Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins currently have a +2 turnover ratio, which is good enough to be ranked 12th in the NFL. In the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Dolphins forced three turnovers while turning the ball over once. Joe Philbin has been pleased so far but of course, wants that number to keep climbing each week.
“You always want more, but it’s trending in the right direction, that’s for sure. That’s one of the things we showed to the team last week was some of the trends from the first three games to the next three games. We certainly are able to get some takeaways yesterday, and obviously those defensive touchdowns are huge any time you can get them. Usually it’s not very often you can get two in one game, and this was an opportune time to get two in a game. I like the way we are taking care of the football.
Philbin admitted that the Dolphins work on interception and fumble returns in practice each week and called it a semi-art instead of just luck or the ball bouncing the wrong way.
“Kevin (Coyle) and the staff do a great job of teaching that. There’s semi-art to it, if you will. A lot of times we do pursuit drills and sometimes we just emphasize pure, flat-out pursuit to the ball-carrier. Then there are other days where we will do an interception drill where we will turn the ball around, give guys with hand shields and we’ll set up the blocking the way we want and then coach up going down the numbers and specific blocking that we would like to get. It’s something we like to teach a lot and they take pride in it.”
Coyle got into a little more detail about what they do and how they do it. He said that it hasn’t fully translated to the games yet but the drills they run in practice will help them each week throughout the remainder of the season.
“We’ve made a conscious effort of doing probably more this year than we have in terms of specifically interception returns. I’d like to say that it was great blocking that set up these returns, but it really wasn’t. These two particular ones were guys catching the ball in space, there were a couple of blocks, but they weren’t as difficult as some might be. We do practice it and we do interception return drills every week. We’ve done drills in the past, but we came up with a new one this year that I think is getting everybody on the same page as to where to go, how to set the blocks up and how to return the ball. It’s been effective for us and hopefully we’ll see it continue as the year goes on. We’ve just got to keep getting interceptions and see how much it works.”
The Dolphins have a tough stretch of opponents coming up and they’ll need to be careful to keep their turnovers down while forcing as many as possible. As we all know, that’s a simple formula for a winning football team.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
There is no doubt that this year’s offensive line is much better than the line in 2013 that allowed 58 sacks, a franchise record. However, are concerns growing with their inability to properly protect Ryan Tannehill, especially after allowing seven sacks over the past two games?
“First and foremost, the protection unit, be it the linemen, sometimes the running back, sometimes the tight end, just the guys we assign specific blockers, number one, there have been some shortcomings in that area,” Joe Philbin said. “That has to get better. One or two times, I think we could have gotten the ball out faster. Sometimes that’s a function of the wide receiver getting open being at the right place at the right time. Sometimes it’s the quarterback pulling the trigger and getting the ball out. I think there’s been those three things that really would stand out to me.”
Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor said that he still has a lot of confidence in his guys on the line but admits that communication can be better, especially when the opposing team is blitzing.
“We’ll evaluate it. The decisions you make going into games are what you think your matchups are. I haven’t felt like we were outmatched, I really haven’t. As hard as that team plays, as hard as they rush and for how much respect I have for their front, I have a lot of confidence in our guys. I did not feel like we had matchup problems. I don’t feel like we have effort problems. I feel like we just have to be on top of every blitz that we think is going to come and make sure we are calling the right things at the right time. It’s easier to evaluate that on Monday sometimes than Sunday. But I think we have the right plan, and we’ll get back on track. I’m pretty confident it won’t be an issue.”
In the game on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Dolphins were down to their third string left guard in Dallas Thomas after Daryn Colledge and Nate Garner left the game for migraines and a concussion, respectively. However, Lazor said that he feels that didn’t affect the overall play of the line.
“I really didn’t blink when we changed up front. We had a number of changes. I would say I feel pretty good about the seven guys we have going to the game. I would say we probably have another guy or two on the roster I would have confidence in too, so whether it would be the fact Mike (Pouncey) was out, so other people had to play. We kind of moved the line around early in the preseason. We juggled guys around. To me, that’s given us a little flexibility, so I think we’ve got enough depth to play the game. I had no concern when we changed. I’m really excited about Dallas Thomas going forward. When you watch him all through the preseason, I wasn’t here last year, but I saw how he played last year. I saw him in OTAs, I saw him in camp, I saw him in the preseason and I saw him when he came in the Buffalo game. I think the guy has improved every time he has played. He wasn’t perfect yesterday, but I think he is a bright spot, and I think he has a really good future.”
The Dolphins have kept Mike Pouncey at right guard and Samson Satele at center but Satele has been struggling while picking up blitzes lately. I don’t think the Dolphins will make a switch soon but it’s something worth keeping an eye on as we move forward.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 12:05 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins certainly didn’t win in normal fashion as they relied on their defense to carry them throughout the game. With the Dolphins offense getting less than 50 yards in the first half, many wondered what would happen in the second half and if the Dolphins would be able to pull away from the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had their struggles as well.
Their offense did pick it up in the second half and their defense continued to make plays, which made Joe Philbin happy at the end of the game.
“I thought it was a good, hard-fought football game. A lot of the things that we said about this football team (Jacksonville) are true. I think Gus is doing a great job up here. Their tempo was outstanding,” Philbin said. “As I said to the team at halftime, in tight times over the course of a season, you’re going to have one unit that is going to have to help pick it up when you have another unit that is maybe not as productive as they need to be on a particular day. I thought that’s what happened today. The defense obviously with Brent (Grimes) and Louis (Delmas) having two touchdowns was absolutely huge in a game that was not an easy win on the road. The guys hung in there and made plays to win the game.”
Winning on the road isn’t easy but the Dolphins were able to make it happen. A big reason for that is that Dolphins defense feasted on the Jaguars rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles. Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks gave credit to the Dolphins defense.
“If you look at it from that aspect. If we’re going against a rookie QB, that’s our mindset, take advantage of him, put pressure on him, let’s make him make errant throws, make him force things in, so I can see that they probably had that mindset coming into the game. On our defense, we know the exact same thing. We have a rookie quarterback and he doesn’t mind taking chances. So if he makes a mistake, it’s on us to go and get him the ball back and we’ll continue to do it.”
Philbin is looking forward to reviewing the film and getting the team ready for their showdown against the San Diego Chargers. He understands that it wasn’t a pretty win but at the end of the day, it was a win.
“It’s not easy to win on the road. It’s our third win [on the road] in a row. I thought our guys hung tough. Let’s face it … it wasn’t overly pretty, especially on offense. It was a little bit of a struggle. I’m not going to say it wasn’t, but at the end of the day, our defense gave up one touchdown and offensively, we made a couple of plays in the second half. We have to do better without a doubt. I think this is a young team (Jacksonville) that is improving up here and doing a good job.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 11:50 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
As we all know, the offense was highly ineffective against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fortunately, they didn’t need to worry too much because the defense did most of the work for them. However, was it Ryan Tannehill’s fault that the offense was struggling or was it the offense as a whole? Joe Philbin walked us through it in his post-game press conference.
“It was kind of like the whole offense. I think there was some good there and some room for improvement. I think offensively we weren’t in great rhythm throughout the entire day. There were some good drives there, more in the second half in than in the first. I think it’s a unit thing. We did some good things, but we have to do better.”
Offensive lineman Daryn Colledge was battling migraines early in the game and ended up coming out towards the end of the first half. His replacement, Nate Garner, then got injured shortly after and left the game for precautionary tests in relation to a possible concussion. Philbin said that had a part in impacting the ineffectiveness of the offense.
“I think we have to play better up front. There was a little too much penetration in the backfield in the running game. The quarterback didn’t have ample time he needed to have a high level of execution in the passing game. We have to play better. We have to perform better. I don’t have the halftime stats in front of me, but let’s face it – offensively, we didn’t really do a whole lot in the first half. We have to play better. I think we could play better in all phases, but certainly in the first half the offensive performance. Fortunately we got to kick the field goal with a minute or so to go, which gave us a one possession lead. It didn’t feel like that in the locker room at halftime. I told the players that this happens sometimes in football, and another unit has to step up.”
In the second half, the offense began to make some noise and were able to run the ball a bit to keep the Jaguars defense off balance. Tannehill credited that for sparking the offense a bit in the second half.
“We need to be able to run the football and it’s a big part of our game. We have good backs, we have a good front. We were able to get that going a little bit in the second half. It was good to get some first downs that way. I feel good about where we’re at and obviously offensively we have to play a lot better. We didn’t put those points up today, the defense did. We have to be able to go out and execute no matter who we are playing. We didn’t perform up to our standards today in any aspect.”
With all that said, at the end of the day, the Dolphins put a win on the board and walked away with a 4-3 record. While Tannehill is happy with that aspect, he understands the Dolphins need to get back to work right away in preparation for the San Diego Chargers.
“We’re moving in the right direction and I think we just need to put it together and show up every week. We can’t come out and have a first half like that and expect to win week in and week out. We can’t just do it.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 11:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins defense had one of their best games of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars by forcing three turnovers, with two of them coming on interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. While they struggled to stop the run with Koa Misi out of the game due to injury, they racked up four sacks against the Jaguars offensive line.
“I thought there was good pressure at times. I feel like they ran the ball a little bit better than maybe we hoped,” Joe Philbin said. “I thought maybe we would be a little stouter against the run. I thought overall, we stepped up and made some plays. Anytime you can generate three takeaways; it seems like we’re starting to get those the way we want them. It was a good performance.”
One of the players who returned an interception for a touchdown was Brent Grimes, who made a great play on a double move, reading quarterback Blake Bortles the entire time.
“They were backed up and they did a double move trying to make a big play. I just had good eyes and made a play on the ball and scored on it. It’s awesome to score. You’re playing defense out there and you’re reacting, doing a lot of things. They know where they are going, you don’t. And when you get a chance to score, it’s always a positive. That’s a big factor in the game.”
However, Grimes was another one on the team who wasn’t happy with the team’s overall performance and said that it needs to get better heading into the game against the San Diego Chargers.
“We are not happy with how we played. I mean we are happy because we won and made a lot of plays. We obviously have things to work on and do things better and that’s what we’re going to do next week. We’re happy about the win for the flight tonight and then got on to San Diego. We have two in a row now and we want to keep going and keep the momentum.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 11:15 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins offense didn’t have its greatest day against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite the fact they put up 326 yards of total offense, they averaged 5.8 yards per play and struggled to move the ball for the majority of the game.
Joe Philbin gave credit to the Jaguars defense for making a lot of plays and getting the Dolphins off the field quickly during their first few drives.
“I think we were running our seventh or eighth play with six minutes to go in the second quarter. I’ve been coaching a few moons now, but I don’t remember being in a game where it was that few plays. You have to give Jacksonville’s defense a lot of credit. They were playing fast, they were playing well, they had a good defense. They played very well on defense last week. I think I said early in the week that we didn’t talk about this team’s record, we talked about watching film of the last three games. I think they were averaging giving up 13 points the last three games. It was a good defense that had negative yardage plays and sacks.”
Ryan Tannehill, who had 196 passing yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception, wasn’t pleased with his performance and the rest of the offense.
“We didn’t perform up to our standards in any phase of the game, offensively. Defense played well, defense made plays and sometimes that’s the way it works out. I’m not happy about how we played offensively, it has to get better. The offense has to get corrected Monday, Tuesday. I’m proud of the way the defense played, they made big plays, scored 14 points for us and I don’t know how often that happens but those guys made big plays for us.”
Tannehill made things happen with his feet once again, rushing five times out of the read-option for 48 yards, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. However, most of these yards came in the second half because the offense was struggling so much in the first half.
“We weren’t playing well and I don’t know exactly the stats but we didn’t get a first down until the end of the first half and that’s unacceptable. They did a good job of getting pressure but we didn’t execute up front and we didn’t play well at all. We didn’t get the running game going and we were in some long yard situations due to sacks. It could never happen. We can’t depend on the defense to make big plays and score points, that’s our job. That’s what we get paid to do.”
Winning in the NFL isn’t easy so when you get one, it’s important to recognize that and enjoy it. However, it’s also good to see that Tannehill will lead the charge this week in not letting the players get complacent heading into the showdown on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
It's Sunday and that means it's time for the Miami Dolphins to take the field and work to put another win in their record. They'll take on the Jacksonville Jaguars today at 1:00 PM at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Here are all of our stories and columns this past week so you can get caught up on anything you may have missed leading up to today's game!
Written by Matthew Cannata at 6:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Here are some notes and facts about Ryan Tannehill and his standing in the NFL and the Miami Dolphins' record books after his performance against the Chicago Bears. All of this information is courtesy of the Miami Dolphins Public Relations Department and comes from their weekly game release publication for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ryan Tannehill becomes one of three players in NFL history to accomplish feat
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 25-of-32 passes (78.1 percent) for 277 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high 123.6 passer rating in the Dolphins' 27-14 at Chicago. Tannehill, who also rushed for 48 yards in the effort, became the third player in NFL history with at least 275 passing yards, a completion percentage of 78.0 or better and 45-plus rushing yards in a single game. He joins Ken Anderson (November 3, 1974) and Jeff Garcia (December 14, 2003) as the only players to accomplish this feat.
Ryan Tannehill makes history with his legs
QB Ryan Tannehill’s third quarter fourth-and-1 30-yard run in Week 7 at Chicago not only helped break the contest open in an eventual 27-14 victory, it propelled him up the Dolphins record books. The 30-yard run was the second-longest gain by a Dolphins player in a fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2 situation since 1991, trailing only a 39-yard run by Larry Izzo off of a fake punt against Green Bay in 2000. Additionally, it was the longest run by a Dolphins quarterback on a fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2, topping the previous high of three yards shared by Jay Fiedler in 2003 and Joey Harrington in 2006. The 30-yard gain also was the longest run on fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2 by an NFL quarterback since 2006 when Tennessee's Vince Young went 36 yards on fourth-and-2 in the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills.
Ryan Tannehill on pace to be in top 5 of quarterback rushing yards since AFL-NFL merger in 1970
This season, QB Ryan Tannehill has carried the ball 22 times for 150 rushing yards, good for a 6.82 average. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only four NFL quarterbacks have produced a higher average over the course of a season - Michael Vick (three times), Randall Cunningham, Bobby Douglass and Russell Wilson, whose current average of 8.61 yards is on pace to break the quarterback mark of 8.45 set by Vick in 2006
Ryan Tannehill climbing the Miami Dolphins' record books
Ryan Tannehill’s 150 rushing yards this season are on pace to break the Dolphins single-season rushing record for quarterbacks, which is 321 yards gained by Jay Fiedler in 2001. Furthermore, Tannehill, who is in his third season, already is fourth on the Dolphins' all-time list for rushing yards by a quarterback. In his career, he has totaled 111 rushing attempts for 599 yards and three touchdowns.
Ryan Tannehill among quarterback rushing leaders
With 150 yards rushing this season, QB Ryan Tannehill leads the AFC and is fourth in the NFL in yards gained rushing among players at his position.
Miami Dolphins one of three teams to feature quarterback, running back and wide receiver combo
On offense, QB Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 10 touchdown passes, while RB Lamar Miller has rushed for four scores and caught one, and WR Mike Wallace has hauled in five passes. Miami is one of three teams to feature a quarterback that has thrown for 10-or-more touchdown passes, a running back who has totaled five-or-more touchdowns and a wide receiver that has caught five-or-more touchdown receptions.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 6:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Heading into today's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, here are several things to watch for, including player information and potential accomplishments. All of this information is courtesy of the Miami Dolphins Public Relations Department and comes from their weekly game release publication for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A win against the Jacksonville Jaguars would...
Finding success in the running game
The Dolphins currently average 4.81 yards-per-carry through the first six games of the season, which would be the fourth-highest average in franchise history. The franchise record is 5.0 yards per-carry set in 1971.
Blocking their third punt of the season would establish a new record
If Miami blocks a punt against the Jaguars, it would be their third this season, which would establish a new record for most blocked punts in a season. Miami currently has two blocked punts, which was also accomplished in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1991, 1996 and 2011.
Player information and potential accomplishments
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins have finished another week of preparation - this time, for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Dolphins, as they normally do each week, practiced their red zone plays, third down plays, the two-minute drill and other improvements that they needed to make after the Chicago Bears game. Joe Philbin talked a little bit about each day throughout the week.
“When you look at Jacksonville, their defense is number two in the NFL in the red zone. They’ve done just a great job,” Philbin said. “I happened to watch all their sacks today, their defensive sacks, and they had, I want to say seven just in the red zone alone, which obviously helps their defense. So it’s going to be a big part of the game. We’ve been devoting a little extra time to that area, so I think it’s going to be a big part of the game on Sunday, both teams, obviously both sides of the ball, execution in the red zone.”
Philbin emphasized to the team that they needed to improve on third downs – both the players and coaches. They focused on that for an entire practice and Philbin hopes to see the results on Sunday.
“A couple of things that we talked to the team about really improving, today was our third down day. That’s one area of our football team that we’ve really got to coach better, play better, execute better all the way around. That was kind of the focus and certainly something as we move forward during the season we are going to have to do a much better job at both sides of the ball.”
All of this practice and all of the coaching adjustments and changes have helped the Dolphins improve from last year, as they are higher in the rankings right now than they were at this time last season. Philbin is happy with the progress so far.
“I think we’re making progress. I talked to the team today, I showed them the first three games, I think we, again I’m probably not going to be exactly right, but I think we were 22nd in scoring or something on offense and now we’re 11th maybe. Is that right? I think we were 29th on defense in scoring after three weeks and I think we’re 15th or something. I always tell the team, you’ve got to look at the film first and then the statistics, some of them are good and nice. Yeah, I think there are some positive trends of the team performing better. It’s only six games, but I think there are some good signs.”
Players and coaches work extremely hard during the week to prepare for an opponent but it’s the teams that put in the extra work away from the practice field that separate them from the rest of the bunch. We’ll see how the Dolphins do on Sunday at 1:00 PM when they kick off against the Jaguars.
Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Jacksonville Jaguars might be 1-6 but there are still dangerous components to their team. For example, one player who is a threat to always break a huge run is Denard Robinson and Reshad Jones spoke about how dangerous he can be.
“They’ve got a good game plan, outside zone and things of that nature to get him on the edge and nice cutbacks. The quarterback does a great job on play action, just finding his receivers and moving the ball down field. We’ve got a true test, I know it’s a one win team, but they are coached well, they do a lot of good things and they have receivers on the outside.”
Joe Philbin echoed those sentiments by saying that Robinson is a real good football player and has been doing well in his time on the field this season.
“Yeah, he’s a football player. That’s the one thing you’ve got to be impressed about him. That’s a term we like to use around here. I think he’s tough, he’s a hard guy to bring down. I like the way he plays the game. Obviously, he had really good production last week. He’s a football player.”
Another dangerous component of the Jaguars is their defense, especially their dominant defensive line. Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey are looking forward to the challenge.
“They work together,” Albert said. “They have guys who can rush the passer, and they work together to get to the quarterback. They are relentless and we are going to have to contend with them this weekend.”
“They do a real good job working together, they’ve got a real good front seven,” Pouncey added. "That’s something we’ve really got to focus on this week, keeping (Ryan) Tannehill up on his feet and keeping these guys from getting sacks.”
Philbin agreed with both Pouncey and Albert and reminded everyone that while everyone is talking about a possible blowout win, the Dolphins only have three wins themselves and aren’t in a much better position when you really break it down.
“I think you can, but we’ve only got three wins. They don’t care that we won last week and vice versa. I think they’re going to come out, they’re playing at home, they’re energetic, they’re young, they’re coached well. I think they are looking for the next opportunity to get a win and we can’t let our guard down.”
With all that said, the Jaguars are missing several key players on both sides of the ball and the Dolphins really shouldn’t have a problem taking care of them. We’ll find out soon enough whether or not this becomes a reality when they kick off on Sunday at 1:00 PM EST.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 6:15 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Ryan Tannehill entered the NFL in 2012 as the first overall pick for the Miami Dolphins and since then, his progress has been steady. At the same time though, his play has raised several questions with numerous people, including coaches, wondering if he can be the franchise quarterback of the Miami Dolphins.
“Everybody’s developmental curve is a little bit different,” Joe Philbin said. “I would say this about Blake Bortles, if I’m not mistaken, you guys opened up the preseason against Tampa Bay. I watched the kid play in that game because we played Tampa Bay the next week and I thought to myself, ‘Geez, they’ve got a real fine prospect right here.’ The kid I think is going to be an outstanding player in the league and he’s doing some good things already.”
This year, Tannehill battled with adversity when Joe Philbin created a quarterback controversy in the week leading up to the game in London. However, Tannehill bounced back very well and Philbin is proud of the way he did so.
“You want the players, as the season progresses, you want to see improvement and development out of everybody at all position. You want the units to improve. Again, I think that’s the encouraging thing about our football team the last few weeks is I think we improved in a lot of different areas. Certainly, his performance has helped that. Some of the guys around him, their performance has helped that. I think it’s good. I think he is playing well and we are looking forward to him playing well again.”
Now, Tannehill has embraced the read-option and has been making huge strides in the past six quarters. In addition, the coaches have been letting him thrown on the move a lot more often and Tannehill doesn’t mind it. For example, the touchdown pass to Dion Sims against the Bears was a great move by Tannehill extending the play and making things happen.
“Yeah, it was a big third down for us. He was actually in protection and the check down, so I went through my progression. It got cloudy over the middle, bought some time in the pocket. He leaked out late and it was uncovered. So that was the last guy on the progression. I think if you study different guys, I think just in my experience some do throw better on the ball on the move than others, sure.”
Tannehill will have a chance to continue his impressive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Playing another great game for 60 minutes will surely push his name into the conversation with the rising stars in the NFL.
Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins have struggled quite a bit this year on special teams.According to Pro Football Focus, they have a -13.8 overall grade on returns. On kickoffs, they have an overall grade of 2.0 and on punts, they have an overall grade of -12.4. They are ranked 28 in the league on special teams and things need to improve quickly before it truly impacts the game in a key moment.
“I think there are a lot of factors that go into it. Just like we talk about the passing game, we talk about protection and spacing and timing and accuracy and decision making,” Joe Philbin said. “The kicking game, there’s a lot of it. There’s the kick, there’s coverage, there’s defeating blocks, there’s tackling, there’s spacing, there’s reading the blocking schemes. There’s a lot of things that go into it and there are things of where we are at statistically that we have some things we need to keep working on, get better at and correct. I wish I could say it was one thing.”
Earlier this week, Philbin called out Caleb Sturgis and Brandon Fields in a team meeting for their shaky performance and told them both that they need to get better. While those two individuals are by themselves on an island, one person who will help the overall unit is Dion Jordan. Philbin said that they will more than likely get him quite a few snaps on special teams on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are ranked 20th in the league in special teams so on paper and in terms of grades, they are better. We’ll see if the Dolphins can start their improvement this week on the r
Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Derrick Shelby made waves a few weeks ago after he was arrested during the Dolphins bye week at a Fort Lauderdale night club. Upon his arrest, the Miami Dolphins suspended him indefinitely, which turned out to be only one week against the Green Bay Packers.
Coming into the season, Shelby was expected to have a bigger role with Dion Jordan being suspended. He did just that n the five games he played, accumulating 3 sacks, 7 tackles and 1 fumble recovery. Joe Philbin praised Shelby for his work on the field.
“He’s a good technician, number one. I think his fundamentals have been good. They’ve gotten better and developed over time, but he’s always been detailed in how to execute what the coaches want to get done from a fundamental standpoint. I think that’s the one thing I would say that has been the best for him. So if (defensive line coach) Kacy Rodgers is teaching him various ways to take on a double-team or ways to take on a down block or various pass rush moves possibly, he’s a diligent guy on the field. He attempts to utilize those fundamentals and techniques. They show up in the game. They show up on film.”
With Jordan expected to be active against the Jacksonville Jaguars, we’ll see what happens to Shelby but make no mistake about – he has made an impact on defense and has continued to earn himself more playing time on the field.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The read-option has been a staple of the Miami Dolphins offense ever since the first game of preseason. However, it wasn’t until the second half of the game against the Green Bay Packers where Ryan Tannehill started to keep the ball more and take off with it, which has resulted in quite a few big gains since that time. Count the offensive linemen as ones who love seeing Tannehill take off and run.
“Most of the time, we try to keep defenders off of him,” Daryn Colledge said. “So you know to see him out there, getting out in the open field and doing what he does, that’s great. We’ve got to get him some longer cleats, so he doesn’t fall down on some of those plays (joking). Then we can get a few more yards out of him.”
Of course, Colledge worries about Tannehill’s safety but is confident that he will make the right decision when he sees defenders coming at him full speed.
“It’s one of those things that I’m hoping Ryan will make the right decision when he’s out there. Obviously, I want him to get as much yardage as he can. When guys start getting close, I want to see him get down and protect himself. I don’t want him to be one of those quarterbacks who’s running and gets himself knocked out of games. But the great thing about this offense is it’s allowed us to be a triple threat when we come out on the field. So he’s doing a great job back there, he’s making great decisions and he’s converted some plays for us to turn into some huge plays for us. So I hope he just keeps doing what he’s doing.”
Mike Pouncey and Branden Albert are two of the other linemen who said that they loved seeing Tannehill run, calling it exciting. Albert said that the entire line along with Tannehill are doing a great job reading everything the right way. Albert hopes that Tannehill will break it for a long touchdown sooner rather than later.
The Dolphins need to continue to let Tannehill run the ball if the coverage dictates it. It has truly opened up the offense and gives one more headache for the opposing defenses each week.
Written by Luis Sung at 9:30 PM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Everyone loves an explosive play. A running back breaking free for a huge run, a big interception that gets returned for a touchdown, or the most obvious of them all: a deep pass down the field that goes in for a touchdown. That is something the team hasn't had much success with as of late, nor have they actually made that many attempts to do, which wide receiver Mike Wallace has said he would like to remedy.
“What a surprise, I can’t believe he would say that.” head coach Joe Philbin said jokingly.
Philbin's dry sense of humor dates back to his days in Green Bay, but he quickly got back to being serious about the subject of big plays.
“I want us to have more explosive plays in our offense, without a doubt. But that always doesn’t mean throwing the ball 50 yards down the field." he explained. "Explosive plays for us are a 16-yard pass or more. I’m not opposed to vertical routes. I love them. We work on them awful hard. I’m confident we’ll hit them, but I do want more explosive plays in the offense, period, without a doubt.”
The obvious issue here is that Philbin's definition of an explosive play and the fanbase's don't seem to coincide, but Philbin made sure to explain what he meant.
“It’s been a statistic, I don’t know, since I’ve gotten into the league. I don’t remember how it started, but that’s the way we used to count them and I’ve kind of kept it that way, so you can kind of compare or use it as a comparative." Philbin said. "We use 12 yards in the run game and 16 in the pass game. Some teams may use different barometers, I don’t know. That’s kind of the barometer we use, so it kind of helps as a reference point as you track it year to year to year and so forth.”
Philbin's explanation in a way makes sense, but there don't seem to be many individuals who would agree with his assessment. Nevertheless, the team will surely take whatever they can get, because in the end, as long as they can get into the endzone, everything should always work itself out.
Written by Luis Sung at 9:30 PM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Back in 2012, the Miami Dolphins brought in a talented young running back out of the University of Miami to watch and learn from current Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush. Much like Bush, Miller showed talent as a speedster who could burn the defense and be used in the passing game similarly to how Bush should have been used.
In 2013, Bush headed to Detroit and Miller was given the starting job, eventually getting into a platoon with fellow running back Daniel Thomas. Unfortunately, Miller and Thomas both struggled to run behind a mediocre offensive line and poor play calling by former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
After all that, the Dolphins brought in veteran running back Knowshon Moreno, who despite not being healthy for the majority of training camp and the preseason, all but took the starting job away from Miller with his power running ability that was such a huge factor in the Dolphins week one victory against the New England Patriots.
Unfortunately for Moreno, he got hurt again and Miller was pushed back into the starting job, where he again struggled against the elite Buffalo Bills defensive line. The next week however, something clicked inside of Miller.
Versus the Kansas City Chiefs, Miller managed to put together what was possibly his greatest performance ever, running for 108 yards on only 15 carries, and then against the Oakland Raiders, he gained 64 yards on 12 carries, including 2 touchdowns.
Perhaps something happened to Miller when Moreno went down for the count, but ever since that time, Miller has stepped up and shown exactly what prompted the Dolphins to let Reggie Bush walk in the first place.
"He’s proven to be durable. He’s answered the bell every single time we’ve asked him to. He’s had good productivity so far. I think he’s off to a good start. I think he can even improve." said head coach Joe Philbin. "I think there are more things he could do, make some more people miss and those types of things. I think there is more there that we can tap into.”
Miller will have the opportunity to show what else he can do on Sunday when the team heads up to Jacksonville to face a Jaguars squad that - while they are improving - is still struggling to win games and is now without some of their top defensive players. If there was ever a time for Miller to show what he can do, now is the time.
Written by Steven Wilson at 9:30 PM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Ranked the fifth-best tackler from his outside linebacker position by Pro Football Focus, second-year standout Jelani Jenkins has led a resurgent Miami LB corps this season. Jenkins, filling the void left by Dannell Ellerbe’s season-ending injury, has been dominant in the run game (ranked 3rd by PFF) and solid against the pass with a 5th-best ranking currently.
“The more he’s had opportunities, it seems like he’s capitalized on those,” said Head Coach Joe Philbin. “He’s a very bright guy. He’s a pretty good communicator out there and I think he’s getting more and more confident as a football player with the more experience that he gains each and every week. Certainly, we like the way he’s trending as a football player. As you mentioned, he’s earned everything he’s gotten so far.”
After Dannell Ellerbe badly injured his hip in the season opener, Jenkins has picked up the slack with a team-high 47 combined tackles, while adding 1.5 sacks.
“He’s productive,” continued Philbin. “When you are a linebacker, you want those guys involved in tackling and defending the run. He’s also got good athletic skill in pass defensive. He has good instinct and awareness. He has a chance to be good. He’s doing some good things.”
Jenkins play has been one bright spot, but the team has also seen inspiring play from Koa Misi, who returned from injury two weeks ago versus Green Bay. No. 55 has tallied 14 tackles since his return, but missed practice on Thursday with a sore ankle.
Misi has the daunting task of living up to legendary players at the middle linebacker spot for the Dolphins, most recently Zach Thomas. The fifth-year pro, with his inspired play and leadership, has given his coach confidence
“He looks like a football player to me,” said Philbin. “When it’s all said and done, the guy plays fast. He’s tough. I think I’ve told you guys before, when we do our cut ups at the end of the year for the fundamentals and everything, Misi is on a lot of those cut ups. Omar (Kelly) asked me a couple of weeks ago, what do you want the defense to stand for? Pursuit and tackling and creating turnovers and getting off of blocks, and a lot of those pictures show Koa Misi. I think he’s a good football player. We’ll see – he has to earn it. I think he’s making progress.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 4:30 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins secondary is one of the best in the NFL and they proved just how good they can be when they shut down the dangerous Chicago Bears wide receiver corps. Part of the reason for their success is because just about every person in the secondary offers versatility, which is something that isn’t found on every NFL team. More specifically, Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas often switch up positions during the game.
“They both have good size,” Joe Philbin said. “It’s not like one safety is that much bigger than the other. Various teams across the league have different body types and they have similar body types. They both have good movement skills. They have good coverage skills. It gives us some flexibility in terms of who you want to bring down and on what occasion and for what purpose. That’s a nice part of their skillset that we can utilize.”
Another player in the secondary who offers that highly sought after versatility is Michael Thomas, who can interchange between playing safety and the nickel cornerback position. Against the Bears, Thomas started the game in the nickel page.
“We thought Mike did a good job. He really did,” Philbin said. “He brings a lot of energy to the football team. He plays hard. Everything he does, he does hard. He set the tempo in the opening kickoff. He did a fantastic job… I’ll be honest with you, I kind of missed the chip. I knew that was part of the game plan, but I wasn’t watching the chip. Then I saw him blocking the kicker after just on film. He just plays with a lot of energy and juice. It’s nice to see him do some positive things.”
However, don’t get used to seeing the same people in the same spots every play as the coaching staff likes to switch things up depending on the match-up and the package they want to be in.
“Sometimes, we can have different, five DB (defensive back) combinations. As an offense that is scouting us, it may look as if it’s four down-linemen, two linebackers and five DBs, but to us, it may be a specific package based on, again, who we are playing, what we anticipate, what the players do best, how we can utilize them in the best way. It all depends week-to-week, but you’re right, you can’t train everybody to go in there. You have to be smart about divvying up the reps because there is only so much time you can spend on the field.”
The Dolphins’ secondary will look to continue their dominant ways against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday before facing an even bigger test against the speedy San Diego Chargers offense.
Written by Steven Wilson at 4:05 PM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Through 29 minutes of the first half against the Chicago Bears, Ryan Tannehill was on fire! The third-year quarterback completed each of his first 14 throws for 176 yards and two scores – a big reason for his success was the play of his offensive line. For example, with a little more than five minutes left in the second quarter Tannehill was given roughly six or seven seconds to survey the field and find an open target – Mike Wallace, whom he hit for the touchdown.
Last season when the line allowed a league-high and franchise-record 58 sacks, those plays may not have happened with the team decimated at tackle. But fast forward 12 months and the team has stronghold left tackle Branden Albert anchoring his quarterback’s blindside.
“I think we are just working every day,” said big No. 71. “Like I said before, this was going to be a process and we are making progress every game and every day. We are just gelling together, and coaches are coaching us. Whatever schemes the coaches are drawing up, we just execute.”
Most times, that execution has been acceptable – not always flawless, but good enough to give Tannehill time to find an open receiver. But other times, like the video below, there have been communication breakdowns.
On this play, tight end Charles Clay should contain the end. With a designed Quarterback-rollout to his side, it’s up to him to seal the edge, but Clay whiffed, didn’t block anyone and the play resulted in a sack.
When asked about the reason for the sacks allowed this season, Head Coach Joe Philbin said, “[It’s been] a little bit of everything. I think we have 14 sacks [allowed]. Usually, just like I watched all of Jacksonville’s 22 (sacks) and some of them were because they had unblocked guys on a blitz, maybe the receiver didn’t look hot. Some were one-on-one guys who won a matchup. Some of it was the twist game. Not unique to us is we have 14 sacks, and I would say, again don’t quote me on these exact numbers, but I think you can spread them out a little bit. Some of them have been [because] we didn’t handle or respond to pressure very well potentially. Some of them have been [because] we should have gotten the ball out quicker. Some of them have been [because] we should have picked up the twist quicker. Some of them have been [because] we lost the one-on-one matchup, so I think there’s a variety of things.”
Regardless of the outcome, it’s been a bit of a surprise how well the Dolphins offensive line has played together. Mike Pouncey was the only starting holdover from last year’s group.
“We have some guys who are talented,” said Albert, who joined the team this summer. “We have some guys who have been playing football for a long time. We have guys who have been there (and) done that. I think guys are not selfish, just like (Mike) Pouncey with his unselfishness to play right guard. That’s big for us. He’s doing everything possible, and the rest of us are doing everything possible to help this team win.”
Pouncey’s shift to the middle was in part because Samon Satele has been playing so well at center and there was a need at guard for an experienced player like Pouncey.
“It’s been fun man,” said Pouncey after practice this week. “Just all of the different guys we have in the room, the different traits they bring, the different attitude they bring in every day. It’s been good to know these guys, to have them come to our football team and the biggest thing has been helping our football team improve. They’ve all done that.”
One player who’s stood out in particular has been rookie right tackle Ja’Wuan James out of Tennessee. Through six games, James has blocked for 236 passing plays, allowed one sack, seven hits and nine hurries. His effort has earned him the 34th ranking in ProFootballFocus.com’s offensive tackle pass-blocking efficiency (94.5).
When asked how he thought James has blocked, Albert just smiled and said, “I get asked this question a lot. I think he’s doing a pretty darn good job for a rookie. I think he’s only given up one sack this year. I don’t want to jinx him, but he’s playing well. I think he’s listening, he working hard. It’s a process with him. He’s going to get better each and every day. He’s learning with what he needs to learn, and I think he’s doing a good job doing it.”
Following a season filled with controversy, drama and scandal, no one thought the Dolphins O-Line would be this good, this soon.
“I think we have to give most of our credit to our new offensive line coach John Benton,” admitted Pouncey. “He’s been doing a great job, him and Jack Bicknell. They brought in some different techniques we’ve been using and he grinds us and makes us the players we are.”
Despite the improvement, things aren’t necessarily perfect.
“I’d say that we are much improved obviously because of the way the statistics are,” said Pouncey. “We go out there and come in and work every day, try and work as hard as we can. We’ve gotten better as a group all around.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
When Mike Pouncey returned to the practice field without limitations, speculation immediately began as to what would happen to the offensive line. Would Pouncey move back to center or would he play the right guard position? As we all know, they set him at the right guard position and two games in, the results have been mixed but Joe Philbin isn’t giving up and is looking for continued improvement.
“We like the way they are playing, certainly we expect them to improve and get better over the next, hopefully starting on Sunday. There is room for improvement with everybody there, but we have used the same line-up two weeks in a row and we have had an opportunity to win both of those games so there are some good things on tape.”
In terms of communication with Pouncey back, Philbin said that it’s been much improved and is looking forward to it getting even better once they get even more games under their belt.
“It’s been good, yeah. I think it’s been good. We haven’t had a lot of, knock on wood, a lot of free runners as we like to say in the backfield, whether it be run or pass. Not that we’ve been perfect at it, but I think overall it’s been good. Certainly, that is going to be a big part of the game and they do a good job. They move people around, they drop people in late and disguise well. That’s going to be a big part of the plan is getting everybody on the same page.”
Philbin re-iterated that he is going to get the best five offensive lineman on the field as long as they aren’t out of position too much. He is pleased with the current starting five and said that he plans to keep it that way until he sees a need to change it.
As far as Pouncey goes and whether or not he is still excited about the move to guard, he’s singing a different tune than he was two weeks ago.
“Of course, I was so good at it,” Pouncey said, when asked if he missed playing the center position. “But it doesn’t bother me at all. I like the way the five guys gel together, the rotation we have now. Whatever is best for the team. We’re going to keep it that way until they say different.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:45 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Heading into the game on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins players and coaches understand that this isn’t going to be simply a game where they walk in and dominate and go home. Instead, they know the Jaguars have been improving and know that they can’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s an easy opponent. One thing that will make it a little tougher is the fact that this will be the Dolphins’ second consecutive game on the road.
“We do our best to kind of keep things as consistent as possible,” Philbin said. “Obviously, the stadiums change when we go on the road, but when we go on the road, you kind of try for the most part, London was an exception, but you try to leave about the same time. We like to have our meetings about the same time. We like to do the vast majority of our work just like we do here if it was a home game. When we meet Saturday night at the hotel, it’s really just meet, talking to the team. It’s not a lot of technical football stuff. We should have it down by then. We do the same thing when we are on the road. We keep the schedule really exactly the same, so they feel like they are getting ready to play a game like they do 16 other times. So I think consistency is a big thing and knowing what to expect when we go on the road is important.”
Branden Albert has been on both sides before where he’s been on the team that is the favorite and also the underdog that isn’t expected to win. That’s why he knows best on how to string together victories and keep the momentum going.
“You just have to take every game one game at a time and treat every game, win, lose or draw, as the same. You can’t get too high. You can’t get too low. That’s one thing we’ve learned. If you win a game, you can’t be too happy. If you lose a game, you can’t get too down. You have to stay an even attitude, and that’s how you stay up. I think we had a good week in practice. As long as we keep it up and keep the attitude up, then we’ll go each week fighting and trying to get better. I think we can pull something off, but we have to prove it though.”
Last season, the Dolphins found themselves in a similar situation when they faced off against a winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. They lost that game and struggled to get anything going much of the night. Mike Pouncey said they’ve learned their lesson since then though.
“No question. They got their first win on us last year. We came in there taking them lightly and they beat us. We can’t have that happen this week. You just come in and prepare the same way we’ve been preparing all year. Each team in the NFL has a lot of talent on it. There aren’t any bad teams in the NFL. We’ve got to go in and prepare like it’s a playoff football team. They’re in their groove right now. They’re playing really well, they’ve been playing really well all year on defense. So we’ve got to go up there and play better.”
We’ll find out soon enough which Dolphins team shows up. If it’s the one that’s played the last six quarters at a high level, the Jaguars could be in for a long day in their own house.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
All too often, the head coach, quarterback and coordinators get all the blame and all the credit for a team’s failure or success. Assistant coaches almost always fly under the radar, whether they are good or bad. However, it’s important to give them credit where credit is due. Two such coaches are linebackers coach Mark Duffner and offensive line coach John Benton, who were both hired in the offseason.
“John (Benton) and Duff (Mark Duffner) are pros. They are veterans,” Philbin said. “They’ve been in the league for a while. They understand stuff happens and guys get injured. Just because in July your lineup may not be the same as it is in late October, and I think they roll with the punches good. It’s a staff that doesn’t get way, way high or way down low. They just keep working and stay focused on what’s really important and that’s coaching players and developing players.”
Philbin said he loves the energy that Duffner brings and said he has been instrumental in the development of second year player Jelani Jenkins.
“I think he’s brought a lot to the staff. He’s got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, passion for the profession and passion for players and coaching guys. Jelani Jenkins is a guy that has stepped up and performed well. He’s a guy that really had played much last year and Mark’s been instrumental with that. He’s a guy I wanted to hire a couple of years ago actually when I first got here. We’re just delighted that he and his family are down here with us.”
With all the praise for Duffner and Benton though, Philbin refused to single anyone else out as to who’s done a great job of preparing the players to get ready for the game each week.
“I wouldn’t want to single anybody out. I’m really delighted and feel very fortunate to have the type of quality individuals that I do have on this coaching staff. I think they are very passionate about football. I think they care about the players. I think they care about this organization. They are good family men. I’m really proud to be associated with those guys. I wouldn’t want to single out any one individual. They are hard workers. They will do whatever it takes to prepare these guys to play.”
It’s always nice to see the assistants get the credit they deserve as they are the future coordinators and head coaches of the NFL. Let’s hope the Dolphins continue their recent success starting on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Cameron Wake has always given it 100 percent ever since coming into the NFL. In fact, he still keeps his shower slippers that he wore in the Canadian Football League to remind himself where he came from and also as a reminder that it’s an honor and privilege to be in the NFL.
One of the keys to Wake’s success has been the consistency he has shown every day of practice and every week during games.
“It’s more consistency on day-to-day, play-to-play. I don’t really look at a full season, I don’t really track my stats or anything like that,” Wake said. “I just go out there and on whatever play it is I have to do this particular job and I’m going to do my best to do that. I think when you get those small things taken care of the big things take care of themselves. I just focus on being the best player I can be and maximizing my potential. That’s my biggest fear as a football and as a man, to die with potential. I want to max it out, any opportunity I get.”
During his time with the Miami Dolphins, Wake has never been to the playoffs and he hopes that is something that will change this year. His emotions, like many others, have certainly been played with as there have been many years where we thought the Dolphins were a good team only to fall short of the playoffs. Wake said though that he can’t think about all that and let that get to him. Instead, needs to just go out and play every single day and give it his all.
“Again, I feel like football is a very interesting parallel to life. When you step on the field and you have a job to do and, again, this can be reporting or a CEO of a company or president, whatever, you have to eliminate a lot of things that are going on, whether it’s in your life, on the outside, a screaming fan, 120 degree weather, whatever it may be, you have to focus on your job at hand, or else you won’t be successful at whatever that it is. Football is no different. We have to go out there and again, off the field, on the field, it doesn’t matter necessarily what is going on other than if it has to pertain to your job, throwing the ball, catching the ball, quarterback, running back, defensive end, we all have jobs to do and you have to do it. To me, it’s probably been a roller coaster for you guys who aren’t playing, but for guys who play, we’ve all been very well trained to eliminate distractions or else you probably wouldn’t be on the team at this point by now, you would have been weeded out somewhere along the line. So I’ll let you guys ride the roller coaster, here we stick to our guns and play our game and do our job.”
Wake said that he takes pride in the fact that they are able to keep everybody on their toes and is proud of the passion and intensity he and the others bring each week. Wake is no doubt one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL and he doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
Written by Luis Sung at 6:45 PM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Head coach Joe Philbin has come under a lot of fire in recent weeks for his decision making and his time management, and it's caused a lot of people to call for Philbin to be fired from his job as the head coach. Despite all that however, Philbin isn't feeling any pressure about his job security.
"Not at all. Again, when you coach, I’ve coached at all different levels, college football and in the National Football League, and I’ve always approached it as a one game at a time mentality." Philbin said. "It’s certainly a privilege to be the coach of the Miami Dolphins."
Luckily, Philbin recognizes that he does have shortcomings as a head coach, and he's constantly working on those issues he has. One thing he's been called out for is being far too conservative, which is something that he's made attempts to remedy. However, he doesn't feel his failures are actually linked to being conservative.
"Every game’s different. I certainly have to do a better job. We’re 3-3. I want us to be better than a .500 football team." Philbin said. "There’s no question I’ve got to do a better job and I plan on doing that. I don’t know that it’s linked to being too conservative."
He does however have a few things he knows he needs to work on, and he listed them out for everyone.
"Getting the team to play consistently well, finishing games better, executing better, getting our turnover margin on the plus side. We’re even in the turnover margin." Philbin explained. "There’s a long list. We don’t have enough time on this phone call for all of the things I’ve got to do better."
Philbin suggested there were a lot of other things that he needed to work on beyond just what he said. However, there does seem to be somewhat of a pattern: none of the things he mentioned are solely on him.
Fans have been begging for the coaches to put the players in positions to succeed, for them to place players like Ryan Tannehill in places where he could use his strengths. It seems that after three years of pleading, the players are finally getting the opportunities to do just that, and it seems to be paying dividends. Hopefully, Philbin recognizes what's happening and lets it continue. He may not feel pressure, but if the team doesn't keep winning, he may start feeling it in a hurry.
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