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Monday, November 20, 2006

On Jason Taylor and another lineup suggestion

Jason Taylor was modest almost to the point of frustration Sunday. He basically took over the game against Minnesota in the final four minutes and brought home a victory for Miami.

It was the fourth consecutive game Taylor has been absolutely dominant and the third in a row he has helped will the Dolphins to victory. Afterward, he said things like, "It's a team game, it's not like tennis or golf, so I have to give my teammates credit for doing the things that allowed me to be in a position to make plays."

That's great. But I don't have to be modest for Taylor. The guy really is GREAT.

He dominates despite an achey back that hasn't let him do much lifting, he dominates despite being only 240 pounds, he dominates even though he's the ONLY player on the entire team other teams gameplan for.

There is no other player on the Dolphins that other teams actually spend time trying to stop except Taylor. And yet Taylor still gets it done.

The problem is he's only one guy and that simply isn't enough. The Dolphins really need a pass-rushing linebacker to help get some pressure on quarterbacks from the other side so Taylor cannot always be double-teammed or chip-blocked.

Here's my idea: We all know that Donnie Spragan is not that rush linebacker. He's OK, but that's it. Just OK. Meanwhile we all saw Derrick Pope making some fine plays when Channing Crowder went out of the game.

I propose the Dolphins give Pope more playing time in place of Spragan. Spragan has only 35 tackles this year and that is about half as many as the other two linebackers. Not good enough. Yesterday he had an interception hit him in the hands and he dropped it.

Adding Pope at weak linebacker can allow you to move Crowder to strong linebacker where he can use his speed not only to cover tight ends, but rush the passer. Of course, the Dolphins won't make this move.

It took them forever to play Yeremiah Bell when I was practically screaming for him to be put in the lineup. The hip pointer Crowder is dealing with now also might limit him this week, meaning Pope might have to take his spot in the lineup anyway.

But when Crowder's healthy, go with Pope ahead of Spragan. Shake things up. Get better!

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more here Armando, whenever Pope is in the game he is excellent. I wonder what it Saban sees in practice that prevents him from making the move. Maybe after seeing Yerimiah Bell perform well as a starter, Saban will be more inclined to make this change.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Excellent suggestion, definitely worth trying.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous lacesoutdan said...

I agree playing Pope more sounds like a good idea. But of course the Dolphins have another player teams spend time trying to stop; I'm talking about ZACK, the greatest fins linebacker of all time and the toughest player in the NFL today.

He has MORE TOTAL TACKLES THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE LEAGUE THIS YEAR and I really haven't heard much about it. Dude gets the shit beat out of him every game because he recklessly throws his body around like nobody I've ever seen. He's amazing and he's having a great season.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

54 & 99... nuff said!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

i think this position or the pass-rusher|end hybrid is where they HAVE TO spend their no.1 this year it's pretty obvious! althouhg i doubt it will happen!saban will draft some other player who he has some "connection" to instead, likely someone on nobody elses draft board just like last year!they need someone on the other side,or to take the spot if jason decides to hang them up!he could play for a long time if they use him in pass-rushing situations only!

6:35 PM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

i think this position or the pass-rusher|end hybrid is where they HAVE TO spend their no.1 this year it's pretty obvious! althouhg i doubt it will happen!saban will draft some other player who he has some "connection" to instead, likely someone on nobody elses draft board just like last year!they need someone on the other side,or to take the spot if jason decides to hang them up!he could play for a long time if they use him in pass-rushing situations only!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Armondo... I cannot agree more. If we do not make some sort of change soon, Taylor could end up on the injured list, or just give up himself. Taylor and Thomas have always been the back bone of this defense, ubfortunately Zack has not been able to produce more as Jason. I'd hate to lose someone like him because of lack of willingness to make the proper changes.

With all the other problems in replacing unproductive players, who and how would we find a replacement for Taylor. We need to start making the critical changes now, before it becomes almost impossible to recover. Saban, is not the only one at fault for not getting potential players, it is the the scouts and general manager who play a big part in this nightmare. I hope they can get their shit together before things get worse.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Armando,what do you think our chances our to get to the playoffs?

8:18 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

Yes, I like the suggestion. It goes along the same line as Yeremiah Bell's recent performances. Anything to make this defense play even better than it is. Anything to help balance things because our offense has so many flaws.

BUT ... no negatives here! Jason Taylor is playing out of his mind and needs to be the early favorite for Defensive Player of the Year.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

As any good Dolphins fan, I love Zach but I wonder why they continue to blitz him. He seems to never get to the QB when he blitzes. I know he takes up a blocker and everything, but still. Maybe a move to Pope would allow Pope to be the blitzer and Zach to use his smarts in coverage, although the experts say his cover skills are slipping. What do you think Armando?

PS - What is the status of Ronnie Brown and his groin injury?

Thanks

11:02 AM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Joseph,

Ronnie Brown is probable for the game which means he'll play unless a 300 pound Turkey tackles him in the tunnel before the game.

As for Anonymous' question about the Dolphins in the playoffs -- sorry, don't see it.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Lab_3003 said...

I like the idea but shouldn't the coaching staff already know who better served playing the WILL? If they've messed up passing on Brees, starting Culpepper early, not promoting Bell early enough in the season and now apparently choosing Donnie Spragan over Derrick Pope (who is 3 years younger), what exactly is going on in Davie?

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Thanks for the response Armando. Another question, and it related to Taylor. How bad is his back? Is it completely a situation of pain tolerance or can he cause more damage by continuing to play?

11:03 PM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Armando... where or how do you place the percentage of blame for all going on this season?

8:14 AM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Armando and I guess everyone... do you think because of our poor season that we should use the remaining time and put others in play who have not, and use this time to evaluate everyone on our team. This way we can open spots for new players by ridding ourselves of players who are unable to perform. I mean... why close up a spot for a player that cannot perform, when we could pick up potential or key players who will get the job done.

I do not want us to just give up, and lose the rest of the season for a draft pick. I feel if we do this we can weed out a lot of bums who may not even want to be here. This also eliminates us from doing a lot of this in preseason, so we can focus more on the plays instead of who to play or keep. It is a suggestion... what do you think about this? I think the sooner we start the evaluations, the better.

8:59 AM  

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