Stop: Almost Nothing
I really wouldn’t like to stop anything. As a fan I am enjoying each and every game. As a writer I have a plethora of material to explore each and every week. Finally, as a hater of the Patriots and Jets, I have plenty to be thankful for, each and every week; mostly coming from the Jets. This past weekend marked Canadian Thanksgiving and to be honest, between studying and hockey I hadn’t had much time to ask for thanks. So, as a fan, I am thankful for many things, but predominantly, Coach Philbin who has a young team believing in his philosophy and a rookie quarterback and most importantly playing with heart every week. As a writer, I am thankful for the opportunity to write for Phins Phocus. Finally, as a Pats and Jets hater, I am thankful Tim Tebow is a Jets’ wide receiver and that Rob Gronkowski left most of his production on the dance floor of a night club last February.
Start: We Are Young
The promotion of Oregon product Josh Kaddu from the practice squad and yet another head injury to sophomore tailback Daniel Thomas has the hit song by Fun replaying in my head. The Miami Dolphins are finally working in their draft choices, but, I would like to see more. Ryan Tannehill has exceeded his early expectations, rookie tackle Jonathon Martin is slowly finding his groove, Olivier Vernon from the U is becoming a more complete player with every week, and surprisingly, seventh round pick Kheeston Randall has been a consistent contributor in this young season. I’ve repeatedly lobbied for tight end Michael Egnew to see some action as his skills in the receiving game provide RT with a potential seam threat. He should probably spend some more time around Jake Long to pick up some pointers on blocking…Injuries have paved the way for Mr. Kaddu (potentially filling in for Mr. Burnett) to showcase his spoken-about coverage skills. Dude, I don’t think Oakland TE Brett Myers has a catch since he’s played us. Back on the offensive side of the ball, I hereby plead the fifth, draw up an affidavit and any other legal terms I can pull from hit TV series Suits, to call forth the release of extremely unimpressive wide receiver Anthony “alligator arms” Armstrong. Rishard Matthews has potential, but the signing of veteran Jabar Gaffney could leave him in shorts for the next few Sundays. Finally, as my colleagues have spoken about earlier this week, is the imminent forthcoming of “Miller Time”. Lamar Miller has dazzled us fans with his veteran patience but still needs to impress the coaches with some pass protection improvement. IMO Javorskie Lane could see some increased third down action with Daniel Thomas out. Man, can that Bulldozer bull.
Continue: Secondary to None
This Miami secondary is young and talented but is repeatedly thrown in the shadows, the really large shadow, of the front seven. Sure Cameron Wake and Karlos Dansby are the leaders both on and off the field, but this secondary has come a long way since Houston. Led by cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reshad Jones, the group has shut down some of the most potent wide receiver threats in the NFL: AJ Green and Larry Fitzgerald (Johnson was not shut down; hence the “since Houston”). Reshad Jones is currently the number one ranked safety on PFF, forcing quarterbacks to a 39.7 rating and two interceptions. In Richard Marshall’s absence this past week, Nolan “the constantly bashed” Carroll stepped up in a huge way allowing only two catches on his watch. Here’s an impressive statistic, the Miami Dolphins secondary hold opposing quarterbacks to a 75 rating, which is a delicious recipe for victory. Let’s throw the front seven into the ever growing shadow of the secondary; the sacks have gone up (at my request) and the opposing passing rating has gone. So now that everyone on this Dolphins defense can walk around in some sunlight, the recipe to hard-nosed, stingy, NFL defense is simple: symphony, harmony, concerto, synergy, or whatever you want to call it, but play as a team and cast the opposing offense into our shadow, really really large shadow.
The Incognito Dolphin of the Week: Jimmy Wilson. I have loved the hustle and physicality of this guy since his first start against the Browns a year ago. As a former safety Jimmy Wilson can deliver the goods when needed. JW erased the Bengals emerging wide receiver Andrew Hawkins from the contest, limiting him to a single catch for 5 yards, on 5 targets. I think my next Dolphins shirt will be of Jimmy Wilson…
In a press conference this week Ryan Tannehill paraphrased the famous Dennis Green: “We are, who we thought we were.” Well heck, I didn’t think the Dolphins of 2012 were going to turn out to be THIS Miami Dolphins team. For that, I am thankful.
Next week, we may even run a slant and go; I doubt Cortland Finnegan could stop that.