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Baton of fault has been passed to Nick Saban

One repetitive thread on this blog and among frustrated Dolphins fans is that Miami's problems today were caused primarily by Dave Wannstedt and Rick Spielman yesterday.

Everyone complains the lack of talent on the team now is directly tied to the mismanagement those two perpetrated during their combined five seasons of heading the lunacy organization.

And that was true. Until this past Sunday.

I can say that Sunday you saw the baton of responsibility for Miami's mighty talent deficiency passed from Wannstache-Spielman to none other than Nick Saban. We saw the decisions Saban made in 2005 and 2006 hurt the Dolphins on the field against the Arizona Cardinals.

How?

First consider the 2005 draft:

The Dolphins picked Ronnie Brown, Matt Roth, Channing Crowder, Travis Daniels, Anthony Alabi and Kevin Vickerson in that order. Brown has been a good, but not great player and certainly not one that has yet to reward the Dolphins for the No. 2 overall selection.

Wouldn't it have been better to select receiver Braylon Edwards, as the Dolphins were rumored to be considering?

Remember that Miami desperately needed RBs in that draft and picked one with its first selection. Except that Marion Barber and Frank Gore were available in that draft, were selected much later than Brown, and have so far been better players than Brown.

Matt Roth in the second round? Another borderline starter now. Cornerback Nick Collins went to Green Bay in that round. Roscoe Parrish went to Buffalo in that round. Star safety Kerry Rhodes was on the board in that round and for several more rounds afterward.

Channing Crowder in the third round? Well, Crowder has been solid as a starter. But there are questions whether he will be with the team after this season, which is his last under contract. The team has declined to discuss an extension and I'm told Crowder will hit free agency after the season. The Dolphins don't seem worried about replacing him.

That says something about what they really think of the player. Never mind what comes out of Tony Sparano's mouth. Mind what is done with playing time and with contract negotiations to really judge what the team believes about its players.

Also, the final test of any draft comes when the players in that draft hit free agency. If by their end of the fourth season those drafted players aren't worth re-signing when they become unrestricted free agents, then it is hard to argue they were worthy of being drafted to begin with.

Anyway, despite getting a good starter in Crowder, the Dolphins might have gotten a difference-maker in DE Justin Tuck, or a OL starter in Nick Kaczur, or a DB in Ellis Hobbs or another starting corner in Eric Green, who went to Arizona.

The fourth round was the one that really hurt. Daniels came in that round and was a starter right away because he knew Saban's system. But Daniels was traded for two silver dollars during training camp. And Barber was drafted in that round after Daniels and he's a Pro Bowl player. Rhodes was taken in that round after the Dolphins picked. So were Brandon Jacobs of the Giants and Brady Poppinga of Green Bay -- two more starters.

The Dolphins didn't have a sixth-round pick that year. That was shipped to San Diego for David Boston. How'd that work out?

In the seventh round the Dolphins picked Kevin Vickerson. Can't rip this pick too much because seventh-rounders rarely turn into difference-makers. But the Dolphins this weekend will face a former seventh rounder picked after Vickerson in 2005. His name is Matt Cassel.

In the 2006 draft, the Dolphins drafted a guy who I am very close to designating as a bust: Jason Allen.

Think about it. Allen was handed the starting free safety job this year in training camp. He couldn't keep it and fell behind Chris Crocker on the depth chart. Crocker is not exactly a great player as we saw Sunday. Meanwhile, rather than using the time away from the starting unit to improve and push Crocker, Allen has regressed.

When Crocker was taken out of Sunday's game, the Dolphins replaced him at free safety with Renaldo Hill. So not only is Allen not on first team, he's not second team, either. Geez. And the concerning thing is that this is the third coaching staff that has declined to embrace Allen. Remember Saban didn't start him and last year he was well down in the depth chart until everyone got hurt. It wasn't until the choice was playing Allen or Tuff Harris that Dom Capers relented and finally put Allen in the starting lineup.

The painful thing is that the 2006 first round was a gushing oil well of talent and the Dolphins didn't get even one drop in their tank. After Allen went to Miami, LB Chad Greenway went to Minnesota and has started the past 18 games. San Diego took Antonio Cromartie who is a stud. KC drafted Tamba Hali, a fine player. Pittsburgh drafted deep threat Santonio Holmes who also starts. Last year, Holmes averaged a whopping 18.1 yards per reception and almost had a 1,000 yard season.

Continuing, the Jets drafted starting center Nick Mangold. The Giants picked fine DE Mathias Kiwanuka. And Indy selected very productive Joseph Addai.

The second round of that 2006 draft, believe it or not, was a greater disaster for Miami than the first round. The Dolphins gave that pick to the Minnesota Vikings because they traded for Daunte Culpepper rather than sign Drew Brees as an unrestricted free agent. Brees has thrown 58 TDs for his new team. Culpepper spent one injury-riddled year in Miami and is out of the NFL now.

In the third round the Dolphins picked Derek Hagan. In the fourth round the Dolphins picked Joe Toledo while Denver picked Brandon Marshall out of Central Florida, which is like a two-hour drive from the Dolphins training facility. Marshall caught 18 passes against San Diego Sunday. That is typically more than half a season's work for Hagan.

Anyway, the Dolphins had no pick in the fifth round that year because they used it in the supplemental draft on Manny Wright. How'd that work out?

The sixth round pick went to San Diego in the Cleo Lemon trade. And the seventh-round selection was used on Fred Evans, who is playing for Minnesota.

The bottom line is the 2006 draft brought Miami zero starting players. The 2005 draft was better, but it didn't bring Miami any stars and certainly no superstars.

So the next time you want to blame Wannstache and Spielman for Miami's current woes, resist the temptation. The baton of fault has been passed.

Nick Saban is running with it now.

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I say, bring back Saban and Wannstedt. Their drafts were perfect as far as I'm concerned.

dolphanforlife...it's a shame you're being paid too well to make ignorant criticisms against people you have yet to give a chance, because it sounds like you'd make a great NFL front office woman

Ok, so it's all Saban's fault. Now what? That's why you are a football reporter instead of a football coach, gm, or anyone else who is in charge of making decisions. The worst thing you could ever do if you are in Sparano's, Parcell's, or Ireland's shoes is to say "We lost Sunday to Arizona b/c of Nick Saban".

John, I believe Armando's job is to identify the problem and explain it in terms even stupid fans such as yourself can understand. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mando,
Wanny was the one who passed Drew Brees and Anquan Boldin for a 3rd CB and a special teams player. Those mistakes alone trump anything Saban ever did.

Ronnie Brown is a very good player and has great potential. He has some of the best hands in the game. Maybe one day he'll play on a good offense.

Most of this hindsight stuff is not about the players still on the team, but the ones who never even made an impact. Go back and look at that. Look at how there are zero players left from the Jimmy Johnson era and only two players left from the Wannstedt/Spielman era (Bell and Carey).

Only two drafted players left from 1996-2004. 8 years of drafting and two players? There hasn't been a core.

That is where the problem lies.

I agree with everything Mando said with the exception of the Jason Allen critique. Obviously, the Fins could have done better with that pick, but from what I saw last year, Allen is a solid player when given the opportunity. He may not impress the coaches in the classroom, but he has playmaking qualities with his speed and ability to hover around the ball. This defensive scheme is even less complicated than Capers' system was and is more "player friendly"; so I don't understand why they don't give Allen a shot. He has to be better than "I got burned by Boldin" Crocker.

Attention Dolphins fans: next urine facial begins this sunday 1pm.

Hi this Eric Kumerow and John Bosa, we think Jason Allen is a Pro Bowler. Look at us. Given another 10 -15 years we would have panned out. Wanny and Saban are draft gurus. On another note, our best buddy Eddie Moore said he could have covered Anquan Boldin. Eddie Blake and Billy Milner forever!

C'mon. Let's flip it around. Should the Fins have taken Alex Smith? That's who Saban would have taken if the 49ers had passed. How has that worked out? Look at all the geniuses that passed on Aaron Rodgers. Mando has pointed out how badly the Fins needed a running back. Should we have taken Cedric Benson? Cadillac Williams? All in all out of the top running backs available the Fins got the best one. Nope. It still and always Wanny's fault. As a Bears fan told me the day they hired Wanny. "Wanny will set your franchise back 10 years" He was spot on. Look how he's doing with Pitt. Poor Marino must wake up in a cold sweat every night seeing what his arch-nemesis is doing to his poor old alma mater.

Omar remember this also, Matt Roth was selected in the second round before starting LT Kaliff Barnes of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He may not be a pro-bowler but he could have shored up our need for a starting caliber LT 3 years ago and he would be just entering his prime as he is with Jacksonvill right now.

You want draft hindsight how about this: We drafted the only QB in history start 4 major bowl games, to have his team ranked in the top 25 for 42 out of 44 weeks, who put 4 recievers into the NFL: Edwards, Manningham, Breaston & Avant. We promised him an equal chance to earn the starting job if he beat out his competitors, which he did and then 10 days before the season began we sign Pennington and tell our draft choice and our team and our fans to go f*&k themselves.

"I don't think there's a problem with the running game," Williams said.

Were averaging 2.6 yards a carry.
Somebody drug test him now!!!!!!

Liked the article Armando. One thing i'd say was a stretch is the Braylon Edwards thing. He's not the stud everyone talks about and if he'd been here in miami with no-one to throw to him we'd be cursing that pick more than Brown. Remember if Brown had finished the year last year like he started it, then he'd of had over 2100 yards total offense. Braylon has shown potential, but doesn't have near the impact ability that Ronnie showed he has last year playing for the worst team in the leage. Not to mention Braylon has 5 dropped passes this year. I know we'd all of been calling him a bust going into last year, and hating on him right now for those drops.

Ellis Hobbs sucks.

During our last 5 years we missed out on alot of great players. We could have had the likes of Patrick Willis, Anquan Boldin, Chad Ocho Cinco (Johnson), Kaliff Barnes, Marion Barber, Marques Colston, Mathias Kiwananuka, Aaron Ross, Bob Sanders. And the names keep rolling and rolling. However, we have been stuck with poor evaluaters of talent and have been stuck in rebuilding mode for the last 7 years. At least the new regime has had a decent eye so far. Jake Long, Chad Henne, Kendall Langford, and Phillip Merling will all be cornerstones. Hopefully we can add some more talent to the secondary and WR corps next year and actually sign some Free Agents that will make a difference. So far the Trifecta have done better evaluating the draft instead of the free agents they signed.

Just because you are my customers doesn't mean you have any input into the product I make available for you. If you don't like my product then spend your money making some other team owner even wealthier.

Yes - Saban is the reason for the season per se. He sucked the life right out of us and it is a fact we are all dealing with today. I like the direction we are going though - bringing in new players, new attitude, etc. This team will win some games this year and by drafting Henne and Long (gulp - did I say that as a Buckeye fan?), this is a good start. Ronnie Brown will be fine - remember, he was leading the NFL in rushing last year until he blew his knee out - how the heck could you say he is not worth signing after next year? give him a chance to get to 100% - clearly we are showcasing Ricky to get some value out of him via a trade.

The sun will come up soon - be patient my friends.

I agree with Cooks, this is a real good draft and this year is an evaluation to see what players need to be purged for next year. If you were starting your own buisness wouldn't you want to bring in your own people? Wanny,Saban,and Cameron really contaminated this organization. Honestly, more Wanny than anybody. Saban couldn't handle the pressure and he didn't finish what he started. Wanny lacked coaching skills and talent evaluation. Eddie Moore has got to be the biggest draft flop ever. Thanks Wanny. Parcells is taking out the trash now and believe me that's about three years worth of trash. Parcells can do it in two. Ted Ginn, I honestly feel is being taught some kind oflesson by this coaching staff on how to become a football player. He is not a bust yet, but I'm sorry to say that everybody else is not salvageable. The Dolphins are the worst team in football. Next year we will reap a harvest of good draft picks because we will have better talent evaluators. If I know this regime, and I do, I say they stay away from free agency next year and unleash Chad Henne. They might look for a reciever on the market. I doubt it. The trifecta is committed and that's a good thing. Its the best of things. Mando this was a good peice you wrote today alot better then the Sparano peice two days back. I agree that its Sabans fault for the dolphins problems but not because of the draft. Its because he walked out on the rebuilding project in his second year. The dynamics of college football were a lot different than the NFL. Somehow I feel that his wife was behind him leaving the organization. Who are we kidding it was a collective effort from everybody. Cam cameron had a share in it too. The organization is contaminated but its being clensed. Im hoping for six and ten season but realisticly try 3 and 13. The team will get better. I leave you with this thought Mando. When Parcells left the Jets after his run with them he gave the whistle over too his friend Bill Billecheck. Bill fled the organization and went to New England why because the commitment from the organization was there and Robert Kraft was a hands off owner. Bill has been there ever since. Wayne and his partner better give the Tuna lots of space and money to buy the groceries. The biggest word on the blogs this season is patience its true. Someone wrote take some malox this season while watching the Dolphins, maybe we should take a page from Ricky Williams and light up a joint instead. Lets root for upsets shall we. I was just joking about the joint thing but if you saw the Arizona game you would understand.

I don't get the Jason Allen thing. When Chris Crocker went down I thought we would get to see Allen. I don't buy he is 3rd. He looked OK last year. I think they need to get him out there as a starter and see what happens.

Agreed, 2006 was a terrible draft, especially Allen. But you're on shaky ground on 2005. Brown has not been a disaster, and there's no guarantee that running behind this line Frank Gore would have been any better. Roth's better days may be ahead of him, and Crowder's may be behind him - but you can't adopt an inconsistent half-full, half-empty approach in order to make both seem like wasted picks. Crowder has been a very solid three+ year starter for a mere third rounder, even if they never get another down out of him after this year.

Where I really disagree is with your logic in citing the low round gems of the other 31 teams and acting like Saban failing to uncover them himself was some unique blunder. No one else knew how good Brandon Jacobs would be either. New York didn't even know, or they wouldn't have let him stay on the board so long. By all means, blame Miami for the mediocrities they took - but blaming the prior regime for not finding every hidden future star in the lower rounds of each draft is ridiculous.

By that standard, every GM in history is a horrible failure, because inevitably some future Pro Bowlers everyone passed on multiple times comes from the fourth to seventh rounds.

And BTW, in three years, picking Ginn over Quinn and Jake over Chris may look far worse than anything Saban or Speilman did.

REMEMBER NICK SABAN IS THE LAST COACH TO HAVE A WINNING SEASON. I THINK YOU'RE JUST SORE THAT NICK IS BUILDING A POWERHOUSE IN COLLEGE.

Hey LongIsland Finfan learn your English: Would have, could have, should have or if you prefer contractions" Would've, could've, should've, and English is not my first language. You are correct to an extent, Salguero, but it's the same as with politics, the new regime wants it's people in the management side and their own players. So far this regime has hit it good with some of it's draft picks: Long, Henne, Merling, Langford, Thomas and some that might still pan out: Murphy. I want to see Jason Allen play as a starter, I believe he has enough talent and also LOndon as wide receiver.

Hey LongIsland Finfan learn your English: Would have, could have, should have or if you prefer contractions" Would've, could've, should've, and English is not my first language. You are correct to an extent, Salguero, but it's the same as with politics, the new regime wants it's people in the management side and their own players. So far this regime has hit it good with some of it's draft picks: Long, Henne, Merling, Langford, Thomas and some that might still pan out: Murphy. I want to see Jason Allen play as a starter, I believe he has enough talent and also LOndon as wide receiver.

...I agree with cook...

We all need to take some Maalox and wait for next season... I like the job Parcells and crew are doing, it's just going to take a while to flush all the crap out...

Jason Allen? I remember last year when they finally let him on the field the guy made play after play. Reminds me of Yeremiah Bell. He couldn't get on the field until they were forced to and viola! he was a playmaker! Sometimes people aren't good practice players.

If you can't see that Ronnie Brown is an awesome back then start watching ballet and get off football because you know not what you speak of. If they give Brown 75-80% of the carries it will have a big positive impact on the offense as a whole. It has not been Brown's fault that the defense gives up points in huge bunches in the first 2 quarters.

Chad Greenway? I think he blew his knee out in his first game as a rookie. I'm sure you would have criticized him for being injured just like you criticize Brown for being injured.

Armando, you are an idiot.

Good observations Mando but I think you would agree this doesn't let the current brain trust off the hook.

Come on, here's some of the great Wanny stuff:
Jamar Fletcher
Eddie Moore
2 first rounders for Ricky

Not even using hindsight, the fans were clamoring at the time for:
Boldin
Brees
Reggie Wayne

If you don't like my team you can support the Bucs, I could not care less.

Saban backed out. He did get the best out of talent Wanny left him. His drafts were different and Ronnie wasn't a bad pick. Just not a great pick. Do we honestly believe that anyone besides Barry Sanders could have run on this team last year?

Ricky was not a bad trade. Did he not lead the league in rushing in his first year with the Phins? How could Wanny know about his pot abuse?

It isn't the stars. It is the role players that have been poor choices. The nameless guys. The killer B's. Remember them? They were a great team.

Even though the article made sense, we have to remember what it takes to make a team. Barry Sanders didn't win a Super Bowl. Neither did Dan Marino. It is the bits and peices that are important. We have an adminstration that has a plan. Within 4 years we are back in the playoffs. And why not this year?

Right down the middle, Armando. Sad but true.

Whoever is posting entries here and signing my name I demand you cease and desist.
I feel your concern and I can assure you that only the most highly skilled, highly prepared players will be wearing the Dolphins uniform this weekend. You will be proud to be a Dolphins fan this weekend when we beat New England.

The world is coming to an end, I agree with Master!

All this rookie this rookie that crap gets thrown out the window when you're a Michigan QB. The guy played in front of crowds twice the size of any Dolphin crowd, ten times as loud, and was constantly in the spotlight. He has what it takes, let him prove it.

Mando,

What you expect from a lyer and a quiter like Saban, he's so useless that it's a waste of your time and mine to discuss him.

In fact if we do not beat New England this Sunday I will refund the cost of your tickets. Just call my office on Monday.

Credit where credit is due: Excellent catalog of the Saban era's "miscues" & screw-ups. Thnx Mando.

nice work Mando. Although it is depression to read it is important to remember, especially as we try to endure and be patient this season with out talent level as poor as it is. I think a lot of people were hoping for an accelerated rebuilding process but that seems implausable.

Incredible blog today Armando and thank you for pointing out all of the mistakes those dolts made. I would say that Spielman still has to carry some of the burden. A 2nd rounder for A.J., Eddie 'freaking' Moore, and the Ogunleye dibacle are three mistakes that come to mind. Then on to Saban and then our buddy Cameron. How are Ginn and Beck doing? Thanks Cam. And now people are starting to question Sateles strength which I would have to say is pretty important for a center to have. So the bottom line is by next year we may only have ONE starter from those drafts. Not counting Spielmans idiocy that is three years of drafts that produced ONE STARTER! Oh my God that is pathetic. The Tuna has already surpassed all of them and even found a gem in the late rounds with Thomas. So to the people who want to ridicule Parcells and company please get your heads out of your because you're blaming the wrong people.

Klndry,

What are you smokin, Ricky's stash.
Playoffs!!! Playoffs!!!
Rebuild is happening So be patient.
I expect we will get our butts kicked most of the year. I do agree Jason Allen should play!
And we need to do better in free agency> We should have gone for Faneca Or better yet Asante Samuels. The new our secondary was suspect.
Go Phins!

Exactly, Saban had a hard on for any SEC player or player he tried to recruit in college. Isn't that the BS he gave when he drafted Jason Allen, when Cromartie was sitting right there, and a CB was a HUGE need after trading Surtain and cutting Madison? No NFL team that is Good today took a RB in the top 10. And remember Saban really wanted Alex Smith the most, that would have worked out well wouldn't it? NOT! But maybe the most overlooked move of all was not re-signing Rosenfels and trading a 5th for Joey Harrington. That was the 2nd dumbest move he made behind trading for Culpepper.

Klndry,

What are you smokin , Ricky's stash.
Play Jason Allen he likes to be around the ball.
We should have tried harder for Faneca or better yet Asante Sanuel because the La Familia new the secondary was suspect.
Go Phins!

Dolphinaddict, I wouldn't say Parcells has surpassed them. Sure more of his draft picks are starting, but thats because all the veterans were traded or let go to start rebuilding. Don't get me wrong...I like him and choices so far but its waaaay to early to say he chose long term starters. Waaaaaaaaay to early.

I'm sorry to point you out but this is getting ridiculous. Dolphanforlife you never make one ounce of sense. Your theories have no substance and you always ignore the big picture. I am now CONVINCED that you make all of your decisions and base all of your opinions on Madden 09' the video game. My nephew and I played a few weeks back and I was the Dolphins. I looked at the player ratings and they had Mauia ranked an 89! HAHAHAHAHAHA! And then in your post you point out that the Tuna made a mistake by releasing him. You say we should run Ronnie up the middle?! WTF?! Think about what you are saying before you speak. Our weakest part of the line is in the middle. Ndukwe and Satele are getting pushed around like ragdolls and Smiley is serviceable at best! Yeah run it up the middle so instead of getting 2 yard GAINS we can experience 2 yard losses. "Jason Allen is not a bust"????? ROFLMAO! And then you talk about signing people like Asante Samuel who is playing for a superbowl contender? But what you don't understand is that players want to go to a winning team and if a 1-15 team approaches them their agents jack the price up higher than they are worth. This isn't Madden and you can't trade for anyone you want. They have to WANT to play for your team. Man you have to get with the program kid. Read the posts and notice how your opinions are usually completely different than the rest of us. Do you think this is because you are just smarter than everyone else in here? C'mon already would ya, make some sense once in a while.

Check out the dolphins website and go to depth chart click on free safety and compare the Crocker/Allen stats Jasons are the same with half the starts.
Go Phins!

NY Scott,
1. I never said run up the middle.
I said Ronnie is a good runner.
2. I do not play kids games.
3. Your an idiot so go back to playing your game turd.

Remember Rome wasn`t built in a day.
With the first selection in the 2009 NFL Draft,The Miqami Dolphins take from Texas Tech,Michael Crabtree.
Thankfully we have currently 4 picks in the first two rounds. Maybe a secondary could be started.
Hopefully Ireland and Parcells will pay attention to the lack of size in our secondary and get us some.I`m tired of being pushed around and want to see the day soon when the Dolphins do some serious shoving.

In hindsight it is easy to see that Dave Wannstedt, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller had drafts which ate up plenty of salary cap but delivered very minimal talent.

In fact their drafts have left the Miami Dolphins empty in terms of All-Pro players.

Thankfully, it appears as if the Bill Parcell's front office has corrected this problem.

Armando, I blog rarely, and only to rip your posts because you are so often wrong. But, you are 100% dead-on right on the money here. Even if Jason Allen was a marginal starter, his pick at #16 was a total waste given the high caliber of talent picked later in the 1st & early 2nd. But, he's not, so it's a nightmare. Brown, Crowder & Roth (who actually I think has finally found a home at OLB and will be an OK player there) are just guys, no more. The lack of stars from the '05 draft and the total disaster of the '06 draft is why it is plainly obvious the Dolphins have the worst skill-position players in the NFL, and you would be hard-pressed to say they are even better than USC in that regard. Scary part is the '07 draft is also starting to look nearly as bad (Satele and an inconsistent punter, that's it, Ginn and Beck are failures). Perhaps in our hatred of Saban, Mueller has been getting a free pass from us for his responsibility for the '06 draft for too long.

This is bull. You can say all you want about players selected but if they were on a different team they would be good also. You have to develop talent too and Miami hasn't been fertile ground for that in the last 10 year. I know you can't see it but we are getting better. We need to get our confidence and a guick start might help us. Teams know this as well so the try and get up early on us before we gain confidence. its coming just you wait its coming.

Unfair on Ronnie, Armando. He was the talk of the NFL last year until the knee got him. Injuries happen.

Bigtime unfair.

Hey I could cover Yatil Green now.

I think Beck has much more talent than Henne, but still Henne should be starting after the Pats game this week. Period.

easy to be armchair coaches,if anyone here knew how the nfl worked we would be doing that job not cuttin on those who are trying to do it. yes mistakes were made but everyone makes some, give the new staff a chance to right this sinking ship and support them some, cant get into their jobs if theres no support from the fans.

Armando, Solid blog entry. I was actually thinking the same thing as I was watching the Dolphins play in Arizona this weekend. While I believe that the majority of this teams problems can be traced back to Wannstedt and his inability to properly evaluate talent in the draft and in free agency, most of this teams IMMEDIATE problems can be traced back to the Saban drafts/free agency periods.

I think the problem went back to how Saban evaluated college players. He emphasized more pure athletic ability in his analyses rather than talent or "football ability". Saban drafted some solid athletes: R. Brown, Matt Roth, Crowder, Jason Allen, D. Hagan. The problem is that none of those guys, whom should right now be the nucleus of an up and coming program, are not great students of the game. They're all players that rely more on athletic ability to get them by. Crowder is certainly no student of the game, Roth plays hard, but isn't a fit for this offense. Ronnie is a good runner and I think, if he stays relatively injury free, can have a decent future. Allen and Hagan look like busts to me. Allen has great athletic ability, is a decent playmaker on special teams, but not worth the high draft pick, especially with game breakers like Cromartie still on the board. Allen plays out of position way too often, a 1st rounder must to know where he needs to be in each play, and most of all, the high draft pick requires that he be a leader in the backfield. You're not going to gain the confidence of your coaches and teammates by making too many mental mistakes.

2005 was a mediocre draft, better than the Wannstedt drafts at least! 2006 was an unmitigated disaster. The decision to trade a 2nd rounder for Culpepper was a monumental error, bigger than Wannstedt's decision to trade for Feeley. It was arguably the straw that broke the back the Saban regime here.

Cameron's draft won't escape scrutiny here either. Ginn can be a very good wideout in a vertical passing system, but Sparano and Co. don't run that kind of offense here, and it looks like they're not going to change their offensive scheme for the talent on this team. Maybe they should, but Ginn's talent isn't worth the trouble. Patrick Willis would have been great on this team, especially teamed up with Crowder on the inside of the d-line. Willis, and not Brady Quinn or Ginn should have been the pick here. As for the other picks, Beck is riding the pine, Satele looks like a Pro-Bowl prospect, Booker will be a good third down back (unfortunately no longer with us), and Soliai is inconsistent. I would give the Cameron draft a better grade right now than the Saban drafts, but not by much.

Hindsight is 20/20, but then again, that is the distinct advantage to having a secretary’s butt and a keyboard.

Mando,

This was really the continuing story of bad drafting that transitioned from the Wannstache/Spielman days to the time of the great Nicktator.

The bottom line is that the damage to this team has been done even going back to the Jimmy Johnson days. JJ had a good eye for defensive talent, but terrible when it came to offensive talent. Only three players from Wannstedt's drafts and trades remain today. Only five Saban draftees remain. And you want to know why this team went 1-15 last year?

Tuna, Ireland, & Sparano have taken steps in the right direction. But it's not going to look good right now and produce immediate results.

I encourage every Dolfan to remember what Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson as a Cowboy, and the Belichick/Pioli combo had to go through before they produced Super Bowl champs.

The last two games have exposed and this week's game against the Patriots will continue to expose what kind of work lies ahead to turn this team around.

The major positive is that the 2008 draft is light years better than what we had in the past. The only caveat in my statement is that these guys stay healthy (meaning a full recovery for Donald Thomas and that every one of the other keepers avoids the injury bug).

The Dolphins need to build on that. It will take at least three drafts to make this team competitive again. The other thing I must note is that the Tuna and company are doing everything to stockpile draft picks instead of trading them away. That's one thing that has helped the Patriots under Belichick/Pioli.

I have a hard time calling a player a bust because of injuries. I believe Brown's the player he showed himself to be last season before he went down, and yes I would take him over Barber, and consider him a wash with Gore.
I'd really love to not hear anymore about how mediocre Brown is until a) We get SOMETHING happening up front, and b) we stop killing Ronnie's rhythm by giving his carries to Ricky. Ricky may be terrific yet, but right now he looks like he's still playing his way into football speed. PATIENCE!!!

I'm a season ticket holder, I'm concerned but I'm not bailing out. I watched the Jets game and noticed something, the Jets secondary was rarely ever lined up more than 10 or 15 yards off the line of scrimmage. They were de-facto playing 11 men in the box, that's why we couldn't run the ball.

Not having the luxury of seeing the entire defense on TV I will bet that the Cards did the same thing.

Every once in a while with 11 men in the box a quick hitter up the middle can be a huge game changing play, BUT the RB has to hit the hole with total commitment and at full speed to make it happen.

I see Ricky slowing down towards the point of attack, like he doesn't trust the OL to get the job done. I see Ronnie blasting through the hole whether its there or not. I think the idea of having Ronnie run inside is not a bad one in the case we hit on one of those big plays.

BUT the main thing I'm saying is that no defense in the NFL has any fear of a vertical passing attack from this team. Why? Because everyone in the NFL knows that CP isn't going to throw the ball more than 25 yards downfield, so why should they play deep or even worry about a deep route?

I watched Ginn do a double move over the middle where he broke free around 30 yards upfield in the Jets game and nobody bothered to cover him after that because they knew that the ball could never get there from CP's arm.

Right now our offense is hamstrung by the fact that we cannot throw the ball downfield, we are a one dimensional football team.

The 49ers during the 80s were also one dimensional as far as the long ball was concerned, but their weapons were a fantastic running back, an OL with an attitude stacked with beasts, and receivers that were not afraid to run the slant over the middle and could make defenders look silly in trying to tackle them as they ran away from them. Plus their receivers caught the balls that were thrown in their direction, unlike ours.

We talk about a rebuilding process, about drafts and getting top players, Don Shula's first year he took a 5-8-1 team to 10-4 and the playoffs. His FIRST year. He basically used the same players that George Wilson had on his team and turned them into contenders in one season.

Good coaches can take good players and put them into position to become great players, Bob Griese was a very athletic mobile QB but his arm strength was like CP's. Bob's weak arm is in the HOF. Larry Csonka as great as he was never led the NFL in rushing the way Ricky did just a few years ago.

The only reason we do not win football games and have championship seasons anymore is not about the players, their strengths and weaknesses, it's about the system in which they play, it's about the cohesion and belief in each other and one another, it's about pride, it's about a willingness to do what cannot be done, it's about a belief in the leadership of the coaches, it about the animal instinct to prevail no matter the cost to ones self.

The Miami Dolphins haven't had that kind of spirit since the 1984 Super Bowl season. There have been some good teams in the intervening years but still, that kind of attitude has been missing in Miami for 23 years.

I don't know what it's going to take to get that kind of attitude back in the locker room and on the field. I know it will take a coaching staff that inspires, a front office that inspires, and a group of athletes committed to covering each others back, committed to the team to each other, and to themselves.

I don't care who we draft as long as he can play football to the NFL level, he can become a winner. And that's really all we need is players that are willing to do whatever it takes to win, and have the heart to get the job done, EVERY time.

We don't have to have super stars at every position we just need guys who aren't afraid of success and are willing to do the job.

finfan in Orlando.....Leinart was NOT drafted in the same draft as Aaron Rodgers. AAron Rodgers was in Alex Smith's draft class, when we passed over rodgers to take Ronnie Brown. Leinart stayed in college that year to win back to back championships, but Vince Young (beyatch) took that hope away with his win in the NC game. go look it up.....just saying, if you want to spit your voice...come correct!

I agree with you 100 percent about saban and wanstedt and it is not gonna be repaired in one offseason

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