Dolphins say they ran wrong defense when Tebow tied the game


Tim Tebow’s game-tying two-point conversion run on Sunday in Miami was aided by the Dolphins coming out in the wrong defense, multiple Miami players say.

Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford told the Palm Beach Post that he, nose tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Randy Starks all should have been on the field for the goal-line package because “everyone in the stadium knew he was going to run it.” Instead, all three of them were on the sideline, and the Dolphins were in a nickel package.

Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan wasn’t blamed by name, but if the players think the wrong defense was on the field, that sounds like an indictment of Nolan. And the defense clearly thinks the wrong defense was on the field.

“We had the wrong personnel on the field, to be honest,” defensive lineman Tony McDaniel said. “They spread us out and ran it up the middle. I always knew [Tebow] was going to try to run the ball when they got in the red zone. He just found a way, made a play and they got a win.”

So the Dolphins are blaming themselves for failing to stop Tebow’s run, even though they saw it coming.

“We weren’t in a goal-line package,” Langford said. “Everybody at home watching knew what the call was. That was obvious.”

But knowing what the call was wasn’t enough for the Dolphins to stop it.

54 responses to “Dolphins say they ran wrong defense when Tebow tied the game

  1. “Dear Andrew Luck, We’re doing whatever it takes to have you. We are consumed by your very being, your every breath, your silly haircut. We would like to eat your liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    Miami Dolphins

    PS- We’ll apply the lotion for you.”

  2. They ran the wrong defense? DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This team and its coaches are a bunch of POWDER PUFF PANZIES! I will not rest until Tony ” I DON’T HAVE ANY ANSWERS” SPAZANO AND THESE POWDER PUFF PANZIES ARE GONE!

  3. As bad as the Colts and Rams are, this is what it’s going to take to be worse than them. Good job Fins.

  4. How do guys like Mike Nolan and Josh McDaniels still have jobs in the most elite football league on the planet?

    Nolan was successful in Baltimore because the talent on the defense was outstanding. McDaniels was successful in New England because the talent on that offense was outstanding.

    I’d like a statistician to go back and look at these guys’ play calling and see how often their teams made plays in spite of bad play calling.

  5. Michael David Smith wrote:

    “But knowing what the call was wasn’t enough for the Dolphins to stop it.”

    That’s not what I concluded from the article you just wrote. It sounds like everyone in America knew what the Broncos would run except for the person that really needed to know… Nolan. If they actually to put in a goal line package and failed, then yes, saying that “knowing the call wasn’t enough for the Dolphins to stop it” would be the appropriate conclusion.

  6. This just adds credence to the ugly rumor going around Miami that our owner is sticking with Sparano in order to tank the season and get Luck. Not only is that shameful and wrong, he and his butt-buddy Carl Peterson are too stupid to realize Luck’s dad will take steps to prevent him from ending up with a completely dysfunctional organization like this. Not only that, their retard methods of operation are already scaring off the big-name coaches like Cowher, who emphasized to Peter King this week it’s about a good situation, not money. God help us, we’re going to end up with Peterson-favorite Herm Edwards!

  7. Uhhh Yea… ya think… Take everything inside away, leave the fade as the throw to make, if Tebow somehow makes it, hats off, but you must take the inside away, but first priority and most importantly the qb sneak.

  8. Hindsights 20/20 fellas….


    everyone in the country knew what play they were going to run. no hindsight needed.

  9. So this is what we get – some lame excuse that the incorrect defense was run?

    Thanks, Miami. Because your team could not stand up and actually play football, here at a mile high I am doomed to slog my way through Tebowmania Phase 2. And it’s worse this time – they will not shut up about it at all.

    Tebow may as well have turned water into wine and fed the masses with a dozen double Whoppers or whatever – I don’t know anymore.

    All I know is this has to stop. Please.

  10. This just adds credence to the ugly rumor going around Miami that our owner is sticking with Sparano in order to tank the season and get Luck. Not only is that shameful and wrong, he and his butt-buddy Carl Peterson are too stupid to realize Luck’s dad will take steps to prevent him from ending up with a completely dysfunctional organization like this…..


    i wouldn’t say with certainty they are trying to tank the season but andrew luck’s dad is not going to let him play in miami based on the dysfunctional mistakes that have occurred with this once proud organization.

    i guarantee wayne huezinga (sp?) is wishing he didn’t sell the team to ross.

  11. When bill cowher gets there none of this will matter and by the way trade brandon marshall for a 2nd round pick to the bears & cut your losses. Maybe thats why the bears are fighting not to have to give the ravens a pick for the trade ?non trade whatever it was or wasnt.. Cutler would love that

  12. What happened to Miami’s TOP 5 defense?

    Everyone talks about Luck going there,,,but, they are better than C olts w/o Manning…so they get 2nd pick.

    Even IF they had 1st pick…I cannot see Luck going to a team that has THAT owner…he’ll either pull an Eli Manning, or stay in school.

  13. souldogdave says: Oct 25, 2011 7:30 AM

    Nolan received a sideline phone call from a Catholic Bishop who told him not to stand in the way of the lord.How else do you muff that???

    tebow is an evangelical, so why would a catholic bishop call mike nolan…just saying.

  14. the package had nothing to do with it. Same thing happened a game or 2 ago. They spread our team by motioning out and left no LB’s in the middle….again. No, its not on nolan. Whos the captain of the defense? Why does he audible or move peeps around?

  15. btwicey says:
    Oct 25, 2011 7:53 AM
    No excuses. 20-20 hiensight is a wonderful thing.
    In most cases I’d agree with you but everyone in the stadium knew that it was going to be a Tebow run or draw at the time the play was called. The media calling out Nolan is appropriate. However, the players should be keeping there criticism in house.

  16. The problem with the Dolphins is simple:
    1. Terrible owner.
    2. Pathetic GM.
    3. Aweful coaching.
    4. No playmakers on offense or defense (thanks to reason #2)

  17. wannstache says:

    “Luck’s dad will take steps to prevent him from ending up with a completely dysfunctional organization”
    South Beach with a good defense is a good situation. The big ex factor is the head coach… and Marshall’s mental health.

  18. I don’t believe the Dolphin players are into the whole “Suck for Luck” thing. I do believe that ownership and management currently is not committed to winning and that lack of commitment goes a long way to making them just suck, period.

  19. 100 percent nolan did that on purpose. It wouldn’t affect his stats and gave him a chance to become the interim HC when Ross fires Sparano. nolan knew what he was doin. Everyone knew he was gonna run it. Nolan was the cultprit

  20. its funny that denver fans actually think they have a franchize QB in Tebow after that game. The first 57 minutes of the game Tebow didn’t look like he belonged in CFL let alone in NFL.
    The only thing tebow did with that win is to make sure he stays denver QB and denver doesn’t draft a franchize QB next year.
    In his best year with all the praying the lord he may win 7 games.

  21. All this was, was one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen beating the worst team there is.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled Tebow fluffing.

    This just in: AFC West still ROFL about the donkey QB situation. (with the exception of the fade, they’re crying about theirs)

  22. Nolan is, by all accounts, a defensive mastermind. You guys really think he called a Nickle D in that situation because he forgot what he was doing!? Get real.

    The Dolphins gave that game away on purpose, and Nolan’s lack of integrity is disgusting. I hope his parents didn’t see that…

  23. Hold on a second. That you weren’t in a Goal line defense is one thing but a Nickel?

    I’m sorry but this smells, bad.

  24. .

    The Dolphins are not the first team to be fooled by a gadget play. Seriously, who could have expected Tebow to run the ball in that spot?
    I would have been less surprised if he drop kicked it.


  25. Easy to say 36 hours later. If you were in the wrong D, call a timeout! Come to think of it, the ‘Fins DID call a timeout and they STILL didn’t have the correct defense. Wow… Doesn’t look good…

  26. Speaking as a 49er fan, I am not the least bit surprised at Nolan putting the wrong defense on the field. He demonstrated over the years he is clueless.

  27. Either God made the Miami Dolphins put in the wrong defense so that his 2nd son, Tim Tebow can score a touchdown and win for His team or the Dolphins got caught red handed playing Suck for Luck.

    Would be funny if we had more than 0-16 team in the Suck for Luck campaign. Someone would be going 0-16 for Nothing.

  28. The “Suck for Luck” thing is a load of crap. It implies that professional athletes and coaches are collectively conspiring to lose on purpose. Not only is that total BS and never gonna happen, but it takes the focus away from the simple fact that over the past few years, Parcells and Ireland have put together the absolute worst team in the NFL. That’s what Ross has to get his mind around.

    I am no Carl Peterson fan, but the offense he built in KC with that line and Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, etc., was fun to watch……..They were never boring!

  29. Maybe Nolan thought that the run up the middle was SO obvious the Broncos were going to going to pull some trickery and run something else. I’m guessing he over-thought it.

  30. ross must of paid sparano to make decisions no fan, coach , player for any other team would ever make.. two 2 pt conversions? unnecessary and on top of that “wrong defense” everyone and their mom knew tebow would run that 2 pt conversion in yet they played pass.. i hope they go 0-16 and complete their mission for luck and luck skips out and returns 2 school bec thats bs

  31. Let’s be honest here… was Tebow going to be stopped anyways??

    They weren’t in the wrong defense… that’s just what they had to do. It was 4 WR’s spread out, you can’t put 8 guys in the box then.
    I heard Chris Carter this morning saying they should’ve ran a 6-2 Defense. 6 down lineman, 2 LB’s. Well that leaves 3 DB’s to cover 4 WR’s…. that’s not going to work either.
    And even if you did have 6 lineman, I still think Tebow runs it in. There was no stopping him at that point.

  32. South Beach with a good defense is a good situation. The big ex factor is the head coach… and Marshall’s mental health.


    c’mon dude, do you really think that’s all that factors into a great organization?

    wayne huezinga (sp?) may not have been the greatest owner in the nfl but he sure cared. he hated losing. i remember that year when they won their first game in ot against baltimore, huezinga was crying in the stands.

    ross on the other hand won’t make a change this year because economically (his words) it doesn’t make sense to let sparano go because it won’t sell more tickets. actions speak louder than words and based upon what i’m seeing, ross couldn’t care less if they win another game this year.

    so if you think luck’s dad is going to sign off on that kind of organization, you’re sadly mistaken. luck’s dad is seeing exactly what we’ve been seeing the last few years:

    – the mistreatment of jason taylor and zach thomas
    – trade for brandon marshall that hasn’t yielded any results
    – a gm that has no issue in asking dez bryant inappropriate questions about his mom
    – the hiring of mike nolan; a coach that has benefited more from the talent he was given than any other coordinator i’ve seen
    – the nonsense home atmosphere with nothing but latino music and j-lo and mark anthony tracks
    – the trading of reggie bush to be a power back before he was going to be waived from new orleans. they traded away a pick and one of the league’s best special team players
    – marc colombo as a starting right tackle?
    – ted ginn as a starting wide receiver and a first round pick?
    – flying across the country to hire harbaugh when you already have a gainfully employed coach?

    that’s just a few dude…

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