The one good thing about Thursday’s game is the early availability of the coach’s tape. That’s the masochist in me speaking, though. Re-watching this output was not unlike the rape scene in the movie “300.” It was not over quickly and I did not enjoy it.
I just spent my lunch hour (and perhaps another hour on top of that, please don’t tell my boss,) watching the game from Thursday. The defense played pretty well, I don’t want to go into detail on that side because I have plenty of notes from the offense that I think bares more relevance.
Woof. We’ve got a myriad of problems, guys. It’s not the quarterback, it’s not the offensive line, it’s not the receivers, it’s not the backs, and it’s not the coaching. It’s everything.
Adam Gase wasn’t lying when he said there are issues on literally every play in regards to someone fucking up. Let’s just go in chronological order:
Coaching: Joe Philbin’s 2015 staff had better plans than the Dolphins had in this one – seriously. I lost count after the first half, but most of the passing concepts had the receivers running slow developing routes at intermediate range. All of those dump offs you saw Ryan Tannehill take were not him being check down Chad, but taking what was available. When the ball leaves his hand most, if not all of the time, the receivers still have their backs turned. Why would you come into a game without your starting LT, down to your third string center and a RT that was just benched back onto the field and trust them to hold up for 4-5 seconds per play?
And then there’s the sets of the offensive line. A member of thephins.com (Disgustipate) mentioned the pre-snap alignments so I gave it a closer look. On the strip sack near the end of the first half, Ja’Wuan James aligns so close to Jermon Bushrod that their ankles are almost touching. James’ shoulders are square with the line of scrimmage and when the ball is snapped, he races out to the edge and barely gets a hand on Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap shakes him off and gets the football out.
The run blocking scheme is even tougher to watch. Watch the end-zone angle of most plays and you will, more often than not, see one of the interior lineman get out of his stance and the play ends before he’s even contacted anyone. Most running schemes account for five guys trying to block six or seven, so when you subtract one of them, you’re not going to run for any yardage.
The combination blocks either need to go or be worked on repeatedly. Laremy Tunsil has been playing well, but when he goes for a chip on a combo block, he locks it in and never gets off his man to get to the second level. It’s difficult to tell if this is the player’s problem or the coaching, but double teaming one man and leaving another completely unblocked is poor football.
Quarterback: Oh Ryan. I have supported you for five years now and I STILL see the good in you while everyone else wants to burn your proverbial house down. I cannot defend this game. Yes, everything around him was bad, but he attributed to the problems as much as anyone. When he absorbed pressure, he’d fall away and throw fade away passes that never had a chance.
Rather than trying to reset around pressure, he went back to his turtling ways. He missed a wide open slant play in the second quarter that would’ve been big yards to Jarvis Landry if not so severely underthrown into the defender.
His anticipation is outright pitiful. He’s not seeing things develop and is still late on a lot of reads.
When the ball has to come out in 2-3 seconds like it does in this league, this process needs to be sped way up and he’s just not doing it.
There was a third and six in the first quarter where the defense jumps off-sides and Tannehill dumps it short of the marker. It’s a free play – TAKE A CHANCE!
I can’t be certain, but I think the check to a draw play on 3rd and six on the next drive was Tannehill’s call as well. Why?
Wide receivers: I harped a bit on this in the coaching portion and it was a problem, but these guys didn’t create separation all night. Devante Parker and Kenny Still had private escorts following them around the field – they must’ve been on high alert on the terrorist target watch list or something because they were blanketed heavier than Barrack Obama at an NRA rally.
The offensive line: Are you ready for a bad pun? This group was downright offensive. I recognize they were without some of the mainstays, but my goodness this looked like 2015 all over again. I can’t vouch for Bill Turner any more although, to be fair, everyone got their butt kicked by Geno Atkins all night.
Jermon Bushrod just sort of flails his body around in the run game and is slow off either shoulder in pass protection. His name came to a fitting end when Atkins pushed him into Tannehill recording our butt-fumble moment as the quarterback was sacked by the right guard.
Bushrod and Turner looked just like Dallas Thomas from a year ago. Constantly driven into the backfield three yards, whiffing from the jump and sprinkling in a good play 5% of the time.
You would be able to tell Ja’Wuan James was confused if only he had the eyebrows to give him away.
This game was a comprehensive failure. I expected more out of this team, although I’m not sure why. Down eight starters with two days to prepare on the road against a team with a five year playoff run going.
I knew there were some questionable pieces to this roster, but this poor coaching is quite alarming.
Unfortunately, there’s a bigger learning curve for the NFL’s youngest head coach than I anticipated.
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