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Sunday column: The nuances of 2009 success

What will define success for the Dolphins in 2009?

Is it the ability to do 2008 one better and make the playoffs, only this time winning in the postseason? Is it repeating as the AFC East champion? Or will success for your Miami Dolphins be defined with more nuance than that?

In my column today I explore how we will define success for the Dolphins this coming season.

I define success as improvement. And I would argue improvement might not lead to a better record or taking a step further in the playoffs.

I would argue the Dolphins might be better in the coming season than they were a year ago. They might prove to be a more complete team. And they might get worse results than they did last season.

Anyway, check out the column and tell me if you agree or disagree with the premise.

I am already in Dana Point, CA and will be covering the NFL Annual Meetings from here until Wednesday. I will bring you the latest from owner Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who will address the media Monday, and coach Tony Sparano, who will do the same Tuesday morning.

Why do I tell you this? So you'll check back often for updates, of course.

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Why was David Boston working out with Chad P? he isn't trying to make a comeback with the dolphins is he?

Why was David Boston working out with Chad P? he isn't trying to make a comeback with the dolphins is he?

Fans have to be patient next year. It could be a very tough schedule, and fans have to understand that.
However, a good draft next month could go a long way towards determining just how well this team deals with next year's schedule.

nine and seven....

Welcome to Southern California, you are in my backyard. I appreciate your blog and columns. Enjoy CA Armando. Wish I had the opportunity to meet you, we don't get very much Fin Coverage here.

Forget David Boston. Once the roids ran out.. so did he..

Winning the AFC East with their hard schedule and healthy Tom Brady would be a huge success.

WITH A GOOD DRAFT WE SHOULD BE FINE. THE THREE MUSKETEERS MADE SURE THE PLAYERS STAYED TOGETHER WHICH CREATES CONSISTENCY. SINCE EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THE PLAYER NEXT TO THEM ARE DOING THEN THEY WILL BELIEVE IN EACH OTHER. I HOPE CHAD PENNINGTON IS WORKING ON HIS ARM STRENGTH OR TECHNIQUE WHATEVER HE NEEDS TO GET THAT BALL DOWNFIELD.

Great work Mando...will be looking forward to your updates from Cali!

With the coming draft we should be in better shape as mando said as long as we are improving this team is in track to keep going on the right path .

A fistful of failure? Where might one put their hand to extract such an item?

Personally, I put success at ball control on offense and spreading the sacks around to everyone on defence. That means 140 yards running the ball per game. If it comes from 2 or 3 players great. I want the grind it out 4 yards per play type ball control game.
On defense, I would like to see a high pressure defensive system developed. Like Baltimore. No time to pass and stop the run at the line. That gives the cb's time to develop and make INT's.
If we can to that on a consistent basis we will go 10-6 or 11-5 against the big teams.

Hey 'Mando,
Any idea when the official schedule will be released?

There still are a few free agents out there. If the Dolphins want to address there needs, then pick up a few more players. Even bringing back Vonnie Holliday would be a big improvement. Theres your defensive end. By the way, in case you don't know this Veterans are just as good football players as all these kids they are signing. And they have some experience. Unlike some of the players they just signed. How about Tory Holt. That would be a great addition. Derrick Brooks, good linebacker and Ken Lucas, good cornerback. There, now that I've just addressed Miami's needs. Maybe someone should send my emails to Parcels and Sporano.

Lucas would be a good move if he would sign cheap. We don't need a 36 year old linebacker who is ready to retire. We should bring back Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor too if we bring in brooks and just cut crowder ayoldele and roth. Then we can have porter and taylor on the outside and brooks and thomas on the inside. That would pretty much make us the Patriots with all those old timers in our linebacking core. Then the following year we can trade 1 of our aging backers and Scott Mitchell to the Chiefs for the 34th overall pick. And we can buy off all of the refs and videotape the other teams and cheap unbelievably against the Ravens on our way to 16-0 since we can't beat them anymore on our way to choking in the Super Bowl. So no to Derrick Brooks.

Excellent question. I think the Ravens are the bell weather. If we can play them even this year and then dominate them next year (assuming playoffs, etc.) then we are there. I hated what they did to our team last year.

Every year is a new season and what looks like a tough schedule right now may not be. Look at how the Jaguars did last year. Heading into the 2008 season if they were on your schedule you would think that's a tough game. Not so much. The Chargers made the playoffs last year but finished just 8-8. If they were on your schedule you would say that's going to be a tough one to win. Not so much. If you were a borderline playoff team trying to take the next step and you looked at your schedule and saw the Dolphins were on it you would say that's a win. Not necessarily.

The point is last year's results are just that, last year. When this season is over you might look at the Dolphins schedule and say it was a little tough, but not the toughest.

Fins/Chiefs...... 23-12
Fins/Seahawks..... 7-19
Fins/Bills 14-3
Fins/Ravens 21-16
Fins/pats 0-29
Fins/Broncos 14-3
Fins/texans 14-6
Fins/Chargers 7-21
i am only a member.

I just think if we brought Lekkerkerker back we would be better off!

if we can't define success by record next season how we know it's a success unless the fins think the success last year was luck or they think that fans are dumb but one thing i know the fans will turn on the team and the tuna and co in NY minute like pit bull if fins not playing in playoff and the bills or jets are

Here are the odds of rolling each possible number when playing craps:

2 = 1/36
3 = 2/36 or 1/18
4 = 3/36 or 1/12
5 = 4/36 or 1/9
6 = 5/36
7 = 6/36 or 1/6
8 = 5/36
9 = 4/36 or 1/9
10= 3/36 or 1/12
11= 2/36 or 1/18
12= 1/36

Here are the odds of each team in the AFC East winning the division this season:

N.E. = 12/20 or 3/5 (60%)
Mia = 4/20 or 1/5 (20%)
Buff = 3/20 (15%)
N.Y.J. = 1/20 (5%)

Here are the odds of me taking a crap in the morning each day of the week before my shower:

Monday = 99/100
Tuesday = 97/100
Wednesday = 98/100
Thursday = 96/100
Friday = 99/100
Saturday = 61/100
Sunday = 63/100

(It's ironic the odds go down on the weekend, given I take my shower later, so I have more time to make a doodie. I guess my body just kind of shuts down on the weekend.)

I think it was the Tuna who said, you are what your record says you are. Taking a step back is just that - a step back. Winning the AFC East must be the measure of success. It doesn't matter if that is 10-6 or 13-3.

I like to know who decide if dolphins are more of a complete team with worst record when most fans only care about one thing as a measure for success,playoff or not .otherwise what the difference between tuna and the Saban and J.J and Cameron.

It's time for a politically incorrect joke.

Rodney is the star basketball player at an inner city school. But he's failing math. The principal comes in to Rodney's math class one day to inform him of the bad news: because Rodney is failing math, he will be kicked off the basketball team.

All of Rodney's classmates immediately protest: "Give Rodney anothuh chance! Give Rodney anothuh chance!"

The principal is feeling kindly, so he is willing to permit Rodney to stay on the team if he can answer a math question. He asks Rodney: "What's 4 times 5?"

Rodney answers, "25?"

The kids bellow in unison: "Give Rodney anothuh chance! Give Rodney anothuh chance!"

The principal is still feeling generous, so once again he asks Rodney a mathematics question: "What's 6 times 3?"

Rodney answers, "15?"

The kids bellow in unison: "Give Rodney anothuh chance! Give Rodney anothuh chance!"

The principal's patience is wearing thin. He agrees to ask Rodney ONE more question. If Rodney answers correctly, he's back on the team. If not, that's it! He can't play!

The principal asks: "Rodney, what's "4 times 4?"

Rodney answers, "16?"

The kids bellow in unison: "Give Rodney anothuh chance! Give Rodney anothuh chance!"

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

(Cuban Menace told me that joke.)

J-P . out of J. allen and darius butler. who's 6-3 200 and 6-0 200 like you indicated would be miami ' s starters yesterday. ?

NATHANIEL, I AM SORRY TO SAY IT'S REALLY NOT FUNNY.

young Starters of the future

young starters of losing team.

AFC EAST CHAMP didn't like my last joke, which I thought was funny, albeit crude. Okay, let's give him a more classy joke:

Two flies are hovering around a piece of doodie, doing what flies do around doodie - going to town. Then, all of a sudden, the first fly squats and lets out a fart. The second fly responds, "Hey! Do you mind? I'm eating!"

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

(Souljahbeats told me that joke.)

HEY JOHN FRANCO , lets sign L. Taylor , Dick butkus , deon sanders and jerry rice while where at it.

Nathaniel,
Your joke (About Rodney) was kinda funny, but it's more sad than funny because it's true. We are in big trouble. The liberals and conservatives can sugar coat all they want, but they have blown it and we will all pay.

What's the difference between an enzyme and a hormone?

you can't hear a hormone.

or is it ther other way around

I am an idiot, sorry to be so rude John Franco

Ceed, Why are you so obsessed about the Patriots? Honestly? Pay the refs? The patriots had an awesome year that year (minus the last few minutes of it) and as a football fan you should just concede that. It's not a knock on us if another team happens to do well.

anyways, I think we will take a step back before we take another giant step forward. next year i'd say 9-7 with that tough schedule, but 2010 should be the real deal year.

Hello Armando.

Long time, no speak.

Please tell me that Tony Scheffler is an interest to the Tri-fecta. We do need depth (even though he'll start if he lands here) at TE.

That, plus we wont have to worry about having to draft for one.

What say you?

Thanks. =)

Thanks to The Imposter nj phin fan , but next time have the balz to post under your own Name . IDIOT

GIT-R-DONE JED , was that you sticking up for your boyfriend john and being the imposter nj phin fan. I knew you loved men. Nice of you to take time out or your nascar race . GIT-R-DONE !

ball control burning up the clock.not losing the football and getting the 1st down.is all we need from chad p.ounce in awhile throw the ball deep.and running the ball between 3 RB and gaining over 120 yards is great.we dont have a tough schedule we are afc east champs.{the other teams we are playing.are saying were playing miami and we saw what they did last year there good}also chad henne is our future so we dont need cutler.we picked him off allot last year.GO MIAMI 09

davon bess wow what a reciever.we dont need t.o. or ocho cinco.we dont need single stars we need team players.regardless of who scores the touchdown.i want a team were nobody cares of being a superstar or a stand out.we need a group of guys that play TEAM FOOTBALL thats why i like our chances this year.

Success for the Fins this year means making the playoffs. You don't regress record-wise and then argue well we were a better team this year, even though we went farther last year. Yes, the schedule is tough, but using it as a cop out is gutless, and I know Parcells and Co. feel the same way. I'm not expecting the Fins to win the Super Bowl next year, as I think they're still missing a few vital pieces, but anything less than a playoff berth will be a disappointment.

No excuses, playoffs or bust!

Dana Point? Very nice. Get some Fish Tacos while you are there!

Whoever thought we'd be 11-5 last season??? No one, No one, No one!! So why are we already trying to help "soften" the blow by saying "maybe they'll be a better team, but not as good a record??? Yes, we have a tough schedule, but The 'Phins are and will be a tough team. You'll see!!! They beat NE at the height of their power last season ("it was the wildcat') so!! We beat them!!! Arizona had he SAME record and went to the SB and was seconds from winning.!!! Dallas was supposed to be in the SB. Miami will be in the playoffs.... Brady will not the old Brady, The Bills will implode and are finished with T.O. (We just have to wait for him to light the match in the lockeroom) the Jets don't have NO QB. RELAX.....

I think that JAllen comes into his own and shuts down Randy Moss, T.O and all the others. We run for 150 yds per game with the new offensive line. And Ted Ginn's family provides so much support during games that we win all the close ones. The old Patriots run out of gas in the second half of the season and Bellichick retires after the season exclaiming "not knowing what your opponents are gonna do makes this game less interesting to me" and "that combination of JAllen, Wricg Green and Faggins is sure touch to beat". The Robbie family repurchases the team from Stephen Ross at an exorbitant price and bring back Marino as a QB coach. JT stars in B rated movies and establishes himself as a poor man's version of The Rock and uses the profits from his football days to establish the Taylor Salsa and Latin Dance Academies franchise throughut the US.

You heard it here first.

NATHANIEL....PEOPLE ARE GIVING YOU THE WORST JOKES AROUND,JUST QUIT WRITING JOKES,I TELL YOU SOME THING BETTER.....TELL US 5 THINGS OR QUOTES THAT WHEN YOU HEAR THEM YOU WANT TO DIE OR YOU SAY ENOUGH ALREADY.NOW TRY TO BE FUNNY YOUR SELF.

Robert.....Please go take a bath man .this talk is so old ,i feel nathaniel can use it for Qoute joke

NE: 12-4
BUF: 10-6
MIA: 8-8 (9-7 with some luck)
NYJ: 6-10

Doesn't mean we won't improve. Just that we played over our talent level last year. Long-term, Jets don't have a QB, which will hurt despite all the other free agents. NE will be angry/hungry/other adjectives ending in "gry." Buffalo better offensively, and they have legit QB, RB, WR and some line. So it won't be the joy of 2008, but won't be the pain of 2007 either. And if we can get a line that can run block straight-up (without needing the Wildcat), we will look very strong in 2010.

9-7 record, 2nd in the division and a playoff win will be an improvment with this 2009 schedule and we must get a capable starting slot possesion receiver in the draft as well as defensive line and secondary help

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