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  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.


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."

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!!