expect anything else. Nick Saban is the face of the Miami Dolphins and his is
the only voice. So if you want to blame someone for the bad playcalling against
the Falcons, Saban said, blame him.
told, Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan ought to be the one standing up and
taking the lumps.
he is the one who really cost the Dolphins a win.
Linehan forgot the old football axiom that counsels one to put the ball in the
hands of your best players in critical situations.
Linehan has too much faith in quarterback Gus Frerotte and his receivers.
LInehan just had a brain cramp. We hope he wasn’t just flat outcoached.
various plays throughout the game that bear scrutiny, such as the poorly
executed flanker reverses that every NFL team now knows how to defend.
Quality Control coach Judd Garrett forget to send that memo over to Linehan
when he was preparing his ill-conceived game plan?
In the end,
the real bonehead move was the last offensive play the Dolphins ran.
the situation: 3:28 left to play in the game, Dolphins down 10-17. It is 1st
and 10 on the Falcon 16. Ronnie Brown had just converted a critical 4th
and 1 situation via a strong 5 yard run. Overall, the running game was clicking
with Brown and Ricky Williams each netting 5+ yards a crack. Earlier in the
game, Williams had run through the Falcon defense for a 23 yard touchdown.
down, Linehan called a pass play which Frerotte and Sammy Morris converted into
a two yard gain. On 2nd and 8 from the 14, Linehan called another
pass play, which Wes Welker caught for six more yards before getting pushed out
fatal error: 3rd and 2, ball on the Atlanta 8 yard line with 2:47 to play. The
clock is more of a concern now in that the Dolphins need a touchdown and a PAT
to tie but do not want to leave Michael Vick much time left to drive his team
into field goal range.
dive play ought to get the Dolphins into a first and goal situation. Worst
case, it’s fourth down and they run it again. And why not? The Falcons hadn’t
stopped R&R all day, regardless of the defensive front used.
Linehan ignores his two best players (Ricky and Ronnie) and opts for another
pass play involving two average players.
Now when a
team throws the football three things can happen and two of them are bad
(incomplete and stop the clock, or interception). In this case, Frerotte’s pass
for Chris Chambers was picked off by strong safety Keion Carpenter.
and, perhaps, Dolphin playoff hopes as well.
It is time
that Linehan accepts that Gus Frerotte won’t win ballgames. He isn’t good
enough. No amount of coaching prowess will change that.
Fact is, Frerotte’s
role on this team is quite simple: prevent the negative, gamekilling plays that
plagued his predecessors (Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley), bring a reasonable
level of productivity to the table, and provide leadership to this
Linehan forget: Frerotte is not Daunte Culpepper; he is a journeyman
quarterback of limited means. Or, as Saban might say, “He is what he is”.
Linehan feels pressure to be creative, given the lucrative contract that Saban
handed him to come to Miami.
Still, one must be cautious not to try to make chicken soup from chicken
ought to do is stroll over to Don Shula’s old desk and pull out Shula’s 1972
playbook. Offering the ball to R&R 40+ times a game sounds like the perfect
approach for this crew. If Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris can make it work,
why couldn’t R&R?
sexy but it will win games with the pieces Linehan has to work with.
touches to Chambers certainly isn’t the answer. As much as any loyalist hates
to say it, the guy does not play to his talent. It is all too evident that he
is not a gamebreaker. Really, on any great team, he’s a #2 or #3 guy.
And who out
there would disagree with Lawyer Milloy in that Randy McMichael isn’t worth his
$18 million contract?
observes that the Dolphin offense lacks identity. He is wrong.
Dolphins have an identity…it’s called R&R. When Linehan stops outsmarting
himself and starts playing smart, the
Dolphins will win ballgames.
Trust in Gus will continue to get the Dolphins killed.