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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Dolphins

Video: Patriots screwed by terrible unnecessary roughness call on fake punt

Patriots commit a penalty against Dolphins

The New England Patriots got off to a slow start in their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and a bad call late in the first half didn’t help.

Miami jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the Patriots appeared to come up with a big fourth-down stop late in the first quarter. The Dolphins attempted a fake punt, and punter Michael Palardy did not get to the first-down marker. However, Patriots special teamer Brandon Bolden was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting Palardy in the head area.

The problem is replays showed that Bolden didn’t even make contact with Palardy. Here’s the video:

Unfortunately, the play was not reviewable. You can see why the referee thought Bolden made contact, but he didn’t. The flag should have been picked up.

Instead of a turnover on downs, the Dolphins were awarded a first down. They finished the drive with a field goal to take a 17-0 lead.

Report: 2 NFL teams could pursue Jim Harbaugh as head coach

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh is once again being linked to an NFL return, and a new report names two teams that could have serious interest in the Michigan coach.

The Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins could both make a run at Harbaugh, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Harbaugh has ties to the Raiders organization and is well-liked by owner Mark Davis, though Davis is also pleased with the job interim coach Rich Bisaccia has done this season. Regardless, the chance to lure Harbaugh could prove tempting to Davis if it is plausible.

The Miami Dolphins may also have interest in Harbaugh. That is largely driven by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus and longtime fan of Harbaugh. Miami’s interest in Harbaugh is serious enough that his name was brought up earlier in the season when the organization considered a midseason coaching change. If Brian Flores is not retained, it makes sense that the Dolphins could look that way again.

What we don’t know right now is whether Harbaugh would be interested in an NFL opportunity. He just led Michigan to the College Football Playoff after beating Ohio State, the two most notable accomplishments of his Wolverines tenure to date. On one hand, he may want to stay and build on that momentum. On the other, his stock is high right now, and one recruit’s father has claimed that the NFL is still lingering on Harbaugh’s mind.

Harbaugh is appealing because of his track record of success, having taken the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in his first NFL head coaching stint. If a team wants him badly enough, it’s possible his head could be turned, though it’s probably still unlikely.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins used rare defensive formation to beat Ravens

Madden engage 8

The Miami Dolphins frustrated and confused the Baltimore Ravens en route to an upset win on Thursday night. They did so with a rarely used defensive approach, and Lamar Jackson and company simply could not adjust to it.

Jackson told reporters after the game that the Dolphins ran “cover zero” most of the game. One variation of that defense is “engage eight,” which is extremely popular in the “Madden NFL” video game series. Basically, Miami committed to the run and pressuring Jackson by acting like they were eight defenders into the backfield on several plays. Jackson admitted his opponent’s approach worked masterfully.

The Dolphins rode the defense to a 22-10 victory. Jackson threw the ball a whopping 46 times but completed just 26 passes for 238 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He rushed for just 39 yards, and the Ravens had 94 rushing yards as a team.

As you can see in the video below, the Dolphins faked like they were sending eight defenders on most plays. That obviously confused Jackson and the Ravens.

The Tennessee Titans used similar formations in their playoff win over the Ravens two years ago. Logan Ryan even made the “Madden” reference after that game.

The Ravens are obviously going to have to adjust. After seeing how well Miami’s game plan worked, other teams are sure to replicate it.

It’s not easy to come up with a defense that stymies Jackson, and plenty of coaches have alluded to that in the past. Brian Flores has had a disappointing third season with the Dolphins, but he deserves a lot of credit for Thursday night’s effort.

Reason Dolphins did not trade for Deshaun Watson revealed

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson was not traded prior to the Nov. 2 deadline despite rumors that teams were exploring deals for him.

One of the teams interested in a Watson trade were the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins did not complete a trade with the Houston Texans for Watson because of one big reason.

Jay Glazer reported on FOX’s pregame show Thursday night that the Dolphins were requiring Watson to settle all of his lawsuits before they traded for him. Glazer says the Carolina Panthers, who were also interested in trading for Watson, did not have that requirement.

Glazer says the Dolphins were willing to part with the draft picks the Texans were seeking. However, the big hurdle was Watson not settling. Glazer implied that the attorney representing Watson’s accusers were using the Dolphins’ interest in Watson as leverage in settlement talks, further complicating matters.

So, to recap, Glazer says the Dolphins were not scared away by all the allegations Watson is facing. Glazer also says the Dolphins were not scared away by Houston’s trade price. But the issue was the Dolphins wanted all cases to be settled.

The attorney for the accusers actually said all this last week. He also took things a step further and said the Dolphins even wanted at least one of the women to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Watson is facing civil lawsuits from 22 women who accuse the Texans quarterback of inappropriate sexual behavior. He is also the subject of a grand jury investigation.

Photo: Aug 17, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) before a game against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa out against Texans due to finger injury

Tua Tagovailoa at a press conference

Tua Tagovailoa was limited in practice all week with finger and rib injuries, and one of those ailments is serious enough that it will force him to sit out in Week 9.

Tagovailoa has a small fracture in the middle finger on his throwing hand, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. While the injury is not expected to keep him out long-term, he will not play against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Jacoby Brissett will start in his place.

The Dolphins are committed to Tagovailoa for the remainder of the season after they were unable to trade for Deshaun Watson. Injuries have been a concern for the former Alabama star since he was drafted, and he has struggled to stay healthy again this year.

Tagovailoa also missed several games this season with a rib injury. He has 1,040 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in five games this season.

Photo: Oct 15, 2021; Ware, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) at a press conference at the Hanbury Marriott Manor and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins GM responds to claim team wanted NDAs from Deshaun Watson accusers

Deshaun Watson in the rain

The Miami Dolphins were unable to trade for Deshaun Watson prior to Tuesday’s deadline. The quarterback’s unresolved legal issues had a lot to do with that, but Dolphins general manager Chris Grier says any talk of the team meddling in the case is completely inaccurate.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women who have filed sexual assault allegations against Watson, shared some of his thoughts on the Houston Texans not trading Watson. The lawyer claimed the Dolphins wanted the women to reach settlements with Watson and pushed for at least one accuser to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

“Obviously, there was a lot of effort on their part to get the case settled so there could be a trade…” Buzbee said.

On Wednesday, Grier denied that the Dolphins had any involvement in talks of settlements or NDAs. He said the implication from Buzbee was infuriating.

The Texans have reportedly been seeking at least three first-round picks in any potential trade for Watson. It makes sense that the Dolphins and other teams would be unwilling to give up that much with Watson’s legal situation unresolved. One report said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross asked for “contingencies” in talks with the Dolphins.

It seems obvious that the Dolphins would want more legal clarity before making a deal for Watson. That said, it would be a bad look if they tried to get involved in the lawsuits against the star quarterback. Grier understands that, which is why his response was so animated.

Photo: Jan 27, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; AFC quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson not traded to Dolphins due to lack of ‘contingencies’

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is going to remain with the Houston Texans through at least the end of the season. Not surprisingly, the star quarterback’s impending legal situation was reportedly the main reason he was not traded ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

The Miami Dolphins were always viewed as the most logical suitor for Watson. They discussed a potential deal with the Texans, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the two sides were not able to come to an agreement. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross ultimately decided not to acquire Watson after certain “contingencies” were not met.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Ross was only given permission to speak with Watson about a trade last night. That made it even more difficult to work out a deal.

Watson is facing sexual assault allegations from multiple women. Some of them have filed complaints with the police, but prosecutors have not yet determined if he will face charges. Despite that, the Texans were still asking for a massive haul in return for Watson. Teams like the Dolphins likely wanted some sort of assurance that they could recoup some draft capital if Watson winds up being charged. It’s no surprise the Texans were not interested in that type of agreement.

The Texans appear to have moved on from Watson, but they will now have to wait until the offseason to trade him.

Report: Only one team in play for Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans are open to moving Deshaun Watson ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, but it does not sound like they will be able to create any type of bidding war for the star quarterback.

The Miami Dolphins are the only team with an actual shot at landing Watson in a trade, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday. Watson is only willing to waive his no-trade clause for Miami, and the two teams have continued to discuss a potential deal.

Rapoport notes that there is “some urgency” on both sides to complete a trade, but the discussions are complicated for obvious reasons. Watson is facing sexual assault allegations from multiple women. He has not been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, and that is unlikely to change even if he’s traded. However, his legal situation remains unresolved.

A report this week claimed another team made a massive offer for Watson. That team has since denied pursuing Watson. Again, the the quarterback is reportedly unwilling to waive his no-trade clause for any team other than the Dolphins.

If Watson is traded before Tuesday, it will almost certainly be to Miami. Otherwise, the Texans will likely have to revisit the talks during the offseason.

Dolphins player has critical assessment of Tua Tagovailoa’s leadership

Tua Tagovailoa at a press conference

There has been a lot of finger-pointing when it comes to why the Miami Dolphins have struggled so much in 2021. Some players believe it’s down to a leadership void that the likes of Tua Tagovailoa aren’t filling.

According to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel, many in the Miami locker room blame the loss of key veteran leaders from the 2020 team for the team’s 1-6 start to 2021. Among those missed is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who won the team’s leadership award in 2020 but moved on to Washington in the offseason.

One anonymous player compared Fitzpatrick to Tagovailoa, saying the second-year quarterback is doing his best but simply doesn’t lead as well as Fitzpatrick did.

“He’s great, and he’s trying. But it’s not Fitz,” the player told Kelly.

Whether Tagovailoa can lead an offense has been one of the big questions about him. Coach Brian Flores had praised him for his offseason leadership work, but the fact that Tagovailoa was not elected a team captain raised some eyebrows.

To be fair, the player isn’t necessarily saying Tagovailoa is a bad leader — just not as good as Fitzpatrick. It’s not clear if the team’s brass shares that feeling, but it could be one reason the team appears very interested in bringing in someone new.

Photo: Oct 15, 2021; Ware, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) at a press conference at the Hanbury Marriott Manor and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Will Dolphins owner influence Deshaun Watson trade?

Deshaun Watson

The Miami Dolphins are clearly interested in a potential Deshaun Watson trade. The question is whether a deal can be completed prior to Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline. It’s fair to wonder if team owner Stephen Ross will try to nudge things in that direction.

A report prior to the season claimed Ross “really wants” Watson. The Dolphins pushed back at that narrative, but it has not gone away. According to Jordan Schultz, Ross has been a “strong advocate” in his team making a play for Watson.

Ross may want Watson, but there’s a difference between a team owner wanting something and pushing for it. Peter King of NBC Sports said in his weekly column on Monday that he has been told Ross is “not pushing his football people to deal for Watson right now.”

It would make sense for Ross to be intrigued by the idea of adding Watson. The Houston Texans star would give the Dolphins a much better chance to win now than Tua Tagovailoa. The question, of course, is if Watson will remain eligible to play.

Watson is facing sexual assault allegations from multiple women. He is still under criminal investigation, but he has not been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List or suspended. That seems unlikely to change in the short-term even if the Texans trade him.

Watson has a full no-trade clause, and there has been talk that he will only waive it for the Dolphins. He has reportedly rebuffed at least one team that is interested in him.