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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.

--------------------------

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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Brett Favre just threw another interception

The priorities for improving the defense this offseason are a dominant young defensive tackle (the most important and difficult piece to find for a 3-4 defense), and a pass rusher. Matt Roth did a nice job against the run this year, but they need a more consistent pass rusher from that spot.

Terrell Suggs (Ravens), Everette Brown (FSU), Brian Orakpo (Texas), and Clint Sintim (Virginia) would all fit very nicely in that spot.

When the Dolphins had trouble against the pass this year (the Patriots and Texans games come to mind), the issue was an inconsistent pass rush, not the secondary. I thought the secondary was very steady this year, and even dominant at times. They do need youth there, however.

A nose tackle , Ferguson aint around forever and wont play much.
Spend big dough on Haynesworth !
Then draft LB or OLine.

the fins are set at QB so stop talking about tebow. although he is a great guy and i wish him the best. the same brilliant minds that are dogging tebow are the same brilliant minds that didn't know didly about smiling tom brady. i'm not saying tebow is the next brady, but he will get his chance with some team.

Gees I thought you wanted Tebow? You are becoming Millenesque in your change the "teams direction." Yesterday you wanted a guy that is all over the field. This don't work in an NFL system and is certainly not the type of player needed on the Phins. At least not at this time. To acheive what we did this year is going to require a bigger and better team. Namely defense. A large Nose Guard. Another pass rusher to help out porter. A big center and a free agent db and wide receiver.

The Dolphins need a MUCH better pass rush if they ever want to have a dominant defense. Their pass rush was abismal during the last 6 or 7 games of the season. Even though they were winning against some bad teams, they still weren't getting any pressure.

Joey's big sack numbers are almost misleading - if that's possible with a total in the high teens. He got virtually no pressure on the QB toward the end of the season despite a lot of 1-on-1 matchups.

What the Dolphins need are TACKLERS!! How many yards were allowed this year AFTER the first guy touched the runner? MANY...They need to get back to basics...if the guys on the team can't tackle as they should, move them out, and draft some tough guys that can tackle!

New Jersey Jets and their PSLs $uck!!!

new england team keep losing assistant coaches for last last five years and still won super bowls .it is about best qb they have and the head coach himeself who has to apporove evrey play inthe book.so armando do not place your hopes for dolphins on other teams losing some personal as long as they have brady and cassel ,new england will at least in the play off next season but florida has to make many changes just to have a record better than 6-10.BTW new england always had people to replace QB or coaches.we all saw DREW.B REPLACED BY BRADY WHOIS REPLACED FOR NOW BY MATT.C.i can not believe you talking TEBOW for new england who always pick peopls not on THE tv screen.lalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
by new england fan

so we don't have to worry about mcdaniels......we still have to face brady, moss, welker, gaffney and company.

is it true we moved up a spot in the draft since either arizona or philadelphia will be in the super bowl? now that's noteworthy.

McDaniels--minor stuff; they'll be fine on offense.

Nose Tackle & 'Backers--pronto

Armando,
Basic question youngin'. Do Parcells like Pioli? If Parcells gots grandkids via Pioli & daughter, look out, cuz it not hard to imagine Parcells and Pioli going somewhere to fix a reclamation project (like KC) together as father and son-in-law with Bill getting to spend time with his grandkids. He just dat age, you know?

I be surely disapointed you didn't come over yesterday to watch football yesterday per our date. I fixed a nice candlelight lunch of Campbell's® Chunky™ Fully Loaded Firehouse Hot & Spicy Beef & Bean Chili (a hearty, homestyle chili that's loaded with chipotle chili peppers and wholesome fiber laden beans). I woulda let you eat seconds on the couch next to big Mama. Dat boy Donvan still runnin and passin and runnin and passin on da G'Men like he half deer and half Joe Montana with antlers and half crazy. 'Cept he an Eagle an not a Dolphin which damn near make me disown him.

The Dolphins will improve there defense by going after CB Adam Jones this off season. They will sign him to a league minimum plus incentives.

As much as I would like to see the Fins improve on defense, especially on the D-line,we should also remember a time when the Fins had an elite defense and a mediocre offense.The results were predictable--a team good enough to make the post-season--and one-deminsional enough to be "one and done".What the Fins need to be is balanced so that our good defense sets the stage for our good offense to score more points than this past season. Go Fins!!!!

fins needs to improve only on D and O and QB and S.TEAMS then may be they have 9-7 next year.ravens any one.
posted by strong coffe

James, thanks for the laugh, that was a nice way to start the morning at work (oops).

A, good point about the defense - Fins need another pass rusher, an LB who makes plays, and a DB who makes interception. We get those 3, and we're better than the Cards and Ravens.

These are the additions for next years superbowl. Micheal vick for special teams 4th wr and or wild cat captain. a 6'4 wr that is slightly slow like keyshawn johnson type remeber speed is useless if u cant get the ball deep. and on defense just add bulk to the d line nuff said dolphins nfl champs 09-10..

you are better team than the ravens .did you have breakfast yet.you are interception karma to every team in NFL.come back to real world.
by mona lizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza

Albert Haynesworth would make a great 3-4 DE. Look into that Mando, because you know, as a journalist, I don't do any research. BLEEAATTT!

vick back in the hunt..........................

was mona lisa gay in real life? I like haynesworth but dosent he have like a bad knee or something go after suggs. IM sure they will pick up a huge dt in the draft.

RAVENS IN ROUTE TO SUPER BOWL.
FINS IN ROUTE TO 6-10.

Anyone know anything about Clint Sintim from Virginia, a lot of people have discussed him with the 1st round pick and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about him. 6-3, 254 so he is nice size and is already playing OLB for Virginia.

Actually Broncos are on the schedule next season Mandy...so the Dolphins defense will see McDaniels next season...

why is everyone worried about mc daniels? Dont u need great players to make a diffrence.

You beat me, Marc. I was confused, because Mando himself posted our schedule just a few blogs ago.

Anywho, I've been crying D-Line for the past several weeks. That's where we need our focus. a big WR second, and pass-blocking O-Line third.

God, I hope we don't lose much of our secondary in FA.

I just noticed that Mando posted this blog after midnight... that also explains the typo "...know by know..."

Thanks for being so dedicated, Armando, but listen to the wife and come to bed earlier sometimes. ;)

new england fan aka mona liza aka posting in caps talking about mia, is the idiotic moron jet fan loser cuban menace ,everybody

breaking news:jets aquire peyton manning for vernon gholston.

not.lol

I don't recall him posting the schedule...I copied it a few times...Maybe I missed it

I don't recall him posting the schedule...I copied it a few times...Maybe I missed it

BTW Denver already has a good offense. McDaniels will (prob) make it better. There's a certain beast from UCF on that team...They need to be shopping for a Defensive coordinator though...

yeah just like crennel made cleveland better and wise made norte dame a power house well.. unil brady left ..

we should not forget that moss welker and a pretty good offensive line make up.. i would say for half of the great coaching lets not forget pioli or whatever that gm's name is he put the talent there..

i think denver just signed nolan as defensive coordinator

THE ONLY WAY FOR FINS TO GO ANY WHERE NEXT SEASON IS TO BUILD A DEFENSE SIMALR TO RAVENS OR STEELERS OR PHILY .ANY THING ELSE WILL SECURE YOUR PLACE IN THE CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCELLAR W/LONIS.RAVENS OR STEELERS OR NEW ENGLAND OR PHILY ANY ONE.
POSTED BY REED REED AND suggs .

Is christmas vaction over? Im sure school has stared up classes again.

ohh lawd how bout dem rapens and uncle ray ray

i just luv how dey were dem tight black pants lookin all nake d ohh lawd

ok... looks a little elementry here

In no particular order, these are my most heart-breaking Miami Dolphins moments:

1) Cliff Branch's long TD catch (falling and getting up) in the 1974 playoff classic vs. the Raiders.
2) Clarence Davis's game-winning catch amidst the "Sea of Hands" in that same game.
3) John Riggins' 43-yd TD run on 4th and 1 in Super Bowl XVII.
4) Fulton Walker TWICE fumbling the ball in the closing minutes of the 1983 playoff loss to the Seahawks.
5) The Dolphins collapsing in the last 5 minutes of their 2002 season finale against the Patriots. A win would have put the Dolphins in the playoffs. They dominated the entire game but completely collapsed in those final minutes.
6) Uwe Von Schamann's two missed/blocked FGs in the 1981 "Epic in Miami" vs. the Chargers.
7) The Dolphins' 2nd half collapse against the Chargers in the 1994 AFC Divisional Playoff.
8) The Dolphins having the best record in the NFL (9-2) following their 1993 Thanksgiving Day victory over Dallas, and then ending the season with 5 consecutive losses and no playoff appearance.
9) The Jets beating the Dolphins something like 54-48 in the 1986 regular season. God, the Dolphins used to have such a bad defense.
10) The Dolphins being shut out by the lowly Bills in the 1987 regular season.
11) The 1982 snow plow loss to the Patriots.

I could go on...
and on ...
and on ...

But there are tears in my eyes.

I can't.

I just can't continue.

who cares? nathaniel

Big name free agents are something you add when you are riding the winning curve and anticipating entering the downside of the wave. In such cases, by virtue of your heretofore winning record, rebuilding through the draft will always take relatively longer than other team's rebuilding process since you are drafting later in ever round. Thus your relative talent base will diminish until your winning pct falls below league median (not mean). This is something I would refer to the parity principle. Former Comish Pete Rozelle's dream and one of the reasons for the salary cap.

FA signings may also be useful to slingshot a rising team's trajectory beyond the escape verlocity necessary to overcome the aforementioned phenomenon before the relative progression down the draft scale pulls the teams talent base into the peleton as it were.
Word to the wise though, unless the team has an established culture of winning, locker room leadership and self policing, such FA additions may dilute/poison the water. There is a critical mass at which point even a reckless player might be introduced into a winning situation and be relied upon to behave - I.E Moss in N.E.

I do not think the Miami Dolphins are on the cusp yet, and would refrain from big name free agency spending lest they become like their AFC brethren in the rotten apple.

The Dolphins defense was solid, I thought. I even thought they were more than solid against the Ravens in the playoff game. The only problem was that Chad put the Dolphins D on the field 5 times more than they should have. And Cobbs once more. While they can still improve a great deal (Like players to pressure the QB), they already have many pieces in for a great defense.

I think priority number one should be the O-line. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams should have torn it up this season (if they're really as good as we believe they should be). Maybe even grab another RB somewhere late in the draft to compliment those two backs.

In 2009 the Dolphins play the following schedule in addition to their home and home with the AFC East:

Home -- Houston, Indy, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh.

Away -- Jacksonville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Carolina, San Diego.

The Dolphins do not play Denver, Marc. They play San Diego because the Chargers won the AFC West while the Dolphins won the AFC East.

Anonymous writes: "who cares? nathaniel" in response to my list of historical heartbreaking moments for the Dolphins.

This reminds me of the scene from "The Ten Commandments" (1956) in which Joshua (John Derek) strikes an Egyptian taskmaster in order to save an old woman from being crushed.

Egyptian: "What is she to you?"

Joshua: "An old woman."

i.e. In the Judaic tradition, ALL life is sacred, even that of an old woman.

Well, my anonymous friend, as a Dolphins fan I may just be a lowly voice crying in the wildnerness. But ALL Dolphins fans have value! My pain DOES mean something. It DOES have significance. DAMMIT, I will not be silenced!

Ouch. That schedule looks pretty beastly, Armando.

I would anticipate that the Big Tuna and Co. will be very busy in the offseason. And, Prof. Knowitall, I do believe free agency will be one place they look to upgrade. It worked with Penny this year, there are plenty of gems out there to sharpen the look of this team.

what was our salary cap last year before free agency.

my friend this is a new era.we are moving forward in positive ways to reach and win a super bowl.again who cares about your negative and losing moments.

nathanial ur rants reminds me of the ultimate warriors.

I have to admit you are funny and entertaining.

forget about the schedule because the pats play the same teams as we do. just kick butt in the division and we will be ok. 10-6 will win the afc east in 09.

Its me guys, here to spew my brand of blogging.lets talk about timmy(jesus is my lord and savior)tebow. good that he stays 1 more year or a bad thing.

Bill u hit the nail on the head lets take care of the afc east the rest will fall into place. If mia defense can stop welker and moss and brady we should be ok for the rest of the nfl that should be miamis measuring stick the ravens should be dismantled this offseason.

hey idiot menace we know you have been on this blog for awhile,posting as monaliza and every other idiodic post name.I got news for you the jets are the laughing stock of the league.worry about them .

someone jus txt me a fwd joke sayin that brett farve after the miami game tried to commit suicide but the bullet got intercepted ...

No name, have been on this blog 6 times since the 1st of the year, maybe other people have a differant op then yours, seeing how you dont want to use a name we'll call you pin head. sound good to you there pin head?

'Mando
Everyone seems to be in agreement that the fins need to upgrade at wide receiver. Considering this fact, along with Coach Sparano's preference to only dress 4 wide receivers, the 4th of whom must play and play well on special teams, who is the odd man out? Wilford will definitely be released. Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo will absolutely be back as the 2 and 3 receivers. Sparano and Parcells both like Brandon London's upside as a receiver and LOVE his work on special teams. I have to think he will be back as well. That leaves us with the current number 1 receiver Ted Ginn as the odd man out should the fins add another number 1 caliber wideout. He was not drafted by this staff, does not play special teams anymore for whatever reason, and seems to make too many mistakes. To me, not only is Ted Ginn possible trade bait, but maybe even DEFINITE trade bait if they choose to upgrade at wide reciever. I honestly believe we may have seen the last of Ted Ginn in a Dolphins uniform. Of course it is also possible our wideouts could remain the same, and be productive, as long as the o-line is upgraded and the defense as well.

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