Did you know it’s cold in Ohio? Of course you did, that’s why most smart people who dislike the cold live south. That’s where I am at right now, a week long vacation…if you can call it that, buried beneath a sweater instead of a simple long sleeve T-shirt….ahhhhh, visiting family! That doesn’t mean that there isn’t news to cover, and it surely doesn’t mean that the NFL, specifically the Miami Dolphins don’t have things moving along. So while I will be without my HD TV and my Sunday Ticket for a weekend, news is news.
The Dolphins announced that NT Jason Ferguson was back on the practice field and will try and play through an oblique injury that is pretty painful. It’s the difference between hurt and injured and apparently Fergie is just hurt. It echo’s the new attitude of this group of coaches and management. You play football, your going to be hurting throughout the season, if it won’t get worse, get back on the field and suck it up.
That however can not be said about CB Michael Lehan who has been tossed on the IR ending his season and his name consistently on the injury report. Lehan “tweaked” his hamstring early in the week after battling a badly twisted ankle since before training camp. Lehan got healthy before the start of the season but this injury is just another example of a player who can’t stay healthy and it makes you wonder about his conditioning considering that he was limited throughout TC with the ankle. Last year the Phins had a light TC and they were one of the most injured teams in the NFL. This year of course it’s the opposite.
Explaining why they chose to place Lehan on IR instead of waiting it out, Tony Sparano said, “we need consistency, we need healthy people”. Interesting considering the rest of the team’s healthy. The Dolphins brought back CB Joey Thomas to replace Lehan. Thomas was in camp with the Phins. Lehan may find himself out of a job come next year as the Dolphins are believed to be looking at revamping a very weak secondary and not being able to show what you can or can’t do will not help Lehan secure a spot next season.
Brandon London was brought aboard as a special teams player and last week he laid a big time football lick on Ravens TE Edgar Jones on a kick-off return. The hit did not garner a flag but apparently John Harbaugh, the HC of the Ravens thought it should have been a flag and submitted the video to the league office for investigation. The NFL ruled in favor of the Ravens and showed no love for London, leveling a 5K fine on the ST hitter.
Tony Sparano is fed up and tired with the whole 3 and out routine the Phins offense is beginning to show signs of doing at the wrong time. This week the team supposedly had one of their hardest and “best” practices of the season. The defense has been struggling of late and it won’t get any easier when Lee Evans the Dolphins killer comes to town and the fact that the offense is sputtering with 3 and outs will not go over well with the 1st year HC.
“It’s not a good situation,” Sparano said. “Obviously, in our league one of the keys to victory is going to be that we keep the defense off the field, especially when we’re a young defense.
“Usually, you’re losing the field-position battle then because if you’re three-and-out, you gain no yards and now the punt. So all of a sudden, little by little, they’re inching up the field, and they haven’t done anything.
“When you’re a defensive player you’re sitting out there kind of saying ‘OK, now I have to go back out and, the field is shorter.’ “
The Dolphins currently rank dead last in 3 and outs. They have a 27 percent ratio or 17 over their 60 plus drives have ended in a 3 and out. The Bills have a 21 percent ratio.