Dolphins vs. Colts (Tannehill vs. Luck)


 

 

The Dolphins and Colts are among the league’s two most surprising teams in the league at 4-3. The No. 6 spot for the AFC is wide open and the winner of this game will have a leg up. People don’t understand how rare a match-up like this truly is.

This is the first time in NFL history two top 10 rookie quarterbacks have met up with winning records. It’s only the sixth match-up of top 10 rookie quarterbacks, period.

Perhaps this game isn’t getting the attention it deserves because people haven’t watched these two rookie quarterbacks much yet. They haven’t been on national TV.

 

Encouraging things about Tannehill:

1. He’s great at the little things. He changes plays at the line of scrimmage. He tries to quick snap the opposing defense at the right time. He can run the two-minute drill very effectively.

There were some jokes about Tannehill in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” after he didn’t know the NFL divisions, but he plays like a very sharp quarterback. The game doesn’t seem too fast for him.

2. He stands so tall in the pocket. There was criticism before the draft that Tannehill would take a while to get comfortable at the NFL level. Instead, he handles pressure beautifully. He ignores it.

3. He avoids mistakes. Tannehill didn’t throw an interception in October. This is a remarkable feat because Tannehill is very willing to make tough throws with his big arm. He goes to secondary receivers.

In any other season, Tannehill would be a huge story for his superlative play. Luck and RG3 have out-shined him, but they haven’t outplayed him by much, if at all.

 

Miami’s defense and offensive line are playing at a very high level. They are a better team overall than the Colts, so Luck will have to be at his very best to get a win at home Sunday.

My wife is due to have her baby literally any day now, so this might be the last time I check in for a while.   I will be back though.

 

 

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284 Responses to “Dolphins vs. Colts (Tannehill vs. Luck)”

  1. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Ok, for kicks, lets start with the Wheel-O-Coaches on our new coaching search.
    Found a list of some folks that have some backing as HC candidates. Not my list… just repeating Fox Sports’.

    My comments, though ;)…..

    Mike Zimmer – Another Bengals DC. Had one, not impressed.

    Lovie Smith – retread. Not at the top of my list.

    Jon Gruden – ain’t leaving his cushy job.

    Jay Gruden – did a great job with another loser locker-room, and developed rookie QB into top tier starter. Maybe.

    Pete Carmichael – another offensive guy, N.O. offense to be precise. Brees became a star only after he showed up at N.O. Hmmmmm.

    Ray Horton – DC. I’ve had enough of those. Need offensive mind.

    Josh McDaniels – I like the guy, and think he got a bad rap. Adaptable, and non-traditional. Maybe.

    Bruce Arians – Colts temp HC, led them to playoffs. How much was him, and how much was Luck? Iffy.

    Tom Clements – more GB staff? No thanks.

    Keith Armstrong – ST coach? A HC candidate? Really? Nah.

    Tod Haley – Steelers OC. Do they even have an offense? Pass.
    ****************

    Liking any of these choices?

  2. 72finfan Says:

    Nooooo, not the cheerleaders!!!

  3. 72finfan Says:

    I’m actually warming to the idea of Marino trying out his “I can do what Elway does” hand at GM, but with Tony Dungy acting in the consulting role (truly consulting, not whatever Carl Peterson whispers to the owner).

    Trouble with that is, Marino would need a coach with strong personnel skills, at least initially. And I don’t trust the current coaches in their evaluation skills (look no further than Brenner as a perfect example).

  4. 72finfan Says:

    I also don’t think Lovie would do well here, his record in CHI negates that. He hired retread after retread, and they (especially Martz) ruined that offense. Trestman comes in and immediately turns them onto an offensive powerhouse (skill was always there, so hmmmmm). Makes me think that Sumlin dude might be worth a serious look, as long as Manziel gets picked up before our pick!

  5. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    72…
    I’m impressed with NOBODy right now, but of the list I copied, only Carmichael, McDaniels, and Jay Gruden have my lukewarm interest.
    Maybe Carmichael #1, because of what he did for Brees and the N.O. offense. Maybe Gruden #2, because he’s the first guy to make the Cinci locker-room and offensive personnel get on the same page for 30 years.
    ****
    Marino as GM? I love Danny as much as any Fin fan, but… he wouldn’t make a good GM. I’ve listened to his comments on every draft, and he’s just as wishy washy and clueless as our current guy –if not more so. He thought Henne would be great, and Beck, and Tannehill… Yes, yes, yes is all he says. However, he would be my choice for QB coach, or something closer to his skill set.

    Elway’s job so far? Well, he lost Dumervil, and his #1 running back, and did …what? in the draft? All he did was sign an ancient HOF QB to the team (kudos i guess). Unless we’re chasing Brady, or Brees, I’d say most decent GMs can top him.

    BTW, Coaches are poor evaluation persons for talent because they simply don’t have the time to go over ALL the film that it takes to understand the draft. Once you have a couple choices for them, THEN you ask.
    *********
    Sumlin has been locked up by A&M, multi-year contract. So “C’est La Vie”. Peterson going to Washington, and there’s not any others that I can think of that deserve an NFL shot.

  6. Professor Lou (@professor_lou) Says:

    Jeff,
    After looking at everything I’m definitely leaning towards keeping Philbin as the head coach. I don’t think a guy who was a lesser coach could do what Philbin has done with this team last year and now this year with the shitstorm that’s going on.
    In addition, we need to bring in Kirk Ferentz as the OC. The current A & M connection of Sherman, Turner and “Skippy” Taylor isn’t cutting it.
    So, I’m liking Philbin as the HC but Sherman, Turner and Taylor need to be replaced.

  7. Professor Lou (@professor_lou) Says:

    Ok, here it is:
    Philbin designs the offense and Magoo calls it.
    Kirk Ferentz is Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Lines just like Billy has in NE.
    Chad Pennington becomes quarterbacks coach.
    Eric DeCosta becomes new GM.
    If Ross could pull this off it would probably propel the team to the next level.

  8. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Lou,
    Philbin probably WILL keep his job, with a new GM. not a traditionally healthy recipe. Personally, I’m tired of Philbin’s nonchalance to any issue. I’m not impressed anymore.
    but he’ll probably stay.
    So will Tanny.

    Don’t know DeCosta. Where’s he from?

    Pennington is a fair choice, and maybe realistic.

    Doubt Ferentz goes OC after 14 yrs of HC at Iowa. Not sure I likethe choice either. Iowa isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.

  9. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Pitt game….
    Well, its very hard to decipher how well a team played in conditions like that, but… strangely enough I think we played more consistent and smarter than the last 3 games I saw. I still am disappointed with some things, but for at least that game, we played a lot better. It was still sloppy, ugly, and not the effort of a top tier team, … but better that we have been.

    the GOOD:
    1. Defense! We looked like we knew what we were doing. 2 games in a row the defense shined, and kept us in the position to take advantage.
    2. I own up to my “wrongs”, and I may have been wrong about Vernon. Someone has finally taught him how to finish a rush. He always had a good initial push, then wiped it away with silly spins, and juke moves. Now he’s just continuing the push, and it’s working. Kudos to him, and credit to whatever coach has got him doing it.
    3. Clay! Dude has become a whole new person, and may be our best offensive player. Between Him and Hartline.
    4. Hartline! Dude always had hands, but he’s been consistently good at getting open all season, and being in the right spot. Another guy I thought was OK, but not worth the start a while ago… Owning another “wrong”. –He still can’t run a lick after the catch, but as long as he catches the ball beyond the first down marker.. I’l take it.
    5. O-Line! They gave T-Hill time, and open running lanes. Hope the concept gets repeated.

    the BAD:
    1. Tannehill still has no idea how and when to throw a deep ball to a fast guy. And Wallace apparently doesn’t know how to take control of a catch once it’s in the air. A team that wants to get past the 1st round of the playoffs can’t have this handicap.
    2. Our musical running back situation would be comical if it wasn’t so darned critical.
    A workhorse! My kingdom for a workhorse!
    3. Do we have any linebackers at all that know what they’re doing? Ugh.

    the UGLY:
    1. If that Pitt dude didn’t step out of bounds on that last play, I would’ve lost my mind. Firstly, there was a forward pass in one of those “laterals” (wasn’t called). Secondly — what kind of idiot lets that defense line up like any kind of regular defense when all you have to do is run it like a kick return, keep lanes, and keep people deep. Almost cost us the game, and I’m pretty sure everyone would have been fired, including the snack venders. Arrrrrrgh!

  10. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Looks like a couple wins (regardless of quality) and the media has backed off and turned around and starting hedging on the Dolphins being a playoff caliber team.
    I’m not buying.
    We may make it to the playoffs, though i still doubt that. But We have no real chance of doing anything once there.
    I still content we’re built to be mediocre, and that’s exactly where we’re going.

    8-8 will be my guess.

    Loss to Pats
    And we’ll lose a close ugly one to either Bills or Jets – and win the other.

  11. 72finfan Says:

    Brady squats to pee!!

  12. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    I’m hearing the “right” kind of things about our guys attitude going into the Pats game. And IF we win, I might start giving them a bit more credit.
    But I don’t think we will, and I don’t respect our team on the whole right now. Parts, yes… but not the whole.

  13. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Well, I’m very very happy to say I was wrong about that game.
    Very glad to own that one.

    I do give the players credit for taking it upon themselves to rise above their recent mediocrity.

    I still think the same things about the overall talent and coaching, and still don’t think we’re legit playoff caliber, nor built to improve to it.

    But.. winning has a beatiful way of dispelling demons and problems. Way to go team! Nice job. Keep proving me wrong as long as possible.. and I’ll be happy. 😉

    *******
    BTW, media rumor was that 9-7 saves Philbin’s job, and I would assume, Tannehill’s too. Ireland likely gone. Looks like 9-7 is very attainable. 10-6 isn’t even crazy-town, with the Bills and Jets left. So what happens if we manage the almost crazy-town 10-6? I would assume all keep their jobs.
    So… start mulling over how to fix our problems without any firing.

    I’m starting with a lengthy offseason camp for Tanny and Wallace on how to throw deep to fast guys, and how fast guys can turn around and fight for balls.

    We also need to find out pronto is McKinney is sticking around another year, or whether we’re fishing in the draft for a left tackle this year. The way he’s been playing, I’m happy with him sticking around.

  14. 72finfan Says:

    Very glad to see you were wrong on that one Jeff!!

    I think you are right too about most everyone’s job being pretty safe if we hit crazy-town. Although Sherman called a MUCH better game Sunday, I’m still not convinced that he’s the OC we want going forward. It has driven me nuts this season to watch the guy go all conservative at the worst times. Coaching/playcalls have killed us in three games this year (Bucs, Bills, 1st Pats game). Again, that seems to be improving, but I’d like to see more aggression. on both sides.

    And the news of the week – I got myself blocked from Omar Kelly’s twitter feed. The guy’s a complete toad anyway, and I don’t miss him a bit, but it was hilarious that THIS is what got me blocked:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Eldon Jenson ‏@EJFootball
    @PhinManiacs I like how on top of things you and @AbramsonPBP are with pertinent news. Meanwhile @OmarKelly is talking about rap albums.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Reply
    7:31 AM – 18 Dec 13 · Details
    Omar Kelly ‏@OmarKelly 39m
    To @EJFootball welcome to the land of the BLOCKED. I’m not a very tolerate person. Deuces!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  15. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Have no fear, 72. I Stopped following Omar a while back for the same reason. Obsession with self. Welcome to the Land of the Unfollowed, Omar. 😉
    I’m not stupid, and I read his columns every so often, because once in a while he actually does have some good insight, or pertinent info.

    Armando has occasionally corresponded with me, and seems like a decent dude. I just can’t stand his nutty forum followers. But twitter, messages, and email work fine if not better.

    **************
    As for Sherman. Heeeyallll yeeeeyah he needs to go. He’s as boring and vanilla as Sparano, despite all the hype and spin that we’re running some kind of fast paced, up-tempo offense. Never seen a slower offense to get plays in, no lie.
    But will he go? I’m doubting anyone goes until it happens. Right now everyone is smiling and thinking all is well. I see it different, but I’m still rooting like heck for them to do well.

    I just don’t see how this offense is built for anything other than mediocrity at best. From the coach, to the line, to the RBs, to the WRs….. most all are replaceable with any other NFL roster personnel. Nobody special, or something you can build around.

    But they are playing over their skis at the moment, and we’ll see how far that takes them. Good feeling vibes will turn south pronto-quicko if we lose to either Jets or Bills. Even at mediocre, I think we’re a head better than both, but this season has been odd. So fingers crossed.

  16. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Here’s an annoying stat of the day for you:

    65% TO 70% =
    EVERY player on our roster that has caught a pass has caught this ratio of catches per times targetted. Except for Dion Sims which has 60%. And except for….

    53% =
    The ratio of catches per times targetted for Mike Wallace. Lowest by far of any player on our roster, not just receivers either.

  17. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    I no longer have any clue which team I’m going to see in any given week.
    The one that beat the Steelers/Pats, and made everybody think we’ve got something going….
    Or the one that played Tampa/Bills that looked like they forgot how to play football.
    Last game = Just plain pathetic.
    VS. Pats, …. Hey, we’re fine, we’re playoff bound.
    VS. Bills,…. Fire everybody, draft everything.

    I have no clue. I thought our team was a house of cards even when we won several games in a row, but I was expecting at least a continued EFFORT from the players I was giving credit to. This was NO EFFORT.
    I have no idea what to expect anymore, and I don’t even know how to comment.

  18. 72finfan Says:

    I don’t know what to say either – that was just plain pathetic, from sloooooow play-calling, to nooooooo play-calling, to giving up on any play-calling. Hmmmm, maybe there is a common thread there.

    When you’re playing a high-end pass-rushing D like the Bills, you can’t spend all day in straight 5- and 7-step drops, no rollouts, no moving the pocket, just drop back, stare at the spot where your WR is supposed to eventually be open,and then chuck it there no matter how many blue shirts are in the picture. As much as I’d like to think Tannehill has the skillset to succeed at this level, I have wonder how much the (lack of) coaching is killing him, moreso than all the hits he’s had to absorb. I’m starting to see him as ending up with a David Carr career, hit so often, he ends up with jittery feet and no downfield vision. I watched the SEA/AZ game yesterday, and both QBs, one young, one old, obviously had pre-snap reads on rushers, and sidestepped pressure repeatedly. Tannehill has WAY too many plays where he just ducks and crumbles. And he seems way too committed to the play calls, and doesn’t seem to know his checkdowns. Frustrating as hell to watch, especially when you can see short routes open, and all he’s doing is staring down the sideline to the deep guy. On the plus side, he did actually overthrow Wallace on one play (ball was in the air at LEAST 70 yards too).

    I can almost understand abandoning the run – can you really blame them when Lamar Thomas (I combined their names) can’t get two friggin’ yards? But then again, why don’t we have ANYONE that can bulldoze for one frigging yard when we need it?

    But our killer all year long has been a complete failure to adjust. The Bills nickel blitzed all day and it’s like we just figured “oh, they did that one already, won’t happen again.” This game was over about halfway through the first quarter, when you could see the quit on them.

    I’m not sure I want them to end up in the playoffs, as we’d then A) save some jobs that really don’t deserve to be saved, and B) end up one-and-done in disappointing fashion, most likely getting blown out 44-10 at CIN.

    I know we could replace our DC and have an immediate impact (look at what Mike Nolan and Todd Bowles did in their first stints here), but it worries me that we NEED a real OC that can make decisions in 45 seconds or less, yet adjusting to a new offense will take half a season to gel.

    Sigh… I’m all over the map with thoughts today. Just frustrated at our mediocre team.

  19. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    No worries, 72. You said pretty much everything I was thinking, almost exactly.

    With one addition: It’s not just that Tannehill ducks and crumbles under pressure. He ignores it, or is completely blind to it… which is WHY he has to duck and crumble. Same with the O-line. But T-hill needs to recognize the blitz, point it out, and once the ball is snapped, expect it. He can’t MULTI-TASK. Look downfield, OR see a blitzer. Good QBs can do both. He can’t. Even in training camp this was the case. Over and over again he was sacked by his own D, in shorts. This has nothing to do with physical blocking. It means he simply ignores the rush and expects his line and RB to pick them. You can’t do that. Yes, it’s brave, but it’s also stupid.

    And the line isn’t picking up the slack either. No one is pointing out the overloads except for Pouncey. It’s Pouncey’s job, but if a LT or RT sees his side is overloaded — shout out, and the RB will notice, etc. Looks like it’s a surprise everytime.

    The rest of what you said is dead on. I have no idea what to think anymore. It was the same situation with Sparano. The guys were playing harder at times, and winning by sheer effort, but they simply aren’t built to win consistently … and that makes it hard for me to get fully behind them. I don’t think we’re building anything. I think we’re “there” – whereever “there” is. And I’m not satisfied. And I don’t know what to think.

  20. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    I have no rant, or crazy thought to add to this loss.
    I actually predicted more or less our final record, so it shouldn’t have been surprising, and it really isn’t. Just plain disappointed in general is the best I have,
    We have a few things to build with, but we also have a lot of things that may remain in place that makes us mediocre for the foreseeable future.

    I don’t see us improving to serious playoff caliber with the current group of coaches and GM. They can’t adapt to other coaches, and don’t seem to have any style or scheme that offer advantages. Vanilla. We fired that with Sparano.

    I don’t think Tannehill is much more than an average NFL QB. Definite weaknesses, and his strengths aren’t really special to the current NFL QB group. Some terrific plays, some horrible plays, and a lot of mediocre plays = average.

    We have very few players on offense that are solid keepers, but among them are Hartline, Clay, maybe Pouncey. Keller is a questionmark that we’ll answer next year.

    We have a very solid group of D-linemen, and with the proper strategy, atmosphere, and motivation, we’re set there. Grimes is solid. Patterson is a keeper when healthy. Jordan needs to play more, but seems to be a keeper.

    The rest are all replaceable. Any NFL roster would match the level of play of the remainder.

    What do we need for next year? A lot. Where do we start? Hard call, but I’m doubting Philbin goes. I’m doubting he willingly lets Sherman go. If Ross is pressured, maybe Ireland goes, but I wouldn’t wager on that one either. Got a feeling we’ll hear the spin that we had injuries, lawsuit distractions, bad luck, climate change, blah, blah, and nothing significant happens.

    So should that happen, expect 8-8 again. We’re built to be average, and we achieved it.

    Swell.
    Just wait til next year 😦

  21. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Stoops?
    http://network.yardbarker.com/college_football/article_external/report_oklahoma_coach_bob_stoops_open_to_making_nfl_leap/15423202

    Good man, good coach, has a plan, consistent winner. We could do a lot worse.

    Also… probably silly talk, but Shanahan isn’t exactly hash either. Despite his crappy Washington season, the man knows how the heck to coach. Question is what kind of personality he may have nowadays. Some of the best O-line play in NFL history belong to him. Does anyone really know how to coach a Dan Snyder team? I wouldn’t hold that aginst him.

    Just fodder to talk about.

  22. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Sammy Watkins is going to be a freaking STAR. Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald STAR. No idea where he’ll be picked, but if he’s there when we pick… we’ll seriously regret passing. For a team that has virtually no stars, he’d be a very bright light, and a catalyst.

    Yeah, we need a LT, and a RT, and maybe a guard, and a RB, and maybe a MLB, QB (?),… but Watkins would sure be a very nice distraction from those maladies.

    Maybe we could even pick, QB Boyd in the 2nd/3rd round. Would be a lethal combo, and a dangerous team.

    *******
    Haven’t seen a RB yet that has STAR written on him, but several servicable ones that might be a worth a pick somewhere.

    Haven’t delved too deeply into the draft class yet. Will get to that at some point.

  23. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Although Sherman and Ireland’s ouster is welcome… the more I read, the more it sounds like scapegoating, politicking, and misdirection tactics.
    Shutting folks up, and clinging to jobs, while throwing other people under the bus — in so many words.

    I have serious doubts that we’re about to take a successful new step. It seems like we’re headed for another mish-mosh of personalities that are seeking to maintain power… not necessarily build a winning program. Aponte and Philbin clinging to a raft while pointing fingers.

    But… At least Ross is doing something. We shall see if it works. Nothing has happened that is officially “wrong” yet, so, here’s hoping.

  24. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Well, I said it before, and it seems appropriate now. You can’t just assume that getting rid of somebody will automatically mean the replacement is better. I truly hope that Hickey is a stud GM, …but considering his hire was the last guy standing, and his strengths are “he’s a team player” (which is code for: he does what he’s told), and he wasn’t even in consideration for his former team’s GM job. Looking shakey.
    Well, nothing to do now but wait and see how he does in the draft.
    Here’s hopin’.

  25. professor lou Says:

    Jeff,
    I’ll admit my mock on my blog was a bit flawed because I can also not see Martin going that high. Truth be told I’m hoping we take a wr or db in that spot; preferably Cooks or Lee at the receiver position or Gilbert at cb. Cooks especially because of his big play ability and ability to make people miss but I like Lee and think he’s one of the most technically sound guys coming out at receiver.
    I love Gilbert because he’s a ball hawk and his return ability is fantastic. Something we definitely need.
    My mock:
    Rd1 Brandin Cooks
    Rd2 Jimmie Ward
    Rd3 Lache Seastrunk
    Rd 3b Dakota Dozier
    Rd 4 Cameron Fleming
    Rd 5 Michael Schofield
    Rd 6 Chris Watt
    We solve the o-line problems plus get 3 of the biggest playmakers at their respective positions. This is the one I’m sticking with. I’ve watched enough game tape of everyone and I’m done.

  26. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Lou. I would’ve been ecstatic to get Cooks. And of course, we passed. Dickey publicly said he wanted to shore up the 4th reciever spot with that pick. 2nd round pick, 4th receiver? Seriously? Now honestly, Landry can be the next Wes Welker – or just a slow guy who won’t help… I’m not sure yet. But the slip of the tongue by Dickey has me very worried about our future.

    I’m not a fan of Seastrunk. Mason and Hyde both had great vision, sharp cuts, followed blocking, and pad level contact, no fear of contact, and fought for yards. All the things that make NFL backs quality starters. The same difference that our current backs lack. Yes, even Moreno.

    We needed a guard and a RT, but both could be had in later rounds. We were devoid of playmaking, scoring, ‘scaring-other-teams’ talent.. and you find those top rounds. Can’t panic with those picks to fill ‘holes’. Technically we have no holes. We have enough NFL personnel to field a team at every position with a NFL caliber backup as well. Its a matter of upgrading.

    I like the Shipp kid. Have a feeling he may be the surprise of camp. I think Landry would be a very nice slot guy. Wish he had better moves. But for the new offense, it sounds a lot more like we have the right kind of dudes for the job. Hartline will flourish in new O. Landry will do well. Gibson is average, Matthews is average, everybody we have left is average or below. Wallace is the big question, and I am not one of the people that think it’s about chemistry.

    Wallace is not savvy on his routes. He wins with sheer athleticism and speed. Thats’ a mixed bag in the NFL. Tannehill hesitates on his decisions more than any starting quarterback I’ve ever seen. And he has zero pocket awareness. You could put a pro-bowl line in front of him, and he’d still be sack leader. That combination of indecisive QBing, and muddy route running equals low playmaking. THill can’t make that throw sooner, so he has to put his muscle into the throw, and that takes away from the touch and accuracy. Hartline runs consistent routes, so THill knows where he will be, and it’s an easier decision to make and throw for him. All this means Wallace and THill will not be a top tandem ever. Hopefully, the new O will feature a lot more underneath cutting and confusion, like what the offense was SUPPOSED to be last year. This year’s actually sounds like it will accomplish the task.

  27. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    The reason I get grumpy about our draft prowess, is because you don’t draft in a void. The players you pass up go to other teams. Some of them you have to play. So everybody gets better in the draft, its a question of if you got much better, or a little better, while your opponents do the same.
    TO analyze:
    Jets got Chris Johnson in the OS, and they’re future starting QB in Boyd (yes, I like him that much. Gino is a bust), and top DB, and a couple new playmakers (really liked S.Evans). Definitely improved, and got more dangerous.

    Patriots got better a little, nice addition at DT. But since they were already very good, they didn’t drop.

    Buffalo kicked ass. Got a future superstar in Watkins, a bunch of guys to protect their new QB (not sold on him yet, but we’ll see), and some defensive headhunters.

    We got some o-line protection, a possession receiver slated to be #4, and some special teams people that may grow into starting roles.
    We also got a retread CB (hoping he will be good again), and former backup RB from Denver.

    Does it sound like we’re headed to the superbowl? We have to beat all the teams above at least once, preferably twice. Then we have to beat teams like Denver, Indy, KC, Pitt, Bal, Cinn, Hou when it counts. I’m not seeing stars yet.

    The additions I really like? O coord. Plain simple we upgraded there. Albert, no question was needed, and an upgrade. Moreno was necessary, but still not even up to Bush’s standards, and he was subpar. Our whole RB corps is subpar. Our best ballhandling playmaker is Clay, which is insane since he was on the bottom of the barrel mid-way through last season. Suddenly. he’s the tops. Hartline’s second. Just does his job and is a pro. Wish he had YAC skills, but at least he gets open.

  28. professor lou Says:

    Jeff,
    I think this team is finally coming together. Probably the deepest wr corps, running back corps, defensive line and db’s. Granted the o-line is still a work in progress but I think we’re looking at a team that can compete with anyone in the league and has a chance to become great.
    Need to tweak the o-line and linebackers and this could be the beginning of a nice run over the next decade at least.

  29. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Lou, in part agree with you, but WAY too many questions to be claiming competing with anyone in the league.

    1. QB. Uncertain. This season will tell. I still maintain that Tannehill is adequate but not top level. Love him to prove me wrong.
    2. RBs. Bad. Moreno is our best back by far, and he’d be a backup anywhere else. Miller and Thomas are busts.
    3. OL. I actually think we’re set. Remove Dallas Thomas, stick in new kid and we’re good for a while. Seriously… we’re done, stop drafting linemen now.
    4. TEs. Clay= good, everyone else= Meh. But I think they’ll do fine.
    5. WRs. Solid 4 guys in Hartline, Landry, Gibson, Matthews. Honestly Wallace is our worst WR. Can’t run any route except a 9, and can’t catch anything. Leave him on the bench, and go with the 4 I mentioned, and we’re set for a little while. Wish one guy was faster, but they’ll do.
    6. DL. Solid pros, all. Good.
    7. LBs. Bad. Toss up on which is worse, Rbs or LBs. LBs probably 2nd worst. Need to make Jordan an OLB, and the rest are expendable. 2015 we need to draft RB and MLB.
    8. CBs. Like em. Set here, solid.
    9. DBs. WIP, but some talent. Can probably make do with this crew.
    10. Coaches. Still think Philbin is as creative as a rock. But I LOVE Lazor. Love em. If Philbin gets canned, I nominate Lazor.

    I don’t think this adds up to playoff team, but I do like the direction we’re going. All depends on Tannehill. IF he becomes the guy he’s supposed to be, then all we’re short is a solid RB and a couple LBs and we’re a very good team. But without an undisputed stud QB, we just aren’t going to be a top tier team until we do. Its a QB league, unfortunately.

    That said, IF we have to get a new QB, I don’t see anyone in the college ranks any better right now. The guys I like are all wasting away on the bench with other teams.

  30. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Lou, one more thing…
    Good news is… We’re the second best team in the AFC east. I’ve watched the Jets and Bills play preseason, and honestly I’m not remotely worried about either of their Quarterbacks. Manual looks just plain bad, and I don’t think Geno Smith is remotely special. They’re more likely to be dangerous to their own teams than other defenses. So our biggest obstacle will still be the Pats. And sorry to say, they’re still better. But, like I said, it depends on Tannehill. All or nothing year, IMO.

  31. professor lou Says:

    Jeff,
    The Pats may still be a better team but we have closed the gap significantly.

  32. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    I can agree with that more less. However, as much as we’ve improved in offensive game plan, and overall talent, we’re still a stud QB away from NE until Brady retires, or we find one. But… yes, we’re going in the right direction finally.

  33. Jeff Schanz (@JS_in_LA) Says:

    Case Keenum and Tahj Boyd released by respective teams. Both would challenge both our quarterbacks very seriously.
    We released Devlin because he wasn’t enough of a challenge, then signed Lobato (who isn’t close to challenging) and signed him to practice squad. Apparently we’d rather have a 3rd string level QB at 3rd string then real challengers.
    So I’m confused with this move, but once again… just a dumb fan who doesn’t know anything.

  34. Jon Says:

    Been a long long time guys, but I’m thinking about starting this blog back up. thoughts?

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