Archive for May, 2012

Dolphins on HBO Hard Knocks

May 29, 2012

Coach Philbin has just announced that the Dolphins have selected to appear on HBO Hard Knocks this fall.   Watch him discuss it in the linked video.

http://www.miamidolphins.com/finatics/comment-center/

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Fins 2012 Starting QB – We Have No Idea

May 25, 2012

It has been fun contemplating, discussing, and sometimes arguing about who will win the starting job for our Miami Dolphins this year.  But let’s be honest, we really have no clue who Philbin will choose.  Garrard gives a ton of experience, but is a huge question mark because of  coming off of injuries and a year off.  Moore had a great run the end of last year and knows the locker room well, but may not be the best fit for this type of offense and some already believe he’s only backup material.  Tannehill knows his NFL playbook more than any rookie in NFL history, but has no experience whatsoever against NFL defenses.

The fact is, any of these 3 guys could overcome their weaknesses and demand the starting job, and any of them could also succumb to their weaknesses paving the way for others to step up.  While it’s fun to argue and counter-point each other, any of us could make a strong argument for any of these 3 players to start against Houston in September.  It’s just way too early to count one of them out of the race.

The best news I’ve heard this off-season is that Philbin would like to have the QB position decided by Game 2 or 3 of the pre-season.   I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat, regardless of who is chosen, a QB controversy with consistent negative spins by the media could be devastating for this rookie Head Coach.

Clear communication to the players needs to happen to keep the locker room together.  That is more important than some people might realize.

 

UPDATE:    Dolphins sign fifth-round pick Josh Kaddu (linebacker).  They have now signed 4 of their 9 draft picks

Ross Realizing Football is Different

May 22, 2012

In an interview with CBS4 in Miami on Monday, Stephen Ross admitted that even though he must believe in what he does, the criticism has taken its toll on him as an owner.  Ross commented, “You’ve got to believe in yourself . . . anything in life.  However, the criticism does sting .”

Ross went on to talk about how finding success in the NFL has proven to be way different from his previous businesses where he has made millions of dollars.  “I’m a developer,” Ross said. “So I’m looking at property and I have to have a vision.  In football, it’s a lot harder to do.”

I have mixed feelings on Ross’s statements.  I’m happy that he cares, but I feel like he has been way too involved.  I don’t want an owner that sticks his nose in too much of the football operations.  In some ways, I like to see them just write the checks and let the football minds take over.  The trick is getting good football minds in place to make good football decisions.  I believe this has started to happen this year.  The jury is still out on Ireland, I know this, but many of his decisions have seemed to be sound decisions in developing a football team. Philbin also seems to be a good football mind, but we’ll have to judge that when September rolls around.

My point is that I’m not a big fan of the spectacle Ross has tried to make the Dolphins by involving celebrities and such, but I do like these recent comments of his for one reason, it does show that he cares enough to actually WANT his team to win!  Living near the city of Cleveland, believe the fact that I KNOW there are owners out there that could care less.

Random Update:     Stephen Ross said Monday at an NFL meeting in Atlanta that he expects Moore, the team MVP in 2011, to start the season at quarterback.

“I don’t think they’re going to rush (Tannehill) into anything,” Ross told NFL.com. “He’s going to have to win the starting job. I think Matt Moore will probably be the starter, and I wish him the best.”

Dolphins Talking to Ovie Mughelli on Thursday

May 16, 2012

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, free agent fullback Ovie Mughelli will be flying to Miami tonight and will be visiting with the Dolphins on Thursday.    He turns 32 this year, and missed most of last season with a torn right MCL.  That being said, he was a Pro Bowler as a lead blocker for the Atlanta Falcons in 2010, and Miami doesn’t currently have a true lead-blocking fullback on the depth chart.

This could be one of those small things the Dolphins do that could be a big help.  Maybe in those goal line situations when we couldn’t just pop it in and had to settle for Field Goals?  (FIST PUMP!).     We have missed Mr. Polite in my opinion, and this could make up for that.

Wake’s Deal Less than Advertised

May 10, 2012

According to PFT, Cameron Wake’s deal comes in at much less than the 49 million originally reported for the star defensive player.

Here are the specifics on how his deal actually breaks down……….

1.  Signing bonus of $7 million.

2.  Fully-guaranteed base salary of $615,000 in 2012.

3.  Fully-guaranteed base salary of $3.565 million in 2013.

4.  Fully-guaranteed base salary of $5.82 million in 2014.

5.  Base salary of $8.2 million in 2015, $3 million of which is guaranteed for injury only for now.  If Wake if on the roster on the fifth day of the 2015 league year, the $3 million becomes guaranteed for skill and injury.

6.  Base salary of $8.275 million in 2016.

7.  Workout bonuses of $50,000 in 2012, $50,000 in 2013, $65,000 in 2014, $100,000 in 2015, and $125,000 in 2016.

8.  Up to $5 million in escalators for 2014, 2015, and 2016 based on sacks.

The deal goes to $48  only if Wake hits the full amount of every possibility.  And much of it is not guaranteed.

And with cap numbers closing in on $10 million for each of the final two seasons of the five-year deal, there’s also a good chance it will ultimately be a three-year deal with a base value of around $17  million.

I personally say NICE JOB to Ireland on this one!  Great deals with both Solai and Wake without breaking the bank.

Griffen & Tannehill – Large Separation?

May 7, 2012

Most NFL experts have agreed that there is a large difference between the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft, Robert Griffin III, and the 8th pick of the draft, Miami Dolphins selection Ryan Tannehill.  The Dolphins GM doesn’t agree.  In a recent interview with Sport’s Illustrated’s Peter King, Jeff Ireland was quoted with the following statement,

“I didn’t see a huge separation between Griffin and Ryan at the time,” Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told Peter King last week. “I just didn’t see it.”

I know many of you will attack this statement with negative Ireland comments.  But what if he really feels this way.  If after watching both QB’s, you felt there was similar value, wouldn’t you stay put and draft the second guy? Who knows for sure, but if he really believed in Tannehill, wouldn’t that be the better choice?

You don’t have to remind me that I will eat crow after this statement if I’m proved wrong, but Victory would taste SO sweet if Tannehill succeeds as the long lost QB of the Dolphins after all the speculation and “analysts” labeled him as a possible bust.

Many players in this league have proved that analysts can’t predict the will of a winner on game day.  I hope our new rookie falls into that category.

Expect Tannehill to Start This Season

May 4, 2012

Crazy.  The coaches shouldn’t start him.  He’ll be a mental wreck.  He’ll get hurt.  Scarred for life.

Ok, time to move past these thoughts, and perhaps it’s against the accepted grain, but read on and it just may make sense.

Starting with his relationship with the coaches.  Well, first off he’s Sherman’s man.  Nothing gets you on the field faster than being the guy the coach is most comfortable, trusted and most dependant upon for future success.  Don’t think this is accurate?  Henne was Sparano’s guy.  You couldn’t get him off the field regardless of how Henne played in games or practice.

Same idea more detailed:  When there’s a route to describe, or a pattern to exemplify, who  do you think will get called over to be the example boy?   Tannehill has the ability to showcase both the receiver route and the QB pass.  Need an example of a “Dino”?… Ryan please show BJ how it’s done…So he’ll be called upon a lot to be the example of Sherman’s plays.  He’ll end up being the defacto coach’s assistant.  And in the end, who would you, the coach, trust to be on that field running your plays than the guy who’s had already several years to absorb it?

But here’s the biggest reasons of all.  Protecting a QB’s ego is tantamount to trying to save a nymphomaniac’s virtue.   No football player anywhere wants to be handled with kid gloves.  And if given a choice to play or sit, no healthy football player will EVER choose to sit.  Tannehill WANTS to start.  He’ll willingly accept every interception, goof, sack, and incompletion to be on that NFL field.  It is inherent in their DNA to believe they will eventually succeed given the chance.  Is it in his best interest to wait?  Perhaps, but not in their own ego.  Tannehill will compete to start, ask to be on the field, do his best to convince the coaches he’s ready, and they will want nothing more than to see him on the field.  It all adds up to playing time, sooner rather than later.

So what’s the hurdle?  Moore and Garrard.  If Tannehill can show enough skill in practice (which is like a workout routine – he’ll master), look better than Moore and Garrard, and can put up some decent showings in pre-season, then look for him to take the reigns somewhere mid-season.  Maybe Philbin even gets a few Tebow style packages in games once in a while, Tanny shows some flashes, fans get excited, he stays in for a series, then two… viola!  Bob’s your uncle.  Bye Week sounds about right if I’m a coach looking for my best window.

Absorbing as much film on defenses as possible, and implementing his newfound (hopefully) knowledge on how to recognize and react to defenses is the key.  That learning curve is the biggest for everyone.  Henne couldn’t get it right in 4 years.  It took Manning 2, Aikman 2, Elway 2 etc. to figure out NFL defenses enough to be successful enough to win.  But all those guys started year one, took their lumps, lost many games, tossed plenty of picks, and lived through it just fine.  So will Luck.  And Griffin 3.  So will Tannehill.

If he can’t handle the hits to his ego, then he’s in the wrong business.  And at least we’ll find out sooner than 5 years.

He’ll play.  This season.  Just watch.

Written by:  JS_in_LA   (Jeff S.)

Ireland has done his Job

May 2, 2012

 

After looking over our post-draft roster, I’m realizing that the Dolphins are full of up and coming young talent.  Love him or hate him, the depth chart below tells me Ireland has done his job, now it is the new coaching staff’s turn to use these guys correctly in battle.  I give Ireland credit for avoiding huge mistakes in paying too much in free agency for washed up guys hoping they will translate to success.

I like what he has done here!  A group of young receivers that Philbin and Sherman can build up from scratch.  New young Tight Ends that have the ability to turn into something special.  The Tight ends will be who probably move the chains in this offensive scheme (My personal prediction).  And solidifying that offensive line to give us the ability to run our offensive and give our QB time to make quality decisions.

There has been a lot of negativity going around Dolphin nation in recent years, understandable so.  But I don’t think I’m the only one that looks at this roster and not only sees potential, but I see the probability of major improvements over previous years!

 

 

OFFENSE

WR: Brian Hartline; Clyde Gates; Marlon Moore, B.J. Cunningham

WR: Davone Bess; Julius Pruitt
LT: Jake Long; Will Barker
LG: Richie Incognito; Nate Garner; Ray Feinga
C: Mike Pouncey; Ryan Cook
RG: John Jerry; Artis Hicks
RT: Jonathan Martin; Lydon Murtha
TE: Anthony Fasano; Charles Clay; Michael Egnew; Jeron Mastrud; Will Yeatman; Les Brown
QB: Matt Moore; David Garrard; Ryan Tannehill; Pat Devlin
RB: Reggie Bush; Daniel Thomas; Steve Slaton; Lamar Miller; Richard Medlin; Marcus Thigpen
FB: Jerome Messam
WR: Roberto Wallace; Legedu Naanee; Chris Hogan; Rishard Matthews

 

DEFENSE 

DE: Cameron Wake; Jamaal Westerman; Jason Trusnik
DT: Randy Starks; Tony McDaniel; Kheeston Randall
DT: Paul Soliai; Ryan Baker; Isaako Aaitui
DE: Jared Odrick; Olivier Vernon; Jonathan Freeny
SLB: Kevin Burnett
MLB: Karlos Dansby; Austin Spitler
WLB: Koa Misi; Gary Guyton; Josh Kaddu*
CB: Vontae Davis; Nolan Carroll; Jonathan Wade
CB: Richard Marshall; Vincent Agnew
FS: Chris Clemons; Jimmy Wilson; Tyrone Culver
SS: Reshad Jones; Tyrell Johnson; Anderson Russell
CB: Sean Smith; Marcus Brown; Quinten Lawrence

Ramblings of a Die-Hard Fan

May 1, 2012

Written By:  JS_in_LA  (Jeff S.)

Well folks, we all have our fantasies about the draft, our disappointments, and triumphs.  Inevitably we find names we’ve never heard of and are told these are hidden gems that will become stars someday.  Maybe next year.  Maybe in 5 years on someone else’s roster.  Maybe eventual shoe-salesmen with a great NFL stories.  Anyway, there’s a whole lot of dreaming that happens both before and after.   But the reality is also interesting.

Take a step back with me, away from our Dolphin adorned socks, and Fins #1 foam fingers.  Definitely put down that Cleo Lemon jersey.  Lets see what we’re facing in this next season.  See, improvements don’t happen in a void.  Everybody else improved too.  Obviously it’s advisable to improve more than the other guys.  And it’s always the tongue biting biotch when the guy you wish you could grab later goes to someone you have to play.  Miss drafting ’em?  Now ya gotta guard ’em.  So we’ll scan our schedule that we all had our opinions on BEFORE the draft.  See if you like our chances more or less after reading, and I’ll do my best to clear the mud for a fair glance at our new competition.

1 Sun, Sep 9 @Houston 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS=  Mercilus (DE), D.Posey (WR), B.Brooks (OG), B.Jones (C), K. Martin(WR)
*Assuming Shaub is healthy, Posey and Martin are two dangerous weapons.  Jones is solid and Brooks is a freakish project.  Mercilus I wasn’t impressed with, but if he lives up to rating, he replaces M. Williams.

2 Sun, Sep 16 vsOakland 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= T.Bergstrom (OT), M. Burris (OLB), J.Crawford (DE), J. Criner (WR)
*Bergstrom is supposed to be nasty, Crawford and Burris sound like competition not stars, but I love Criner.  He’ll terrorize us underneath while the the fast guys (they have several) occupy the corners and safeties.  Criner is also a tough red zone threat.

3 Sun, Sep 23 vsNew York 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= Coples (DE), S. Hill (WR), D.Davis (OLB), J.Bush (S), R. Griffin (OG) *Coples and Hill alone have me in awe.  Bigtime upgrades.  Hill is potential superstar (or bust).  Davis sounds project-y, Bush is probably nickel/dime, Ganaway back-up, And Griffin is a monster in size.  If he has any skill, he’ll be solid.  If not, he’ll be back-up.
And, oh yeah… they have Tebow now.

4 Sun, Sep 30 @Arizona 4:05 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= M. Floyd (WR), J.Fleming (CB), B.Massie (OT), S.Kelemete (OT) *Yet another awesome receiver for Kolb to play with , and two solid tackles.  Massie was rated top-round, but picked round 4 (*tell me again why we HAD to draft our tackle round 2?).  Fleming sounds like a project that goes special teams unless he wins out in camp.  If Kolb can throw it far enough, he’ll have time and receivers open.

5 Sun, Oct 7 @Cincinnati 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= D.Kirkpatrick (CB), K.Zeitler (OG), D. Still (DT), M.Sanu (WR), B.Thompson (DT), O. Charles (TE), M.Jones (WR) *Except for Kirkpatrick and Sanu, they loaded up on beef.  Very good beef.  Three top playmakers and a lot of tonnage sounds like a decent draft for playoff caliber additions.  Kirkpatrick will be solid, if not scary.  Sanu is a home-run threat with the ball, but I wasn’t impressed with his hands or body positioning.  But them other fellas have him rated very high.  Charles was supposed to be solid, but I haven’t seen any film. M.Jones I like, and is a shifty, hard to tackle receiver.

6 Sun, Oct 14 vsSt. Louis 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= M.Brockers (DT), B.Quick (WR), J.Jenkins (CB), I.Pead (RB), T.Johnson (CB), C.Givens (WR), R.Watkins (OT) *Rams pretty much drafted an all-star roster, and whenever these guys peak… bad news for everyone else.  If Bradford lives up to billing, Rams have the makings for conference champion in a few years.  Scary good picks.  I love every one of these picks.  Quick and Givens are stars, Jenkins is a nightmare for QBs, Brockers is inside pressure, Pead is a threat from the flat, Johnson sounds solid, Watkins keeps Bradford standing.

7 BYE WEEK

8 Sun, Oct 28 @New York 1:00 PM
**see above**

9 Sun, Nov 4 @Indianapolis 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= Luck (QB), C.Fleener (TE), D.Allen (TE), TY Hilton (WR), J.Chapman (DT)
*Luck, plus two quality TEs, plus a nasty fast/shifty receiver in Hilton equals eventual success.  Add some defense with Chapman, and a solid beginning.
Not enough yet, but a very good start.  Hilton was a fave of mine.

10 Sun, Nov 11 vsTennessee 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= K.Wright (WR), Z.Brown (OLB),M.Martin (DT), C.Sensabaugh (CB), T.Thompson (TE), M.Martin (FS)*OK overall draft.  Wright may be a star or solid, Brown is boom or bust.  The others are starter competition.  D and running game was already good, so
Locker/Hasselbeck gets a couple of weapons upgrades.

11 Thu, Nov 15 @Buffalo 8:20 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= S.Gilmore (CB), C.Glenn (OT), TJ Graham(WR), N. Bradham (OLB), R. Brooks (CB), Z. Sanders (OT) *Solid corner, solid RT, project WR, project OT (Sanders plays both sides?) and starter competition the rest.  OK.  Definite upgrades, but nothing for
sportscenter.

12 Sun, Nov 25 vsSeattle 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= B.Irvin (DE), B.Wagner (ILB), R.Wilson (QB), R.Turbin (RB), J.Howard (DT), K.Toomer (ILB)  *Big and fast – all of them.  I sense a pattern. Except for Wilson.  That one is weird, but just in case Flynn is fool’s gold ..ok.  But I’d assume retread would’ve been more sensible than project rookie.  Good core draft, but nothing scary.  If Flynn works out, then they’ve improved well.  If Flynn sucks, they’ll be a top picker next year.

13 Sun, Dec 2 vsNew England 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= C.Jones (DE), D.Hightower (ILB), T. Wilson (FS), J. Bequette (DE), N.Ebner (DB), A, Dennard (CB) *Hmmm, wonder what area needed improvement?  D?  Well, it just got it.  Jones, and Hightower fit well, Wilson is a tweener but that fits, and a bunch of
possible “hidden gems”… we call them acorns.  I like Hightower.  D leader, winner, and solid all-around play.  So solid MLB and a pass rush to add to superbowl runner-up?  Yep.  Bad news.

14 Sun, Dec 9 @San Francisco 4:05 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= AJ Jenkins (WR), L.James (RB), J.Looney (OG), D.Fleming (OLB)
*Well, a little more O felt right to ask for, and Jenkins and James are fair bets.  I’m not a Jenkins fan, and I think James will be proven a more effective college runner, but others say different.  If I’m right, SF didn’t improve enough.  If I’m wrong, they did.  Alex Smith is still their barometer.  Their D is still great though.

15 Sun, Dec 16 vsJacksonville 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= J.Blackmon (WR), A. Branch (DE), B.Anger (P), B.Marshall (OLB)
*Blackmon and Branch were great starts,  both possible stars.  Then the punter.  Ah well, everyone needs what they need.  Considering Gabbert is still a puss, Anger management will be necessary… see where I went there? Marshall is competition.  Once they find their QB, they’ve got some definite talent.  Maybe Blackmon is enough to keep the diapers off Gabbert.  IMO, still a cellar team, but only because of leadership.

16 Sun, Dec 23 vsBuffalo 1:00 PM
**see above**

17 Sun, Dec 30 @New England 1:00 PM
**see above**

All information, only slightly skewed, and barely paraphrased.  Discuss as you like.  I’ll try to keep up.

Special Thanks to JS for being my first guest writer –    Jon  (Ohio)


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