Let’s make this clear from the start. The season isn’t over, the division isn’t out of reach. The Playoffs are still more than simply possible. This is about today’s game. It was pathetic. The Miami Dolphins have some issues that their coaches need to get fixed during the bye week and a phone call to the office of Jeff Ireland may be a good place to start.
For starters, the Dolphins offense is a joke. Specifically the play of their offensive line. Tyson Clabo is a revolving door on one side and Jonathan Martin is too inconsistent on the other. Add the play of Richie Incognito who can block but not sustain a block and you get another six sacks on a day that pushed the team league leading total from 18 to 24. In week five.
Jeff Ireland may not have got the opportunity to upgrade with an addition of Eugene Monroe but if there is going to be a time to make a trade it might be a good idea to do that now. Ryan Tannehill and specifically the production of the offense hinges on Oline production and frankly there is none of it. Irelands free wheel spending netted top names on both sides of the ball but his failure to fix an already bad offensive line is now showing how inept they really are.
From Jeff Ireland the Dolphins need to move to the offices of Mike Sherman who frankly is doing little more than Dan Henning. There is no innovation what so ever. Tannehill drops back three steps stands in the pocket and gets hit. Sorry that doesn’t fly in this NFL. For the 2nd consecutive week the Dolphins attempted an end around on a 3rd and inches. To the surprise of no one…it didn’t work. Sherman is not creative and he is not beating the opponents but instead watching the game from the coaches booth. From that booth he apparently isn’t seeing what the fans and the other team are seeing. Sherman needs to stop talking about having plays in their playbook and start using everything he has.
From Sherman’s office there is no other place to go than to Joe Philbin’s. While Philbin isn’t making mistakes on the sideline he needs to fire up this team. He hasn’t yet. He needs to get in their faces and he needs to step back away from friendship and start making this team as “fast” as they practice. There is no urgency and frankly the offense is so anemic that watching the vanilla style has pretty much turned me off of ice-cream all together. Philbin however needs to step and become the HC. His first stop? Mike Wallace.
For all the bitching and moaning Wallace has done another three dropped passes were added to his resume today. Let’s get this much straight right now. Wallace says he wants to be a HOF receiver well WR’s don’t go into the HOF because their QB’s make them great, they go in because they catch the ball. Wallace and Tannehill are so far off the same page that they should through the book in the trash and start again. Wallace’s routes are being run poorly and at times it looks like Tannehill expects him to go elsewhere. Of course it doesn’t matter because when Wallace does get open deep Tannehill has failed to hit him in stride.
Defensively the Dolphins are showing good signs but we are five weeks in and each week I hear about the “speed” package. Where is it? The Dolphins can’t get pressure on opposing QB’s and teams have a highly successful outcome on third and very long. Kevin Coyle needs to wake this team up because something isn’t working. There is no pressure on the opposing QB’s and when there is, players don’t bother to wrap up the QB. This is fundamental football 101. In addition, players need to start making tackles rather than trying to swat the ball out. Fans are growing tired of watching a defender ride a WR downfield as he swats at his arm to force a fumble. Make the tackle on contact and you just might cause the fumble from the start.
From the defense to the special teams. It was bound to happen and tonight it did. Caleb Sturgis missed his first FG of the season and wouldn’t you know it…it would have tied the game. Not getting down on the kid for a miss from 57 yards the fact is the Dolphins offense did him no favors on that final drive after the 40 yard catch by Brandon Gibson. My contention today is only with his kick-off out of bounds. FG’s will be missed but there is no excuse for an OB kick-0ff.
The Dolphins biggest problem today however is Mike Wallace. Aside from the drops the last drive saw Ryan Tannehill go to him twice on the first 3 plays of the drive. He dropped both. The issues with Wallace is that Miami gets out of their game style when Wallace gripes. Tannehill forced fed balls to the WR instead of properly checking down. The Dolphins have solid production from the offense when they get into a rhythm and spread the ball out instead of targeting one person who..ahem…can’t catch consistently.
The Dolphins have two weeks before they play again. They better figure out what they are doing or the season…and their fan support will quickly dissipate.