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Abe's Steamroll Wasn't Jake Long's Fault


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Miami Dolphins: Now it can be told

> Posted by Mike Berardino on September 17, 2009 03:00 PM

You know that sack Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long allowed to John Abraham on Sunday, the one late in the first quarter that ended up with Long taking a helmet to the chest and falling on his backside?

Turns out that wasn't really Long's fault after all. Not according to Dolphins left guard Justin Smiley.

"If you guys will go over and talk to Jake Grove, the ball was snapped probably two seconds earlier than it should have been snapped on that play," Smiley told reporters this afternoon. "Jake [Long] wasn’t prepared, wasn’t even ready to get out of his stance on that play and was bailing out to save himself and to save the hit on Chad [Pennington]."

How did this happen? Here, let Smiley explain.

"When you’re on the road, it’s a silent count," Smiley said. "You go off the center’s head. The tackle has two or three things to worry about there. We’re in shotgun, so we can’t hear the quarterback. Jake [Long] is looking at the center’s head. When [Grove] goes down and he comes back up, as soon as his head comes up, he snaps the ball."

Only problem was the snap was supposed to be on a count of two, not one.

"It was on silent two," Smiley said. "Jake [Long] knew it was on silent two, but Grove snapped the ball early. It was a miscommunication. Ask Grove. He’ll tell you about it."

Would have been happy to ask Grove about that, but he hasn't made himself available to the media since Sunday's postgame locker room. I'm guessing he'll come out and talk Friday when they open the doors at 1 p.m.

I'm also guessing he won't be all that thrilled with Smiley's detailed breakdown of the breakdown. But that's another matter.

The biggest question is how much of a hit Jake Long's indestructible image took in that two-sack nightmare on Sunday and how soon it can be repaired. Smiley's tell-all should help in the latter regard.

"We have all the faith in the world in [Long]," Smiley said. "This guy came in and did something that not many people could do as a rookie, and that’s make it to the Pro Bowl and play really really well. He’s an excellent player. … In this league if you don’t come prepared, you’ll get exposed. That's not the case here. ... It wasn’t like our guy just got run over. It just doesn’t happen."

It's also telling that Long himself hasn't made a single excuse in getting grilled about his day, both after Sunday's game and on Thursday. He didn't give up his center. For that Grove probably owes Long a thank you and an apology.

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Maybe it wasn't his fault, after all, he was matched up against an ELITE DE for once and those glorious college days of pushing people around are just what they are. "Welcome to the NFL son!"

You have to admit, that was an amazing play. Zero technique by either player, just Abe seeing an opportunity to wreak havoc. As gigantic as Long is, he may as well have not even been on the field that play.

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Dolphins fans are the same also... My friends came with "oh, we gave you that game" and all that bewl shyt. Couldn't give credit where credit was due and couldn't stop being homers for 10 seconds to realize that their team sucked fat ***.

Dude, if you read what you wrote, you're agreeing with them. :huh:

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Every other dolphins linemen seemed to be able to get out of their stance without a problem so unless the rest of the dolphins o-line are mind readers, jake long just got beat by a better player plain and simple

Looking at the running back and the receiver at the bottom of the screen when the play starts, I'm inclined to agree with the silent count excuse. However, Abe ran OVER him instead of around him. That's the inexcusable part.

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Maybe it wasn't his fault, after all, he was matched up against an ELITE DE for once and those glorious college days of pushing people around are just what they are. "Welcome to the NFL son!"

I agree with this statement 100%. It's not Jake's fault he got owned. Abe does that to just about everyone in the league. That was just his initiation into the club.

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You have to admit, that was an amazing play. Zero technique by either player, just Abe seeing an opportunity to wreak havoc. As gigantic as Long is, he may as well have not even been on the field that play.

:o That's completely wrong dude. I'm not sure if you've watched Abe play very much, but he does this all the time.

He's widely known for his speed off the snap. So, early in games, he tends to focus on getting up-field on the tackles. Then, just as soon as the tackles start bailing out early, Abe switches and bull-rushes (usually with great success).

This bull-rush, I might add, takes plenty of technique.

I would buy that "silent snap" excuse if I hadn't seen this work for Abe over and over. Heck, I even predicted this sack before it happened. I could tell Abe was setting the guy up.

And if you'll notice something else, whenever Abe sets the guy up, he always waits until a 3rd down to change it up on the player. He's fully understand that "timely sacks" are much more important than just "sacks".

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