Dolphins Can't Stop Losing
Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist
"Everybody has got their opinions, but the facts are
the facts. We know why we haven't won games. Some of the reasons are real
obvious, and they're obvious to everybody."—Dave Wannstedt
So when does it end?
When will the Dolphins win
a game? Can they win a game? Surely they are better than 0-6.
Just when you thought the
slide would end, when you thought the perfect patsy had come along to stand on,
the Dolphins found a way to slide one rung further down the ladder.
Make no mistake about it,
last weekend’s loss to the previously winless Bills was worse than it looked.
It was essentially a bad team losing handily to another bad team.
Once again, it was same
sad refrain…ill-timed penalties, mental breakdowns, a late defensive collapse
and poor quarterback play.
After three months of
work, there seems to be no appreciable improvement in these Dolphins. They’re
as bad today as they were against Tennessee.
I could sit here and write
an epistle on all of the specific things that are wrong with the Miami
Dolphins. As Wannstedt says, some are “obvious”, some not.
Simply put, this season
has been reduced to two universally undeniable facts.
1) The roster is not of
playoff caliber but is better than 0-6.
2) Winning is a habit. So
What is now becoming
worrisome is that the defense’s confidence seems to be draining away. Watching
Buffalo’s lousy offensive line control the ball for the final six minutes of
the game isn’t what the Dolphins needed.
And the timing couldn’t be
worse with the explosive St. Louis Rams coming into the Stadium formerly known
as Joe Robbie.
If the Dolphin defense
isn’t careful, this one could get ugly.
What matters now is that
the Dolphins find a way, any way, to get a win.
What will it take?
Don’t look to Dave
Wannstedt and his staff for the answers. They don’t have them. If they did,
things would have already changed for the better.
Don’t look at Rick
Spielman for the answers. He thinks that all of his personnel decisions have
been sound and can’t understand why the team isn’t winning.
Don’t look at the players
for the answers. They continue on with the same tired “shoot ourselves in the
foot” refrain yet don’t seem to learn or change their behaviors. Most of them
don’t deserve your faith any longer.
This is just a bad
football team, one of the worst we’ve seen in the NFL in some time.
This is why it is so hard
to know when (or if) they will win a game. There is nothing predictable or dependable
about this bunch.
Something needs to change
if this team is going to get off the schnide.
The foundation of a good
football team is smart play. By this I mean that penalties, turnovers, and
misassignments are minimized.
This is where the Dolphins
can help themselves the most right now. Players need to know their assignments
and play under control.
When we see a veteran like
Randy McMichael run the wrong route in a redzone situation, or a line
protection called that forces a center to swing out and block a safety on the
blitz, that’s a sure sign that players are not as mentally prepared as they
On the subject of
preparation, the coaches need to be doing more to put the team in a position to
An old saying in sports is
that “you practice how you play”. If there are mistakes in the games, there are
mistakes in practice. OR, the practices are not challenging enough to drive out
Is the gameplanning
aggressive enough? The Bills ran a fleaflicker against the Dolphin defense. Why
don’t the Dolphins try something like that to generate some cheap points?
One way or another, the
coaches need to demand more from themselves and the players.
What’s happening now isn’t
good enough. Continuing to do more of the same won’t change the results the
Dolphins have been getting on the field.
More of the same won’t
stop the losing.