Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking at Dolphins entering Browns game

The Cleveland Browns look to go 2-1 for the first time since 2002, and the Miami Dolphins just want a win.

After going 0-2 at home to start the regular season, Miami travels to Cleveland Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Dolphins lost to the Houston Texans last week, 23-13, while Cleveland is coming off a 27-19 victory over the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts.

The Dolphins rank in the top 10 in the league in offensive yards-per-game average, as they're eighth in rushing (125.5) and ninth in passing (271.5). On the flip side, Miami is last in the league in total defense, giving up 483.5 yards a game.

Daboll faces old team

Miami offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was Cleveland’s last offensive coordinator but was cut loose when Pat Shurmur took over for Eric Mangini as head coach.

Daboll took the brunt of Cleveland’s shortcomings on offense, though players who worked under him at Cleveland seem to have nothing but good things to say about their old play-caller. Miami is happy to have him around, as its offense seems to be off to a pretty good start.

Whether or not the Browns’ familiarity with Daboll is more of a benefit to Cleveland than Daboll’s knowledge of the Browns’ personnel is to Miami is up for debate.

“I would have to think that it’s probably a little bit of both,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano told the media Wednesday. “I think they think they probably know Brian pretty good and I feel pretty happy that Brian’s here. It’s the way it is. I would think that no different than I have three of their guys here that can tell me about some of the ins and outs. I’m sure they feel like they have some information on Brian.”

Dolphins seek improvement in red zone

Miami has 10 red zone trips but not much to show for them. The Dolphins are averaging 18.5 points per game, which ranks in the bottom fourth of the league. Two missed field goals last week by kicker Dan Carpenter didn’t help, either, but Sparano would still prefer Miami gets touchdowns.

Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne thinks better discipline will solve the team’s red zone woes.

“That’s where the focus has to come in. I mean we used to have…with Bill (Parcells), we had a rule all the time down there about no penalties, no exotic snap counts, no sacks, no turnovers,” Henne said. “Those were our red zone rules. Well, we keep those rules all the time and the quarterback can recite those rules and everybody can recite those rules. It’s one thing about talking about them and another thing about doing them and we have to do a better job in that area when it comes to that.”

Notes: Weather will be in low-70s and partly cloudy; the Browns have won the last three meetings between the teams; Browns running back Peyton Hillis had strep throat earlier in weekend but is expected to play.

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