Hayden Fox's Assessment: Week Four

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Hayden Fox, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    Positives
    * Early in the game, the offensive design was awesome. The offense used the pistol, read option and moved the pocket...all with great success.
    * Ryan Tannehill's touch on the TD pass to Charles Clay.
    * Marcus Thigpen's 50 yard screen pass.
    * Lamar Miller quietly had a good game. 62 yards on 11 carries for 5.6 per rush and a TD. Also, made some strong efforts in the passing game. Showed some explosiveness.
    * Run Defense. Much, much improved. They held the Saints to only 2.8 per rush. Much of the yardage came late in the game when the result was not in doubt. The tackles for a loss were good to see.
    * Paul Soliai manning up and playing. He was tough today. He man handled Jahri Evans. Had a two tackles for a loss by my count and swatted a pass away.
    * Olivier Vernon showed some positive signs. 5 tackles. 1 TFL and a sack.
    * Nolan Carroll made two pass breakups and was a positive factor early in the game.
    * Jimmy Wilson forced fumble very late in the game.
    * It is important to acknowledge the efforts of Jared Odrick running down a Saint on 3rd down and Brandon Gibson banging heads, dragging defenders late in the 4th quarter. Demonstrated some character.

    Negatives
    * Ryan Tannehill turned the ball over four times...3 INT's and 1 fumble. Whether all or some are on him is irrelevant, the team cannot win being minus 3 for the game. The pick at the end of the half as Miami was trying to get some points before the gun was a killer as New Orleans proceeded to take the turnover and turn it into a TD.
    * For the first time in a long time, I think RT lost his poise tonight. He appeared to be rattled after the turnovers and the barrage of Saints points.
    * After masterful play calling on the opening drive, on 3rd and 1, Mike Sherman inexplicably calls for a stretch play to Daniel Thomas that goes nowhere and the Fins have to settle for 3.
    * Mike Wallace was atrocious in his home coming tonight. By my count, he had three drops. He had a long ball drop right in his bread basket that was dropped. Another play he stopped his route and almost led to an interception. Wallace also had a penalty for not lining up correctly. Bad, bad night for a player that was needed in a showcase game for the team.
    * The pass protection broke down big time in the 2nd half.
    * Terrible start to the game on defense. New Orleans marched down the field and scored easily.
    * On the first drive of the game, Reshard Jones bit on Darren Sproles in the flat, took a bad angle and ended up giving a huge play on the initial drive.
    * Miami was having some success on defense and had New Orleans in a 3rd and 20. The Saints called a screen pass that went for a first down.
    * Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson not communicating and giving up a 3rd and long in the 1st quarter.
    * Nolan Carroll fanning on the pass at the end of the 1st half that went for a TD.
    * Jimmy Wilson always seemed to be two steps late in help in coverage.
    * Jimmy Wilson, down more than 20 points, forces a fumble and runs around pointing to other way happy with his play. Know the time and score.
    * For the first time this year, Miami did not finish the half. There was the pick and the Fins had a chance to hold the Saints to three, but yielded a TD to end the half.
    * Another three more TD's to TE's.
    * After Lamar Miller's success early in the game, Miami went away from handing him the rock. Not all of the lack of running attempts can be blamed on the score.
    * With 55 seconds left in the 1st Half, 1 timeout and a kicker that has been booming field goals, Joe Philbin elects to take a knee and go in at the half. With possessions and scores at a premium, the team needed to attack.
    * Miami needing some success on offense, goes three and out on the first drive on the 2nd half.

    Overall Assessment
    * While tonight's loss hurts in that was on Monday Night Football, it was a non-conference defeat. It appears the team came out relatively healthy. Many around here, including myself would have signed off on 3-1 in a second this summer. Plus, the Saints are a great team. They are almost unbeatable at home. This was the hardest game on the schedule when it was unveiled this spring. For what it is worth, the Saints are my Super Bowl pick from the NFC.
    * The Dolphins had chances early to be in this game...if not ahead. The Daniel Thomas 3rd and short stop, two first half TO's and 3rd and 20 Sproles screen really changed the outlook to the game. I question still if Miami would have won the game if these things went in their favor. However, you never know how a young team will respond with some early momentum.
    * Ryan Tannehill is going to still have some bumps. He has played very well this year, but he still in year two. Continue to look for progress from him to greatness at this point.
    * Unfortunately, Miami melted under adversity tonight. They got punched in the face and no unit or individual stepped up and kept the team in the game. This might be the most disappointing part of the game tonight.
    * Mike Wallace needs to step up and be accounted for. He needs to be play better.
    * Miami does not have an offense in which the Oline can pass protect and try to erase a two TD lead. The pass pro was okay in the first half, but broke down bad when the scoreboard started to go the way on New Orleans. The pass protection has to get cleaned up. Everyone seems to know it is a problem, but it is not getting fixed. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumerville are due in South Floridan next week.
    * By the way, it has to be stated that Terron Armstead...the OT prospect that many thought was good enough to be the starting LT for the Fins was not active tonight. He was a healthy scratch. Fin Fans have to take putting an Oline together more seriously than have been.
    * Daniel Thomas is getting too many reps. I am not sure where he fits in and what his best skill. I advocate for more Lamar Miller and mix in Thigpen on 3rd downs. At the very least, you have two explosive players. I also wonder if it is time to look at a veteran RB on the scrap heap that could aid the team.
    * It is time for some players on defense to be accounted for in the form of big game changing plays. From Randy Starks, to Dannell Ellerbe, to Phillip Wheeler, to Koa Misi, to Reshad Jones someone needs to come with some big plays.
    * It was wise to sit Cameron Wake. In a non-conference game, it was wise to let him rest and perhaps come back for the Baltimore game. If he has to sit again...so be it. Wake needs his legs to be effective and there are many more important games on the schedule than the one played tonight. Good decision.
    * Paul Soliai is one of the most important players on the team. He dominated the interior and the run defense was night and day from last week. He does not get enough credit for collapsing the pocket.
    * I am excited to see Jon Gruden get back into coaching...I cannot take him in booth anymore.
    * ESPN, enough of the Drew Brees stories of how he did not end up in Miami. The owner, nor the GM, nor the head coach, the doctors and barely any players (I believe only John Denney) are around anymore from that era. Enough.
    * Turn the page. Miami has a huge game this weekend...on a short week versus the Super Bowl champs. Baltimore was embarrassed yesterday in Orchard Park. They are going to come loaded for a fight Sunday. After throwing 50 times versus a terrible Buffalo secondary, Baltimore was picked five times. This week they will come in and pound the rock with their best player Ray Rice and be physical. If you thought the Saints D was good, Baltimore will have the best bunch Miami has seen this year. Baltimore is tough to run on and the passing game is going to have to get their act together. Pass protection, receivers making plays and RT flushing tonight's game and being smart with the ball all have to come together to beat the Ravens.
     
  2. number1fin

    number1fin #onephin Donator

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    I appreciate your contributions Hayden, thank you!:up:
     
  3. MarshallFin1

    MarshallFin1 Banned Hammered

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    great post man. I agree with everything you said but my pick for NFC superbowl birth is the seahawks. That team looks unstoppable.
     
  4. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    Suggs vs Martin could be a bloodbath.
     
  5. spiketex

    spiketex Kiko Alonso - El Bravo 47 the yappy chihuahua Super Donator Donator

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    Good analysis, as usual Hayden. There have been very few times since Philbin arrived as Head Coach, that the team was thrashed. Tennessee last year comes to mind, but last night can only be seen as a total butt whipping. How Philbin, Sherman and Coyle respond to the meltdown, will tell us a lot.
    Possible deficiencies on the O line were fully exposed. Up until this game, I was completely confident that Tannehill will succeed. But now there is a question mark. He did appear to lose his poise and it was telling that Sherman doesn't seem to trust him enough to go for passing TD's. The contrast with Brees was pretty obvious.
    The ease that Darren Sproles was able to carve up the Defense was alarming. Yes, he's a good player, but we had no one who could compete. No one. Our Defense was expected to be much quicker than last year.
    And my hunch is that every NFL coach and coordinator, now has a 25 point list of ways to exploit the Dolphins.
     
  6. Spiff

    Spiff Starter Finheaven VIP

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    Good post.

    Some things I'd like to comment on (this is not supposed to be a rant, just some observations and things I can't comprehend)

    - Marcus Thigpen looked slow finishing that breakaway run. Should have scored on that play. He reminded me of Ronnie Brown on that play, who always got caught from behind.

    - I'm a little worried. Last season the team looked like a well coached team. I can't tell what it was but they seemed prepared and focused. I don't have that same feeling this year. Like I said, I don't know what is but last year they looked...cleaner. Don't know how to say really. It's just the eye telling me that something is not 100% right. I hope this gets sorted out in the next weeks.

    - Tannehill fumbling certainly is an issue.

    - Mike Wallace certainly needs to step up. We can't spend so much money on one player and he doesn't produce. I also can't see any WR bailing Tannehill out once he makes a mistake, like that first interception. It's been like that for years.

    - Three things that kill me the most:
    1) We spend an awful lot money on our three receivers Wallace, Hartline, Gibson and after four games they combine for 3 TDs. The Patriots lose their 5 best receiving weapons from last season, sign an injured poor man's Welker and draft two rookies. To date, those three have combined for 4 TDs with Amendola out all but one game. How are they doing this? Is it all Brady?
    2) I don't recall how many OL we have drafted early, how many we have signed to big contracts, yet we cannot protect our QB. The Patriots can plug in anyone and it seems Brady has all the time in the world to throw it. I bet they could randomly pick users on this board for the offensive line and they'd still be fine. How are they doing this? Is it all Brady again?
    3) We have also invested heavily in CBs recently: Davis, Smith, Taylor, another Davis. But we still get lit up by each and every QB that comes to town. For years now. Our CBs can't even cover the opponent's TE. I know it's Jimmy Graham but he had no business catching that first TD pass. We've also played some pretty good QBs this season (Luck, Ryan, Brees) but we've been getting outgained big time. It's been happening for years now. The Patriots on the other hand sign free agents off the street, double the TE and voila, no problem. How are they doing this? Is it Brady again? ;-) Point is: our defense is bad. To think that we talked about this being the best defense in the NFL in the off-season...
     
  7. Spiff

    Spiff Starter Finheaven VIP

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    I may add that my biggest disappointment is not the fact THAT we lost but HOW. First Monday night game in two years and we get embarrassed.
     
  8. DeeperImage

    DeeperImage FinHeaven VIP

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    Great post as always!

    I'm really bummed because we came out with intensity and executed well, until that 3rd and short. They Phins just simply crumbled after that and were not able to punch it in on more than one occasion. That would have kept us in the game and kept the crowd somewhat out of it. I hope the team can recover and be ready for the Ravens. Both teams will have a statement to make.
     
  9. finjim

    finjim Banned Hammered

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    Great post as usual Hayden. So we lost a non conference road game to a superbowl contender. We weren't going to go 16-0 and this is the type of loss that doesn't hurt us. 3-1!
     
  10. PBay Fin Fan

    PBay Fin Fan Well-Known Member

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    I am concerned about Jones, he has been playing poorly since he got paid. The third and inches was a nut cracker. You go on a stretch play with Thomas WTf.
     
  11. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    I am concerned that Jones has fairly ordinary this season. He has not been a total bust, but his trajectory has flattened out.
     
  12. Hayden Fox

    Hayden Fox Love Creating Turnovers Donator

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    My biggest concern as I think about the game is how much did the Fins get exposed last night and can it get fixed in a short week?

    Issues such as:
    pass pro (vs the best defense Miami has faced this week)
    RT's ball security. Last year, when he took care of the ball the team won
    Running the ball is next to impossible against the Ravens...the passing game has to come to the party
    Mike Wallace has to step up and demonstrate that he is a game changer.
    TE's having a field day vs Miami
    The defense being a step short and not taking the ball away. While the D has made some huge plays this year, the Cleveland game is the only game they created multiple TO's. They did vs. Atlanta, but one was created on special teams by Don Jones.

    The Fins have a tough, tough game this week. Baltimore is physical and will fighting for their playoff lives. Miami has to rise to the challenge. They have to find a way to be plus 2 or more in the turnover department and find a way to get big scoring plays. I just wonder if the issues they have will have to be fixed during the bye week and cannot be fixed during the short week.

    While I would have jumped at 3-2 going into the bye during the summer, losing two in a row heading into the bye is tough.
     
  13. SQuinn17

    SQuinn17 League Dominator

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    It sucked getting smashed on MNF but the Saints game was the toughest on our schedule and they're not even in our conference so its not that huge of a deal. Mike Wallace looked like a punk out there though. I was frustrated that we weren't attacking on O til I realized how pathetic the line play was. Will be driving down from tampa for next weeks game so hoping we can get a W down there.
     
  14. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Great write-up Hayden.

    We have a bunch of pros who deliver to a consistent standard on this team (Carroll, Grimes, Clemons, Odrick, Soliai, Ellerbe, Wake, Incog, Pouncey, Martin, Clay, Hartline, Gibson, Matthews, Fields, Sturgis). Their standard (see Clemons, Carroll, Martin for example) isn't maybe as high as some of the others or the better players at their position, but they consistently deliver their best.

    Some guys aren't delivering their best (Jones, Wheeler, Misi, OV, Starks, Wallace, Clutts, Thigpen)

    Some guys are growing and showing up some flaws (Tannehill, Jordan, Sims, Miller, Taylor)

    And a few guys are really below standard no matter how hard they try (Jerry, Thomas, Clabo, Wilson)

    I would say that's a mix you'll find in most NFL teams. EXCEPT, the guys who aren't giving their best are some of the guys we need for us to go from good to great. They're the playmakers and difference makers. Jones, Wallace, Wheeler in particular need to step it up.

    If I had to lay the fault for this game anywhere it wouldn't be the o-line. I'd split it 50:50 between Tannehill for his errors and the coaches for some really bad calls on both sides of the ball. That makes me pretty positive about us this season, because I believe we have a good QB and good coaches. (Sherman's playcalling in the redzone gives me the heebiejeebies though).

    So, in summary we lost because:
    1) Our QB and coaches had uncharacteristically bad games
    2) Some of our "elite" talent continues to be some distance off elite
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2013
  15. Heinegrabber

    Heinegrabber Since 84 Finheaven VIP

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    We should have recieved the opening kick and take the air out of the building. Letting them score on the opening drive did nothing for us.
     
  16. biggiesmalls3k1

    biggiesmalls3k1 How Bout Them Fins?!

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    Daniel Thomas should be cut, he contributes nothing, has no redeeming or special qualities...hes a "Big" back that runs like Thigpen, only softer...Miller is by far our best running back, we are doing ourselves a great disservice by taking him out and putting in this scrub. The only reason he is still on the squad is because Irish traded up for this fool...

    Sherman needs to get his head out of his a**, hes not the smartest guy in the room. 3rd & Inch with a 6'4 QB running behind arguably the best C in the game, its a no brainer for christs sakes...Tannehill shoulda audibled out of that asanine sweep...
     
  17. Mike13

    Mike13 I am a golden god

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    One thing I did like in tehfirst half was using some Pistol/Read-Option.
    It adds a wrinkle to our offense if anything. We should have stuck with it.
     
  18. FinsBR

    FinsBR Dolfan from São Paulo - Brazil

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    Hayden talked about Gruden, am I the only one that got bothered by him saying TannYhill all the time? Maybe it's just me... I really don't like him, so... lol
     
  19. PerfectFinz72

    PerfectFinz72 Pro Bowler

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    Bah. Thats the same thing that could have been said last year. They lost 5 of 6 games in the middle of the season at one point and I'm pretty sure all the same cliches were thrown out.

    Its one game, up until last night everyone was really high...probably too high.
     
  20. jvw

    jvw Starter

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    Big play in the game was the 3rd and 1 first drive, you bring in the big back and then run a sweep with him, terrible call that cost us a TD in the opening drive, 2nd poor call with 2 min before the half we were working our way down the field slowly and CB jumps the route, if Sherman calls the double move on the play its touchdown, He was to predictable on that call even with that we probably still lose the game, our D couldn't stop them but at least the game would have been more interesting.
     
  21. lil tom digby

    lil tom digby Well-Known Member

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    Sproles gave me flashbacks of Thurman Thomas. Miami still cant run or stop the screen.
     
  22. maralieus

    maralieus Lets get those balls deep!!

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    You're right about me being really high. I was even higher last night!

    Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk 4
     
  23. Fins1971

    Fins1971 C'mon Dolphins

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    One thing that bothered me last night is that Ryan Tannehill reverted back to bad decisions. I thought he had made some progress in this area. But not last night.

    The fact that he played so poorly in the National limelight is also bothersome. If you remember last year on Thursday night Football against the Bills he had a similar game with multiple turnovers. So now 0-2 in Prime time. He has 2 more chances this year (Cincy and TB) to change the perception of him in these Prime Time games.
     
  24. Alex Trevelyan

    Alex Trevelyan Well-Known Member

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    A team like the Dolphins was going to regress to the mean eventually. There are too many holes on this team, however, they should of played better than they did last night. I'm not as impressed by the Saints as some on here are. I don't put them in the same category as the Broncos, Pats or Seahawks. That Saints team was bloody awful last year and it wasn't just coaching either. They had major deficiencies, especially on defense. The Dolphins should of played better. What I want to know is how the hell does a team end up with three out of four games on the road to start the season? That gripe being said, it is only one game, every organization on its way up has a game in which they're embarrassed, sometimes they have several.

    People forget that it took Brees and Payton four seasons to actually become a Super Bowl quality team. Payton was on the hot seat if I remember correctly. I distinctly remember a game they played against the Ravens early in their New Orleans days where the Ravens just brutalized them, Ray Lewis and company just dominated that vaunted offense. I think that was Reggie Bush's rookie season and Suggs was chirping off about how the Ravens' weren't Oregon State. I'm sure the only lesson that was taken from that game by the Saints was--we had a bad game against a Super Bowl contender--next up. The fact is, our offensive line is just awful. It's not even average. It's bad. You can't be a legit contender with that kind of line. You can't be a contender without a defense that is highly disruptive, turnovers, scores, a steady diet of pressure that makes even great quarterbacks skittish. The defense isn't playing up to that level, even though the individual talent seems to be there. The secondary needs to be better.

    The Dolphins aren't a case, at least not yet, of a team that plays below its talent level like the Texans and Bengals do, or like the Niners did before Harbaugh got there. We've got holes that we play around. That can get you only so far against a very good team. We generally play as good as our talent level allows, but that wasn't the case last night. That game should of been much closer and everyone has blame: quarterback, o-line, wide receivers, defense, coaches. How they respond will tell a great deal about this team.
     
  25. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    Another good analysis Hayden, thanks.

    A point of contention though. I disagree with your initial bullet point. I thought before Tannehill started running our offense was crisp and explosive. But immediately after his 26 yard run he had to call a time out. From that point onward his passing was inconsistent. IMHO, the read option hurt us more than helped. Running caused Tannehill to fumble and that appeared to really shake his confidence. And this point cannot be stressed too much ... we need to stop voluntarily putting our QB into harms way.

    No disrespect to Matt Moore, but our season and future hinges on Tannehill developing into the great QB we know he can be ... and having him for 15 years, not 5. We need to stop taking risks with him. IF we are going to utilize the read-option (and I am wholeheartedly against using it), then Tannehill needs to be under specific instructions to A) run out of bounds or B) slide. If he can't get the yardage doing those two things ... don't run. Crucial 3rd down or to get a touchdown, sure, but not for run of the mill between the 20's plays.

    As the thread linked in my signature explains ... the Read Option is a lot of different things, and the NFL is changing to adapt to it.
     

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