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Over-Attention to Skill Players

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Da 'Fins, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Da 'Fins

    Da 'Fins Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Don't get me wrong here. A team needs exceptional skill players to win games. A great offense has to have great QB play, a running game and exceptional receivers who can make big plays. They are absolutely key to winning.

    And, I like the Dolphins skill group a great deal - even though they still need improvement and growth.

    However, it is a continual irritant to hear national media hype the QB or RB or WR as a winner or failure without regard to their team's offensive line or defense.

    (This goes back to Dan Marino discussions).

    But, the offensive line is going to have to pick up its play more than a marginal improvement if Miami is going to utilize its skill players effectively. Among QBs, only Russell Wilson has a higher sack rate than Tannehill. That doesn't include forced early throws from being rushed or a bad throw because of a pocket collapse.

    I am constantly amazed at how well Tom Brady is protected (for the most part) and is able to stand tall in the pocket and survey the field sometimes for 4-5 seconds as a near perfect pocket forms around him. It is rare that I've seen such with RT this year at all.

    This lack of effectiveness of the Dolphins OL also has a significant limiting effect on Mike Wallace and the deep ball. Of course teams will double but given time, RT could wait long enough and it may be Wallace would beat a double team deep.

    This is why raw statistical measures in football simply don't tell the story of a football game (as they might to a much greater degree in a baseball game).

    If RT, for example, is constantly having to hit short passes because of a strong pass rush, that go to receivers other than Wallace who may be on a deeper route - that doesn't say anything negative about Wallace (though that will impact his stats negatively).

    This is not a defense of Wallace. But, the point is, for this offense to be truly effective and for the skill players (who are essential) to be appropriately judged (including running backs), the offensive line is going to have to improve in holding its ground to form an effective pocket and in opening holes.

    At the same time, this is not to fully exonerate RT - who at times has not made the best read (even with a pass completion). It's one thing to complete a 12 yard curl route to a slot WR - but when that done and another receiver is open deep then a big play has been missed.

    In some situations - this may be a function of both RT and the OL - the line allowing too much pressure and RT being a hair quick to pull the trigger or not making his reads fast enough.

    That's why I like it when coaches (Philbin is one) never judge a player based on typical production and often will say, "We'll have to look at the film." The reality is the one truth in the NFL is that the "film never lies" as the cliche goes.

    Any media judgments based on superficial productivity will not tell the real story of a player.
     
  2. Da 'Fins

    Da 'Fins Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Bump - just to discuss.

    I put this out prior to the Saints game and the issues continued. The shallow media (and some fans) are criticizing Wallace but it just can't be laid at his feet. He has a role to play but that is severely hindered by the O-line.

    As CK noted after the game - the stats on RT among the leaders in time before he throws is telling.
     
  3. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Táin Bó Cúailnge Club Member

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    The reason Wallace keeps coming up though is that when he does have opportunities deep he isn't capitalizing on them. He dropped a deep ball against the Saints that could have changed the complexion of the game. Yes he had to slow a half step and yes, the DB may have gotten a finger on it, BUT the ball still went right down in between his arms and body. He HAS to make that play. There were 2 other plays he failed to make or altered his route on that had negative impact, one of which was an INT. Wallace also had shots in the Browns game and came up small against Haden by allowing the DB to knock him off his routes. He has to be better at battling the premier backs on those plays.

    That said, we had a excellent game plan against the Colts to get Wallace moving over the middle to hit him quickly and allow him to use his speed. That effectively negated the consistently poor line play from Jerry and Clabo.

    The line does need to get better, no doubt, but you also have to hold the backs and TEs accountable on blocking assignments as well as the line coach Turner and the calls that Sherman is making. It's not all on the OLine players. I was PO'ed about that missed 3rd and an inch in the Saints game. We're driving for a TD and Thomas was nailed in the backfield on that play by a player who was lined up directly across from Pouncey. Jerry was uncovered on that play. Pouncey snapped the ball and instantly turned left never touching the defender who swept by him to his right in the gap between him and Jerry. Jerry was absolutely worthless on the play, but who had responsibility here to account for the defender?
     
  4. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's not the offensive line.

    Tannehill isn't under pressure a disproportionately high amount of the time. In fact, PFF has him at 11th best in that regard, meaning his line has allowed him to be pressure at a rate that is below average. It's the number of pressures that are converted to sacks, which is the league's worst at 32.7%.

    CK's stats don't tell the full picture. He mentioned Ryan Tannehill was one of the league leaders in getting the ball out quickly, but(correct me if I'm wrong), not that he was highly effective in doing so with a 91.7 QB Rating in the pocket less than 2.6 seconds. When it's over 2.6 seconds, it's a 70.2 rating, with all 18 of his sacks coming during the time period.

    I think it's much more likely that the addition(and perceived need to utilize Mike Wallace in certain ways) is doing the Dolphins offensive line a disservice, rather than the offensive line doing Mike Wallace a disservice.
     
  5. Eop05

    Eop05 Junior Member Club Member

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    While I'd agree it's not entirely the Offensive Line, they do share a brunt of the blame.

    RBs and TEs have contributed to at least a handful of sacks. And Tannehill, himself, certainly needs to work the pocket a lot better.

    However, John Jerry is playing at a well below average level for a RG. It's quite shocking to me how this guy never really improved.

    And Tyson Clabo has been downright awful himself. I'm starting to believe that Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons system of a mostly quick passing game contributed to their OL always looking so "good". Although it could certainly be that he's just long in the tooth. And it could just be that he isn't really comfortable with the switch in systems/teams. Or a combination of the 3, which is where I lean.

    Jon Martin has been better than I expected, but there's certainly still room for improvement. Incognito, as far as I can tell, has looked good, and Pouncey is.... well...Pouncey.

    So as it stands right now, I'd say we could really use upgrades at RG, RT, and RB
     
  6. Da 'Fins

    Da 'Fins Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    LOL. They are at the core the problem as they were today. There are way too many plays that the OL pocket just collapse. Your over-reliance on PFF is telling. They are not God, sorry to say.

    The reality is, it is rare that a pocket is formed with out a quick collapse. And, RT has to get rid of the ball quickly because of the collapsing pocket. He is one of the fastest to release the ball in the league this year and having watched coaches film in 3 of the four games that is clearly the case in those games. That, plus he is getting sacked at a significantly alarming rate.

    There is a factor that RT has to have a better pocket presence and shift around better (as I noted in the original post, tvm). But, the OL is weak on the wings and at one OG spot. We have two good O-linemen and 3 well-below-average O-linemen (at this stage). You are seriously going to defend those guys? Laughable. Had more respect for your objectivity there.
     
  7. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    You have to watch the line play to really get a good idea of what's going on. It's terrible. Martin is just not physical enough or strong enough and he's not that athletic, Incognito is above-average, Pouncey is very good but not this world-beater, Jerry is just crappy, and Clabo is Colomobish although perhaps a tad better.

    Nate Garner at guard is definitely a better player than Jerry and I know that he's injury-prone but I'd rather stick Garner out there than expose Tannehill. If anything I'd move Incognito RG, Garnet to LG and at least try to give Tannehill a clean pocket to step up in which should help until they figure out something on the edges.
     
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  8. TooGoodForDez

    TooGoodForDez Deion Sanders for GM

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    Olines win nothing.
    I am very happy that we have Philbin who shares this view, coming from GB, who are also not big on Oline.
    Lay off the pipe and get with the program.

    Believe in Philbin.
     
  9. Phinsoverpats

    Phinsoverpats New Member

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    I never liked the mike Wallace signing I thought he would be a bust....but I do like big signings like that because I know it's the only way to be the top story on espn as a dolphin fan
     
  10. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Not sure you're serious.
     
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  11. Da 'Fins

    Da 'Fins Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The do lose a lot if they don't protect the QB. 24 sacks in 5 games will lose you a ton of games. Your statement is mere assertion. 24 sacks are reality.
     
  12. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm not saying they're "God", I'm saying they're a much better source of information and support for an argument than your opinion.
     
  13. jw3102

    jw3102 season ticket holder

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    Jesus, who cares what PFF says. Open your eyes and you will see that even when Tannehill does throw the ball, there are defensive players all around him. This offensive line is terrible and I could care less what PFF says about it. They can't run block and they have given up more sacks than any other team in the entire NFL. PFF can take their stats and stuff them, for all the good they do. Wallace or no Wallace, this OL sucks.
     
  14. unifiedtheory

    unifiedtheory Sub Pending Luxury Box

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    Dis, I respect your opinion and your posts but you seem to be going to extra lengths today in order to defend the offensive line.

    I don't need PFF or CK or anyone to tell me this offensive line is garbage. Clabo got his *** kicked today, as did Jon Martin. John Jerry may be the worst starting guard in football. It isn't good.

    I'm not going to go all "Ireland's head should be on a pike" but at SOME point, the blame needs to be laid at his feet. He has dumped a lot of picks and resources into improving this offensive line. We have multiple coaches on this staff with decades of experience working with offensive lines, yet we are worse than we were when he first arrived, coming off a 1-15 season.
     
  15. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Because PFF mirrors what is actually occurring, and that's significant.

    Ryan Tannehill's pocket presence is a big part of the problems. Non-linemen blockers are a big part of the problem. The way that the protection schemes have been called are a big part of the problem. It's not just the linemen by any means, nor is the guilt distributed in a way that those things are even remotely close to foot notes.

    Throwing a tantrum about the offensive line because they gave up a bunch of sacks is banal and reductive, to say the least.
     
  16. jw3102

    jw3102 season ticket holder

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    Giving any relevance to stats over what is happening on the field during the actual game is what is truly banal and reductive. I guess you must love the way college football determines who plays in their championship game, since computers actually have a lot to do with determining the final two teams.

    While I agree Tannehill certainly needs to improve his pocket presence and the backs are not the best blockers. The reality is that this offensive line is terrible. Martin, Clabo, and Jerry would have trouble even being backups on the better teams in the NFL. Pouncey is a quality offensive lineman and Incognito is the second best player on the offensive line. Of course that isn't saying much since the other three starters on the line all need to be replaced.
     

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