Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith (24) gestures on the field against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Dolphins won 30-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins Problems Bigger Than WR


The Miami Dolphins faced off against the San Francisco 49′ers  today and one thing is becoming increasingly apparent, the wide receiver position is not Miami’s biggest problem.  Today’s loss was not due to the lack of a pass game but the lack of talent in key positions.  Granted Miami absolutely needs help at receiver but the current crew has done a great job for a group that was cast off even before the season started because of a lack of a true “1″ receiver. The biggest issues that have come about  in the last several weeks and capped in today’s game was the lack of protection for QB Ryan Tannehill and the ability to stop opposing QBs from completing a pass.

Even though, now left tackle, Jonathan Martin is a rookie, he is rapidly showing he is not the guy to replace Jake Long weather it be next season or later.  Martin has had serious issues blocking on right side of the line and was given the excuse that he was not used to the right side. Well he is now back in his “comfort zone” on the left side and had not gotten any better. In first half of today’s game Martin was literally blown off the ball and ran over by Niners’ Aldon Smith and gave up another sack. The announcers were nice enough to point and laugh on how bad Martin was beat. Actually Martin was only successful in blocking when he was being helped by either a running back, guard or tight end. Reggie Bush did an outstanding job of checking Niner’s Smith back inside with a shoulder check and Martin allowed Smith to run at the Qb right past his face. He is still a rookie but had so far not been the caliber of tackle the Phins thought they were drafting in the second round of last years draft.

On the defense the obvious hole at corner back has gone from a small hole to the Grand Canyon with the inept play of Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll. After a great start to the season and finally starting to look like a solid starting corner, Smith has steadily declined in every game getting worse instead of better. Playing soft and allowing short passes for first downs, dropping easy interceptions, giving up deep balls and touchdowns, Smith has done everything but stop a pass from being completed. His size and speed should have him shutting down receivers instead of helping them inflate their stats.  His run support has been almost as bad as his pass coverage.  Smith again failed to get off a block which allowed Niners’ QB Collin Kaepernick to run untouched for touchdown when Miami needed a stop the most.

On the other side Carrol is starting simply due to a lack of options at the position.  Carrol has more penalty yards in one game them some corners have this entire season. Carrol gets beat more often then not and then holds or interferes for penalties for first downs going the other way. Carrol is another player with the skill set to be a great player but apparently not the talent or mind set.

The lack of pass defense could possibly be blamed on the lack of pass rush at times but for the most part the D-line has done a good job. Cameron Wake has 12 sacks along with a ton of holding calls. Randy Starks and Paul Solia have done a great job up the middle forcing teams to double team inside and single blocking Wake on the outside. Unfortunately Jared Odrick is almost non-existent on the other side of the line.   With only 4 sacks and less then 2 dozen tackles has not been the monster Miami thought he would be after a strong showing last year.  His inability to seal the edge and drive runners back inside showed when he over penetrated inside and allowed QB Kaepernick to run outside and for a TD today.  Not to mention with the obvious size and power that he has, he prefers to tackle low and with his shoulders instead of wrapping up and driving with his large frame.

Owner Stephen Ross has publicly stated that finding a wide receiver will be this off season’s number one priority but he might have to retract his statement as other more demanding needs are becoming more and more evident. Along with the glaring holes, is the large amount of free agents that are due to hit the open market at the end of the season.  Smith has all but played himself out of a big contract and maybe a contract at all. Injured Jake Long is coming off his two worst seasons of his career and may or may not be back.  Also on that list are names like Starks, Bush and Brian Hartline who are major factors in their positions and will demand less money then Long and maybe even Smith.  Keeping the offensive weapons that rookie QB Tannehill is used to working with like Hartline and Bush should be priority even if its only a two year deal or franchise tag simply to continue to help him develope. The O-line needs more then just a little help and the corner position needs a total overhaul immediately.  The Phins have a great base and will be a contender in the NFL in the next two years but must fix these overwhelming issues that have cost them the majority of their losses.

Next Dolphins Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug7:00Dallas CowboysBuy Tickets

Tags: Colin Kaepernick Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins Nolan Carroll Sean Smith

  • Ranadicus

    You can’t start writing rookies off after 13 games and since when is stopping the run blamed on the secondary?

  • http://twitter.com/g_dlow Gdlow

    1…I agree with the secondary issue…that has been a problem for a long while now
    2…Either Shermans play calling is bad (which it is), but so is Tannehill’s play a good portion of the time. He isn’t playing at the or above the level of Henne when he was in Miami. Best QB (or 2) are on the bench
    3…Where is Vernon on the other side
    4…Where are the two tight end sets beside for blocking
    5…the coaches are mediocre at best

  • Bobby

    Wr in free agency (Jennings or Bowe). Than go Pass rusher or db in the first round of the draft. I think martin will be solid. Remember he was going against the #1 pass rusher in the league

  • Ripp

    Finally someone else see WR as not the biggest need. Although, after this game I think I might be changing my mind about Jake Long. I had seen one sports writer say sometimes you over pay a player so you don’t have another hole to fill. I think this may end up being the case. Not saying Long should be paid franchise tackle money, but more than what his current value is right now. I also am starting to wonder if some of Long’s struggles are coming from the guy who is playing right of him. Incognito was struggling today and it was not his 1st game I noticed that.

    I have been very disappointed in Odricks performance this season. I was expecting him to have a monster year after what he did as a reserve in a 3-4 defense last year. The guy should be balling with all the attention Wake is getting.

    One other thing I notice is that there seems to be a trend with our defense where they trail off as the game goes on.

  • Miami Jules

    I’ll tell you what, everyone makes a point, except very little mention about the O-line (yes, we got 2 last year but we need an entire side and left tackle) BUT what in my humble we need the most, is someone with a freaking brain… OK, it’s late in the 4th quarter… again, and we have plenty of time, we need a TD to tie, but it isn’t the time for Hail Marys just yet… not by a long shot, yet, Tannehill goes long EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME… AGAIN!!!!! It happened plenty of times last year, when we lost games in the fourth or failed to protect a small lead. We had stayed away from going for it all instead of just going for FIRST FREAKING DOWNS … AGAIN!!!!!! Today, the 49ers were rushing and covering deep we could’ve gone to Bess from the slot position and nearly guarantee to keep the drive going by getting … YES! A FREAKING FIRST DOWN… AGAIN All we needed to do was to tie the game and send it into OT. Stupid freaking brain-dead decisions I freaking tired of… Tannehill may be a med student but if he just became fixated on the long pass during that drive then I DON’T WANT HIM, if it was Sherman, GET RID OF THE IDIOT. You all have a most pleasant evening and or morning.

  • Miami Jules

    OK, I’m moe relaxed now… I’ll try to a tad more dignified than in my rant below. The point I was trying to make was this, you can have the Great Wall Of China protecting the QB, the fastest, talles, surest handed wide receivers in the NFL and if who ever makes decisions makes stupid lame ones like going 3 and out because they are trying to proove something with the long pass, instead of going for 1st downs, it doesn’t really matter who are players are. In the inmortal words of Braveheart’s uncle, who says toa young Braveheart as he’s pointing at his brain “… this, willteach you how to use this” as he points to his fist. The position we need the most? Brains!

  • gofins60

    Ireland has failed at providing the coaching staff with quality players. It was a good idea to get rid of Marshall and Davis, but the whole plan back-fired when Ireland failed to replace them with starting-caliber players. Coyle has done a decent job at making the most with what he has. His defense gives up a lot of yards (especially the secondary!) but does okay in the points-allowed stat. However, they’re getting worn down late in games by the inability of the offense to stay on the field and score points. Sherman’s offense is also short of playmakers, but he has no clue how to gameplan to take advantage of the strengths of the players that he does have.

    If this team wants to improve, then a new GM and OC are needed. Tannehill appears to be the worst of the rookie QBs this year, but hopefully he’ll improve next year… as long as the team has someone new doing the drafting and playcalling. I’m afraid that Ireland and Sherman will still be here next year, and the losing will continue.

  • FrustratedPhin

    So our problem is a complete lack of talent up and down the roster? Gee, I wonder who is to blame for that. Maybe the architect of the team? You know, the guy who has drafted lineman after lineman in the early rounds of the draft YET our o-line AND d-line(rushing the qb) are sub par. It’s time for Mr. Ireland to take that one fans advice and “fire himself”.

  • S. Homer

    !st Tanny isnt the worse rookie QB, he was the least experienced coming in and has the fewest weapons to work with. Tanny is far superior to Henne in every way. I am not a fan of Marshal but Marshal changes the way teams defend your offense. Miami needs a burner at Wideout and a TE like every other team has to own down the seam and midddle. 2nd. Martin was playing against Aldon Smith, who has what 18.5 sack this year and had 12 or more a rookie situtaional pass rusher. He does every one like that. He looks like the 2nd coming of Jason Taylor. Even though Martin played LT in college, he had been playing RT for 13 weeks. Its tough to make that flip especially when facing the top pass rusher in the league. I dont know how many of you have ever tried to kick step on air, but try doing it. Then switch feet and see how tough it is. 3rd. Odrick is playing out of position in my opinion. He is not a even front (4 man line)kind of DE. Maybe in a odd front (3 man). On that TD maybe they had a stunt called or a blitz where he didnt have outside containment. You can not critique him being that you do not know his assignment on that play. He Is gonna be a hell of a 3 tech, even better than Starks I think ( im a huge fan of Starks). Tackling lower than the other guy is what you are supposed to do and using your shoulder is the way it is taught. The only other way is leading with your nose and that is considered unsafe and an ancient way of tackling.
    The phins stood toe to toe with one of the top 4 teams in the NFL. Yes they lack talent, but arent that far off either. WIth 5 picks in the top 100 of the draft this year and 60 or so million to spend they are in great shape to turn it around. I would love to see them pick up Barrett Jones from Bama as soon as possible. A WR cancome via FA or a 3rd RD or later pick like the Packers do. They need some O-Ine help, a play maker or two on Defense id like to see a corner & Mike backer. They need a TE, i think the draft crop is thin this year, so Keller from NY would be sweet. BUt stop whining. We were expected to be the worse team in the NFL this year and they are competing week to week with good teams. We are 2 years away from being a top AFC team if they can get in corrected. Philbin is the man for the job, he will get it done. I have faith in him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Norm-Kaiser/100000160898770 Norm Kaiser

    The correct word for your headline is “than,” not “then.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/andre.williams.1023 Andre Williams

    Yeah lets continue to ignore that huge elephant (lack of playmakers) in the room. No wonder its cause for celebration if the teams scores over 20 points, Lets keep it that way by ignoring the point scoring aspect of the NFL.