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Miami Dolphins personnel dept. good not great

One of my twitter followers (which you should join, by the way) asked me Tuesday afternoon what order of responsibility I would assign to Miami's current struggles. OK, let me be more honest: He asked who I blame for Miami's problems this season.

Well, with the Dolphins the responsibility (blame or credit) for a season's performance goes to the players, who must execute, the coaches, who must develop players and put them in a position to succeed, and the personnel department, who delivers the players to the coaches.

This blog usually focuses on the players and coaches.

Today we focus on the personnel department.

And that personnel department is pretty much the kingdom of Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland -- The Big Tuna and the Tuna Helper, as I sometimes amuse myself designating them. (I'll stop if one ever asks me to.)

The overall grade of the personnel department since March of 2008 has to be considered a B-minus as of today. That department took a 1-15 team and cleaned a very dirty house. I believe the accurate percentage of player turnover has been in the 75 percent range as only 16 players that were on the team before the current regime arrived are still on the team. That figure includes players on injured reserve.

The grade can and will change as this season's final month unfolds, but the point is the personnel department has done relatively well.

But great? Wonderful? Amazing?

Not really.

Quick, which player did this personnel department sign, draft or trade for that has been a game-defining player? Yeah, nobody. 

Jake Long might be an excellent player for the next decade but you're supposed to get that and more when you get the first pick of the draft. And Long doesn't change the game or force opponents to scheme and game plan for him. He's a foundational role player.

The point is we cannot name one player that we know will be a superstar for the Dolphins in the coming years. You hope Chad Henne might be that player. But there are almost as many reasons to doubt he can be that guy as there are reasons to believe he will be.

We hope Vontae Davis or Sean Smith become lockdown cornerbacks in the coming years and become perhaps the best CB combo in the NFL. But they're not there yet. Not even close. And so we can give the personnel department kudos for picking two starters, but no credit (yet) for finding greatness.

Cameron Wake has potential. But he is a project that might take another couple of years. Lousaka Polite is a fine player at fullback but he is a role player, not a star.

Anyone else on that roster that might be getting Pro Bowl consideration in the coming weeks or seasons?


We hope Phillip Merling goes there, but frankly, he's kind of a disappointment in that he didn't pick up this year where he left off last season and then rise from there. Kendall Langford is good enough to start, but not great. Randy Starks is a nice player, but he's not going to the Pro Bowl, folks.

The rest of that highly paid $156 million offensive line? Not a Pro Bowl player on there despite high hopes for the future of Donald Thomas. Again, good stuff, but no greatness yet.

The fact is the personnel department has hit on a ton C and B players. But the A and A-plus guys have yet to show themselves.

Miami's personnel department has also missed some as well, and that, of course, lowers the overall grade.

The personnel department's biggest and most obvious mistake is in its failing to find a playmaker for the offense. Here we are in Year 2 of Parcells and Ireland and we are relying on Ricky Williams to carry the offense.

Ricky Williams!

The guy was carrying the offense in 2002. So Parcells and Ireland are threatening to fall into the same abyss that swallowed Dave Wannstedt and Nick Saban and Cam Cameron in that none added two or three offensive players that turned Williams into a role player. Saban almost did it by drafting Ronnie Brown, but even he complained in 2006 that one reason the Dolphins finished 6-10 was that his best weapon was not available as Williams was suspended for the season.

Cameron wanted to get rid of Williams because he disliked everything Williams represented, but even he found himself needing Williams.

And now these Dolphins need Williams. Too much. The truth is today's Dolphins have no real hope of winning games if the 32-year-old running back doesn't play great. That Miami finds itself in this unseemly situation is ... is ... really bad personnel work.

The personnel department has yet to find a star wide receiver. The Dolphins weren't interested in Terrell Owens, didn't trade for Braylon Edwards, didn't draft Hakeem Nicks, and now Miami has no receiver that is an appreciable threat to defenses. The team did draft Brian Hartline and Patrick Turner. Hartline has been OK as a rookie, while Turner cannot get on the field.

The personnel department blew it on Ernest Wilford. That's all I got to say about that.

The personnel department was looking for an upgrade at free safety this year and paid Gibril Wilson $27.5 million to be that guy. The New Orleans Saints, meanwhile, paid Darren Sharper $1.7 million for one year. Which of the two players has taken over games this season? By the way, it was a personnel decision to let Renaldo Hill go to Denver. He also has played better than Wilson.

No personnel department is flawless. Miami's is not. But the outstanding personnel departments cover a multitude of misses by adding one game-changing player a year or two. Look at Minnesota, who has added Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Brett Favre the last three years.

No, they didn't draft two of those players. So what? All three are key reasons the Vikings are playing exceedingly well now.

The Colts do it through the draft, but they seem to get production from their rookies almost immediately. Look up WR Austin Collie's numbers. Look at what rookie CB Jerraud Powers is doing as a starter. And I'm not even mentioning Donald Brown, who we last saw plowing over Gibril Wilson en route to a TD at Land Shark Stadium.

The point here is the Miami personnel department is in great hands with Parcells and Ireland. They've done a good job. But you cannot honestly say they've done a great job until we see some great players on the field. We cannot say they've done a great job until we see a team that's better than 5-6.


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Marc, acquire Patrick Willis, Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, Ed Reed, and Larry Fitzgerald in one year like you can in Madden.

the entire nfl community laughs at what an incompetent knucklehead for a head coach we have i love the fins but its true our curse is never ever picking the right head coach. that clip on espn's come on man segment on monday night of sparano screaming for that timeout after we got a pick and a player had to tell him we dont need to use the timeout on change of possession was pathetic



Mark in Toronto,

You forgot Champ Baily or nnamdi asomugha , we need shut down corners

Man, is the only way you guys can win an argument is to call me out about Madden, or nit-pick? It's the POINT! I said, to name a few..I could name MORE (Vilma), if you wanted, the point is, they didn't spare expenses...Our staff seems to be stuck in bargain mode...Almost AFRAID of talent

Fairweather Fan: "A fan of a sports team that only supports the team when they are doing well" I won't buy anymore merchandise till they win wahhhhhhhhh I paid good money for tickets and they lost wahhhhhhhhh Im not going to anymore games because they won't take my suggestions wahhhhhhhhh Yea Marc, ur the textbook definition of "fairweather fan"

Ok, so anyone with a brain can tell that these Dolphins aren't Superbowl contenders. They were embarrassed in the playoffs last year by a good-but-not-great Baltimore team. I haven't seen much improvement this season. They are deeper, and that depth has allowed them to remain about as good as they were last year despite many more key injuries. The problem is that they still don't have a franchise QB. Henne might turn out to be that guy, but until they identify one, they are stuck with this power running game and bend but don't break defensive style. A good QB can bail you out when you can't run the ball, or when your defense screws up. The Dolphins just don't have that luxury yet. The Wildcat was a genius scheme that helped the offense score points, but it was just a ploy to generate offense without being able to throw the ball. I think the front office fell in love with the Wildcat last year and didn't count on the fact that teams would figure out how to stop it. The corner blitz is now known as the best way to stop it and teams are seeing that on film. The days of the wildcat are numbered...and Pat White's career will be short. The glaring needs now are less than they were in the past, but Armando is right, they have improved by adding solid players, but no stars have arrived. This coming draft should be deep with WRs...they need a deep threat and should draft one in the first round. The defense should be next on the list...LBs and more LBs. The current group is horrible and nobody on this defense scares you. They need someone who creates problems for opposing offenses. 5-6 now...I'm guessing they finish at 7-9 and a possible top 15 pick.

We are indeed the laughingstock of the League.

And to think a week ago we were bitching about the Sunday Night game----NBC is still chortling over that idiocy.

Parcells will leave well before this team is rebuilt.


I'm going to explain this as simple as possible with examples for your A.D.D. video game brain.

Picking up good players is one thing, I'm all for it. Mortgaging the future for a someone who is not sure thing or just hyped up is not the way to go.

See: New York Jets/ Washington Redskins

You couldn't do that in a year in Madden either...They have a salary cap, as I mentioned...

So, I'm a fairweather fan because I complain? I still WEAR my OLD merchandise, but, I'm not going to buy anymore...Do you guy comprehend ANYTHING that you read, or just spout our half-thoughts at will?

That's because we inherited something they call a salary cap from past organiztions...this is not baseball, you work within perimeters...the Dolphins cannot just go over the cap or spend money because they want to...even cutting some players could cause a cap hit..Dolphins have been hamstrung in their plans because of lack of draft picks, cap issues and former personnel decisions..learn about football before u cry on this blog about how the Fins don't spend big money

good point carlito, throw them in too

its the 4th quarter of the pats/fins game with 3:30 seconds left in a tied game. on a 3rd and 7 we run up the middle for no gain on the pats 30 yd.line hoping carpenter can get a FG. later our coaching staff is shocked when brady drives the ball 70 yards in 77 seconds for an easy TD to win the game.

And by the way Fairweather Marc, ur the one who stated on this blog ur not supporting the team because ur unhappy ur not the GM...it's one thing to criticize but another to take ur ball and go home...so why don't u go to the NO or Indy or Minn blog because that's where u belong, take ur ball and leave

Amando, Granted the Dolphins haven't hit on someone who has been a stud from day one. But a lot of these guys may develop into studs especially if the Dolphins hit on the one or two studs that make everyone on their side of the ball better..

Mando - in your last blog, you covered everything that is on my mind. Parcel and his team have been average at best. Not having one play maker on offense or defense that other teams respect is a shame. What happens next yr when Ricky will be older and Ronnie' durability will be a question!! We don't have a solid fundation for the future :-(

the problem here is these bozos spend big money on garbage wilford wilson grove smiley id rather have them spend more for one good player than use all the money for that trash

Mando still wondering what Henne did to you??? Pennington went out hurt, so why do you dig Henne every chance you get. Remember Henne took on your boy Pennington's 0-3 record and my guess it would have been 0-16 if he hadn't been injured. How about a little postive!

Grove and Smiley were great pickups.

Could you imagine how bad this o-line would be is Satele the Slug was the center?

Maybe you so sad because you don't know what your talking about.

Marc , excuse me but i gave you valid point without madden football. LOL ! Also you call giving a OL 155 mil dollars sparing expenses ? Giving Crowder , bell huge pay increases sparing expense ? Giving Wilson , starks , etc big money sparing Expenses ?. Miami HAS spent money. Give me a break. You can't fix everything in 2 years and my New orleans example proves that. Case closed !

Take my ball and leave WTF are you talkin' about booby? I challenge that there is no bigger fan on this blog! I've worn a dress to work on a bet against the Cowboys 2 years ago, and a Ravens jersey last year! I woulnd't be on this freakin' blog if I wasn't a fan, however, I'm well within my rights to be DISSATISFIED with the coaches, staff, and players, when they can't produce a decnt product. Doesn't mean I don't watch the games, and "support" them emptionally...I just won't give them any more of my HARD-EARNED $$ until they put a worthwhile team together, nor will I sit by passiveless and crown them all genuises..You were probably the same guy that fell in love with Wandstadt and Cam Cameron

So Marc, who is this talented player you wish the Dolphins acquired in the last two years?

The only ones through the draft I can remember are Desean Jackson (good player but not sure the current regime like his lack of size), Chris Johnson (you really think this regime was going to spend a 2nd pick on a position where they already had Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Patrick Cobbs).

In free agency trades, Braylon Edwards (no thanks), Terrell Owens (no way). Some may say Anquan Boldin but last I checked he is still a Cardinal and nobody has been able to pry him from Arizona with a reasonable offer despite not only Miami but also Chicago and the NY Jets being desperate for receivers.

hello front runners,

you guys really got to stop, more importantly you Armando. You complain that they are not doing a good job? I disagree. Have they made mistakes? YES and I think even you posted that you were happy that they move on right away (what good personel depts do) but the thing is we have had more success than failure.

I have been told you build a team inside out and start with the offensive/defensive line and start adding pieces from there. I think we have done a good job of doing that, we have drafted two DE's that will get better as they get BIGGER and STRONGER, and Randy Starks is borderline Pro Bowl the only difference is that he is a 3-4 DE not a 4-3 DE so he is asked to do many different things. Donald Thomas was a 6th round pick turned starter and is now going through his first full season therefore a rookie so I think the sky is the limit for him.

In the next two years players will be added in the ILB, WR and playmaker positions in the draft so it may even take another three years before we ever reach the promised land.

Marc, I think you wore the dress because you liked it. It had nothing to do with football. What kind of place do you work at that allows you to wear a dress to work?

Marc , i had to wear a paul posluszny jeresy on monday after losing a bet to a bill fan.LOL !

Well, maybe they just mis-spent the $$ then...Cause Wilson, Wilford, Smiley, Grove, Ayodele, Torbor...Aren't worth the bonuses they got

ANd they're still under the cap..."You can't fix it all in 2 years" is a COP OUT! They could have done better, that IS my point!

Marc , cop out is BS !. I just gave to New orleans as an example. Give me a team that went 1-15 and went on to win a super bowl in 2 years . YOU CAN'T ! THAT'S MY POINT ! JEEZ !

MarK...I gave AT LEAST 15 examples in my previous posts. T.O. no thanks? He's unquestionably better than ANY WR on this roster, along with the other 5 I mentioned. I didn't even touch the draft...

The place I work is pretty laid back...They thought it was hilarious

Marc wears a dress to work? Is he trans-gender lady of the night on mean streets of Overtown?

I'm not asking for a suberbowl in 2 years...I'm asking for PALATABLE football! Watching this team on Sundays is like having rubbing alcohol injected into my eyeballs!

Marc , can you post pictures of it on youtube or something. We need a good laugh around here and i'm not talking about the menace's face.

Carlito, I could pull more women wearing a dress than you could in a Ferrari!


I bet you were cheer pretty hard during last year 11-5 AFC East champs.

Come on man, this team has come long way in 2 years. If they hadn't choked against Bills, this team would be playing for 1st place in the division AGAIN.

Come on man...

Jersey, all my pics are on my Myspace, which is linked on my typepad...Just click my name


i don't care how many butch lesbian or business man you get while working the streets. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

I was happy with the outcome, yes, but, I was NOT happy with the play, and I was not confused by the record...any search of my old posts will verify this

I don't have time to go searching for some fairweather fan transvestites post from a year ago. Come on man... ;)

Good point Armando.

This department has exclusively and openly admitted to choose B and C's players stating that these players got something to prove, at the same time saving plenty of money. But this is not how you do it at this level. You need if not 1, 2 or more stars in your team, so the opposition can fear and respect you.

You gotta wonder as well the real capabilities of this training staff. Coach, WR coach, etc. It is somewhat perturbing to see that non of the very promising young talents have excelled and/or jumped to the next level. It's also discouraging for some players such as Turner to see that they're not interested to see his potential during games, when I'm sure other teams would've let them play already. Look at Wake. It took them 3 games to put him in. And now, they rarely play him. With all the potential he's got, he should be playing very often. Excuses about his overall playing abilities has old guys such as Taylor and Porter playing extra minutes with no results.

As a die hard Dolfan, I just get upset when watching games and seeing that they still rely on Wildcat plays or trickery, when they could be using a nice conventional offense and giving it some durability and consistency. Furthermore, I say it's time for Bill Parcells to start thinking clearly and press the gas unless he wants to repeat this underachieving season next year.


I think I saw Marc cruising the streets near Holiday Park (Ft Lauderdalians will get this ref): Rough Trade!

Carlito/Menace...You know damn well who I am...

You provided the names of Brees, Shockey, and Sharper.

Brees and Shockey haven't been on the market the last two years and Sharper is a one year stop gap type of player.

T.O? Are you serious? T.O?????? WOOOOOOW!


I do not know who you are, and apparently you don't know who I am because I am no Cuban Menace.

And whats that suppossed to mean? "i know who you are...."

Thats creepy. Stick to running the street and turn tricks...

Like I said Marc, take ur hardearned money, ur crybaby attitude, ur limited football knowledge and ur ball STFU and go home

MarK, pay attention...You are getting my points CROSSED...I never said THIS STAFF could have gotten Brees or Shockey, I stated they wouldn't, however, I gave examples in a previous post, which you obviously skipped...Sharper, Dawkins, Roy Williams, Roy Williams, YES, TO, Houzyamamma, Atari Bigby, Antonio Bryant, Mile AUston, Gaffney, Asante, D Hall, Ellis, Vilma, Faneca!

ANy ONE of those players would be a starter on our team, they were ALL available the last 2 years...

Typical FASCIST you are booby..."If you don't have complete and utter BLIND faith is this team and it's revolving door of personnel and talent you're no fan!" You're a tool...

My limited football knowledge is enough to know what TERRIBLE football looks like...It looks like the kind the Dolphin's play!

Roy Williams, Antonio bryant, Houzyamama all having very bad years

LMFAO @ The above list a of players. MY GOD ! Nobody !

I hear Marc is the highest paid man in a dress on Orange Blossom Trail.


Maybe those players are good in Madden?

Those players are ALL better than what we have!

Ironic, I work off of NORTH OBT...Not S OBT

See Marc, I know what I'm talking about

Those are some nasty hookers though, I probably am better paid, lol

Those players are garbage amd won't be around when miami is championship ready in a couple years. Most of those players are having unproductive years or are on the wrong side of 30. GARBAGE ! LMAO !

New Blog Up .

Marc, stick to your guns, Don't let the Plumber intimidate you, you go boy......By the way, Can we count on your vote(DODDSWORTH/MENACE" in 2016??

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