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Philosophy difference with Miami, N.E. [Update]

[Update: The Dolphins announced they had no unrestricted free agents visit the team Wednesday.]

The accepted myth around some NFL circles is that Bill Parcells long-ago planted a philosophy in former assistant Bill Belichick that the New England coach has harvested religiously in bringing great success to the Patriots.

Well, that is not exactly true and watching the Dolphins and Patriots play defense highlights that difference as one 3-4 (New England's) is a hybrid of the other, more traditional (Miami's) 3-4. More evidence of the difference can be found in the approach to the offseason -- this one specifically.

The Patriots had a great need in their secondary and pass-rush last season as they were failed by both on third down. New England was the worst NFL defense in the third-and-10-or-more situations last season, which only means they lost on the game's most important plays, the get-off-the-field plays, more than any other team. Terrible.

With the 23rd pick in the first round and three picks in the second round, one would assume the Patriots would address this problem by picking up some pass-rush help and a cornerback or two. And they still might do that.

But in searching for cornerbacks the Patriots won't necessarily be banking on them being starters right away. The rookies might become starters, but if they aren't ready, Leigh Bodden and Shawn Springs are already on the roster to serve as a transition to the younger players.

The Dolphins are also going to address the cornerback spot in the draft. That is clear because they need bodies, they need depth, and either Nate Jones or Jason Allen as your starting cornerback opposite Will Allen is like hanging a neon sign in the secondary flashing, "BURN ME, BURN ME."

The Dolphins have also tried to sign a veteran cornerback to fill their need. They tried to re-sign Andre' Goodman. They talked to Bodden's agent. They talked with Bryant McFadden's agent. They hosted a visit by Arizona's Eric Green, who remains unsigned and is still a possibility.

The difference is even if Miami signs Green, he hadly brings to the job the credentials Springs or Bodden take to New England. Green might be starting-caliber. And he might not. That has been his career history. Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good.

So where is the big disconnect between Miami's offseason philosophy and New England's? Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post sizes up New England's philosophy very well:

"The Patriots have a complete team ready to compete in the NFL before the draft. I always felt that you had to attempt to cover your team needs before the draft so that you could enter the draft with the intention of taking the best player. Having the ability to be flexible in the draft allows you to just pick players and not have to worry about waiting for a certain player. The best drafts normally come from having the best offseasons. You enter the draft room with a sense of peace and know that if the chips don’t fall your way, your team can still go out and compete."

Lombardi, a former NFL personnel man and general manager, says not all teams do this and, frankly, I can see the Dolphins as a team that doesn't, or hasn't so far. Last year, everyone knew the Dolphins had enormous holes at offensive tackle and defensive end.

The Dolphins had to fill those holes in the draft. It worked out well with Jake Long, Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford, but it was also an unusual year in that Miami had the first pick of the draft, and multiple high picks in the second round.

This year Miami is picking 25th in the first round. And although it has multiple picks in the second round, the picks are later this year -- 32nd and 57th overall last year compared to 44th and 56th overall this year.

Despite being sealed up like a (Big) Tuna can as an organization, everyone pretty much knows the Dolphins must draft a cornerback, must draft receiver help, and probably will add pass-rush help. We know this.

So this raises two questions:

Will the Dolphins use the latter part of free agency when bargains can be found, to augment positions of need with veterans so they are not forced draft for that need?

Or do the Dolphins decide they have no problem drafting for need and refuse to sign veterans that are good, but not that good. If that is the approach they will save cap space and not add bargain vets, but they also won't enjoy, as Lombardi said, the peace to select the best player at any position they want during the draft.

I find it fascinating. Let's see how it plays out.

[By the way, let's bring the level of comments up a couple of notches today. Spare us the, "I believe in Tuna under all circumstances," comments because everyone trusts in what the guy is doing, and that comment requires no thought, OK? The point is what do you think of the approach? Do you like it compared to New England's? Give me the holes in each approach. Tell me if you find it interesting Belichick and Parcells seem so different in their approach? And which approach would you prefer and why?] 


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" Omar , any opinion on darius butler.....? " posted by marcus on the sun-sentinel today. " to small for the dolphins. If they are going to draft a player that tiny it might be alphonso smith " Posted by omar kelly . BAM LOL , That's what i've been saying all along . Marcus you couldn't even come on here and say maybe i'm right because your embarressed that you are wrong LOL . Don't bother responding to me , i'm done with you. You're a fraud.

I believe in building through the draft. Usually the best available player requires more money. Drafting a need allows you to move back in the draft save money and pick up more picks. I'm not sure aging bargain rate vets can last an entire season with a few exceptions. Younger is better and you can keep a lot of young talent comming in to replace these guys when the want big contracts! Also we want to stay out of the 1st through 15th picks of the 1st round just too much money. I am Mr. Bung-holio and I need TP!!!!!

Belicheat is also different because he relies on video of defensive signals but thats another can of worms.

I dont mind having one position of need that we must address because if you do it early, there should be a top player available. Take receiver. I think its very likely we have Hakeen Nicks available in rd. 1, but we could also take Brian Robiske or Kenny Britt or someone else promising at that point as well if they so choose to. Now with corner as a potential priority that pushes you to 44 where you may be limited on receiver. It seems like all fins fans are biting their nails a little bit right now.

I also just dont like drafting a guy with the absolute intention of making him a starer right away, which is how it seems now. Unless he's top 10-15, you really cant bank on it...take Jason Allen, and he was like 16?! We should be adding a solid vet to shore things up as a backup plan no matter what.

Its discouraging that we didnt take Bryant McFadden. Our secondary wouldve been solidified as being tough, talented, hard hitting and physical. Now who knows.

Anyway I hope we take Butler in round 1, Robiske in round 2, throw pat white somewhere in the mix, and shore up some of those other holes (ILB/OLB).

oh and FIRST!

Both approaches can succeed and/or fail. Not every approach is right every time. The truth is not about signing veterans or drafting young but rather acquiring good players. By the Patriots signing Shawn Springs they hung their own big burn me neon sign on the corner. It's 34 year old Shawn Springs not 24 year old Shawn Springs.

Give it up Mando!

Emphasis on Former GM blah blah blah...........

If he was active and had a real job in the NFL then maybe we should consider what he has to say - but there's a reason he's unemployed as a GM!

You need to get on something other than yakin about the secondary.


In a perfect world, everyone would build their teams the way that the Patriots do...unfortunately, it's not usually possible.

I Think the dolphins should take a CB and DL as their 1st 2 picks in the draft, Cause we can't have a deep threat WR if we don't have a deep threat QB...

I know we have some time left in free agency and I understand we made some very needed upgrades in the offensive line, but I don't think we did enough and I don't think we will get the quality players in the draft that will make an immediate impact. I certainly agree with your previous article about bringing in a some veteran presence. Lets face it last year with Goodman and Allen in our secondary we still got smoked by Arizona and New England the second meeting. I think Cassel through for 400 yards that game if I'm not mistaken. The reality is we have a difficult schedule next year and we need to make immediate improvements. Veterans can add that immediate impact and teach the young guys the ropes. I understand that Parcells doesn't think a Wide receiver is a priority but lets face, does Ginn have what it takes to be that #1? I don't think he is a #2 right now, so no. Camarillo is good but again he is a #2 at best. I think we are in for a disappointing season if we rely on the draft to fill theses holes. So with a few decent veterans left in free agency lets make some moves.

Henne is our deep threat QB, but he's still a little young to be a starter, so maybe next year get some deep threat recivers and the focus this year should be on the recivers we already have, because we have possesion reicvers and an accurate QB, it's a methodical offense...

KMAN: Ginn has major, major poential, there were a few games where he caught 130 yds last season, Ginn is #1 material, he just needs experience and a QB that can go deep, (Ginn is a deep threat reciver)

I think the biggest difference in the two philosophies is that New England will have an easier schedule and a much stronger team. They aren't rebuilding, they are restocking for a run at the championship. The Dolphins season was amazing last year, but you have to at least agree that the easy schedule helped a little bit. This year is another transition year, and I see the Dolphins brass thinking they are still rebuilding and not going for the gusto. And I agree. I don't see a reason for overspending on NFL free agents that aren't anything special. I think the Redskins did a huge disservice to the league by giving Haynesworth that huge contract. Do they really think they are a DT away from winning it all? They're not, but the Patriots are a pass rush and a solid secondary away from being champions again if Brady comes back healthy. The Dolphins aren't an Eric Green, McCallister or even a Shawn Springs away from being a perennial contender. I believe there are no such things as cover corners. The best corners are the ones whose teams have a good pass rush. The Dolphins have addressed that with Cameron Wake, and most likely will bring more talent through the draft. This team is still one more good off season away from being perennial contenders. That’s what I want. A foundation of a franchise that continually contends for the championship a la Steelers and Colts, and not what the Redskins are who have no fiscal responsibility or even a direction as to what the identity of the team is. As long as the rookies are talented and can grow, then off set what they don’t get in the draft with free agents after the draft.

New England is keeping a good team together by adding good players. Tuna is creating a good team by molding young players. If Miami has another great year, they will be able to pick up good FAs that are a little old. For now, we need a core that is growing together, building chemistry, and lerning the system so when we add a piece or two they will have to work in the system, not change it.

I get the idea of young, cheap and potential... I get the idea of proven, but at a discount price... I also get not over-reacting and signing someone as a result of moves in the division.

However, Bodden, a young, above average, proven starter at CB (I think the majority of people here would agree he is better than Goody) signed with NE for under a Mil, LESS THAN WHAT GOODY GOT LAST YEAR...

How can we not have done that, or better? Offer a Mil... I, am just lost on that... and disappointed.

I think you have to take into account the building plan that the Dolphins front office has in place. They planned for it to take a certain amount of time before they felt the Dolphins would be a perennial contender. Filling holes with aging veterans might suit a team that is at the top. In reality though, I wouldn't mind seeing a hybrid of the two approaches. I think you could get value out of some of these veterans that are available, but remain loyal to the youth movement by not adding too many. Personally I would have liked to had seen leigh bodden come in or McFadden. Then again, I'll leave it to those that are paid to make these decisions. Go Fins!


You can't compare the teams right now, the Patriots have a solid team after drafting well and having good trades and free agents, we're in rebuilding mode, which means we have to draft in a certain way (this year and next one) and after that 3rd year of rebuilding we can start looking things in a different way when we put the main bricks in position to develope a consistently winning team

Being a Fin fan this is difficult for me to say but here goes.

It seems that Mr Belichick has taken the Tuna's philosophy and improved on it and Parcell's (in his arrogance) is not willing to believe a former protege has improved on his philosophy. By digging for the quality vets that can still contribute and are still hungry (example Bodden signs for league minimum) and are not so arrogant they can't see the big picture. As you said, Armando, this strategy allows them the flexibility to pick the best available player on the board. It seems pretty simple and I honestly am not sure why all the GM/coaches don't have the intestinal fortitude to do it. Perhaps it is the win now at all cost pressure of the NFL.

Well, a team coming off of an undefeated regular season has the luxury of drafting for talent, not for need. A team coming off of 1-15 simply can't fill all their holes in free agency.

New England correctly believes that they are capable of winning a championship now, and the draft is just gravy to them, a chance to find the kind of "next guy up" players that always seem to step in for them when someone else goes down.

As you have discussed, the Dolphins philosophy is "best available player" and positions of need are relegated to tie-breaker status. This was seen in action in the 2007 draft. Jake Long was a rookie pro-bowler at left tackle and one of the highest-graded people in the draft. Merling was a steal who dropped to the second round when he had first round talent. Langford was a "project" from a small school who the Trifecta saw something in, and given that the project was a day 1 starter, they clearly didn't reach for him in round 3.

Give us a few more productive drafts like that one and we will be able to approach the draft like New England, with no glaring holes to be filled. Until then, the Trifecta are still sticking pretty close to that philosophy, not panicking over the look of March's depth chart, and building for the future.

Dear y-not. Bill Belichick is not a former GM. He is running a team now. They are called the New England Patriots. Maybe you've heard of them? They've had a couple of pretty good seasons in the past decade.

I would almost prefer to do things the complete opposite way of Belechik, so in no way would we have any of his scum on us. But success is success, and I suppose it's better to beat them, than mock them. Really, the holes aren't that glaring really. Maybe CB, but the draft isn't here yet, so there is still time to adress it. WR isn't the leagues best, but we moved the chains last year eh? Merling & Langford should improve this year as pass rushers, as least history says they will anyway. I think our biggest need is NT. Fergusun played OK, but he's gettin up there, and any CB can look good when the QB has 350lbs in his face.

Why not go for youth anyway? We aren't a player or two away, and we've played that game too many times before. It didn't work then, prolly won't work now.

Common guys stop the Bodden argument, the guy was cut by the 0-16 lions, how good he can be?

I think that New england is one or two pieces away from succes. That is why they can go to the draft with all of their needs solved.
Miami has just too many holes to cover, nevertheles I beleive that the Trifecta is going bargain shopping when the prices of Free agents goes down.

I think the DB's in free agency are/were pure garbage. I'm glad they didn't over-spend on those bums. I think the DB's that will be available in the latter part of the first round look more promising than bringing in Green or any of the available trash.

Bodden would have been a nice pick up but maybe he decided to take the vets minimum from NE instead of Miami. Who knows what's going on behind the scene. They could be trying to work a trade with another team. They have Beck and Satele to use as bargaining chips. Who knows. Stay tuned!

I believe that the Pats and Dolphins are in two different places in terms of able to win now, regardless of record last year. The Pats are getting older and their window of great QB play from Brady is closing. The Dolphins are getting younger and they hope their superstar QB of the future is only in his second year. The Pats need the vets to try to win one more time. The Dolphins, while the vets would make them more competitive this year, most likely are not Super Bowl contenders.

That is a long way of saying I do not have a problem with how they are doing things. It will be painful this year, but hopefully it will lead to greater success in the future.

I beleve you are comparing apples to oranges. Let's not forget that this is just the second year of rebuilding under Parcells. I'm sure if this had been his team for ten plus years like Belichick he would not have as many holes to fill. What I have seen so far in free agency is we are going to be able to run the ball with an outstanding O-Line. He picked up a safety that he feels will work well with Y-Bell and signed many of his own free agents. In my opinion soon we will all see that Bill and Bill run a team the same way and after watching the Patriots the last decade I'm OK with that!!! In Bill we Trust!

If either J.Allen, Scorpio Babers or Billingsley(?) show up and take it to another level...what are you going to say..." I told you so"...

Springs is old, expense and hurt most of the time.

Mondo, When does free agency end? I think we've had a pretty solid offseason, signing Bell, Crowder, Wilson, and Grove. We need a DT, CB, WR, and we certainly wouldn't mind having another LB(either outside or inside). There's a good chance that at number 25 if we don't see a CB we like we could easily take a WR or LB who grades higher. I agree with Lombardi's approach, and i disagree with the notion that what we've done is somehow different. We've set ourselves up well to draft the best players at certain key positions of need.

CB is definately at the top, but i think round 2 is where you draft a corner anyway and with all the free agent signings a guy like Smith or Butler may be there at 56. I know you said not to say it, but Parcells knows what he's doing and i think he's going to get a CB where he wants him. Regardless of how big a need it is.

That being said, Allen is going to have to step his game up either way because he's not going to have a day off this year. Our schedule isn't kind to the secondary and that's are Achilles heel at this point.

The question is value...

What are you going to get from an aging Sean Springs and a journey-man Bodden.

Good Play... sure

What can you get from Jason Allen, Nate Jones, & Mike Mickens or Darius Butler or even Domonique Johnson competeing for a starting spot.

Good Play, or Maybe GREAT Play... why not?

Whats the point... in paying these guys cap space when you run a system that makes Andre Goodman look like Deon Sanders.

This is the NFL no one casually walks into the draft thinking "since my team is perfect I'll pick the best guy". Last year, the Patriots reached for QB, WHY they had a need. Matt Cassel's contract was up and they knew they needed a replacement. They drafted for NEED, not the best player.

i loved last season but we have to put it into the perspective of easy schedule and talent evaluation. We won the games we should have won but never convincingly. The brass got to evaluate all the players. NE is making a championship run, as much as i hate to admit it, we are not. Were good but not NE or Pittsburgh good after them we can compete with the whole conference. We should be a wild card team but we cannot win the conference yet. Veteran free agents are quick fixes, quick fixes dont help us but they do help NE once we build the young core completely then we can do what NE is doing. Bear in mind though we are a brady or big ben injury away from being contenders. Fill through the draft we have two awesome safeties that can hide an inferior corner and hopefully an improved pash rush. The o line should have more push lets go R and R show and let ginn, camm, and bess make some plays. Also dont forget the fact that we might fill holes with trade bait players

Mando, you can compare this to the different versions of the West Coast offense... I think Belicheck has always been fond of veteran players... Think about the first Super Bowl NE team in the early 2000's... Belicheck went and got tons of mid level free agent veterans to fill out the roster... They were not very young at all...

OK Mando,

How about this , switch Parcells and Belichick current roster ,does the approach stay the same?

Several things:

1. In many ways, free agents are just as much hit-or-miss prospects as draftees. The difference is that one comes with a relatively minor risk (the late first round draft and beyond) and one comes with sizable monetary and cap risks. Lombardi himslelf notes that the best way to go about it is to draft and develop players for your system. Players that perform well in other places may do so because of the system they are in, the financial incentives of FA (ie contract year), better chemistry fit, etc. So just because Bodden or Springs seem like good stop gap measures, doesn't mean they actually will be. Ernest Wilford is a case study of a FA bust.

2. The Steelers epitomize the philosophy that Parcells and co have adopted. Rarely do they go to the FA market to address needs. If there was one team we should emulate, I would argue its the steelers, not the patriots.

3. We're assuming that Jason Allen and others are not valued or viewed highly as other FA cornerbacks. That might not be the case. The defensive system they run may not place as much emphasis on CBs... who knows.

4. You could argue that Parcells and co did exactly what we needed to do last year wrt filling holes in the FA market (Smiley, Starks, Wilford, etc), but also balanced with needs in the draft.

5. In fact, they have not been exactly dormant during this FA period, having re-signed three key starters and two new ones.

6. So I'd conclude that there is not an "either-or" as Mando suggests; rather, there is a balance that I suspect most if not all teams strive for in the offseason between filling needs in the FA vs the draft. Even the mighty patriots have holes at OLB (replacing vrabel) and ILB (replacing Bruschi) that they have not yet filled. You don't think they'll be targeting Lauranitus or Mathews with one of their top 2 picks?

Good topic Mando...

The proposition being put forth is illogical and, at best, reliant on on a recursive cause and effect paradigm. I think it is safe to say that the draft philosophies aspoused by both New England and Miami are executed with the purpose of improving the respective teams. However in the article purports that New England's philosphy differs in that they want to be a better team before the draft via additional free agent signings and thus reduce their risk.

Dear fellows I would argue vociferously that the inherent risk in free agency is lessened only when the extant nucleus of the organization is stable. In other words, knave, if your martini is already well fortified with a reputable gin (i.e Hendrick’s, Plymouth, Magellan etc), then the addition of a poor quality vermouth is of lesser consequence. Ah but theres the rub.... how did you get good in the first place? Through the draft or free agency?

Such circular logic has you at odds with yourself as a poor ill humoured canine pursuant of his own hindquarters, dawg.

In summation I maintain that your team must be evaluated as a unit in a static environment lest yee influence the very nature of that which you are observing through your own observation, vis-a-vis Heisenbergs uncertainty principle. That my friends is something you can take to the bank, which my caddie chauffer informs me, is a place where people put money that is not properly invested.

We the fans worry so much about holes...
We fantasize about high-priced free agents, why?

There is allways somone to fill the gap, the question becomes, "How much better is the other guy we're signing in free agency".

Just ask the Jets...

There is no one or two players available that will get us to the super bowl. We are still filling holes to help 2 to 3 years out. Why pick someone that will be over the hill in a couple years as the Patriots are doing? With their team, one or two players can help them now. Two different situations, thus two different philosophies.

Another thought ,

Mando , you are definitely a " buyer" and not a " builder" being attracted by every "shiny" little thing out there.

A rough diamond is just a stone until faceted. Anybody can go buy one ala Dan Snyder , it takes a real pro to create one !

I don't see why everyone is in a rush to pick up a corner with the first couple of picks. I think one of the best corners in the draft could still be available for our second pick in the 2nd round or even our pick in the 3rd. There is this guy from Ohio named Mark Parson. He held Brian Robiskie to almost nothing in their game against Ohio State. His numbers weren't all that great last year but how can they be when everyone is afraid to throw the ball your way. We may need a corner or two but I don't think they necessarily need to be one of the first picks. I know most people would disagree since we picked up some O-Line guys recently, but I would still like to see a stud center like Alex Mack being picked in the first round. There hasn't been a center as good as him in a looooong time coming out of college.

Common guys stop the Bodden argument, the guy was cut by the 0-16 lions, how good he can be?

Posted by: Manuel | March 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM

I know guys, trust me, I don't want to second guess the "master plan", and I'm not for spending in FA while we can mold young talent. But a couple of things: -How good can he be, well, good enough for the Patriots to sign him and make him a starter... ask me again after he covers Ginn, Wilford or Camarillo... -cut from the Lions, well unless he was the QB, RB, WR, Rushing the passer and covering, Im not sure the 0-16 was his fault, and FYI, we were a one win team, does that mean JT, ZT, RB aren't any good either... please...

Lastly, regardless of your opinion of FA CB's (1st or 2nd tier), they got a starter, with experience, to help mold their young CB's and to perform against us, FOR DIRT CHEAP... had we went after him, and even if he was a bust, it would have been for a @700K yearly salary... thats less than Wilford on the bench!

THERE'S a huge gap between Pats and fins;
1-pats has best QB in NFL history and you can put any DL W/HIM
2-new england as long as they have brady they are happy to spend to get new and veteran players every year and once they are on the field they see the LORD OF THE RINGS in brady.
3-now let's talk about a team has 2 unproven QB like dolphins then what happen is that brass says ,what the hell i am not going to spend any money cause we don't have a winner yet unless it's BERGER

Chris, Vic, Thatguy... Good Points...

Armando, building for the future takes more than one draft. It takes two maybe three drafts to build a championship contender. Problem is after going 1-15 to afc east CHAMPS, you set the stage for players and fans to have great expectations. But the dolphins are doing the right thing and not getting ahead of themselves by adding and giving away tons of money to players who have character issues, excessive bagage, or command such ahigh price that they would eat up all the cap space ie albert haynesworth. or signing mccalister who has both charcter issues and command more money than his worth.
Here is the thing Armando, the Patsies have most if not all of their skill players set on both side's of the ball and need only add a player here a player there. The Dolphins, who because of the 1-15 season had to start from scratch and build through the draft, have been side swipe due to winning the east. Fact remains that the Dolphins have more holes to fill, albeit not as much as last year but taking the same approach as last year is the right way to go. Because we are building a team not to win the division but to win the SUPER BOWL and the foundation of players will be threw the draft. If there is a free agent who is let go at the start of training camp then the dolphins will get that player then at a cheaper price than now. Dolphins have nine picks and will use everyone of them to build a stronger team than last year. While the patsies are trying to win one more before the window closes for brady and a veteran ladden team, the Dolphins are trying to win several, not just one super bowl, and have that winning environment that up until last year seemed so long ago.

I'd like to see us sign some vet FA. Jason Taylor is #1
bridge the gap with a couple more proven vets like Surtain or Chris McCalister whichever is healthier. and Joey Galloway or Marvin Harrison. Don't tell me they couldn't help teach the rookie WR we are about to bring in and Ginn, Bess, and Camarillo. even if they are just there as much needed depth if one suffers injury. Depth is key with young talent.

without a great QB no team can go any where ,that said fins will go no where until they have. a great QB but until then we can enjoy the talk between MARCUS and JN phin fan

Mando , I think y-not was talking about Mike Lombardi . Also well said Fargle live here.

Despite our 11-5 record last year, Miami is still in a rebuilding mode. I think that the braintrust is still looking two years down the road. Last offseason everyone was talking about a two to four year rebuilding campaign. Now with some success, we think that this team is ready to compete for a Super Bowl this year. It is not. Haste makes waste. I am glad to see that we are not wasting money on overpriced free agents, or trading away valuable picks to fix the problem NOW. Once the core is in place, then you can ticker and fill need areas. New Enlgand is on the top and begining is descent back to mediocrity, but Miami is still climbing the hill.

fin fans are in panick

you cant just fill the gap it wont work the dolphins have tried that remember? nick saban um it didnt work for us we havent been a super bowl team top contender in years we are young, the pats are not they have been there they know what it takes we are gettin a taste for it now so i see us goin to the draft pickin up on needs like last year and thats about it. the game is about heart not the team that spends more money. example dont the yanks by the best team posible every year? when was the last time they won a world series????

too many gaps and too many holes and no money left


As if to prove my (and most everyone else's on this blog) point, Lombardi concludes his article with this nugget:

"When I see the word “hope” regarding an NFL team, I want to remind everyone to never confuse “hope” for a plan. Billy Devaney’s remark about moving Bell to right tackle is the kind of reaction that makes me think he’s confusing the two. Case in point: Last year in Miami, when Bill Parcells came in and he and Tony Sparano put the Dolphins’ line back in shape before the draft. They moved Vernon Carey to right tackle, they signed Justin Smiley, and they knew they would draft Jake Long. They had a plan; they did not have to hope for anything."

So is it not clear that balance and having a plan is the key - and not just filling every potential hole with an overpriced FA...?

Don't want to get involved in the ongoing debate between njphinfan and marcus, but can I ask one question njphinfan? Who the heck cares what Omar Kelley's opinion is? He's like an unwound clock, right only twice a day.

Last year he said the Dolphins were drafting Vernon Gholston. Then he said they were negotiating with Vernon Gholston. Lies. I saw the feed on the Dolphins website when he asked Tony Sparano what about dealing with eight guys in the box on defense and Sparano said something like "We didn't see that at all this game."

He said the Dolphins weren't going to spend money in free agency. Then they paid Gibril Wilson 27 million. Then they paid Jake Grove 29 million. And they spent another 12 million on Joe Berger. Then they spent 25 million on Yeremiah Bell and 15 million on Channing Crowder and 42 million on Vernon Carey.

So the guy doesn't know what he doesn't know.

It's tough not to say that we blindly trust in Parcells because to a degree I do. That being said I think it's a NO-BRAINER to sign Mcallister as he would easily become the leader of our secondary. If we are worried about his team commitment and use of alcohol a stern face to face with Parcells and Sparano where expectations for him to be THE LEADER of our secondary can be laid out clearly. This way he understands the opportunity he has to make his mark in Miami. He fits PERFECTLY and allows a young CB from the draft to learn our system by being a nickel and not be rushed into being a starter. If the incoming rookie progresses to the point where he should start then Wil becomes one of the better nickel corners in the entire league. It's such a natural fit I can't believe we haven't already done it...

It's tough to watch semi-solid names come up like Bodden and Springs... and then watch them slip by our Fins, only to be taken by the Pats. But still, I'm fine with it all, trusting our Tuna. THE ONE THING that will make me truly upset, and truly hurt, crushed even... would be if the Pats sign Jason Taylor. That would be equivalent to Marino signing with the Jets or Bills. And while I want so much to believe Jason would never do that to all his loyal fans in Miami... I don't know.

Some observations:

1) Football is the only sport where numerous times during the season you actually believe that the entire season is riding on the next play.

2) When you think about it, the post office actually is pretty efficient at delivering mail. Most of the time, if the letter is within the state, it gets there the next day. Not bad for 42 cents.

3) I like to use those strips that open up your nasal passages at night. They really are effective. But I notice that when my right nostril is open it produces a whistling sound. It's kind of cool. Like the sound of corduroy swishing.

4) Maybe Cuban Menace is Cuban and maybe he's not. What's it to ya?

5) My wife thinks Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady) is plain looking. I think she was one of the most beautiful chicks of all time (except for her thin lips). How can two rational people see the world so differently?

6) Can we really believe that James on "Good Times" was faithful to Florida? I mean, he's married to basically a man (Florida), and he has this beautiful piece of poon (Wilona) next door. Are you telling me he's not doing the nasty with Wilona?

7) Boxing is the only sport in which talent has decreased the last few decades. There's no way Muhammad Ali in his prime couldn't clobber any and all of today's pugilists.

8) My appendix scar (from surgery at 3 months) is all but gone.

9) I know this is hard to believe, but Ray Bolger (The Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz") was not Jewish.

10) Gene Kelly starred in 3 movies with Judy Garland: 1) "For Me And My Gal" (1942), 2) "The Pirate" (1948), and 3) "Summer Stock." Of these films, the finest was "The Pirate."

Philosophy may be different, but thats cool.
But if i had to choose one, it would be the one that got a 1-15 team to the playoffs and crown division champs instead of the latter.

What has belicheat done lately?

I tend to like the way NE is doing things right now mainly because they are winning and this is new to Miami right now. That allows them to sign away players to one year deals. Keep in mind that these players look at the patsies as a team that gives the best opportunity to be in the playoffs and possibly play for the title. It will take the Dolphins a few more productive seasons to reach that same level and be able to do those things. Now, I like the idea of signing proven players more than rookies since rookies are an unknown.

One thing I don't like is painting yourself into an corner. I do have faith in the Trifecta but don't like the idea that only certain body types or ages fit their criteria. That is a good way to miss out on some good opportunities. I would have loved to get a guy like Lito Sheppard here for example. I don't like the idea of going into the draft with all other teams KNOWING the needs we have. IF we go in and don't take a CB in the first or early second, then we are reaching and other teams can try to take players before us.

In cases like Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest, I loved the things I've seen from him and would hate to see him eliminated based solely on size. He is smaller but plays with mad heart and an huge chip on his shoulder. Sometimes you just need to get a FOOTBALL player and let him play football. Zach Thomas didn't meet a lot of size requirements from what I remember reading in the past but tell me how many teams wish they had him as he started playing.

Is Smith the next Zach? No way to know until the future, but I'd love a kid with those skills and a huge chip playing on our side. Now that's just an example so don't go pointing out Parcells doesn't want him since nobody here is Parcells. And if you can, isn't that a slight disadvantage? Think about it

If either J.Allen, Scorpio Babers or Billingsley(?) show up and take it to another level...what are you going to say..." I told you so"...

Posted by: El Q-Biche | March 11, 2009 at 12:58 PM

If that happens, I would say, "Wake up, it's time to leave dreamland and return to reality."

Fargle live here- I think you said it best.

That guy- It's "espoused" not "aspoused". Show some intelligence. (that is tongue-in-cheek in case you missed it.)

finfanrocki- Trent Dilfer

I can only assume since my last two post were removed that I must be banned from posting on this blog.

Que pasa , no cohones!

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