« One positive aspect of cutting John Beck | Main | Dolphins do more than preach competition »

Which endangered Fin might become extinct?

In the summer of 1996, I remember a conversation with then-defensive end Trace Armstrong that applies to some Dolphins players today.

Armstrong came to the Dolphins in 1995 because Don Shula was eager to improve the team's pass rush. But then Shula blitzed toward retirement after '95 and Jimmy Johnson was hired within the span of two weeks.

And Jimmy Johnson brought his guys with him. Johnson signed defensive end Dan Stubbs, drafted Shane Burton and even made initial plans to use Daryl Gardener as a defensive end on some passing downs. Armstrong, Shula's hire, realized he was suddenly an endangered species -- the last coach's player.

"Things have changed around here for guys like me," Armstrong said of himself and other Shula holdovers. "And not for the better. We've got to be better than the new guy's boys just to stay even."

Armstrong did more than stay even. He led the team in sacks in 1996, and '97, and '98, and 2000. But his point about survival on a new coach's roster is relevant today, even as the players not drafted or signed by Big Tuna Bill Parcells and Tuna Helper Jeff Ireland continue to dwindle in numbers.

A couple of days ago the Dolphins released quarterback John Beck, the sixth player from Randy Mueller's 2007 draft class that was either cut or traded by the new regime. The survivors remaining players from that class are first-rounder Ted Ginn Jr., fourth-rounder Paul Soliai and punter Brandon Fields, a seventh-rounder.

The 2005 and 2006 draft classes, authored by Nick Saban, have been similarly decimated. Cameron banished Fred Evans and Kevin Vickerson, while the current regime has cut or traded Travis Daniels,  Derek Hagan, Anthony Alabi, and Joe Toledo. The survivors remaining players from those classes are Ronnie Brown, Matt Roth, Channing Crowder, Jason Allen and Rodrique Wright.

Guess what?

All those players, with the possible exception of Channing Crowder, are endangered in one regard or another.

I would tell you the guy who should be most worried about his spot on the roster between now and the start of training camp is Jason Allen. This coaching staff appreciates his special teams work -- some anyway.

But as a cornerback? Not so much. And as a safety? Not at all.

The Dolphins 2006 first-round draft pick has frustrated Miami coaches in that he is tutored and coached and told how to do things. And then in time of crisis and pressure, when he needs the techniques taught to him the most, he reverts to instincts and techniques he learned years ago. And those things do not serve him well, aside from the fact they frustrate the current regime.

Allen should notice the Dolphins drafted two cornerbacks -- Vontae Davis and Sean Smith -- last weekend. They also signed Eric Green before that. Those three are this regime's guys. Allen is not. He has a bull's eye on his back. He is endangered on this roster.

Matt Roth? The Dolphins signed Cameron Wake this offseason and are currently negotiating with Jason Taylor, as are at least two other teams. (Yes, that is breaking news but we kind of assumed that would be the case anyway). The point is Roth's job as a strongside OLB is not secure in the least.

Ronnie Brown? The Dolphins entertained trade talks for the running back prior to the draft. His wildcat package role will likely go to Pat White because White is expected to be a more accomplished thrower and the fact is teams stuffed the Wildcat last year with constant blitzes, which can only be stopped with passes over the top of the defense that forces the D to respect the back end. Brown will be on the team this year -- I expect -- but he's on notice he has to play well to be on the team beyond that.

Ted Ginn Jr.? It should not escape his attention the Dolphins counted wide receiver a need position this offseason and drafted two receivers that, if plans work out, will be in the mix for red zone snaps, because of their size and quickness (both of which Ginn lacks). Yes, he's fast, but I don't believe anyone would argue he's either big or quick. The point is 2009 must be Ginn's breakout year. If he doesn't do it in 2009, under the same offensive system, playing with a veteran quarterback he knows, and given the staff's creativity, he'll have no excuse for not succeeding.

Brandon Fields? Bill Parcells thought him to be a core player before last season. But then Fields was only middle-of-the-road in gross average at 43.9 yards and his net average of 35.5 was 25th of 32 -- which is, frankly, not good. So the Dolphins signed an Australian tryout Jy Bond, who has never played in any college. Fields has to watch his Ps and Qs and win a punting competition this summer whereas last summer the Dolphins had no punter in camp competing with him.

Paul Soliai? Size is this guy's saving grace. He is bigger and stronger than commercial refrigerators. But he must hold off the challenge of offseason acquisitions Tony McDaniel and Joe Cohen. His spot is not guaranteed by any means. He has to grow up and produce or, or, well, or else.

Rodrigue Wright? He had so much potential coming out of Texas. It has not yet translated to the NFL and Lionel Dotson, who the current regime drafted last year in the seventh round, has already passed him even before minicamps begin.

So you tell me ... of all these endangered players, which is most likely to become extinct in Miami?

[BLOG NOTE: I want to thank all of you who shared time with me on the live blogs Saturday and Sunday. This blog had 141,108 page views for those two days. You guys rock! Thank you.]

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20115705d0451970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Which endangered Fin might become extinct?:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

They should have cut J. Allen long time ago, he is useless in coverage. Miami should stop drafting Tennessee Vols defensive players they all sux! they develop that inferiority complex loosing to the GAYTORS year in and year out... when they get to the pro's their heads are already clouded with so much B.S. they are beyond salvageable.

Please End the ted(no testiculas fortitude) Ginn experance now please, also cut his clipboard holding daddy and his blocking dummy cousin rufus too.

Gone: Jason Allen...under achiever who is already third string behind two draft picks imo...had your chance to learn and did not.

Brandon Fields: in this regime?...35.5 does not cut it.

Rodrigue Wright: Too much competition against lack of talent.

Keepers:

Matt Roth: Has talent and heart. Is not an olb in a 3-4, is a DT where I believe he has a chance.

Ronnie Brown. I am not going to justify the ignorant idea of trading him.

Ted Ginn. Jr. Keep...much upside and seriously???

Paul S. Way too much upside. He is a Dolphin...period!

Nice post benny

Armondo. My friends and I were talking Monday after the draft and came up with something interesting to talk about. Would appreciate your opinion. Lately, the NFL has come up with some new stratigies (sp) to market the game and bring in the advertising dollars. Look at the foreign games, the move of the pro bowl, the Thursday night games (which is entirely a ratings issue), and talk of moving the draft to prime time. What about moving the draft? I for one am sick of seeing jets fans every year. We have 32 teams. The draft in a different city every year sound wonderful to me. I think it would be very cool, and a wonderful boost to local economies, if the draft switched cities every year. Instead of hearing jets fans boo buffalo picks we could see an abundance of Cardinals fans booing a Seahawk pick. The local economy would benifit just as much as they do from the NFL EXPERIENCE and EVERYONE would get a chance at attending a draft. Might take 32 years to make it to your city but that is better than cold weather cities with an open stadium knowing they will NEVER host a super bowl.

If we are seriously cared about...move the pro bowl and the draft every year! Think I am crazy brother? Your turn.

Mando,

What about Roth being moved to an ILB. Not to start necessarily but as a back-up. He's got size and I could see him being good on 1st and 2nd downs against the run.

Other than that I think once injuries start to pop up around the league Miami could turn J. Allen and Solai into some decent picks.

wouldnt ricky be on that list of players also. trifecta didnt bring him in

sanchito marino won games against the jets. lots o them. i bet that fake spike touchdown pass still irks ya. cuban if miami cuts ginn are you going to reimburse them for the cap hit they will take? how about throwing on his jersey and replacing the only deep threat miami has at wr.

to anyone on this blog who knocks Ronnie, Roth or Ginn you live in a dream world..........Ronnie runs hard every single play and has the skill set that you dream about plus he has shown his ability so that's ridiculous if you take into account his insane year with Cam as coach he could be a 2 time pro bowl RB. Roth isn't in there for his pass rushing skills every down what you thing they rush 5 every play??? what about the fact he stacks the pile when plays are run to his direction and he does a better job of it then Joey porter does or Jason Taylor ever did. As for Ginn this is what his 5th year as a real WR i think he is developing fine some of you look at Bess and Camirillo there doing all of there work on 8 yard routes while ginn is eating all of the coverage. I think of all the players these guys are here to stay and i for one surely hope so.

Scott Kitchen well put. Agree 100%, tired of see the jets fans myself.

Armondo...I posted a long and descriptive piece on moving the nfl draft to every city that participates in the NFL but once again it did not show up. SO....I am going to make this short and sweet without all my reasons why it should be done. Do you think the NFL draft should travel? Think about it...2 hour show on the release of the schedule...NFL network itself...Thursday night games...talk about draft in primetime...moving the pro bowl...all about ratings and $$$. They want the fans involved?? MOVE IT EVERY YEAR. Opinion?

ronnie awesome. roth excellent run stuffer and still refining his instincts and overall skill set at olb. ginn will surprise this year. he has done more in his first 2 years than dolphin great and one o my fav miami players o.j. mcduffie.

HEY PRO SCOUT. How's albert Haynesworth , jon henderson , jerrod mayo , shaun ellis , leonard little , deon grant, etc doing in the nfl ? You should worry more about all the flops that come at of florida ( derrick harvy , jarvis moss , etc ) . when's the last time florida produced a decent wr or qb ?

NJ PHIN FAN,

You got anger problems dude!!!!!!! Take your meds.

i am the genius of me

Here's a thought:

What about a 1-for-1 swap with the Raiders...Jason Allen for Michael Huff. Our bust for their's. We might have to throw in a mid- to late-round pick for '10, since Huff was a top 10 flameout and our guy just a mid-first flameout. Either way, a change of scenery might benefit both players (and teams).

HEY fake JED or should i say cuban menace you have mental problems/ multiple personalities disorder dude !!!!!! Take your meds.

Nj Phin Fan, Woah, why are you so mad? Everybody just came here to talk Dolphins. You should have valium because you are to aggressive for internet.

NJ Phin you sound very paranoid accusing everyone of having multiple personalities.

Ni Phin what do you think about the Pat White pick? I think it was an excellent pick. I think the young man will be able to contribute to the team this year.

nj phin fan you know you lie up your nose and post w/ multi names to keep on insulting me but i know your kind. I am not a fake jed. You joe the plumber.

I love to post under different names. They don't call me MANY-ME for nothing.

Nj Phin Fan,

Cuban always says in his posts that he only posts under one name. I always read his posts because he is very funny and I trust him because he is a police. It is very obvious that you are impostering him. I think VermontPhin might be right you sound paranoid and might have multiple personalties yourself.

Paco. YOU trust the police ? LOL. I have the deed to the brooklyn bridge that i want to sell you.

Trust the police or I will taser you!

Don't tase me bro!

Don't taze me bro!

The menace is not a cop, he is a security guard. $12.00 per hour with overtime I may say. Love them jets baby

Mr. Bunglito did you forget you already posted dont taze me bro under a different name?

Paco. you're such a genius . LOL . How the hell can i post under 2 different names at the same exact time ? You should now because that was you posting the same exact thing as me. Ans it's not the 1st time. Scary isn't it. ?

and. Also, good-night menace !

I think that Mr. Bunglito is New Jersey Phin Fan playing his little games

The contents of this article have been covered by every writer who can spell his name, every Monday morning quarterback in line at the roach coach,every cab driver from Key West to Kentucky, every drunk cadging free beer at the bar, but none manage to give it quite the unpleasant, whining twist that you do. Another Salguero first - sorry, worst.

It's about competition, not who's this regime's player versus the other regime's player. The players that perform the best in pre-season practice "generally" make the squad. That, Armando, should be the theme and tone of your story.

its like people only do things because they get paid and thats just really sad...

Jason Allen is horribad. Just another Jamar Fletcher...

jason allen is a nice man if you meet him in person,he should get a 4 years contract before some other team scoop him.bty he's very polite.

Question for Mando:

Phinsider shows that Pat White received #6 for his uniform. I hope that they can get Dan Carpenter to give up #5. That is Pat's college number.
A cool number and one that I watched him wearing on utube highlights.
I admit questioning the pick initially but if you watch his highlights you'll see he would be a real problem to defend against.
A dual threat electric player!

Can you find out about him getting #5 from Carpenter, Armando??

Wright and Allen will not make the team in 2009. Soliai may not either....If he does and doesn't step up his game significantly in the season he will be gone before 2010 season. Brown will be back in 2010 provided he continues to improve but I suspect Ricky will not and Miami will look for someone to replace Brown in 2011. Ginn will be a Dolphin until his contract runs out...whether he is resigned depends on how he has progressed and what he wants in a next contract...

i hope dan dosent give up his number he is the most electric special teams player on the team.

Imposters On the blog alert...this is the real cuban, who's got a Q for the cuban?

how long it took you to think this one line out menace,it's funny.
question, why nj phin so angry at every one but himself ?

i think jason allen should get an extension. He has an extensive collection on nike air jordans.

Cubes what imposter are u talking about.

Armando, I don't post here daily, but I do read your blog daily. Anyways, Thanks go to you for the great draft coverage you provided here.

PS. This post isn't half bad either ;)

Respect my authoritaaaayy!!!!!

Brandon Fields,

Rod Wright,

Matt Roth.

Ok kids ,i am back after a visit to my nice rest room.shoot your questions at the loco cuban.

Pat White is not a red neck.....

Imposter Menace(9:54) Funny post but please use other name ....maybe miami menace ? or how bout cuban cousin?

Jed, chad ( neck fat) henne is not a red neck but is a circus freak, i mean if he wasnt playing for the fish he'd be performing after jo jo the dog face boy and before the bearded lady..

hey cubes who do u see emerging out of the 2 wr miami just picked up in the draft.,

Always good to have my people(latinos) on the web!

Jed, Do you live in a trailer? do you hunt unarmed small anamals? do you like jeff foxworthy? if you answered yes to any of these Qs , then yes you are a red neck...

Voldo, i think pat white might surprise a lot of fans, this guy is a athlete..

Cubes do u think turner miami's new wideout will perform instantly or do u think he will be another wilford?

Guys how long do you see bill( the tuna) parcells dieting before he falls off the wagon and invades a golden corral ?

Sr. Cuban

Will Shaun Murphy get some reps a CB this training camp?

Valdo, I think that camerello and bess will have a great seasons and see turner catching 25 to 30 catches this season.

« 1 2 3

The comments to this entry are closed.