The 2010 Pro Bowl team will be selected Tuesday evening and the Dolphins aren't likely to fare exceedingly well in the selection process.
Jake Long will likely be recognized as he was last year, perhaps even starting as the AFC team's left tackle. So congratulations to him.
After that ... it's likely to be a tough sell getting much attention for Miami players.
Fullback Lousaka Polite might get some attention as a backup or alternate. Randy Starks might get some votes as an alternate but the fact is he's only got six sacks, and hasn't had one in the month of December as I noted in my column in Tuesday's Miami Herald.
Ricky Williams might also get an alternate spot but I don't see him beating out Chris Johnson or Thomas Jones or Maurice Jones-Drew to get on the Pro Bowl team as a starter or substitute.
I'll update you with the actual team later in the day.
As for what the lack of Miami players on that Pro Bowl team should tell you, it is this:
Despite the good job Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland have done restocking the Dolphins with talent, the job is not complete and perhaps not even half-way finished.
Why do I say this?
We start with playmakers. Quick, tell me who the playmakers on the Dolphins are this year. Tell me the players on either offense or defense that scare the opposing teams. Tell me what Miami players the Titans were talking about two weeks ago while all the talk in the Miami locker room was about Johnson and Vince Young.
Tell me what Miami player opposing coaches consistently worry about.
I don't know that Miami has any player that keeps other teams awake at night.
Joey Porter was such a player last season, but his 17 1/2 sacks were obviously an aberration and not what we have seen from Porter in either 2007 or 2009.
Jason Taylor used to be one of those sleep-robbing players but let's face it, the man is 35 years old now and his freakish ability to change the course of a game comes on much more rare occasions than it used to when he was younger.
Williams? He's a good player, no doubt about that. But he also is 32 years old and is talking openly about retiring after 2010. He was a game-changer in 2003, the guy a team could ride to much success. But he is a role player now.
Ted Ginn Jr.? Nope.
In fact no Miami pass-catcher is a game-changer.
Chad Henne? Not yet. Plus Parcells has to give the kid some weapons to work with.
The point is the Dolphins need to add a dynamo or two to the roster in the coming drafts or free agency because all the really good teams seem to have those kind of guys.
Fact is, even the mediocre teams seem to have those kind of guys. Houston has Andre Johnson. Pittsburgh has Troy Polamalu, Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger -- though Polamalu has been injured most of this season.
New England has Tom Brady and Randy Moss and Vince Wilfork.
The Jets have Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington.
New Orleans has Drew Brees and Darren Sharper.
Indy has Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark and Dwight Freeney and Reggie Wayne.
The point is most teams have somebody that scares the other team -- somebody that can make a game-defining play at any moment and does that so often as to make his team dangerous.
The Dolphins don't often get the 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, or the strip-sack-fumble recovery for a TD, or the 75-yard bomb for a score from a receiver, or the 48-yard laser down the seam to a tight end for a TD.
The Dolphins are a team that relies on seven five-yard runs, a 13-yard completion, two Lousaka Polite fourth-and-1 conversions, a nine-yard completion, and a wildcat run to score their TDs. Lightning? The Dolphins wait for it to come from the sky rather than their offensive huddle.
The defense, meanwhile, is also mostly solid. But Sean Smith doesn't have an interception and neither does free safety Gibril Wilson. Yeremiah Bell is solid at run-support and is dynamic at erasing the mistakes of other players by catching people from behind. But he isn't blowing up a ton of people in the secondary or causing a ton of turnovers.
Nobody on defense is doing that.
That is not an indictment on any of the players I just mentioned. They all serve a purpose and all have strengths. They all have value.
It's simply that Miami doesn't have a couple of players whose strength is to make play after play that change the course of games in Miami's favor. And those players and those plays have to come for the Dolphins to take more steps toward being a consistently good team.
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