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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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Armando,

Hindsight is a wonderful way of becoming an expert. If only Miami Herald hadn't hired you then i wouldnt have the immense displeasure of continually reading your crap blogs. I think the real bust on this blog is you. If you were so brilliant why didnt bill hire you as GM??

As for the rest of you, how bout quit whinging bout how crap the dolphins are, accept it as I have done and watch some other games if its that irritating. Im not sure if any of you wankers have noticed but there are some great other games being played at the moment.

And stop writing on blogs. Get a life. There is a very high coincidence between writing on blogs regularily and being caught masturbating in public

Ron In Charlotte
You must be kidding about Beck right.

Stop with the Henne must start crap
I like Henne and It was one of the only players ever that I thought the dolphins should draft and they did alot better than what happen when cam was here (I will not mention the QBs name as it is blasphemy here)
But what would be the best case scenerio if Henne started not much different than if Pennington Started all year and Henne gets some time like he did in Arizona we will still be 5-11 at best. That is the problem with dolphin fans and why you all are called fair wheather fans because you only cheer and are a fan when the getting is good. But I'm different I love the Dolphins because they are my favorite team bad or good. If it was so easy to win in the NFL then everyone would win but that is impossible because somebody always has to lose. Unfortanately that is us now but just like a puzzle the pieces are coming together but we still need alot of pieces to go instead of cheering for wins why not try to cheer when something good happens like when one of our young DE's get a sack (which were drafted by this Regime). for goodness sake Mario Williams only had 4.5 sacks in his rookie year and had 11 in his second and Lankford already has two in two games. Cheer for Henne when he comes in for mop up duty and plays good (whether its a win or loss) and enjoy the glimspe of the future so you can enjoy when the future is ready to take us to the promise land and stop wishing that The magical wizard is going to wave his wand and we will be undefeated. You people getting stupid over two games when we are rebuilding are pathetic and should not watch a game you do not understand actually let your wifes watch they probably would be better at it and understand it more.

Beck better than Henne you are a moron. did you watch the preseason games? actually being in Charlotte must make it hard to watch the games. so you probably read the stats and make your judgements based on that. Get over it and be patient we will have a good team it just won't be this year or next year. Every year and with every game some light will shine. Granted there will be some dark moments also. learn to handle them because there will be alot of dark times this year and for next 3 to 4 years the light will begin to shine a little moreuntil we are the best team in the AFC just like the Pats and the Cowboys in the NFC.

Be Patient
Go Phins!

Cullen
You are right and thanks for pointed out an even better example Alex Smith might not even be in the NFL next year because they rushed him. We do not need to Rush Henne and that was my point Cullen. But obviously you had no point to make you must be one of those people that come out here and insult people who are trying to talk football. But you were right it must feel good to finally be right.

Go Phins

To the guy who posted under "Armando sucks balls"

you wrote
"And stop writing on blogs. Get a life. There is a very high coincidence between writing on blogs regularily and being caught masturbating in public"

You must be talking about yourself because you have plenty of post on here.....idiot

another person that posts about other things than football....Moron

remember hindsight is 20 20 if u look back to old drafts i can evan pick the winners but your right saban wandstad mickey mouse we hopefully have a good coaching staff now

Saban not only hurt the Dolphins through poor drafting, he hurt the Dolphins with other poor personel decisions.

After declaring that the team needed to get younger on defense, he signed Kevin Carter, Keith Traylor, and Vonnie Holiday - average age of about 33.

.....and let's not forget his decision to go with Drew Brees (as a free agent!) and trade a 2nd round pick for Culpepper instead.

The question was posed in one magazine Was Nick Saban the most powerful coach in sports, I say yes because he singlehandedly brought one of the greatest franchises in NFL history to its knees with his decisions. Drew Brees being in a Saints uniform instead of a Dolphins one has left us years behind and still hoping.

DAVE W. WHAT A WASTE OF A PERSON AND COACH. NOW HE IS RUINING THE UNIVERSITY OF PITT

Also do not forget Wannstadt/Spielman's trade of Adewale Ogunleye for Marty Booker...The Worst trade in Dolphin History.

Pretty soon there will be a clamoring for blame Cam Cameron/Randy Mueller for Ted Ginn Jr.over Brady Quinn, the cutting of TE Randy McMichael etc.

Well, with the law firm of Rey Maualuga, James Laurinitis and Brian Cushing available in the 2009 Draft, we will get a great replacement. Parcells just needs to get one of those great LB's who could have all come out and been a 1st rd pick last draft, in this upcoming draft. We need Lb's with more instinct like Zach had, which comes from study for hours each day and physical workouts to keep the body ready.
After LB, we need to either get the guys we have ready to play like champs on the OL or replace a couple of them.(rt Side)We have bodies, can they commit, so Ricky and Ronnie can get thru the line and have a chance to do their job. We need WR's(can you say Anquan Boldin FA),Bess will be fine and Ginn will work if we have Boldin to take the heat off him.
Next somone get me a real safety to play beside Y Bell and a real cover CB.....
Just what I see from Raleigh NC......It's all on the tapes, just watch.
I'm outta here.

Well, with the law firm of Rey Maualuga, James Laurinitis and Brian Cushing available in the 2009 Draft, we will get a great replacement. Parcells just needs to get one of those great LB's who could have all come out and been a 1st rd pick last draft, in this upcoming draft. We need Lb's with more instinct like Zach had, which comes from study for hours each day and physical workouts to keep the body ready.
After LB, we need to either get the guys we have ready to play like champs on the OL or replace a couple of them.(rt Side)We have bodies, can they commit, so Ricky and Ronnie can get thru the line and have a chance to do their job. We need WR's(can you say Anquan Boldin FA),Bess will be fine and Ginn will work if we have Boldin to take the heat off him.
Next somone get me a real safety to play beside Y Bell and a real cover CB.....
Just what I see from Raleigh NC......It's all on the tapes, just watch.
I'm outta here.

Sheesh, what luck. Did Huizienga break a mirror or something?

Man, I can't stand Saban. Why couldn't that been him instead of Weis that got taken out by one of his own players?

Somebody made a comment about Shula making some horrible first round choices....that is correct, but the difference was, we still won.

Much like last week's game, very depressing. I really hope this is the last year that the team has to look like an expansion team and can actually move forward in progress.

HD TV - $2400.00
Sat. Dish - $200.00
NFL Ticket With HD Upgrade - $250.00

The Dolphins Still Suck But I See Them Clearer Now - Priceless ????????????? Hmmmm

I agree with you completely, in that the last few Dolphins drafts were a disaster. But....where do you get off using a nickname for Dave Wannstedt throughout the article? You can make your point quite convincingly while calling him 'Wannstedt'. Blatant appeals to the kiddies who read your blog are pretty unnecessary, Armando, because I don't think you're going to be popular with them no matter what you say. Frankly, I expect more professionalism from a journalist who is on staff at a major newspaper.

I've never disagreed with a blog that you have written more than this one Mando. Obviously you didn't see some of the plays Vickerson made for his new team this past weekend. Obviously you didn't see that Ronnie has played up to his potential including last year if you look at how he was playing before he got hurt. Obviously you haven't watched Matt Roth play solid and make plays at multiple positions. You can blame talent and you can blame Saban, but I can't say his draft picks are any worse than anyone else we have had. You can "if we drafted this person and didn't draft that person all you want," but look at who the Giants won with last year, and many of those guys that contributed as with the Patriots are not guys that are great picks they just contribute when the team needs them to, and trust me that has much more to do with coaching.

Antonio Cromartie still hurts, granted he was injured but so was Jason Allen. Cromartie was interveiwed days befor the draft on the Ticket. The interveiwer, Cromartie, and all believed if he was on the board he would be chosen. It's not like Saban didn't try to recruit both for LSU. Cromartie was a 5 star, and J. Allen was a 4 or 5. Changing gears Jason Allen is a better tackler than any one on the field and a better athelete coverages confuse him, and did at Tennessee also. I've watched him live at both places Antonio Cromartie was the elite pick coming out of High School and the NFL.

Learned something Armanco, good article

Jason Allen...........is there such a thing as a third string at the safety position?

I blame Johnson, Wannstedt, Spielman, Saban, and Cameron for where the Dolphins are at in 2008. Each of them share partial responsibility for what we see on the field this season. A decade of bad drafts and poor personnel decisions led to 1-15 and who knows what in 2008. Parcells was right when just after accepting the Head of Football Ops job, he said he maybe had 4 players who could contribute long-term.

i agree with some of what was said in this blog. the last few drafts were not the strongest of drafts, but to say they were a disaster is a little much. when compared to the players that were passed up by the fins , i can see why the word "disaster" came to mind. the idea that we could have had guys like antonio cromartie and that dump truck of RB brandon jacobs on this team today brings tears to my eyes, but these guys know what they are doing (we hope) and maybe we will have some guys like that soon. have faith dolfans.

You do also have to remember that you cannot assume that a player would play as well with one team as they did with another.
It is possible that if on another team, some of our players would excel. It is also possible that if we had drafted any of those other players they might not had turned out so well.
All a matter of perspective

First off, Mando, baby, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Oh the past is so painful. If my boss smells the booze on my breath, I am blaming you. By the way, your getting good at this writing thing. I like it, all the facts and the less opinion. Its good.

To all the Dolphins fans. Stop looking at who the team should have taken. You will feel better about yourselves. Let the crew we brought in do their jobs. They aren't winning games this year. Why you ask? Its because this team is like an expansion team. There really wasn't much to work with other than other teams cast-offs. Its reality.

For those demanding the team leadership go out and break the bank in free agency, it would be a mistake. Just because you sign the best players, doesn't mean they are the right ones. The great Don Shula went out and signed a bunch of free agents his final season in an attempt to buy Dan Marino a super bowl. The team didn't make the playoffs. Follow the Jets this season and watch what happens to them, or look at Randy Moss's career in Oakland.

Please, don't rush Henne. We are going no where this year. Let him learn. More importantly let the o-line learn. They need some time so they can give Henne the time, when it comes time. You feeling me? This is how Beck should have been handled as well when he first came to the team. Mop up duty and practices.

Tony Sparano is a rookie as well. He is going to make mistakes. Its all part of the learning process for him as well. 12 men on the field is a mistake. Write the formula down below on a sheet of paper, and keep it with you when you want to compare Coach Sparano and Coach Cameron:

12 men + field = mistake
WR + under center + 4and1 = stupidity
Burning timeouts = mistake
HB pass option + 2pt conversion = stupidity

Mistakes can be corrected, stupidity cannot. Here endith the lesson.

I said, at the time we were trying to get rid of Wanny, that if we succeeded in ousting him we would go into a "long dark night" for the franchise.

This has turned out to be true. Your point about Saban's drafts only underscore this point.

At the time I said we were now a "fanchise", not a franchise. An NFL team being run by it's fans through the agency of the Dolphins overly sensitive ownership.

We were spoiled by Shula and didn't realize it, but by Jimmy and Dave as well. Now we know how the bottom half lives. We're laughably worse than the Arizona Cardinals and conventional wisdom tells us that's not going to change soon.

The cornerback and safety positions on the Dolphins have been HORRIBLE for the past few years. Management really need to take a look at this asap if they expect the team to even be able to put up a good fight and remotely compete. With the AFC East having outstanding QB's, they are going to humiliate the Dolphins.

I know I'm a little late to post, but couldn't we have traded up to get Jay Cutler in 2006? I think I remember something like that.

I primarily blame Jimmy Johnson. He started the debacle by taking away Marino's offensive tools, drafting guys like Yatil Green, John Avery,bypassing Ray Lewis, and ultimately bringing in Wannstedt. I also blame Wayne Huizenga for standing by Wannstedt for so many years while he destroyed the franchise. He should have granted the same courtesy to Don Shula. I could have drafted better than Wannstedt just by reading the paper newspaper.

START HENNE NOW!!!!!!..His arm makes are recievers 50% better right now, and there bullets.. Not week little lobbs...pennie has a noodle arm...Judge the dolphins and the new regime next season there working in the trenches this season...Next season they will find the stars....GOPHINS!!!!!!


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