Five Keys Before and After... | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

Five Keys Before and After...


Premium Member
May 24, 2002
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Tampa, FL
Rather than doing a top observations from the game I think I'll do this...since this was an obvious statement game where we wanted to go out there when it counted (to us) and make a statement and address certain issues. So here were my top 5 things I wanted to key in on before the game happened.

1. Special Teams Everything - Lapses in concentration here can kill any team any time. I want to see a good clean solid performance. Some would say they want to see us clean up the mistakes made so far like illegal formations, punt blocks, and kickoff coverage. But I say EVERYTHING. Because if there's a lapse somewhere else tonight that is very costly, some would say "oh well we corrected the other things we can correct this too" but I say different. Its like trying to plug holes in a dike at this point...put a finger in one place spring a leak in another. Any major special teams lapse tonight whatsoever is indicative of a poorly coached special teams unit that will not do very well this year, IMO. Strong words, but thats how I feel.

Answer: Flawless. No fumbles, no penalties, no busted coverages, no blocked kicks, good directional kicking, and AJ Johnson even showed some flashes that "make my toes tingle" (according to Mandich).

2. QB Pressure From Left Side...I will be listening on the radio cuz here in Tampa they won't be showing it on TV, DOH! I wanna pay special attention to QB pressure on Fiedler. Where's it coming from, and is it a blitz. I think Dixon's got something to prove, as does Nails who must improve his pass protection. If I hear about major pressure and/or sacks coming from the left side of the line....panic button is considered PUSHED.

Answer: I will reserve complete judgement for those who SAW the game for I will not be able to. However, from what I heard over the radio it does not SOUND good. It sounded like Gary Walker was able to get some pressure pretty regularly, and Jeff Posey got a sack. Gary Walker may or may not have been on Nails' side...but Jeff Posey was either Dixon's assignment or Nails' assignment. After the game Dixon still insisted that he made the right decision he has to check with the coaches. If he did indeed make the right decision it makes me feel better about Dixon at LT, but worst about Nails at LG. If not then perhaps Dixon will just be able to correct that (he's a great student of the game and technician) so in this case I HOPE IT WAS DIXON'S FAULT. Right now my hand is hovering over the panic button ready to start sayin the coaches need to scheme to cover up Nails' weakness as a pass protector. But I reserve judgement for those who saw the game and can isolate who was allowing the pressure...

3. Jamar Fletcher - I don't really know if he's managed to impress anyone this training camp. He's got marvelous inconsistency. I'll be listening to hear if he's gettin a lot of balls caught on him.

Answer: Once again I'll have to leave this to the guys that tape the game and study it. I didn't see it but his name didn't get called a lot. But in general there wasn't a whole lot of effective passing goin on and the two long bombs where the WR was open appeared to be problems with the safeties not being there to help up top. Jamar did have a tipped up easy pick and nice return, and a newspaper is quoted as saying he did solid even though Spielman is shopping for other corners. In conclusion, I would not be surprised at all if Spielman attempts a trade for Tom Knight with the Patriots. He is probably available and is close to being cut even though he signed like a 2 year 1.5 mil contract with them.

4. Ricky Williams - It really should be about the right time for Williams to start looking pretty good. The last time our OL faced a 3-4 defense they pasted the patriots with like 150 yards on the ground. If Ricky averages 2 yards or under AGAIN, then I think its time to lift that little glass casing off the panic button, as we get ready to push it in week 1 against the Lions...

Answer: He has stayed my hand for a while. I would still like to see his 3.5 ypc average increase a little in the first half of games, however a lot of his runs were 3rd-1 and goal-to-go. I believe 4 or 5 of his 15 runs were in that situation. That will seriously bring down the old average. Had a great second effort on a TD run which always gives you a plus mark. I think he'll be fine. By the way we had like 164 yards rushing total and like 200+ passing yards. Thank you Norv.

5. DL pressure - Not all that important IMO. They've already shown me they can pressure the QB PLENTY. Would be nice if they stifled the run into nothing, and got 8 sacks on Carr...but not all that important really.

Answer: Oh my god I'm sooooooooo disappointed! We only got FIVE sacks instead of the EIGHT that I wanted and we let the Houston average a WHOLE 2.2 YARDS PER CARRY against us. I think I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep. Man I guess even though it wasn't that important to me the D-Line still got the pressure on just to make me happy :)
i'm sure they were thinking about you, the whole time;)
2. The OL played much better this game. There was some pressure but nothing like the Saints and the Texans defense also plays in the NFL. Dixon played well but it did look in real time action that Posey blew right past him. Greg Jermain (#60) the third string RT also played well except once a defender knocked him right on his ass. While falling backwards Jermain leg whipped and was called for 15 yards. Otherwise the O-Line was opening some big holes for the backs as reflected in the running stats. Forget the panic button if they play like this on a regular basis.

3. I believe Fletcher is a player that we have really talked down on this board. Probably because he was a first round pick. With that said, he was in left field by himself like a safety when he got the pick. On another play he was five yards behind a reciever when the pass hit the WR in the pads bouncing incomplete. But thats all I could see as they don't always show a WR covered. Actually Surtain had the worst night but he always seems to cover the best WRs.

4. Ricky just makes plays forget about the ypc average. On the goal line play he jumped up, was stopped but hit the ground running and bulled around the pile to hit pay dirt. You should see the replay on the news or ESPN. He did fumble once but it looked like he hit the ground first. Either way Mc Michael was there to recover. We were also led to believe that Randy was a poor blocker but its not true. I didn't see any pancakes but his man was definitely out of the play. No wonder he was promoted to first team.

In conclusion it looks like I'll have to start taping the games so I can stay on this board. :)
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