Tag Archives: Henne

Halfway Through Preseason – State of the Dolphins

22 Aug

Just a handful of thoughts, mixed with musings, peppered with observations, as we now stand just 21 days from opening night against the Patsies.

*One bad game, one solid one. Welcome to Henne-ssee. To be fair, Chad didn’t have a whole lot of first string weaponry out there against the Falcons. It looks like the plan is to keep the game in the first twenty yards of the field for him. Dumps, slants, quick outs. Probably a good idea, as Henne hasn’t shown much touch on the deep ball. So, why try and force a square peg into a round hole? Henne is better at these throws. Spread the field, and nickel and dime defenses to death. Marshall is great after the catch. Bess is a slot guy, and money in that first ten yards of space. And Reggie Bush? Well, there aren’t many guys who can consistently turn screens into twenty-yarders. A great addition to allow the Dolphins to still move the ball without much of a vertical passing game. Our fear is that we’ll be wasting Clyde Gates, a guy who could end up blowing past DBs forty yards down the field, mostly for his own cardiovascular health.

*And how about that Reggie Bush guy? By all accounts he’s been working his de-Heismaned tail off, staying late, even attending O-line meetings. He looked fantastic in his Dolphin debut. He ran fast, which we expected. But Bush ran tough as well. The question is how many carries can #22 handle? Daniel Thomas will provide valuable snaps to keep Reggie from being overworked, but our team will simply be better when Reggie is on the field. Striking that balance will be important, because if he ends up on the trainer’s table, points will be a lot harder to come by.

*The Kevin Burnett signing was brilliant. KB has been all over the field, strong in every facet. I would put Dansby/Burnett side by side with the best ILB tandems in football. Our defense is rising, and was top 6 last season. But to build a truly dominant squad you can’t be complacent. So even though we had an almost exclusive offensive draft, and even though Channing Crowder was a solid player, we pounced on an upgrade. We’re excited to watch Mike Nolan do his thing with this crew. Odrick looks like a man out there. JT should provide some pass rush opposite Wake. Jimmy Wilson was a huge find. Get him on the field. Somewhere. He will make plays.

*I see us running left a lot. A whole lot. Long, Incognito, Pouncey. The right side of the line? Well, it hasn’t hit its stride just yet. Carey’s learning on the fly at RG. By the way, kudos to Big Vern for making a sacrifice to stay in Miami. A pay cut, voiding two years of his deal, and a move to a brand new position? Wow. Not many players would have rolled with that. Right tackle? Well? Murtha (which means “holding” in Gaelic)? Colombo? Garner? Not settled over on the that side. Our backs may have to do a lot of chipping over there to keep Henne on his feet. Reggie Bush, chip and release for screens, all day long.

*Do we really have four fullbacks? Daniel Thomas 230lbs, Lex Hilliard 240lbs, Charles Clay 240lbs, Lousaka Polite 245lbs. So maybe they’re not all technically fullbacks, but look at that beef! If Reggie Bush goes down we’ve got a stable of bruisers sporting 4.63 40s. Three yards and a cloud of dust, baby. If Clay’s blocking is up to par, we think we should politely send Lousaka packing. This team needs big plays. Speed. To keep a redundant fullback on the roster instead of a guy like Livas would be hindering our big play ability. Livas would get 70 attempts as a KR/PR. There’s potential for a serious impact. Compare that to the potential impact of a second fullback. Exactly. We hope the Dolphins honor the importance of the return game. Livas needs to pop another big one soon to remind everyone just what he brings to the table.

*Daboll was fired. Sparano was half-fired. If Tony’s ever going to start going for it on 4th and short, it’s this season. If Brian is going to do whatever it takes to put points on the board, it’s this season. They are both in danger of entering Assistant Coach Purgatory. Or worse, Coaching at Somewhere Like Portland State Purgatory. They may not be flashy, or have the most impressive resumes, but we will get the best out of Tony and Brian. Their careers depend on it. Circumstances should dictate a sizable increase in testicular fortitude as far as Tony’s kick-happy ways are concerned.  There are a couple of riverboat gamblers on top of our division in Rex and Bill. We’ve got to put our stones on the table if we want to compete. So far I like what Daboll is drawing up, working to Henne’s strengths. Our offense doesn’t need to be the Saints, but if Brian can return us to the middle of the scoring pack, we’ll be in the mix.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

Top Ten Things We Want to See Tonight

12 Aug

10. A sack for Jason Taylor, followed by a wicked Fox Trot celebration dance.

9. No passes under 12 yards for Chad Henne. None. He throws one checkdown and we waive him!

8. Reggie Bush takes a draw play 58 yards for the score, then reveals Kim Kardashian portrait tattoo during third quarter interview. 

7. No dropped interceptions. 19 of ‘em last year.  If our D wants to take the next step, we can’t botch those.

6. Phillip Livas takes a kick return the distance, literally leaving a vapor trail. Yes, he’s our man crush, but he won’t make this team if he doesn’t prove that he’s Dante Hall in a wig.

5. A disciplined Paul Soliai, angling for an extension, blows through the line, snaps Michael Turner in half, but resists the temptation to eat him.

4. Cameron Wake receives a new contract at halftime, after racking up five sacks on twelve plays.  

3. Chemistry between Henne and Marshall, namely trust on Chad’s part. He throws it up and lets #19 go get it. He’s called The Beast for a reason.

2. No injuries. No sprains, no breaks, no tears. Not even a hangnail.

1. Our first opportunity to play the NFL’s new drinking game, Touchback Tequila (Touchback Tecate for you beer drinkers out there). Take a swig every time a kickoff sails through the uprights.

Football is here! GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

Maybe Miami Must Make Much Maligned Mallett the Man?

5 Apr

Okay, so maybe Ryan Mallett is a little bit “Dirty South”. Everyone you hear says two things, that his teammates love him, and that he’s the best pure passer in the draft. We actually like his fire, and his swagger too. We don’t see much of that from our current, gun-shy signal caller.

This is a passing league, babe. We’ve got a monster in Brandon Marshall, and a killer slot guy in Bess. Maybe the “best pure passer” label should carry more weight than the “alleged drug user” one? The good news about the Mallett rumors? They could make it very possible to trade down, add our missing second rounder, and still nab the cannon-armed youngster late in the first.

Ingram’s knee is causing a bit of concern, as is the pedestrian 40 time he put up at the combine. It certainly makes you consider how much distance there is between the Alabama back and the other prospects. That second rounder could then possibly be used to still grab a strong candidate for our backfield vacancy.

But suppose we can’t trade down. Suppose there’s no action when Miami’s on the clock. Aren’t there a lot worse fates than being forced to draft the best passer in the 2011 draft?

We think so.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

How Many Games Does Miami Need to Win in ’11?

26 Jan

Our best guess is that the SoFlo Sea Mammals will be favored in six games next season. Depending on how the offseason plays out we may be breaking in a rookie quarterback. We will be attempting to repair a running game that went from smashmouth to…well…getting smashed in the mouth.

So, trying to gaze into that mysterious and sometimes baffling noggin of Stephen “I Made Up My Mind Before I Changed It” Ross, how many wins will be enough to keep the Bifecta “bifecting” beyond 2011?

At home:
BILLS
PATRIOTS
JETS
BRONCOS
CHIEFS
EAGLES
HOUSTON
WASHINGTON

Away:
BILLS
PATRIOTS
JETS
RAIDERS
CHARGERS
BROWNS
DALLAS
GIANTS

We play eight games against the top nine scoring teams in the NFL. What battles should we win on that schedule? Tough to say these days. Let’s give us the Redskins, both Buffalo games, the Broncos, the Browns and the Raiders. That’s keeping in mind that all of those teams except for the Browns outscored us last year, and that we promptly imported their offensive guru.

If we win all of those games (and seldom does a team win all the games it should). we’re at six victories. So, how many wins will we pile up against the Chargers, Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Patriots, Patriots, Jets, Jets, Chiefs and Texans?

Making a huge dent in this year’s nine losses is going to take a 180 on offense. Our defense was heroic, but any D will start to crumble if left on the field all game. Three big wins against playoff quality teams, and a victory in every “winnable” game, would put us at 9-7, almost certainly out of the playoffs in today’s AFC.

Will barely cracking .500, and missing the playoffs for the third year in a row be enough? Does Ross have a number in his head? Is there an unspoken bar he expects Jeff and Tony to exceed this season? If Ross is going to stick with them, yet again, even if there’s just a one or two game improvement over 2010, he’d better have a quality PR firm on speed dial.

‘Cause I see a whole lot of Dolphin fans sick of watching other teams play deep into January.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

The Fibbing Fin: Stephen Ross Interviewing Sue Henne for GM Position

20 Jan

MIAMI, FL

Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross is gassing up his private jet once more, this time speeding to the Reading, Pennsylvania Municipal Airport for an emergency job interview with Chad Henne’s mother, Suzanne.

This week “Sue” made news with an emailed call for the heads of the entire coaching staff. Ross, moved both by her decisiveness, and a “remarkably delicious” Rice Krispie Square recipe she posted on her food blog ‘Henne-One Up for Dessert?’, immediately arranged an interview.

The move certainly has put current GM Jeff Ireland in a tough position. Ross has insisted on bringing Ireland along with him to Spring Township, Pennsylvania, both for the interview and for what Ross described as “a charming day trip through Amish Country”.

“There’s no one I’d rather make interview the person I’m about to replace them with,” explained Ross en route to his jet. “Jeff will be crucial in getting himself fired the right way.”

Sue Henne is known in book club circles as an intense motivator, a driven housekeeper, and a “wiz at laminating things.” Though some in the organization have expressed worry that her actions as GM would favor her inconsistent son Chad, Sue has made it clear that would not be the case.

In a statement released this morning, through her neighbor Joan, Sue explained, “My Son never used to check down like this in high school and college. Hell, even in Pee Wee he was a gunslinger. I don’t know what happened to Chaddy-Poo. None of us do.”

Chris Mortensen is reporting that Sue has already contacted several teams about trading her son, with the Arizona Cardinals currently offering two ninth round picks, despite those not existing anymore.

– BS Newswire

Confucius Say “Don’t Fear Regime Change, Fear Sucky Football”

2 Jan

The great irony in fears that regime change would set the Dolphins back, is that the Trifecta’s only winning year was as a new regime. How did they manage an 11-5 season if such massive change is detrimental?

Come to think of it, how did Bill Cowher go 11-5 in his first year at the helm in Pittsburgh? How in the world did Jon Gruden win the Lombardi Trophy in his first year over in Tampa Bay?

Some have suggested, perhaps very recently via a local news outlet, that the regime isn’t the problem. Instead it’s our lack of a studly quarterback that is the issue. While having Tom Brady would certainly be nice, Cowher and Gruden braved their maiden seasons with Neil O’Donnell and Brad Johnson at the helm.

The Dolphins have the #3 overall defense in the NFL. Begging Mike Nolan to stay should be the first order of business for any new regime. If it ain’t broke, they say.

But is it that crazy to think this team could benefit from fresh eyes, and a new direction? Maybe someone who can hold out one (or more than one) of those magical rings and ask, “Do you want one of these, gentlemen? Do you really want one? If you don’t, then leave now, ’cause we’re about to ______ing go get us one.”

Sure, there could be a wrong way to blow things up in Davie. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean it can’t be done the right way.

GO DOLPHINS – and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

Dolfans, Don’t Get Attached to the First Round QB Prospects

22 Dec

Luck, Locker, Mallett, Newton. Those are the big four who are showing up in first round mocks, almost universally. If you are part of the growing crowd of Dolfans prepared to cut bait on Chad “Crazylegs” Henne, you may be chomping at the bit to snag one of these talented signal callers this April. We certainly aren’t holding our breath.

It’s not that we don’t like these guys. We do (though we put Locker last, and are wary). We’ve just been taking a look at the standings, and we’ve got an ugly feeling that all four may be off the board by the time we’re on the clock.

We’ll probably be around pick fifteen in April. Not bad. Theoretically one of these kids could be there. But a glance at the teams that figure to pick higher than, or right around us has The Bottlenose less than enthused about our chances.

Andrew Luck is going to Carolina at #1, almost certainly. Between Carolina and the Dolphins, the Bengals will also pick. Carson Palmer is apparently refusing to restructure his contract to free up money, and was all over the place this season. Cincy is a prime candidate to bring in a gunslinger. Arizona couldn’t be that enthused by what they’ve seen out of their quarterbacks, from Derek Anderson on down to their rookies John Skelton and Max “Anthony Michael” Hall. They could easily grab one of the big four. The 49ers should finally be willing to move on from Alex Smith, and Troy hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. The Titans will be moving on from Vince Young, and will most certainly be in the market. The Vikings are giving Joe Webb a look, but could very easily snatch up a top QB. The Redskins have all but sent Donovan McNabb packing. The Seahawks can’t be happy rolling with Matt Hasselbeck much longer, and we could see him being a great teacher if Seattle grabbed Locker or Mallett.

So the Panthers, Bengals, Cardinals, Niners, Titans, Vikings, Redskins and Seahawks all seemingly have good reasons to yank one of these young arms off the board. They all have worse records than us right now.

Including our SoFlo Sea Mammals and we’re talking about nine teams to go along with four “first round grade” quarterbacks. We may very well be last in that long line of franchises, and we don’t like those odds.

Of course it’s early. Plenty of time for these prospects to hurt their value with poor bowl play, combines and workouts. But we’d be smart to keep a keen eye on both the “2nd tier” draftable QBs, as well as the veteran guys who will be moving on.

Is another Drew Brees in the veteran mix? Is there a Matt Schaub, playing backup somewhere, but ready to get the nod as an NFL starter? Is Vince Young worth a look? Is Kevin Kolb available? And has he shown enough in limited action? Or is there an Offensive Coordinator out there who can boil it down for Henne, and get “The Good Chad” to show up week in and week out? Or another Head Coach perhaps?

Watching the Dolphins’ 2011 offseason could, sadly, be more exciting than watching their 2010 games.

GO DOLPHINS – and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

Week 14 Stock Report: DOW Fades as Half-Crappy Fins Flounder

9 Dec

DOW (Dolphins Overall Worth) as the Jets loom: 658 (-41)

ON THE RISE

MIKE NOLAN (NASDAQ: MNOL) +6: Josh McDaniels was pink-slipped this week, probably because this guy got away. He has been brilliant. Our defense held Hillis to just 57 yards. Cleveland was 2-14 on 3rd downs, and scored a lone offensive touchdown. The Dolphin defenders, as they have almost all season, held up their end of the bargain.

CAMERON WAKE (NYSE: WAKE) +2: Might as well cement him in the risers section. With another 1.5 sacks, he now leads the league. Just an animal off the edge.

TUMBLERS

CHAD HENNE (NYSE: CHENN) -3 3/4: Chad is infuriating. He has shown flashes of brilliance, followed by mystifying stretches of poor play. I think it’s safe to say that he has four games to convince Tony, or whomever his next Head Coach might be, that he’s worthy of the starting gig. He may have to do it without Brian Hartline. At least it looks like he’ll have Marshall. We’re hoping he can come up aces, ’cause breaking in a whole new QB can be a long process.

TONY SPARANO (NYSE: TSPAR) -6: The playoff chase is all but over for the SoFlo Sea Mammals. The 2008 turnaround season is even further in the rear view, and Bill “Crazylegs” Parcells is off snorkeling in the Caymans with his tuna brethren. If rumors of Ross’ infatuation with Jon Gruden are true, Tony better win down the stretch. Will 8-8 cut it?

DAN HENNING (NASDAQ: DHEN) -12: Here’s a little story about four stalled drives against the Browns. Two of them were ended when we went with completely empty backfields on 3rd and short. The other two were ended by runs on 3rd and long. Henning has been a mystery, wrapped inside a riddle, wrapped inside a thick coating of Ben Gay. He will be allowed to “retire”, though he could very well catch on somewhere else once the offseason game of musical coordinators winds down. Somehow the addition of Brandon Marshall has only worsened our offense. What happened to the #4 rushing team in the NFL?

SUMMARY

If the season ended today we’d pick about 15th. If Henne collapses, will we be high enough in the first round to draft a top rated QB? How about Mark Ingram to spark our running game? Yep, it’s time to keep one eye on April. And to pay attention to the temperature of Tony’s seat. Of course we’ll be cheering like hell. For a spark. For Henne to steady himself. For something, anything to hang our blowholes on.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

Damn You Drew Brees, and Your Stupid Miracle Shoulder

6 Dec

He couldn’t even raise his arm when he visited Miami. Uber-physician James “Crazylegs” Andrews didn’t think he’d be truly ready ’til midseason. Four independent doctors told “Little Nicky” Saban that Culpepper was a better bet physically. The rest is history. Drew was sent up the Panhandle, and we were sent down the rabbit hole again. Horrific to consider how different things might have been if we’d thrown the MRIs to the wind and inked Brees.

No John Beck pick in 2007. Nope, might’ve looked to add receiver talent for Drew instead. The top wideout on the board when we nabbed Beck? Sidney Rice. And seven picks after that? The Giants’ Steve Smith.

In 2008, no need to grab Chad Henne in the 2nd round. Maybe another toy for Drew? 16 picks later? An undersized receiving back named Jamaal Charles maybe? Or Jamaal’s college teammate, a pass catching tight end by the name of Jermichael Finley?

And of course with Drew on board we wouldn’t have dreamed up the Pat White nightmare, or “Patwhitemare”, during the 2009 draft. Nope, maybe with our quarterback position right as rain, and both of our running backs a year from free agency, we would have nabbed the next RB on the board, LeSean McCoy.

Sure, you can play the “what if?” game with any draft. But the fact is that was a humongous, nasty fork in the road for the Miami Dolphins. Choosing incorrectly has had a ripple effect that we’re still feeling with every perfect game Drew Brees plays, and every time Chad Henne inexplicably goes from brilliant youngster to C3PO in the blink of an eye.

GO DOLPHINS — and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

 

Drew could barely even do this when he visited Davie.

Send that Wildcat Back to 1938

29 Nov

Great win today, behind enemy lines. Henne looked very solid, and Mike Nolan’s defense was strong yet again. The SoFlo Sea Mammals rumbled for 186 yards and held the ball for almost 42 minutes. But amid the high-fives and smiles, one question remained in our minds: What is the Wildcat doing for us these days?

The Bottlenose felt our offensive flow was disrupted when we ran it. We blew at least one time out during personnel confusion caused by it. At least once it yanked Henne right out of a serious zone. But above all, it was nowhere near as productive as running from our normal formation.

The numbers don’t lie. 12 Wildcat plays, for a grand total of 34 yards. Just about 2.8 a carry. Our non-Wildcat running plays went for more than 4 yards a touch. So, if the Wildcat is earning fewer yards, knocking Henne off his game, wreaking havoc in the substitution department, and costing us time outs, why are we still running it?

Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice for defensive coordinators to have to prep for our Wildcat formation, but we’re not convinced that it should be run more than a couple of times a game, especially when it takes the ball away from our hottest hand.

Henne looked pretty good out there. He forced one that he should have thrown away, no doubt. But 300 yards and 2 TDs without our stud wideout even on the flight to Oaktown? Let’s leave the kid under center. Especially since it makes our running game better too.

That wideout on the left is Chad Henne, not fooling anybody.

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