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Can Hull Elevate His Play WHEN Jets Attack Him

Can Hull Elevate His Play WHEN Jets Attack Him

Mike Hull will be a focus of the Jets gameplan

Mike Hull will be a focus of the Jets offensive gameplan

Hull led the Dolphins in tackles, but wasn’t nearly as successful in coverage

Every Miami Dolphins fan loves Mike Hull–or they should. He’s been a surprise, a scrapper, and a life saver in a season where the thorough breed LB’s for Fins have suffered setbacks.

As a two-down backer, a key special teamer, and depth player, Hull is without a doubt a keeper… as a starting Nickel Back–not so much. Yet that’s exactly where he’ll be this Sunday against the New York Jets.

While he gave up 9 catches for 95 yards, Hull did lead the team in tackles against the Chargers with 7, proving he’s ‘no bum’. Hull’s just doing his best in a situation he shouldn’t be in.

For an ‘ole’ timer’ like me, it’s sort of sad to say, but football has changed. Today, even the great Zach Thomas would find difficulties in being an every down backer where it’s open space against speed, speed, and more speed.

Given the Jets tendency of attack so far this season, it doesn’t take a great price per head sportsbook to know there’s a high likelihood that they’ll target Hull. Question is, can he improve from last week?

First, after going over the Jets offensive game plan of Week 1 & 2, ‘gag-green’ loves Play Action and hitting the short middle over a biting MLB, inside draws, and working the short perimeter with backs and wides.

Hull is a gem of a find, but just not a cover LB

I kept seeing the plays in the film below and variations of them over and over in both of the Jets games. Expect to see a strong dose of them this week.



First, #45 isn’t going to get any faster or better in open space. So plays like below will be the rule with Hull in coverage.



But, there are areas where Hull can improve that will positively affects his production in pass defense. A few times in the Chargers game he suffered from slow diagnosis and play recognition, which caused hesitation. These flaws can be corrected by film study and reps.



Now I’m not saying Hull didn’t make plays in coverage… he did. When he saw and attacked he was at his best.



Finally, there’s the ‘trickeration plays’ of draws and screens, where Hull had a mixed bag of results. But these too can be tightened up and improved on… up to a point.

In the first play speed mixed with slow recognition gets him in trouble. The second play is improvement from last season and Preseason as Hull beats the block of a linemen. Again, in the third play we see his issue being both talent and cerebral, making this area 50% correctable. Hull bites on the hard count, and then remains shallow, instead of returning to his original depth. While he still has problems getting off blocks, this issues was compounded by his closeness to the LOS.



In the end, if Hull had reduced his coverage failures by 30% against the Chargers what would have been the effect? River would have been 27 of 39 for 300 yards with 2-3 first downs less… and maybe there wouldn’t have been a nail biter.

The good news is Hull can improve. Improve enough to be a Nickle back of the future? NO. But if he can just hold down the fort for a little longer, then he will have done his job and done it well. Go Fin!!!



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  • Samson

    Absolutely believe this is on Gase. Two in a row with horrible play calling. Even last year there was games we won where I thought it was questionable play calling. But when you when even by a point you get a pass… I’m just not sold on Gase… Not getting a proven guard… Not signing Zach Brown… Giving Misi guaranteed money… I know that’s Tannenbum also but Gase had a big part of those huge mistakes… What happened to our top 5 safety??? Jones looks bottom 5 after 2 games…Jets had the two best safeties in that game… Has Fasano even played? Yes we have 3 stud wr’s and Thomas can catch… But Fasano is a decent receiver and obviously a better blocker… How about rotating our 3 WR’s a little by resting one at a time to get 2 TE’s in there to help the o-line… Maybe a little more drake in a game where we can’t get Ajayi up the middle… Maybe Drake can get around the tackles a few times which might make the jets change their d a little… Sorry about the long rant but that made me sick… And I didn’t even watch the fourth quarter…. Or else I could probably bitch a little more. Saints is a bad match up for our D. But maybe Gase takes his head outta his ass and our O can put up some points?!?! Go fins!!

    • Lemmus

      …Gase and Guards …broken record here but it needs to be iterated …last year all through FA/draft/camp we were told by Gase that the turnstile twins would be fine at Guard …after 4 disastrous games he up and fired them. This year all through FA/draft/camp we were told by Gase that 3rd string guards would be fine as starters …Bowles made a fool of him last Sunday, attacking those Gs, exposing them, and repeatedly stopping Ajayi in OUR backfield for losses …Gase and T-bum have their heads up their asses when it comes to Gs …period

      …how’s our 1st round draft pick working out for us? …you know, the one we passed up on the number one ranked G in the draft for …and please, don’t give me the hindsight bs or even the “next” year bit …go back, read my posts …I said then Harris looked like another Jordan …and please please please please please get a G in the 1st or 2nd rounds …but what we got was Asiata in the 5th …and how has that worked out for us?

      …it’s jb and mj’s jobs here to see the glass half-full where the fins are concerned …they run a phins fan site so I expect them to be wearing rose colored lenses where the phins are concerned …but reality intrudes at the worst of times …Steen/Bushrod/Davis/Larsen are not NFL caliber starting Guards on any team except the phins …as the Jets just so handily demonstrated last Sunday …and two years in a row Gase has insisted his choice in Gs was just fine …well, it wasn’t and isn’t …period.

      …alas its too late to fix the problem now and we don’t have any cap left anyway …but come FA/Draft 2018 Gase/T-bum best get their collective heads out of their rectal orifices and find two high caliber guards

      …in the mean-time, Gase needs to turn the offensive play calling over to his OC and start focusing on his real job as HC …he’s currently failing at both …imnsho …last year he puled a rabbit out of his hat after a lousy start …does he have anything else in there? …because, this year, so far, on the field, we actually look worse …hard as that is to believe and despite the highly misleading W-L numbers …we’ve regressed 🙁

      …except for the kicker …who would have believed in January that a reject kicker would be the feel good story in September …we live in interesting times …and the clock is ticking on Gase

      • admin

        Ultimately, you right Lemmus in many ways. We are fans that cater to other fans, but I have said in the past, I’m the more objective. I think my newest article makes that very clear. But, where we depart is I see the issues stemming from a concept / scheme / play call stand point more than talent. Every team has weaknesses, this team has less than most, in my opinion. Given the absolute insipid gameplan and application on Sunday, very few teams would succeed. Gase acts as if any player can do any assignment. He isn’t calling rationally. Even I saw the issues inside, and Gase sill decided to run inside even when 10 defenders were 5 yards from the LOS on 70% of the plays when they were in 3 wides. This is near incompetent. Not saying he is incompetent, but who the hell runs the ball against stacked boxes in 3 wides with this interior OL makeup against the DL of the Jets… it was idiotic. The nice part about writing these articles is my predictions are in print. I study this game A LOT. I called the issues. How on earth dind’t Gase see it and have a contingency plan. Bowels knew what he’d do and dared him to be flexible. Gase was hard headed, and he was spanked for it.
        The Art of War is truly universal and always applies:
        “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

        Gase neither knew himself or his enemy and was trounced. This had little to do with talent. The battle was lost before he ever took the field.

    • admin

      Samson, Jones has played not only terrible, but without passion. He has played like he doesn’t want to play… like he got paid and why go all out. Hope that isn’t the case, but it looks bad on tape. Gase choice of starting Thomas is quizzical to say the least, given his desire to pound the ball at all costs. Fasano has been in but rarely as 3 wides seems to be his favorite set. I watched it to the end. Sucked because my 6 yr old son waited all week for the game and kept asking why do the Dolphins have zero… he walked out early in the third.

  • phinfreak

    Guys, they are who we thought they were….a mediocre team that got lucky last year….this is a 6-10 or 7-9 team.

    Gase is stumped, and the team has not improved over last year.

    • admin

      Respectfully, I disagree, but this week will say a lot. I put the vast majority of this on Gase. I know the game of football, but Gase has forgotten far more than I’ll ever know. But how do you go against the Jets with that gameplan? Bowels coached beautifully. The Jets were running an ever increasing pinch on their DL week 1 and 2. Most of the yards they gave up were from a few plays. Mostly they were stopping the run. Bowels made an amazing move by adding a wrinkle of running a hybrid 4-3 with his All World DE’s as DT’s, putting a 4 DL look in a nickel, and running stacked and daring the pass. This accentuated their talent and attacked Miami’s weakness on offense: G’s and C who struggled at the POT. I knew this would be trouble–and I’m a jackass! Gase didn’t put his offense or players in position to be successful. He ran the same old plays, same old one option play and banged Ajayi up their. Hell in the first run of the game he ran off tackle to the short side with the ball snapped on the short side hash with Thomas as the anchor man to the run!! EVERYONE knows he can’t block… so why are you wasting plays trying to put a square peg in a round hole? Gase’s coaching and gameplans have become inflexible and predictable, and only when he does his half-time adjusts is their positive action. MAYBE his initial gameplans are predictable and the reason for the struggles and not all about the players struggling?Yeah, you can take a Porche to a smash up derby and try to win, but wouldn’t it be smarter and better suited to win drag race? Good coaching follows The Art of War. This is why Belichick is so good… he does.

  • Lemmus

    …bad game plan no doubt and Gase failed to adjust …fake punt?

    …Ajayi was getting hit in the backfield by DL who simply ran over/by/through the G gaps …if the Chargers had done the same, we’d be 0-2 …neither Steen nor Davis is the answer …Larsen may not be either but its going to be a looooooooooooong season if he isn’t

    …they should have gone to the pass after the first two series when it was obvious the DL were dominating the OL …but Cutler was having a really bad day as well …Still was often open and Cutler went to a covered Parker …repeatedly …the Jets played Landry tight taking away the dink ‘n dunk

    …the pass defense was dismal …that’s mostly on Burke …but Jones got paid and yet he’s taken the last two games off …Gase needs to bench his ass, not even take him to London …wish we could bench Burke

    …and they ran on us as well, not hard but enough at critical times

    …and after the fake punt in the 2nd, I shut the TV off and went out to the workshop
    …the Jets laid out the way to beat us
    …its been a hard month on the guys, no way around that …but today was simply embarrassing

    • Fritz

      Tired team vs Motivated team = Dolphins loss

      • admin

        that might be part of it Fritz, but from what I see the calls and gameplan was baffling. Trying to get an article out with video to show my point. But man Fritz, this is second time Ihave questioned Gase the last was prior to the Steelers game… I hope the results are the same.

    • admin

      I mean lemmus, even with that disgusting display of O, the D held the Jets to 60 Rushing and like 240 passing and most of that passing came from the 69 yard TD pass on… Maxwell was out on it and D was nearly gassed. The first two week the teams had all world G’s and we don’t, but we have better T’s, so why call the plays he called that forced the G’s to be the keys? And what kind of passing game was that? You see the routes called against us? Far better. And what the hell is with this running 3 wides to pound the ball all the time? Hey I have a TE who is the best RB in the league, and I have one who is the worst… I got a brain storm, let me use the worst!! Loading the box. Short blockers. NP I got the worst TE at RB taking care of it. You must call plays not just on what you want and not just on your players but on the players you are opposing? Art of War: attack where and enemy is weak and stay away form where an enemy is strong.

      As you can see I’m pissed.

  • Lemmus

    Q: Can the Dolphins elevate their play when the Jets attack them?
    A: No, they’d have to show up for that to happen 🙁

    • admin

      Nope, they didn’t. And as I said to your last comment, this is on Gase. Two games in a row now that he has been sub par. This is less about the team than it is about Gase and his O gamplan. Even today the D played well. Now Burke wasn’t bad, but on that long TD why was Verner playing a yard of the WR without jamming against a faster WR ? And how the hell didn’t Allen get over? It was one high coverage, I think? If it wasn’t why the hell would Verner being play the way he was? And if it wasn’t how the hell didn’t the safety, 25 yards off the ball, not get there? Given the D played 40 mins they did enough to win. This was on the O and Gase.