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Monday, November 12, 2007

Special teams are in need of more attention

This is a fact: The Dolphins DO NOT spend as much time on special teams work as they do on offense and defense. They don't meet for as long a period of time. They don't conduct walk-thru work for as long a period of time. And in the offseason they discarded special teams anchors such as Travis Minor and David Bowens.

That's not the worst of it. While I cannot vouch for what other teams and coaches do to invest time on special teams, I do know what the Dolphins used to do. And under Don Shula, the Dolphins spent more time on special teams than they currently do. Under Jimmy Johnson, the Dolphins spent more time on special teams than they currently do. Even under Dave Wannstedt his first couple of years, the Dolphins spent more time on special teams than they currently do.

So it is any surprise that special teams now cost the Dolphins games?

From my count this is the second game the Dolphins have lost because of special teams. On Sunday against the Bills they had a touchdown -- that would have been the difference in the game -- called back because of a holding penalty on Greg Camarillo. They also gave up a 40-yard return to Roscoe Parrish that set up the Bills for the game-winning field goal.

This while the memory of that kick return TD against the Jets still looms as the reason Miami lost that game.

So here's the question: If the Dolphins are continually outplayed on special teams, if that third of the game is constantly hurting Miami, why doesn't Cam Cameron do something about it. He addressed the loss of good players on special teams by forcing starters into spot special teams duty.

But nothing has been done to increase the time spent working on special teams. Nothing has been done to increase the time special teams players meet and break down their assignments. Nothing has been done to address the problem that continually hurts Miami's chances to win a game.

And yes, I said, one game.

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there time during the day? There are still holes in both offence and defence and right now that is more important.
Special teams ain't rocket science. Pick a lane, run down and trap the player trying to run the other way to get achieve what you have to do. If you have to block one player do it. If you have to adjust to get to the carrier do it.
You said it in your last blog. There ain't enough talent to go around. You can beat a guy over the head with a play book but if he can't mentally or physically do it they you need to find someone that can.
Why consciously commit an infraction? You are going to get caught and nullify any positive play by your teammates. The refs are right there watching and they don't miss much.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a few of you hope that the 'Fins go on a run and start winning games; for what?

I for one hope that we go 0-16 for three reasons:

1) #1 pick (which we should trade down for an extra pick)
2) Cam gets fired (cross my fingers and toes)
3) Huizenga realizes that his money-making machine will not produce the big bucks unless he puts a winning product on the field. HIRE SOME GUYS WHO KNOW FOOTBALL ALREADY!...it's time for fans to stop showing up to games.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just frustrating becuase this is the second ted ginn return for a td that has been called back.. even if you hated that pick. he has done his job and what he was brought here to do. the rest of the team has got to do theirs

--CJ

10:34 AM  
Blogger mike said...

Now I can hear you on this one. I totally agree our special teams are indeed special. I didn't get to watch the game (unless you count watching the little ball icon move on NFL.com)...Did the holding penalty have a lot to do with Ginn actually breaking the return?

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Flatbush said...

Not enough time in the day? How come other coaches make enough time in the day?

I'm tired of Cam doing everything Tony Dungy does. He read the guy's book and because Dungy doesn't pay a lot of attention to special teams, Cam does not.

Well the Colts have the worst special teams in the NFL and the Dolphins are second.

Only problem is we don't have Peyton Manning to make up for the lapses.

11:33 AM  
Blogger DolfanTom said...

Also, why the heck is Parrish even given the opportunity to return that punt late in the game? He got it at the 10 - how about angling it out of bounds. Even if Fields is off, the Bills start at about the 30. Much better then the 50. This one had me scratching m y heads. Why has no reporter even asked the question today? It's so obvious!!!!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howd the toilet water taste, armando? That was the funniest $hit ive heard on the radio in a long while.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many touchbacks did Mare have at this point last year? (Not this year, because he is in a dome).

How many touchbacks does Feely have so far this year?

What was the average opponent starting position on a drive last year?

How about this year?

Matt in NC

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt in NC thats not a fair question. NFL rules have pushed back the kick off 5 yrds this season so what would have been a touch back last year could be run out this year.
i put the special team on the tackling... not feely he has done jsut about all he could for this team.

--CJ

12:36 PM  
Anonymous sick of it said...

i hope that we go 0-16 so everyone will remember how truly shitty this team is. how do you lose that game? this team is horrendous! i'm sick of putting myself through this every sunday. why can't we get anything right? oh yeah and fire cam, i'm sick of trying to support him and cleo lemon!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous adam said...

While I do agree with the comment on our special teams, I think the biggest problem is at QB.
I think the TV announcers said it best in their analysis of Lemon (which I have felt since the first game he started):
"Opposing teams have quickly learned that Lemon is still learning the position as he still only reads half the field when going through his progressions"
It amazes me that every time he drops back, he only looks to one side of the field. I think this is a major reason why Ginn rarely sees the ball. Lemon make one quick read to the outside and immediately looks for his check down to the TE or RB.
He never looks to go down the field. I think I saw one pass to Ginn the entire game on a Play action fake-comeback route.
Lemon just does not see the field well and regularly misses open receivers or mismatches.
While he is not necessarily losing the games for his play, he is definitely not winning us any games. He just leaves too many plays out on the field that an above average QB would make.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Hummmm, CJ... There was no such rule change this year. They changed that a few year's back. They instituted the kicking ball last year or the year before to try to re-energize the return game.

I was wanting place the blame for this on Keith Armstrong but the numbers just don't prove out. In his 6 seasons the Dolphins have been no worse than 8th in opponents’ average drive start after kickoffs. Including a number 2 finish last year. As was pointed out, Mare lead the league in touch backs. Miami also finished in the top 8 in punt return defense in all but one of Armstrong's 6 seasons.

There are players who excel at special teams and every team has a couple. But it seems we can go back to our personnel choices this year and wonder why these types of players were overlooked. Every deficiency on this team points straight back to poor personnel decisions. I'm not sure if that can attributed to a re-building effort or if Mr. Mueller just didn't do a very good job.

It is obvious again that Cameron has not spent much time on special teams. It does seem that when he got more involved in the defense we have seen a better quality of play, but... Now the offense is suffering. So this tells us what is essentially wrong with the Dolphins. The head coach has to be a head coach. Maybe some guys can be both OC and HC but Cameron is not handling all these responsibilities very well.

I would suggest, if the team decides to keep Cameron, they must insist that he give up the OC duties and concentrate on being a head coach because at this point all indications are that he is overwhelmed.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom@Jax said...

Special Teams huh? Yea right. How about lossy qb. No passing game, and you want to fix special teams. There are so many things wrong with this team, special teams will not "right the ship". This thing is sinking and is two steps lower than whale shit.

3:51 PM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

Patrick GREAT POST!!! You took the words right out of my mouth!!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY WOULD WE WANT WIN AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON?
i'd rather get the draft picks. Maybe this game will show the coaching staff that Lemmon is not the answer, and that Beck could do no worse, I mean whats he going to do thats so bad? loose a game? we are use to that. Atleast then we would have an excuse for loosing. Rookie QB and HC.
It would be fitting that the same year a team takes away our undefeated record that we go 0-16.
My new favorite team for this year is who ever is playing the Patriots each week.

PhinPhan
Okeechobee

5:18 PM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

PhinPhan Okeechobee

I know its been a tuff season for fans but, "WHY WOULD WE WANT WIN AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON?"

Are you serious!?!?!? We want to win this season because we don't want to be the first in NFL history to go 0-16!! Now I'm all for getting the draft picks but not at the cost of losing ALL 16 games!!!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Ron in Charlotte said...

Based on Cam's press conference this morning, it sounds like there will be a change this week. He did NOT praise Lemon, and when asked about the QB situation he said that he is meeting with both QB's tomorrow and the announcement will be made Wednesday. He mentioned that after watching the tape that execution was good and that the game was very winnable. It SEEMED like he was saying (without saying) that the matchups were there and people were open and Lemon had time but the ball never got tot the receivers.

By the way. NOBODY pump fakes in their own end zone. That's not even a rookie mistake, that's is poor decision making in general. I believe that cost him his job.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

it's obviuos that cam-cam isn't playing beck because he's afraid to lose his job if he looks bad!this team right now is a total joke and that bible-toting sack of sh*t is the main cause!the special teaqms are the worst i've ever seen,this after a lot of special teams free-agents were signed to strengten them!i'd like to know how much mueller had to say about free-agency and the draft ,i've got a feeling that cameron has total power!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Wow, so much to say, and none of it matters one bit. Not enough hours in the day? I'm curious though, exactly what kind of control does the coach have, as far as hours a day/week, etc. Is it implied in the contracts? Is there any reason why a coach could not keep their asses at the training facility?

Ginn, is, and has been doing his job. Leave it to the rest of the team to screw it up. My main concern is that he's not, and hasn't been utilized in the passing game enough.

I'm sure losing some special teams impact players hurt, just as I'm sure that not spending enough time on special teams hurt, just as I'm sure that a new green coach hurts. There's much blame to go around, but it all starts with

THE COACH: Sorry ass coach. Too many mistakes. Too many bad calls on and off the field. I don't think that he should be the HC, I don't think that relieving him of his responsibility of OC is going to help...That's his strength, and it coulda fooled me! This guy isn't Head Coaching material. Never will be....We can wait it out for years, like we did with Wandstadt, but mark my words...Coach Cam Cameron WILL NOT make it as a Head Coach in the NFL!

I think it's pathetic to WISH for the #1 pick. Of course it's a great advantage, and we're obviously not playing for the play-offs, but these are pros and I'd rather see my team go 4-12 than 0-16 any day!

Special Team's are terrible, but it seems to me they are just one of the MANY, MANY reasons we are losing. We've found SO many ways to lose it's ming-boggling. I can't blame anyone but the COACH(ing) staff.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cameron and mueller are clueless the faster we get rid of them the better huizenga needs to get parcells down here asap he is the perfect guy to get the fins back on top again!

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should enter there special teams in the special Olympics.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My spelling belongs there too.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well,if they had practiced more than once in the bye week.....


Lloyd Heilbrunn

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring EL TUNA GRANDE to Miami ASAP!!

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Special teams can win or lose a minimum of two games a year for any team, at any level.

The Dolphin special teams, so far this season, is directly tied to two losses (Jets, Bills), nuff said.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Thanks JD! I don't want to see this team go 0-16... I believe we will win a game this year, soon.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Special teams are critical for any team and small details make big differences.

Building on your point. Those penalties againts the Jets and the Bills erased two outstanding runs from Ted Ginn Jr. Not bad for a first round pick of the draft. Isn't it?

Anyway, Armando, please, I would like to know which should be our first pick next year!!!

Arturo

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, please, PLEASE post something to try and shut up the myopic media worshipers who think Bill "The Washed Up Tuna" Parcells would help the Dolphin situation. Please remind them that the overrated Parcells won one of his two Super Bowls only because a mediocre kicker missed a 47-yarder, and both of those wins occurred DECADES ago. Please remind them that Parcells achieves progressively less (nice oxymoron) with each job, having badly lost a Super Bowl with New England, then losing an AFC Championship game with the Jets (even that was almost 10 years ago), then guiding Dallas to mediocrity. Please point out that the sorry bum is sacred only to New Yorkers and those who view sports through the superficial lens of ESPN. Please tell them that the Dolphins don't need another expensive senior citizen to come down here and ease into retirement. Mostly, PLEASE remind them that not one single Super Bowl-winning coach has EVER won a Super Bowl for a second team. To hell with Bill Parcells, and to hell with the South Florida slobs who worship him (no doubt the same slow-witted, superficially minded boobs who covet Brady Quinn).

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Die Hard said...

We use to be one of the best at special teams play.
That was back when we had a very good special teams coach.
What was his name? Westhoff?
I believe he is with the Jets now.
He got run off by no other than Wheinersteadt.
Because Wheinersteadt knew he was a better coach than he was.
Then Wheinersteadt brought in his own man Armstrong from their Chicago days.
They were real winners together in Chicago.
It has been down hill for special teams ever since.
Why is Armstrong still on this coaching staff he sucks?
The stench of the Wheinersteadt era/error needs to be cleansed.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

word on the street is that john beck will be starting against philly. thank God.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Cam does not agree to hire an offensive coordinator, then he should be fired. Or hire a new coach and let Cam be the O coordinator. Some people just arent head coach material.
Enough already about who gives us the best chance to win. That saying is old. Winning does nothing for us this late in the season except ruin next years draft. Start Beck and let him get the bad games out of the way. Quit babying him. If he cant handle starting in the nfl, then why did you draft him in round 2?
And maybe Wayne should think of selling the team to an owner who actually likes football and pays attention to the game.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

parcells to miami in 2008! difference between him and cameron the tuna is a winner and camrandy are even bigger losers then wannyspeil!

2:53 AM  

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