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Friday, October 12, 2007

Porter update and a (failed) attempt at positive news

Before I get started on today's subject, I want you to know that I did follow up with Joey Porter yesterday and wrote about what he said. Here's the column, in which Porter says he understands your frustration that he's not producing and pretty much throws Dom Capers under the bus for the way he's being utilized: http://www.miamiherald.com/1190/story/268407.html

Amazing, this team.

Anyway, I was hoping to give you some positive news today because, what the heck, it's Friday. You're gearing up for a Fall football weekend and I'm just plain tired of telling you how awful YOUR Miami Dolphins are.

So I figured I would write about the offensive line.

Believe it or not, the unit that was a grave concern during the offseason and training camp is kinda, sorta coming together. Now, they're not the '72 Dolphins O-Line by any means. But they are not the biggest worry on the team, either.

There is hope in there somewhere.

Line coach Hudson Houck has done a good job bringing this group together. Ronnie Brown has pieced together three consecutive 100-yard games so obviously the blockers must be doing something right.

So I asked to speak with Houck so he could tell me -- and by extension you -- what the players are doing better, how he got them to improve, where they need to tweak to get better still, positive stuff like that.

Houck refused to be interviewed.

Resisting the strong urge to bag the whole thing because there are so many negative issues to explore and write about, I asked Cam Cameron about the line. I asked Cameron what they're doing well now that maybe they were still working at attaining in preseason.

"Hudson is so good at just being consistent in how he teaches and his preparation," Cameron said, beginning his answer. Great, so I ask about the players and he tells me about the coach who doesn't want to talk.

"He is just grinding on them the fundamentals over and over, and now you’re talking about switching game planning," Cameron continued. "Now you’re going from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, and you’re having to make adjustments from week to week. I think those are things where they can grow together. There were some things last week I think they learned. We had a couple of tendencies we knew about Houston, and we didn’t really use them to our advantage the way we could have. That’s one thing Hud and I noticed – we saw a little tip and it was right there for them to see. All you need is to have one guy see it and communicate it, and you can take advantage of it. I think they learned a valuable lesson last week that when you have a tip on somebody, it doesn’t do you any good if you’re not going to use it in the game, and it doesn’t take five guys to all see it. One guy sees it and communicates it, so I think little things like that, they can continue to grow with.”

Do you see what's going on here? I ask what the heck is being done right by the players and get an answer of how well the coaches found a "tip" on Houston front. Then I'm told the players failed to recognize this "tip" following a week of being coached about it. And not just one player failed to see it, but all of them failed to see it.

I'm telling you all this so you understand how sometimes serving that group of fans that want something positive to chew on is pert near impossible.

It can't be done often anyway because, well, the team is winless in five outings. But even when there is good news, the Dolphins sometimes derail it by, refusing to talk about it as Houck did or changing the subject to another problem as Cameron did.

Amazing.

Anyway, let it be said Miami's offensive line is playing better. It is playing above most expectations. Vernon Carey has done the improbable and gone from being a good right tackle to a good left tackle. Anthony Alabi was good in entering the game as a guard when Samson Satele got hurt. They accomplished all this against the No. 6-rated run defense.

There. Somebody had to say it.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you said, Armando, amazing. I like reading positive stuff but if they don't want to give you anything, screw them! I getting kind of sick and tired of this crap team.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Armando let's just give the positives for them... T-Rex baby! Has anyone else noticed Rex Hadnot pulling into the vacancy left by Lewinski blocking down on the nose guard? He hits that hole and blows it up then the fullback follows and Ronnie is at the second level off a counter step.

The play has become a staple of the offense and it seems to be giving Miami a long missing identity. That pull is not easy because he has to get out of his stance and around the center very quickly without giving a "tip" such as lifting his fingers slightly. (That's the kind of thing Cameron was referring to.)

Good offenses start with a base play. A play that will work even if the other team knows you're going to do it. Looks like we found it and that means teams have to find a way to stop it. Once that happens then other things begin to open up because a void is left by a safety or LB cheating up.

So there's a positive... A little offensive identity. Let's see if we can build off of it. I'm going to pull a Porter so you all can bust up on me Monday... Miami will beat the Browns. I am certain of it.

12:37 PM  
Blogger lacesoutdan said...

I also think the Phins will pull off their first win this weekend. It's too bad Beck won't get the start because it seems like a perfect time to throw him in against the worst defense in the NFL.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The true fan has to look for the positive, a sign for the future. Yes, I have noticed the OL's improvement, particularly on the left side. Hadnot has been blowing holes for Ronnie, and Cary has been doing well, too. I am also impressed with Satele, despite the occasional rookie lapses. But he is learning from his mistakes and not repeating them.

Ken in San Diego

1:46 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

You talked to that douchbag and that's what you asked him? Why didn't you question HIS judgement? Here's a tip Cam; You get 3 time outs a half. You lose them when the half is over. There's also a 2 minute warning before the end of each half. You can effectively use TIME MANAGEMENT to win or lose games. I'd go into decision making and play-calling, but for now, I'll just give you this "tip"...Let's see if you catch it next time. There's a whole coaching staff, and a QB, so it just takes ONE to catch it and communicate, DOUCHBAG

2:13 PM  
Blogger H.C.D. said...

Nice attempt again Armando.

The line has been a bright spot so far this season and its nice to see the guys opening holes for R.B.

Is Satele out?

Whats your prediction for the game this Sunday in Cleveland?

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Derik said...

Armando I think you're trying to hard to see the negative. For an article you supposedly were trying to put a positive spin on things you had to check back far to often to be sure we were following you.
Who cares if Capers didn't want to talk to you? That’s not his job. Seems to me he's doing his job and that along with the fact that those guys are starting to work together is the positive you failed write on.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for positives? Are you freakin' kidding me? This team is a turd wrapped in vomit.

I want you out there beating the drums for Cam to get fired, for Mueller to confess he sucks, and for Huizenga to sell the damn team.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Donovan said...

With the improvement along the line, and the fact that a lot of the core guys on the line are still very young, if it came down to it, I'd rather have Glen Dorsey from LSU over Jake Long from Michigan. Our D-line is too old and too bad right now.

As they said in Animal House: "We need the dudes!"

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Malcolm said...

Armando,

This is not a poke, just something I have observed reading your blog for nearly a year now. Do you like the Dolphins - are you a fan of the Dolphins?

I ask because you always refer to them as YOUR Miami Dolphins. Perhaps I am missing what you are trying to say, would you please enlighten me.

Again not a poke, just looking for clarity.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous KwameFinFanFaLife said...

I like what my man "PATRICK" said, yes that play is quickly giving us a staple to hold down the playbook so we can open it up, we've to to become the old Nebraska of ProFootball, Teams can know what you're going to run all day but if you excell at the fundamentals and base play it'll be hard for anybody to stop the execution. And once we get that going I like what the man "MARC" said, You can effectively use TIME MANAGEMENT to win or lose games. Cam is too sidetracked with calling plays and organizing real-time game changes to manage and control our TIME OF POSSESSION, to keep the other team Dfense on the field giving ours a chance to rest and comeback strong enough the next series to get a dare i say Turnover, maybe two, and quite possibly a team win!! We have plenty of positives but the one big negative is still this damn coach! GET IT TOGETHER CAM!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Malcolm, I have been asked this questions several times. It is not an attempt at humor or sarcasm or anything other than what it is.
I am assuming this Dolphins blog is read by Dolphins fans. Thus, it is YOUR Miami Dolphins.
It has nothing to do with what team, if any, I root for. It has to do with what team YOU root for. Simple.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Referring to this time management thing that you speak of: last
year we had a "Quality Control Coach" who was in charge of things such as clock management etc. This man has gone off to be the offensive coordinator at Dallas for the # 2 offense in the league and was never replaced. Best wishes Jason Garrett

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DHICKS SAID...I am glad Hud did not answer the question...no need to jinx one of the few things we have working for us....leave well enough alone...ask more questions about why Porter sucks and why we signed him if we are going to play him out of position and he can't help us.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...

Armondo, the comments of Jason Garett point out the simple fact that the Dolphins have poor ownership who pick weak management.
Huizenga picked Johnson,Saben and now Cameron. When was the last time you saw him make a smart "Football" decision? This week we play the worst defensive team in the NFl. Why not play Beck?
Look at Buffalo! They played Edwards and by George he didn't do too badly. At least he got some experience. What do the Dolphins have to lose? This season is a write of as it is. So, why not give the kid a chance. After all,this kid is 26 years old. Marino had already played three years in the pros by then. What does Camron have to hide? Beck can not be any worse than Ginn, who hasn't done squat! Until we get new ownership and coaching I'd have to put my money on Cleveland.
Remenber our last visit when they took our pants down. Hay Cam, tighten up your belt or prepare to be on "Canded Camera" again!

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Malcolm said...

Thanks. That makes sense. I do enjoy reading your blog keep up the good work.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

I hate getting off track on these things, but this blog, is, no offense, LAME. You mentioned Beck, and there was a huge debate about it, and I see both sides of the coin. But here's one thing that even you Mandy, seem to miss. There's only ONE GUY on this team that can get the deep ball out to Chambers, and more importantly GINN! If you doubt it, google, or youtube, John Beck 70 yard. Don't bother a rebuttle arguing the distance, that was covered over there. I just want fans to see the POTENTIAL we have riding the bench, while Lemon, who is just like every other QB we've had the past decade is starting;he'll never be anything more than a back-up, like the rest. Put in Beck. You'll likely see 2 superstars in the making (Ginn being the other).

Now, just so I can say I said SOMETHING relative to the blog....Ummm, Joey Porter, I personally believe, will turn it around, or, rather the defensive scheme might change. Capers, once again, if the D's so damned complex, DUMB IT DOWN. I'm guessing most of these guys weren't Ivey leaguers, the last I remember was one of the aformentioned QB's!
O-Line, better, all I'll say about that.

Lastly, Armando, do I have to call you an asshole to get a response from you? It seems that you only answer those people. I've asked you several questions to no avail. I'll try one last time....Armando, you ASSHOLE! since you see these guys practice and such, is that why you're hesitant about Beck, and is Jason Allen THAT terrible?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Tom@Jax said...

I think the most positive thing on this team is it is getting younger (not counting Porter). Try writing about that Armando, and see what you come up with.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Redbudd- Chatta. TN said...

I feel the team is showing improvement in the running game! Carey has givin us something we not had in a long time a good LT?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reads to me like Armando met with people who didn't want to talk to him, and he's angry that he couldn't get them too. You, kind sir, have taken a negative stance against the team for much of this summer, and I'm thinking there's not a lot of love coming your way.

I was extremely happy to read the posts from patrick and lacesouthdan. Very insightful, and positive. Armando is trying to feed the fires of discontent. Sorry, not biting. We'll still get there, no matter how you he tries to feed your discontent.

Dolphins 35 - Browns 31

Go Dolphins!!!
DrumFinFan

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How he tries.

Sorry.

Go 'Fins!
DrumFinFan

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Trenton said...

It sounds to me like Hudson Hawk is a good coach. But a jerk of a person.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Armando pick the team to go 10-6? That doesn't sound like he was being negative then.

I criticized him for drinking the kool aid but some of you guys rip him for being too negative.

I'm glad I don't have his job.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous CYANES/ L.A. said...

Listen guys, our offensive line looks good. They are young and will continue to improve. We now know that we have a real running back out there. That is how you win games. You run the ball down teams throats. Next draft, we get that wall called Dorsey from LSU. We are only going to get better. Cam needs to learn time management, but he has given us a much better offense. What we have to prey for is that Beck is the real deal. If he is, watch out Patriots, because all that cheating they do will not be enough to beat us. If you are a real fan, stay positive. If you are a punk ass fair weather fan, get the hell off this blog.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cam is just trying to make something happen.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a fair weather fan. But I'm not blind and I see a lot to be unhappy about. Maybe holmes out in LA can preach staying positive because he's not paying $90 bucks for his tickets, $20 to park, and $5 for a beer. He's sitting at home with his chulula sauce on his burrito, watching on the TV he took during the East L.A. riots back in the 90s.

--Gringo in MIA

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing that seems to get overlooked from my point of view is that New England, the Jets and Buffalo all have young quaterbacks on the rise. The Dolphins better get themselves in the same position soon or they will remain behind the other teams in their division for a much longer time. This quarterback rotation over the past several years is continuing to set the team back. Now is the time to get the team in a position of competing with the other teams in their division for the next ten years or more.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is our QB count since Marino??
I can't remember them all. Mostly due to them being easy to forget.


PhinPhan
Okeechobee

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't blame Houck for not wanting to talk to you because either way you would have found something to rip him about. SEE, he didn't even talk to you and you still critizized him anyway. He probably thought if he shut up you would leave him out of your blog but he thought wrong. How dare a coach not talk to the all mighty Mando. I mean after it's so important that you get this news to the 20 jackasses that read your blog.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ARMANDO...You can't write anything positive because the coaches wont talk to you?! You can't see that the o-line is doing better with your own eyes and write about that? And then Cameron does talk to you and you RIP HIM A NEW ONE for what he says?! And you wonder why the coaches wont talk to you?! Are you crack? In the beginning of the season you warned us all that Porters injury is going to make it hard for him to pick up the defense quckly enough to contribute early on AND THEN last week you are critical of Joeys lack of production?! What in the hell is wrong with you? Am I the only one who sees how wishy washy and clueless you truly are?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of Course this article could have read, Line lets performance speak for its self, but that woud be seeing the glass half full, anyway you spin it.

2:46 PM  
Blogger michael said...

Ive been reading these posting for a while now and i felt it was time to reply...Cam IS the coach... and there have been things I have really questioned and things
i have agreed with....life with Wannny was a nightmare because he was a fool and a wimp (near spinless) Jimmy was a windbag who talked a big game ( and had audacity to stripped Marino of audibles at the end) and Saban wasnt much different...all bark no bit. Cam has one thing i respect and thats BALLS and has a cement spine. He has made his choices popular or not and character with this man is NOT an issue...we'll see if he has brains to match, but this man has something not seen since Shula left...true grit. For me the next three weeks will determine alot, if the offense continues to grow and Ronnie becomes what he should become (a star) along with the lines improvement and Ginn keeps building on each week as a wr( 35 yards per return is damn good as well) we will have a fine offensive team. And when the defense gets a big injection of talent next year. (This draft was a big hit or miss... if its a hit the majority will feel like an idiot and should shut up) Wewerent going anywhere this year we are rebuilding and this is the process
how many coaching screw up did Jimmy have in his early years if you remember correctly plenty.
But once again when you watch this man closly and see the character it take to stay on this course you have to be impressed. Trust me as a fan since 77 i want results, but character is a HUGE part of that...and at least after over a decade we finally have a coach that has that. GOOOOO PHHHHHIIIINNNS

7:48 PM  
Anonymous EdSkae said...

I like the way the O-Line and Ronnie Brown are playing. The goal should now be to continue to grow together as a unit and become dominant. to the point where the defense knows they are going to run it and they still can't stop it.Once they get to that point everything in the passing game will come easy.

8:12 PM  

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