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Thursday, September 20, 2007

With Zach out, Crowder must step up BIGTIME

Zach Thomas missed his third consecutive day of practice Friday because of a mild concussion and is out for Sunday's Jets game at the Meadowlands.


We turn to Channing Crowder. He is the happy-go-lucky guy with the big smile and ready-quotes. And he is also Miami's best LB if Zach isn't playing.

So he's elected as the starting middle linebacker if Thomas cannot go. Either Derrick Pope or Donnie Spragan would likely go to the outside linebacker spot vacated by Crowder.

The loss of Zach is exactly what it implies -- a loss and a huge one at that. But the loss would likely come in that the cummulative talent of the Miami linebacker crew would drop, not necessarily at the MLB spot.

Dolphins personnel people thought earlier in training camp that Crowder was the best linebacker on the team. They annointed him the heir to Zach's spot and believe the dropoff will be minimal if any once Crowder takes the spot.

Sure, the Dolphins would lose the well-studied player Zach is. Had Thomas been a certain starter Sunday he would have been in the Dolphins facility studying Wednesday night. Don't know about Crowder.

But they would gain a slightly more physical presence. Speed is pretty much a wash between the two guys.

The problem comes in that neither Pope nor Spragan approach Crowder in talent or ability.

So the loss of Thomas hurts. But it hurts at the outside linebacker spot vacated by Crowder. It doesn't necessarily kill Miami in the middle.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous finndolphan said...

i agree totally that it really won't make much difference in the middle if crowder moves there,but i really believe that pope is a much better player than you think!i really think the defensive problems are more on the line and in the secondary than at linebacker!saban's complex system kept opposing teams much more off-balance than caper's"simplified" system which exposes the defense's age and lack of talent!for instance,vonnie holliday plays nearly every down at defensive tackle despite weighing only 280!you don't think teams are exploiting that?traylor plays nearly every down at an advanced age on bad knees!he also doesn't draw double teams anymore,if you didn't notice!jason taylor plays every down against double teams at 250 pounds!any coincidence?the two players that were supposed to step up were matt(ufc)roth,and joey porter,neither have and may never will!the secondarys problems don't need explaining as it's and obvious case of lack of talent!

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Does anyone know at what point Thomas got a concussion? It doesn't bode well if he indeed does because he makes his living sticking his head in there. The biggest impact may be in calling the defensive signals which is mainly Zack's job.

Crowder should fill in well but there are few linebackers in the league who have Zack's feel for the game and ability to get to the right spot. Spragan started all last year and was adequate but nothing special. It's time for Porter to show up.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprised no one said anything about the concussion earlier. Migraine or concussion, I recall the play it happened on - Marion was running around the left side and had turned up approaching a corner (or safety). Miami's player stepped in to make the hit but Zach at full speed shot in simultaneously, launched himself at Marion, with the resulting impact knocking Marion straight back while Zach landed on his stomach. He got off the ground dazed. Highlight play of the year IMO.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Timeb0mb said...

Typical classy Jets fans. I will give that guy credit though, I didn't know that Jets fans could read and write (spelling needs a bit of work though!)

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even without Zach, I'm still not as concerned about the Defense as I am about the O-line, and seeing whether or not Trent Green is going to step up his game. Not to mention Ronnie Brown (maybe he should change his name to Ron Brown. It sounds a little more grown up, at least.), Ted Ginn, David Martin, Marty (hmm...) Booker, Derek Hagan, and the entire Special Teams unit. Ever heard of a blocked kick? Not with this team. I can't even remember the last one.

Go Dolphins!

10:26 PM  
Anonymous sadolfan said...

Dolphins personell people tell me that Crowder is the best LB, I still don't believe them; other, maybe the same, personell thought Gin Jr. was a better pick than Quinn. So far, not so good.

But, I do agree with you, Mr. Salguero, Thomas' loss hurts the outside LB. If they weren't concerned about the outside, they wouldn't have gotten Porter. So it's a big indication that the players behind Porter in the Depth chart aren't that good.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it shows you what idiots those jet fans are. what are they diong on a dophins blog. i would not be caught dead worring about anything to do with the jets suc and so do you bills.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the the jets are soo great go home. back to your sess pool

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Raul said...

Let's see if Crowder is the best LB the coaching staff believes we have, I don't think so. He is still erratic in his reads, he doesn't have a good penetration ability to make tackles for loss, constantly gets blocked and his coverage skills/hands are not in Thomas' class.

Conclusion: we will miss Zach a lot, he is our most consistent player week in and week out since 1996, hope he gets better.

By the way, you jet fans: Go to hell!

11:56 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Guys, I deleted the comment from the Jets fan.

No. 1 It was obscene.
No. 2 It made no sense.
No. 3 It was from a friggin' Jets fan.
No. 4 This is a Dolphins blog.
No. 5 Screw the Jets!

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't JT play one of the outside linebacker positions last year? Why wouldn't he be able to play this year?

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach Thomas has been the heart and soul of the team since he was drafted by Jimmy Johnson, but Channing Crowder certainly was Nick Saban's best draft selection. I agree that his loss to a concussion (how unexpected?) mean less to the overall performance of the team when compared to the large in adequacies on the offensive end. Unless Green starts getting W's he should be benched and we should see what John Beck is about. Cam Cameron needs to get agressive with the offense speedsters drafted and let them play early to gain experience.

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

>>>Highlight play of the year IMO.<<<

That wasn't Zach. It was a DB who made that hit.

I don't think we'll miss Zach that much. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. One thing's for sure: We won't see the plays each game where he gets sent on a blitz only to bounce off of the offensive line or get pancake-blocked by a RB.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Armando, I think your read on this is right on. Spragan is a seasoned vet and knows what to do. Pope has started in the past and has played well when given the chance. While neither has Crowder's ability, they will fill in just fine.

This is where having Porter pays off. Things would be dicey without him right now.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Those who are saying Crowder is not the best LB on the team are severely underestimating him. I've thought he was for a while now, and he will be even better playing MLB, as that position is more natural for him.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous FinFan inPhilly said...

Hey Mando, is it true that you are having someone from NY, on your radio show today, that covers the Jets....and what are your pics for the game?

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach got hurt on the first play of the game per Joey Porter! Any time you lose someone like ZT is hurts, but I LOVE Crowder...he is as fast, as mean, and plays him when he comes up the middle on a blitz....balls out!!! The jets o-line has had some problems so I expect us to BRING IT this week! The worry is finding a way to stop Coles...he has smoked us in the past....and as stated in previous blogs....GIVE RONNIE THE ROCK!!!!

3:10 PM  
Blogger funkyj said...


Thanks for doing the blog Armando. It is nice to see you expand on your observations in a medium where you are not limited to a particular topic or number of words. Keep up the good work.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous NYScott said...

My thought is, how many times have we beat the Jets in the past few years with Zach in the lineup? Not many right, so what's the difference. These guys don't seem to believe in themselves lately and look like they are playing scared. I've been the biggest supporter of Cams but if something doesn't change this week I am seriously going to start questioning his ability to make rational coaching decisions. The whole Ronnie not getting the ball last week when we were up is starting to bother me. It also seems like the players are not prepared and unfocused and that has to point to the coaching staff. They better win this week or we might as well see Lemon in the lineup.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved here and the drop in talented journalists has me scratching my head. Where did this armindo guy come from and how is he working for anyone else but a middle school newspaper? This is a very sad place. Armindo would not even be allowed to intern in my town.
If you are an idiot like the writer and feel I should leave, I agree! People are very very stupid here.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

crowder is good very good and someday may be great and iam am thankful that he is on the dolphins. But zack thomas will be greatly missed this week he is a great mlb. he is the main reason i goto the games, i love watching him play he goes balls to the wall and gives 110 % every play. if everyone on the fins gave 3/4 of the effort that zack does we would be 2and0

11:20 AM  
Anonymous NYScott said...

LOL. I love it when people who write at a 3rd grade level post about how bad Armando is. It's always the people with the worst grammar that think Armando is stupid. That's just priceless! Armando, I think these people are mad at you because you use a couple of big words and they can't understand. I can't stop laughing about this one.

2:53 PM  
Blogger lacesoutdan said...

This is the week the Crowder begins making a reputation for himself as a Jet killer for the next 10 years.

All Jets fans are pussies who are tough on blogs but would never dream of saying something in real life.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be at the meadowlands sunday to cheer my loved fins.Zach Thomas is a warrior.People say he get's pancaked when he blitzes,bounces off lineman etc.All that i've noticed this year as well as the last 11th,he has great knowledge of the game,is always were he is supposed to be and on many occasions he ran down portis and bettis in the 1st game and dragged down owens last week on a reverse so phooey on eroding speed,skills etc.The guy is a gamer and still has plenty of gas in the tank.He is border line hof material.We owe him much more then putting him under a microscope,that is the problem in 21st century sports.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Oscar Wilde said...

I'm leaving for the Meadowlands presently. (Before the game, I will visit Jimmy Hoffa's gravesite and say kaddish.)

The forecast: A Warm Hibatchi, Cold Budweiser (well, Red Stripe anyway) and a Sizzling Dolphins Football

Take the Points. Dolphins 20-17.

8:29 AM  
Blogger R.Scott said...

A deserved pasting. Your coaching, Cam Cameron and Dom Capers, is reprehensible. Your performance, Trent Green, merits a salary refund, again. Your justice, Daunte Culpepper, is well-earned. Your ownership, Wayne Huizenga, is a self-absorbed failure. My commitment to the Dolphins will outlast all of your failures. Please go away.

4:23 PM  

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