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 Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress? 
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Post Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
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Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
> Posted by Omar Kelly on January 26, 2010 12:35 PM

Seeing as how few people listen and dissect Tony Sparano's words more than me, I consider myself an expert when it comes to Sparano-speak.

As your linguistics expert I'll reveal that sometimes the Miami Dolphins' head coach is more revealing in what he doesn't say than what he does.

Here are a few things I've discovered over the past two seasons. Sparano prides himself in his honesty. He's never lied to us...YET...and takes pride in that fact.

A long pause always means it's a difficult question that will require some tap dancing.... If something is going negative he'll find a way to turn it positive somehow, putting a fresh coat of pain on it.... Sometimes Sparano has messages he wants to get out, and does so, usually with numbers or stats..... Finally, he rarely takes shots at his players and coaches, but will send out warning shots from time to time to get the media and fans prepared for what's to come.

All those Sparano tells are why I found his discussions about the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl VERY interesting.

While I wasn't there myself, and have not heard the audio of it, two people who did also found it extremely interesting Sparano didn't shoot down Ethan Skolnick's report about Joey Porter being a poor teammate.

That one fell into the he won't lie category, and it adds another hint to the whispers that Porter has worn out his welcome in Davie.

I find it interesting that I was recently told the Steelers got rid of Porter for the same fears. I'm told by a good source Mike Tomlin wasn't concerned about Porter's health, or level of productivity when he released Porter in the 2007 offseason. It was his attitude, selfish mentality and head strong nature that got Porter cut from Pittsburgh.

If Porter isn't playing at a Pro Bowl level his persona is hard for any coach to deal with, and failing to get him under control can cost a coach his job. Just ask Paul Pasqualoni. It's not wise to tip-toe around a player because it sends the wrong message, and that's what the defense staff was doing last season.

But more telling than Sparano's tap dancing on Porter's refusal to come off the field (which for the record impacted more than Jason Taylor....this wasn't a problem between Joey and Jason....it's a team issue) was Sparano's BOLD warning shot to the defense that can be found at the end of Mike Berardino's story on Sparano's tough decision to fire Pasqualoni, his friend.

"Players are accountable," Sparano volunteered. "I think as we go forward here, that will be pretty clear to them."

If that wasn't a threat, a warning shot that some players (cough, cough, Gibril Wilson) might be shown the door this offseason, or looking at a demotion, I don't know what it was.

That warning shot got me thinking about the reasons why the Miami Dolphins defense regressed in 2009, eventually bottoming out at the end of the season.

Here's my top five.

1. Losing Jason Ferguson hurt bad because a 3-4 defense isn't stout without a forceful nose tackle. Paul Soliai was decent, but proved he wasn't starter material. His marginal play impacted the interior linebackers because guards rarely had to double team Soliai.

2. The Dolphins couldn't cover a tight end if their life depended on it. It's bad when no name guys like Texans tight end Joel Dreessen are roasting you for 65 yards off four catches. Whose fault was it? It didn't help that Porter and Taylor aren't strong in coverage, but the interior linebackers and safeties didn't help the cause either.

3. The secondary gave up way too many big plays. The Dolphins finished last in the league in average per passing attempt (8.2) and averaged a dismal 13.3 yards per completion. Only Detroit gave up more big plays than the Dolphins. While the rookie cornerbacks got beat at times, it wasn't like they blew assignments or got burned on more than a handful of occasions. What became clear was Sean Smith and Vontae Davis didn't get much help from the safeties, and considering Yeremiah Bell make the Pro Bowl as an alternate on the back of player and coaching votes it's pretty safe to say WIlson's coverage skills were a huge part of the problem.

4. Despite registering a decent amount of sacks (44), the defense couldn't generate consistent pass rushing pressure. There just wasn't enough creativity in the blitzing packages, and the defense became easy to prepare for. Personnel wasn't always utilized to their strengths considering Cameron Wake didn't play enough, and Taylor was leaving the field on third downs. The only game the Dolphins confused their opponent with creativity was against New Orleans.

5. The inside linebackers rarely made any impact plays, and they also didn't clean up plays in the running game before Ferguson suffered his season-ending quadriceps injury. Did anyone see any forceful hits from Channing Crowder, Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor all season? How about forced fumbles or sacks?

In your opinion, outside of injuries, what's your top five reasons the Dolphins defense tanked at the end of 2009?

Deuces.


Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
1 - young secondary
2 - non-existent ILB presence
3 - Vanilla blitz scheme
4 - injuries
5 - Ted Ginn Jr.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
MTFan wrote:
1 - young secondary
2 - non-existent ILB presence
3 - Vanilla blitz scheme
4 - injuries
5 - Ted Ginn Jr.


:hithead: :hithead:


Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
MTFan wrote:
1 - young secondary
2 - non-existent ILB presence
3 - Vanilla blitz scheme
4 - injuries
5 - Ted Ginn Jr.


Yeeeeeah #5 makes a lot of sense.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
it just seems alot of these threads boil down to Ginn, I figured I'd jump the gun and just throw it in there, plus I couldn't come up with a 5th off the top of my head


Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Rich wrote:
MTFan wrote:
1 - young secondary
2 - non-existent ILB presence
3 - Vanilla blitz scheme
4 - injuries
5 - Ted Ginn Jr.


Yeeeeeah #5 makes a lot of sense.

what? you don't know by now rich? Ted Ginn is the anti-christ and everything that goes wrong from global warming on down is solely his fault.
no really guys, c'mon ted has under produced and has not put up the numbers we'd like to see out of a ninth overall selection but to give him undo blame isn't right. believe me ted has more than enough real faults without the need to heap crazy ones on him. and we've also rehashed said faults to tears so for the love of baby jesus lets not do it again

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Come on number 4 should have been Ginn and then number 5 could have been

wait for it ...,

wait for it ....,

his family because that would be just too funny.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
I like Omar's top 5....

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
The Hen wrote:
I like Omar's top 5....


The top 3 at least are right on the money. I would give a lot of blame to Pasqualoni as well. With Nolan and Sheridan helping with our defense as well as our young guys (Smith, Davis, Wake etc.) continuing their development, the future looks bright.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
The Hen wrote:
I like Omar's top 5....


Yes, especially note that his number 1 includes losing Jason Ferguson. Those that believe that the NT is not a hugely pressing need have to know that Miami could at least stop the run when Ferguson was there. After that, the defense couldn't stop anything.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Iowafin wrote:
The Hen wrote:
I like Omar's top 5....


Yes, especially note that his number 1 includes losing Jason Ferguson. Those that believe that the NT is not a hugely pressing need have to know that Miami could at least stop the run when Ferguson was there. After that, the defense couldn't stop anything.


It is perhaps our biggest need on D right now, though not one that we will go hard after in round 1, IMO. I'm not sure there is a 3-4 NT suitable for a #12 pick. We will be better served either trading down to get one, or going BAA when we pick.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
1: Scheme!
2: Gibril Wilson Sucks
3: Scheme!
4: Gibril Wilson Sucks
5: Tedd Ginn Jr. won't "cut inside" thus the defense doesn't get to practice against a "real" threat and thus falters when they end up playing "real threats"

Throw in the Fergy injury at #3

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Ski_Money wrote:
1: Scheme!
2: Gibril Wilson Sucks
3: Scheme!
4: Gibril Wilson Sucks
5: Tedd Ginn Jr. won't "cut inside" thus the defense doesn't get to practice against a "real" threat and thus falters when they end up playing "real threats"

Throw in the Fergy injury at #3


*sigh*


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Love you too PZ :)

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Simple.

Compare their 2008 schedule to their 2009.

Better teams, better offensive.


Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:25 am
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Yeap schedule has to be there somewhere. Not sure what they did to warrant getting that brutal of a schedule but it certainly played a part. As did injuries and the works. Unfortunately with the injury argument Miami wasn't exactly tearing it up on defense with Jason Fergeson in the lineup. Anyone that believes NT is a higher priority than Safety or LB need to go back and look at how Miami started 2-4. The safeties couldn't cover or tackle. The only reason both finished with so many tackles is because QB's picked on them mercilessly despite having two rookies at CB. You also have to fault a scheme that had LB's on WR's.

1. Free Safety

2. ILB

3. Scheme

4. Schedule

5. Injuries


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
What's up with this whole "cut inside" inside joke?


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Ted "get me to the sideline Ginn", maybe?

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
The Hen wrote:
Ted "get me to the sideline Ginn", maybe?

my cat has diarrhea, and that's all ted ginn's fault as well.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
It sure is mikey...It always Ginn's fault.....

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
The Hen wrote:
It sure is mikey...It always Ginn's fault.....


Ginn has without question become the whipping boy of this team.

....Somewhere Jason Allen is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
The Hen wrote:
It sure is mikey...It always Ginn's fault.....

always,bro. I mean ted ginn is the anti-christ. any thing that goes wrong can always in some way be attributed to ted ginn and family.
the sun doesn't shine out of his butt, so now we got global warming.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
mikey wrote:
The Hen wrote:
Ted "get me to the sideline Ginn", maybe?

my cat has diarrhea, and that's all ted ginn's fault as well.


If he missed the litterbox trying to avoid "contact" with the litter, then you might consider keeping him away from Dolphin Games next season.


Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
NFLJunkie wrote:
mikey wrote:
The Hen wrote:
Ted "get me to the sideline Ginn", maybe?

my cat has diarrhea, and that's all ted ginn's fault as well.


If he missed the litterbox trying to avoid "contact" with the litter, then you might consider keeping him away from Dolphin Games next season.

:) :)

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Bones wrote:
The Hen wrote:
It sure is mikey...It always Ginn's fault.....


Ginn has without question become the whipping boy of this team.

....Somewhere Jason Allen is breathing a huge sigh of relief.


Personally Miami has a FS candidate in JA and should put him back there. It is obvious he's not going to crack the line-up as a CB. He does have ball skills and is constantly around the football. He is fast and has great recovery speed. Coach 'em up.

Ginn will be fine when he becomes the number 2 guy in Miami. Or when the OC starts using him correctly. He is currently the Mark Duper of this team (great speed, good hands) with no Mark Clayton. Find a number 1 guy and Ginn will benefit.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
NFLJunkie wrote:
Bones wrote:
The Hen wrote:
It sure is mikey...It always Ginn's fault.....


Ginn has without question become the whipping boy of this team.

....Somewhere Jason Allen is breathing a huge sigh of relief.


Personally Miami has a FS candidate in JA and should put him back there. It is obvious he's not going to crack the line-up as a CB. He does have ball skills and is constantly around the football. He is fast and has great recovery speed. Coach 'em up.

Ginn will be fine when he becomes the number 2 guy in Miami. Or when the OC starts using him correctly. He is currently the Mark Duper of this team (great speed, good hands) with no Mark Clayton. Find a number 1 guy and Ginn will benefit.


Allen is constantly around the ball because the opposing quarterback's know they can pick on him. And since when did Ginn have good hands?

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Quote:
Personally Miami has a FS candidate in JA and should put him back there. It is obvious he's not going to crack the line-up as a CB. He does have ball skills and is constantly around the football. He is fast and has great recovery speed. Coach 'em up.

Ginn will be fine when he becomes the number 2 guy in Miami. Or when the OC starts using him correctly. He is currently the Mark Duper of this team (great speed, good hands) with no Mark Clayton. Find a number 1 guy and Ginn will benefit.


Quote:
Allen is constantly around the ball because the opposing quarterback's know they can pick on him. And since when did Ginn have good hands?


Allen has more than held his own when given the opportunity. This has been discussed before but suffice it to say that the coaches just don't see it in practice. Sparano is the 3rd coach to note that Allen played well when given the opportunity this year; but like the other 3 won't put him to start. He's one of the few first round draft choices that wasn't given an ala cart starting position to lose. He was shifted back and forth and never really started under Saban. He was inserted into the lineup under Cameron and played well in the final 6 games. He never returned to the starting lineup under Sparano. Whatever you can say about JA, it wasn't his getting burnt on gameday that caused him to ride the pine.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
"And since when did Ginn have good hands?"

Duper didn't have the greatest hands either. Despite having a QB that could do everything but catch it for him. The point is that Ginn will be fine with a legitimate goto guy on the other side.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
NFLJunkie wrote:
Quote:
Personally Miami has a FS candidate in JA and should put him back there. It is obvious he's not going to crack the line-up as a CB. He does have ball skills and is constantly around the football. He is fast and has great recovery speed. Coach 'em up.

Ginn will be fine when he becomes the number 2 guy in Miami. Or when the OC starts using him correctly. He is currently the Mark Duper of this team (great speed, good hands) with no Mark Clayton. Find a number 1 guy and Ginn will benefit.


Quote:
Allen is constantly around the ball because the opposing quarterback's know they can pick on him. And since when did Ginn have good hands?


Allen has more than held his own when given the opportunity. This has been discussed before but suffice it to say that the coaches just don't see it in practice. Sparano is the 3rd coach to note that Allen played well when given the opportunity this year; but like the other 3 won't put him to start. He's one of the few first round draft choices that wasn't given an ala cart starting position to lose. He was shifted back and forth and never really started under Saban. He was inserted into the lineup under Cameron and played well in the final 6 games. He never returned to the starting lineup under Sparano. Whatever you can say about JA, it wasn't his getting burnt on gameday that caused him to ride the pine.


I'd like you to share with us the times Allen has held his own when given the opportunity....He most certainly has gotten burned. Three times in one game against Randy Moss. He was manned up on Andrew Johnson for whatever reason on his score this last year. Allen doesn't play because he can't, and when he's been put into the game it's because the Dolphins simply didn't have another choice.

You can't say Ginn has good hands if he drops passes more often than he's made a play. Saying that he'll be fine with a legitimate go to guy is pure speculation, and based on nothing at all considering he's been terrible.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Injuries were a big problem. The schedule going from easy to the hardest in the NFL....and even bigger problem. Rookies in the secondary....an obvious problem....and Gibril Wilson was seemingly always out of position and chasing the big play that just blew by him. The coaching scheme was often uninspired, to say the least. The offense also deserves credit for stinking....giving the ball to the opponents often....not winning the field position game....often.....not scoring when they should.....all this puts pressure on your defense. The inside linebackers, and Joey Porter as well, didn't play at the same level this year....but then again, might the schedule last year had something to do with that? Remember....we went 11-5 by barely beating powerhouse teams like the Rams and Chiefs.

Fixes:

new defensive coordinator and coaches.....check
New blitz/pass pressure scheme....check
jettison Porter.....???
jettison Wilson....???
bring Ferg back for one more year....please God???
draft new inside linebackers and possibly a safety....????
bring in linebackers, safety, nose tackle in free agency....?????

GET A REAL WIDE RECEIVER SO OFFENSE IS MORE EFFECTIVE....?????

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
FrustratedFinFan wrote:
Injuries were a big problem. The schedule going from easy to the hardest in the NFL....and even bigger problem. Rookies in the secondary....an obvious problem....and Gibril Wilson was seemingly always out of position and chasing the big play that just blew by him. The coaching scheme was often uninspired, to say the least. The offense also deserves credit for stinking....giving the ball to the opponents often....not winning the field position game....often.....not scoring when they should.....all this puts pressure on your defense. The inside linebackers, and Joey Porter as well, didn't play at the same level this year....but then again, might the schedule last year had something to do with that? Remember....we went 11-5 by barely beating powerhouse teams like the Rams and Chiefs.

Fixes:

new defensive coordinator and coaches.....check
New blitz/pass pressure scheme....check
jettison Porter.....???
jettison Wilson....???
bring Ferg back for one more year....please God???
draft new inside linebackers and possibly a safety....????
bring in linebackers, safety, nose tackle in free agency....?????

GET A REAL WIDE RECEIVER SO OFFENSE IS MORE EFFECTIVE....?????


The offense is fine.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Iowafin wrote:
I'd like you to share with us the times Allen has held his own when given the opportunity....He most certainly has gotten burned. Three times in one game against Randy Moss. He was manned up on Andrew Johnson for whatever reason on his score this last year. Allen doesn't play because he can't, and when he's been put into the game it's because the Dolphins simply didn't have another choice.

You can't say Ginn has good hands if he drops passes more often than he's made a play. Saying that he'll be fine with a legitimate go to guy is pure speculation, and based on nothing at all considering he's been terrible.


Who's Andrew Johnson?


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
IamPZ wrote:
Iowafin wrote:
I'd like you to share with us the times Allen has held his own when given the opportunity....He most certainly has gotten burned. Three times in one game against Randy Moss. He was manned up on Andrew Johnson for whatever reason on his score this last year. Allen doesn't play because he can't, and when he's been put into the game it's because the Dolphins simply didn't have another choice.

You can't say Ginn has good hands if he drops passes more often than he's made a play. Saying that he'll be fine with a legitimate go to guy is pure speculation, and based on nothing at all considering he's been terrible.


Who's Andrew Johnson?


17th president of the United States, I found it strange that he was manned up on him, but I figured I wouldn't question it


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
IamPZ wrote:
Iowafin wrote:
I'd like you to share with us the times Allen has held his own when given the opportunity....He most certainly has gotten burned. Three times in one game against Randy Moss. He was manned up on Andrew Johnson for whatever reason on his score this last year. Allen doesn't play because he can't, and when he's been put into the game it's because the Dolphins simply didn't have another choice.

You can't say Ginn has good hands if he drops passes more often than he's made a play. Saying that he'll be fine with a legitimate go to guy is pure speculation, and based on nothing at all considering he's been terrible.


Who's Andrew Johnson?


if he meant Andre Johnson that would be a false statement. Nathan Jones was manned up with Andre.


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
Jason Allen is dumber than a bag of rocks.

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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
joeschmoe wrote:
Jason Allen is dumber than a bag of rocks.


Pet rocks or regular rocks? Pet rocks are kinda smart...


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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
IamPZ wrote:
joeschmoe wrote:
Jason Allen is dumber than a bag of rocks.


Pet rocks or regular rocks? Pet rocks are kinda smart...


lol, then its most definitely regular rocks. the guy is dumb, and it has been stated (although not in those words) by all of his coaching staffs.

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Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:18 am
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Post Re: Why did the Miami Dolphins defense regress?
MTFan wrote:
IamPZ wrote:
Iowafin wrote:
I'd like you to share with us the times Allen has held his own when given the opportunity....He most certainly has gotten burned. Three times in one game against Randy Moss. He was manned up on Andrew Johnson for whatever reason on his score this last year. Allen doesn't play because he can't, and when he's been put into the game it's because the Dolphins simply didn't have another choice.

You can't say Ginn has good hands if he drops passes more often than he's made a play. Saying that he'll be fine with a legitimate go to guy is pure speculation, and based on nothing at all considering he's been terrible.


Who's Andrew Johnson?


17th president of the United States, I found it strange that he was manned up on him, but I figured I wouldn't question it


That's what I'm saying...Allen is so bad he is covering dead guys :yay:

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Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:20 pm
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