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The good news for Dolfans on tax day

It is tax day and that's quite depressing with all the government spending and mismanagement that's going on. It's enough to cause hundreds of thousands of citizens to take to the streets in grassroots tea parties throughout our nation. Meanwhile NFL fans are sizing up the potential potholes in their teams' recently released schedules while also measuring their teams' weaknesses in anticipation of the coming NFL draft.

It can all be a huge downer if you let it.

So today I offer a lift to you, the hardcore Dolphins fan. You have much to be thankful for because although I've made the point time and again that the Miami roster is flawed, the franchise is nonetheless pointed in the right direction.

So what follows is a list of positive facts about your Miami Dolphins that should take your mind off 1040s and turbo tax and all that schtuff

1. Bill Parcells is running the show. The Big Tuna has brought to the Dolphins a credibility and respect that was lacking since Jimmy Johnson quit the first time, after the 1998 season. The Dolphins are no longer viewed as potential victims in trades because Parcells doesn't get taken to the cleaners. The Dolphins are being molded in the image of a champion that Parcells likes to establish, which is a big, strong, hard-working team that avoids drama. Parcells is so good at what he does he is already thinking of the 2010 season even as we're days from the 2009 draft. He is going into this draft understanding the possible holes in the 2010 roster -- due to free agency -- and he expects to make decisions in this draft, in part, with that season in mind. Pretty awesome for a team that simply tried to survive day-to-day under previous management regimes.

2. The quarterback situation is set. The Dolphins haven't had it this good at the quarterback spot since Dan Marino was in his prime. They have a veteran quarterback in Chad Pennington that doesn't make many mistakes, doesn't make a ton a money to eat up cap space, doesn't complain about his contract situation, is a great leader, and is a great team player. They have an heir to Pennington in Chad Henne, who has a very good arm, played for a long time at a bigtime university, doesn't seem overmatched by anything, and is such a competitor he's intent on displacing Pennington this year rather than waiting for 2010.

3. The coaching staff is set and productive. Yes, there were some hiccups early last season when Tony Sparano and his staff were still getting to know their players. But they figured out very quickly what those players could and could not do and they maximized that ability. The staff was good enough that Todd Bowles and Paul Pasqualoni were considered head coaching candidates elsewhere this offseason and Steve Hoffman was hired away by Kansas City. The good news is the staff only had the Hoffman defection and an offensive line assistant change when Mike Maser was fired. By any NFL standard, that means the Dolphins staff retains its cohesion and constancy.

4. Youth rules. The over-the-hill-gang they definitely aren't. The Dolphins were young last season and will be younger yet this year, believe it or not. They've lost or cut veterans such as Vonnie Holliday, Renaldo Hill and Andre' Goodman and will replace them with younger players. They are about to add a dozen rookies. They are building for tomorrow. “There is no doubt about it, you have to have younger players on your team," General Manager Jeff Ireland said. "You want to build through the draft. That’s a strategy and philosophy that this trio has felt real strongly about as many times as we have been together. Age does make a difference as well as longevity, how many more years a guy can play and if a player is ascending or descending.”

5. The Dolphins know the trenches are important. There is no NFL team that can win despite losing the battles along the line of scrimmage. It is simply impossible. Don Shula recognized this earlier in his career when he sent three offensive linemen to the Hall of Fame. He knew this when tough men such as Manny Fernandez anchored the defensive line. But he went away from that a bit when Dan Marino came on the scene. Yes, that lightning release was rarely sacked, but the Dolphins couldn't run the football to save their lives. And yes, the Dolphins applied pressure, but they struggled stopping the run. It was telling that in 1995, the Dolphins desperately needed to improve their pass rush ... so their signature free agent signing was Eric Green, a tight end. Jimmy Johnson believed offensive linemen weren't a priority, but rather afterthoughts he could find late in the draft or as undrafted free agents and that just wasn't true all the time. By contrast, the Dolphins today have a solid starting offensive line. Jake Long should get better. Justin Smiley is expected to be healthy by training camp. Jake Grove is an upgrade over Samson Satele as long as he stays healthy. Donald Thomas is 100 percent again and has much potential. And Vernon Carey is nothing if not dependable. Defensively, the Miami line is young and improving. Yes, Holliday is gone but he played only 53 percent of the snaps last season and was destined to play less than that this year because Phillip Merling or Randy Starks are going to start. The Dolphins have high, high hopes for Lionel Dotson, who got little attention in 2008. Keep your eyes on him because Parcells is.

6. The draft will not finish Miami's work. The Dolphins have worked out and studied a ton of little-known, little-valued players they believe might not be drafted. The reason for this is the team will sign about a dozen undrafted free agents in hopes that maybe two make the team and one or more can become practice squad players. Last season the Dolphins added K Dan Carpenter and WR Davone Bess as undrafted free agents. I think that speaks for itself.

7. There's more to Miami than meets the eye. While most of us are focused on the starters and the stars, the Dolphins staff and personnel dept. are wise enough to go beyond that. Guess what? They didn't give up on guard Shawn Murphy after he disappointed last season. He came in too fat heavy to be able to compete last training camp. Falling behind day after day, he was of no effect by the time the team needed guard help during the regular-season. That will not be the case now. He is in shape and getting stronger. The Dolphins haven't given up on him simply because he's not a star or starter. The same is true with Dotson, who I mentioned earlier. No, he didn't figure prominently. But this is a 6-4, 290-pound guy who is getting stronger this offseason. He is a project, I grant you, but the project is being improved as we speak. Safety Tyrone Culver is not a name you'll hear most anyplace else. But the Dolphins think he's going to be a stud in the nickel and dime packages. He has coverage and ball skills that allow him to compete at cornerback. And failing that, he's a reliable tackler in the back end. The Dolphins expect much from him. Then there is Joe Cohen. Who, you might ask? He's pushing Paul Soliai to be Miami's backup nose tackle. At 6-2 and 315, Cohen is probably a bit smaller than the Dolphins want anchoring the middle, but University of Florida fans know he's He-Man strong so watch for him. Finally, there is TE Joey Haynos. The fact of the matter is David Martin and Anthony Fasano are both unsigned beyond 2009. Both will not be re-signed. The Dolphins are projecting Haynos to be the next guy up in the rotation. He has great hands. He's 6-8 and 270 pounds, which makes him a HUGE target in the red zone. And the amazing thing is the kid is rather lanky and can run pretty well. He has potential the Dolphins believe will begin to shine in 2009.

So those are some good-news facts you should consider about your team today -- even as tax bills and life's other challenges try to get most of your attention.

Let me know what else you would add to my list.


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Please stick to sports Mando...those "tea parties" are a joke, a bunch of ignorant people protesting their own party's tax code, which incidently is 25% lower than the tax rates of their hero Reagan. The origninal Tea Party was to protest taxation without representation, which obviously isn't the case now. Just because you lost, doesn't mean your goverment isn't representative. It's representative of the majority as it always has been and should always be. It's hardly a "grass roots" movement either. A certain news organization has been hyping the events for weeks.

Sorry to sidetrack the organization but mando brought it up...


First to post....I am North of the border, so my fellow Dolfans must be busy doing their taxes....LOL.

Great article, Armando. You have mentioned some names I am not familiar with. The future sure looks good with the Trifecta we have running the show.

I'm getting fired up just thinking about the potential of these role players and project guys. Tougher schedule... I'm cautiously optimistic. It appears that these guys know what they are doing. Armando, what is going on at Fullback? I have lost track in all the pre-draft talk.

this is a must read for all fin fans ,it's really would give you better understanding for this team and where it heading next few years. i like number 7 and 4 the most but all in all armando deserve a lot not because he keep is subjects fresh but he try's to improve his readers IQ by getting them to be smart football fans by looking at the big picture.

this is the slowest month ever


You are mistaken about the Tea Partys , yes spending went up too damn much under Bush and Reps/Dems in Congress. I hope we all realize that fact by now; but is the correct course of action to FURTHER raise spending as Obama and the Dems are doing now?

Also Taxes will have to go up to pay for this spending orgy but there are all sorts of hidden taxes NOW that have already gone up at the state/local level: tobacco, speed cameras,
fees that the police/fire depts are charging for using their services,etc

HEY KRUEGG66. Go back to watching your left wing LOONEY Liberal Msnbc and cnn. Stop Drinking the kool-aid and stay off this blog with your whacked out Left wing Liberal Agenda. If you don't like what was written on here , then don't read it and Make a Ignorant response. There's always MOVEON.ORG.


One name you could of added on your list is Patrick Cobbs... If he still contributes to this team like he did in 2008, he could become an interesting guy, especially when you consider both Ronnie and Ricky are free agents next year...

Don't know if if chad henne reads this blog but if he does I would like to say, good to see you back in pa (snuzzles on sat)thanks again for the auto-g. bern

Two things: I'm going to the tea party in Orlando. The fact of the matter is the president said no more earmarks and the budget bill (omnibus) he signed had 8,000 earmarks. The fact is he's spent more in three months and putter us deeper in debt than all the presidents from Washington to Bush did combined! The fact is my children's children will be repaying the debt incurred now and the Chinese own us.

On a football front, I love what Armando said about Joey Haynos. I didn't realize the kid was the tall. I love the idea of a 6-foot-8 TE. Great information, Mando.


Just to add to what I was saying earlier about Cobbs, his story could turn out to be similar to the one of Willie Parker... A diamond in the rough, came out of nowhere...It just shows how important having a great run blocking o-line is... We'll see how it turns out, but this guy is as tough as nails...

MIKE. How about 1/3 of your cell phone bill going to taxes. How about spending more on your taxes than you do to put food on your table. Left wing socialist Obama and this congress has increased the def. 4 times the amount on a couple of months. 4 trillion dollars is spending . Who's going to pay for it ?. So when tax payers get mad and protest, you get the left wing wack jobs like Kruegg66 downplaying the tea party/protest. Unbelievable ! God forbid you protest the "chosen one " and his socialist/ left wing agenda.

Nice to see such a heavy dose of optimism on Dolphins in Depth, and it's all true. The Dolphins finally have alot of things going for them.

we also have some recievers like armstrong and foster and a couple other players. but mando pretty much got it coverd. good article Mando. ANYWAYS GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!

it just feel like fox fix news in here, we report the crap,you decide based on our crap

MM , You sound like CNN ( Clinton News Network) and Msnbc( Kool-aid anyone ? )

Krueg66: with all due respect, the constitution allows me to stick to whatever I wish to stick to -- sports or otherwise.

I appreciate your differing opinion and respect it. But I would defend my right to give my opinion as well.

The natural reaction is to attack the "right wing" for these tea parties. In fact they are not republican- nor democratic-party inspired. They are citizen-inspired and that, in case you didn't know, is applauded in both the constitution and the declaration of independence.

I remind you government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, not the other way around. And although approximately 67 million great Americans consented to this current government and its policies via their votes, that also means approximately 230 million other great Americans did not. Think about that.

For the Tea Party, I am pretty sure all this money is supposed to be repaid by the corporations. As far as earmarks go it comes from both sides of the government left and right. Also, if the republicans are so against the stimulus money they should not take any of it period. If they really feel so strongly against it, just return it. It is just dumb how they talk about they don't want it but all accept handouts. All of the politicians are pretty corrupt and they all have something to gain from earmarks. Why has it been so hard for Detroit to get bailout money? Because none of the politicians have their money invested in there, yet so many average Americans will be affected if one company shuts down. I am an independent, but i think Republicans had their chance and now it is time to see what the Dem's can do. I am also 20 Yrs Old and I wont have any health care when I retire yet pay for it in taxes. It is not fair, but the system is flawed.

On to football I am worried about how things are going to shake out. I think the Fins need to re-sign Ronnie in the season, before letting him hit the FA market, it would make it easier for us to probably keep the cap lower than having a bidding war for a good RB. How many would be in FA next year? Can't wait for the Draft

That is a good list, Armando.

A few comments. Re: Chad Henne, everyone is talking as if he is a sure thing but the guy has yet to play a regular season game. I think we ought to reserve judgment till the guy actually proves it. A big arm, and a big-time college, don't add up to squat in the NFL. Plenty of other QBS can say the same..

And its great to have a young team, keeps the paychecks down, but a winning team needs to concentrate on having the best players possible and should not be adverse to having veterans and veteran leadership. The Parcells crew has the team pointed in the right direction, but they don't always make the best moves either (Ernest Wilford?!?), lets try not to be mutants without a brain and instead criticize this regime when they deserve it.

Does it really matter what a pathetic xenophobe like Armando Salguero writes about these contrived tea baggers? Here's the facts. Miami Dade: Obama recieved 140,000 more votes than McCain. Broward County: Obama received 260,000 more votes than McCain. Palm Beach County: Obama received 140,000 more votes than McCain.

So in Mr. Salquero's readership, there are 540,000 more Democrats, Republicans and Independents that voted for Obama over McCain.

Its understandable why the editors at the Miami Herald would let him write his political views on a sports blog: THEY HAVE NO READERSHIP. THEIR DAILY NUMBERS ARE SHRINKING.

Armando Salguero represents yesterday's ideas and opinions, sports included. Its just a sad commentary on the current state of what's considered journalism.

hey Mando good work
Miami will repeat as afc east champs. if we get J.T back our defence will be a sack machine.

Mando -- great day for counting our blessings. Almost makes me forget about the checks I wrote to Big Brother last night.

Evidence of it is in much of what you wrote, but I'm overall just plain pleased that these guys (1) have a long-range plan, (2) it's a good one, and (3) they stick to it.

Sounds simple but so different from what we've seen for so long, when it seemed like the brain whatever couldn't see past next month.

Also very different from the situation on a lot of other teams with lesser leadership and/or are feeling the absolute presssure to perform NOW reguardless of the future cost.

My guess is on draft day, we may see a lot of movement as Tuna & crew exploit that.

Excellent stuff, Mando. Interesting that foofs like David E go on and on about how you shouldn't be writing about politics but in a couple of compact sentences you moved him to respond to your blog.

That is using the power of the written word. Good for you.

Can someone please explain to me what the voting stats of three liberal florida counties have to do with anything? I'm sure most of those people who voted for the guy who bowed to the Saudi King and kissed his ring are having an extreme case of voter's remorse.

Meanwhile Armando, you should have mentioned the fact Randy Starks started slow last year but came on strong at the end. He's going to be awesome this year. Only 26 years old.

BS...i don't play the pawn game.any one making less than 150,000 a year will get a tax cut,plus most people protesting today are against the wall street ,so don't blame a guy who just came to office after the mess from last 8 years.AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL IS BACK.

P.S, the R.party in ten years will no linger exist once the 18 year old kids of today reach 26-28 years old and vote for the good of all.

we report.....you decide

K-man. Please get your facts straight. LOL . Some Banks/coop are trying to give the stimulis money back but the govt won't take it. WHY ?. Because the govt wants to run them. It's called socialism. WAKE UP !

You rock! Insightful, interesting, controversial and informative.

Armando, if the Herald made you a local or political columnist I would start buying the paper again.

But then I'd miss reading you on the sports pages and this blog. Any way to have the cake and eat it too?

FLPD, do you like cake?

MM. America is Back LOL .You meam socialist europe is here. Those same 18 year olds will see what it feels like in cuba , venz, europe ,etc and go crying back for capitolism . Remember the jimmy carter days ? I doubt you do . How did that work out. They went crying for reagan

Hey Mando,

any news on C.Wake?

I have not heard anything on him since we signed him. Is he the OL we are looking for or a special teams project? I appreciate the info you gave us, especially on the TE but am interested in Wake with the draft so near.

bring back america,do you love cake? go do clean your basement or clean the stove,you keep saying the same thing,we need to talk football.

AND...marc is right...any news on Cobb? Remember that touchdown catch last year?

There is talent there boys!!!

Mando, what makes you think Parcells is already thinking about next year? My guess is he is thinking about which studio show he will be on with his 10 million in the bank drawing interest.

DAVID E. You're an idiot 1 The left wing New york times is going under right smack in liberal new york city. What the hell does anybody point od view have anything to do with it. It's all about the internet.

The good news is I just bought tickets for the Miami vs San Diego game since I live out here in CA. Anyone else going to that game?

Armando, I definitely agree you have the right to your misinformed opinion because the Constitution that your man Bush has badly tarnished says so. Your point that most people didn't even vote for a presidential candidate is meaningless. Elections are won by voters ... oh, wait ... your man Bush was elected by a thin majority of the Supreme Court after your state cheated Gore out of winning Florida.


You tell us not to talk about monkeys, women, or other non related football stuff. Then you turn around and start talking about politics. I know it is your blog and you have the power to do so. Anyway, what were we talking about?
Where is my monkey woman,Gopats.

There goes red neck JED talking about his mutant self again.

Bring back America,

You don't like people that are you know...different. You know when you say "bring back America" or "normal America". Do you have a hood and sheet on?

Armando missed the best news of all: Less than four years before Nobama is out of office. Tick, tock, losers!

Florida the beautiful,
It has F grade for it's education
it has all the weird news coming out of there
bunglito,conzalez just a sample
talking football is better

ANGRY LIBERAL , LOL. You're still crying over bush beating the hypocrite green boy al gore . wah !wah! wah ! wah ! wah ! . By the way your socialist prez want to change the constitution all together.

Bring Back is Rush's @ss master.

What are you Gopats? Right or left wing. Come on speak up. Do not be scared. Tell me what you are and what your alter ego jetsrock is as well. That is if you are a man, no wait I previously called you a women, scratch that.


The grand dragon is Bill maher 's a$$ master

I don't think people realize how much hidden and raw talent is on this team
True they're all young but
If trifecta hits it big in this draft
watch out

jaksin, are you there? if you are, call me.


Can you sing us the national anthem? I bet it would be sweet. Please... you are a real American!! May God Bless you (I don't mean it)

ace,can't we speak ball any more alien sick man? shut up already with the none sense .


Thank you and well put.

Just mentioning poltics or even religion can rack up alot of blog hits....hmmm

Much more fun to read when there's some positivity to your argument.

Armando I truly appreciate an insightful and positive view of our team. Excellent work today, young man.

after writing a good article the blog becomes ugly and thanks to politics.

Great summary Mando - interesting reading and very timely with the draft coming up.

I think Henne will be a big winner but - not so fast my friend. He still has to prove himself.

Haynos sounds like a monster. Maybe we'll see him in some of those four prime time games.

Since they open in Atlanta I guess I'll see at least five of their games this year.

mando we don't want to hear you're views on our government. please stick to sports.

Mando, I appreciate you giving us more than just sports as food for thought. Keep it coming brother!

Al. WE don't want to read YOUR improper grammar. " YOU'RE " views on our gov. LOL

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