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      by Published on 11-17-2013 11:28 PM     Number of Views: 6172 



      Positives

      * I got to start with the offensive line. Between the Jonathan Martin scandal and Mike Pouncey coming up ill, it looked disastrous coming into today. However, this group played well today considering everything. The line gave up four sacks, but only two were on them at first blush. Eric Weddle got to Ryan Tannehill on a safety blitz and the other one RT ran out of bounds at the end of the game. In the run game, the line got good push. After last week's terrible output, the line helped out by going for 104 yards and over 5 yards a pop.
      * Sam Brenner. I give the coaching staff credit for putting aside draft status and putting in the guy that they thought could do the job. Danny Watkins got in some, but Sam Brenner seemed to do okay. Good for the kid that learned just last night he was starting his first NFL game.
      * Coach Turner got his name slung into the mud today, undoubtedly by Jon Martin's people. Props to him that he might be able to smile tonight after his group's effort.
      * Credit must go to the offensive play calling. Mike Sherman had one of his best games of the season. While there is some criticism within this game, overall Mike Sherman gave the offense a chance to succeed. First, Sherman came out attacking through the air versus a lousy San Diego pass defense. He got the Chargers out of sorts. By passing early, he set up the run. The run game had excellent design. They ran out of the shot gun. They ran out of the pistol. They ran a reverse to Thigpen. They went Read Option. They allowed the line to get rugged and ran the rock right at the Chargers. The first part of the 4 Minute drill was tremendous. Showing confidence in the offense, Sherman attacked. They got first downs and showed they were not about to give the ball back to the Chargers. While the first part of the 4 Minute Drill was good, the last part struggled, which will be discussed in the negatives. Overall, Mike Sherman was excellent today.
      * On that 4 Minute drive, Brian Hartline made a nice catch and got upfield. Alertly, he stayed in bounds. Rishard Matthews also picked up a first down of this drive.
      * Charles Clay was the MVP on offense. 90 yards on 6 catches and a TD. Clay made one of the best plays of the year in the 2nd Half, running through the Chargers secondary for a TD. It was tough-minded play that has seemed to be lacking from this team this year. Great play and great game for the TE out of Tulsa.
      * Ryan Tannehill made some good throws. Considering the changes up front and the trouble getting the ball to Mike Wallace, he played a solid game considering.
      * Daniel Thomas had his best game of the year. He ran hard...very physical. He had 57 yards on 10 carries...5.5 a pop and a TD.
      * Red Zone defense. The defense forced the Chargers to kick 2 FG's in 3 of their Red Zone opportunities. Might have been the difference in the game. One of those stops, Kevin Coyle called a perfect safety blitz with Chris Clemons and it forced a bad Phillip Rivers pass.
      * The pass rush came alive in the 2nd Half. Olivier Vernon had a HUGE sack in the 4th as he beat D.J. Fluker. It pushed the Chargers back far enough that a FG attempt was not possible at the end of the series. Jared Odrick also got in on sack. Finally, Cameron Wake showed up huge on the final drive taking down Rivers and in turn forcing SD to take their last timeout.
      * Brent Grimes. He had a interception in the 1st Quarter. He had strong coverage throughout the day. Alertly, he knocked down the last pass of the game in the corner of the end zone.
      * 3rd down defense...kept the Chargers to 4-11.
      * It was good to see Dion Jordan getting more looks...some were at defending Antonio Gates. He was around the QB some as well when rushing the passer.
      * Penalties. The Fins had only 3 for 15 yards. Considering the changes up front and the distractions all week, that is tremendous stat. The Chargers on the other hand had 10 penalties for 75 yards. The Fins proved to be more disciplined.
      * The team played hard for 60 minutes. That credit goes to Coach Philbin. He had the team to play for the entire game today.

      Negatives
      * 3rd down offense. 2 of 10. Too many patterns are not going beyond the sticks. I understand that sometimes a receiver has to get the ball before sticks, run and make the first down. However, some of these down and distances are not so long that a pattern cannot go beyond the needed distance. Not good enough.
      * While I waxed poetic about the early part of the 4 minute drill, the last part however, was brutal. The situation screamed for the team to run and make the Chargers use their timeouts. The team kept throwing. One incompletion killed the clock. Then, inexplicably on the 3rd down play, RT bootlegged and ran out of bounds, killing the clock again. I understand he did not want to throw a pick, but grab a seat in bounds forcing the Chargers to use their last timeout. While the drive had positives, it was mind numbing how it came to an end.
      * Bogging down in the red area on the opening drive was tough. After a stellar drive, the team could not come up with the necessary plays to punch in an opening TD.
      * Ryan Tannehill's interception. The DB's baited him well, but the turnover was turned into a TD for the Chargers. The pass before that, could have been a pick six the other way.
      * RT under throwing a wide open Mike Wallace.
      * Mike Wallace's body language when his QB misses him deep.
      * John Jerry's two false start penalties. For the guy that has played the most of the group, he cannot be making those penalties.
      * The run defense was awful. They gave up 159 yards for 5.9 per carry. The LB's are most to blame. They take horrendous angles and simply miss tackles.
      * Giving Antonio Gates a free release into the end zone for an easy score. It created an easy pitch and catch for Rivers and Gates.
      * After the great Clay TD run, the defense goes on to the field and yields a drive that leads to a long FG. The defense failed to keep the momentum after the great run by Clay.
      * Nolan Carroll dropped a would-be pick on the goal line. The ball hit him in the hands. The Chargers cashed in 3 points on the next play.
      * The faded lines from the soccer field looked terrible. Not as bad as the infield cut out from the baseball field years ago, but the soccer lines looked shabby.

      Overall Assessment
      * Folks, enjoy the win. I killed the team this week and gave up at times today. I have seen the team wilt in big spots too many times. It is okay to criticize, but some people are poo-pooing the win. That is ridiculous. My goodness guys...enjoy the win. All things considered, that is a solid win.
      * The Fins are back in the Wild Card hunt. I was killed in my assessment last week by some posters by simply stating that the season was not over after the Tampa Bay loss and that actually the season was on the line today versus San Diego. Turns out I was right. The Fins got a ton of help in the standings...again...this week. They are 5-5 with two games left with the Jets. The competition behind the Fins have some tough games as well. 8-8 could get the last seed into the playoffs. While I do not think the Fins will win next week, for it is a bad match up across the board, it is still a non conference game. Regardless of the outcome versus the Panthers, the following week at the New York Jets will be huge. Through all the turmoil, suspect play, questionable coaching and a tough schedule, the Miami Dolphins are in this thing.
      * I was very happy to see the team play hard tonight. We did not see that all that much versus the Bucs. Today, the team played hard and that is a credit to the players, but mostly Coach Philbin. When I rip Philbin for the team being listless, he in turn deserves praise when his team plays hard.
      * I trashed the defense in the GDT quite a bit. Some might be warranted, but other times not. While they frustrate me to no end at times, when it was all said in done, the Chargers got 1 TD and 3 FG's. At the end of the day, it is about points scored and yielded. Today, they kept a pretty good offense under 20 points. Credit to them.
      * More big plays are needed. They need to get more turnovers and have a large turnover differential each game. On offense, they need to have bigger plays. Wallace and Lamar Miller can deliver those, but they have to start to come through when given a chance. Big plays are a way to supplement an offense that battles with consistency.
      * The team needs to have better killer instinct. The great play by Charles Clay yelled for the defense to step up and make a play...to find a way to keep momentum. However, the defense allowed 3 points by the Chargers. The week before, it was reversed. After a Jimmy Wilson interception, the offense had a chance to step on TB's throat with a TD...they did not as they settled for a FG. The team MUST get better here. It is up to the coaches to get the players to see those critical situations. It is up to the players to make the necessary plays to knock an opponent down.
      * While the offensive line did nice work today, the Chargers do have a weak front. That should not take away from the what the guys did today. However, it must be pointed out that next two defensive fronts (Car and NYJ) are loaded and coached very well. The line has to have its best personnel available and find ways to improve.
      * Sam Brenner did a nice job, but what does it say when he starts ahead of a late preseason free agent pick up in Danny Watkins and a 3rd round pick in Dallas Thomas?
      * How bad has the run defense got? They were #3 overall two years ago and are sliding to the bottom half of the league.
      * Reshad Jones has been ordinary to bad since his contract extension. A signing that I supported, has not worked out. More is needed from him. It is time for him to do the little things that made him an impact guy last year.
      * I know he is trying, but Dimitri Patterson's groin injury is frustrating. What is even more frustrating is that Nolan Carroll is the "next man up". Carroll should be the guy based on the roster, but that does not mean he is very capable. Carroll seems to make a play, but gives up a big one thereafter. His dropped pick today is like a turnover...especially that deep in SD territory.
      * Corey Liguet is a dirty player. That was cheap shot on RT that thankfully kept a TD drive alive after a Hartline fumble. I think he got Peyton Manning low last week.
      * While the Fins got the attention about the issues on the Oline, the Chargers had almost as many.
      * Sad turnout of fans at Sun Life. I give credit to Mr. Ross that he keeps the games on TV. With that said, the fans that were there were awesome. They seemed into it. Good for them. I wish the team had more local support.
      * Unfortunately, this week will be the biggest week of distractions. Not only is a loaded Panthers team coming, but so is Ted Wells. The team will be focused on what this Martin mess is going to bring. The media will be back and there will be leaks everywhere.
      * Jonathan Martin is a snake. I will keep saying it. How he brought this team into this fiasco is beyond me. His grin from ear to ear at the Stanford/SC game is galling. BTW, thank you SC for beating his school. I guess he was a loser twice this weekend. The Fins are 2-1 since Martin walked out on his team. There are a lot of people that deserve static for some shortcomings in Miami, but make no mistake about it, Jon Martin is the root for the current ills of this team.
      by Published on 11-12-2013 10:45 AM     Number of Views: 5429 



      Positives
      * Ryan Tannehill was solid tonight. With no semblance of a running game, RT managed a solid game. 27-42, 229 yards, 2 TD's and 1 int (desperation heave at the end of the game). He also managed a great 2 minute drill at the end of the game.
      * Rishard Matthews had a coming out party. He was excellent out of the slot. He had 120 yards on 11 catches and 2 TD's.
      * 3rd down defense. Held the Bucs to 3-12 on the money down.
      * Jimmy Wilson's interception.
      * Dion Jordan had pressure on the QB on the Wilson pick.
      * Nolan Carroll had a perfectly executed blitz.
      * Marcus Thigpen's punt return that set up a Dolphins score.
      * Brandon Fields punt that perfectly went out of bounds inside the one.
      * Marlon Moore's hit on a KR.

      Negatives
      * On a week we heard about the team being fired up and "together", the team came out absolutely flat. No energy.
      * Once again the team started out flat and again could not finish.
      * The team showed to be undisciplined. Mike Pouncey took an early personal foul. Later, late in the game Phillip Wheeler, gives a blow to the head of a Mike Glennon that keeps alive a drive that kills more clock.
      * Gave up a TD that won the game for TB after Miami had gone ahead with a 19-15 lead and momentum.
      * 2 yards rushing for the entire game. A franchise low. 0.1 yards per rush.
      * Michael Egnew misses a blitzing LB that leads to an easy safety.
      * John Jerry yielding two sacks in crunch time.
      * Pass pro melted late.
      * RT missing an open Mike Wallace as his throw took him out of bounds.
      * Terrible chemistry between Tannehill and Wallace.
      * Charles Clay. Multiple drops and showed limited awareness in his routes and when running the ball.
      * RT staying in the pocket, but had a chance to run while in the Red Zone.
      * Run defense. Gave up 140 yards to a team without both its starting RB's and everyone in the world knowing they would run the ball.
      * Bad Tackling. Missed tackles. Terrible form. Dline played on skates. Olivier Vernon losing contain. He is not setting the edge.
      * Changed later, but the Bucs were able to match up Vincent Jackson against a LB.
      * Chris Clemons dropped an interception chance. From there, the Bucs punt and back up the Dolphins inside the 1 yard line. That leads to a Bucs safety.
      * Terrible PI call on Brent Grimes.
      * Marcus Thigpen losing valuable yards by taking the ball out of the end zone.
      * Punt coverage team yielded a long return, plus five yards to set a Bucs FG.
      * No TD after the Thigpen PR.
      * Thigpen not attempting a return and instead fair catching it even though he had a chance to make some yards with a return.
      * Conservative play calls in close after the Wilson pick. No killer instinct to put the opponent away.
      * The team did not blitz until later in the game. They had success, but waited back and played coverage early and lost.
      * Going for 2 points with seconds left in the 3rd. IF they would have taken the extra point, they might have had a shot to win the game with a FG at the end of the game instead of tie. Poor game management.

      Overall Assessment
      * I never bought the narrative that this was going to be fired up and take it out on the Bucs tonight. This team has shown to be mentally weak and lack direction from the head coach. This is a very weak group in terms of showing toughness...players and coaching staff included.
      * It kind of makes me sick that the players were indignant about people questioning their locker room and they in turn go out and lay and egg.
      * With all that said, how is the team NOT ready and fired up to start out? How is there NOT controlled aggression? Where is the staff putting the team in positions that they perform best in so they can "play fast"? Where is a "razzle dazzle", trickeration to get the team pumped up and having fun? In a stadium where they are ready to turn on their home team, the Fins breathed life into the Bucs and made it a game. Unacceptable.
      * I am tired of hearing what Jonathan Martin wants. Martin is a weak person that had no social skills to avoid America's latest controversy. He created a distraction. He tore apart an offensive line. The focus from the owner to the press is about Jonathan needs. Disgusting. I never want him to play for Miami again.
      * I am sure the national media is happy Miami lost. From Mike Florio, to Jason Laconfora, to Tom Jackson, to Shannon Sharpe are busting right now. ESPN is fired up that Bucs got their first win against the Fins.
      * With that said, ESPN struggled tonight. Mike Tirico said the Pouncey penalty was a "15 yarder on Incognito" and twice Jon Gruden kept calling Clay, "William Clay".
      * Steven Ross meant well, but created a distraction by having his presser before the game. He should have let the team play and have his presser in Davie tomorrow or had it last week. Ross means well, but it was awful timing.
      * Jeff Ireland is obviously in trouble. He might be the fall guy. However, Jeff Ireland is not putting together the game plan nor motivating the team. Joe Philbin is leaving a lot to be desired right now.
      * I still do not think Joe Philbin is off the hook btw. I know that Ross raved about him, but at the end of the day the NFL's report is going to come out and show that the locker room was not a good working environment and things went on that "should not have"...that is on Philbin. Plus, Philbin needs to make a difference on game day from here on out. I saw a listless team for the first two quarters and again one that cannot finish.
      * Joe Philbin gives the team no advantage. Not one of motivation. Not one of game planning/strategy leading into a game. Not one of intellectual prowess on game day. I am confused on what he brings that is so important for the organization to hold on to. How can the team not be focus for 3 hours on game day? That is on the head coach. This team is not coached well.
      * Make no mistake about it, Miami lost to a bad team tonight. Mike Glennon is terrible. They were without both Doug Martin and Mike James. They have a terrible pass D...yet Miami lost. A brutal loss.
      * With that said, Miami is still in it. The season is NOT over. However, next week is a must win versus San Diego. Win and they are still in it. Lose and it is over. The distractions and investigations will eat this team alive. 4pm at Sun Life...whatcha got Miami?
      by Published on 11-05-2013 05:27 PM     Number of Views: 3191 




      Down two starters on the offensive line, the dolphins signed David Arkin, the Cowboys 4th round pick in 2011. Arkin 6-5, 306 pounds, played college at Missouri State. In his two years in the league, Arkin has spent the majority of his time on the practice squad.