After watching today's disgusting performance, most Dolphin fans are left to wonder when this team will hit rock bottom. I say that because just when you think they've hit rock bottom, things get even worse. And now it's been 365 days since this team's last regular season win. That's right, a full year. Where does this team go from here? I'm not sure. There are so many problems that it's almost impossible to imagine this team ever turning things around. So let's talk about some of the headlines from today's game, shall we?
The day started out with FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reporting that there may be a mutiny brewing in Miami. He reports that there may actually be players cursing Cam Cameron, both in meetings and on the field. If this is accurate, and generally Glazer is pretty accurate, then things need to drastically change. This is a problem that not only effects the players currently on the roster and their performance on the field but also hinders the Dolphins in free agency if Cam was to remain in Miami for another year. A lot of time, players influence other players to come. If the current players feel Cam is that much of a joke and feel that he's incompetent, then we are going to have a hard time trying to lure new players down here. Sure, money and Miami's weather helps in recruiting. But if the current players don't believe in their coach, why would any good free agent want to join this mess?
Then you have this game. There's no way this Dolphins team should get blown out the way they did in Buffalo yesterday. At most, the talent level on the Bills' roster is only slightly higher than the talent level on Miami's. There's no way this Bills team is 21 points better than the Dolphins. And that's when you have to look at coaching. These Dolphin players didn't really look into it. I don't think their effort was there. And once they got behind 21-0, I definitely think some of the players packed it in for the day. And that's an indictment of the head coach. Then you have to question the inconsistent decision making by Cam. He's aggressive and tries the surprise onsides kick in the middle of the 3rd quarter. I liked that call and it almost worked. But then, on a 4th and 4 at Buffalo's 45 yard line later on in the 3rd, Cam decides to punt. Are you kidding me? Don't get me wrong, I don't think it would have changed the outcome of the game. But those kinds if inconsistencies time and time again really have to make you question what the hell Cam is thinking.
Now, I've been a solid Cam supporter all season long. But I'm sorry, I just can't do it any more. A change really needs to be made. When you have a rookie head coach, you generally like to give him time. But we haven't seen any improvement in his play calling or decision making. And now you got a potentially ugly situation developing in the locker room between the players and Cam. Enough is enough. I'm now beginning to think that even a change just for the sake of changing isn't even a bad idea. Or maybe I'm just so depressed over how this season is going, that my judge is cloudy. I just don't know anymore.
And as if all this wasn't enough, there's more. ProFootballTalk is reporting that "there's talk in league circles that [Michigan] Athletic Director Bill Martin wants to pursue" Cam if he is fired by the Dolphins. One source tolls PFT that Martin believes Cam's 0-13 record is an "aberration." However, because of his performance this year, boosters and alumni might be against hiring Cam, who is a Michigan guy. He spent 10 years as an assistant at Michigan. PFT also believes that the fact that Cam could "land on his feet" may make it easier for Wayne Huizenga to fire him. That, and the fact that Cam's buyout would be reduced because of his potential salary at Michigan. This is certainly something we need to keep an eye on. We all remember last year, around this time, when PFT was reporting that Nick Saban was interested in the Alabama job. Many called the site "garbage" at the time...until Nick left for Alabama. One thing is for sure, in my opinion, and that is the fact that when Mike Florio of PFT writes something that isn't really being reported much yet by the mainstream media, he's usually right on the money. So like I've said, this situation certainly bears some wathcing.
The QB Saga Continues
The revolving door at QB that we've had to sit through since Dan Marino retired is becoming just ridiculous. Today, after just 8 plays and a lost fumble that was returned by Buffalo for a touchdown, John Beck was benched in favor of Cleo Lemon. And wouldn't you know that his very first play is a 50+ yard pass to Teddy Ginn, which is followed by a Samkon Gado 12 yard touchdown run. First, let's talk Beck. The one thing that really jumps out is how he had absolutely no time to throw on 2 of his six dropbacks. And they were 3 step drops, no less. You can't blame Beck for that. The fumble was a freak thing, and something that plagued Cleo Lemon as well once he was put into the game. It's funnt how the weather didn't seem to hinder Trent Edwards at all, though. Go figure.
Onto Cleo Lemon. Did he play better than Beck has been playing? Sure. And for that, I guess I'm forced to eat my words a little bit. But please don't try and tell me Cleo Lemon is a good quarterback. His two interceptions were terrible decisions/passes. The first one, when he overthrew an open David Martin, was just a horrific pass in which he threw off of his back foot. He fumbled 4 times. And he only had a 5.7 yards per attempt average against this poor Bills secondary. For comaprisonm Beck had a 5.7 yards per attempt average against the #1 defense in the NFL (Steelers) in much worse playing conditions than in Buffalo yesterday. So I don't want to hear anyone try to tell me that Cleo is this team's future QB. He isn't. But here's what I did notice. I noticed the play calling become a bit more aggressive with Cleo in the game. I saw this conservative offense open up a bit. I noticed more shots taken vertically. I saw more rollouts called for Cleo. And it makes you wonder why these plays weren't called for John. Why couldn't John take some shots deep?
I also noticed the players actually playing better for Cleo. Could it be just a coincidence? Maybe. But the offensive line was blocking much better for Cleo. He had much more time to throw than John has had the past few weeks. I saw Derek Hagan actually making plays for Cleo. When Beck was in there, Hagan dropped like every other pass thrown his way. And Cleo actually had some help on the ground, as Samkon Gado, who had 2 carries for 3 yards when John was in there, actually averaged 4.9 yards per carry the rest of the game when Cleo was in at QB. And that includes those 2 terrific redzone runs for scores by Gado. Of course, you have to consider the fact that Buffalo had a 21-0 lead by the time Cleo entered, meaning he might have been facing softer coverages that allowed for the higher completion percentage.
Either way, you have to wonder what this might mean for John Beck's future. Where do we go from here? Is Cleo back to being the starter? How much is John's confidence effected by this benching? Is John Beck the QB that is going to lead us in the future? Should the Dolphins think about targeting one of the top 3 college QBs in April's draft? All these questions now need to be answered. I think all we learned one thing from yesterday's embarrassment: the QB situation is as cloudy as ever. And now all options are back in play.
Defensive Struggles Continue
Say what you want about the offense sucking (and it sure did), the defense wasn't any better. With the time of possession about even, Buffalo's 31st ranked offense gained 389 yards of total offense and averaged 6.2 yards per play. This secondary made Trent Edwards look like a star, throwing for 4 touchdowns on just 23 attempts. And this front 7 allowed 2 100 yard rushers to the NFL's 20th ranked rushing offense. That's simply pathetic and everyone on that field should be embarrassed by their performance.
When Buffalo ran it, it seemed that one of two things happened. The Bills' back, Marshwn Lynch or Fred Jackson, either broke a few tackles or simply wasn't touched until they got into the secondary. And I don't want to hear any excuses about Zach and Channing being out. There's simply no reason Fred f*cking Jackson should ever run for 115 yards on just 15 carries. Giving up yards to Lynch is understandable. But letting a guy like Jackson pick up chunks of yards at a time is a disgrace.
Then you got the nonexistant pass rush. It seemed like Edwards could have been playing in a wheelchair and he still wouldn't have been touched in the pocket. When this defense doesn't blitz, they get no pressure at all on the QB. And even when they did blitz, they still couldn't get to the QB quick enough. And that is highlighted by Lee Evans' 70 yard touchdown reception on a 3rd and 10 play that basically ended the game. Travis Daniels, who can't cover any speedy receiver, was hung out to dry by the inability of Miami to not be able to get to Edwards despite bringing the blitz. And the end result was the final nail in the coffin.
This & That
-Jason Allen continued to be active in run support. But is that because he's getting better and better or because nobody in front of him could get a hand on the ball carrier?
-Derek Hagan had his best game as a professional, catching 8 passes for 93 yards. But a majority of those catches came when Buffalo was playing very soft coverage late in the game.
-A positive for the Dolphins: Rex Hadnot had a beautiful block, pulling from his right guard spot to spring Gado for his 20 yard touchdown run. I'll tell you right now: Hadnot needs to be resigned in the offseason as quickly as possible. He's a solid RG and is the vocal leader of this offensive line.
That's all for now. Your thoughts below...