Barry Jackson

Network analysts, former team executives rip Dolphins during, after Carolina debacle

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) runs past Miami Dolphins' Cordrea Tankersley (30) for a long gain in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) runs past Miami Dolphins' Cordrea Tankersley (30) for a long gain in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) AP

The Dolphins were subjected to plenty of criticism during and after their third consecutive loss, a defeat that makes Miami 1-9 (with a scoring differential of 291 to 143) in nationally televised games since the start of 2015.

Some of the notable sound bites:

• For the first time in memory, a network analyst criticized Adam Gase’s play-calling on a game telecast. First, Jon Gruden said he keeps "waiting [for Gase] to let Jay Cutler throw downfield."

(Gase said last week that anyone who suggests the Dolphins aren’t throwing enough vertical routes doesn’t know what they’re talking about because it’s dictated by coverage and he has called more deep balls than have been executed.)

Then Gruden criticized the fourth-and-one run to Damien Williams, which was stuffed early in the second half.

"Not a wise short yardage call," Gruden said. "When going up against the No. 1 defense, you need better plays than this. I am shocked they tried to trick the Carolina Panthers with that."

• Gruden had little patience for the Dolphins. "This offensive line is a mess," he said before the game even started.

When Ndamukong Suh jumped offsides to turn a 3rd and 7 into a 3rd and 2, Gruden said: "That’s ridiculous. Highest paid defensive player in football."

Of Cutler’s interception late in the first half, Gruden said: "This summarizes Jay Cutler’s rollercoaster career.... Head-scratching interceptions... You have to be more careful with the football. That’s the kind of play that just ruins a game."

• A good point early in the game from Gruden: "One area that concerns me most about Miami is underneath coverage."

Before the game turned into a blowout, Gruden said: "The Dolphins have some bad body language on that sideline and they better fit it quick."

And “I’m shocked by how bad the Dolphins have been in prime time.”

Gruden also said the Dolphins are the most inconsistent team he has seen on offense and defense.

• ESPN analyst and former Redskins and Eagles personnel director Louis Riddick tweeted: "Dolphins sure know how to rise to the occasion when the bright lights are on. There is NO WAY to rationally explain the Dolphins front getting embarrassed like they are. None.”

Riddick said on SportsCenter afterward that Gase needs to have a conversation with Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum and tell him: “I can’t cut everybody. Somebody’s got to play. Maybe you’ve got to get me some different players."

• Former Patriots and Raiders executive Mike Lombardi, on Twitter: “How has Miami won four games? That short yardage call made it easy for me to check out 76ers-Clippers. Miami is hard to watch.... They just can’t tackle. Miami one of the worst tacking teams in NFL.”

• Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks of NFL.com on Twitter: “Who knew you could run basic HS [high school] plays with great success? @Panthers carving up the MIA D with simple zone read concepts that are seen every Friday night at the local high school game.”

• NFL writer Gregg Rosenthal to his 167,000 Twitter followers: “Tonight ends America’s 19-day odyssey with the Miami Dolphins across all 3 primetime properties.

It could have gone better.”

• And then there was this from actor Josh Gad, on Twitter: “Of the many reasons I am grateful to be shooting in Australia right now is, I don’t have to watch this #MiamiDolphins bloodbath in Prime Time.”

• Couple of news notes from the broadcast: Though Ryan Tannehill almost assuredly will be the Dolphins’ quarterback next season, Sean McDonough said Gase would not discuss the issue during their conversation, saying he will deal with that down the road. McDonough also said Cutler wants to play next season… The announcers concluded from their conversation with the Dolphins that Jay Ajayi was traded primarily for off-field reasons. "They didn’t like his attitude," Gruden said.

Here’s my 10-pack of UM football notes and nuggets from Monday... Here’s my Monday post with Marlins hot stove talk, including Derek Jeter’s and Bruce Sherman’s ideas to help fix the franchise’s biggest problem.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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