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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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I think it's safe to say that Obama has done more long term damage in 3 months than Bush did in 8 years. Anyone who doesn't agree just doesn't understand the signifigance of what Obama has been doing.

As for Miami, we have a tough schedule, but an improving team. It's gonna be an interesting season. One thing is certain, if we make it to the playoffs, we earned it.

TFK

thank you souljahbeats

Isn't it about time “We the People” stood up to these greedy idiots supposedly running our country? Instead of this bi-partisan sniping why don’t we all just wake the “F” up and realize that none of these people have our best interest in mind.

I lost my job because our company sold out to the illusion of cheaper labor in China. I was given 8 weeks severance but because this came in a lump-sum payment the government took almost half of it. I put in for unemployment and the government taxed that money although it already came from tax money, money that I paid them for over 20 years.

Our business leaders continue to payoff ALL of our politicians to turn a blind eye on the jobs streaming out of our country so the greedy rich can get richer. Can’t you see them laughing at us as we sit here sniping at each other over which party is more corrupt while they line their pockets with Chinese gold?

The Chinese understand the American greed all to well… Let the people sit back and argue whether this greedy bastard or that greedy bastard belongs in the White House while they sit back and copy all of our technology, all of our hard earned manufacturing techniques, all of our computer and telecommunications knowledge.

Go ahead people fight it out… Obama – Bush, Democrat – Republican, Right Wing - Left Wing, Liberal – Conservative... Fight it out while they laugh on their yachts. They don’t care about you, your children, your country, all they care about is how much money they and their Wall Street cronies can continue to milk out of this country until the well runs dry and you are searching for a few scraps to eat.

Argue it up people! Fight it out!

Mando I love you man but you made this whole
blog into a political argument of bufoons who
A: Got into politics because Obama is President
B: Or are simply crying to a DOLFAN community
that could care less about their taxes.
Just make sure you have your season tickets and get over it. But then again, if you live in Dade county you are paying for a big bright
phallus in the shape of a baseball stadium.

mando, dont know whats worse, "the chosen one" or an old man(McOld) and his nurse(nurse sara),pickings were slim at election time and with that being said I again voted for Ralph Nader..

ELWYN . That the Dem. way. SPEND SPEND SPEND and then raise your taxes. Good luck with that big bright phallus. LOL

thank you cuban and thank you elwyn green

Oh say can U see? By the Bay of Biscayne
What so proudly we hailed... Da Da Da Da Da Da Da. Who wore Turquoise and White through an AFC fight oer the stands where we watched
were so Da Da Da Da Da Da and the Dolfans so
proud Porter barking out loud gave proof through the spring that our team only moved to the training facility in Da-A-Vie.
All 2gether now. Oh say does that 2008 AFC champion Banner yet waive.................
Oer the land of the Fish...... Marlins too...
And the new home of Cameron Wake....

That outta clear all thoughts of taxes!!!

Elwyn, I wrote two sentences about tax day and 114 lines about football. The commentors then make a decision to comment on whatever they want. I do not force them to comment on one subject or another -- that's their choice.

Many Me, get serious dude. I love you and appreciate you being here, but can't you keep your identities to under a dozen?

i owe 1,672.00 this year nice!

I would rather have an old man american hero than a Fidel castro and karl marx socialist wannabe any day.

What a clever way for a talentless sports writer to incite an uninformed political discussion...

Cheers to you, Mungo!

Back again. I find it funny how people think that if J.T. returns to the Dolhins we will be better off on Dfense. HELLO!!! did we not witness J.T.'s exploits last year. Injured or not he was ineffective. Don't get me wrong, I love J.T. I should have cried when he left.
That Time is gone.
Did you not witness the progress of our youngs?
They are doing great. I think it is kinda plaster of paris so to speak using J.T. to fill a hole temporarily. As Mando said it takes away from the younger guys learning.
J.t. would be great!!! As a teacher. That's all nothing else.

The thing that truly makes no sense to me is how Glenn Beck is using THOMAS PAINE of all people as the mascot for this movement/event...

Here is a little about Thomas Paine from our friendly neighborhood Wikipedia.

"He was an early advocate of republicanism and liberalism, dismissing monarchy, and viewing government as a necessary evil. He opposed slavery, proposed universal, free public education, a guaranteed minimum income, and other ideas then considered radical."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine#Rights_of_Man

Oh, and he was anti-christian too:
"The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally payed to the sun."

A TRUE HERO of the RIGHT! Lol.

Some more great quotes from Thomas Paine for my Republican friends:

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

Vote Paine in 2012!

TRUTH. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Truth, you've been coming to this blog since July of 2008, signing on as Trick Daddy and Voice of Reason and Hank Longer and -- today as Thomas Paine also -- all the time you've been sowing hate and division.

Two things: Why do you keep coming back? And you shall reap what you have sown.

Patrick, as Lenin once said about the u.s.a " give them enough rope and eventually they'll hang them selves"

wow,

Thank you

MANY ME aka ?. Again with mando . LMAO. Also cuban , you're last comment was on the Money.

wow...thank you ace

wow,

thank you Pat

Best sign i've seen today. CHANGE ? : Is what's left in your pocket !

Amen Bro. Manny!!!

It is not your fault that our economy is
weaker than an 0-16 Lions. You see it everyday we lose millions in hedgefunds. taxes are rising legislators passing laws under false pretenses ( NY tail docking laws which would kill millions of dogs in the name of mercy.

The bright spot in my day is you Mando.
I AM NOT GAY but any man that talks Dolphin and Hurricane is worth hangin with and listening to especially when they know what they are trying to articulate.

ROCK ON MANDO ROCK ON MANDO!!!

WOW Mando,

I must say I think this is your best blog post ever!
Chubbs

I can't help it, a Tea Party comment.

People get the gov't they deserve (and want).

Unfortuantely, too many Americans today want the gov't to "give them stuff".

Too bad the folks are blissfully unaware of the consequences. European style socialism, here we come.

35 hour work weeks, 2 months of mandatory vacation, all kinds of entitlements sounds pretty good.

Little chance for upward mobility is the price.

Hate and division? So showing quotes from a historical figure whom a divisive looney tune is using as an improperly-suited mascot for a faux-movement is considered hate speech these days?

The only thing that I have written here that could even come close to being considered improper is calling you talentless, which, while somewhat rude, is within my rights to free speech and an opinion. It is in no way "hate".

I continue to come back here because I like Dolphins news, and you are one of the few (being that you are backed by a major newspaper) to provide this on a daily basis. While I thank you for your service, I do not think that you have much talent in regard to analysis, insight, writing, and CERTAINLY not radio.

Being that you have permitted free and open comments to be attached to your posts, I am more than within my rights to share my opinions on your work. And you would do well to stop interjecting politics into sportswriting. It is a HUGE turnoff. Its the same when popular rock musicians or actors display their equally uninformed LIBERAL talking points in innapropriate venues.

all the hoods are out ,politics is no good people, when you read people like thomas paine creep,he should be out of here.

thank you mr NJ IN blue

Hey Mando,

There truly is no doubt in my mind that Tuna,
Tuna Helper and Sparano will reach their goals.
I'm just impatient man. we haven't even hit the draft yet and Ihave been going through withdrawals all winter. I tried to use D wade
and the Heat but the high just isn't the same.
I need my football.

Mando,

Why do you only call someone out on multiple names when they have a different view point than you, but let many me and his multiple personalities take over your blog on a daily basis without a word?

Oh, and, we true Dolphin fans will never forget the time you open cheered for the Miami Dolphins' demise when you high-fived another talentless writer during a loss to the Denver Broncos... No matter how many times you try to delete it from your blogs...

It might be a good thing for the Herald to actually employ a true fan of the Dolphins to follow the team.

Styop bringing up your conservative rants, leave it to your specialy football.

@ Gort

So you are calling one of our Founding Fathers a creep? The quotes are directly from him, not me...

O.K kids , the menace has to on duty, try to keep it civilized while the menace patrols...

Read my comments Souljabeats. I think Many Me knows he's on my radar. Having said that, the guy talks football most of the time. And when he doesn't I OFTEN delete the stuff about monkeys and Henne Neck fat and other things.

Can't believe I wrote that last sentence.

To Angry Liberal -

Aside from Iraq, I would think that Liberals would love Bush, he did not veto one spending bill in his 8 years, gave a phenominal amount of money to Africa to fight aids and other programs, and pushed for the Amnesty bill for illegal aliens without doing much of anything to secure the southern border.

Sounds like liberal policy to me.

And as to Iraq and Afghanistan, and warrentless wiretaps, it looks like yer boy Obama is following the exact same strategies. What a difference getting the OTA (ongoing threat analysis) reports every day makes. And he is going further, threatening to invade Pakistan!

Same policy for the banks and bail outs too.

Soulja. What are you talking about ? armando just called out many-me on a post at 2:40 pm. Leave Many -me alone . FREE MANY-ME !

MJZ. Well said.

Thomas Paine, if you don't like Mando's blog why are you here? You can always come to my ridiculous low-budget, no information having blog instead.

Hey *ssholes. Just checking. Yea you. Stick to sports. I don't care about your political affiliation, whats on the bumper of your car or what religion you follow.

that guy,

what if its a Dolphins decal on the bumper of their car?

@ Matty Idiot.

I already told you why I come here in a post above. There are 3 sources of consistent dolphins news. I visit all three. (PalmBeachPost, MH, SS).

Of the three, I would have to say Omar is the best, even though his grammar and spelling leave something to be desired at times. But at least he offers good FOOTBALL analysis without going off on any stupid political tangents. And Omar also doesn't make up sources to post stories and then not even issue an apology when his bosses call him on it and remove the story...

ARMANDO, peace, please no more politics,you alienate many fans,i am one of them.

THAT GUY. "sshole. yeah you. we don't give a shyt what you think.

Mando said we can talk about anything we want. So we are. Stop trying to shut us up. As William Wallace said, ""FREEEDOMMMM!!!!!!"

How does a coarpse(thomas payne) that's been dead for other two hundred years get access to the internet???

Who's his internet provider??

I am the Ghost in the Machine. It is an odd thing indeed that God doesn't use the internet to speak with His subjects... Beats a flaming bush if you ask me...

thomas paine should read victoria secret and leave the hate behind.

Oh My God Cuban. LMAO !

I'm black and voted for Obama. Now I wonder if I did the right thing.

Seeing as how Armando never responded to my post, all of my "hate and division" must have finally broken him...

lol, I cannot believe that he actually constitutes valid criticism as hate speech.

Reminds me of when Fox News was calling all anti-war protesters un-American, but now, the Tea Party protesters are true patriots.

lol.

If you voted for someone solely because they share a physical trait with you, you do not deserve to vote...

Thomas paine. How about the left wing media calling the tea party un-american ? You can't have it both ways.

God is all over the Internet. Go to God.tv and you'll see.

cuban, do you know how many wifes tomas paine had?

trenton. That's why they say " be careful what you wish for ".

NJ, I don't watch any media. I might watch CNN every once in awhile, but Olbermann, Hannity, Matthews, and Beck all equally sicken me with their over-the-top histrionics...

Oddly enough, I actually enjoy O'Reilly, even though he is a raging phoney, but at least he is humorous (DO IT LIVE!!!)

If the left-wing media is calling these people unpatriotic, then they are as bad as Fox News. It is everyone's right to protest, as long as it is done peacefully, but that still doesn't mean I don't find the entire thing to be utterly contrived...

I do listen to Beck's radio show sometimes, and the guy is just straight up scary and hilarious at the same time... His fake crying "I love my country" during the 9/12 Project thing was a laugh riot...

I dont know if the president shares any trates with me. I don't look at skin color until prejudise jerks like you bring it up. And I don't think anybody has the kind of long, wide anaconda I have.

As Thomas Paine did not respond to my challenge of him I am assuming he capitulates at the fact he's a moron. Suck it.

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