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Philbin’s Survival Smacks of Sparano Part Deux

8 Jan

Allow us to tinkle on the Jeff Ireland firing parade for a moment…

We’ve blocked much of it from our memories now. It’s too painful. Tony “The Mad Fistpumper” Sparano had logged two straight mediocre, 7-9 years. Stephen “The Mad Waffler” Ross tried to have it both ways, sniffing behind Sparano’s back for potential replacements and embarrassing the franchise. Instead of moving on, which some part of Ross’ mysterious brain clearly wanted to do, he extended Tony, who had clearly lost the team. Miami had scored just over 13 points per game during a lifeless 1-5 home stretch. But Tony was back in 2011, at least long enough to waste another Dolphin season. It was confirmed that he had lost the team. That small, decisive segment of Ross’ cerebellum had been correct, though it was overpowered by the rest of our trusty owner’s mystifying noggin.

So here we are, after two mediocre years of Joe “Phlatline” Philbin, and genuine regression on many counts in year two. With the playoffs within reach, at the absolute worst time, Philbin’s Fins didn’t even get off the bus. These games were against two losing teams, with a trip to the playoffs on the line. Was it Jeff Ireland who had our squad playing like guppies at crunch time?

Forgive us for not doing any dances following the overdue jettisoning of Ireland and Sherman. This franchise just had a chance to boldly turn a page, to commit to a new direction and dangle a true clean slate at some of the bigger fish in the job pool.  Instead Ross has kept us in that soggy middle ground he seems so fond of. A coach hanging by a thread will greatly impact the quality of candidates we can attract. We’re shopping in the bargain bin, folks.

Here’s hoping our trip to the 99 Cent Store yields some inventive coordinating, and some better personnel moves. Truth be told the odds of Joe Philbin suddenly igniting this locker room are slim.

Maybe if he pumped his fists a little more often? Sigh.

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

Stock Report with Fins Postseason Up in the Air

28 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as the bipolar Dolphins face the Jests.  (572.1 -82.0)

RISERS

NOLAN CARROLL (NASDAQ: CARL) +1: Throwing the Sea Mammals a bone here and naming a riser after last week’s debacle. Nolan had a sack and a pick, so if there’s one Fin who deserves a golf clap it’s him.

TUMBLERS

JOE PHILBIN (NASDAQ: PHIL) – 11.25: Sorry JP, but when your team doesn’t even get off the bus in a game this big much blame goes the Head Coach’s way. What the hell was that? Who’s to say we’ll even beat the Jets? Get these guys motivated.

MIKE SHERMAN (NYSE: SHERM) -27.5: To put up zero points, ZERO, against a losing team with the playoffs on the line was a joke. Daniel Thomas is shite. He just is. And it’s not like he can block much better than Lamar Miller anyway. They both get bulldozed, so why not have the big play guy in there? Three touches for Miller? Three? And Sherm’, your use of Tannehill is a joke. A more inventive OC would have a field day with Ryan’s physical gifts. We hardly move him at all. Seven sacks? Not one designed rollout? Maybe one screen pass the whole day? If you make adjustments at halftime, they’re never apparent. We could go on and on.

JEFF IRELAND (NASDAQ: FIRE) -33: This offense is 28th in the league. This defense is 20th in the league. The offseason was largely much ado about nothing. We are left with just as many questions this coming offseason as last year. We have precious little confidence in Jeff, and if we squeak into the playoffs we will extend precious little credit in Ireland’s direction.

SUMMARY

Yet with all the negativity, we may make the playoffs tomorrow. How in the hell? One reason, and it’s why we aren’t prepared to put him in the tumblers section despite an awful stat line against Buffalo. Ryan Tannehill has improved greatly. He can be downright dangerous when deployed correctly. We have no idea what to expect game plan-wise tomorrow. We have no idea if we’ll keep him cemented in the pocket for the Jets to blitz him into mush, or if we’ll show some different looks. But if we falter after a “two wins vs. losing teams and we’re in” scenario, doesn’t that warrant changes? Could we honestly call this season a quantum leap over last year’s 7-9 campaign? It’s hard to know which Dolphins team will show up from week to week. At their worst they break our hearts. At their best they’re pretty dangerous. If they make the dance they might be a tough out.

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

Stock Report as Fighting Fins Face Buffalo

22 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as the Dolphins as the Buffalo downpour awaits.  (654.1 +75.3)

RISERS

MICHAEL THOMAS (NASDAQ: MTOM) +2: How wonderful was that? Thomas may never see the field again and his legend would be secure. Signed off a practice squad only to intercept a Hall of Famer at the end of regulation and perhaps punch our ticket back to the postseason? That’s some Hollywood stuff right there.

MIKE WALLACE (NYSE: MWALL) +8.5: Wallace brought the Sea Mammals to life last week with his run after the catch. We predicted 125 and a touch, and he was darned close. He’s been bagged on a little this season, as his contract was massive. Still, Wallace is at 900 total yards with two games to go. His quarterback is just now coming into his own and, at just 27, Wallace will be a great asset over the next few years.

RYAN TANNEHILL (NYSE: TANNY) +12.5: Last week could have been the moment, and Football Gods willing it was, that Miami’s next great sounded his barbaric yawp across the landscape of the great American gridiron for all to hear.  An aging Brady falling short, while an ascending gunslinger shot the Patsies down. It was stellar, and we hope just the start of things to come. Also worth noting that Tanny was kept in the pocket almost all day. It’s great to see him excel back there, but we hope we never forget the type of mismatches his athleticism creates.

TUMBLERS

No way in hell I’m listing a tumbler after a win like that.

SUMMARY

Petrified of the weather in Buffalo. Dr. T has been slinging it so well, and we hate the idea of his arm being neutralized by driving rain and wind. We out-slug the Bills and we get the Jests at Sun Life for a trip to the playoffs. That smells like a party to us. But that party can only happen if we take care of business in Upstate New York.

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

Stock Report as Brady and the Rest of the Patsies Come to Town

15 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as the Dolphins host the Patsies.  (578.8, +54.1)

RISERS

DANIEL THOMAS (NASDAQ: DTOM) +2: Snow. The great equalizer. Minus Danny Boy’s 55 yard scamper Thomas was his usual 3.33ypc self. But that run was huge. We’ve piled on Thomas in the past, and we still believe trading up to get him with Stevan Ridley and Demarco Murray the next two backs taken wasn’t exactly shining moment for the franchise. However, today? A hearty salute.

RYAN TANNEHILL (NYSE: TANNY) +5.5: Was that a Miami quarterback tossing three touchdowns in the snow? That’s not even mentioning his epic, 48-yard run. We’ve let Dr. T loose a little bit lately, and it’s made our offense more dangerous. If Jason Campbell lit up the Patsies last week, one hopes Tanny can slice and dice too.

CHARLES CLAY  (NASDAQ: CLAY) +6: Insane effort. Caught 7 of 10 targets for 97 and 2 TDs. We don’t see why Clay wouldn’t be joining Julius Thomas in the Pro Bowl this offseason. We had hoped Clay could lessen the loss of Keller in the preseason, but we never dreamed of this big an impact.

TUMBLERS

MIKE WALLACE (NYSE: MWALL) -2: Yes, it was snowing, and yes “speed guys” are the ones most hurt by such weather. But you’ve got to find a way to do better than 2 catches for 19 yards in your return to Steeltown. We think Mikey will like it against New England. 12o yards and a TD today for the speedster.

SUMMARY

I could kill the Vikings for blowing that game against the Ravens last week. Still, this is a huge game for the Dolphins. They’ve got wildly winnable games remaining against the Bills and Jets, while the Ravens final three contests will all be tough sledding. This is the last good team we play. We’ve got them weakened, and in our house. Gronk, Dobson and Thompkins all out. I want Brady on his back all day. Neutralizing Vereen will be key. We’ve got to stay disciplined against the screen, ’cause Brady’s a master. Oh, and come on Detroit!

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

Stock Report as Sea Mammals Swim into Steeltown

8 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as the Dolphins head into Pittsburgh.  (524.7, +41.1)

RISERS

RYAN TANNEHILL (NYSE: TANNY) +3: His accuracy, especially in the pocket, can be hit and miss. Those stalled drives in the first half against the Jests were frustrating as hell. But ultimately a 330+ yard day, a pair of TDs, and a rating safely in the 90s has Dr. T firmly planted on our risers list.

BRIAN HARTLINE (NASDAQ: HART) +3.5: A vintage “ignore me and I’ll pile up catches” kind of day for Hartline last week. He was targeted 15 times, piling up a gaudy 9/127/1 stat line. The better Wallace plays, the more attention he’ll warrant. Hartline needs to keep producing as the second option if this offense hopes to keep moving.

OLIVIER VERNON (NASDAQ: OVER) +6.5: Vernon’s finally getting some national publicity after being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. A trio of sacks against New York, and O-Ver keeps on rumbling. Legitimate pressure opposite Wake was the reason we traded up for Dion Jordan. Ironically there may have been a “sack master” already on the 53.

TUMBLERS

MIKE SHERMAN (NASDAQ: SHERM) -2: An interesting article came out today about Mike Shula and Cam Newton. Carolina initially tried to dictate how Cam Newton would function in their offense. When it went poorly, they went back and looked at Cam’s college tape. Instead of trying to fit the square peg into a round hole, they began to mold their offense around Newton’s strengths. I can’t say we’ve had that same “a-ha!” moment in Davie yet. We’ve stubbornly kept our mobile, roll-out friendly QB in the pocket the vast majority of plays. Wasn’t that 6 possessions in Jet territory in the first two quarters, with only 6 points to show in the first half? Yeah, that’ll punch a ticket to Tumblerville for Sherm.

SUMMARY

Good Lord it feels good to stick it to Rex and the Jests! Put up or shut up time for the Sea Mammals. A loss today and we don’t see how we make the postseason. The Ravens play the 3-8 Vikings this afternoon, and they hold the head to head tiebreaker against us. We had the luxury of playing, frankly put, the shittiest offense in football last week. If we waste possessions today, we’ll pay for it.

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

Stock Report as Shaky Fins Try to Ground Jets

1 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as Miami hits New Yawk.  (483.6, -28.1)

RISERS

RYAN TANNEHILL (NYSE: TANNY) +1: We moved Dr. T more last week. We should have moved him more all along. Ryan may never be the pocket quarterback we so desperately want him to be. But was Elway? Is that what we remember about Elway looking back? 4 carries for 36 yards against the Panthers. In an ideal offense Ryan’s passing stats would be augmented by a rushing line like that or better every week.

 

 

OLIVIER VERNON (NASDAQ: OVER) +2.5: Vernon’s two takedowns of Cam Newton puts him at 7 1/2 sacks on the year. Undersized with a great motor, Olivier has been a huge surprise. Geno Smith ought to be extremely wary of the Wake/Vernon combo.

MIKE WALLACE (NYSE: MWALL) +3: Much has been made over the money we gave Mike Wallace in the offseason, and it has largely been a disappointing year. But make no mistake, there remains much “badassery” in those cleats. We saw it last week. We also don’t think it’s a surprise that rolling Tannehill out more helped with their connection. Better use of Tanny will result in better use of Wallace. Give him an extra second or two to burn guys deep and he will.

 

 

TUMBLERS

RISHARD MATTHEWS (NYSE: SHARD) -2: Matthews’ breakout game seems but a distant memory heading into Met Life Stadium. Rishard turned 7 targets into 2 yards last week, and we need more from him with the Jets’ stout run defense looming.

STEPHEN ROSS (NASDAQ: ROSS)-2.5: So, um, why isn’t Incognito playing while the investigation is being conducted? He didn’t go AWOL. He wants to be out there, his teammates want him back out there, and we’re still not sure what exactly Richie did. With as many criminal investigations and legal matters as there are facing God knows how many NFL players on active rosters, Incognito is gone for the year the second an alarming voicemail appears? “We take this matter seriously. We’re opening the doors to the NFL for an immediate investigation, and we’ll act on whatever they find out”. That’s all Ross had to say. He dished out a punishment as if he knew what happened, while simultaneously saying no one knows what happened. And you know what? That’s the exact wishy-washiness we’ve come to expect from him.

 

LAMAR MILLER (NASDAQ: MILL) -3: 10 carries for 8 yards. Ahhh yeeeeaaah. We know we know, our o-line is in shambles and Carolina has a strong defense. But you know, a broken tackle here and there would be nice. That simply isn’t Lamar’s game. So if he doesn’t have a hole, forget it. You know what would be nice though? What would give defenses fits if we did them worth a damn? Screen passes. Which brings us to —

MIKE SHERMAN (NASDAQ: SHERM) -6: You know, we showed glimpses of finally using Tannehill correctly, of finally admitting that he’s a square peg and shoving him into a round hole simply isn’t going to work. But this six point drop for our offensive coordinator is for our almost non-existent screen game this year. A well run screen is one of the prettiest plays in football. We have an o-line like Swiss cheese and a burner at running back. Screens over the heads of pass rushers could, no SHOULD be one of our greatest weapons. And it’s not like our sketchy o-line was a surprise really. We knew left tackle might be an adventure entering the year, and from what we seen screens should have been a bigger point of emphasis in camp. Aside from that, three trips to the red zone in that 2nd quarter and no touchdowns? You’ve got to punch it in against good teams when you have the chance.

 

SUMMARY

 

 

We looked like closers early in the year, but we soon remembered how to collapse toward the end of games. Last week hurt a lot more than folks want to let on. Sure we can point out that we’re still right there in the mix with the other wild card hopefuls, but the Ravens are playing better football than us now. We blew one against them earlier in the year, and now they possess the tiebreaker. We’ve got four very winnable games remaining. Considering how many teams we’re tied with, today’s showdown is a must win. Hell, if we can’t beat the Jests, do we belong in the playoffs anyway?

 

 

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

Mike Wallace Lands on Our Top Ten Fantasy Busts of the Year Podcast

27 Nov

Whether or not it’s mostly his fault is up for discussion, but nevertheless Mr. Wallace has made our infamous Fantasy Bust list for 2013. Who else made the cut? Have a listen to this week’s Maximum Understanding of Fantasy Football. Also ideas for your playoff push, predictions for this weekend, the best podcast theme song in the business and more!

http://westcastnetwork.com/m-u-f-f/

MUFF Episode 14 Icon copy

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