Cam Newton’s Chain and Chan Gailey’s Excuses

So Cam Newton wants us to believe that he was innocently walking off the field, minding his own business, and then several Dolphin multi-millionaires tried to steal his necklace. All on their own, without provocation, on national TV with millions of witnesses, the Dolphins tried to rob him…all while Cam innocently did nothing to provoke it.
Hmmmm, is there something wrong with Cam’s version of events?

I was very curious to hear what Chan Gailey said about his offense’s terrible showing on Sunday, and his words/explanations/excuses did not inspire any confidence.   If you missed it, he basically said the same old cliche that has plagued Dolphin coaches for years:  “I’m still learning and I’ll get better.”  The man is 68 years old and should be teaching, not learning.   Yes, I know it’s just a cliche, but there is no confidence in his voice.  “Hopefully I’ll be better next time.”

“Hopefully I’ll be better next time.”   I expect a rookie to say that in training camp.   Not a seasoned professional coach in a real game.

He said DeVante Parker’s injury really threw him off and he didn’t adjust well.   Yes, he admitted that in public.  Rather than simply having a different WR run DeVante’s patterns on the same plays, Gailey went with different plays.  You saw how bad they were.

On the running game, Gailey said that they wanted to use Matt Breida more, but the Patriots adjusted their schemes, so the Dolphins were forced to go with the Myles Gaskin package instead.   Forced?  Uhhh, no.   YOU impose YOUR will upon the opponent, not the other way around.   Gailey also said, again, that he didn’t adjust well when the Patriots schemed to stop the run.   This is a guy with 50 years of NFL experience, and he admits he had no counter plan when NE stuffed the box.  That is a sad and scary comment.

I hate the concept of having different “packages” for different players.  Gailey was overly reliant on the “packages” he created for Parker and had no answer when Parker was hurt.  That is counter-productive to the simple next-man-up concept.   Having a dedicated “third-down running back,” for example is standard in many offenses.  But if that RB is injured, or–as Gailey had no answer for–if the opponent schemes to take away that option, you have to adjust.  Gailey didn’t.  Through training camp, it sounded like Malcolm Perry was to be our third-down back, but Flores made him inactive.   And what if the third-down back really starts to shine?  Common sense says you give them more snaps, even on first and second downs.   But the “packages” don’t allow for this.  Just let your best players run the best plays, period.

When you see the RBs failing, why not try a new RB for a few series?  When you see your QB floating air balls and drilling grounders and tossing INTs, why not try a new QB for a series?  Those two ideas are a lot better than keeping everything the same and hoping that “I’ll be better next time.”

Thank goodness the lowly Browns only scored 6 points, or else Gailey’s offense would be the worst in the league right now instead of second worst.

Look, there is no shame in losing to a superior team.  I was actually hoping that Gailey would say we simply lost to a better team.  We lost because there was no preseason for the rookies.  Or we lost because NE was more experienced that us.   I can handle all of that.  But to have your OC seem to have no answers? To admit he didn’t know how to adjust?  To admit he was unprepared for an injury?

Let’s hope he adjusts quickly.  Let’s hope he gets better next time.

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  1. No disrespect to Preston Williams or any other receiver on the team, but not a single one of them could get open against the New England defense. So I’m not surprised he had no answers when Parker had to leave the game. Thankfully not every defense features that strong of a secondary and I think our receivers are “adequate” against mid tier secondaries but if Parker’s hamstring becomes nagging injury for him we’re going to have some tough games against elite secondaries.

    1. Author

      It’s true about the guys not getting open. But I don’t remember Gailey trying too many quick slants nor easy screen passes to the flat. THOSE are easy adjustments to make when your longer routes aren’t working. Instead he kept calling those longer pass plays against a tough secondary. The Patriots longest play of the day was the end-around trick handoff to Edelmann. Why not run the identical play to Jakeem Grant?

      1. Fair point. Even though Fitz didn’t have a great game I don’t entirely hold it against him, whether by lack of talent or lack of a good game plan with room to adapt to the defense…. he had to basically force every throw into tight windows or play 50/50 ball with his receivers.

  2. And if Chan Gailey is relying THAT MUCH on Parker, man is he ever in for a very RUDE awakening.

    Just about any fin fan can tell you (extensively) about Parkers sordid past with this team. Whether it’s his (always) injured status, or his lackadaisical effort when going for the ball, there’s an awful amount of history that Chan either doesn’t know about (more likely) or just thinks Parker “will be better next time” – good luck with that Chan – hope you are getting your resume dusted off for next year !

    1. Author

      AJ is right, although I give Parker credit for a remarkable turnaround last year in the “effort” department. He finally started to outjump and outhustle the opponent, and his stats were amazing because of that.

  3. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the game in the NY/NY market bec. the Jets are the main attraction (?). Hope to see the Buffalo game. What is it that this organization cannot bring in better talent? They made some improvements but Gailey was not an improvement as an OC who had answers like I’ll be better next time! Better??? You were brought in because you SHOULD be better than before! Fitz may have been in a haze mentally with his mother’s passing, even if he thinks he can compartmentalize that so I’ll give him a pass. Buffalo is smelling blood in the water and feeling good about that. This teams needs to come out fighting for their lives in this game and EVERY game. The schedule is tough and no slackers should be rewarded with playing time. You don’t play well, miss your assignment, then it’s has to be next man up. Enough is enough…When is this team and organization become all the claim to be?

    1. Author

      FFF, it wasn’t horrendous, but it wasn’t a strong game either. Patriots muffed the first punt, and the Dolphins seemed slow to pounce. Right then and there, I figured they weren’t ready. Fitz had time to pass all day long, but he still made some bad tosses. Defense could not stop Newton scrambling, even when it was obvious he was gonna run.
      This part is not the Dolphins’ fault, but the TV announcers added nothing. I really wanted to hear their take on our strong rookie class, but instead they talked nonstop about Brady and Newton. They might have mentioned Tua once or twice. They laughed about how Romo cannot pronounce Noah Igbinoghene’s name. That was about it. I love Romo as an announcer, but it’s like they forgot there were other new players out there besides Newton.

  4. Thx! Insightful… I like Romo and his providing the QB’s thinking. He does a good job. But practice how to pronounce players for the game you are calling, I am just tired of this team not being a threat. I do not look forward to playing Seattle-it would be nice for teams to dread to play Miami…when was the last time that happened? Hopefully this week the coaches And players can see what they need to sharpen up. BTW, Jet fans are hating Gase, they want him gone. It’s so nice to hear Jet fans rant with pain!

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