Cokin’s Corner, Friday 9/30/16
Adam Gase is only four games into his career as a National Football League head coach. So it’s way too early to form any concrete assessments of his ability to get the job done. That said, I’m not especially impressed with what I’ve seen in his opening month at the helm.
The season started in reasonably promising fashion for Miami. The Dolphins just missed knocking off Seattle in Week One. But it hasn’t been good since that time. The Dolphins clawed their way back into what was on its way to being a lopsided loss at New England. That wasn’t a game Miami figured to win, so no big deal. Week Three saw the Dolphins notch their first victory of the season, but they were hardly deserving of it in an ugly performance against lowly Cleveland. The Browns might have won this game if not for their errant placekicker.
Last night the Dolphins bottomed out in what can only be described as a pathetic performance at Cincinnati. Miami took an early 7-3 lead when QB Ryan Tannehill took advantage of what appeared to be blown coverage in the Bengals secondary, and hit a bomb to receiver Kenny Stills. That was it as far as the Miami highlights were concerned, as they were beyond terrible for the remainder of the game.
I’m not pinning this entirely on Gase as his players obviously didn’t do their jobs very well. But neither did the coaching staff. They basically never made any adjustments I could decipher in terms of their scheme, and certainly didn’t call any plays that might have gotten the beleaguered Tannehill away from a consistency effective Cincinnati pass rush.
I am definitely not absolving Tannehill from blame here, as he was mediocre yet again. But that does beg the question as to why at some point, Gase didn’t decide to try and give his team a little jolt by subbing Matt Moore at quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting Moore rates the starter’s role. He’s been around the NFL for nearly a full decade and the veteran is nothing more than a QB2.
But it was patently clear to me, and I imagine to just about everyone else viewing this game, that the Dolphins were not going to do much with Tannehill on the field. So why not roll the dice and try to catch a little lightning in the bottle with Moore? If it works out, Gase is a genius. If it doesn’t, he at least deserves a pat on the back for giving it his best shot. But as it was, the coach simply didn’t do anything but keep sending Tannehill out to get pounded while accomplishing nothing positive.
I’ve never bought into the mindset that says an NFL QB1 has to always be on the field if he’s healthy. The idea is not to avoid a potential quarterbacking controversy, it’s to do whatever it takes to try and win the game. I don’t think Gase did this last night and just four weeks into the 2016 campaign, the Dolphins already look like they’re headed for another lost season.
I’m pretty well set for this week on the college gridiron, with what is presently an eight-course entree. I provide analysis with all the selections, and they’re sent out at the same time I play them myself. For information on my October special, which of course includes all my plays across the board, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two of the college plays I’ve posted here as free plays are on my service menu for Saturday, and I’ll have an NFL selection in my Saturday blog. Meanwhile, here’s one more added opinion on the college side. I don’t have this one on the personal card, although I can offer that it just missed the final cut.
157 MIAMI at 158 GEORGIA TECH
Take: MIAMI -7
Mark Riecht will still have to show me he can get it done in the biggest games, which he didn’t always do during his mostly successful tenure as the Georgia head coach. But Richt is already a hit with Hurricane fans. There can’t be much argument to the suggestion Richt has brought some swagger back to the Miami program. The ‘Canes are 3-0, and while the competition hasn’t been the best, the team looks good and the energy level is the best I’ve seen in some time at The U.
Miami gets a good test this weekend as they visit Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are hardly elite but they’re a decent team and it’s a good challenge for the Hurricanes. I definitely believe they’re up to the task of getting the best of the Ramblin’ Wreck in this game.
Defending the option that Miami will see all day long from Georgia Tech is the key to this game. It’s all about assignment defense and if executed properly, I don’t see the Yellow Jackets being able to move the ball consistently on what looks like a pretty athletic Miami stop unit. I also can see the ‘Canes producing some offense of their own through the air, as QB Brad Kaaya should get some good looks against a Tech defense that has not been impressive in terms of pass efficiency.
I’ll also toss in an opinion here on Paul Johnson, head coach of the Yellow Jackets. I think this program has gone as far as it can go with the offense Johnson runs. With the rules that are in place these days in college football, I think Johnson’s offense is somewhat obsolete, at least in a major conference loaded with solid squads. We’ll see what happens, but off a 3-9 season that was an unmitigated disaster, Georgia Tech needs to get back to a bowl this season or there’s going to be some noise surrounding this program. My best guess is that the Yellow Jackets will be a .500 team and that will get them to some kind of meaningless December bowl. But I look at this program as one that is now stagnant and if they want to get back to competing for something of substance, the mindset is going to have to start changing.
I made the line on this game Miami -7.5, so there’s no real advantage either way in terms of value. My take is more on what I’m seeing in terms of the physical matchup as I believe the ‘Canes can contain the option, and if they accomplish that feat, they’re going to win the game in all likelihood. Miami has a little extra prep time as well as the Hurricanes were off last week while Georgia Tech was losing a Thursday night home date against Clemson. This game just missed making my personal card, but it certainly qualifies as a pretty clear lean to the Miami side minus the points.