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Miami Dolphins: Playmakers wanted please

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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The u my azzzzzz !!!

What's cool to think about though is we played most of those teams
with all of those weapons and we won or still competed hard in those games. That tells me that this team is much closer than you say Armando.

Again, I don't watch college ball, but, I know that "The U" has more active NFL players than any other team, and MANY of them are EXCEPTIONAL!

We do have one....Vernon Carey

hey overseas fan you forgot wes welker. oh by the way, bess could be another welker and his 2 years in this league are better than welker. If bess had a moss and a brady or played in another type of offense (like throw the ball} he would be much more of a threat. Oh by the way, he just may wind up with a team with a passing game. Can you say free agent? Bill, sign bess or maybe another Bill will, and by the way fans may say down the road, why did the fins let bess get away? Another welker story, remember him.

If Ronnie Brown is our best player and has missed two years in five for the whole season , we definitely have a lot more building to do!

Dying Breed, I see and understand your logic. But we don't need anymore free agent safeties. We have a nice, fast, playmaking safety named Chris Clemons. We need DTs bad. With good DTs it will make everyone else on the team look like an all-pro. Before the season started, everybody was talking about d-line depth, I expected that to be addressed before wasting money on..... Wilson continues to start because of his ridiculous salary. How bad would it look to pay a guy that much and sit on the bench? The best teams are built from within. I hate NE and Indy both, but they have built great teams through the draft. They were at the bottom of the league for a few years, drafted well, and developed the young talent.

I wouldn't mind seeing an improvement in the offensive play calling, an upgrade to the position Dan Henning currently occupies could go a long way towards fixing some of our problems.

We throw one pass a game if that many to Ginn deep down the field, and how many times does he catch it, only to have it called back for some stupid, idiotic penalty? Sunday was one of those, perfect pass in stride and some idiot is tripping someone on the LOS.

One thing I noticed this year on defense, does ANYBODY know how to wrap up on this team? Everyone goes for the big hit, nobody wraps, and the guy with the ball gets an extra 10 to 40 yards as a result.

Defense 101, hit and wrap, drive your hips through the tackle, head up so you can see who you're hitting, head across the body. Second guy in goes for the football. It is extremely simple but beyond the comprehension of this defense.

Our LB's could play their position without arms, because they NEVER use them!!

Absolutely spot on article. Ted Ginn is probably the complete opposite of a playmaker, he's a play killer. How many passes did he drop this season that would have been potential game changing plays? How much money are we flushing down the toilet on him?
There still remains so much work to be done on this team. It may take atleast 2 drafts to do it, and some real good free agent signings, we may be atleast 3 years away from really being a solid team. I don't know if Bill Parcells will stay around that long. There are far more question marks than there are answers with this squad.

Gibril Wilson has no value. His role must be to miss tackles, blow coverages, and drop easy interceptions.

The dolphins should see about finding talent with open tryouts like the saints did with Michael Lewis years ago at this point anything van help

all the pats were scary. 3 rings tell it all

It will be great to watch Miami Dolphins, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Miami_Dolphins-tickets looking forward to it.

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