Q – Looks like the def nose is playing a little oinking better lately
Give the following players grades so far:
Ok, here goes . . .
DT – Ndamukong Suh – A
DE – Cameron Wake – A
CB – Byron Maxwell – C+
CB – Tony Lippett – B-
LB – Kiko Alonso – A
LB – Jelani Jenkins – D
DE – Mario Williams – D-
DE – Andre Branch – B+
DT – Jordan Phillips – C-
CB – Bobby McCain – D+
I didn’t give out any A+ grades, but Suh and Wake were close. If Alonso didn’t start slow, he probably would have been too.
I’d say to me, the biggest disappoints, in order, are Mario Williams, Jelani Jenkins, Bobby McCain, and then Jordan Phillips. Byron Maxwell has elevated his play, and if it weren’t for all those holding calls (deserved holding calls), and a slow start and being benched, he’d probably be at a B. I expected more from McCain as a nickel back. While VJ has done a great job with our defense overall, he needs to get these guys to keep their damn hands off the WR’s and TE’s! No more free yardage! It’s maddening! I’m tired of seeing 10 flags a game on our DB’s!
Q – No matter the spread — Has this team actually reached the point where we have a “Trap Game”?
Oh HELL NO!!!! No way in hell have we reached that point. How could we? We basically have to win every game at this point to have a shot at making the playoffs. We most certainly do not have the luxury of taking any team for granted. I can almost guarantee you that the players feel this way, that Gase has instilled this fact in all of our players minds, and that they will play each game as if this is the one they need to make the playoffs.
Now just because the effort will be there, that doesn’t guarantee we win each game. We’re facing a talented rookie QB this week, one drafted #1 in this past draft. The Rams have been patient showcasing their prized pick, unlike the Cowboys (Out of necessity), but more legitimately, the Eagles with Carson Wentz.
The Rams can play some defense, and although they haven’t been running the ball this season on a consistent basis, the potential is certainly there, with Todd Gurley. The Rams are hoping Goff can stretch the field a little, and keep defenses honest from selling out on the run. WR Kenny Britt (Bayonne NJ native) is having a career year, with 44 catches for 693 yards, and 3 TD’s. Britt is sure to eclipse his season high total of 775 yards, which he accomplished way back in 2010, but hopefully it’s NOT this week! The Rams also have the speedy WR Tavon Austin. Case Keenum did an admirable job for the Rams, but his lack of arm strength allowed defense to keep 8 in the box, and shut down Gurley. The Dolphins won’t have that luxury this week, Goff can make all the throws, so Maxwell and Lippett, as well as safeties Isa Abdul-Quddus, Michael Thomas and Baccari Rambo are going to have be careful not to get burned deep. The Rams also have a couple of TE’s that our man GDP liked, Lance Kendricks, and Tyler Higbee.
Q – Mike E,
Deep thoughts by Jack Handey type question for Mike “Handy”
Does winning change the culture, or does changing the culture result in winning?
Much has been made this week about the culture being different in Miami, curious as to your opinion on the major reasons for this.
Excellent “deep thoughts” question brother! I think it’s both. I think the players respect Adam Gase, but obviously, without success early on, he had to create a little havoc in order to get players attention, by letting go a bunch of players who weren’t getting the job done. Now that move alone wouldn’t have made much of an impact in and of itself, but the team playing at a high level, and actually winning games reinforced it. I do believe that if we didn’t get on track and start winning, there wouldn’t be any such talk of culture change or the like.
I do think Gase is a very good coach, especially for a rookie HC, because he truly seems to understand what we need to do to win. He has a talented (Still young) QB, who has had issues with protection, pocket awareness, yet one who possesses a legit NFL, way above average athleticism, and off the charts toughness and resolve. He finally found the formula to make Ryan Tannehill comfortable. Now some say he has taken things off of Ryan’s plate, and he has, but in now way do I consider that a knock. Gase likes to run the football, and he has in his stops in the NFL. He did it Denver with a trio of RB’s, CJ Anderson, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, he did it in Chicago with Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford. Here in Miami, it’s been primarily Jay Ajayi, but I do feel both Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake will be seeing expanded roles, because I don’t think he wants to have a burnt out Ajayi at the end of the season, especially if we’re in contention for a playoff spot.
So in summation, I definitely think Gase was worthy of respect before the season, but the thing that will keep him respected at a high level is winning football games. That’s the key, and as long as we win more than we lose, he’ll continue to earn that respect, and thus, the culture has changed. No matter how much players may have “liked” Tony Sparano or Joe Philbin, losing just knocks the shit out of the deep respect and admiration that may have been there at one time, it’s just the way it is. As with many industries, really ALL industries, it’s result oriented, and even guys like Jeff Fisher, who has had success in the past in the NFL, and was once coveted by our owner, isn’t coveted any longer, and it’s possible the stache may be looking for employment at years end.
And now for the babe of the week . . .