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Talent , Execution , Or Coaching: Titans v.s. Miami 2nd Qtr Film Study

Talent , Execution , Or Coaching: Titans v.s. Miami 2nd Qtr Film Study

Coaching is as much about knowing your players as X's & O's

Coaching is as much about knowing your players as X’s & O’s

Good coaching by Gase would mean a lot less playing time for Thomas

Okay, here’s the 2nd Qtr for you judgement of talent, execution, or coaching. You can see Miami is finding traction with certain sets and plays and still struggling with others for the 4th game. Gase still stubbornly tries to jam a square peg in a round hole on occasion, but he also begins to show why we Fin Fans have hope in him with some very nicely designed plays.

With all the talk on the Offensive Line I decided to do some digging in PFF. I don’t believe they are the end all be all, but here is what I found. Miami ended the 2016 season with a PFF grade on it’s O-Line of 30 out of 32 teams. They began the 2017 season with a ranking of 26. PFF currently ranks them 21st, this was pretty surprising given an atrocious 2nd and 3rd game. Steen actually has the highest grade on the OL, slightly ahead of Tunsil and James. Personally, I think this is as good as Steen gets, and Tunsil and James are under achieving. Given these PFF rankings, this roughly means that the OL is 25% better than last season! Not sure if I agree, but it’s food for thought.



2nd Qtr

4th drive

1st & 10:      2TE (Fasano and Thomas)

Due to Landry washing down the CB and the immediate hard cut by Ajayi, this seems to be a designed counter. The OL does it’s job and Ajayi meets a tackle four yards over the LOS and breaks a tackle for a sizable gain. Again and again, Miami’s OL shines when there is counter action.


My Take: Execution by Landry on the wash and Ajayi who is an absolute beast.


2nd & 1:            2TE’s (Thomas on the bench)

Again there’s success in the counter with Thomas pulling to the counter side. Thomas is a semi-serviceable blocker on the move. Steen does an excellent job taking the DE who is lined up in a 3 technique and clearing him out. This is a tough assignment. Tunsil does a good job peeling off from the double team to make a second block that springs the run. A shame Ajayi fumbles.

BTW: See my man Fasano with the sweet cut block!


My Take: Ajayi holds the rock like a loaf of bread. Poor execution.

5th Drive

1st & 10:    3 TE’s & 1 Wide

Titans are following the Jets MO of stack and attack. They over load the strong side and play wide. Thomas pulls in a designed counter with the Zone stretch and sets up for an outside run by sealing the defender inside. Despite the block, Williams cuts it up hard inside for a nice gain. He has been coached to get up field, so I understand why he took the sure yards, instead of going for a gamble and bigger gain outside. It was a good pick up and nice call. This will force teams to play more honest down the road, and it will open up the play side… eventually. The counter action will continue to see success as the game progresses. Why did it take 4 games to add this basic compliment play to the Zone Stretch?


My Take: Good coaching and execution by the OL and Williams.


2nd & 1:    3 TE’s 

This is either Man or Inside Zone blocking–I’d assume Inside Zone. Williams runs hard, and Steen make the key block. Gray also provides a key block.  This was a very nice ‘man up’ play with 8 in the box.


My Take: OL executes, especially Steen and Gray.


1st & 10:  Wildcat

I refuse to comment…. other than to say I refuse to comment–Okay, I just have add a little something. Why? Yeah, Grant is open, but at this point, you need momentum for the starting “O”. You finally have some consistency, and you break it up with this!


My Take: Poor coaching.


2nd & 10:    3 TE  

Okay, they dial up a Stretch Wide to the long side, and it’s one block from a positive play. James chips and goes. Don’t understand his thinking. Given the angle, he’s the only one who can make that key block. The missed block destroys the play. In proper echelon blocking Fasano would get #21 after the quick double. Again, notice the Titans, like the Jets and Saints, over load the strong side and go all in for the run by attacking at the snap. The fake reverse to Grant is really useless as the DE who is tracking him would never be in on the play. I guess long term set up for the actual reverse.


My Take: Execution by James.


3rd & 10:    4 Wide & 1 RB

This play, if you listened to it on the live broadcast, shows you the commentators don’t know what they’re talking about. They immediately scream about penetration and Miami’ terrible O-Line… but it’s a screen… that how it’s supposed to go. Williams can’t get free and the play dies. Why can’t Miami run a screen play? We are absolutely the worst at it.


My Take: Execution Williams can’t get free of the jam.


5th Drive

1st & 10:          3 Wides, 1 TE, 1 RB

Interior hold up fine, but both Tunsil and James get beat around the horn immediately, then Cutler goes Cutler. The RB is wide open and could have made a nice gain, but the desperate throw nets a pick.

BTW: Why do our Tackles consistently get beat wide?


My Take: Tackles start this terrible play with poor talent or execution, and Cutler then buries the dagger.


6th Drive

1st & 10:          2 TE & 2 Wides (Fasano and Thomas)

The OL wins by using movement to get good numbers. Landry motions inside essentially eliminates 3 defenders. Landry blocks one, a second must respect his release, and a third must take a long trip around him back side. This is beautiful play design and these kinds of plays are what Miami needs to build a Offensive Playbook off. Good gain on 1st down.


My Take: The whole OL, Landry, Ajayi, and TE’s… EVEN Thomas gets a good grade of execution.


2nd & 6:     

Bushrod destroys this play by getting destroyed. He gets pushed inside by the DT and opens a lane for the LB to shoot, while also cutting of the angle for Pouncey to get to the LB and make the block. The pay per head services say it doesn’t get much worse.


My Take: Both execution and talent on the part of Bushrod. I expect him to be replaced by Steen or Larsen.


3rd & 5:      4 Wides

Tunsil can’t make the switch fast enough and lets the rusher get a free run on Cutler. Tunsil manages to push him, but Cutler is on the move. Landry sees the free rusher, so you’d expect a better effort. He should be driving the CB deep and breaking back hard. He gets both hands on the ball, so a little more on his part to create space would have netted a 1st down.

My Take: Execution on Tunsil’s part. He’s having a very poor game given his pedigree. Also, execution by Landry as well. If he wants 12-15 million a season, he can’t take plays off.

End of 1st Half






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  • Dunner

    Offense looked much better, even without Pouncey, just couldn’t convert third downs in the first half which killed’em and Atlanta was. Offense not only had a few scoring drives in the second half, they helped their defense in field position and time of possession. A few forth down conversions. I did see a lot more inside run and not a many stretch plays or wr screens. A little unpredictable to down distance, nice.
    If this offense can finish a few longer drives, the way the defense is playing, they could play with most.
    Good win, return to home and play a divisional foe that already beat us. J.E.T.S, jets jets jets may see a revived Miami team.

    Side Note: Lets go Atlanta next week (Pats).

    Oh did I mention the effective O-Line without Pouncey. Good scheme/game plan helps all.

    I won’t mention the defense, they were flat out balling. I’m seeing a flash or two every week from Harris. Wake/Suh/Branch/Hayes are playing like studs. Underrated LBing unit^^^^^^^^^^ 🙂

    Let me go and finish my Kool-Aid, it is tasting ooooh so good.

    • admin

      Pouncey’s main atribute that miht not be able to be replaced that urbik did was the calls. I read somewhere that Brendal was making the calls, but on that last drive I remember Steen calling them out and nearly ruining the game with a terrible line adjustment. Other than that and his second level ability we could move on. He’s too weak and fragile at this stage.

      Burke is legit..how legit remains to be seen.

      Gase called his best game and the Fins played their most disciplined half. This is how the Pats do it letting other teams beat them selves…ooohh and cheating. That call against the Jets was the worst call ever… how many times does a single team get this to happen and also have all the allegations? Seems shady… anyway.

      Williams is a big piece to this team, Tunsil was better but still needs to improve. Steen sucked, but Fasano made a big difference. Cutler though needs some more accuracy… but I can see the light through the trees.

      Fine, fine win… but still alot with tweaking to do. Today’s win shows it’s not about talent. They moved the ball consistently the whole game against a team coming off the bye who never lose off the bye.

  • Dunner

    Again, zero points at half. Same as last weeks halftime response.

    • Samson

      Doesn’t matter what you have at the half… Only what you finish with… What a game

      • admin

        That’s is so true!!! But man I watched the game late and knew the outcome, that first half must have been disheartening.

        • Lemmus

          …after Atlanta went up 10-0 I turned it off, disgusted, and went to cut up some more IRMA residue …turned it back on just as Pouncey went out, 17-0, and thought it could only get worse from there …went back outside again …neighbor, an Atlanta refugee, wandered over, mentioned that Miami had scored so went in and watched the rest of it …night and day

          …kool-aid tasted good, it did …considering what happened with Pouncey side-lined …do believe I called it, he needed to be replaced at C …just didn’t expect it to be Brendal who got it done 🙂

          • admin

            Given your story I can see how you you view the game the way you did. I would too. I’ve watched it loosely 3 times. Pouncey again was mauled by strength a few times, but Ajayi did put up most of his yards in the first half and only one was on a bounce out and it looks like that designed into the play by the side the QB he took the ball from. But I don’t know. Brendal wasn’t perfect and lacked the second level ability of Pouncey, but his skillset is more evenly distributed and teams can’t victimize a strong weakness. So to say he was the reason, I think is a bit much. But here’s why. In the first half Miami’s drives end on a high throw, James gets an idiotic 15 yarder on 2& 3 on ATL 40, which kills the drive, and then as they are driving into the RZ Tunsil gets a FS and then Cutler throw a terrible pick.
            Second half: OS by falcons on 3rd 12.. the 3rd and 7 then becomes a TD, 3rd 9 & Atlanta commits a PI to 24 which becomes a TD, ATL pick nullified by roughing the passer, On ext drive they get a Holding P T that kills the drive that was nearly in at least kicking range… then they fumbled the snap on punt, finally pick by jones. Miami zero penalties, and one pick that ATL’s sloppy play nullified.

            So yeah, if Brendal can make the calls, I’d be fine with him in and he would not have a kryptonite weakness. But the key is disciplined

            It was a good win, but ATL is in self destruct mode and Steen played horrible and Gase still uses Thomas who can’t block and mostly hurts the team. Just as I wasn’t so low before the game, I’m not too high after this one. Defense is excellent and Burke is looking to be creative and looking better and better…

            They still have work to do. Cutler is still a worry. He’s was pretty inaccurate, but that could improve as the season goes. Darn nice win though!!!

            Still super sick… so all my coherence will go into Jimmy’s article–so forgive the response if it’s disjointed. I’m off to bed. I’ll try and do one of my own with video mid week.

    • Lemmus

      …my take
      …entire game …top five defensive play …Tankersly has turned into a gem …Jones got credit for the last play interception, but it was Tankersly who jarred the ball loose

      …1st half: bad …Ajayi got most of his yds on inside run that he turned outside when the OL collapsed
      …2nd half: good …different offense after Pouncey injured and replaced …suddenly, the offense came alive …Cutler found open receivers, Ajayi found open lanes …day and night
      …yes, Gase made adjustments …but this was Brendal, not Gase …he positively impacted the entire OL play

      …start Brendal at C for jets, regardless of Pouncey’s status
      …move Pouncy to G, not back to C

      …there was a rabbit in Gase’s hat, he just didn’t know it
      …next, the jets …and there is actual hope for this offense …finally

      • admin

        So sick stupid I went to the site first before watching the game…well I guess I don’t have to have anail biter 🙂 I’ll let you know what I think after the game… Glad we won though.

      • admin

        Ohh Pouncey is too weak for Guard he’d get destroyed worse than he did in 2015.

        • Lemmus

          …Pouncey had a short, rough time of it at RG in ’14 for the phins, but he was an outstanding RG his first three years at Florida earning 1st team All American honors there …bottom line is simple, he can’t be worse than Bushrod at G …and he’s in a contract year where he’s been exposed at C …move him to RG and give him a chance to extend his career while helping the team …he’s hurting us at C

          …its either RG, the bench, or the waiver wire …sorry, Pounce, it was sweet while it lasted

  • Lemmus


    …resign Albert at LT …yeah, yeah, yeah …I know …but he knows the defense and is a stud when healthy
    …move Tunsil to LG …screw his ego, do what the team needs …which is not Steen
    …resign Urbik at C …or trade for a C
    …move Pouncy to RG, screw his ego, do what the team needs …which is not Bushrod
    …if Pouncy has a future, its no longer at C …he was once a very good G
    …leave James alone

    …OL problem solved for now …or at the very least, improved substantially

    …then, and only then can we talk about Gase and your long distance diagnosis of sudden onset dementia
    …Gase’s, not mine …imnsho 🙂

    …its too late now …if Gase was going to act, he would have done it Monday
    …maybe he has another rabbit in his hat …miracles do happen 🙁

    • admin

      Sorry I been MIA sick like you wouldn’t believe. Didn’t sleep for two days–bad… incapacitated for a couple of days today is my first sort noormal day. This is Jimmy’s busy season for his job, so getting him to respond for me ain’t happening. Tunsil is a big worry for me, he was supposed to have great feet but he get beat outside… alot. Then the coke head had his deal. James said the techniques he was taught under philbin were different than forester’s. And it took a while for him to aadjust… not sure he has. If both these 1st rounders flop it will be a hard future for Miami. Don’t expect fins to win, but 24 points and a close loss would be hopeful. Burke is shaping up to be solid at least.