Tag:Matt Moore
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 9



Posted by Will Brinson


Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 9 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman Manning Dolphins  W-ford Harbaugh
Judge Rodgers Peppers Peterson Coughlin
Prisco  Jones Harrison Peterson  Smith
Brinson McGahee  Peprah Peterson  Sparano
Katzowitz  Moore  Peprah  Cards  Smith
Wilson Rodgers  Peprah Peterson  Sparano
Week 9's wrapped up and it's hardware time. This week we've got some new faces ... but a couple old ones.

Aaron Rodgers continued to Aaron Rodgers the Aaron Rodgers Award. At this point, it's surprising when he doesn't win.

Speaking of winning, the Packers got a huge help in their dubya thanks to safety Charlie Peprah, who picked two passes and picked up our Eye on Defense Award for Week 9.

Patrick Peterson ran his third punt back of the year, and that resulted in his second-straight Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Tony Sparano was tied for Lovie Smith for our Eye on Coaching Award, but we gave the tiebreaker to Sparano since, well, you know.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Eli Manning Eli Manning, QB, Giants
Deja goober all over again. Sure, the younger Manning sometimes looks perpetually goofy but on Sunday he beat the Patriots -- again -- in exciting fashion. I think we're about to see Manning explode and go from good to great. Maybe not Aaron Rodgers great but top echelon great. Dare I say elite.
Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
People tell me nobody could play better than Tom Brady last season, except Rodgers is. He just savaged San Diego for four more touchdowns and is on schedule for 48. Yeah, the Packers' defense has holes, but what difference does it make when this guy keeps dissecting defenses for yards, points and victories.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Julio Jones Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
He had two long touchdown catches, one of 50 yards and one of 80 yards. He showed why the Falcons traded up in the draft to get him. Jones was also in his first game back from injury, which makes it even more impressive. I could give this to Aaron Rodgers every week, but is that right?
Willis McGaheeWillis McGahee, RB, Broncos
Considering the Raiders D let Tim Tebow rumble for more than 100 yards too, McGahee's 163-yard day might be discounted by some. But the dude had surgery on his hand less than two weeks ago and he's the real reason the Broncos are just one game back of the division lead now.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Matt MooreMatt Moore, QB, Dolphins
The last Dolphins quarterback to throw three touchdowns in a game was Chad Henne in 2008. That, amazingly, was three years ago. Matt Moore did it at Kansas City in the week’s biggest upset. Moore was 17 of 23 for 244 yards and those three scores, and he actually played pretty damn well. He also did Tony Sparano a big favor by getting the deserving man a victory.
Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
This was the most underwhelming four-touchdown performance I can remember. But that's what happens when you're consistently much better than everybody else: the spectacular appears mundane. Against the Chargers, Rodgers completed 81 percent of his passes for 247 yards, and rushed for another 52. His counterpart Philip Rivers threw six touchdowns on the day but loses out to Rodgers for the Week 9 hat tip because two of them were of the pick-six variety.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Cameron WakeDolphins DST
I'm going to violate the rules here and hope my man Will Brinson, who deftly organizes these, doesn't punch me in the face. And I'm taking the Dolphins as a whole. Jeez, they deserve an honor, any honor, after this season and what they did to Kansas City was joyous: they sacked Matt Cassel five times and forced him out of the pocket nine more. The Chiefs had allowed only 13 total sacks allowed up to that point
Julius Peppers Julius Peppers, DE, Bears
He didn't produce big numbers, but he led the Bears to an unexpected victory over Philadelphia. He had the team's only sack, he deflected a pass and, in general, was a thorn in the side of a Philadelphia offense that had trouble getting untracked all evening. Basically, he proved why he's worth the money Chicago pays him.
Prisco Brinson
James HarrisonJames Harrison, LB, Steelers
I know it came in a losing effort, but he had three sacks in his first game back from a broken orbital bone. The guy was a terror, with one exception. Where was he on the final drive?
Charlie PeprahCharlie Peprah, S, Packers
Peprah's supposed to be the weak link in a Packers secondary that hasn't been impressive this year, but on Sunday he picked off Philip Rivers twice. The first pick he took back to the house (providing the point differential for a win) and the second was to seal Green Bay's victory.
Katzowitz Wilson
Charlie PeprahCharlie Peprah, S, Packers
For as bad as the Packers secondary has been this season -- 31st in the NFL?!?! – Peprah played a huge part in Green Bay’s win in San Diego, intercepting Philip Rivers and then breaking five tackles to score. Then he ended San Diego’s chances by picking Rivers again in the final minutes.
Charlie Peprah Charlie Peprah, S, Packers
Peprah intercepted Philip Rivers twice Sunday, including a 40-yard pick-six in the first quarter and another on the Chargers' last drive which he returned 76 yards. That made him San Diego's second-leading receiver on the day behind Vincent Jackson.
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Steve WeatherfordSteve Weatherford, P, Giants
On Sunday against the Giants, the Patriots started their drives at the five six, 17, 20, 11 and nine yard lines in the first half. They were fighting for their lives all day thanks to Weatherford.
Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
Can we just retire the award with this guy? That's three punt returns he's taken to the house. They're not going to win many this year, anyway, right? So what happens if they have a chance for, say, Andrew Luck or Landry Jones? Peterson might have spared them that decision.
Prisco Brinson
Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, CardinalsPatrick Peterson
This was easy. He became only the second player to rip a punt for a touchdown to win a game in overtime. And it was 99 yards, no less. Peterson now has three punt returns for scores in his first eight games -- a rookie record.
Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
Peterson tied a rookie record with his third punt -- the 99-yard game-winner against St. Louis -- taken to the house, which means he's got eight more games to break that tie with Devin Hester. Speaking of Hester, maybe teams should stop kicking at Peterson, too.
Katzowitz Wilson
Patrick Peterson Cardinals DST
Calais Campbell blocked Josh Brown's 42-yard field goal attempt to win in regulation, and then Peterson stunningly returned a punt 99 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Afterward, Peterson said he doesn’t know why teams still punt to him. I don’t know why either.
Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson, CB/KR, Cardinals
Remember in the spring when there were concerns that, at 6-0, 220, Peterson might need to drop some weight to be effective in the NFL? Whatever the scale reads now, that's his optimum playing weight.

Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
John HarbaughJohn Harbaugh, Ravens
There were doubts about Harbaugh's quarterback, Joe Flacco. And there were doubts about his team's mental toughness then he goes into Pittsburgh and wins. That win means the Ravens swept the season series with the Steelers and put themselves in good position to win the AFC North.
Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin, Giants
He went to Gillette Stadium, a place where nobody but Tom Bray and Bill Belichick win, and somehow, some way, pulled off a last-second upset. Of course, it always helps when Eli Manning is on your side, but Coughlin had his team ready for an improbable outcome. That's why the Giants are on top of the NFC East.
Prisco Brinson
Lovie SmithLovie Smith, Bears
Lovie took a team that was a heavy nine-point underdog into Philadelphia against a supposedly hot team in the Eagles and cooled them off. The Bears had a great scheme to slow down Mike Vick. 

Tony SparanoTony Sparano, Dolphins
2011 is a lost season for Miami, unless you're a big fan of Andrew Luck. But despite that, Sparano's done an incredible job of keeping his team motivated to play each week. They nearly upset the Giants in Week 8 and straight-up pummeled the Chiefs in Week 9.
Katzowitz Wilson
Lovie Smith Lovie Smith, Bears
Smith’s seat was growing warmer by the day with the Bears at 2-3, but now that Chicago has won three straight, Smith must be commended on the way his team dominated Minnesota, the way he set up his team for London to beat the Bucs and for the way the Bears beat the Eagles. Also, props to Mike Martz, who finally has figured out that his offensive line really should protect the quarterback.
Tony Sparano Tony Sparano, Dolphins
There's a very good chance Sparano's name will never again appear in our weekly awards so we're seizing the opportunity to recognize a man who could very well be out of a job before the new year. He beat the Chiefs in Kansas City, and he did it by getting the most out of Matt Moore, Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall.


Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Dolphins sign former Bills 1st-rounder JP Losman

He's back! The Dolphins ink JP Losman. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Words we never thought we'd write: JP Losman is back in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins rescued Losman from football obscurity and, depending on your perspective, put him in a less enviable situation. Losman will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Moore, who injured his ribs in Sunday's loss to the Broncos but is expected to play against the Giants this week, according to the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin.

To make room on the roster for Losman, the Dolphins placed Sage Rosenfels on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list. FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez writes that Rosenfels recently became sick with the same illness that landed him in the hospital in August. 

“I am thankful for the opportunity the Dolphins gave me to come here and play,” Rosenfels said in a statement through agent Rick Smith that was given to FOXSports.com. “I was looking forward to contributing to the team when I signed.

“When I first joined the Dolphins, all tests showed that I was healthy and ready to go. But after practicing for a few weeks, especially in the heat, some new indications made it obvious that I need to rest and allow my body to regain all requisite strength. I want to thank the Dolphins for their understanding and wish them the best of luck the rest of the season.”

Rosenfels was signed nearly three weeks ago after starter Chad Henne was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Before settling on Rosenfels, Miami also put Kellen Clemens, Losman, Jim Sorgi, and Charlie Frye through the paces. Apparently, Losman impressed them enough to bring him back.

The former Tulane star was the Bills' 2004 first-round pick. After five years in Buffalo, where Losman started 33 games, threw for 6,211 yards, 33 touchdowns and 24 interceptions, he landed in Oakland in 2009 and was in Seattle for parts of 2010. He also played for the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009, where he had 1,193 passing yards, nine touchdowns and two picks.

And now, Losman's an injury away from playing again in the NFL, although he'd be a much bigger help to the Dolphins if he was a defensive coordinator.

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Posted on: October 23, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Tebow's success a mirage

T. Tebow had a great final five minutes of the game Sunday (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos made a ridiculous comeback on the Dolphins, and Tim Tebow was front and center, throwing touchdown passes and running in a two-point conversion. After the Broncos 18-15 overtime win against the Dolphins, he kneeled on the sideline. He could have been saying thanks for the final result. Or he could have been praying for the future.

Because while the first was impressive, the second is cloudy. 

For the first 55 minutes of this game, Tebow was terrible. Then, for five minutes at the end of regulation, he was the All-American from the University of Florida, leading his team to victory.

Tebow was terrible before he was awesome on Sunday. The Miami crowd went from jeering the Florida native to cheering him and chanting his name.

But don’t you believe the hype. Tebow was horrendous for much of the day, and Denver’s win had more to do with how bad the Dolphins are* than the future of Tebow’s NFL career.

*Urban Meyer was in the house and spotted talking to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Do you think Ross offered him the job right there and then?

His first pass of the day should have been intercepted by Karlos Dansby. There were times when it appeared that he had no idea what he was doing. And it was clear John Fox didn’t trust him enough to run a fourth and 1 play (instead, Matt Prater missed his second field goal of the day).

Broncos fans applauded when the Broncos first announced that Kyle Orton would be replaced by Tebow as the starting quarterback, and today, their judgment has been vindicated. But it’s only temporary. At least Orton is a quarterback that looks like a professional athlete most of the time he plays. Tebow looks like a pro athlete as well. But not as a quarterback. Maybe as a tight end. Maybe as an H-back. Hell, maybe as a linebacker.

But not as a quarterback.

He overthrew a wide-open Eric Decker on a long pass that would have yielded a touchdown. He threw too high. For most of the day, he made Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore look like the best signal-caller on the field. By far.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tebow had been sacked five times while completing four passes (he finished 13 of 27 for 161 yards and two touchdowns while rushing eight times for 65 yards). He led a nice drive late in the fourth quarter to get his team on the scoreboard, and he kept it up after Denver recovered an onside kick. But he was mostly making do with screen passes, short-yardage throws and scrambles.

The stats don’t look as bad as Tebow performed Sunday. But it was an anomaly, a fluke.

What does it mean for this Broncos season that is still a lost cause? Fox can’t go back to Orton now, but would he if Tebow continues to struggle? What about Brady Quinn -- who, like Orton, is in the final year of his contract?

Or maybe, just maybe, this is some elaborate conspiracy plan to secure the services of Andrew Luck. Sure, that’s a ridiculous notion and it backfired Sunday. But is it that much more ridiculous than implying that Tebow is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback? Even with today’s result, I’d say no.

After all, you shouldn’t see the mirage for the trees.



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Posted on: October 21, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Revis hangs up on radio show, Jets apologize

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s the non-penalty call that just won’t go away, and Darrelle Revis is still being asked questions about it. Until, you know, he hangs up on his interviewer on the advice of his PR man.

If you watched last Monday night’s game between the Jets and the Dolphins, you saw Miami quarterback Matt Moore hit Revis in the numbers before Revis took the pick-6 100 yards to the opposite end zone.

And ESPN made sure to air plenty of replays before Moore released the ball that showed Revis and Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall making contact with each other, Marshall falling to the turf and Revis making the easy interception.

Analyst Jon Gruden immediately (and repeatedly) said a pass interference penalty should have been called, and at the time, I also thought it was evident there was some illegal contact.

Judge for yourself:



Revis has been adamant that he didn’t interfere with Marshall, and today on the Mike Francesa radio show on WFAN in New York, Revis got mad enough where Jets PR decided it was best if he just end the interview immediately and hang up the phone.

See the interview below (it gets heated about the 5:00 mark):



From the very beginning of the interview, after Francesa, when introducing his guest, said Revis was the only member of the Jets organization who liked him, Francesa asked him about the Marshall play. “You mugged him, didn’t you?” Francesa almost immediately said. “Said Revis: “That’s what’s everybody thinks.” Later, he said, “I did not mug Brandon Marshall.”

They moved on to other topics for a few minutes, but the conversation was steered back to the Marshall non-penalty.

Revis explained that Marshall was tripping, and Francesa laughed at the notion, asking how Marshall’s jersey wound up in Revis’ hand. Even though Revis brought up the always-stupid “Do you know football?” thing and the conversation seemed somewhat joking, it then got heated.

From part of the transcript (via CBS New York):
“You are still the only one in the world who doesn’t think that was a penalty,” said Francesa.

“I don’t care!” said Revis, who was on the verge of getting very upset. “I don’t care what everybody thinks! I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what the whole world thinks."

“You’re good at interviewing,” he said.  “I’m good at what I do. Just leave it at that!”

As Revis’ voice rose, Jets PR man Jared Winley instructed Revis to hang up the phone, and, though Francesa was shocked by the intrusion, Revis did exactly that.

Later, Winley apologized, saying in a statement (via the New York Daily News):"In my judgement (sic), given the tone of the interview, I should have asked Mike to move on to another topic, instead of instructing Darrelle to hang up the phone. That was an error on my part. I've called Mike's producer and I apologized."

All in all, not a good day for anybody involved in the interview. Except, of course, for Mike Francesa.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:29 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:28 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 6: self-sabotage in Dallas

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Jason Garrett, head coach, Dallas Cowboys. It says it right in the tag line: "Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and 'Wait, what did he just do?!'" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat." Usually, that's the result of something a player, a unit or even an assistant coach did (or didn't do) that cost a team a win. It reflects poorly on the head coach -- and might ultimately get him canned -- but only because the buck stops with him, not because he was the one actually doing the damage.

Garrett, who also serves as the Cowboys offensive coordinator, is the exception this week. He has the unenviable task of calling plays that maximize the team's chances of winning while also minimizing a game-changing Tony Romo interception.

It's a delicate balance. Romo tossed two pick-sixes against the Lions in Week 4, and after taking bye week to regroup, Romo came out and threw another interception in his first series against the Patriots Sunday.

So it's certainly reasonable to think that Garrett's fourth-quarter play-calling was affected by the possibility that Romo might start firing passes at the other team. With Dallas leading 16-13 late in the fourth quarter, that meant running the ball on three straight downs, punting to the Patriots, and hoping for the best. And hope is pretty much all you have when Tom Brady's on the field preparing to mount a late-game comeback.

Predictably, the Cowboys lost. Upside: it wasn't because of a Romo errant pass.

Immediately after the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones questioned the "run, run, run, punt" strategy.

“When you get in a situation like that, you’ve got to go for the kill,” Jones said. “I felt like we could’ve been more aggressive. Our defense had been good all day, but you knew Brady had a length-of-the-field drive in him -- so it didn’t surprise me at all when he took them down at the end.”

Put differently: even Jones knew this was doomed.

Week 6 Recap

On Monday, Garrett explained the offensive game plan, particularly the decision turtle up.

"When you look at it, what we were trying to do was really just manage the situation," Garrett said. "Certainly, in that case, you want to make a first down; you want to end the game right there. But we just felt like it was important at that time to try to run the ball, get the clock moving, force them to use their timeouts, and then hopefully get yourself in a manageable third-down situation where you can run it or you can throw it and try to end the game right there by making a first down. Hopefully, you execute the plays early in that sequence to get yourself in a manageable third down. We didn't do that."

No, no you didn't.

By the way, remember back in 2008, when Garrett, then an up-and-coming coordinator with the Cowboys, turned down head coaching gigs with the Ravens and Falcons? Think he regrets that now? Think the Ravens and Falcons regret it? 

Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins. The issue isn't that Grossman tossed four interceptions in Washington's loss to division-rival Philadelphia Sunday. Or that he completed 41 percent of his attempts, or that his passer rating was 23.7 (he's done worse -- on three different occasions!). It's the idea that anybody with a passing interest in football would be surprised that we saw BAD REX.

Before replacing Donovan McNabb for the final quarter of the 2010 season, Grossman never had a passer rating above 75.0 for a season. He also has 46 career touchdowns to 49 career interceptions. If there was ever a case for a game-managing quarterback to get out of his own way long enough for the defense to keep things close, the Redskins are it. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's unit is a top-5 defense, an effort that was wasted on Grossman Sunday.

But that's part of the problem -- there are no warning signs that BAD REX is on his way. He just shows up, unannounced, wreaking havoc and ruining seasons. And before there's a chance to make a change, the damage is done.

Of course, you could also argue that head coach Mike Shanahan had no business putting Grossman on the field in the first place. When Kurt Coleman, the safety for an Eagles' defense that has been ridiculed for much of the season, intercepts Grossman three times and admits later that "I was able to read Rex all day … I had a great feeling for where he was going to all of his wide receivers," it's probably time to switch things up.


Is it too early to start talking about an undefeated season with the Packers? Is it time for Christian Ponder to take over in Minnesota? Pete Prisco joins Lauren Shehadi to answer those questions and more.

Shanahan might just do that. Then again, he might not. "I believe in Rex, and I believe in [backup QB] John Beck," Shanahan said Monday. "I told you that from Day 1. Both guys, I'm hoping, are going to be here for a long time. … I've been around quarterbacks in the National Football League for a long time, and I know these guys have got what it takes."

That last sentence, perhaps more than any other Shanahan has uttered since taking the 'Skins job, should worry fans most. Because even if there's a hint of truth to the notion that a former first-round flop and a guy who last started an NFL game in 2007 "have what it takes," Washington is in worst shape than we thought.

This could be good news for the 2-4 Eagles, who may not have to worry about the Cowboys (2-3) or the Redskins (3-2) in the NFC East. Both teams seem to be doing a fine job of blowing up their seasons without any assistance.

Miami Dolphins passing offense. Head coach Tony Sparano isn't long for Miami. If that wasn't the case before the Dolphins' Week 5 bye, it is now, after watching what transpired on Monday night against the Jets. If Miami could've scraped together even a mildly awful offense they might've won that game. Instead, we were treated to something a particularly sadistic Mike Martz might draw up in an effort to get his quarterback maimed.

It would be easy to just point the finger at Matt Moore and move on. But he was put in a lose-lose situation (and he delivered), replacing an injured Chad Henne in an offense that was so inept that, by comparison, Mark Sanchez occasionally looked competent.

Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall made some mid-week comments about playing with so much passion he'd probably be ejected by the second quarter of Monday's game.

Neither passion nor ejection happened, though Marshall spent the evening dropping passes (including his fifth dropped touchdown pass on the season), along with just about everybody else on the roster -- Brian Hartline, Charles Clay and Devone Bess even mixed in a fumble.

It didn't help that Moore seemed to seek out Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who ended the night with two interceptions, including a pick-six early in the game that should've given the Dolphins a 6-0 lead at worse (and just about any other team would've been up 14-0 against a reeling Jets outfit). But Moore could have been serviceable if he'd just gotten some help from his pass-catchers. Or the Dolphins pass-rushers, who barely touched Sanchez all night. Or cornerback Sean Smith, who looked like a Miami wideout when he dropped a Sanchez pass in the end zone.

We suppose it was only fitting that the game ended on a Moore sack. Though we wouldn't have been surprised if it had been an incomplete pass.

Minnesota Vikings pass rush. The Vikings are one of the best pass-rushing teams in the league. So, naturally, they were absolutely stymied against the Bears Sunday night. This is the same Bears team that couldn't protect Jay Cutler from tackling dummies in previous weeks. But Sunday, he had gobs of time to find receivers and dutifully played his part in running up the score.

"It's humiliating," Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. "It's the only word I can think of right now. It's simply humiliating."

"Embarrassing," cornerback Asher Allen added. "After the way we played last week and to have the progress we thought we were making, this came out of nowhere."

It really did. Not so much Minnesota's offense -- we all know that there are plenty of issues there, starting with the quarterback situation. But the inability to get to Cutler (a guy who spends most Sunday's frowning and running for his life who not only looked comfortable in the pocket against the Vikings, but absolutely upbeat about the prospects of dropping back to throw) was a little more than troubling. 

It's one thing to bench McNabb for rookie Christian Ponder. That will quiet the masses, even if it may not have much of an impact on actually winning football games. But if Minnesota is going to be competitive, they'll need their defense -- particularly their pass rush -- to show up. We figured that went without saying. 

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:14 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 5:58 am
 

Dolphins look like they already gave up on 2011

Posted by Will Brinson


The Jets came into Week 6 a very desperate and discombobulated team. The Dolphins, at 0-5, weren't exactly on cruise control but given that Mark Sanchez was 1-3 against Miami prior to Monday night, well, there was a chance to show some life and save Tony Sparano's job.

Rex Ryan's crew tried to give it Miami a win too, but the Dolphins refused to take it, exhibiting a slew of mistakes en route to getting beat down 24-6 in the Meadowlands in primetime.

There are excuses, of course. Teams can't prepare out of bye weeks the same way they used to. Chad Henne is done for the season. And, um, well actually that's about it. Dropped passes, a lack of a pass rush and the inability to convert in the red zone -- all things that plagued Miami on Monday night -- don't count as excuses, because those are problems.

And those problems were scattered all over the place for the Dolphins who put on a miserable performance Monday. Cameron Wake and the rest of the Dolphins front seven barely sniffed Mark Sanchez, who looked extremely shaky to start the game, and never particularly righted the ship on offense.

Credit goes to the Jets offensive line on there -- no doubt motivated by the comments from Santonio Holmes last week ... and the week before that -- because they did a fantastic job of protecting Sanchez. Nick Mangold's return to the lineup, fully healthy, clearly helps them up front.

The Dolphins wide receivers dropped close to double-digit passes that should have been catches. One in particular stands out. Brandon Marshall -- who didn't exactly back up his big talk with a big game despite catching six balls for 109 yards -- streaked towards the end zone, called for the ball with Antonio Cromartie behind him, and didn't jump up for the ball until it was far too late, giving Cromartie a chance at knocking the pass from Matt Moore down.

Moore wasn't that horrible, honestly. 16 of 34 with two picks looks terrible, but, again, the Dolphins dropped a pile of passes and he had to force balls late under heavy duress from the Jets pass rushers. Oh yes, and Marshall -- again, he was going to play like a monster! -- ran out of bounds with nary a single defender in between he and the end zone.

The red zone offense was the worst of all, though. The Dolphins settled for a 23-yard field goal early in the first quarter and got a gift when the Jets bumbled the next kickoff. Instead of points for Miami, though, it resulted in a Darrelle Revis 100-yard pick six and a complete momentum shift.

"That was huge," Rex Ryan said afterwards. "Anytime you can get a red-zone interception and turn it into points that's a huge play."

Another first-half field goal from Dan Carpenter was all the Dolphins would get on Monday and the best possible example of where this team stands might have been their decision to sit on the ball with one timeout and 30-plus seconds on the clock, down 14-6, in the first half.

Not that Miami's got a high-powered offense or anything, but come on. Run a screen to Reggie Bush. Take a shot downfield to Brandon Marshall. There are weapons for the Dolphins and they just didn't seem interested in using them.

Which kind of sums up where Miami is now. They played sloppy and looked like a team that gave up before the game really ever started. Unfortunately for Sparano, we've seen what that usually means for a head coach.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 10:36 pm
 

Money not reason Garrard didn't sign with Miami

It wasn't about money for Garrard, but that the Dolphins were 0-4. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne played surprisingly well through the first four weeks of the season. Unfortunately, the shoulder injury he suffered against the Chargers Sunday will keep him out for the rest of the year. Which meant that Miami was in the market for a backup quarterback behind newly elevated starter Matt Moore.

The team reached out to NFL veterans David Garrard and Jake Delhomme earlier this week and were told "thanks but no thanks" by both.

The Dolphins finally settled on Sage Rosenfels. Conventional wisdom (based on what Garrard's agent had told multiple outlets) was that Miami wasn't offering Garrard enough to get off his couch. Turns out, it wasn't about the money.

Details via the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero:
I am hearing from multiple team sources that, in fact, the reason Garrard is not on the Dolphins today has nothing to do with money. I'm told that if Garrard wanted his base salary guaranteed, the Dolphins would have done that. I'm told that although reports are Garrard would have played for $1 million, the club might have gone to three times that amount and "probably" paid it.

I'm told that the reason the Dolphins didn't get Garrard is, in fact, because he simply didn't feel like playing right now. Garrard apparently talked to the team and showed no great desire to play. He is, according to this version of the story, quite content sitting out this season, spending time with his family, and hitting free agency next March.
Salguero writes that this account makes more sense than the version previously being pushed -- namely, that the Dolphins were too cheap to pay Garrard, which could be interpreted as the organization giving up on the season after a month.

And while Garrard wanting to spend more time with his family is admirable, there's still more to the story.

"Garrard sure enough wasn't all that enthusiastic about playing right now -- but mostly because the team that came calling has such little chance of winning as the 0-4 Dolphins do," Salguero explains. "If, say, the 3-1 New England Patriots suddenly lost Tom Brady and needed a starting QB, he'd be on a plane in a heartbeat."

So the Dolphins settled on Rosenfels who, according to coach Tony Sparano will serve as Moore's backup. “Yeah, it’s Matt’s job," Sparano said. "We’ve got to get Matt ready to go."

In case you're wondering, Miami also worked out Kellen Clemens, JP Losman, Jim Sorgi, and Charlie Frye before settling on to Rosenfels.

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 3:06 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Dolphins ink Sage Rosenfels, Henne done for year

Posted by Will Brinson

Chad Henne hurt himself in a most unfortunate way against San Diego in Week 4 (a blown draw play that resulted in him diving up the middle for a yard or two) and reports started circulating that Henne suffered a separated shoulder.

Those reports are true, and the Dolphins announced Thursday that they placed Henne on injured reserve, thus ending his season. To make up for Henne's loss, the Dolphins have signed veteran Sage Rosenfels.

"Congrats to Sage Rosenfels who just signed with the Miami Dolphins," Rosenfels agent, Rick Smith, tweeted Thursday.

Rosenfels was on the Giants injured reserve with a blood illness of sorts, and hasn't thrown a regular-season pass since 2008. Which means that, yes, Matt Moore will remain the starter in Miami.

That the Dolphins were able to get Rosenfels to pass his physical is good news -- they were turned down by some not-so-elite quarterbacks like Jake Delhomme, David Garrard, Trent Edwards and Brodie Croyle.

None were interested, but the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora notes that it may have simply been a financial issue -- Miami only wanted to offer Garrard $600,000 with no money guaranteed.

So, yeah, the Dolphins at 0-4 find themselves in a pretty bad position without their starting quarterback. Although not having a good signal caller under center isn't exactly new for them -- they've been missing a quarterback even since Dan Marino left.

"I can only look at the last three, four years," head coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday. "I don’t know about the last decade or anything like that. I just know about the last couple two, three years. We’ve had a couple quarterbacks in there. Obviously [Chad] Pennington, [Chad] Henne, Pat White, Tyler [Thigpen] ... we got a few different guys. As far as starters go it’s been Pennington and Henne. For us it’s been pretty consistent."

Sparano pointed out that he's been on the winless end of things this deep into the season before (when he worked for Marty Schottenheimer in Washington), but he wasn't the guy with his neck firmly on the chopping block.

Now he is, and without his starting quarterback, it's hard to imagine how he'll survive an already tepid start.

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