Él cuerpo de mariscales de campo (QBs) y El futuro de los Dolphins.

Actualmente los Dolphins de Miami mantienen bajo contrato tres mariscales de campo:Ryan Tannehill, Luke Falk, de quien se dice era el proyecto de futuro de Adam Gase, y el recién adquirido Jake Ruddock. Dentro de ese contexto hay rumores fuertes de que Tannehill será cambiado o dejado en libertad antes del comienzo de los entrenamientos. Dichos rumores se basan en su pobre desempeño a la hora de producir victorias, su ausencia por lesiones en más del 50% de los juegos en las últimas tres temporadas, pero principalmente por su elevado costo, 26.3 millones contra el tope salarial de los Dolphins y otros 13 millones en dinero muerto contra el tope. Aún Tannehill teniendo una gran temporada este año, sería cuesta arriba mantenerlo en el roster, ya que su contrato estipula que la reestructuración del mismo no puede ir más allá de 5.2 millones. Es un costo demasiado elevado, ya que deja a los Dolphins con las manos atadas en el nuevo proyecto de reconstrucción. Por lo que no hay manera de que Tannehill esté en el futuro inmediato del equipo, a menos que renunciase a su contrato actual y acepte uno de quizás una tercera parte de su dinero actual. Luke Falk es un jugador interesante, con un brazo poderoso, que durante el pasado sorteo de novatos era el preferido de Adam Gase, pero fue seleccionado por los Titans de Tennessee. Al comenzar la temporada y ser dejado en libertad, sin razón aparente, Gase no dudó en reclamarlo y fue firmado por los Dolphins. Una semana más tarde fue puesto en reserva por lesión, dejando el proyecto de desarrollo de Gase en suspenso. Por último, Jake Ruddock fue adquirido para un futuro contrato con los Dolphins hace sólo tres días. Fue seleccionado por los Lions de Detroit en el sorteo de 2016 y tuvo una buena pretemporada este año, pero solo se tradujo en menos de 10 intentos de pase durante la temporada, por lo que su firma es una incógnita en el futuro de los Dolphins.
La situación se ha tornado especulativa. Muchos entendidos dicen que se trabajará por volver a firmar a David Fales y junto a Falk se harán cargo de la posición y en el sorteo de novatos del 2020 tratarán de ir por Tua Tagovailoa. Veo difícil que los Dolphins teniendo un turno de primera ronda más arriba del 10, logren conseguir a Tua. Para el sorteo de este año muchos sueñan con Kyle Murray, pero hay equipos que piden en los primeros cinco turnos con necesidad de un mariscal de campo (QB) que lo seleccionarán. Por lo que es realmente casi imposible ver a Murray en uniforme Dolphin. Creo que sería sensato para Chris Grier echar una mirada a Daniel Jones, este jugador es muy parecido a Payton Manning y su dirigente en Duke en los últimos dos años, David Cutcliffe ha sido el artífice de muy buenos mariscales de campo cuándo han llegado a la NFL tales como Payton e Eli Manning. Jones podría estar sin ser seleccionado al momento del turno de los Dolphins en este próximo sorteo de novatos. Es un mariscal de campo (QB) con mucho físico y presencia detrás de la línea ofensiva. Además, los Dolphins no tendrían que hacer cambios y perder turnos y selecciones futuras para tratar de adquirirlo. Algo que no pasaría ni con Murray este año o Tua el próximo año donde habría que empeñar varios turnos del futuro. Jones se podría unir a Falk y Fales dentro de un proyecto de reconstrucción basado en jugadores jóvenes con el talento para ser exitosos en la NFL.
Sólo el tiempo dirá sí Grier mantendrá a Tannehill en el equipo y quién se uniría a Falk y a Ruddock en el cuerpo de mariscales de campo (QBs), si realmente los Dolphins esperarán al 2020 para seleccionar o si irán al mercado a firmar un agente libre como Joe Flacco o Teddy Bridgewater. Por el momento sólo hay especulación, la ventana al futuro no está abierta aún.

Dolphins final target as head coach: Brian Flores of the rival Patriots

It has been said for the past few weeks that the Miami Dolphins would eventually hire a coach who teaches, is accountable, manages game time situations, and ultimately wins football games.

Most of all, the coach has to be willing to build back the Dolphins to where they were before the Marino years.

That is, consistency year after year doesn’t mean just playoffs, or being competitive for that matter, but in GM Chris Grier’s words: championships.

Surely, Owner Stephen Ross said that he didn’t want to exactly go “3-13 next season” in his end of the season conference, but frankly the Dolphins might be awful for one or two seasons upcoming.

Ross also intimated that Adam Gase was in “win-now” mode…Gase can take that philosophy of “win-now” to the New York Jets as he becomes the caretaker of the offense and their young QB, Sam Darnold.

Enter the exciting or maybe underwhelming news of the Dolphins main head coaching target and first known interview: LB coach of the Patriots, Brian Flores.

The news was first reported by Adam Beasley days ago, but further confirmed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Here’s what’s known about Flores.

Flores was born in Brooklyn and was a 2-year starter at Boston College.

Flores’ comes from parents who came to this country as immigrants from Honduras.

Football was an “escape” as he navigated the mean streets of Brownsville.

After the 2008 season, Flores found his way to the Patriots and met a younger Chris Grier then a scout with the Patriots.

Grier is now the Dolphins GM with VP superpowers.

Here’s where everything else is a little fuzzy, in fact, it goes dark in terms of Flores’ résumé.

Only those within the Patriots organization know what kind of a coach Flores is.

For one, Flores was a finalist for the head coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals last season.

In fact, before this season, Peter Schrager of the NFL Network said Brian Flores was the hottest candidate to be a head coach in 2019.

While Schrager’s prediction has nearly come true (no contract can be signed while the Patriots are playing in the playoffs) Flores was interviewed not only by the Dolphins, but by the Jets who went for Adam Gase.

On the other hand, Ben Volin, of the Boston Globe interview on 790 in South Florida this evening, said Flores is well-liked by his players and if anything, he called the special DB package-Malcom Butler onto the field to win the Patriots the Super Bowl-a play that will live in infamy for Seahawks fans as the reason they lost the Super Bowl as Malcom Butler picked off a Russel Wilson pass rather than the Seahawks opting to run the ball on 3rd and goal inside the 5.

As the Dolphins finalize their decision, Flores is a rising star of football coach and could be a damn good one as long as he has the runway to succeed.

Bottom line, Chris Grier gets his choice on this hire and the potential selection of Flores could be the biggest one of his career as the GM of the Miami Dolphins as they “blow it all up” for future success.

(Photo credit: NESN)

¡Se busca un dirigente!

Tras la salida de Adam Gase de la dirección de los Dolphins de Miami, ha comenzado la búsqueda de un dirigente que sea a fines con el cambio de planes del dueño Stephen Ross. El nuevo plan es uno en vías de desarrollar talento y eliminar la visión, criticada por muchos, de estar contratando jugadores descartados de otros equipos, en busca de un poco de suerte y que estos regresaran a sus mejores años. Algo que nunca sucedió. Esa visión errada llevo a Mike Tannenbaum a perder su trabajo al frente de las decisiones de personal de los Dolphins. Esto abrió la puerta para que el Gerente General y respetado escucha Chris Grier se haga cargo de todo lo que tiene que ver con el movimiento de personal de los Dolphins. La primera asignación de Grier no se hizo esperar y a pocas horas del último juego de los Dolphins ya estaba buscando el sustituto de Adam Gase.
La lista no se hizo esperar y comenzaron los nombres y los rumores. Hasta el momento se han entrevistado a cuatro candidatos: Brian Flores entrenador de línea trasera defensiva de los Patriots de New England, Eric Bieniemy coordinador ofensivo de los Chiefs de Kansas City, Dennis Allen coordinador ofensivo de los Saints de New Orleans, quien levanto una polémica al ser recomendado por Jeff Ireland quien fuese despedido por los Dolphins del puesto de Gerente General hace varios años atrás, y Chris Richards a cargo de la línea defensiva secundaria de los Dallas Cowboys y quien es considerado por todos los equipo que buscan llenar una vacante, como uno de los dirigentes del futuro en la liga. Otros que van a ir a entrevista lo son Mike Munchak dirigente de la línea ofensiva de los Steelers de Pittsburg y Darren Rizzi el dirigente de los equipos especiales de los Dolphins. También fue mencionado hasta la mañana de hoy el coordinador defensivo de los Bears de Chicago Vic Fangio, pero sorpresivamente los Dolphins cancelaron la entrevista a pocas horas de la misma. Lo que hace suponer a los entendidos que Chris Richards y Darren Rizzi son los candidatos a obtener la posición de dirigente en Los Dolphins. Durante los pasados días una serie de jugadores y ex jugadores de los Dolphins levantaron una campaña en pro de que Rizzi sea el escogido de Grier para la posición. Desde Jayson Taylor, hasta el controversial Jarvis Landry se han hecho eco de contratar a Rizzi, lo que ha puesto bastante presión en Grier, al punto de que este pidió en un momento paciencia a los dolfans. Grier ha sido muy meticuloso a la hora de buscar el sustituto de Gase y los nombres mencionados son de mucho respeto en el ámbito de la NFL. Otro rumor que ha estado de ”boca en boca” en los círculos noticiosos de Miami es el interés de la gerencia de los Dolphins en saber que desean a los Ravens de Baltimore a cambio de su dirigente John Harbaugh. Los rumores apuntan a dos selecciones de primera ronda, a lo que muchos fanáticos han reaccionado molestos, ya que si el plan es desarrollar jugadores como es posible que den sus próximas dos primeras selecciones del sorteo de novatos por un dirigente.
Por el momento todo apunta a que el escogido saldrá entre Chris Richards y Darren Rizzi. Pero los Dolphins por años nos han sorprendido con movidas de último minuto y que en nada han ayudado a mejorar el equipo. Esperemos que Grier no vaya por Harbaugh y empeñe el futuro del equipo por los próximos dos años. ¡Por el momento en Miami se busca un dirigente para los Dolphins!

Foto cortesía USA Today

Dolphins coaching search update: Dennis Allen on the radar

After the duo of VP Chris Grier and owner Steve Ross met today with Brian Flores in New England and later OC Eric Bieniemy in Kansas City, the executive jet is headed for New Orleans.

Per various reports: Armando Salguero-talked of a mystery candidate and it’s guess who?

Dennis Allen.

The last time Dolphins fans got a good look at Dennis Allen was not only during the 2017 season where Jay Cutler served up a poorly thrown fade to Julius Thomas for a red zone interception.

Allen is the current defensive coordinator in New Orleans and his team earned a first round bye.

Allen’s coaching tree is actually quite interesting.

While as a GA for three seasons at his alma mater Texas A&M, he coached defensive backs and leveraged his way to his first gig with Dan Reeves of the Atlanta Falcons in the late 90s.

Allen has coached for Dan Reeves, John Fox, and now Sean Payton (twice).

What’s more, Allen as a defensive assistant earned a Super Bowl ring in 2010.

After coaching with John Fox as a defensive coordinator, Allen left for the rival Oakland Raiders as Reggie McKenzie was rebuilding the Silver and Black.

Said Allen after some time after his hiring in 2012 to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“It’s an exciting opportunity for all of us that are involved. To take over such a historic program, be a part of that tradition there with the Raiders, is obviously exciting for all of us. We’re excited about the opportunity to put our stamp on the program.”

Allen if you remember went 4-12 in season one with a gutted roster (Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor) at QB, as the Raiders were in salary cap hell, 4-12 year 2, and then 0-4 before owner Mark Davis pulled the plug on the Dennis Allen era never seeing what Allen could do with a healthy and later seasoned Derek Carr.

Allen was promptly fired after the Dolphins beat the Raiders in London: 38-14.

To Dolphins fans, this was a big win and a win that got Dolphins fans to rally around Ryan Tannehill after Philbin threatened to bench him.

Perhaps looking at Dennis Allen could give a glimpse into the future of what a losing season with a gutted roster looks like and maybe that serves as a cautionary tale in the #TankforTua campaign.

As we look at where this coaching search is turning, Allen becomes the second coach with head coaching experience and is not a first year head coach in the NFL.

Both Mike Munchak and Dennis Allen we’re fired by their respective teams after some tough losses and issues with management, but at this point the Dolphins search will continue to find their next head coach.

What’s most interesting about the Dolphins search, former head coach Adam Gase heads to Green Bay now to interview with the Packers after having had meetings with the Jets and Cardinals.

Gase, continues to garner interest as the “QB guru.”

Is there a coach on the Dolphins list more qualified than Gase?

The answer is no and not yet.

Perhaps a Harbaugh or two appears on the Dolphins list officially or unofficially.

This much is known: in two days the Dolphins will have interviewed 4 coaches with Vic Fangio (Bears DC), Kris Richard (Cowboys DB and passing game coordinator) and finally Dolphins Assistant Head coach and special teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi and OL coach Mike Munchak on the horizon.

Photo credit: Miami Herald

Darren Rizzi: the players choice for head coach of the Miami Dolphins

When Darren Rizzi came to the Miami Dolphins, he was already a tough minded football coach.

The mental and physical toll of coaching was already embodied in his mind and in his heart.

So during the 2010 season when then coach Tony Sparano tabbed Rizzi to be the Special Teams coordinator after an awful game on Monday Night versus the rival Patriots, thus relieving John Bonamego of his duties. It probably came as no surprise to those associated with Rizzi in his past that he was ready to take the next step and lead a unit (FoxSports Florida).

Back in 2007, Darren Rizzi had an incredible opportunity to coach at his alma mater-University of Rhode Island after leaving a promising position under head coach of Rutgers-Greg Schiano.

At the time, Schiano endorsed Rizzi:

“I am very happy for Darren and his family,” said Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano. “He has done a great job here at Rutgers and I know that he will do a great job as the head football coach at the University of Rhode Island. We will miss him but are very happy for him and his family.”

Had Rizzi stuck around at Rutgers, he could have found his path to the NFL as Schiano became coach of the Buccaneers in 2012 and most likely Rizzi could have been elevated to ST Coordinator and been a big part of his staff.

What’s more, Rizzi was tabbed as assistant special teams coordinator by Tony Sparano and his staff with the Dolphins and took the skill set he developed over time to the position as Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator.

You see, while Rizzi can be seen yelling and screaming he exudes his passion and his love for every member of the Dolphins team on not only his special teams unit, but both sides of the ball.

Rizzi over the years, has acquired both knowledge and experience to coach both sides of the ball-linebackers, tight ends, and special teams as a college coach.

As a player, Rizzi was a tight end and later found his way as a college coach coaching a variety of positions on both sides of the ball.

The special teams unit is almost as important as an offense and defense combined.

When a game changes in either direction (punt or kick off coverage versus punt or kickoff receiving), the special teams coach has to be ready to fire up his unit and hit the field with emotions in check and accomplish the goal to either block (receiving) or make the stop (punt or kick off).

More importantly, the special teams coordinator meets every player on the team as many players at one point or another as rookies have several assignments on different special teams plays-an on side kick for instance will incorporate a hands team or receivers of all types-Rizzi has to be prepared to coach them and stress the perfection.

When a kicker misses a kick, Rizzi is in that guys face holding the long snapper, holder, and kicker accountable to do better on the next opportunity.

This dedication to the Dolphins is not lost on players from the past to players in the present.

All current Dolphins players endorsements of Coach Rizzi have come in droves via Twitter and via an interview with Joe Schad: “Riz is the ultimate players coach,” Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake told the Palm Beach Post Wednesday. “He has a way of balancing the personality of his players while getting the most from them. He’s intense but compassionate and that’s what makes him a great coach.”

A great coach. A players coach.

A football coach.

All the boxes checked.

Did Kenyan Drake ever echo that sentiment of former coach Adam Gase after being essentially misused in a variety of games in favor for Frank Gore?

For everything that Coach Rizzi brings to the table, he’d make a heck of a head coach, one that has the players support and that has to at least make it a tough decision for VP Chris Grier and the leadership team in Miami during the interview process.

*All stats and info provided by University Rhode Island Athletics, the Palm Beach Post, and Fox Sports Florida

Photo Credit: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Per NFL Network and ESPN: Head coach Adam Gase has been fired

Adam Gase, the head coach of the Miami Dolphins has been fired per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

It has been reported by Jeff Darlington of ESPN that in recent weeks the relationship with Stephen Ross and Adam Gase “had eroded” based on Ross wishing to remove Gase from deciding the 53 man roster.

Both Ian Rapoport (NFL Network) and Jeff Darlington (ESPN) confirmed the firing.

The Dolphins have yet to announce their plans and who they could interview, but know this, per Matthew Cannata, owner Stephen Ross could “have something up his sleeve.”

At this point, everything is a speculation, but we’ll continue to dissect it as we see fit and who knows, this could just be Gase being fired and not Mike Tannenbaum or Chris Grier.

Maybe Gase was the problem and he must have pissed off Stephen Ross to the point of the team losing all confidence in their head coach.

Will Gase resurface elsewhere as a head coach?

In my opinion, he’ll get another shot.

His reputation as a QB guru is still intact if he can convince a GM and owner he can be innovative and win.

23-25 isn’t winning as a head coach in Miami. It’s a downward spiral.

The Dolphins made the right decision and now it’s time for them to select the candidate that will bring winning football to Miami.

Various reports: Rex Ryan could be a candidate if Miami Dolphins job opens up

Call it what you will.

Black Monday is upon us and it’s not normally my cup of tea to report and jump into the fray that is NFL rumors-we’re here now with the Miami Dolphins.

That’s for the die-hards and the Miami Cannatas of the world. Follow @CannataNFL for some good stuff happening or bad news if you feel that way.

Three years ago at this time, there was much uncertainty with Joe Philbin having been fired after a game versus the Jets in London over a series of issues not just being 1-3.

The Dolphins at the time looked listless and ready to end the season.

At the time, Stephen Ross got a little courage in him and fired Philbin before the midway point of the season and essentially moved on to Dan Campbell and when his Oklahoma drill and exciting practices didn’t excite the team, they still gathered enough strength and finished with an improbable win over New England.

Despite a great interview for the job, not Campbell, but Adam Gase won over owner Stephen Ross.

Gase was set to be the next best coach and his confidence and swagger was supposed to put the Dolphins on the map.

Gase went 10-6 in 2016 and the Dolphins were abruptly bounced by the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one of the playoffs and things looked calm with things looking up after Ryan Tannehill’s before injury performance and vast improvement.

However 2017 and 2018, two seasons (6-10 & 7-9) where things got stale and plenty of high-priced and ego driven talent was sent packing or simply traded away.

This season was one of the worst in team history despite the 7-9 record finishing 30th in defense and 30th in offense.

The Dolphins defense gave up nearly 7000 yards, a record, for a Dolphins season.

So at this point, the Dolphins aren’t shopping for a coach quite yet.

The dominoes are falling elsewhere with the Jets (fired Todd Bowles ) and Buccaneers (fired Dirk Koetter), and plenty more vacancies are going to come open.

However, if the Dolphins are to turn the corner have things gotten so bad that their owner who was rumored to be firing Mike Tannenbaum, actually had VP Tannenbaum and GM Chris Grier onboard his private jet after today’s game in Buffalo.

Reading the tea leaves, Ross is simply doing his due diligence and asking the tough questions before the elephant in the room is questioned: Adam Gase.

It’s Gase’s job to lose and he’s probably not showing much as his players have failed to vouch for him on (losing three straight to end the season) and off the field (puzzling interviews where the players admit faults all over the team, short of blaming coaches).

At this point, Rex Ryan’s name has emerged for the Dolphins job, if suddenly vacant, and quite possibly another NFL job should he leap from ESPN (Armando Salguero-Miami Herald).

Don’t be surprised if the Dolphins wait this out look for the pieces to fall into place and then make their move in a rare yet stealthy fashion.

Ryan Tannehill could’ve had his winning moment at home, but the Grinch (Jaguars) had other plans

Speechless. That’s probably the way that most Miami Dolphins fans lost after losing 17-7 to the 4-10 Jacksonville Jaguars.

Losing to the Jaguars was disheartening and disturbing, and most of all disappointing.

When Ryan Tannehill had his 3rd and long run for a first down in the 4th quarter down 10-7, we felt this was it. This would be the run that started the comeback and would at least put the Dolphins in position for an improbable playoff run.

On the next play, since the turf had come up, the play clock inexplicably was wound and the Dolphins had no time to get the playoff-1st and 15 with the delay of game penalty.

However, the NFL always has a way of making decent teams look badly and combined with Calais Campbell’s wrap up of Tannehill’s legs, linebacker Telvin Smith’s read and react, Tannehill flung a weak pass into the flat and right into Smith’s waiting arms for a pick 6.

Just when Tannehill’s comeback campaign of 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, the season was over in one flick of the wrist.

The Jaguars had stolen Christmas for the Dolphins.

Sadly, Tannehill’s legacy was also disrupted in one play.

The Dolphins will probably not bring back Tannehill next season and more changes could be on the way as the structure of Tannenbaum, Grier, and Gase isn’t bringing about positive results in the win column.

While there was a chance that Tannehill could’ve been the difference maker, this one play was a microcosm of Tannehill’s career in a nutshell.

Sadly, Ryan Tannehill just wasn’t the answer to the Dolphins woes for the past seven years.

Surely, Tannehill took a beating taking sack after sack and his mobility decreased after several significant injuries we knew of and the ones we didn’t.

If anything can be said about Tannehill, he was brave and strong to withstand the physical and mental toll of playing the quarterback position, but he just couldn’t lead the Dolphins to win consistently.

Never mind the 11-2 record at home with Gase as the head coach.

Never mind the big wins he lead the Dolphins to in the past.

For now, this legacy is on hold as Tannehill heads into his final game.

His final game, where jobs are on the line, it’s week 17 and the Dolphins’ Tannehill can end his tenure on a positive note in Buffalo.

The question still remains: Can Tannehill lead the Dolphins to one more final win?

Photo credit: ESPN

Reports by Jason La Canfora: Gase and Tannenbaum could be let go

This is not what every Dolphins fan dreams of come December.

The bitter turmoil in the tropics of Miami, Florida.

However, the Miami Dolphins are on the verge of a major shakeup once owner Stephen Ross decides the fate of both head coach Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum.

For one, the Dolphins have middled much of the Tannenbaum tenure with Gase-one playoff appearance and a failure to improve thereafter.

Gase while has shone brightly in some spots has failed to prepare the Dolphins week in and week out taking a stroke of luck or a miracle to get some critical wins down the stretch.

The Dolphins are 7-7 now and are 1-6 on the road this season and conversely 5-1 at home.

If Gase was tasked with “fixing Ryan Tannehill” he surely did so for a time until the offensive system in place unraveled and has never managed to recover.

The Dolphins this season have finished dead last in offense and in defense and are still 7-7, albeit luckily.

Surely the injury bug hit the Dolphins especially hard, but Adam Gase has found ways to add guys off the street to make a momentary difference, but has not been shown to be sustainable.

While Gase has largely had the most say of the 53 man roster, he’s gotten his way with every move and made every decision to let go of key talents last off season that have had fans questioning their own Dolphins jersey purchases.

Gase has treated the Dolphins roster like a Belichick would without the credibility of being a winning head coach.

More than anything, the Dolphins led by Tannenbaum failed to have a contingency plan in the event that Gase’s guy-Tannehill could not stay healthy.

It’s a shame really that the Dolphins season is on the brink and that Gase will end his first stint as a head coach in Buffalo-where the miracle with Andrew Franks game-tying 57 yard field goal happened and Jay Ajayi had a monster game-later that evening making the playoffs.

For one, the Dolphins brass will need to make changes and Stephen Ross has some tough decisions to make unless he’s already made them.

Gase cavando su propia tumba.

Tras la aplastante derrota sufrida por los Dolphins de Miami a manos de los Vikings de Minnesota 41-17. El cuerpo técnico de los Dolphins parece seguir enajenado de la realidad. La defensa de los Dolphins, que ha tenido actuaciones individuales sobresalientes como Xavien Howard, Kiko Alonso, Reshad Jones y Minkah Fitzpatrick, es sino la peor una de las peores. Pongamos en perspectiva que al entrar al juego del pasado domingo los Vikings en ofensiva eran el equipo numero treinta de la liga en el juego por tierra, en la carrera. El dirigente de los Vikings Mike Zimmer había, días antes, limpiado la casa despidiendo a su coordinador ofensivo ante la mediocridad ofensiva de su equipo. Zimmer había comentado que prefería un equipo que corriera más el balón. Por lo que no era secreto ni muy difícil pensar que esa tarde los Vikings tendrían más jugadas por tierra. Matt Burke coordinador defensivo de los Dolphins, se obstina en mantener una formula defensiva que no ha dado resultados por 14 juegos, y le permitió a uno de los peores equipos en la carrera la friolera de 220 yardas por tierra. Increíblemente durante la semana en una conferencia de prensa dijo que confía en su esquema defensivo y entiende que no debe hacer cambios en el mismo, dejando claro en sus comentarios, que para él, el problema de los Dolphins no es la defensa. Me arriesgo a decir que Burke debió haber sido despedido luego del 8vo juego, cuando todavía había tiempo suficiente para hacer cambios en la defensa para no permitir tantos puntos a los contrarios. Analicemos los números: los Dolphins han permitido un total de 5805 yardas, mientras la ofensiva ha producido solamente 4590, para negativo 1215 yardas. Han permitido 374 puntos, contra 295 que han producido. Además de haber permitido 30 puntos o mas en 6 ocasiones. Aun así, ante este patético cuadro de mediocridad defensiva Burke conserva su puesto de coordinador defensivo y la confianza del dirigente Adam Gase.
Tras la derrota del domingo hay escasas posibilidades de la clasificación ya que los Dolphins dependerán de lo que suceda en otros estadios. Vienen obligados a ganar sus últimos dos juegos de la temporada y sentarse a mirar la pizarra de resultados. En este momento el último espacio para el juego del comodín (wild card) lo controlan los Ravens de Baltimore con 8-6, le siguen de cerca los Colts de Indianápolis con 8-6, los Titans de Tennessee con 8-6 y los Dolphins con 7-7. Mientras en la división hay una posible opción que se concretaría si New England pierde frente a Búfalo y los Jets, mientras los Dolphins ganen sus últimos dos juegos en casa frente a Jacksonville y en la carretera frente a Búfalo. Todavía hay un 5% de probabilidad matemática de clasificación.
No hay mucho espacio para analizar el juego, ya que los Dolphins están obligados a ganar. Entre los datos que podrían observarse esta la situación de que podría ser el último juego en Miami para Cameron Wake, ya que se convierte en agente libre al culminar la temporada y para la próxima temporada tendría 37 años y su salario rondaría poco mas de 8 millones, por lo que está por verse si los Dolphins mantendrían en su roster a Wake. Hay muchas cosas en juego, no solo la permanencia de Wake, sino la de Danny Amendola, Ryan Tannehill y DeVante Parker entre otros.
Ha sido una temporada algo extraña. La cantidad de lesiones que han mermado a los Dolphins semana tras semana debe ser analizada para tratar de encontrar una explicación más allá de la mala suerte, el cuerpo de entrenadores físico debe ser escrutado concienzudamente para ver si ahí se consiguen explicaciones. El cuerpo técnico tendrá que pasar el cedazo de su dueño Stephen Ross, quien se rumora está listo para hacer rodar cabezas. Por el momento la mala administración del personal técnico me hace pensar que Gase está cavando su propia tumba. Cuando estadísticamente los números, en especial de la defensa son tan mediocres, debió hacer cambios. El esperar a ver si las cosas mejoraban domingo tras domingo sin ver resultados pesa en su contra. Solo queda ganar los últimos partidos y esperar a ver si se vuelve a repetir el milagro de Miami.

Is Adam Gase coaching in his final games for the Dolphins?

As we look back on the past three seasons, Adam Gase celebrating wins, mainly at home have been more of a common occurrence.

The Dolphins in the latter half of the Gase era have been woefully bad in 2018 going 1-6 on the road.

The Dolphins are now 7-7 after yet another road loss.

While the coaching position in Miami is tenuous at best with owner Stephen Ross still evaluating and not making a decision on his coach and front office, the Dolphins aren’t the same as the 2016 team who largely seemed unfazed in each and every matchup winning every game in November and losing two games in December to finish with a 10-6 record.

This Dolphin team who was picked to finish with 3 or 5 losses depending on the pre-season predictions, has seven wins with several players placed on IR.

So the question remains: should Adam Gase be the coach in 2019?

For one, the Dolphins have suffered setbacks greatly with injuries, but Gase has always been about a “next man up” mentality.

The Dolphins are constantly unraveling in the closing seconds and the only big and notable win has been Miami Miracle finish versus the Patriots two weeks ago.

As of now, the Dolphins have more wins by less than a touchdown than any team in the NFL.

It’s like they crave the big moments, but cave when they matter with both an offensive and defensive lapse with the special teams unit started to show wear.

And, these poor starts and poor performances beg the question that are greater than Ryan Tannehill who plays not to lose or is placed in a position that sets him up for failure.

So, is Gase safe?

Here are my thoughts and they are my own:

Adam Gase took the job knowing full-well he was going to have to “fix” Tannehill.

In my opinion, there wasn’t a ton to fix except for his awareness and deep ball.

Furthermore, Tannehill seemed to be rising in spite of his aggressiveness leading to interceptions.

Tannehill’s footwork before his ACL injury in 2016 was phenomenal in that he would step into his throws.

This season, Tannehill was supposed to take the next step with this offense with this offense and with Gase as the offensive genius.

A shoulder capsule injury as well as some general knee soreness has kept him from being the athletic Tannehill to a more immobile player who has regressed to the 2015 version of Tannehill lacking confidence and taking some bad sacks.

Is that Gase’s fault?

Yes. It’s his fault entirely because he failed to draft the QB and went with guys he knew-Brock Osweiler and David Fales.

However, Adam Gase, if the source’s account supplied by Matthew Cannata of the Phinsider shared via Twitter is correct, Gase pounded the table about a QB and wasn’t listened to.

This idea makes sense especially with Stephen Ross privately sharing he wanted a QB in round 1 instead of drafting defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Ross has been very very silent about his wishes, but he will soon speak and it won’t be prompted by an emotional decision as he has in the past with both Sparano and Philbin.

Then there has been the media’s flirtation with connecting Jim Harbaugh, the current head coach of Michigan and Steve Ross and the Dolphins.

It’s like Ross is the puppet master that lured Harbaugh to Michigan and could welcome him to Miami.

While anything is possible, here’s what I suggest:

Adam Gase comes back under these circumstances:

1. He agrees to handover the play calling duties to an OC such as Dowell Loggains.

2. He hires a superior Defensive coach: maybe bring back Vance Joseph if he’s fired by Denver? Vance might be better than current DC Matt Burke, but we’ll see.

3. He agrees to the hiring of a new GM and a new power structure- new football ops

If Gase can agree to these conditions, I say he stays and he probably earns the token extension to prove himself another year.

While Gase is a great locker room coach, perhaps too much of a players coach, but he’s had issues and personality conflicts with unsavory characters such as Jay Ajayi (Super Bowl champ with the Eagles), Jarvis Landry (has helped the Browns play winning football), Ndamukong Suh (big role with the LA Rams) and Mike Pouncey (going to the playoffs with the Chargers).

If the Dolphins lose the next two games, Gase is good as gone, but if the Dolphins fight, Ross will see he has a guy that’s willing to fight for his job and willing to do what it takes to continue as coach of the Miami Dolphins.

This much is known, Stephen Ross is the owner and he makes the final decision.

Photo Credit (Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins chances at playoffs fleeting after 41-17 painful loss to Vikings

47 yards passing.

Nine sacks given up with Ryan Tannehill on his back.

One 75 yard TD run.

One 57 yard interception return for a touchdown.

Final score, Vikings 41 Dolphins 17.

A lot of these statistical points really don’t paint the entire picture in this Dolphins loss, but the end result is more alarming than anything.

Just when the Dolphins bus pulled into US Bank stadium the Dolphins defense put the Vikings on top 21-0, in the first quarter.

Down 21-0 in the second quarter, defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick added to his already impressive rookie campaign, a pick-6 and celebrated by doing his own version of the “Skol” chant with defensive end Andre Branch and a few of his defensive teammates.

The play ignited the Dolphins defense to shut out the Vikings for nearly a quarter and vaulted the Dolphins offense to begin to turn the tide and possess the ball to end the second half and led to a second half opening TD run with rookie running back Kalen Ballage.

Ballage demonstrated his ability to run downhill and go untouched for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Ballage finished with 132 yards on the ground, the Dolphins lone bright spot offensively.

The rest is pretty much a failure of understanding the moment with the special teams unit allowing the Vikings a punt return for 60 yards after being down only 7, 24-17.

In all, nine sacks allowed, a pitiful passing game, and a horrible defensive effort.

The Dolphins this week can’t be worse or can they versus the Jaguars a team that has underachieved on so many levels.

As the Dolphins look to win at home versus the Jaguars, they need to be focusing on finishing the season strong at 9-7 and maybe give their coach, Adam Gase a chance to remain for one more year in Miami.

This next game, means more than any one game because the Dolphins are still alive for the playoffs, for now.

Photo credit (AP)

¿Después del milagro, qué?

Luego de la espectacular victoria el pasado domingo, cuando los Dolphins de Miami dejaron en el terreno a Tom Brady y compañía, el equipo viaja a Minnesota a enfrentar a los Vikings. Ningún cronista deportivo daba a los Dolphins para estar disputando un espacio en la post temporada. Únicamente el ex coach Tony Dungy en un momento comentó que no veía a los Dolphins tan mal como muchos lo analizaban. Dungy en ese momento expresó que Ryan Tannehill era un mariscal de campo (QB) capaz de guiar cualquier equipo a la post temporada. La crítica es indiscriminada en Miami en contra de Tannehill. ¿Pero realmente esos analistas han examinado los números de Tannehil durante la actual temporada? Si miramos los números detenidamente, encontraremos a un Tannehill metódico, dominante, estadísticamente entre los mejores cinco de la liga. Su ratio es de 105.7, sexto en la liga. Es tercero en la liga con una de anotación (TD) cada 8.1 pases. Su porcentaje de anotación contra intercepciones es el 5to mejor de la liga. Sus 8.01 yardas por intento es la novena mejor de la liga. Solo tres mariscales de campo le superan en el rating de pases Aaron Rodgers 103.4, Russell Wilson 100.5 y Drew Brees 97.8. Tannehill va detrás de ellos con 97.6 bajo la dirección de Adam Gase. Son números sobresalientes, de un jugador dominante. Si a esto le adicionamos que no ha tenido una línea ofensiva estable durante toda la temporada, teniendo que improvisar ofensivamente juego tras juego, Tannehill sin dudas es el dueño absoluto de la ofensiva Dolphin, y me atrevo a asegurar que de dejarlo libre los Dolphins al finalizar la temporada son varios los equipos que lo considerarían, incluido en ese grupo Los Patriots de New England, ya que Brady está por enganchar sus zapatillas.
Mañana en Minnesota Tannehill deberá seguir su juego metódico, tratando de sacar el máximo a sus opciones ofensivas. Para esto deberá combinar la explosión ofensiva de Kenny Stills y Danny Amendola como recibidores abiertos, con la fortaleza física de DeVante Parker. En la carrera tendrá la ayuda de un versátil cuerpo de corredores comandados por el veterano Frank Gore quien busca tener una temporada más de 1000 yardas, junto al escurridizo Kenyan Drake, quien será ayudado por Brandon Bolden, y para las jugadas sorpresas Kalen Ballage. Los alas cerradas (TE) no están viendo mucho el balón, ya que están siendo utilizados como bloqueadores para ayudar a la línea ofensiva en la protección de Tannehill.
Defensivamente Kiko Alonso deberá tener un ojo puesto en los corredores de los Vikings, ya que el nuevo cuerpo de dirigentes que estarán a cargo de correr la ofensiva gusta del juego por tierra. Por lo que me parece tanto Dalvin Cook, como Latavius Murray verán muchos toques de balón. La presión a Kirk Cousins será clave, por lo que veremos a Cameron Wake y Robert Quinn atacando por las esquinas. Cousins será más cauteloso en su juego bajo el nuevo coordinador ofensivo Kevin Stefanski, para no forzar ninguna pérdida de balón ante la defensa dolphin. Ante esta situación podríamos ver el uso en la ofensiva de los alas cerradas (TEs) de los Vikings, por lo que Reshad Jones y Minkah Fitzpatrick deberán prestar más atención a Kyle Rudolph. En los equipos especiales el juego de Matt Haack tiene que regresar, ya que el pasado domingo fue de pesadilla. Para que la defensa de los Dolphins pueda contener a Cousins y a los Vikings, Haack debe lograr que estos comiencen lo más lejos posible de su zona de anotación.
No será un juego fácil, ante un equipo herido en su orgullo y que también buscan mantenerse con vida. Por lo que los Dolphins deberán dar el tiempo suficiente a Tannehill para establecer su ofensiva. ¿Y después del milagro, que podríamos esperar? Una importante victoria de unos inspirados Dolphins.

Miami’s miracle win could be the key to turning this season into a dream season

Winning the division was unthinkable about a month ago at 4-5.

Winning and making the playoffs was unimaginable two weeks ago.

Beating the Patriots in improbable fashion was far from most fan’s vocabulary even though the odds were truly stacked and have been against the Patriots in Miami.

For what it’s worth, this was a gutsy performance by your hometown Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins with seven seconds and several palpitations of the heart were down to their final play.

No timeouts.

“Boise” the call by the captain-Ryan Tannehill the Dolphins quarterback, settling the huddle, and injecting the offense with confidence.

Never mind confidence, swagger.

How one play with three players and two pitches could cause such hysteria amongst a fan base that one: wanted Head coach Adam Gase gone for the likes of Jim Harbaugh and two wanted a bright shiny new QB for Draftmas.

It all changed on one play.

Boise. Dig route run by Kenny Stills who came back to the ball, pivoted and then pitched to DeVante Parker, Parker ran for 7-8 yards and pitched to Kenyan Drake.

Drake with a Michael Jordan like grip on the ball, holding it away from his body, began his departure from the 42 yard line, knifing around the defense, and springing off a killer and thunderous thud of a block by Ted Larsen.

Number 66 sprinted nearly 70 yards to make a block.

The block of his life and career, as a Dolphin.

I’ve said it again and again and I’ll say it one more time, the Dolphins are not a passing team. They are best when they run in space and they let their playmakers do the work.

The Dolphins are a team that’s strength is more toward power and Gase managed to fine tune his play calling to win ground game and outrush the Patriots who usually outrush their opponents in the latter half of the season.

In my studies of what Bill Belichick does well as a coach: based on the Education of a coach a profile on Belichick written by the late David Halberstam, he said he likes to run the ball to wear the defense down.

The Dolphins flipped the script with their running game and executed with precision, curbing the offensive penalties.

Frank Gore carried the load and shortened the down and distance.

Drake however is no different in terms of his potency as a runner.

Right now he’s playing unconscious.

It’s like Steph Curry throwing up a three with his head turned knowing the shot will fall.

Drake used his vision and then his instincts to drive a dagger into the Patriots season-34-33.

How does a team recover from that loss and pick up the pieces heading to Pittsburgh?

How do you like them division t-shirts Belichick?

The playoffs go through Miami. (A loose quotation from the late former head coach Tony Sparano).

For the Dolphins and their fans, they ain’t dead yet and it’s going to take a lot to wrestle this feeling of euphoria.

Photo credit: New York Times

Nada fácil derrotar a los Patriots.

Los Dolphins de Miami reciben la visita de los líderes divisionales Patriots de New England. Ambos equipo vienen de conseguir victorias en su última salida. La victoria en casa el pasado domingo frente a los Bills de Búfalo dejo más interrogantes que respuestas entre la afición de Miami. El mariscal de campo (QB) Josh Allen de los Bills hizo lo que quiso con la defensa de los Dolphins, y de no ser porque su ala cerrada Charles Clay dejo caer un pase en la zona de anotación con segundos por jugar hubiesen dejado a los Dolphins en el terreno de juego. Ahora tendrán que enfrentar en casa al más difícil rival de la división. Quienes han conseguido en el juego del corredor (RB) Sony Michel el complemento perfecto para el juego aéreo de su mariscal de campo (QB) deluxe Tom Brady. Luego de su usual arranque lento, Brady y los Patriots han enderezado su juego teniendo record de 9 ganados frente a solo 3 derrotas. Mientras que los Dolphins juegan para 6 ganados con igual número de derrotas, en una temporada plagada de lesiones e inconsistencias. Miami está en problemas ya que su principal arma defensiva Xavien Howard no podrá jugar. Kiko Alonso deberá encargarse de que Michel no produzca en la carrera. Mientras la presión en la línea frontal debe tratar de forzar a Brady a cometer errores; es la manera de tratar de conseguir la victoria, que la defensa funcione. Minkah Fitzpatrick deberá jugar fuera de su posición regular, mientras Reshad Jones tendrá que velar porque Brady no pueda atacar el medio campo. Un factor importante será el desempeño de los equipos especiales, comandados por Matt Hack quien tendrá a su cargo el mantener a los Patriots en una posición difícil al comenzar cada posesión de balón donde los Dolphins no puedan convertir en puntos.
Ofensivamente los Dolphins vienen obligados a establecer la carrera, Frank Gore junto a Kenyan Drake deben producir mucho más que las 56 yardas del primer choque entre ambos equipos. De no establecerse la carrera será una tarde difícil para Ryan Tannehill quien solo cuenta con Laremy Tunsil como protección solida en la línea ofensiva, ya que prácticamente la línea ofensiva ha sido distinta en cada uno de los juegos. Tunsil se ha convertido en uno de los mejores en su posición y no ha permitido una sola detención (sack) esta temporada. Tannehill tiene que lograr que tanto Kenny Stills, como DeVante Parker tengan el balón en sus manos cada vez que se escapen de la cobertura. Las alas cerradas de los Dolphins han estado ausentes de la ofensiva prácticamente toda la temporada, por lo que este juego será una gran oportunidad para que Mike Gesicki demuestre que su selección en el sorteo de novatos no fue un error de los Dolphins.
Los Dolphins se han convertido en un equipo difícil de derrotar en casa esta temporada. Aún jugando su peor football han logrado ganar y defender su casa. Además, en casa los Dolphins dominan a Brady y los Patriots en el balance de ganados y perdidos 9 a 8. Será una guerra divisional, la rivalidad que hace este juego uno interesante. Los Dolphins buscan mantener vivas las esperanzas de jugar en la post temporada, mientras que los Patriots buscan asegurar el título divisional. Será una tarde difícil, no es nada fácil derrotar a los Patriots, pero los Dolphins se las arreglarán para seguir luchando la clasificación.

En picada los Dolphins, explota el camerino.

Una semana difícil para Adam Gase, luego de no poder explicar claramente sus decisiones en el último cuarto frente a los Colts de Indianápolis, cuándo claramente dejó de confiar en su mariscal de campo (QB) Ryan Tannehill. Las preguntas no se hicieron esperar. Los Dolphins dejaron claro que no hay futuro garantizado para Tannehill más allá de lo que resta de temporada en la organización. Tannehill respondió diciendo que el futuro no era la principal preocupación, sino la clasificación inmediata a la post temporada. Además dijo que el hubiese querido el balón en sus manos en las últimas procesiones frente a los Colts. Lo que demuestra que la luna de miel entre Gase y Tannehill termino. Ya que es de todos conocidos la forma de funcionar de Gase cuándo un jugador expresa públicamente su sentir. Pero la situación no quedó aislada, la visita de Jordan Philips a la que hasta hace poco fuera su casa abonó a la controversia. Philips ha hablado “ hasta por los codos” dejando saber a los aficionados lo que ya no es secreto: si haces una expresión o un reclamo de participación al cuerpo técnico de los Dolphins, Gase te enviará a otro equipo.
En medio de todo esto una de las figuras claves de los Do!phins, el ala abierta (WR) Kenny Stills se hizo eco de Tannehill al reclamar los pocos pases que recibe por la forma en que se llaman las jugadas por parte de Gase. Dejando claro en su crítica “que yo no puedo pasarme el balón a mí mismo”. La situación parece salirse de control en el camerino, el temperamento de Gase y su forma de hablar con la prensa han levantado ronchas entre las figuras claves del equipo y en el peor momento de la temporada, ya que los Dolphins luchan por mantenerse con vida en la carrera por el juego del comodín (wild card).
Para el juego frente a los Bills de Búfalo será importante el juego de la carrera. Si Kenyan Drake y Frank Gore son neutralizados por Tremaine Edmunds y Matt Milano, quien está teniendo una temporada de ensueño, Gase tendrá sólo una opción: dejar el balón en las manos de Tannehill y ser agresivo a la hora de llamar las jugadas. Xavien Howard volverá a ser clave en su responsabilidad defensiva, ya que tendrá que marcar a Zay Jones, quien ha estado frío y caliente durante la temporada, pero sus últimas actuaciones han sido aceptables. Es un juego de rivalidad divisional, dónde las expresiones de Jordan Philips hacen que aumente la misma. Los Dolphins comienzan a caer en picada, su camerino explota. ¿Podrá Gase calmar la tormenta? ¿O será una temporada más de desaciertos? Por el momento los Dolphins lucen a la deriva y sin rumbo fijo. Gase sacó sus actitudes de la sala de prensa y las trasladó al camerino.

Dolphins falter on the road versus Colts 27-24

Early on, the Miami Dolphins appeared to have figured something out during their bye week.

In Ryan Tannehill’s first game since week 5 in Cincinnati, the Dolphins scored 3 touchdowns and seemed to change their fortunes with an opening drive score for a touchdown pass to Kenyan Drake.

In fact, by the Dolphins starting the game on a tear offensively, the Dolphins overall seemed they could do no wrong today.

Passes to Drake early (33 yard screen pass) and a 74 yard heave to Leonte Carroo for a TD-set the tone to grab the lead 14-7.

However, when one record (30 straight drives without an opening TD) was broken, another reared it’s ugly head-getting a road win in the Adam Gase era.

If one looks back at the last win on the road, it was at the Met Life Stadium and it was a 20-12 win over a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold of the Jets.

Looking way back, wasn’t it the win versus the Falcons late in the game and sealed by a Reshad Jones INT?

However, today, the air was different inside the often air-conditioned Lucas Oil Stadium and with the home crowd roaring, the Colts came to play.

The game had a fever pitch of a playoff game, being billed as two playoff contenders with identical records, but only one with team with a record of actually winning in the playoffs Andrew Luck.

Despite of all of Tannehill’s heroics, his balky knee showed up late in the game as he worked to get out of the pocket and make plays. Early on, he looked comfortable behind a patch work interior line and two tackles that could probably be considered for a Pro Bowl on another team.

Tannehill dazzled early going 12 for 15 with two touchdown passes and seemed to manage the game getting the Colts to jump offsides twice.

The second half however tied 14 to 14 seemed to be a tale of two quarters.

Tannehill’s final scoring drives: 10 points.

On the opposing sideline: Captain Andrew Luck, much like his moniker and persona on Twitter, swam with the Dolphin-men and managed to keep charging getting first down after first down.

It’s clear that GM Ballard of the Colts invested in trusty wideouts and played the short game with the Dolphins defense surrendering a 5 yard cushion, the Colts countered with speedy T.Y. Hilton.

Hilton may not have scored a bunch of touchdowns, but it’s in between the 20s where he did the most damage in yards after the catch and taking his 7 catches for 125 and turning upfield.

Good teams also have outlets-tight end Eric Ebron became the fantasy football darling two weeks ago and followed up that performance with another one: 5 catches for 45 yards and two red zone touchdowns.

The difference in the game was coaching and clock management.

On the coaching side, burning a timeout early in the third quarter on a drive that resulted in a field goal was just ugly. It’s also inexcusable. In hindsight, maybe the Colts make a FG with 34 seconds leaving the Dolphins time to come back. Maybe not.

In addition, another coaching mistake boils right down to the double block on the Dolphins kick return inside the 5 yard line.

With the penalty by Xavien Howard who arrived late and ended up knocking out Ebron after securing the catch, that was seemingly a ticky-tack call.

Nevertheless, the better team won.

The Colts won because they played the short game and executed when it mattered.

For Adam Gase and his task of leading the Miami Dolphins, questions will be asked, fingers will be pointed because you just can’t lose football games. Period.

Final numbers:

QB: Ryan Tannehill: 17/25, 205 yards passing, 2 TD

Frank Gore: 14 carries for 67 yards, 4.8 yards per carry

Kenyan Drake: 5 receptions, 64 yards, 1 TD rushing (14 yards) 1 TD receiving (33 yards).

Defense:

T.J. McDonald: 11 total tackles

Are Dolphins fans grateful for Ryan Tannehill?

This Thanksgiving, I’m appreciative of the Miami Dolphins and for Ryan Tannehill.  I mean why not? He’s the best thing to happen in Miami since Dan Marino.  Tannehill has shown moxy, toughness, and has squeaked out some wins every season that if it weren’t for him would be losses.

There is a certain aura about Tannehill’s play that screams-average, but so good with some game defining moments and since 2016, he’s 11-6, even though he’s missed 21 games including 5 games this season.

As the Miami Dolphins hit the home stretch, they sport an overall record of 5-5, have some all too familiar issues stopping the run defensively (ranked 30th), and have not shown they can be a potent offense on a consistent basis (ranked 28th) .

In the red zone TD efficiency  alone, according to team rankings, the Dolphins have a 40% redzone efficiency compared with 52.63% in 2017 and 55.10% in 2016 (Gase’s first season as coach).

Here comes Ryan Tannehill who presumably could suit up for the first time since week 5 at Cincinnati where he got hit too many times to count and the game turned when Laremy Tunsil left the game with a lower body injury and thrust Sam Young into the spotlight and on his back as Tannehill lay on the ground.

As the Dolphins hit this stretch of six winnable games, consider this, the Dolphins have a Jekyll and Hyde performance on the road versus home where the switch comes on for home games and for road games the proverbial switch turns off.

The Dolphins average 23.8 points in wins, the low being a 13-6 defensive win over the Jets whereas on the road the Dolphins are averaging 16 points in losses.  At home, they are clearly better and have proven that playing at Hard Rock is an advantage for them with the heat, the rainy weather conditions, and sometimes the playing surface helps them.

This season, the Dolphins have one home loss.  Just one. If the Dolphins had just home games through the first 10 weeks, they’d already be 9-1, but it doesn’t work that way in the NFL.

However, on the road has been a different story as the Dolphins have found ways to lose on the road four out of five times going 1-4.

As Ryan Tannehill gears up for his first start since week 5, consider this, under Adam Gase he’s 11-6.  With Tannehill at QB, the Miami Dolphins are seemingly a better team offensively, not to mention in the red zone as referenced above.  

Without Ryan Tannehill, Gase turned to Brock Osweiler who was good for keeping the Dolphins afloat, but going 2-3 with two exciting home wins versus the Bears and then the Jets, a game with no touchdowns offensively.  

Heading into this week, the Dolphins can’t seemingly do worse, but they can certainly do better versus the Indianapolis Colts, Tannehill has a 1-2 record against the Colts with a split on the road and painful, literally, home loss in his career.

For Adam Gase who is constantly battling his pundits who wish this to be his last season in favor of a more seasoned coach-maybe John Harbaugh, this could be one of those times that Dolphins fans have to see how the 5-5 record plays out the rest of the way to make a decision on whether they believe in the Gase era or are ready to blow the whole thing up.

This week the Dolphins have to demonstrate that they belong in the playoff conversation, with the odds against them (16 percent chance to make the playoffs) and their embattled signal caller ready for a dogfight, one he has won in the past, only this time, the season hangs in the balance and quite possibly his Dolphins legacy.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) takes off on a run against San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on November 27, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

¿Podrán sorprender los Dolphins a domicilio?

En la tarde de hoy los Dolphins de Miami visitan a los Packers de Green Bay en el estadio Lambeau. Algo que nadie hubiese pensado es que los Dolphins llegan con mejor record que los Packers, 5 ganados y 4 perdidos. Mientras que los Packers juegan para 3 ganados, 4 perdidos y un empate. Los Dolphins han reaccionado defensivamente luego de ver desaparecida su defensa tras su arranque de 3 ganados y 0 perdidos. La semana pasada no permitieron anotaciones (TDs) a los Jets de New York. Sin embargo, durante los pasados 6 juegos los Dolphins han permitido 28 puntos por juego, lo que debe ser una preocupación para el dirigente Adam Gase, ya que van a enfrentar al Aaron Rodgers de siempre, quien ha logrado 15 pases de anotación y tiene una sola intercepción en la primera parte de la temporada. Además los Dolphins como visitantes juegan para 1 y 3, comparado a los 3-0-1 de los Packers como locales. Estadísticamente ambos equipos lucen parejos, con números similares, tanto en ofensiva, como en defensa, la única diferencia es la producción de Rodgers, quien sigue siendo el mariscal de campo (QB) que domina la NFL. Aunque los Dolphins dominan la liga con 15 intercepciones, Rodgers ha sido interceptado en una sola ocasión. Dicha estadística no creo cause preocupación a Rodgers, quien se distingue por evitar las intercepciones. Sus principales blancos en la ofensiva deben ser Devante Adams y Jimmy Graham.
Los Dolphins vuelven con Brock Osweiler como su mariscal de campo (QB), quien la semana pasada fue prácticamente invisible frente a los Jets. Literalmente la defensa de los Dolphins ganó dicho juego, con tres intercepciones una de ellas buena para la anotación que decidió el juego. La maltrecha línea ofensiva de los Dolphins pudiera hoy tener que improvisar ya que están lastimados Ted Larsen, Laremy Tunsil y Ja’Wuan James. Para poder subsanar esta situación fue llamado a la alineación Isaac Asiata, quien podría ocupar la posición de Larsen, este podría estar acompañado de Jake Brendel, Zack Sterup. Dependiendo de quién quede inactivo de la línea a la hora de comenzar el juego también podría ser activado para la línea ofensiva Wesley Johnson. Las lesiones parecen ser una plaga en el camerino Dolphins, también tienen lastimado a su capitán defensivo Kiko Alonso, tras sufrir una torcedura de tobillo en una práctica. La ausencia de Alonso podría ser determinante en el resultado del juego. Es un juego sumamente difícil ya que Charles Harris volverá a estar fuera, lo que deja en manos de Cameron Wake y Robert Quinn toda la responsabilidad de presionar a Rodgers. Reshad Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick y Xavien Howard tendrán sus manos llenas si la presión frontal en la línea defensiva no se materializa.
Será una tarde fría en Lambeau con temperaturas rondando los 30 grados y alguna que otra lluvia. Los Dolphins tendrán que jugar casi perfecto para tener opciones al triunfo en la tarde de hoy. ¿Podrán los Dolphins una vez más anteponerse a la adversidad para superar el dolor y las lesiones? ¿Podrán sorprender los Dolphins a domicilio? Es algo que se le ha hecho difícil esta temporada, pero no es imposible. Ha llegado la hora de jugar y sorprender a todos en la NFL… Vamos Dolphins!!!!

Gase en medio de controversia.

La prensa de Miami ha comenzado a cuestionar el futuro del mariscal de campo (QB) de los Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill. Al comienzo de la semana en medio de una conferencia de prensa, Antwan Stanley preguntó sobre el futuro de Tannehill en Miami. A lo que Gase contestó que todavía Tannehill no ha llegado a su tope como jugador y que él estaba totalmente confiado en que Tannehill es el futuro de los Dolphins. Esto provocó la intervención de Armando Salguero, el reconocido periodista deportivo del Miami Herald, y quien lleva unos 15 años cubriendo a los Dolphins. Salguero le preguntó a Gase si las estadísticas y la producción de Tannehill esta temporada eran las de un mariscal de campo de futuro, quien tiene ya 30 años. Esto provocó la ira de Gase quien le aclaró a Salguero que durante los primeros tres juegos Tannehill había sido dominante y que jugar en New England no era fácil para ningún equipo en referencia a la aplastante derrota sufrida por los Dolphins en 4to juego de la temporada. Luego y acto seguido le dijo a la prensa, en clara referencia a Salguero, que él no podía entrar a explicar situaciones de juego con la prensa, ya que ellos, la prensa, no tenían conocimiento alguno sobre lo que es el football y mucho menos identificar el trabajo de un mariscal de campo (QB). Esto ha resultado en múltiples ataques a Gase por sus comentarios tratando de implicar que la prensa de Miami no conoce de football , y ha puesto a Tannehill en tela de juicio por su baja producción durante sus años en Miami y su durabilidad durante las últimas tres temporadas donde perdió 4 juegos en el 2016, toda la temporada en el 2017 y 4 en la temporada actual. Quiero aclarar, desde mi punto de vista, que no hay que ser un dirigente de la NFL para saber si determinado equipo o jugador están siendo productivos. La realidad en este momento es que Tannehill no es opción para los Dolphins ya que, tanto su rodilla, como su hombro de lanzar lo mantienen lejos de su condición de juego y son una interrogante, aunque Gase deja ver entre sus comentarios que es el único responsable de la debacle de Tannehill, ya que este ha estado siguiendo sus instrucciones al pie de la letra. Pero el barómetro más sencillo para medir la producción de Tannehill son victorias contra derrotas. Desde que Tannehill llegó a Miami los Dolphins solo han clasificado una vez a la post temporada estando éste lesionado. Para que Gase logre cambiar la percepción, no solo de la prensa, sino de los dolfans, los Dolphins deben clasificar a la post temporada guiados de la mano de Tannehill. Pero no hay fecha específica para el regreso de Tannehill esta temporada.
Para el juego de esta tarde en casa, los Dolphins irán una vez más totalmente incompletos. Adicional a los ya incluidos en la lista de reservas inactivas por lesión, estarán fuera Tannehill, Charles Harris y Cordrea Tankersley. Además A.J.Derby, Kenny Stills y Xavien Howard podrían también quedar fuera del roster para hoy contra los Jets. Ambos equipos viene cayendo en picada. Los Jets han tenido un Sam Darnold inconsistente, quien solamente pasó para 120 yardas el pasado domingo frente a los Bears de Chicago. Al igual que los Dolphins, los Jets tiene un cuerpo de recibidores abiertos totalmente desmantelado. Su juego en la carrera, algo que los Dolphin han confrontado problemas en controlar, se ha visto desaparecer a medida que avanza la temporada. Isaiah Crowell quien comenzó teniendo una gran temporada ha estado ausente de las estadísticas en los últimos juegos. Todas estas situaciones podrían ser aprovechadas por los Dolphins. Cameron Wake y Robert Quinn necesitan ayuda en el frente defensivo, no solo para defender la carrera, sino para atacar la casi inexistente línea ofensiva de los Jets y poner presión a Darnold. Defensivamente los Dolphins tienen que encontrar la forma de detener la carrera y mantener la cobertura en la defensa trasera. Para eso deben considerar mantener al novato Minkah Fitzpatrick todo el tiempo en el terreno, dejarlo jugar bastantes jugadas en su posición natural. De lado ofensivo los Dolphins deben utilizar más a menudo su ala abierta (TE) Mike Gesicki. Para esto podrían utilizar dos alas abiertas (TE) en combinación con dos corredores (RB) donde Kenyan Drake salga como recibidor abierto, Nick O’Leary como bloqueador en la carrera y Frank Gore como corredor. Este tipo de combinaciones crearían confusión constante en la defensa de los Jets y darían más opciones ofensivas a Brock Osweiler y los recibidores abiertos Dolphins DeVante Parker, Danny Amendola y Jakeem Grant.
Son dos equipos parecidos en relación a la situación que atraviesan actualmente, ambos equipos plagados de lesiones. El encontronazo con la prensa ha puesto a Gase en medio de la controversia. Este tipo de distracción podría quitar el enfoque de los Dolphins en el juego hoy, sin olvidarnos que Mike Burke el coordinador defensivo ha estado bajo fuego durante los últimos juegos por el pobre desempeño de la defensa. ¿Podrán recuperar los Dolphins la ruta ganadora? ¿Habrá despidos en el cuerpo técnico de los Dolphins si el resultado es adverso? Llegó la hora de jugar, a dejar las controversias a un lado, buscar la victoria contra un rival de la misma división. Los Jets en este momento son un rival manejable, no hay espacio para una derrota en casa.

Lastimados como nunca antes.

Luego de mucha búsqueda e investigación con seguridad puedo decir que nunca antes había habido un equipo con tantas lesiones en la NFL como los Dolphins de Miami. De hecho el número de lesiones es tal, que ya supera las lesiones de varios equipos en toda la temporada pasada. Sin embargo, todavía los Dolphins no han jugado media temporada. Para buscar algo que pueda arrojarnos luz fui varios años atrás. Llego hasta el 2014 donde el director de entrenadores atléticos de los Dolphins, Kevin O’Neill, fue reconocido como el mejor de la liga. En 2014 los Dolphins fueron reconocidos como el equipo con menos lesiones de la NFL. O’Neill fue despedido durante esa temporada por el escándalo de bulín en que se vieron envueltos los Dolphins. En el 2015 los Dolphin contratan a Ryan Grove como director de entrenadores atléticos y a su vez contratan como director de rendimiento deportivo a Wayne Diesel quien venía de trabajar con el Tottenham de la Premier League de futbol, y con los Spurs de San Antonio en el NBA. Diesel contrata a los Laboratorios Kitman para trabajar en conjunto en prevenir lesiones. Grove el director de entrenadores es despedido al momento de la segunda lesión de Tannehill y es sustituido por Kyle Johnston, tras los Dolphins caer de ser el equipo con menos lesiones en 2014, al de más lesiones en 2015. Laboratorios Kitman y Diesel usan la tecnología para hacer mediciones térmicas de los movimientos de los jugadores utilizando marcadores reflectivos en los uniformes, creando un tipo de MRI para identificar atletas en riesgo de lesión o haciendo movimientos incorrectos durante los entrenamientos. Dicho sistema es similar al utilizado por Electronics Arts para diseñar la franquicia de juegos Madden. Se le entrega un informe detallado a los entrenadores y dirigentes al finalizar cada entrenamiento. De ahí se parte a la prevención y trabajo físico, de detectarse anomalía alguna. Los Dolphins son el primer equipo de la NFL en utilizar dicho sistema, que fue diseñado para jugadores de rugby. Lo interesante es que se trae a una persona con experiencia en baloncesto y futbol, deportes que en nada se asemejan al football americano y que la carga de entrenamiento es totalmente distinta. Cabe señalar que casualmente tras la salida de O’Neil en 2014, y la implantación de esta tecnología los Dolphins son unos de los equipos con más lesiones de la liga. Lo único científico para reafirmar esta observación que puedo mencionar es que los tres deportes no son similares y que aunque funcionó en el rugby y futbol, parecería que está teniendo problemas en adaptarlo al football americano. Las lesiones se siguen sumando, para el juego de hoy los Dolphins irán sin dos de sus principales armas ofensivas los recibidores abiertos (WRs) Albert Wilson y Kenny Stills, además la posibilidad de que las alas abiertas (TEs) Mike Gesicki y A.J. Derby tampoco puedan jugar. Dicho esto analicemos el juego de hoy.
Debemos comenzar diciendo que los Texan de Houston tienen una línea defensiva mediocre, en especial sus tacles, por lo que hoy debe ser una noche donde veamos muchas jugadas donde la presión de Robert Quinn y Cameron Wake hagan que el mariscal de campo (QB) DeShaun Jackson sea inconsistente dando espacio a Xavien Howard Reshad Jones para detener la ofensiva por aire, de lo contrario De Andre Hopkins podría adueñarse de la noche y destruir la defensa sagüera de los Dolphins.
En la ofensiva la velocidad de Kenyan Drake en la carrera podría ser decisiva, ya que las combinaciones de recibidores de los Dolphins deberán incluir mucho a los alas abiertas ya sea en bloqueos o capturando pases intermedios y largos, ya que la defensa de los Texans ha sido duramente castigada de esa madera esta temporada. Tanto Ja’Wuan James y Laremy Tunsil serán claves en la línea frontal ya que enfrentarán una defensa que han ocasionado 10 pérdidas de balón (fumbles) y 19 detenciones (sacks), la cual es dirigida por J.J. Watts y Jadeveon Clowney.
Son dos equipos muy parecidos estadísticamente. Con las mismas metas definir un mariscal de campo que los guie a la post temporada y lograr un balance ofensivo. Los Dolphins buscan cerrar la primera mitad de la temporada con record ganador, pero llegan a Houston lastimados como nunca antes.

Dolphins fail to get defensive and lose 32-21 to the Lions

Just when the Miami Dolphins were set to rally and go on a resurgence tour in the middle of their season, the Detroit Lions came to town prepared to spoil their plans of winning two in a row.

The Lions came to play and came to play they did to the tune of 248 yards rushing, one punt, two fumbles, but none lost.

Matthew Stafford threw for 2 touchdowns and only 217 yards.  The Dolphins couldn’t stop Golden Tate and the Lions run game.

Surely the Lions offense showed the potency of the old New England teams with Matt Patricia (former New England DC) at the helm in Detroit, their game plan was simple, run up the gut and wear down the Dolphins main weakness defensively-their linebackers.  Attack Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillan and wear down Kiko Alonso.

Defensively, shut down the Dolphins futile attempts to build offensive continuity by pressuring Brock Osweiler, shutting down the run game and pressing the Dolphins receivers jamming them up at the line.

As the game continued to unfold, it was the Dolphins defenders who slipped off of would-be tackles and the likes of Kerryon Johnson and LaGarrette Blount blew through arm-tackle after arm-tackle.

It was the first time this season, other than the game at New England that the Dolphins defense looked a step slower and old.

The seemingly balanced run attack crushed the will of the Dolphins defense and it will be interesting if and how they bounce back.

While the Dolphins have succumbed to several injuries on the offensive line, the defensive line in recent weeks has started to break down.

Continue reading “Dolphins fail to get defensive and lose 32-21 to the Lions”

Obligados a ganar Gase y Tannehill.

Luego del desmoronamiento ofensivo de los Dolphins de Miami el pasado domingo, ha vuelto a renacer el debate de la decisión de Adam Gase de no seleccionar un mariscal de campo (QB) en el pasado sorteo de novatos. Manteniendo así su respaldo a Ryan Tannehill como abridor de los Dolphins, luego de mantenerse inactivo por más de un año tras una seria lesión en su rodilla. Luego de tres victorias, parecía que los Dolphins sacarían del liderato de la división a Tom Brady y los Patriots de New England. Pero ese domingo en New England, Tannehill al comando de la ofensiva tuvo un juego para olvidar. Tuvo solo 11 pases en 20 intentos con solo 55% de conversiones, ninguna anotación e una intercepción. Luego el pasado domingo en Cincinnati, toda parecía salir “a pedir de boca” los Dolphins mantenían una solida ventaja al comenzar el último cuarto de 17-3, pero en una posesión de 3ro y 2 yardas, cuando la carrera Dolphin comenzaba a dejarse sentir, Gase decidió ir por el aire, la línea ofensiva colapso, el pase no pudo ser alcanzado por Albert Wilson (WR). En la jugada Laremy Tunsil abandono el juego por una contusión siendo sustituido por Sam Young, quien no pudo hacer nada para proteger a Tannehill y las próximas posesiones fueron dos intercepciones y una pérdida de balón forzada (fumble) , suficientes para derrotar a unos desgastados Dolphins.
La situación no fue del todo negativa, la defensa Dolphin ha seguido siendo dominante. Reshad Jones, Kiko Alonso, Robert Qinn y el novato Minkah Fitzpatrick junto Jerome Baker dejaron la ofensiva de los Bengals en una sola anotación y solo 13 puntos, estos venían con un promedio de 31.5 puntos anotados en la zona roja, bueno para el cuarto lugar en NFL en anotaciones. Semana tras semana la defensa ha ido subiendo su nivel de juego al punto de tener 10 intercepciones en 5 juegos.
Para la tarde de hoy los Dolphins reciben en casa a quizás la línea defensiva más temible de la liga, los Bears de Chicago. Quienes tras la llegada de Khalil Mack han dado un giro defensivo a su temporada. ¿Cómo reaccionara la protección de los Dolphins ante los siete frontales defensivos de los Bears? Ya que la línea frontal de los Dolphins ha sufrido la salida de sus abridores Josh Sitton y Daniel Kilgore, sumada la contusion de Tunsil, mas la posible ausencia de Tannehill por una lesión en su hombro de lanzar hacen la tarde una difícil para los Dolphins. Es un juego que puede ser ganable en la medida que la ofensiva Dolphin se mantenga en el terreno y produzca puntos, ya que de esa manera la defensa de los Dolphins podría cerrar fuerte el partido y obligar al mariscal de campo (QB) Michell Trubisky a cometer errores. Trubisky ha cometido tres pérdidas de balón(fumbles) y ha sido interceptado en tres ocasiones, algo que podría ser aprovechado por los Dolphins para conseguir la victoria. Ademas de la posible ausencia de Tannehill, estarán fuera en la tarde de hoy Cameron Wake y Bobby McCain sumándose estos a la larga lista de lesiones de los Dolphins. Pero no hay tiempo para lamentos hay que salir a jugar, estamos en plena temporada y los Dolphins de Adam Gase y Ryan Tannehill están obligados a ganar. Lo contrario abonaría a la presión mediática en contra de ambos.

There’s a strong chance we see Osweiler start in Miami versus Bears today

This story was first reported by Dolphin Maven and Five Reasons Sports’ Ethan Skolnick.

Let’s make that clear and it even more clear that Chris Koufmann (3 yards per carry) came up with the diagnosis that Tannehill had suffered the injury to the AC Joint versus the Raiders.

What does it mean if Tannehill doesn’t start?

For one, he gets rested for the rest of the season and he doesn’t have to suffer nary a sack from Khalil Mack on that throwing shoulder.

If Brock starts, which it’s looking like it could happen, he can feature an intangible that the Dolphins have in their quarterback room, one who has a higher percentage (.519 versus .488) and history of winning a big game in a must win to salvage the season-ie-keep pace with New England. Not to mention, Osweiler prepared as the backup for the Broncos Super Bowl run and has a ring to show off.

At least with a potential Brock start, Gase can do a few more things an unhealthy Tannehill can’t do: roll out, feature a little more misdirection, and give a totally different look to the offense.

With DeVante Parker starting or at least playing today as reported by Joe Schad (Palm Beach Post) that could be a big win for the offense in the red zone which has lacked big plays.

Either way, the Dolphins have to play tough, they need to show their fans they are still alive in this race to the playoffs, and believe me when I say this-winning this game makes everything that much better in Miami.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper USA Today Sports (The Phinsider)

Will Ryan Tannehill ever be great again?

The Miami Dolphins are 3-2 in the five games of the 2018 season and Ryan Tannehill’s future is in question with the Dolphins.

This is more than the usual Dolphins Twitter rants on Monday through Friday, because every Saturday brings hope on Instagram with the Dolphins travel itinerary in plain-view and Sunday brings enjoyment for a few big plays and maybe a victory formation or last second defensive stop.

The blood is in the water and the Miami media is the predator that lurks in the water with the rumor mill swirling of Tannehill’s future.

However, Ryan Tannehill is no longer labeled as the franchise quarterback, but the quarterback who keeps the Dolphins from winning again.

If the slogan is Make the Dolphins Great Again, some fans wonder when Ryan Tannehill will be Great Again.

Tannehill needs to bounce back in order to show that he himself is more than a starter on the Dolphins, but a viable option in free agency, which is at this point nearly inevitable.

With his cap number nearing 26 million next season, you can bet the Dolphins will hit the reset button and cut their losses for the QB who couldn’t get the team winning consistently.

Tannehill needs to get his swagger back from 2016 and make plays with his arm and his head-for most Tannehill critics, less is more as in yards and trying to do too much.

For Tannehill, think of him as a catalyst to winning football games, not the direct reason.

Celebrate those handoffs, the pitches, the runs with the ball secured to his body as he fights for yards and then slides.

For Tannehill, teams have to love his versatility and athleticism.

Tannehill needs to show the rest of the NFL he can play at a high level and he has 11 games to do so.

The Miami Dolphins, who have proven they cannot play meaningful football without Tannehill if 2017 is evidence, the Dolphins have shown they certainly don’t know how to win with him on the road.

For every somber with his head down press conference by Adam Gase when the Tannehill question comes up, it’s becoming even more clear, Adam Gase is struggling to find answers when Tannehill has just given the Bengals-Who are a good team, but not great-two turnovers leading to points and the difference in the game.

We’ve seen Tannehill struggle, but not nearly this badly since his rookie year-by struggle I mean he isn’t taking over a game and seemingly doing what a franchise QB ought to do, use that arm of his to lead the team to wins and big wins.

In each and every game, Tannehill has executed in stretches this season and I would liken his consistency to that of a baseball player who hits for several games and is labeled streaky.

With these winning streaks come some peaks and valleys, but only Tannehill can pull himself out of this rut.

What’s more, this truly isn’t about this 2018 season and coming back from injury, it’s about his future.

Think of 2018 as an audition for the NFL teams that need QBs next year.

To recap Tannehill’s tenure in Miami:

Tannehill was in the right place at the right time in college, he chose Texas A&M and Mike Sherman.

Consequently, Mike Sherman was hired to run the offense for the Dolphins after being fired by Texas A&M for the dynamic offense of Kevin Sumlin.

Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland then drafted Tannehill where his attendance at camp was that he was not their until language in his contract was fixed, but he came in on his own volition-football meant something to him.

Tannehill was named the starter after David Garrard slipped and fell hurting his knee in and around his swimming pool.

Some pundits claim he didn’t earn his spot, but was rewarded the starting job instead of Matt Moore, the fan favorite at the time.

The rest is history, no matter how memorable or forgettable his career has been, Tannehill has shared the good and the bad as well as the plain ol’ ugly on Sundays and some Mondays with us as fans.

We know by now that Tannehill is a smart QB. He knows exactly where he needs to improve. We know how unflappable he can be, but sometimes, he has shown to seem nonchalant about some of his blunders on the field such as the pass off of Durham Smyth’s helmet into the waiting hands of Michael Johnson being no different than his 30 yard scamper through the Saints defense only to fumble while sliding and on Monday Night football in 2013. Both plays proved pivotal in the outcome of both games-a chance to stay ahead of the Patriots.

However, his leadership is in question and losses on the road, seemingly winnable, mount and they persist.

Falling on his proverbial sword and having the wherewithal to either not take a sack or just chuck it away is unacceptable.

Saying essentially that the poor pass and awareness falls on him when it truly does speaks volumes, it shows weakness if all he has is, just himself trying to win at a game that has seemingly determined his fate and his football career.

Saying a few “my bads” it won’t work in the long run.

As the season persists, ask yourself as a fan, what is acceptable to you as a Dolphins fan?

Do you want to win and just get into the playoffs or feel the confetti of winning a Super Bowl and see it with your own eyes?

Such is the journey of the avid Dolphins fan, we’re either in pain or elated.

(Photo credit: Las Vegas Review Journal)

En Aprietos los Dolphins.

  La pasada semana los Dolphins de Miami fueron de lo sublime a lo ridículo. Dejaron pasar una oportunidad de despegarse de sus rivales los Patriots de New England. El resultado lo dice todo, 38 a 7 en favor de los Patriots. Todas las áreas del juego luego del primer cuarto se vieron afectadas. Para poder analizar dicho juego y lo que podríamos esperar en Cincinnati, debemos separar el juego en New England por cuartos, antes de ver el resultado final. Dicho primer cuarto terminó 3-0 a favor de los Patriots, y finalizando el mismo fue que apareció el goal de campo que les dio la ventaja, no sin antes la defensa de los Dolphins detener a Tom Brady a solo dos yardas de anotar. La ofensiva de los Dolphins no fluía, la carrera era invisible, tanto Kenyan Drake como Frank Gore no encontraban los espacios que debía crear la línea ofensiva. El centro Daniel Kilgore mas adelante abandonaría el juego por una lesión, esto traería a juego a Travis Swanson creando un desbalance ofensivo que obligaría a los Dolphins y su mariscal de campo (QB) Ryan Tannehill a ir la mayoría del tiempo por aire. Abandonando el juego de la carrera para fácilmente ser detenido por una defensa en formación diez (dime formation) que marcaba hombre a hombre a los recibidores abiertos (WRs) de los Dolphin permitiendo muy pocas libertades a la ofensiva. Llevando a los Dolphins a una debacle en el segundo cuarto del juego donde permitieron 21 puntos, suficientes para definir el resultado del juego. Terminando la primera mitad del juego con un marcador definitivo de 24 a 0 a favor de los locales.
De la derrota no todo es negativo, hay situaciones de juego positivas. Debo recalcar la temporada que está teniendo Kiko Alonso quien se mantiene segundo en paradas (tackles) con cerca de 12 por juego, y junto a él, el novato Minkah Fitzpatrick, quien también se mantiene segundo en el por ciento de pases más bajo contra su defensa. Ambos literalmente están en todas las jugadas defensivas, corriendo el campo de un lado para otro a una velocidad relampagueante.
La ofensiva no las tuvo consigo. Tannehill tuvo uno de sus peores juegos en su carrera y terminó en la banca luego de una intercepción, en un pase que se quedó corto donde trató de alcanzar a Albert Wilson quien no tuvo la mas mínima oportunidad de capturar dicho pase entre dos defensores, ya que se vió obligado a ajustar su velocidad. La forma en que se llamó el juego por parte de Adam Gase dejó mucho que desear. La línea ofensiva salió totalmente destruida del juego, Kilgore por lesión, Ja’Wuan James y Laremy Tunsil lucieron totalmente perdidos fallando sus asignaciones lo que permitía a la defensa de los Patriots acosar en todas las posesiones a Tannehill y deteniendo con facilidad el juego por tierra. En fin una bochornosa debacle que abrió nuevamente el debate de si realmente los Dolphins pueden competir con los mejores equipo de la NFL.
Para el juego en Cincinnati las cosas se ven difíciles ya que las lesiones en estas últimas dos semanas parece que le echarán más sombras al juego de los Dolphins. Estarán fuera el ala cerrada A.J. Derby y será sustituido por Nick O’Leary, además el esquina trasera (CB) Bobby McCain, a ellos parece que se unirá el ala defensiva Cameron Wake quien no ha practicado en toda la semana. Otros que su participación está en duda son del lado defensivo Andre Branch, Chase Allen, Stephone Anthony, Reshad Jones, T.J. McDonald y del lado ofensivo podrían estar fuera el corredor Brandon Bolden y el recibidor abierto DeVante Parker. Además están fuera por el resto de temporada Josh Sitton, Daniel Kilgore y William Hayes. Así los Dolphins viajan a Cincinnati a enfrentar a unos Bengals que lucen poderosos comandados por Andy Dalton y A.J. Green. Los Bengals poseen el mejor promedio de anotación en la zona roja de la liga con 84.6%, anotando en las todas las ocasiones que allí han llegado. Lo cual es preocupante ya que sin Wake y Branch en uniforme mañana Dalton no tendrá tanta presión en la línea ofensiva, teniendo solo que preocuparse de Robert Quinn, el cual lo más seguro será doblado la mayoría del tiempo para afectar la defensiva de los Dolphins. Las lesiones y un juego bochornoso en New England han puesto a los Dolphins en aprietos. ¿Podrá Gase sacarlos del hoyo físico y mental que han caído? ¿Podrá Ryan Tannehill recomponerse de su peor juego? ¿Podrá Kenyan Drake encontrar su juego en la carrera? Son demasiadas interrogantes para un solo juego. Esperemos que todas se puedan contestar y el lunes los Dolphins sigan al tope de la división.

If Ryan Tannehill can’t lead the Dolphins this season, let’s find a QB who can in the future

Over the course of my 30 years or so of Dolphins fandom, I’ve come to realize how fleeting the moments of each season can be.

As I harken back several years, I can remember Dan Marino strolling out of a tunnel leading to the field and firing passes all over the field that only his receivers could grab and how those moments felt…magical.

Specific moments like in 1991 when down at home against the Chiefs, driving deep in the red zone he fired a pass back shoulder to Mark Clayton as Clayton spun left and sprinted past the defender into the end zone.

The Dolphins won that day if not for a missed 45 yard FG by Nick Lowery. I’m sure the Chiefs fans, the ones who remember, will never forget that moment.

Of course, the Bills rivalry was alive and well and the only things the Dolphins could do with Marino in the sunshine and warmth of south Florida or the cold of Buffalo and Rich Stadium at the time, heck they cowered in defeat, too little and too late.

Enter Ryan Tannehill, drafted in the first round and the first QB taken in round one by the Dolphins since Dan Marino.

Tannehill came in with pride, confidence, and some deer in the headlights type of moments-tipped passes at the line, locked onto receivers etc.

Surely, his debut with only one good target-Brian Hartline as a receiver, and Reggie Bush as another safety net, Tannehill trudged through 2012 with a 12 touchdown to 14 interception performance.

However, Tannehill in year one was a player who had some good traits-toughness, moxie, preparedness, and destined for some big wins.

Tannehill flourished in year three under Bill Lazor initially and most of all, he managed to lead the team to some bigger wins, but couldn’t sustain the Dolphins offensively nor successfully.

The problem is, Tannehill has never been good at avoiding the pressure or the sack.

While plenty of sacks can be blamed on the offensive lines, dismal, distressed, and overworked; Tannehill has never been able to escape the pocket.

While Russell Wilson could’ve been had in the 2012 draft, the Dolphins thought there was more upside by the Philbin regime, one coupled with Mike Sherman (a friend of Philbin’s) and his cronies. Sherman’s approach with Tannehill from afar seemed as though he needed kid gloves to limit the growth and slow feed Tannehill information-read and react instead of scanning through multiple progressions and most of all it seemed as though Tannehill was unable to audible and lacked that focus.

Tannehill’s athleticism is the first thing you would see in highlight reels-stop Tannehill from running, you win.

Make Tannehill pass 40 times a game, you win.

Coax Tannehill to force passes? Another win for the defense.

In fact, the teams that had the most success against Tannehill-the Patriots (in New England), the Jets early on, the 49ers (disguising coverages) in their first meeting, the Titans, the Bills, and the list goes on and on.

Tannehill as a 6th year quarterback is not Andy Dalton in terms of success in getting to the playoffs.

Tannehill has never been to the playoffs, but he’s come close to playing after being injured versus the Cardinals in 2016, a dream season for him statistically as he was headed for nearly 30 TDs which would’ve been a first for him, but commonplace for most NFL QBs.

While wins could be considered in determining whether a quarterback is elite, Tannehill has wins and until last week at New England, he had won 10 of 11 games.

While touchdowns are a given with the pass heavy NFL- Tannehill has amassed some consistency closing in on a third season with 23 or more TDs-something unattainable by Jay Fiedler and Chad Pennington.

Except, 23 TDs or more doesn’t equal playoffs but consistent execution on 3rd down does-ask the following teams who do lead in this category, in fact check out how quarterback Drew Brees who has led New Orleans in this category 4 times since 2012-how he does it and continues to execute on 3rd down.

When a quarterback can consistently extend plays or the more the QB can extend plays, he gives the team a chance to win-I think Ben Roethlisberger takes the cake in this category and his receivers consistently break off of their routes and find the ball.

Aaron Rodgers does it.

Russell Wilson does it.

Tannehill can’t do it all the time-he’s been sacked 221 times in his career (pro football reference).

221 times and counting.

Tom Brady has been sacked 458 times, but in 19 seasons or 24 sacks per season.

Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 375 times in 14 seasons-26.7 sacks per season.

After six seasons (2012,2013,2014,2015,2016, part of 2018) Tannehill has been sacked more times than Brady (181) and Rodgers (124) combined, in his first 6 seasons.

What’s more, Tom Brady, by far the most elite QB in today’s NFL, has a 1.8% interception percentage versus Tannehill who into his 6th season has a 2.5 interception percentage.

When we continue to debate on Tannehill we cite a funny thing called completion percentage or the intangibles: leadership, toughness, and pride.

As my compadre Paul G. Radio has often mentione on Twitter-Dolphins fans who love Tannehill “cherry pick” statistics that will back up anything and refute anything ever said negatively about the quarterback.

As much as we all can appreciate Tannehill, we are either in denial or just remain waiting to see how this season will develop further.

I can’t see the future.

I’m a blind-a** fan every Monday when I hear The Big O show on WQAM and the Dolphins offense is not sustainable and I celebrate a big win by the Dolphins as I do every time they win-or at least I used to.

With all that being said, should the Dolphins look to replace Ryan Tannehill?

If 3rd down efficiency is any indicator of winning-look at the college quarterbacks leading this category-UCF, Alabama, and NC State.

Think Tua, think Milton, think Will Grier.

Start there if the analytics say to.

Except Tannehill is one heck of a QB, why do I even doubt him?

Watch him throw for 4 touchdowns this week in Cincinnati -win and maybe the debate can be either put to a test another day or next week on Monday when we’re left searching for those fleeting moments of yesteryear and Dolphins improbable wins.

*All stats cited from ProFootball-Reference.com

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post

Ha llegado el momento cumbre de la temporada.

El domingo los Miami Dolphins llegan al estadio Gillete de New England a defender su invicto. El juego cobra relevancia ya que los locales y su mariscal de campo (QB) deluxe, Tom Brady y su equipo no la están pasando bien en el arranque de la temporada habiendo perdido juegos consecutivos frente a los Jaguars de Jacksonville y los Lions de Detroit. Aunque los Dolphins vienen diezmados por lesiones en su línea defensiva, ya que William Hayes estará fuera por el resto de la temporada, y Andre Branch todavía estará fuera un par de semanas más. Dicha situación más que afectar a los Dolphins ha levantado una bandera roja en la ofensiva de los Patriots, ya que los Dolphins han usado sus estelares cazamariscales Robert Quinn y Cameron Wake en solamente el 50% de las jugadas defensivas. Por lo que la ausencia de Hayes y Branch supone que tanto Quinn como Wake estarán más tiempo en el terreno de juego poniendo presión a Brady. Adicional a ese dato la seguridad (S) estelar de los Dolphins Reshad Jones regresa al terreno de juego luego de estar fuera por molestias en su hombro. Jones tuvo dos intercepciones en el juego de apertura esta temporada frente a los Titans Tennessee y es pieza clave de la defensa de los Dolphins. El regreso de Jones también envía al novato Minkha Fitzpatrick a su posición original haciendo que sea más complicada la ejecución a la ofensiva de los Patriots. La defensa en la línea media central de los Dolphins comandada por Kiko Alonso, quien lidera la liga con 34 tacles, se tuvo que reforzar ante la salida por lesión de Chase Allen, para esto adquirió al ex Redskin de Washington Martrell Spaight quien se ha distinguido por ser un líder en el camerino y su fogosidad cubriendo el juego aéreo en la zona central del campo.
Por el lado de la ofensiva los Dolphins al momento han aprovechado todas las oportunidades y han sabido cerrar los juegos donde han caído abajo en el marcador. Para esto han usado varios trucos en su libro de jugadas, convirtiendo a Ryan Tannehill y su ofensiva en una bien peligrosa y respetable. Para esto Tannehill ha estado utilizando a Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson y Jakeem Grant. Wilson ha sido utilizado de muchas maneras incluida la de corredor (RB) lo que da muchas opciones a Tannehill cuando está en el terreno de juego. El pasado domingo el juego de la carrera de Kenyan Drake y Frank Gore fue neutralizado por la defensa de los Raiders de Oakland. Esa parte del juego debe volver a estar presente el domingo, ya que para derrotar a los Patriots en su casa deben estar presentes todas las opciones ofensivas. Drake y Gore no pueden ser invisibles este domingo.
Contra todo pronóstico el coach Adam Gase ha demostrado hasta el momento que cambios de filosofía en el camerino Dolphin ha dado resultados inmediatos. Todavía la prensa no ha querido reconocer en su totalidad el buen desempeño de los Dolphins. Este domingo es la oportunidad de los Dolphins y Gase de dejar a New England rezagado tres juegos por debajo en la tabla de posiciones. Ha llegado el momento cumbre de la temporada, los Dolphins pueden cambiar este domingo toda la perspectiva de la temporada. Es el momento de volver a la ruta ganadora de la tradición de los Dolphins.

Obligados a ganar…

En la tarde de hoy los Dolphins de Miami reciben la visita de los Raiders de Oakland. Un equipo que aun con su flamante dirigente Jon Gruden no han podido conocer la victoria en lo que va de temporada. La salida de Khalil Mack ha dejado su defensa inestable y el equipo no ha podido engranar con su mariscal de campo (QB) Derek Carr. Estos problemas deben ser aprovechados por los Dolphins en la tarde de hoy, por varias razones. Deben seguir ganado credibilidad con los cronistas deportivos, que todavía no creen en los Dolphins, y además deben poner la presión sobre New England llegando al estadio Gillete como líderes de la división. También se debe tener en cuenta que para tener record ganador, juegos como el de hoy deben ser ganados, ya que el itinerario las últimas cuatro semanas es inmisericorde, contando a los Patriots, los Vikings de Minnesota, los Jaguars de Jacksonville, y el juego final frente a Buffalo a punto de congelación.
Es importante para conseguir la victoria en la tarde de hoy, establecer el juego en la carrera desde la primera posesión con Kenyan Drake y Frank Gore. Drake debe ser más productivo en la tarde de hoy cuando tenga el balón en las manos, ya que al momento sigue siendo dominante, tal y como finalizó su temporada pasada. Esto le dará la oportunidad al mariscal de campo (QB) Ryan Tannehill establecer su juego por aire con todo su armamento de recibidores abiertos (WR). Siendo un momento importante ya que Tannehill tendrá a DeVante Parker activo en la tarde de hoy. Parker ha sido, cuando está saludable, el blanco preferido de Tannehill. Por el lado defensivo la presión de Cameron Wake y Robert Quinn podrían ser determinantes ya que Carr no está siendo protegido por su línea ofensiva, al punto que Carr ha tenido solo 2.18 segundos para hacer el pase en los primeros dos juegos, siendo el total más bajo en toda su carrera. Minkah Fitzpatrick debe seguir mejorando su juego a medida que gana confianza. Kiko Alonso de repetir su juego de la pasada semana obligara a Carr a ir la mayoría de las veces por aire y es ahí donde Wake y Quinn se dejarán sentir.
La tarde es de fiesta en el estadio Hard Rock Café. Podría ser el momento decisivo de la temporada donde con una victoria los Dolphins le den la vuelta a la opinión pública y se ganen el respeto no solo de los demás equipos, sino de una prensa inclemente que no cree en el talento reclutado por el dirigente Adam Gase. Pero para esto los Dolphins están obligados a ganar.

Interview: 5 questions with Chris Hansen of Raiders Blog

We had an incredible chance to interview Chris Hansen about the Dolphins-Raiders matchup yesterday.

I admire the blogging and writing career that Chris has had and am truly appreciative of his insight for this matchup and previous matchups the Raiders and Dolphins have had.

Here’s the interview:

Chris, thank you for taking the time to chat Raiders versus Dolphins.

Let’s cut to the chase.

Chris, we’ve seen these teams battle it out over the course of their history in the AFL and then later in the AFC.

The Raiders have dashed the hopes of Dolphins fans in the playoffs and have steamrolled the Dolphins late in the regular season-December of 1996 when Dan Marino had three fumbles and Ricky Dudley became a household name.

However, let’s chat about Jon Gruden, Amari Cooper, and finally the elephant in the room Derek Carr.

FF:

Chris:

What the heck is going on with Jon Gruden these days? Has the game of football passed him by after all these years and how does he turn the corner and maybe rewrite his own legacy and get the Raiders winning again?

CH: When Gruden traded Khalil Mack, he was making it clear he needed time to re-shape the roster. It also means Gruden knew the Raiders weren’t AFC contenders in 2018. Although sitting at 0-2, Gruden’s offense has incorporated many new-age concepts, formations and plays. Although off to a slow start, the Raiders do appear in good hands with Gruden calling the plays. Only time will tell if Gruden proves to be a good personnel man.

FF: Some years ago (in 2012) while the Miami Dolphins were in utter turmoil and they struggled to find their footing without a quarterback, they found one in Ryan Tannehill. A season or two later, then coach Joe Philbin quietly told others he preferred Derek Carr over Tannehill and wanted to draft Carr.

Which team has the better quarterback and why?

CH: The Raiders have the better quarterback. Carr has the better TD%, lower INT% and his Adjusted Net Yard Per Attempt (from Pro-football-reference.com) is 6.1 to Tannehill’s 5.6. Carr can also make some throws that only a handful of QBs can make without turning the ball over. Carr has also had to carry the team on his back because the Raiders haven’t had a credible defense for his entire career.

FF: In addition, what does the future hold for Derek Carr in this offense?

CH: Carr had a rough first outing, but rebounded last week with a nearly historic effort from an efficiency standpoint. He has yet to make the big throws we’ve seen from him in the past, but Gruden wanted him to be more efficient last week and got what he wanted. This week, he wants bigger chunk plays from his offense, so expect the Raiders to open up the offense a bit and try to throw the ball down the field to Jordy Nelson. Carr has complete command of the offense and the confidence of his team. The Raiders expect him to be the QB for a long time.

FF: While Amari Cooper is a dynamic receiver and can take the top off the defense with his speed, it’s been his hands that have troubled him the past couple of seasons. Is this the season when Cooper returns to form?

CH: Cooper had an excellent Week 2. Although he has a reputation as a deep threat, he’s actually a vastly superior slot receiver who can make things happen with the ball in his hands. Cooper didn’t have many drop issues in 2016, so he’s proven he can catch the ball consistently for an extended period of time. He’s also been catching it well so far this season. Expect Gruden to continue to look for situations where he can quickly get the ball into Cooper’s hands. Odds are good that Cooper will have a strong season.

FF:

Finally: The Dolphins have a gift for you, perhaps it makes up for the dealing of Khalil Mack to the Bears. His name is DeVante Parker and he could be made available if he can’t fit in Miami with Adam Gase’s offense. If you’re Reggie McKenzie, do you make the call and deal for him?

CH: It doesn’t really matter what Reggie McKenzie thinks. Gruden is running the show and that’s why the Raiders have all the receivers they need right now. Gruden rolled the dice with Martavis Bryant and there isn’t space for a guy like Parker until Bryant’s appeal is settled. Even then, it’s usually a bad sign when a high pick like Parker is made available. If the price was right, Gruden might be interested, but Bryant proves he’s looking for a speed guy to open things up for Cooper, Jordy Nelson and Jared Cook.

FF: Score prediction?

CH: 24-27, Raiders over Dolphins.

Chris, thanks for making yourself available for a quick chat.

Be sure to catch Chris Hansen on Twitter at @ChrisHansenNFL and at Raidersblog.com for the latest on the Raiders-Dolphins matchups.

Fins Up!!!

(Photo credit: Palm Beach Post 2017)

Difícil de olvidar.

Hace un año todo Puerto Rico se encontraba refugiado. Cerca de las seis de la mañana el huracán María tocaba tierra por la costa sureste del país, por el pueblo de Yabucoa. Su fuerza destructiva nos azotó por más de 24 horas. La naturaleza se empeñó en destruir su propia creación. Fueron horas difíciles, nadie pudo predecir lo que encontrarían fuera de sus refugios al abandonar la isla María. La destrucción era sin precedentes, la isla estaba incomunicada del resto del mundo. No había comunicación alguna. Sólo dos estaciones de radio transmitían alguna información,una en San Juan y otra en Guayanilla. No se supo nada de familiares y amigos por días. Reinó el caos y la confusión. El gobierno improvisaba, no estaban preparados para la destrucción dejada por María. Habían subestimado la fuerza del huracán.
Los meses que seguirían pondrían a prueba a los residentes de la isla. La mala coordinación de las respuestas de emergencia afectaban directamente a la población, al punto que se estima el total de muertes a causa del paso de María en alrededor de tres mil puertorriqueños. Pero eso sería una de las muchas situaciones, las familias se han separado tras María con un éxodo masivo de puertorriqueños hacía otras jurisdicciones dónde buscan volver a “echar raíces” lejos de su patria. El sistema eléctrico quedó seriamente destruido y el dinero asignado para sus reconstrucción, el cual fue calculado en cerca de un billón de dólares desapareció por arte de magia. Al día de hoy miles de residencias siguen con toldos azules en sus techos y sin esperanza sus dueños de poder reconstruir sus hogares. El gobierno fracasó en la distribución de la ayuda humanitaria y semana tras semana siguen apareciendo millones de dólares de ayuda que no se repartió y el tiempo se encargó de dañarla. Muchos de éstos casos son por la falta directa de un plan de emergencia y peor aún, por la corrupción sistemática creada por la administración para favorecer a donantes y amigos del partido de gobierno de turno. El ejemplo más reciente fue el del descubrimiento de sobre dos millones de cajas de agua abandonadas en una vieja pista de aterrizaje, y dónde se alega que fue una orden directa de la oficina del gobernador para no afectar el negocio de distribución y venta de agua de allegados a la administración. Mientras, afuera los puertorriqueños perdían sus vidas por la falta de servicios esenciales. Acciones como esta afectan el desembolso de más ayudas para la reconstrucción.
Los que nos hemos quedado en la isla hemos perdido hijos que se marcharon en busca de un mejor futuro. Muchos viviendo con un techo plástico, experimentando apagones constantes y sin empleo seguro. Y aunque los escombros se han recogido falta mucho por hacer. El verde ha retornado a las montañas, volviendo a florecer el café, Ya se ven bajar de la montaña algunos cargamentos de guineos y plátanos. La isla se recupera por el coraje de su gente, porque cómo buen campeón de boxeo nos negamos a poner la rodilla en el suelo, la dignidad del pueblo puertorriqueño va por encima de las acciones del gobierno que malgasta y se apodera del dinero para la reconstrucción de la isla, y se olvida de los que duermen sin techo. Puerto Rico se levantó por el coraje de su gente.
María estará en la mente y el recuerdo de los que lo vivimos por siempre. De los que perdieron un familiar, de los que se fueron de la isla, de los que perdieron todo, de los que siguen sin techo, de los que perdieron su empleo, y de los que nos quedamos a luchar por sacar adelante lo que queda. María será difícil de olvidar….

 

Dolphins with a strong first half, win 20-12 over the NY Jets

The golden arm.

The golden boy from SoCal.

Sam Darnold, the star in the making threw for over 300 yards, one touchdown and drove the Jets to three scores and still lost.

Oh Darnold is the real deal and he’ll be real good a year or two from now.

Probably playoff good.

However, the Dolphins didn’t want to see his potential today, but were on a mission to squash it.

The Miami Dolphins defense, taking up where they left off last year, forced a fumble, had two interceptions, and featured a defense that flew to the football.

Lead by Kiko Alonso, no one was safe in the middle of the field and with that spark, guys just went out and made plays.

Rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick made it hell for Darnold to complete passes deep and snuffed out the short passes and screens.

After a TJ McDonald interception and opportunistic return inside the 20, the Dolphins scored from six yards out as Kenyan Drake found a hole and powered to the end zone.

As the Dolphins took the first lead of the game, the turnover game became infectious as Kiko Alonso forced a fumble and Raekwon McMillan pounced on it.

On the ensuing drive, at the Jets 29 yard line, Tannehill with some serious pressure on the outside found Albert Wilson on a drag route and managed to juke his way past a diving Buster Skrine down the sideline for the score.

Dolphins up 14-0.

Jets 0.

Continue reading “Dolphins with a strong first half, win 20-12 over the NY Jets”

Lightning strikes twice: Dolphins win in a wild one 27-20 over Titans

Blame it on the rain and on the lightning.

Who would’ve known it would take 7 plus hours for the Dolphins to play football, on and off, and send off the Titans with a bitter taste in their mouths.

South Florida football fans, fresh off of a weekend that included a 77-0 drubbing of Savannah State by the Miami Hurricanes in the same stadium several hours before.

The Miami Dolphins opening series was lackluster and the Miami defense was going to have to pick up the slack.  Down 3-0 after a Ryan Succup field goal, the Dolphins defense took on the mantra of “bend but don’t break” kind of defense.

Sensing the Titans would go for it on 4th and goal, the Dolphins defense, like a band of brothers, summoned CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick on the outside to make what essentially was a game saving tackle where a pass to Corey Davis could have been a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.

Instead Minkah Fitzpatrick showed why he was drafted in round one: his strength shedding a blocker on a pick play and then used his eyes to find Davis and bring him down to the ground well short of the goal line.

Surely, this play would not be seen as the play of the game until the Miami Dolphins marched for 98 yards down the field capping the drive with a 10 yard pass to Kenny Stills who beat his man and lunged for the pylon and the score.

The play capped a 98 yard drive, but more importantly put Ryan Tannehill on the board with his first touchdown after missing time due to two ACL injuries.

Tannehill clearly looked back and ready to roll in Adam Gase’s offense.

After starting the game dominant, Tannehill faltered a bit in the second half throwing a second interception and had trouble hitting his receivers short until the offensive play of the game:

75 yard bomb to none other than Kenny Stills.

Stills shed his man, stretched out his arms, and hauled in the biggest play of the game (offensively) with a huge touchdown catch and run.

Several fans in attendance said the ball traveled 50 yards through the air.

Tannehill said there wasn’t a defender within “4 yards” of him as he had a clean pocket and fired with precision for his second touchdown of the game.

Tannehill finished the game with 20 completions out of 28 pass attempts and coupled with help from his friends, Jakeem Grant (102 yard Kick Return TD), Reshad Jones (2 INTS), and help from yes, rookie kicker Jason Sanders.

For the Dolphins, forcing turnovers became a focus this offseason and the veterans-Reshad Jones and Kiko Alonso (post lightning delay number 2) showed that the players are still buying in to the Matt Burke defense.

Kudos to the Dolphins who won this game by playing better in every phase of the game: Offensive Line play superb (allowed one sack), defense (3 takeaways), offense (2 TDs), and special teams (2 FG and 1 KR TD).

Of note, after two lightning delays, the Miami Dolphins overcame adversity, came out of the tunnel with energy, and solidified their early spot in first place, tied with the Patriots.

15 games to go. A lot of football left to play.

On to the New York Jets.

Fins Up!!!

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post

Llego la hora de Tannehill.

Tras veinte juegos fuera del terreno regresa a los Dolphins de Miami su mariscal del campo (QB) Ryan Tannehill. En su ausencia los Dolphins fueron a la post temporada de la mano de Matt Moore. Además, lucieron pésimos de la mano de Jay Cutler en el 2017 y quedaron fuera de la post temporada. Durante el tiempo muerto el dirigente Adam Gase reclamó su espacio y envió en cambio a Jarvys Landry a los Browns de Cleveland. Pero no contento con esta movida dejó libre a su astro defensivo Ndamukong Suh y a su centro ofensivo estelar Mike Pouncey. Así las cosas de una temporada a la otra los Dolphins vieron partir a sus principales jugadores. Sin embargo, Gase se las arregló para traer al equipo una línea ofensiva que da confianza a Tannehill. Josh Sitton como guardia izquierdo, Daniel Kilgore en el centro, Jesse Davis como guardia derecho hacen sentir tranquilo a Tannehill detrás de la línea. Aún con la pérdida de Landry los recibidores abiertos (WR) de los Dolphins siguen siendo una unidad de las mejores de la liga compuesta por Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson y Jakeem Grant. Del grupo Amendola y Wilson llegan vía agencia libre para llenar la vacante de Landry. Parker no pudo lucir en la pre temporada y ha estado lastimado una vez más. Cuando Tannehill ha estado detrás de la línea Parker ha sido uno de sus blancos preferidos, pero para eso debe mantenerse saludable. En la carrera Tannehill tendrá el respaldo de un grupo respetable con Kenyan Drake, el veterano Frank Gore y un prometedor novato en Kalen Balage. Completan el grupo ofensivo las alas abiertas (TE) A.J. Derby, Gavin Escobar, quien entró nuevamente al roster esta semana tras anunciarse la lamentable lesión de MarQueis Gray quien había sido programado para ser abridor, junto a los novatos Mike Gesicki y Durham Smythe. Es una ofensiva que puede producir muchos puntos y hace perspirar mucha confianza a Tannehill.
La prensa ha sido dura con los Dolphins durante toda la pre temporada. Llegando a ponerlos como el peor equipo de la liga. Dicha visón ha cambiado en los últimos días. Fui de los primeros en decir que los Dolphins podrían incluso luchar por el titulo la división con sus eternos rivales los Patriotas de New England. Luego en ESPN Tony Dungy dijo que no veía a los Dolphins como el peor equipo de la liga y que los veía posicionarse en el medio del grupo durante el transcurso de la temporada. Más adelante Armando Salguero, quien es quizás el cronista deportivo más cercano a los Dolphins, escribió para el Miami Herald que veía a los Dolphins terminando muy cerca de los Patriotas, y con récord ganador de 9 y 7. Yo me mantengo en mi posición anterior, en esta ocasión vemos a un Adam Gase que respira confianza en el equipo que el mismo diseño. Un Gase astuto, que no le mostró nada a los contrarios del potencial ofensivo de los Dolphins durante la pre temporada. Lo que la prensa vio en los entrenamientos no se hacía en los juegos pre temporada, no se dejo ver nada. Eso hace el análisis y estudio mas difícil al contrario, incluso a la prensa.
Para el juego de apertura en casa pienso que veremos una ofensiva bien dinámica, donde el juego en la carrera será solido y dará la ayuda necesaria a Tannehill para abrir rutas por aire y crear puntos en la zona roja. Sin temor a equivocarme veremos el surgir de Mike Gesicki como un arma ofensiva. La fogosidad de Amendola será determinante en momentos claves. Es tiempo de jugar, ya no hay excusas. Gase sabe que tiene que volver a ser ganador. Los Dolphins tienen que devolver la confianza a sus dolfans. Esperando el momento preciso, y es ahora. Llego la hora de Tannehill.

Will anyone listen to coach Gase about his Dolphins?

The Miami Dolphins season is about to start and head coach Adam Gase is tired of saying how great his team is.

Gase finally feels, that after two seasons, he has the best team in the locker room, the field, and finally one that has guys that want to sleep less than he does by staying late and grinding.

While some NFL teams have made offseason moves and some splashy coaching hires, the Miami Dolphins added veterans that can start right away and mentor some of the younger talent that’s up and coming.

Gase went and got Frank Gore to mentor Kenyan Drake-not that Drake needs it, but I’m sure he will benefit from it as a starter and as he said early in the process-how to be a pro.

Danny Amendola was brought in to give Tannehill more options after the Dolphins traded Jarvis Landry.

Amendola brings a security check down all over the field. As long as he stays healthy, he’s dependable and he’ll mentor guys like Jakeem Grant-staying late and working at his craft.

In addition, Gase decided that the Dolphins would benefit from doing more with less by focusing on Davone Godchaux and Jordan Phillips as rotating defensive tackles while adding pieces to surround the middle-trading for Robert Quinn on the outside. Suh who?

However, the big question remains: Have the Dolphins improved?

If there is any indication of improvement-nothing is more evident than the play of Ryan Tannehill this preseason who has shown a comfort with all of his receivers.

No longer are people-fans and pundits alike worried about his health, but about how high is his ceiling.

With Adam Gase singing his praise and the front office not drafting a quarterback, but a jack of all trades defensive player in Minkah Fitzpatrick, it’s no secret this is Tannehill’s type of team and he is their leader.

I truly believe Tannehill will have to play well-above his 2016 season averages before the injury and be more consistent-making better reads and making better throws.

Tannehill, in a sense has to play better in weeks 1-4 to give the Dolphins a strong chance to be a contender down the stretch.

We need to see a complete body of work from Ryan Tannehill and Gase believing in him could demonstrate a strong playoff push come December.

While Gase hasn’t earned anything yet other than a 16-16 record, a playoff appearance in 2016 with two quarterbacks and a stellar running game, 2018 gives Gase a chance to finally cement his blue print off the field to become the standard on the field.

The bar is set high for Gase in his mind-the Dolphins identity hinges on early success.

A fight to the finish-the Dolphins are all about finding a way to finish and finishing strong.

Their identity should be more than apparent-always grinding, just like their coach even if there are those who don’t believe him just yet.

Photo Credit: Sun-Sentinel

RECAP: Dolphins defense falters as offense gathers steam in 27-20 loss to Panthers

The Miami Dolphins took another step yesterday in getting their starters more reps and a look-see at the other reserves who are either destined for stardom or ready for walking papers.

On Friday night in front of a crowd of mostly Panthers faithful, the Dolphins demonstrated that they are ready for the Titans at times and showed some flickers of hope.

First the good.

Ryan Tannehill captivated the rest of the NFL and Dolphins personnel with a nearly flawless performance. Even though Tannehill couldn’t finish his drives with a touchdown pass in the red zone, he showed poise in the pocket, completed his throws, and took a few hits-including one inside the five where a DT for the Panthers reached for that left knee and Tannehill collapsed after handing the ball off.

Tannehill in addition ran a nice version of the no-huddle offense every coach in Miami has tried to run since Joe Philbin.

So, baby steps from last week have morphed into bigger field goal scoring drives this week versus a stingy Panthers defense-finding cushions everywhere on the sideline and dissecting the defense with near precision.

Tannehill finished 14 of 17 with 100 yards passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Tannehill found his receivers frequently despite being without Parker (injury) and Kenny Stills.

Tannehill connected with Jakeem Grant, Danny Amendola, and A.J. Derby (called back on a holding call).

In addition, Kenyan Drake was a beast running to the outside-rushing for 54 yards on 8 carries -nearly 7 yards per carry. By far, Drake appears ready to roll as the starter and Frank Gore should push for time as well-who didn’t play.

Bright spots on defense and there were few.

First-Jerome Baker played with the ones and amassed 4 total tackles while Robert Quinn-playing with Cam Wake on the opposite side of the line collected two big sacks.

Quinn will be needed to set the tone on the right side of the line and put pressure on the quarterback.

Xavien Howard demonstrated his vision-jumping into a passing lane and intercepting Cam Newton and nearly taking it for a touchdown being tripped up inside the 10.

As much as I want to continue to praise the Dolphins defense-I just can’t. I won’t.

The Dolphins defense allowed a 71 yard rush-right up the middle by Christian McCaffrey. It wasn’t even close and McCaffrey run was a thing of beauty, but only for ball-watchers, Panthers fans, and fantasy gurus.

On the run, the middle was sealed off and Raekwon McMillan showed his rust as he couldn’t shed the block and get to McCaffrey.

The run demonstrated how much DT is a weakness for Miami as well as the LB position.

Not to mention, Bobby McCain-who I love on this defense, couldn’t cover and was schooled by veteran Torrey Smith who was supposedly too old for the 49ers. Smith got McCain to bite on a few comeback routes.

McCain in everyone’s opinion is a much better corner in the slot and yet the Dolphins continue to test his closing speed-not as good.

For the Dolphins defense-everything has to work in unison. If they can’t rush the passer, their corners will get tested. If they can’t stop the run, the entire defense will give up a big-game changing rush like they did at Buffalo last season to LeSean McCoy.

There is a lot to be thankful for, however.

A healthy Ryan Tannehill is showing his ability to command this offense and there are some signs of life defensively despite the issues.

Let’s hope the Dolphins play like a contender next week versus Baltimore and the steps become an upward climb to the top.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Observer

It’s just the preseason: Dolphins fall to Buccaneers 26-24

It’s just the preseason and worrying about anything that happened tonight in Miami Gardens is just that-it’s nothing.

Fans of the Dolphins are a passionate bunch and live and die with every snap of the football and sometimes they have a snap judgement or two. With 50,000 tickets sold, where did the fans go? It looked like only 20,000 showed up.

Surely, the Dolphins almost persevered 24-23, but the Dolphins reserves-numbers 75-90 on the roster had other plans and allowed a late game deciding drive resulting in a go-ahead late field goal.

Big highlights from tonight:

Ryan Tannehill can move in and out of the pocket rolling right and throwing with the same zip we saw at the end of his 2016 season. Tannehill finished 4 of 6 and led the Dolphins on a drive stalled by penalties and dropped passes. As Travis Wingfield of Locked on Dolphins, pointed out on Twitter-we can see Tannehill “climb the pocket” and get out of harms way.

However, what we saw of Tannehill was promising and it seemed like he was in sync with Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, and Kenyan Drake.

Things look promising and as the preseason gathers steam into the season, this game was a positive stepping stone to the future of the Dolphins offense, but Tannehill has to find a way to build on tonight and lead his offense-he needs to bang the table and demand the best from them.

Next, rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is the real deal and his range is incredible as a safety. Tonight, he showed what he can do by making tackles and breaking up passes. If DC Matt Burke can get Reshad Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the field at the same time, that would be huge for this defense and make teams run the ball instead of trying to throw deep. The Dolphins have linebackers that want to go to the ball and that could serve them well.

In terms of the backup QB job, Bryce Petty put himself in the conversation with some good touch and a touchdown drive where he found Isaiah Ford-Ford looked good, but he’s so far down the depth chart. Perhaps Gase and Co. put something together for him with the 1s in the next game. David Fales continued the steady climb to earning Gase’s trust with being the backup to Tannehill. Brock Osweiler on the other hand, he failed on so many levels going 10 of 21 and had several passes batted down at the line. Almost laughable.

However, defensively when Jordan Phillips and Davon Godchaux are battling for the DT starting job, you need to see a little more surrounding them. It seems like DE Jonathan Woodard showed something getting after the QB.

If I’m the coaches, I like the look of the corners overall. We saw Torry McTyer tonight and he’s been hyped to be the next starter opposite Xavien Howard, but we can’t be completely sure if he’s a 1 or a 2 until he gets to play against starters in the next few games.

Coaches overall need to lock down and lock in to getting tight end Mike Gesicki the ball. He’s the most athletic tight end in the NFL. Never mind Gronk and Kelcey, Gesicki is next to steal the limelight at the tight end position.

My hope is he gets more time with the 1s and not worry so much about his blocking issues. Have him run his routes and expand his capability a bit. He can handle getting more targets and the Dolphins need help in the red zone.

Coaches need to look at opening up a bit on defense and dial up the aggressiveness. Linebacker Jerome Baker flashed tonight and in my mind, he’s going to grab a job before week 5. Baker said things were slowing down for him which is a good thing. My main concern isn’t the vanilla look of the 4-3 defense-it’s mainly getting enough pressure on the QB. It can’t just be Wake every couple of plays-we need to see more from Harris and Quinn. Someone has to step up!

Here are 5 things we want to see next week:

1. More Tannehill and really get him going with 1s and 2s. He needs to play with the guys he’ll throw to on game day. With Tannehill back, coaches have to use every ounce of his ability to move the football and get touchdowns to open a drive. The offense has to work to get first downs and score touchdowns.

2. Improved defensive coverage. Matt Burke needs to dial up the attack and be the aggressor. The talent is there-it’s a matter of allocating it to the right guys. Find the right mix and this can be a dominant defense.

3. Give Jason Sanders more reps at kicker. Both he and Greg Joseph struggled on deep field goal tries, but it would be good to let Sanders kick on kickoffs. I’m not opposed to Dolphins letting this drag out and see if a kicker gets cut from another team and sign said kicker to push these guys.

4. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford. Get him in with the 1s. Get him the ball. See if he can get open and become the threat he was drafted to be.

5. Better o-line play. Tonight was ok with the 1s, but tough for the 2s. Dowell Loggains needs to help out with protections. O-Line needs to do their jobs. I didn’t like the pre-snap penalties across the board, but the holding penalties due to poor technique are awful and can’t happen in season.

All in all losing 26-24 and the Dolphins playing well in spots is nothing to worry about week one of the preseason.

Clean things up and the Dolphins have a good offense and a good defense-enough to compete with the big boys.

Photo credit: Phinsider.com

Interview with Luis Sung of PhinManiacs.com

We had a chance to interview Luis Sung (@LuisDSung) after a few days of Miami Dolphins Training Camp Observations in Davie, FL.

Here’s the interview:

First of all Luis, it’s truly awesome what you have been able to do with the site-PhinManiacs.com and seem to have your ear to the ground with your staff and your willingness to cover the team as a Miami Dolphins Fan site.  The focus on the Dolphins is complete with analysis, opinion, as well as something that I truly find important-sharing with the fans the GOOD that the Dolphins players and staff do in the community.

Again, it’s truly an honor to interview you after meeting you last year at Dolphins Training Camp in Davie, FL.
FF: What are you seeing from the rookies? Is there anything that is showing you they can contribute on game day?
LS: The rookies getting the most out of their time on the field are without a doubt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kalen Ballage and Durham Smythe, with possibly some Jason Sanders thrown in for good measure. Fitzpatrick has been solid thrown in with all three units and has been able to make a few plays here and there, while Smythe clearly has a handle on his blocking capabilities and can actually make a few catches here and there. Ballage is proving to be a hard-nosed runner who also has good hands out of the backfield, so I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him get a decent amount of snaps this upcoming season.
FF: Who are the players (non-rookies) that are “flashing” and others are starting to take notice?
LS: Outside of the rookie class, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake are all proving that they have plenty to offer this team. Amendola already has a good rapport with Ryan Tannehill, and the fact that they were able to connect on a touchdown pass in the seam on Day 3 shows that Tannehill will be looking for the veteran a lot this upcoming season. As for Albert Wilson, he’s been playing with the second team for the vast majority of training camp, and it’s plainly obvious that he’s too good for them. He’s crisp, he’s fast, he’s smooth, and making one-handed catches seems old hat to him. With Wilson, the WR depth is deeper than it’s been in a long time, and despite the main three WRs (Parker, Stills, Amendola) locked down, Wilson will definitely get a good amount of playing time. Then there’s Drake and Gore, who both have been displaying the traits that make each of them so special. Drake has been fast, elusive and dangerous with the football, while Gore has been running hard, like a man ten years younger than he is. Miami got a steal in signing him for sure.
FF: How does Frank Gore look? How do you believe that head coach Adam Gase will use him in his offensive scheme?
LS: With further emphasis on Gore, I would hope that Adam Gase realizes that – despite how good Gore has looked – he is still 35 years old, and he should not be expected to look that good all season long if he gets a huge workload. The best way to use him in my opinion would be to use him more on passing downs as a blocker, and in 3rd and short situations or simply to spell Drake from time to time, while still giving a good amount of snaps to Ballage, who also has earned a look.
FF: Backtracking for a minute on Jarvis Landry: Why do you think that he continues to badmouth the Dolphins’ Coach Gase, Tannehill, and the organization as a whole?
LS: I have been saying this for the past couple of days now and I stand by this. Landry feels slighted by the Dolphins because they didn’t treat him like he was Odell Beckham Jr., plain and simple. Landry has been getting comparisons to his old friend and teammate from college ever since they entered the NFL, and they would often put on pass catching displays to try and one-up each other whenever they were together. But it was obvious which of them was the better player, and that’s Beckham Jr. That gnaws at Landry, I believe. He wanted to get the routes OBJ got, he wanted to be on the highlight reel like OBJ was, he wants to be OBJ. And he isn’t. He doesn’t have his speed, he can’t make as much separation, he was given opportunities in Miami and it rarely worked. He was given the ball more than anyone in Miami and he still felt slighted, because he wasn’t on the highlight reel. You can’t get there if you’re a slot receiver, and that was what he didn’t want to be labeled as. He wanted to be paid like OBJ will be paid. We will see what happens in Cleveland, but it’s clear that Landry was not happy that Gase tried to make him follow his rules.
FF: Finally a Tannehill question: After seeing two days back to back, is there anything that you can compare with Tannehill as far as his presence (leadership and command of the huddle), his footwork, and his demeanor versus other training camps you’ve observed?
LS: (Ryan) Tannehill has a lot more confidence, he has learned to maneuver the pocket better, he isn’t hesitant to run despite his knee, and he is reading defenses better. Pretty much everything about Tannehill seems to have improved a bit, which will eventually add up when the regular season rolls around. He’s always been a slow bloomer, and I believe that at the age of 30, we’re going to soon see the best Tannehill we ever have.
FF: Bonus question: Who wins the kicker job in Miami? Is there a dark horse candidate not on the roster?
LS: Jason Sanders is going to win the job, no question. Sanders has been perfect thus far and Greg Joseph has missed half his kicks, the competition – in all honesty – is a farce. Miami drafted him to be the kicker, you don’t use a draft pick on a kicker if you think he’ll be beaten by an undrafted free agent.
Thank you to Luis Sung who was kind and thoughtful enough to do this interview. Remember you can follow Luis on Twitter for all of the Miami Dolphins training camp updates at @LuisDSung on Twitter and at his website PhinManiacs.com

Can Kenny Stills continue be a role model for justice and as a football player?

When Kenny Stills knelt during the anthem two seasons ago in Seattle, Dolphins fans were given pause.

The angry chants on social media of not supporting the flag were heard loud and clear as was the Tannehill dime on a post route that was mysteriously dropped.

Stills, at the time was new to the Dolphins and the dropped pass early in the game gave the fans a chance to bash him saying he should not have knelt during the anthem before the game and lost his focus.

However, Kenny Stills is more than a football player.

After winning the Nat Moore Award for service in 2017, Stills followed that up with a deep look at communities in the South and Eastern United States.

To some outside of the Dolphins head quarters, Stills has been a mentor, a listener, one who walks with the poor and the marginalized, one who marches for justice, and a beacon of hope.

The call to march with the poor and marginalized was never so apparent than this offseason when Kenny Stills went on his own type of road trip, a pilgrimage of sorts through the East and through the South where he traversed the bridge in Selma, met with Colin Kaepernick, and worked hand in hand to understand the role of police officers in Miami Gardens.

Kenny Stills is in the news again, but as an ambassador to all Dolphins fans who’s goodwill extends from his persona on Twitter to his heartfelt and passion for his community and all communities across the nation.

Continue reading “Can Kenny Stills continue be a role model for justice and as a football player?”

Dolphins get the pads on and get rockin’ on day 3 of training camp

The Miami Dolphins took to the field pre-downpour and in some hot and steamy conditions.  Would you expect anything less during Dolphins Training Camp?

Looming quite large and dark like clouds in South Florida were the quite sinister allegations by Jarvis Landry to Sports Illustrated.  As you might remember, Jarvis Landry was the malcontent that the Dolphins tried to trade midseason only to deal him to the Siberia of the NFL, the Cleveland Browns.

Without LeBron James in Cleveland perhaps Jarvis Landry is fitting in quite nicely and working on making a statement claiming to be more than a slot receiver and wishing to dress like the greats of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Perhaps Landry is just posing for the cameras and Hard Knocks on HBO.

Seriously though, the Dolphins are doing quite nicely without Landry and training camp seems drama free and clearly all about the receivers who will make an impact in 2018.

Some of the highlights this week came in the form of plays here and there by the defense and some ESPN highlight type of catches, but that was with the jerseys and shorts.

Today. the shoulder pads were on and we got to see the offensive line do some work.  Except, right now, this offensive line is a work in progress headlined by Gase’s conference call after practice.  Continue reading “Dolphins get the pads on and get rockin’ on day 3 of training camp”

Does Brock Osweiler have a chance at the backup QB job in Miami?

Dolphins spring training is underway and I’m excited to follow my Twitter feed and let the bloggers on the ground keep us all updated.

It’s a close race, but I absolutely love how Luis Sung does work during training camp and can carry a full conversation while tweeting, accurately what just happened.

This training camp is no different and he constantly sees more and knows more than some Miami beat reporters from a particular entity to be held nameless.

As it stands, Brock Osweiler, who is in Miami because he knows Adam Gase and serves as a veteran presence, is in camp.

Today, every single throw looked late, he threw some picks, and frankly he’s convinced it’s part of a “process.”

Osweiler, to his credit covered for Peyton Manning in Denver during their Super Bowl run only to see his winning streak-come to an end as Peyton was tabbed to start in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Said Osweiler today to Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post after camp:

“My deal isn’t getting so much into the results,” Osweiler said after Thursday’s practice. “I like to focus on the process. So was today perfect, no? But it’s all about getting a little bit better every single day. Focus on the process. And if you focus on that, rather than the results, come December or January you’re going to be where you want to be.”

Continue reading “Does Brock Osweiler have a chance at the backup QB job in Miami?”

It’s Ryan Tannehill against the world…again in 2018

On the eve of Miami Dolphins training camp, a poll of NFL executives on ESPN lists Ryan Tannehill as the 27th ranked quarterback (Insider account required). In fact, rather than a Tier 2 quarterback-ESPN’s poll lists Tannehill among the bottom half of NFL starting QBs posted below Tyrod Taylor (Browns), Blake Bortles (Jaguars) and overall, the poll revealed a 3.3 rating meaning he’s at the bottom of the league as a quarterback.

In May, USA Today ranked Tannehill as a 34th ranked QB! That’s not a ranking for a franchise QB!!!

What the heck is going on?

Did people suddenly forget that if not for a sudden ACL injury during the 2016 season, Tannehill would be leading the Dolphins to quite possibly a historic playoff run? Instead, Tannehill, who worked so hard to become a better QB, had to watch Matt Moore lead the team to the playoffs going 2-1 (S-1). Moore got the save versus Arizona.

What’s more, Ryan Tannehill according to Pro Football Focus in 2016: 80.8 overall grade and 16th overall. In fact, he had the “second -highest percentage of big-time throws” in 2016 (per Pro Football Focus).

For a first round pick (selected 8th in 2012), the ranking based on a collection of GMs and NFL personnel men’s opinions demonstrates the lack of success and popularity that Tannehill has had missing his entire 2017 season after surgery to repair his ACL.

Surely, around the NFL, there some writers who believe the Dolphins are no better than a 4 to 6 win team.

Continue reading “It’s Ryan Tannehill against the world…again in 2018”

Tony Sparano: A strong man in conviction, who Coached for his guys

When Tony Sparano was hired, the only thing I knew about him as a fan was the corny spoof on his name sounding like Tony Soprano on ESPN Countdown.

At the time he was a little known coach of America’s team-the Dallas Cowboys.

Not only was Sparano little known, he happened to be coaching with Bill Parcells after coaching at New Haven.

Sparano, however, while cutting his teeth with the Cowboys as an offensive line coach happened to be hand picked by a gentleman Dolphins fans would prefer to forget-Jeff Ireland-then an Assistant in the scouting department for the Cowboys.

Here was Tony Sparano and while Miami beat reporters wanted to know his backstory, fans wondered openly if he was just another “yes man” spun in the web of Bill Parcells, football czar of the Dolphins.

Enter week 3 of the 2008 season, Dolphins and Patriots and the birth of the Wildcat.

Despite some painful losses to start the season, the Sparano Dolphins were big and tough and Chad Pennington looked like the real QB the Dolphins were seeking.

However, it was former Dolphin coach Nick Saban who had drafted a running back out of Auburn named Ronnie Brown. Until this point, the role for Brown was always catching passes out of the backfield and going on some long runs, but this time, he led the offense as a QB in the WildCat-an offense predicated on a running back running the ball on a draw play-direct snap or throwing a pass.

Credit goes to quarterbacks coach David Lee for concocting the plan with Sparano on the team flight after a tough road loss.

Continue reading “Tony Sparano: A strong man in conviction, who Coached for his guys”

Dolphins new anthem policy could be met with controversy from players and from fans

The Miami Dolphins have yet to fully begin training camp, but no start of camp would be complete without some form of controversy in Miami.

Taking a quick hike around the AFC East-the Dolphins were the only team with a seemingly quiet offseason after a bevy of moves to get under the cap, one big trade (Robert Quinn), and a very large release of the big Ndamukong Suh-who will make his Hollywood premiere quite soon. The Bills, Jets, and Patriots all made headlines and most headlines were negative.

However, this afternoon, AP followed by ESPN sent shockwaves on Twitter about the Miami Dolphins plan to “fine and or suspend players” who choose to kneel for the anthem during the 2018 NFL season.

The flurry of responses for and against the fresh off the press policy was widespread amongst Dolphins fans and non-Dolphins fans.

The angry sentiment for boycotting the NFL in 2017 rose to a fever pitch and the divisiveness and or a lack of understanding of this issue has resurfaced after a two month break since commissioner Roger Goodell left the interpretation of the policy-stand or stay in the tunnel, to the owners. Continue reading “Dolphins new anthem policy could be met with controversy from players and from fans”

Dolphins Minkah Fitzpatrick’s strong roots and work ethic will launch him to a successful NFL career

The Old Bridge, New Jersey native has come along way from his humble beginnings fixing cars with his father in the dead of winter to earning his way to Alabama and now being thrust into the Miami Dolphins defense with a bevy of high expectations less the pomp and circumstance.

Since entering the doors at the Miami Dolphins practice facility in Davie, FL- his résumé has continued to evolve as an NFL player and as a student of the game.

The reviews of Dolphins’ jack of all trades and ultra talented first round pick-Minkah Fitzpatrick have been nothing but glowing and 100 percent positive.

The Dolphins however, have a big problem.

This is a rookie and he’s emerging as the leader of the defense and quite possibly the team.

There is no mentoring for Fitzpatrick, he’s already had his journey as a youngster at St. Peter’s Prep, a Jesuit School where he was formed by teachers and coaches, leaders who instilled him competence, conscience, and compassion.

Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits once said: “Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Fitzpatrick will set the NFL on fire because of his strong work ethic formed by humility and having to overcome adversity being displaced by hurricane Sandy in his early teen years which only made him stronger and more prolific in the classroom and on the football field.

As a student athlete at Alabama the accolades became more pronounced as  the first Bednarik and Thorpe Winner as the best defensive back in College Football since Charles Woodson (Michigan) and Patrick Peterson (LSU), in his third and final season.*

He’s raising the bar as the leader the coaches want to see.

He’s not a free-lancer because he models his game after the best of the best-he refuses to take plays off.

Fitzpatrick is in the meeting room and in the huddle has already adapted to the NFL football lifestyle often staying at the facility with his eyes watching film and his mind internalizing the entire playbook.

Fitzpatrick is a leader and he’s assuming the role and becoming the face of the franchise.

The positive vibes are all around Davie as Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke said in his press conference yesterday:

As advertised, he’s sharp, he’s thirsty for knowledge and for more and we try to overload him a little bit and he keeps taking it and spends a lot of extra time in the building…”

It’s becoming apparent that Adam Gase who isn’t known to comment on his rookies as frequently has echoed nothing but positive compliments.

Said Gase this week about Fitzpatrick:

“He seems to be all over the place. He has a great motor, a great work ethic. It’s great seeing him progress since that first day. You can tell he takes this very serious and this is what he does,” coach Adam Gase said. “Any time coach [Nick] Saban has the amount of praise that he had for him, that’s [special]. You don’t hear [Saban] say a lot of the things that he said about him.”

I bet you if we asked Minkah today, he could tell you what the Dolphins offensive tendancies, because that’s his job and by August-he’ll have enough knowledge on the Patriots, Jets, and the Bills.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been equally impressed with Fitzpatrick saying:

“He plays aggressive. He plays what he sees and he plays fast, and that’s what you want to see out of a [defensive back].”

“You might make a mistake here or there but if you’re out there playing fast, you’re going to make some big plays and really change games for us.”

The Dolphins have a player that they would have never drafted in the past-he’s a player packaged in the Patriot Way blue print because he does “his job”, but he’s playing in Miami- which is a very good thing for the Dolphins.

When you hear of the draft night controversy that largely surrounded this pick for the Dolphins, you’ve heard of Owner Stephen Ross’ preference for another player-maybe Josh Rosen, a quarterback.

With Rosen long gone to Arizona after a trade with the Raiders, the Dolphins took the best player on the board even though they didn’t need a safety with TJ McDonald and Reshad Jones, but Jones can only play this game for so long.

Fitzpatrick comes with a pedigree that is stronger than most Dolphins players-playing for one of the winningest college football coaches-Nick Saban or Nick “Satan” in South Florida and the winningest program of recent time (although The Ohio State Fans would disagree).

What Fitzpatrick means to the Dolphins is this-a do over for all the crappy and ill-suited picks of the past.

I could get into how in the past Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald-suggested Brandon Graham and Earl Thomas-but Fitzpatrick makes up for that previous stupidity.

Fitzpatrick brings energy and a methodical approach to his craft.

Like the hard work instilled in Minkah by fixing cars with his father in New Jersey, that hard work and determination has translated onto the football field.

I’ll say this, and all say this once, but more so as the season unfolds- a star will shine in Miami-and his name is Minkah Fitzpatrick-strong to his roots and pure to the core on the field.

Photo Credit: Miami Herald

Stats and information provided by University of Alabama Athletics.

For the Dolphins the new mantra is team unity

Several years back, Jeff Ireland, then GM of the Miami Dolphins drafted players because they were good leaders and captains. His gamble never came to fruition during his tenure that is until Adam Gase arrived.

Fast forward to this offseason and specifically the draft, the Dolphins not only drafted leaders, but talented players.

Define talented? Minkah Fitzpatrick, talent, strength, and a strong football acumen made him the Dolphins 2018 pick at 11 in round one. Fitzpatrick will push TJ McDonald for the starting job. At Alabama he shined brightly in the big lights of the SEC and more importantly, head ball coach Nick Saban loved him.

Then there’s Tight End Mike Gesicki. Yes PSU’s Mike Gesicki who high points the ball when he catches it and is being compared to the likes of Rob Gronkowski. Obviously a red zone threat and Tannehill’s security blanket. Gesicki comes from Franklin’s system at Penn State and demonstrated a knack for big offensive touchdowns.

Could the Dolphins have leapfrogged Buffalo and selected a QB-Josh Rosen perhaps, yes. But then what?

Giving up draft picks that turned into potential fulfillment of roster needs would have been stupid at this juncture when a QB, although a nice luxury in the draft could have crippled the team for seasons if both the offense and defense were not addressed.

As an arm chair GM, I’ve noticed that teams can afford to gamble when they already have a good team and the Dolphins are merely a team in progress who aspire for bigger and better things like playoffs. Some Dolphins fans say “we can’t have nice things.” My answer to that-look at the Cleveland Browns. No matter who they draft, they are still missing a major component-winning.

This year’s offseason for the Dolphins was all about drafting the best players and leaders and filling holes left vacant after an offseason which saw the Dolphins get into the black in terms of cap space and straighten out their balance sheet.

Gone is the rather needy Landry.

Gone is Suh who could never build a consistent portfolio of games even though he was the highest rated player according to PFF.

Clearly, Head coach Adam Gase, GM Chris Grier, and finally VP Mike Tannenbaum had a plan in mind and they all made sure that one: the Dolphins locker room didn’t divide when dealing with a tough loss or two and players were traded or rumor to be traded and two-add depth to every position.

As of now, OTAs have passed and the Dolphins like the look of their team with both young players and veterans buying in to Adam Gase’s system-straight laced, fair, and learn the X’s and O’s before you step on the field.

Based on my observations from training camp: Gase provides a structured environment and every player on the field knows exactly where they should be and the practices are uptempo. It’s truly a thing of beauty. Coaches coach and most of all teach.

As of now, Adam Gase has put the rookies on notice each of his past three seasons with meetings the weekend before OTA’s and what is expected if you play in Miami as a pro-such as meeting all staff at Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphin’s home stadium. It’s an orientation of sorts which takes a page from Fortune 500 companies who invest in their people.

Gase’s response on why he goes over this with the rookies: so come first days of OTAs they can “hit the ground running.”

When I see what Gase has established in three seasons in Miami it comes down to one word-trust.

Last year when there was clear dissension or division of the locker room, Gase’s ride or die moment with Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams to do the job of Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi, he proved us all wrong even though the experiment didn’t lead to many wins.

Last season when he called out certain players, not by name about spending more time in their playbooks-he was critical of what he wanted from his guys-leadership.

Last year, the Dolphins craved leadership.

You could point to a number of instances where Adam Gase could be seen yelling at Jarvis Landry and for good reason-Landry clearly showed that the games were all about him and when things didn’t go his way-we saw it versus Buffalo in week 17, temper tantrum and ejections.

Here’s what I can see based on the various reports from OTA’s: the defense has a new leader and his name is Raekwon McMillan. From telling players to where line up and giving the Dolphins enormous intel and trust his judgement to draft his pal Baker from OSU (might be the steal of the draft even though I love Kiko).

On offense: Ryan Tannehill sat an entire season due to a second torn ACL and then watched Jay Cutler make a mockery of his job and could barely keep it together as the season wound down and Gase has no choice but to evaluate David Fales.

Tannehill is the leader of the Dolphins and don’t be fooled. He has grown up from that deer in the headlights look and if he has a strong season, he’ll have an argument for big money anywhere he wants to play.

Leadership. It’s a role that can be daunting and fleeting in an NFL locker room.

Gase has his guys and for now, he has some good players that are buying in and ready to lead the next chapter of Dolphins football.

(Photo Credit: Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins free agency recap

With the 2018 NFL Draft upcoming in a week, we breakdown the Miami Dolphins free agency acquisitions by position.

Quarterback:

The Dolphins signed Brock Osweiler to an undisclosed contract. Osweiler who was traded to the Browns by the Texans last year on draft day, never suited up for the Browns during the season, but headed back to Denver with mixed results. While this signing drew the ire of several Dolfans, the move makes sense as head coach Adam Gase worked with Osweiler while as an assistant in Denver and frankly offers a chance for Osweiler to compete for the back up role. Unclear is how the Dolphins view Osweiler should they draft a quarterback. To me, Osweiler had his biggest season as he led the Broncos to the playoffs-spelling a broken down and essentially benched Peyton Manning for a time and earning a huge win-for home field advantage versus the New England Patriots in 2015. While Osweiler chased big money in Houston, he was later discarded for draft picks and ended up getting some playing time in Denver due to the uncertainty of the quarterback position. In addition David Fales was brought back to compete for a backup job. Fales has earned Adam Gase’s trust so it should be interesting who stays and who goes if the Dolphins draft a QB next week.

Running back: The Dolphins signed veteran running back Frank Gore. Gore returns to his roots in South Florida as he played football and attended Coral Gables High and played football at the University of Miami. What makes this move interesting is that Gase acquires a guy who still has some gas in the tank as a running back, but also can be a veteran leader for the running back room, something that hasn’t been present in the Gase era. While Gore brings an intensity on the field, as he has said, he will show Kenyan Drake how to be a “real pro” off the field. More importantly, the Dolphins feel that Gore has one good year left in him and getting that extra yard for the offense could be Gore’s strength in a nice one-two punch with Kenyan Drake.

Wide Receiver: The Dolphins brought in both Albert Wilson (Kansas City) and Danny Amendola (New England). After sending Jarvis Landry to the Browns via trade, the Dolphins have chosen to add two potential slot receivers with speed. First on Wilson-he spent most of his time in the shadows of Tyreke Hill, but Wilson burned the Dolphins secondary in their late season meeting and quite frankly brings an element that is critical for a slot receiver-speed. Wilson ran a 4.3 at the combine, but he could be a key cog in the Dolphins offensive attack and could make things rather exciting on game days. I believe Gase went for a true game-changing threat and was perhaps even more impressed at his ability to get open and run routes. As for Amendola being available, this was kind of a key bonus to Dolfans, but in reality the Dolphins now have a short yardage threat and a red zone weapon. Amendola has plenty left for the rest of the AFC and NFL opponents and is on the same page as Adam Gase and this offense. While the Dolphins paid a premium for his services to the tune of 6 million dollars, it shouldn’t hurt their cap standing in the the next few years. The Dolphins replaced one (Landry) with two proven and talented receivers-less the cost of Landry. Plus adding both Wilson and Amendola to the wide receiver corps of DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, and Leonte Carroo-the Dolphins have the depth needed for 16 games and beyond.

Tight end: While the Dolphins didn’t sign a new player at the position and they sent away Julius Thomas, they acquired AJ Derby late in the season. Derby has shown some toughness in goal line situations as well as in the passing game. However, this draft is full of tight ends, so I’d expect the Dolphins to address the position.

Center: The Dolphins didn’t sign a new Center as they traded a 7th round pick for Andrew Kilgore of the 49ers. Kilgore brings experience and since he was signed to a new deal back in February, the Dolphins have him locked up for a few years. Surely Mike Pouncey’s intensity will be missed, but not his lack of durability.

Guard: Josh Sitton was brought in to play left guard and be a mentor for Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins I believe struck gold with this move because guard was a huge need as Isaac Asiata wasn’t clearly game-ready for the NFL and the Dolphins went with a hodge-podge of different players.

Tackle: While it wasn’t a free agent acquisition, the Dolphins stayed the course and brought back Ja’Juan James as their starting right tackle. As James was placed on IR at midseason, it was imperative that the Dolphins shored up the position and are ready to roll with James for the next few seasons. James if anything was one of the key acquisitions from the Hickey-Philbin era that has worked out.

Defensive End: The Robert Quinn acquisition in a trade was by far the biggest offseason splash. The Dolphins added a savvy and capable veteran who gives the Dolphins some length and flexibility and can in plain language-get after the quarter back. While Quinn had 9.5 sacks last season-he dipped in his number of sacks due to a position switch from end to linebacker in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense. The fact that Quinn is in the defensive line room takes the pressure off of veteran leader-Cam Wake and brings another threat that teams will have to scheme for. While the cost of a 4th round pick was steep, getting a player of Quinn’s caliber was nothing short of brilliant between Gase, Grier, and Tannenbaum.

Of course come draft day next week, the Dolphins could pivot slightly from the same mantra that seems to dog the fans intelligence-that Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins starting quarterback.

We shall see what’s next for the Dolphins, but know this-they will address holes in their roster during this year’s draft and getting a QB might satisfy their most glaring need.

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post

Dolphins gut roster, but at what cost?

The 1972 Miami Dolphins featured a defense called the No-Name Defense and led those Dolphins to the only perfect season ever in NFL history.

I’m was born 6 years after to know any better about the 1972 Dolphins, but they once revitalized the city of Miami with their play, swagger, and success.

At a time when Miami needed to escape the hangover of racism and discrimination, the city found a way to get back together.

The Dolphins won the Super Bowl in two consecutive years, a feat only seen by one other team-the Green Bay Packers at the time.

What’s so remarkable about that Dolphins team, is that they became an even stronger team after the NFL expanded in 1966 to Miami. Much of the credit goes to Don Shula who had other potential championships in his grasp if not for some disappointing playoff appearances and a lack of defensive effort in down years.

However, here we are in 1985, sorry-the Dolphins lost the Super Bowl in the fog of Palo Alto in the shadows of Stanford Stadium.

Here we are in 2018, and the Miami Dolphins have found their zero percent interest credit cards and pushed their future payments out a few years with releasing pricey veterans no matter who they are or what they’ve done in the past.

Call this roster churning what it is- a bailout if you will. Steve Ross is allowing the Dolphins front office to just bailout the franchise and instead of bringing back younger more expensive talents-they’re spending and banking on older and more experienced players.

Gone is Jarvis Landry at the tender age of 25 and sent to of all places, the Cleveland Browns and their factory of sadness. Will loyal Dolphins fans jump ship and head for the greener pastures of Cleveland with Landry and join his Lake Erie Gang gang?

Next, Ndamukong Suh. I personally loved Suh and was happy the day he joined Miami. What I didn’t love is his legs were a target and in his first game versus the Redskins, he couldn’t get free from being cut blocked or double teamed and he was toast the entire game. 2015 was a terrible year and we really didn’t see vintage Suh until 2016 and then 2017.

The one time the Dolphins made the playoffs during his tenure, he disappeared into the mist of the three rivers air in Pittsburgh.

Again, I loved Suh, but I’m moving on.

So Julius Thomas was cut-I’m fine with this move. He underperformed and underdelivered.

Lawrence Timmons? Fine. He was never going to play better than his Pittsburgh days and going AWOL helped the Dolphins.

Here’s where these past few days got interesting-Mike Pouncey’s departure. I loved Pouncey’s heart and I loved his soul, but he could only go so far and he truly doesn’t have much left in the tank. The right thing to do was for the Dolphins to release him, but with honor and offer him that much- a space on the hallowed ring of honor. I’ll miss Pouncey because he busted his butt for the Dolphins and never quit.

However, what did the Dolphins add exactly in the past few days? Did they add depth? Sure.

Did they get faster? Yes.

Did they find a complementary back? No.

Did they find a linebacker in free agency? Not yet.

Did they add more pass rush to complement Robert Quinn? Yes/No.

Did the Dolphins make a splash so that Stephen Ross can sell tickets to his shareholders? Not exactly. Club LIV will not have the same energy that Landry brought to the offense nor some of that toughness Pouncey gave the offensive line.

Look, I get that Albert Wilson’s and his speed and quickness brought him to Miami. I understand how he will fill a hole in the slot for now.

Danny Amendola was somewhat surprising, but then again Bill Belichick never pays for talent past their prime-except for Brady and he’s underpaid per QB contract averages versus what he’s accomplished-5 Super Bowl wins and 8 appearances.

While I can respect the Robert Quinn deal, I can’t fathom paying him if he doesn’t perform next season and that will have been a wasted trade. Surely, the Dolphins should get more than 27 sacks in 2018.

Here’s what gets me, QB. The Dolphins clearly needed a QB to backup Tannehill, but they didn’t get one. Instead they signed David Fales and just left it at that since they have Brandon Doughty signed as well.

You would think the Dolphins would at least kick the tires on Bridgewater (Jets) or Cousins (Vikings) or even Siemian (Broncos).

At this point to rid themselves of 56 million dollars, that’s a nice little gain for the Dolphins, but they still don’t have a complete team and the draft is still about a month away.

Consider this for a second, the Dolphins could have had Landry for three million more. Three million that they didn’t have, but they could easily get after releasing key veterans, which they still did.

We all want to turn the page, but the bottom line with all of this- what’s the plan?

If getting tier 1 free agents didn’t work in the past, how will Adam Gase and Co. produce wins with tier 2 guys?

As the Dolphins front office mulls their options and continues to back track on some of their own declarations of players good to go for 2018, know this, no one on this roster is safe come 2019.

Can Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso return to his 2016 form?

The Miami Dolphins have plenty of issues and linebacker Kiko Alonso is probably one of them.  Sorry Jay-Z for butchering the lyrics to one of your most famous songs.

However, let’s look at how Kiko Alonso can be better and get back to the play maker he was in 2016, by far the best season of his career.

Last offseason, Alonso signed a contract that seemed lucrative and paid out the majority of his bonus, a 3 year extension that put him at 29 million with 18.5 million guaranteed.  Alonso’s contract, however is not a lucrative for the Dolphins to just outright cut him.

According to Spotrac.com,. Alonso’s deal signed last offseason (2017) goes from a $1,075,000 to a whopping and astronomical raise that many of us can’t fathom to nearly 8 million dollars at $7,875,000.  Alonso’s bonus pays out at $1,762,250 plus a 25,000 dollar workout bonus each season.

This much is known-Alonso is being paid quite well by the Dolphins, so much so they wanted him in uniform this past offseason and didn’t want to tag nor transition him or heaven forbid let him hit the market.

Looking a bit deeper into how his numbers equate with his production, Alonso this season finished the season, healthy and playing 16 games.  While his best season was in Buffalo (2013) as a rookie with 159 combined tackles, Alonso clearly has developed some consistency in combined tackles, amassing 115 in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Tackles alone don’t tell the entire story for Alonso has he was the worst rated linebackers per Ryan Smith of PFF, he said this concerning Alonso after the Buffalo game week 15:

“Linebacker Kiko Alonso had a top-five LB grade for the third time this season in Week 14, but struggled once again against his old team in Buffalo this week, finishing the game at 29.8 overall. He was targeted eight times, allowing seven receptions for 71 yards (all team-highs). He also struggled in the run game as well missing two tackles, bringing his season total to 13.”

What’s most telling about the statistical breakdown is the 71 yards given up via pass to the Bills, a statistic that should not sit well with Adam Gase and most of all Matt Burke, the Dolphins current defensive coordinator.

Looking at both 2016 versus 2017- Alonso’s grades per PFF were:

2017 final overall grade at 39.0, ranked 76th for all linebackers, 62.4 versus the run and 35.5 in coverage.

Alternatively, basing his contract on his 2016 numbers, Alonso earned a grade of 72.9 overall, much higher than his overall this season and the 48th ranked linebacker and better than Lawrence Timmons whom the Dolphins settled on during last offseason.

In fact, for comparison’s sake, the Dolphins had other options at linebacker in addition to Alonso and chose Lawrence Timmons who was charged with stopping the run and helping in pass coverage. The Dolphins brought Timmons in to be the guy in the middle and also drafted Raquon McMillan out of The Ohio State.

The Dolphins, per Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, had a choice of various linebackers: Dont’a Hightower, Timmons (whom they signed), Zach Brown, Malcom Smith, Will Compton, Paul Worrilow, Gerald Hodges, Nick Bellore, and Keenan Robinson.  PFF grades alone, Dont’a Hightower was the highest ranked at #12, but the Dolphins probably had less of a chance to obtain his services via free-agency as he commanded far more money than what Timmons signed for.

Consequently, the Dolphins settled on Timmons and Kiko was tasked and therefore trapped and set as the cover linebacker as teams continuously targeted him in their passing game plans.  It’s no secret that Kiko could not “hide” the issues he had in coverage and therefore was exposed early and often in 2017.

Going forward, as the Dolphins look to take several cost-saving measures with their current salary cap, they should start at linebacker and jettison Timmons who went AWOL week one and didn’t perform as advertised on or off the field.  Surely Timmons had some games, but look for the Dolphins to surround Kiko Alonso with some talent so that he can do what he does best, run downhill and make bone-crushing hits.

As an aside, while Kiko Alonso had a down year as a Dolphins linebacker on the field, he’s fulfilled the call of helping out in Puerto Rico this offseason after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island last fall.  It’s inspirational to see Alonso put into action his passion for “su gente,” and if you happen to read this last paragraph, check out Kiko’s website: kikoalonso47.com and consider purchasing a GIVE shirt to give back and help Puerto Rico.  Alonso’s YouCaring site has raised over 165,000 for supplies to Puerto Rico (Dolphins.com).

Kiko Alonso’s visit to Puerto Rico has also been highlighted in this article by Alain Poupart of the Dolphins.com

-DolphinMick

KIKO ALONSO 2018