their picks to upgrade a few fringe positions and make another run behind the charismatic everyman quarterback who was a Southwestern regional hero due to his fine career at ASU and for the Cardinals. Trading up for Cutler cost a 1st and a 3rd round pick and seemingly added nothing to the on field product.
     Plummer felt betrayed.  Who knows what sort of locker room Cutler walked into.  His coach, Mike Shannahan, liked what he saw and decided to start Cutler in game 12.  The Broncos were 7-4, and Plummer was healthy.  This was as high pressure an opening to a career as a player could have. Cutler went 2-3, showing amazing upside but also growing pains.  The team missed the playoffs, and in many senses, fan resentment was already baked in.
     During the next season, Cutler showed all of the statistical improvement that could be desired in a second year quarterback, finishing in the top half of passers in the league (12th.) In fact, he opened the season 3-0 with 8 touchdown passes.  However, the Broncos again missed the playoffs with a winning record.  Shannahan was fired and Josh McDaniel, perhaps the least prepared head coach in history, landed a job that was far too big for him.  McDaniel catered to the fan base, insinuating he would shop Cutler.  Hurt, Cutler sold his house and insisted on a trade.  A fresh start seemed in order; he didn't get one.
    In an eerie carbon copy, Cutler replaced a local hero with limited talent but great heart and charisma, this time Kyle Orton.  Beloved by the Bears fan base because he had rescued the team from an over-priced glamor boy (Rex Grossman), Orton left town with a first and third round pick.  Fans felt betrayed and that the Bears had over payed.  Again, Cutler came to a team in need of valuable parts that had surrendered picks to get him.  Again, he had to win a locker room from one of the most popular players on the roster.  Again, Cutler performed, and again he was treated with lukewarm semi-affection by a fan base that never got over his origin with the team.  Perhaps a good looking kid from the SEC with a monster arm was too reminiscent of Grossman.  Cutler won, without protection, without a defense, and without a running game.  Bears fans and media responded with amusing memes and merciless press coverage.
     So Jay Cutler retired, and it seemed football was done.  And then the remarkable happened, and he walked onto the field the other night and heard something equally remarkable:  gratitude.
   As I have written elsewhere, when Cutler went down injured with the Bears his replacements went a combined 1-8.  In games he started in those same seasons, Cutler was 17-7.  His replacements played behind they same line, handed to the same backs, threw to the same receivers.
      I think Miami fans knew what they were doing when they got to their feet last night.  And i think Jay Cutler probably thought that he had finally arrived in the style he has always deserved.

Jay Lopez