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The other spot needing an acorn? WR, of course

I respect the fact some of you believe the Dolphins have a terrible situation at nose tackle. Jason Ferguson is 34 years old. And everyone behind him is unknown or unproven. I understand that.

But I would say the next highest position of need after right guard, the one that needs addressing if an upgrade player comes available through waivers or trade is the wide receiver spot.

Why?

Let's look at this logically. The Dolphins have a solid starting nose tackle in Ferguson. And the concerns about the position all stem from the fear he might get injured. And that is fair. But what if he has a season like 2008 and doesn't get injured?

Then the Dolphins have a solid NFL starting nose tackle sitting there. They are good.

What solid NFL wide receiver do the Dolphins have regardless of whether someone gets injured or stays healthy? What player do they have on the roster that presents the credentials as a WR that Ferguson presents as a NT?

Yeah, nobody.

The hope is Ted Ginn Jr. has his breakout season in 2009. The likelihood, however, is he will continue his slow but steady improvement toward being a good player.

On the other side of Ginn the Dolphins are currently starting Davone Bess. Bess is a solid player, a growing slot receiver. But is he (to impress commentor Marcus) a starting-caliber Z receiver? Is he a starting-caliber X?

I would say Bess, for all his gritty attributes and quickness, would not be able to start on 25 of 32 teams. He'd be a great slot guy, he'd be a wonderful answer in an emergency. He's growing and getting better. But a threat? A guy other teams worry about? He is not that. Fact is, he's going to be fighting for his life to make the team just like everyone else.

The Dolphins did draft two wide receivers in Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline. Please alert the media when they prove they belong. They have promise. They have potential. But they were, by any measure, second-day draft picks not expected to be as good as the gaggle of rookie receivers selected before them.

Exactly a dozen receivers were selected before Miami took Turner in the third round. Hartline, a fourth-rounder, was the 17th receiver to come off the boards. The point is they might become great players. But they might as easily not.

Then there is the question of Greg Camarillo. The Dolphins really appreciated his ability to get open and dissect defenses last year. He made himself available to the quarterback, made himself a big, reliable target. And then he blew out his knee.

I talked to Camarillo Tuesday and he expects to be 100 percent at some point. But he admitted to me he doesn't know when, exactly. He also admitted that reaching full health is a mental as well as physical challenge.

There is no guarantee whatsoever that challenge will be met before the 2009 season begins ... or is over.

So I believe the Dolphins would be right and will do right when it comes to the receiver position. They will continue to look for upgrades, for acorns. They will continue to monitor the Anquan Boldin situation, which they believe will go from a simmer to a boil around the time training camp is starting and then again just prior to the season starting.

Will they also monitor the NT spot? Of course. These guys are brilliant in what they do. They understand they are in a precarious situation at NT now and in a tough situation long-term.

But I would also tell you Ferguson is healthy, his weight is under control, and to expect him to get hurt is being terribly pessimistic. Beyond Ferguson, the Dolphins do have hopes for third-year player Paul Soliai, second-year player Joe Cohen, and rookie Lewis Ellis.

First off, Ellis has been overweight so the team is working hard to get him in shape for training camp. But he has impressed coaches with his (this is for Marcus again) leverage. He's not slow either.

Cohen was overweight last year. But he is in playing shape now and has a year of learning to his credit. I am told he is expected to mount a strong and legitimate challenge to Soliai's roster spot. We shall see as Soliai has lots of work to do getting in shape as he did in time for camp last year.

Finally, let us recognize what the NFL game is right now. It is a game in which most teams pass the ball about 53-58 percent of the time and run 42-47 percent of the time. Ferguson will not be in the game on passing downs and last year was limited to about 32-35 snaps per game.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins need game-changers that will be on offense that 53-55 percent or so when they're trying to pass. They need a threatening receiver who can worry the defense on about 40-45 snaps per game regardless of whether they throw or run an end around or run.

The simple math, assuming no injuries, dictates the Dolphins need one player more than the other.

Some of you will say the Dolphins have those players on the roster already. I say they would be wise to keep looking around, just in case.

And the truth -- regardless of our opinions -- is Jeff Ireland will continue to search for talent. Relentlessly. Unceasingly. At NT, at WR, and at practically every position in between.

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Look u trade a 7th for vick some deuch team will get a qb injury around the way then miami will dictate were vick goes and possibly for a 3rd or even a 2nd depending on how thin the qb market is at that time. And we corner the wildcat Market and avoid Vick going to New England which trust me will come to haunt us later. Belicheat was going after Pat White thats why miami drafted him with A 2nd pick.

Tuna eat two 96 oz porter house steaks at shulas last nite.

M.Vick =Acorn + Gaybeats's plan + pit bull + mentor = one dumb fan

Superfin says Armando's articles are no huge revelation but he's on here everyday reading them and posting comments. Why are you here boy?

If we do go after a "No. 1" WR, it will be Ocho Cinco instead of Boldin. Less expensive in terms of draft picks and $$$, and although he craves attention, he is a team player.

Oh and Gopats, Brady is NOT the master of any Fins domain. As I recall, JT was the master of HIS domain and other than the Cameron debacle year, the Dolphins were the only team to consistently beat the Pats at least once each year, even in our down years. Remember the "Orange jersey" game??

Tha Pats will once again be the best team in the league and have nothing to show for it at the end of the year, just like the year all they had to show for being the best team in the league was a bunch of unused 19-0 t-shirts.

We are coming on strong and NE's string of dominance is coming to an end. We WILL once again be on top soon, deal with it!! Even your coaches cheating will not be able to stop the inevitable!!

jim Kiicass, are you azzz, you got to learn how to speak to your master ,boy.

Id rather it not be a dementor... I wonder what hairy is up to? Sammy do u know?

Sammy u are an ungratefull fellow.

Mando,

What are the chances (if he gets out of his current legal issues before the season start) that Miami will pursue Plaxico Buress?

I feel like if his legal issue are gone, he would be a nice fit for our offense.

As a Patriot fan for many years, just remember that Parcels was our head coach LONG before he joined the Muphins. Yet, he never won a SB in NE. Billchk is the true genious!

The Miami Muphins will finish 6-10. They will not have the Christmass treats of the Raiders, Seahawks, Cheifs, Denver, Jets (injured Brett), depleted Bills (twice), San Fran = that's 8 WINS last year that will turn into 2 this year. Hence, 6-10.

PATRIOTS RULE!!!!!

Miami Muphins go back to Seaworld

You are wrong about bess, he will be even better this year. camarillo? Yeah he will not be around much longer.

There was once this WR resceiver a couple years back that got drafted on day 2, in the 7th round for that matter who turned out to be a pretty decent THREAT...does Marques Colston ring a bell? He didn't even go to a major school and look how he turned out, not too shabby i think. Brandon Marshall is another one. Point is, if the people in charge know how to evaluate talent and have proven to be more than capable of doing so (i.e. Tony Romo, undrafted probowl QB), you just have be patient and trust in what they do. So many people overhypes the first rounders as though there's a golden light around them which leads the path to superbowls and beyond, forgetting that it's the third, fourth, fifth, etc that truly build the foundation of your team. A first rounder is expected to deliver, but when a fifth rounder leads the league in tackles or a 7th rounder becomes a reliable starter, you've got a hell of a future for your franchise.

Mando, think back to the 2001 New England Patriots. They had a collection of small shifty WR's. One of them was a game changer returning kicks too! As we know, they went on to win 3 SB's without an impressive WR core (see Deon Branch's stats @ Seattle).

How many SB's have they won since Randy Moss joined them? I'm not saying it's his fault. But QB & OL are first and foremost on offense! Lock up the right guard and watch Ronnie\Ricky improve, the current WR's improve, & the big rookies get numerous chances in the red zone.

technically Ferguson was hurt last year wasnt he?

Mando, 1 small problem with this. You say that we have a NT who should be healthy by regular season and able to play all 16+ games but doesn't have a good backup. You say this is ok and WR is more important. But the last blog you said that our RG who should also be healthy by the regular season and able to play all 16+ games and doesn't have a great backup. You say this is a huge need for us...... I see the same situation at 2 different positions where RG has more experienced backups and you say one is much more important then the other? Though Thomas was out 15 games last season Ferg was out 2 I believe and is much older.

Mando,
No offense but you are out of your mind! There is no way that miami is going to get Anquan Boldin! Arizona wants to much for him in compensation. Ginn is devloping very well and it is common knowledge that it takes bout 3 yrs for a WR to become an impact player. Most of your better receivers come from the later rounds. Recent History shows that most 1st Round WR's don't pan out or are outright busts! Yes, Ginn was 1st Rd pick...but I see him picking up where he left off last season. I can see him grabbing 70-75 balls this year. Yes it would be nice to have a veteran WR that is worth something, that takes the younger guys under his wing and teaches them just as Pennington is doing with Henne. It would of been nice to maybe have picked up Marvin Harrison for a year just to have him to teach the younger guys what they need to know. But we didn't because he was to old and had lost a step which is why the Colts didn't resign him. Boldin, yes is a great receiver, but you know what, it took him 3 yrs in Arizona to become a viable threat himself. Camarillo and Bess...are to good viable threats for Miami's air attack. Camarillo was pace to catch bout 70-80 balls before he ruptured his ACL in the NE Pat's game. If / when hes healthy and returns he will be a welcome asset again. Turner and Hartline as they develop, i could see them along w/Ginn becoming the next Marks Brothers. All 3 are big targets, have speed, and can catch the ball. The coming seasons are going to be exciting! Bill, Jeff, and Tony know what they are doing and will have this franchise back to its former glory! GO PHINS!

You are spot on Armando. What the Fins need is a legitimate WR threat. I would love to see Boldin on this team.

And I would not mind at all giving up the 1st Rd pick for him, i think he is that good and our need that great. And in addition to being a great WR, he's tough, which you don't usually get in a WR no matter how good. He'll just add to the "tough mentality" of this team.

The Fins have tried to address this weakness thru the draft, but these guys are young and will take years to really blossom, most likely, if they ever do at all.

CaneSawMassacre - you might be right about Ginn, he may develop into a #1 WR.

He's about the same size as Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, and if those guys learned how to run crisp routes and get separation, why can't Ginn? We already know Ginn has speed and good hands.

This is your best column in a while. We have real nose tackle but not a reciever. Pat White is a waste. And I would have liked to see a nose tackle drafted. Not for this year but for the future. Anyway, you are right. We need a #1 receiver.

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