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Notes off the divisional playoff weekend

Some notes coming out of the playoff weekend and headed toward the championship weekend:

There are reports suggesting one of Miami's AFC East rivals is about to be weakened. The Boston Globe is reporting talks between personnel genius Scott Pioli and the Kansas City Chiefs are progressing. This suggests the Pats could lose part of the personnel acumen that has helped keep them competitive the past, oh, eight seasons or so.

Meanwhile, this ESPN story says the Denver Broncos have hired New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It was under McDaniels that Tom Brady had his best NFL season in 2007. It was under McDaniels that Matt Cassel went from an anonymous backup to a solid starter when Brady was injured practically all of 2008.

The Dolphins defense won't be seeing McDaniels in 2009 unless the Broncos and Dolphins meet in the playoffs.

So while the Patriots have survived a talent drain over the years, next season they might be dealing with something of a brain drain. Can't wait.

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You should know by know that quarterback Tim Tebow is staying at the University of Florida.

So my blog post about him fitting in with Miami's Wildcat package if he comes out is now moot. But, as many of you rightly suggested, West Virginia's Pat White would also be a pretty good fit for that package.

And those of you claiming the Dolphins will scrap Wildcat next year because they'll be much improved offensively and won't need a gimmick spark for their attack, I pose this question: How do you know for sure?

Oh, that's right, you don't.

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Have you noticed the four teams in the NFL conference championship games?

Philadelphia, Arizona, Pittsburgh and Baltimore all have something in common: They all play killer defense or have been playing killer defense in the playoffs.

The Steelers had the NFL's No. 1-rated defense in the regular season. The Ravens had the NFL's No. 2-rated defense in the regular season. The Eagles had the NFL's No. 3-rated defense in the regular season.

The Cardinals? They were rated No. 19.

But they are allowing a paltry 259 yards per game in the playoffs and that's better than any of the other three teams still alive. They have seven interceptions, which is best in the playoffs. They have five sacks, which is best in the playoffs. And they are yielding only 67.5 rushing yards per game in the postseason, which is second to Pittsburgh of all the teams still alive.

The point is that in this postseason, like most others I've witnessed, the most dominant defenses have advanced.

Suggests the Dolphins would do well to continue upgrading their defense if they hope to do what coach Tony Sparano said was the goal for next season: Win a playoff game.

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