Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. This is evident by the fact that when he goes up to the line of scrimmage, he will literally diagnose a defensive coverage on the spot and usually audible to a different play.
That's why on Sunday, it will be important to disguise the coverages before the snap. However, Joe Philbin said he doesn't know how much they are going to be able to fool Manning.
“I was in the defensive meeting and I believe this too, I don’t know how much we’re really going to trick their quarterback. He’s seen an awful lot. He’s got a lot of reps, a lot of experience. I think it’s going to come down to good fundamental football. I know that sounds simplistic, but getting a good pass rush, having tight coverage, tackling well. They’re going to get their completions. We’ll see.”
Reshad Jones voiced the same concerns as Philbin and said it's going to be tough to fool Manning and disguise what they are doing before the snap.
"Like I said, he’s probably on paper one of the best to ever do it at that position. It’s going to be tough disguising and giving different looks. But we’re going to have to try our best to mix it up a little bit, give some different looks. Hopefully, we can make plays like that.”
One of the more famous things that Manning does is yell out 'Omaha' before the snap at the line of scrimmage. Philbin said he has no idea what that means and Mike Wallace, who has seen Manning several times over the past few years, says that he has no idea what he's doing either.
“I don’t understand anything he does honestly. He’s not on my team. He’s one of the smarter guys, so I’m pretty sure that 99 percent of the people don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t think if you’re on their team, you don’t know what he’s talking about (joking). I tried to get a couple of tips, but Emmanuel (Sanders) doesn’t want to tell me (joking), my guy is up there playing with him. He won’t give me any inside tips.”
With that in mind, will Joe Philbin have the Dolphins practice differently this week leading up tot he game with Manning under center or will he keep it the same as usual as to not throw anyone off their normal routine?
“We’re doing a lot of things where sometimes the guys that put on the look of the opposing team, a lot of times stay in the huddle and then break together. This week, we’re knowing more of where our quarterback is, moving some guys around. We’re doing the best we can to simulate some of those movements that you’re talking about and getting the linemen to line up and then having the skill guys kind of break out separately, which is kind of how he orchestrates things. Certainly, it won’t be exact, but we’re going to do our best to simulate that.”
The Dolphins will have their hands full with Manning but if they are able to apply pressure with just their defensive line, they should be able to hang in there and hopefully make the big play that turns the momentum of the game.