from Pigsgerald Oinkustus Bacon
Q – I like what I hear from Campbell. I want a more physical team.
But do you think that was the biggest problem with the Dolphins this season?
I noticed in the PC that Campbell generally referred to Xs and Os and avoided talking about them in any detail.
Don’t you think part of the problem with he Dolphins this year is gameday preparation, play calling and just the general design of this team?
I’m just not sure the biggest problem with the Dolphins is winning the physical battles they face. I tend to think running with Campbell, an emotional coach, is a a means to placate fans who criticized Philbin for lacking any emotion.
Really good question Piggy. I think that intensity, fire, and desire can mask a lot of issues with schemes, so yes, I do think it should make a substantial difference. The mindset of these players needed to be changed, they seemed to be just going through the motions with Joe Philbin, fair or not.
Of course, I’d love to see us change things up on both offense and defense, and maybe those things are possible by utilizing portions of the offense that best match what Campbell want to accomplish. I’m sure the offensive playbook is massive, so that can easily be accomplished, without necessarily changing OC’s. On the defensive side, this is where intensity itself can make a huge difference. I think regardless of scheme, these players did not like fired up at any time. maybe if they come in fired up, and have some success, it will stay with them for the entire game, and then maybe beyond. Maybe if they have some success, they can finally feel good about what they’re doing.
I’m still hoping they find a replacement for Coyle, but even if they don’t, we’ve seen this defense succeed last year, so he can back to doing more of what he did last year, instead of this read and react defense.
On offense, if Lazor is here, I assume we’ll still be running from the damn shotgun, so I don’t expect a FB, or running from the I-formation any time soon. Devante Parker should be healthy, and we need him to start making a difference! 3 shots at the endzone, and NO Devante Parker? Why the hell do you draft a kid with your first pick in the draft who’s 6’3” 210 with a 36” vertical, if you don’t use him in the red zone? We have Jordan Cameron who is 6’5”, and we throw these ugly fade passes? Either Tannehill has to master that throw, or STOP doing it in the endzone!
I think what Campbell is starting with is getting these players back to caring, and back to playing a physical style of football. When guys start making plays because they’re fired up, it will become contagious. There has been none of that so far this season. Our defense has been bullied, pushed around, and made to look weak by each team we’ve played. the Redskins, if not for the gratuitous nature of their QB Kirk Cousins, the Skins may have killed us, because they ran at will against us. Cousins did them in by turning the ball over. The Redskins ran for 151 yards, the Jaguars ran for 123 yards, but torched us for 273 yards through the air. The Bills again gashed us on the ground for 153 yards, but even worse, Tyrod Taylor shredded us for 277 yards and 3 TD’s, no INT’s. The Jets ripped of 206 yards on the ground, and another 218 in the air, and made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Fran Tarkenton.
What I’m illustrating here is opposing offense imposed their will against our defense, and we just let them do it. 4 games, an average of 158 yards per game rushing against us. That’s not playoff caliber defense, that’s 1-3 caliber defense. We thought we were going to be dominant, not dominated. Hopefully, Campbell can bring out the beast in our defense.
from Ken (Not Hulk)
Q – So should I jump off the ledge now or should I keep watching the Dolphins this year and why?
I would definitely watch Ken! Joe Philbin is a really nice man. He cared, and he gave it his all. He should be respected for that. Unfortunately, his style didn’t seem to inspire the players. I kind of knew that a long time ago. Finally, we have made a change. Frankly, this is the BEST time to watch. Once again, hope springs eternal! We are in a deep hole at 1-3, but all it takes is one win, and then another, and all of a sudden, the season no longer seems lost.At the very least, you have to be curious to see if the tough, young Bill Cowher looking former TE’s coach can fire this team up, and get them playing at a higher level. I know I am. Maybe he said what everyone wanted to hear, that he sees a lack of intensity. I’ve watched this team all year, and I can’t say he’s lying about that.
At this moment, both Bill Lazor and Kevin Coyle are still the coordinators. Campbell did however, hire Al Saunders, a long time NFL coach. Saunders was the HC of the Chargers from 1886-88. He was OC for the Chiefs in 2001-2005. He was assistant HC for the Redskins 2006-2007, OC for the Rams2008, and an offensive consultant for the Ravens in 2009-2010. He then went to the Raiders, where he was OC in 2011, and then spent the next 3 years as a senior offensive assistant for the Raiders. Apparently, Lazor will have some help.
Besides the curiosity, the fact remains we DO have talent on our team. I know it’s in vogue to rip on Tannehill, but this is a guy who has played well for us his first 3 seasons. He raised his rookie season QBR from 76.1 to 81.7 in hi 2nd year. Last year, he raised it to 92.8. I know these are just stats, but he has played better each year, improved without a doubt. Frustration leads to all kinds of things, namely finger pointing. Does Tannehill throw a good deep ball? Does he throw an effective fade pass? NO! But! It won’t improve either until we get some freaking balance in this offense. 65, yes SIXTY-FIVE rush attempts, in 4 games, for 277 yards. Want to feel WORSE??? Subtract 75, SEVENTY-FIVE of those yards, 27 from Ryan Tannehill, and 48 from Jarvis Landry, and the RB’s have given you 202 yards in 4 games. How do you expect the QB to play well with that? Add in the fact that O-line has been quite porous, allowing Tannehill to be sacked 10 times, and I think some of the criticism just isn’t fair. True, he hasn’t played as well last season, but i think it’s unfair to expect much better considering the circumstances. With no run game to complement the pass game, or more importantly, to keep the opposing defenses honest, it’s not realistic to expect much more from the QB. Maybe we should look at the guys who are making personnel decisions. On paper, we have a great WR corps. We traded for Kenny Stills (2014 3rd RD pick), and until last week, he was invisible. We drafted Devante Parker with our 14th pick in the 1st RD, and he has 4 catches for 49 yards, and has been invisible as well. Greg Jennings, once a Philbin great while he was in GB has ben a shell of what he was there. A once forgotten player, one who almost certainly seemed a candidate for being cut has come out and had a very strong season so far, Rishard Matthews. Jarvis “Juice” Landry is the leading receiver, but right behind Landry (28 receptions 270 YDS) is Matthews with 17 receptions, 278 YDS and 3 TD’s). Not Parker, not Stills, not Jennings, Rishard Matthews! With our sieve-like O-line who can’t pass block OR run block, and BTW, just like I TOLD YOU, Branden Albert wasn’t up to snuff so far, this offense is offensive. We have all these nice shiny weapons on offense, but no time or opportunity to use any of them. Maybe Campbell changes that.
Q – Now that we fired Philbin and Dan Campbell is the interim HC. Do you feel the season can be salvaged or does the team need more overhaul to get back on track?
I most definitely feel like the season can be salvaged. It’s up to the players to make it happen. If they respond favorably to Campbell, and get their heads out of their asses, I do think they can do it. I know you and I feel similarly about the players, and how/why/if it’s acceptable that they choose when to turn it on and for whom (Which HC), but we’ll see the evidence of such next week, when we square off at home against the Titans. Anyone who attended the Fest in 2012 remembers all too well the drubbing we received at the hands of the visiting Tennessee Titans, 37-3. It was ugly. I really do expect positive results. I think the team will be fired up and ready for their new HC, and usually that can maintain itself as long as the team gets some kind of success early. I think that’s the key. We need to get off to a strong, successful start, something we were unable to under Joe Philbin. If we do this, I think it will lead this team to a victory. It seems obvious that Campbell wants more physical play, and that means both on offense and defense, and running the ball (yeah O Rob!) is the best way to be a more physical team. If you run the ball successfully, you’re controlling the LOS, and that’s something that has been completely absent from this offense.
If we do manage to win next Sunday, then you take one game at a time. You can’t win 5 games in one Sunday, so take the win, and then do your best to win the following Sunday, which is the Fest game against the Texans. This is a team that historically we have struggled against, 0-7 to be exact. There were a few close contests early on with the Texans, in ’03 we lost 21-20, in ’06 we lost 17-15, in ’07 we lost 22-19, and in ’08 we lost 29-28. Those 4 losses we lost by total of 7 points, so we were right there, just couldn’t finish. The last 3 losses were more one sided, in ’09 27-20, in ’11 23-13, and in ’12 we lost 30-10. So this team has it’s work cut out for them, and history to defy as well. Again, you take one game a time, and if we can make history, and beat the Titans and Texans, we’ll be at 3-3, and not out of the hunt as we were at 1-3. Winning becomes contagious, just as losing does, and if we can win two in a row, it may slingshot us to a nice streak, and then we’ll see where we end up. I have not thrown in the white towel, on the contrary, I think we made a necessary change, and now it’s time for the players to take responsibility, and win some football games with a better attitude.
Whole world is upside down now. Something is going to change big time in terms of game planning. I could see conservative ground and pound, pass happy, blitzes from every angle………sky is the limit.
What do you think one change will be?
Hard to be ground and pound team operating out of the shotgun. Maybe if we make wholesale changes, and bring a FB onto the roster, or bring a TE into the backfield, and Tannehill plays under center, I suppose that’s possible, but Lazor is still the OC, so that would mean a major overhaul on the offensive scheme. My guess is, we stick with the shotgun, but we do have more of an emphasis on the run game, and the extra week (BYE) should allow our best run blocking TE, Dion Sims to get healthy, and his return will help, and pay dividends. I also expect our team to work hard on Devante Parker, and Kenny Stills, and get them more involved in the offense. Last week, Stills had sort of a breakout, with 5 catches for 82 yards, but it’s clearly been the Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews show. Juice I expected, but Matthews, no way. I also expect to see more passes to Cameron and Sims, if he’s able to play
I think the biggest change won’t be a scheme change, it will be an attitude change. As I’ve said on the blog, we’ve been a passive team, just letting teams dictate what we do on offense and defense. It’s time for our team to come out physical, and dictate how the game goes. I know we’re going to run more, but unless the scheme changes, it won’t be ground and pound. It doesn’t have to be. I would like to see Tanny under center, so we can run some play action, and maybe that happens, but I’d be surprised. We don’t have to run 40 times a game, but it would be nice if we run successfully for 25-30. That takes the pressure off the O-line, and the passing game, and I think that’s precisely what we need.
On defense, just will, desire and aggressiveness. The D-line MUST create pressure and and must penetrate the backfield. No more read and react. I think we will blitz more as well, and in general, you will see a much more aggressive defense. Tackling is a mentality. You have to be physical and disciplined at the same time, and I’m sure Campbell will have the team working hard on that this week and next week. Time to impose OUR will!
And now for the babe of the week . . .