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Dolphins looking to maximize THIS season

In talking to fans on my radio show, I have come to understand that many are happy the Dolphins have gotten this far in 2008 and if they went no further, that's cool with them. No worries. The team that was 1-15 can finish 8-8 and that is still a great turnaround.

The logic is hard to argue against because even if the Dolphins inexplicably collapse the final three games of the season -- which I do not believe they will -- 8-8 is truly a darn good recovery from the pain of a season ago.

But Tony Sparano and his crew definitely are not looking at it that way. They have come this far and want to go further -- a lot further.  "At the end of this whole thing, we don't just want to be good this year," Sparano said Friday. "We want to be good a long time."

The Dolphins cannot be happy simply holding where they're at as if they were in some NFL blackjack tournament. This team isn't holding at 8 wins any more than gamblers sit on 16.

And the reason the Dolphins want to keep flipping cards to see if they're victories has to do with competitiveness, maybe a little greed, and the realization that nothing is promised them beyond this season.

"Coach Sparano was talking about that a couple of days ago," starting left guard Andy Alleman said Friday. "And it's very true because you can't just go and say, 'Hey we did well, next year we'll pick up where we left off.' You see year in and year out surprise teams, teams that were supposed to be good who don't do good.

"You have to make the most of your opportunity that's right in front of you."

Dolphins fans should know this very well. Those fans among you saying, "Even if the Dolphins finish 8-8 this year, we'll get them next year, we'll be even better next season," are not remembering your history.

Remember the 2005 season? The Dolphins won the final six games of the season and finished 9-7. It seemed like a great foundation for a playoff run the next year.

But even after making a splash by trading for a former Pro Bowl QB, even after being picked to win the Super Bowl by Sports Illustrated, the Dolphins regressed in 2006. They finished 6-10 in Nick Saban's second season.

Bill Parcells had better luck with the New York Jets going from 1-15 in 1996 under Rich Kotite, to 9-7 in 1997 under Parcells, to 12-4 in '98. But the Jets came back to the pack after that.

When Parcells took over a Dallas team that went 5-11 in 2002, he again enjoyed instant success with a 10-6 record in 2003. But 2004 and beyond were difficult uphill climbs.

No, success in the future is not guaranteed, so hope for and wish for and pray for as much success as the Dolphins can possibly have now.

Speaking of that future, the Dolphins will be playing at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, at Atlanta, and at Carolina next season. They will host Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay.

The Dolphins will also host AFC North team and visit the AFC West team that finish where the Dolphins finish. So if the Dolphins finish first they play the first-place finishers of those divisions, if Miami finishes second they play the second-place teams in those divisions and so on.

Obviously Miami will also play its home-and-home series against the Buffalo, the New York Jets and the cheater New England Patriots.

OK, tell the truth: Would you still be content with an 8-8 turnaround? We all want better, I understand that don't take the conversation there. But would 8-8 be OK with you realizing that the Dolphins are 8-5, with a playoff chance ahead of them now, and no guarantees for 2009?

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Armando, "starting left tackle Andy Alleman"? You might want to check that. We drafted this really big guy this year to play that position. : )

I don't care about next season's schedule. The Dolphins are becoming a winning team and that's a lot more fun than playing a loser schedule.

Mando, I know you're on 790 weeknights ... will you be on this weekend? I look on their website for the on-air schedule and it is never right.

Arroz: I'll be on Saturday 10-noon and Sunday pregame 10-1.

Bungle: Thanks for catching that. It's fixed now. I see you got into it with some people on the other post today. Did you really rip me on another blog?

Armando, let me say this first. I was on the other blog where I go often because I like the community. Less trolls trying to stir up ****. Your blog has some real questionable characters here.

One of the bloggers Tinshaker, I believe you know him, saw this post on your blog and posted it there.

"Just took a gander at the other newspaper's blog and they're talking about Armando's blog. You touched a nerve Mando. Good stuff.

Mando, Mr. Bungle who trolls over here all the time said he comes here only occassionally for the information but leaves immediately because the crowd is scary.

So he's afraid of the posters here but doesn't mind reading the drivel from Omar Kelly who clearly doesn't know squat about squat but acts like he's in tight with bill parcells.

I hope you ban that Bungle character, Mando.

Posted by: Finheavblows! | December 12, 2008 at 02:27 PM"

This is what I said:

"randy, do you remember that Ginn is having a better 2nd season than Reggie Wayne had? Is Reggie Wayne average?

I check Armando from time to time for information and then I leave because his crowd is bizarre.

tony, I don't remember who it was. I don't think the name was kid.

Posted by: Mr. Bungle | December 12, 2008 at 12:53 PM

So there you have it.

You know I disagree with you at times because I post on your blog and I publicly disagree with you for all to see. I think you post some bizarre subjects from time to time. Maybe you like to get the fans stirred up. Maybe that's your style. But you do make people raise their eyebrows with some stuff. I also complement you when I like what you reported. I'm looking for INFORMATION!

I don't have anything personal against you. I really don't know you. You're a Dolphins beat reporter who supplies me with INFORMATION!

Thank you!

Go Dolphins!

I like these message boards because shows how very little fans really understand football... Tedd Ginn STINKS and whoever compares him to Randy Moss or Reggie Wayne or ANYBODY for that matter should be ashamed... Why don't you compare him to Steve Smith or Bernard Berrien - HECK, I'd take Devin Hester with all of his limitations over Ginn but he'd outrun Pennington's passes... Did his 'supporters' see that kick off he ran BACK to his OWN 2 yard line... He would be an AWESOME 5th or 6th round pick but for the 9th pick overall he's a waste!!! Nothing personal he's not a football player - he's an athlete who plays football... Anquon (sp) Bolden is a football player!!!

Nope, we are RIGHT NOW the best team in the AFC East... I want the title!

After just looking at what we have in store for us next year, I vommited

If we have the same record next year it would be an improvement, due to the dificulties next season will bring. So win NOW!

Lets get real,... San Fran SUCKS, they do and without Gore they're even SUCKIER

Kansa City can't gat out of their own game let alone win one, and the Jets are deconstructing themselves.

WIN NOW! We don't know what next year will bring,... I still don't know why some of our players contracts have not been extended Bell, Goodman, Hill, Crowder, Carey? This staff proved what we the fans allways knew "this team had talent" now we're on the verge of losing some of that talent. Its going to be an up-hill battle from day one next year, and we can't afford to let this chance fly by. We can't afford to be content with this years turn-around, we could have done better. Where would we be if Chad had made that 4TH quarter throw against the Jets, and what if Crowder had called time out when he realized the middle of the field was wide open... what if! NO ONE WOULD BE SAYING... I"M HAPPY WITH JUST LOSING THE REST OF THE GAMES AND MISSING THE PLAY_OFFS at 10-6 no one.

KING13

Your stupid, and you don't know anything about football.

Ted Ginn is going to be OUTSTANDING!!!!
he's the kind of player that can get in the zone and beat ANYONE! But, its going to take a little time.

A guy with that speed, and such soft hands has to be admired not condemed.

Willis maybe, but I'll tell you I'm glad we don't have Quin. He looked like a Lemon for the short period of time he was on the field!

Yes, I would still be content with 8-8. We all know there are no guarantees going forward, but we also know 1-15 will NOT happen with the trifecta.

1-15 and fans are angry. How can someone expect 3-4 wins, get more than double that and be angry? It is all gravy on out. I will be rooting like crazy for a Super Bowl fin, but I will be content without it.

I would be seriously upset if we lost the last three games to finish 8-8. We are a much better team than that! We are a 11-5, maybe 13-3 team(fluke hail mary pass by farve, last minute int in endzone at 2yd line, and Texans QB draw run with Dolphins playing a Brain-dead defense?)No! Screw 8-8,I want 11-5,Kill Jets by beatdown score 45-0 to get into playoff, and having both Cheating Pats, and no good, bottom of the barrel in class Jets! sitting their asses at home, where they belong! That's what this Miami Dolphins team can do this year for us Die Hard Dolphinsssssss Fanssss!

I would be seriously upset if we lost the last three games to finish 8-8. We are a much better team than that! We are a 11-5, maybe 13-3 team(fluke hail mary pass by farve, last minute int in endzone at 2yd line, and Texans QB draw run with Dolphins playing a Brain-dead defense?)No! Screw 8-8,I want 11-5,Kill Jets by beatdown score 45-0 to get into playoff, and having both Cheating Pats, and no good, bottom of the barrel in class Jets! sitting their butts at home, where they belong! That's what this Miami Dolphins team can do this year for us Die Hard Dolphinsssssss Fanssss!

I will protest if they lose the last three. Win.

I did not believe this was a 1 win team last year. One of the worst coaching jobs ever, combined with 4th string safeties made that season a reality. I felt strongly that the team would win 6 - 8 games this year, considering the teams on the schedule. At this point, I want more. Sadly, it looks like we need to win out to make playoffs. So, though I want a lot more than 8 - 8, I will be satisfied if the team goes 10 - 6 and misses the playoffs.

Am I happy about the season if they lose three in a row? Probably not now but after time I will look back at it and be very pleased with the turnaround.

It has been amazing what they have been able to accomplish this season after such a disappointment last year. I still think this team will continue to get better with FA's and the drafts to help add depth and bring in more new talent so I'm not worried who they play next season.

I don't think you can base how tough next year is going to be with who we play because at the start of this year everyone was saying the Chargers, Patriots, and Cowboys were the best teams in the league and that simply hasn't happend.

We will be in the playoffs sooner than later and winning them as well.

If we lose 3 in a row we'll all be bummed out. If we fall short of the playoffs is another thing. I expect to see this team finish at least 10-6. With the 49ers at home and at KC, we should win those games.

The Jets game might be tough. They've played well this year but they're slumping a little bit. We've rebounded after two losses a couple of times. They can do it too. It would be great to get to that last game at 10-5 for all the marbles.

Go Dolphins!

Bungle, you obviously don't live in So. Fla., but every time Armando writes, it is a sports column. He is not the beat writer. He is more an analysis and opinion guy. The herald has other beat writers.

Trenton, okay I gave him the wrong title. No I'm a Northeast guy.

I picked this team to win 8-10 games before the season started. I definitely wouldn't happy with anything less than the playoffs at this point. The Cheatriots will certainly be better next year as they get Brady and Adelius Thomas back. So, it will most likely be harder to win the division next year than it is this year.

The other thing that really makes me want to see the Dolphins not only make the playoffs, but actually win a playoff game or two is that there really aren't any great teams in the AFC this year. Tennessee's record looks great, but do you really fear a team with Kerry Collins at QB? Pittsburg might be playing the best football right now, but the Dolphins likely wouldn't play the Steelers in the 1st round. The Dolphins are capable of beating any opponent this year. The Cheatriots might just be too good with Brady, Moss, Welker and a good defense next year. They beat us with freakin Cassel at QB. They'll be a lot harder to beat with Brady.

Got to win this year. Got to beat San Fran.

That right now looks like one tough schedule. However we have cap space and we have a first and 2 seconds. We are vastly improved and a team. Free agents will like coming to this team.
We have the Trifecta running the show. I like our odds this year and I like them next year.
And go prove us wrong Ginn. Go Dolphins

No, 8-8 is no longer adequate. However, 10-6 and missing the playoffs would still be an acceptable (if disappointing) finish, all things considered.

Its just like in high school during your prom., Your not going to wait till tommarrow nite, your going for the score tonite, so brake out the liqour and break out the fatties bro., you want to score tonite

P.s. Mando U Da Man .

Also Once again here's ted(hands of stones)ginns per game avg. catch per game 2.7, yds per game 31 yds, tds per game .10

Mando Is Correct, Dont Bet On Next Year.

Pre-season, the magnitude of 8-8 made sense. Progress, new regime, respect, pride.
However, it's not pre-season.
It's Dec. 13th and we've played 13 games. We are 8-5 and tied for first place.
Anyone that is OK with 8-8 at this point, does not truly understand or appreciate this game.
If the Dolphins can't beat Shaun Hill and Tyler Thigpen the next two weeks to force a division deciding game week 17 at the Jets, then this season becomes another choke.
Anything less than 10-6 is unacceptable at this point, considering the remaining schedule.

I saw today that NFL.com has us at the top of the AFC East standings. They must have changed it because we were listed third on Monday when I checked. Maybe they've decided to listen to the experts and don't want to have to change it when we win the division.

GO FINS!!!

Fans who would rather have the team stop at 8-8 for a draft pick or softer schedule do not understand this sport. Nothing is written in stone, like Mando pointed out with the 2005 phins.

There is normally very little difference in first round draft picks, wether it be 1 or 32. A team that wins championships win thru hard work and determination. Those are two of the dolphins strongest traits. I do not expect them to lay down for any oppontent, reguardless. Thats what makes this team special now and it will likely make them special in the future.

Go Go Go Dolphins!

awful schedule next season.

At this point I dont understand how anyone could be content with 8-8. If the Phins were 5-8 right now then ok. They are in a position to get to the playoffs and control thier own destiny. Why would you be content with going backwards? That's losing attitude. Thats how fans felt when Marino got to the SB in 84. He lost and everyone assumed he be back. It never happened and here we are. Just because last years team was 1-15 doesnt matter. This years team and coach are not the same so last year doesnt matter. If you ate dog crap yesterday would you be content with chocolate flavored dog crap today? I think what we really would be happy about is having hope for next year but not failing to make the playoffs this year. It would still be a disappointment.

and another thing...who cares what the schedule is next season. If we want to be the best you have to beat the best. I have confidence that the franchise is finally going in the right direction. I hope the schedule is "hard". Beating them silly will be that much sweeter.

I for one am pretty tired about hearing about last year. That was a different team with different players and a different coaching staff. Given the parity promoting advantages that 1-15 teams get like high draft choices and weak schedules, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that in fact most 1-15 teams in the NFL in the last 10 years have won at least 7 games the year after.

I know the team isn't hanging every week on how bad they were last year and what strides they have made this year. They're focusing on what kind of team they have THIS year and trying to play to the potential of THIS YEARS team. If only the media would get with the program then we wouldn't have to hear anymore nonsense about last year compared to this year. You don't hear every week about how good the Patriots were last year, do you?

At the beginning of the season I hoped for 6 wins, and this season has been very good for the Phins. So, now, we must not go 8-8. I would not want it at this date, I would not believe it is our fate. 8-8 would cause me to become irate. So I'd say "no" I would not be satisfied at 8-8. That is something that I would hate...Sorry guys, I'm reading a little too much Dr. Seuss these days.

I am sorry tired of hearing how hard the sked is going to be next year. Who the heck knows what next year will be like. Why are those teams automatically great next year and what makes people think the Fins will not upgrade.

I saw John Madden's comments talking about this and it makes no sense.

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue , With Ted Ginns Stats, I Think He Should Play For The Pats.., And Heres His Game Avg. Rec 2.7/ Yds 37 / Tds .10

Ted Ginn is elite! STFU losers

EARLIER IN THE SEASON 8-8 WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT SEASON. BUT I WILL NOT ACCEPTED ENDING THE SEASON WITH 3 LOSSES IN A ROW.

GO DOLPHINS!!!

Ted Ginn Cut His Labia While Shaving His Legs.

hayden, I agree with that. those comments are unfounded and biased by Madden... Whose to say if we played any of those teams this year we wouldn't have beaten them. I think we match up pretty well against them all. yes even the Titans... IF the lowly Jets can beat them i'm sure the dolphins could too.

Mando: I have been thinking the same thing about this season. Clearly, this season is a success after last year's debacle, even if we don't win another game. However, as crazy as it is, I would be devestated if they don't make the playoffs this season.

I used to take the playoffs for granted back in the 1990's...early 2000's, but the last 6-7 years with no postseason has really made me realize how difficult it is to make the playoffs. To be this close to the playoffs and not get there would hurt.

That being said, it definitely looks like we've gotten younger and are setting up the foundation of a constant contender. That alone makes this a successful season.

i would be ok with 8-8 but i wouldnt be happy about it.

anyone who really thinks ginn is going to be a stud has a screw loose. He is not and will not be reggie wayne. He is soft as marshmallows and undersized. You see Steve smith, santana moss play, you see guys that play with a chip on their shoulder, and play bigger than they actually are. Ginn will not be one of those players unfortunately. He was the best player on a Garbage osu team and will be a decent 2nd receiver in the league. I would seriously trade him str8 up for wes welker today if given the opportunity. At least he lowers his pads and fights for extra yards... Ted ginn just runs out of bounds... Doesn't even fight for the yards if it means a first down. Please no more skill pos. players from suckeye u

The question you posed at the end of your blog is actually funny in my instance because as I read the first few lines where Dolphins fans said they'd be happy with the win tally now, I thought, "Absolutely not." And the 05-06 team came to mind. They need to focus on the now, and I'm glad Sparano brought that up to the team.

And in no way can a team who holds their own fate be content with where they are, and be content with losing. If that were the case, I'd quit being a Dolphins fan. Plain and simple. But luckily, it doesn't seem to be that way. This is a great opportunity for them, and they should want more out of it. Live the dream they dreamt when they were 6. Be the underdogs and win, baby.
That sounds like the Dolphins I know, and the team in the locker room today.

Yes Conch Your Right And May I Say Your Quite Delicous. Your Also Good In Chowder.

anyone know where i can stream the game tomorrow?

Next years schedule is brutal!!!!

Good teams figure out ways to overcome tough schedules and beat other good teams. Exhibits A-C: Steelers, Ravens, and Giants.

Speaking of the Dolphins' upcoming challenges: Only Peyton Manning has thrown more TD's over the last five weeks than (Shaun Hill. There's an interesting little snippet on ESPN on how he (& Kerry Collins) rank higher than Cutler, Rivers, Warner, Pennington, and Manning over that time. Who'da guessed.

(That is, rates higher than Eli)

Heres How Many Game Hands Of Stone Will Have To Play Till He Reaches Jerry Rices Marks

Receptions 573 Gms Or 35 Years,. Yards 618 Games Or 38 Years . Tds To Many Games But It Came Out To Be 123 Years

It Was 1970 Games Or 123 Games......ted Ginn Sucks...

No Mando, it's no Ok for a real Dolphan to think that an 8-8 record will be acceptable. Mainly because that would mean that this team and coach don't have the character to end a good season. I would understand if they can't beat the Jets based on homefield advantage. But falling against two teams with loosing record in December?? mmmm.... that wouldn't be a good message for next year. I don't think it will happen anyway.

Oh, by the way your analogy between football and blackjack ?????? makes no sense at all. For more than you try to explain your cards, etc., etc... just non-sense.

GO DOLPHINS!!!!!! YOU MAKE US PROUD!!

We are at the point of the season where Parcells & Co. are about to "lose the plot," as our British cousins say. Winning any or all of the next three games will have a deleterious effect on the Rebuilding Effort. Lower draft pick, harder schedule, etc. A true football deep-thinker (like me) knows that all subs should be started the next three games, w/ games plans designed to see their worth for the future. I'm not saying "throw" the games per se, but clearly Pennington, Porter, Ferguson, Long et al, should be rested to avoid injury & to save them for next season's playoff drive. Why is this so clear to me but to no one else?

I'll admit, several days ago I said I would be happy with what this team has accomplished already. The best thing about having control over their own destiny at this point is, they win, they are in! It's not often that playoff caliper teams can finish out their season with 3 wins in a hotly contested division,and be guaranteed the Division Title. The Patriots could win out, but will have to hope for influences outside their control to become the East AFC Champs, or even get a wild card birth. (Usually, there is help from somewhere or someone).
Miami earned this opportunity and might as well see it through. Not to mention it would be a milestone to go from 1 and 15 to something better than 9 and 6, as others have done. And being a fan since 66, I know Miami has had more than their share of record breaking performances and historical, 'firsts'!
I don't think any team in this situation would suddenly decide to ease up or coast just to gain a more favorable schedule, draft choices, or preserve it's players. What could have been is harder to deal with than what should and will be. One at a time X 3 and they have WON their Division. Go Dolphins!

I Like Big Butts and I Can't Deny.

Were can a guy watch Dolphins games on-line?

Dear Rising,
This is a site for MEN and those that act like MEN.
Take your back-door breath and your waxed a sshole back to San Francisco and be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Masters, Iam not a homosexual(sorry)i just wanted to point out ted(hands of stone)ginns stats. I thought the readers would like to know.

I hate terrell owens.

Brain, you are in fact saying to throw the rest of the games. you sir are a putz as my cousins would say per se
P.s. thanks for making me look up a useless word on a deleterious post

Rising,
The flaw underlying your comparison to Jerry Rice, Wes Welker or any of the other great receivers of all time is this: Jerry, Ted, Wes et al were all thrown to with the same frequency.
They're not. Rice alone was thrown to 10-15 times per game, same for Welker.
Pennington does not throw 15 passes to the whole receiving corps in a game let alone one receiver.

The most prolific receiver on the Dolphins is the combination Cobbs-Williams-Brown. They're either catching swing passes out of the back field or 5-15 yard throws over the middle.
That's where we are strong.
Our outside receiving game is not strong but its not because of TG Jr.

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