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Miami's biggest problem on defense: LBs

I've been saying for two years now how badly the Dolphins need to upgrade at wide receiver. But knowing the folks that make the decisions about personnel in Miami, I've also been telling you the position that more likely will take priority this offseason in being addressed first is not wide receiver.

It likely will be the linebacker spot instead.

And rightly so, from what we're seeing lately.

The Dolphins linebacker corps is a nightmare right now.

Channing Crowder left Sunday's game -- as in bounced and was nowhere to be found afterward. He went home and is out for the season finale against Pittsburgh because of a foot injury, according to a source. The club is concerned he has a midfoot sprain or fracture that could mean a lisfranc, which is serious business. More will be known today.

[Update: Crowder is on crutches and wearning a boot today.]

That means Miami's linebacker corps against Pittsburgh will be Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor at inside linebacker and Joey Porter and Jason Taylor at OLB with Charlie Anderson and Quentin Moses as backup OLBs. Rookie J.D. Folsom, on the practice squad, may be added to the regular roster.

Help!

Ayodele has not had what I would call a good season. He is third on the team in tackles, but he's an ILB for goodness sake. He and Crowder should be leading the team in tackles. But alas, Crowder is often injured and both he and Ayodele over-run plays, or miss tackles or shoot the wrong gaps to the ballcarriers.

That's why Miami's leading tacklers are both safeties.

(Note to Dolphins: When your safeties are the leading tacklers, you have issues at ILB.)

The troubling thing is the Dolphins may be looking to upgrade at ILB this offseason after upgrading at ILB the past two seasons. Remember it was this administration that traded for Ayodele. It was this administration that signed Torbor as a free agent. It was this administration that re-signed Crowder to a new contract last offseason.

So if these guys aren't working out -- and they are not -- that is on this administration.

The Dolphins also have issues at OLB. Let's face it, Joey Porter, 33. shows up once every two or three games nowadays. He's not effective against the run and only gets to the quarterback when he's blocked by a tight end or running back. Put a tackle in front of him and he's stopped in his tracks.

The explosive first step Porter used to have is gone, be it because of his knee injuries or age.

Jason Taylor? He plays hard, but he's out of position. He is, at age 35, a part-time pass-rusher. He could be a latter day Trace Armstrong with 14 sacks as a specialist. But Miami's lack of talent at OLB pressed him into a starting role.

And so Taylor is doing grunt work on running downs when he should be chasing QBs on passing downs. That grunt work has Taylor playing with one shoulder the past three weeks or so. It has him getting close to but not quite to the QB. That half-second that has been sapped from Taylor because of an entire season's worth of collisions at the line of scrimmage is costing him sacks or strips of the ball.

And this just in: Taylor will not be getting younger next year.

So you want a big concern as the Dolphins transition after the regular-season finale to offseason mode?

Think of the linebacker position.

It was plain to see Sunday in the loss to Houston. It is a dire need.

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Mando,

I wish you would do a piece on what you think the Phins are likely to do about the number one wide receiver everyone so clearly sees that we lack. Is a Miles Austin or a Brandon Marshall really likely to hit the FA market, or is it all just dreaming because those teams will buy them back. And what about Boldin? Your professional guess?

i am really concerned about the coaching staff. how can you not be ready to play two weeks in a row?? the texans knew exactly how to shred our D. On a 4TH AND 1 WITH A 3-0 SCORE they forsake an automatic FG for an easy TD (9yd pass) because we had single cover on their best wide receiver. the texans had players wide open all day. we make 3rd string tight ends look like hall of famer's! where's the coaching????

im so tired of people saying well getem next year its time to put up or shut up

@ birth: good points again...wouldn't you agree tho that a 6-7 rounder is better than nothing? I'm a iowa grad and fan....so I know angerer...he would help us for sure...better than what we have now in terms of lbs in pass coverage. Micah johnson is another beast...won't make it out of second round tho...wh

Fake GM they coulda not drafted Pat White and taken a LB instead.

They coulda signed Sharper at S instead of Wilson.

Two simple moves make this D much better.

Whoever made the comment about punting on those two forth downs was right, we needed two scores to keep the season alive, might as well put it on the line, punting there made no sense

Why are the Dolphins always wasting timeouts becuase they can not get the correct players on the field? I like the coaching staff but Sparano is an average game manager at best. The rah rah college stuff gets old fast.

Since I was there would someone explain how catching the ball, taking three full steps getting hit and losing the ball was NOT a fumble??? Was the Houston receiver bobbling the ball or was it just a horrible call???

It's sickening to know that they could have had Patrick Willis, except that Clueless Cam picked Ted Ginn and his family.

Armando you hit it on the nose with this one! Tennessee was even more evident of O/ILB mistakes it's a mess we need at least 3 new LB's I like Channing Jason and Joey a lot but I like there attitude with the exception of Joey and the WAR comment BS! Problem is attitude does make you young and healthy.....

Armando,
I hate to say it jeffe but you are wrong.
The biggest need is RB.

Defense is hurtin' but officiating has hurt us at the wrong moments.

Bobby, it was a horrible call. Perfect hit right on the ball.

DL, LB, WR & RB will all be high priorities during off season.
1 or 2 through free agency.
2 or 3 through draft.

You people that keep talking about how great Roth was and how dumb it was to get rid of him need to look at the facts. I think Roth is one hell of a player when he wants to play but he had lost interest in playing in Miami. His fake injury and his stats after returning prove my point. He did nothing after being returned to the lineup. You can say it was due to rust but I would argue that if that was the case he would have really had a hard time making an impact for the Browns in his first game with the new team (which he did). Roth at this stage is most likely better than JT but unlike JT Roth acts like a spoiled little kid. He underpreformed because he was pissed that the coaches brought in compatition for his spot. The locker room does not need troublemakers even if they are good players. I hope Roth grows up and has a fine career because I still like what he did for the team last year but when a guy want preform it is time to part ways with him. Roth wasn't getting it done.

Crowder is a victim of having bad MLB and OLB sandwiching him

Posted by: phinfan from birth73

==> THATS EXACTLY WHAT IM SAYING

how come our defense is pretty solid against the run when Crowder is playing and each time he misses a game the defense falls apart??

he gets no help at all and you know what get him a partner like Ryans who can make plays and free him off and Crowder will be flying around. A Gators ILB duo of Crowder and Spikes sounds scarry to me as both are physical and flying around.

OLB
- Wake is a machine and a mather of time
- Anderson !!?? hot & warm (back up)
- Porter, if healthy should be used the way JT was supposed to be used this year - pass rush specialist
- JT, love him but too slow, to stiff

S-A-F-E-T-Y
every time i think wow Gibril Wilson just made a play...i find out it was Culver or Clemons

by the way...FANS....arent fans supposed to be loyal?? i cant stand the rollercoaster no more. get something straight, when we win a game, we are not going to the superbowl, when we lose, we are not the worst team with the worst players in the league.

2 years ago we were aweful, today: we can play with the best and have every sunday a chance to win the game - no mather who we face. thats already a huge change. we need 1-2 great offseasons/drafts to become a real contender.

WHAT I REALLY MISS AND PISSES ME OFF IS THE LOYALITY OF THE FANS.

!!!YOUR!!!! MIAMI DOLPHINS
so show some freaking respect to the players

Ted Ginn....tell me what you want but this kid got potential. i hate that he got no killer instinct (yet) that he is no warrior...whatever...he is all we got. and booing him, making idiotic videos or talking crap isnt gonna make him get better. if he drops one cheer, if he goes out of bounds route... SANTONIO HOLMES...he was aweful. Steelers kept on beliving in him and now? If you wanna blame someone, blame the freaking coaches, blame Henning as he doesnt do a good enough job to put players in position to make plays this season. Use Ginns strenght not weaknesses. AMEN

I don't think Solai has done bad in the absence of Ferguson. We really screwed ourselves and don't belong in the playoffs. One word for the way this season turned out with so many missed opportunities in games against top tier, middle tier and bottom tier of teams: DISAPPOINTING!!

Also Pat White will bring a lot in a trade. A team that wants to make a commitment to the spread option offense AND SELLING TICKETS can trade for Pat White and sign Boldin or Marshall as a FA. Think St Louis. With White, Stephen Jackson and Boldin/Marshall on the field they will put up a lot of yardage and SELL A LOT OF TICKETS. They won't win super bowl but they're not going to do that anyway so they might as well SELL A LOT OF TICKETS and make money for the owners.

I REPEAT WE NEED LBs!!!!!!!!!! IM NOT HEAR TO ARGUE BUT....Wilson is not the problem most think!! if you look at what teams do to us, its like taking candy from a baby. OUR LBs have gotten us exposed all year. Its true the S's started out slow but so did the LBs. Why cant y'all see that once TAYLOR & BELL coverage got better covering RB and TE teams start going to the weak side,where PORTER played, and that put a strain on the overall DEFENSE. Think about it, WISLON is in a serious bind. He has to help PORTER in coverage as far keeping an eye on PORTER's man while playing his coverage not to mention helping SMITH out who is not your best tackler at CB. Give the guy a break. New team,new system,and new scheme. I'd rather have him than HILL. If we put some playmaker at LB whether the draft or free agency on this team the sky is the limit. This team is at least 2 starting LB away from being dominant. Most ppl want WILFORK, thats nice too but he's starting to get little injuries now. NT not the problem, i have never scream at the NT for missing a tackle unless its for a lost,but IM about to throw the remote through the t.v. for the missed tackles the LBs commit,the blown coverages,and the no forced fumbles. The d-line we have now doesnt get pushed around, we just need the DE opposite STARKS to show up and stay up!!! Address this problem not to mention get a WR and stop being cute on offense when its not time to be cute:THIS TEAM WOULD BE HELL

Let's face it. The Dolphins have managed to exceed expectations succeed with the talent they currently have. No one should have ever expected for the Dolphins. The difference was turnovers, penalities, discipline from the previous year. I think th "Fins are on the right track in building a great foundation. The biggest suprise has been Hartline. Used effectively, he's a big, fast, sure hands receivers, that will become a good [not a HOF] receiver that can be counted on. Say what you want, but Ginn, has improved over the year. As for FS, can Will Allen make that transition next year, becasue I think the CB's have done an incredible job with the lack of pass rush shown through out the year. Henne is a keeper! He's learning more every week, and I love his composure. Mando, is right on the money. RB's a good, depending the CBA for next year, and unless "Jerry Rice" drops into our lap in the draft, defense is the way to in the draft, then WR/TE, and always OL. Go 'Fins !!!!!!

the first pick next year will either be a ilb or outside. Taking pat white last year was a huge mistake. They should have taken a lb with that pick

Marco,

You're opinion really does not count here since your an idiot. Go to the Jets forum and tell them to trade for your beloved Crowder! He sucks and he isn't going to get any better with you fantasizing over him!

We need NT, 2 ILB, S, KR, WR, TE, 2 OLB

We won't be getting it all this draft so we're looking at at least another 2 years. In the meantime these damn coaches need to learn how and when to use time outs.

PAT WHITE IS A KEEPER!!! I'm glad to see him as the trigger man of the WILDCAT,this could be huge next year going forward. think about it,you add a WR,TE, or RB for HENNE and you still keep the offense with more options than if you have ronnie brown as the trigger man. white will work hard and come back a better player next year. the kid is a natural WINNER!

What can you say, it's been one of those heartbreak years. Every game was tough to watch. We played some really close games against the colts and saints, yet in those games, I felt like our secondary killed us. Let's face it Mando we need a dependable WR, our LB's are not the cream of the crop. We need a healthy Ronnie and Ricky. We need coaches that use time mgmt, which has been a constant problem for Sporano! In all we need a team that plays like one. I don't know why Sporano doesn't get in peoples face, he just claps from the sideline on bad plays. The Tuna needs to look at this team and make necessary changes. From 11-5 and division champs to who knows! We need better effort from the players and coaches alike!

People seem to forget this team had THE TOUGHEST schedule in the league this year, we lost are starting QB, best running and tight end, yet this team has stayed competitive against the D
San Diegos, Colts, New Orleans etc....That said, there has been mental lapses and mistakes by both the players and coaching staff that needs to be corrected.. My Dolphins continue to move in the right direction and the mistakes from the past cannot be corrected overnight..I look forward to the future and believe this team will be competitive for years to come, there will be alot of changes on defense next year, if Parcells sticks to what he's done in the past...younger, stronger and ready to go...Our offensive line is set, QB set but with an upgrade needed at receiver, we all agree.. Go Phins !!!!!

@ phinfan from birth73

im starting to like you lol. Very good points and i like your point of vue.

I HATE, H-A-T-E, Hennings style of playcalling...all that underneith stuff makes me sick. spread the freaking field, stretch it, i rahter have 10 bombs called, 5 incomplete, 2 td, 2 int, 1 penalty then letting Henne throw all that underneith crap in tight windows. if complete 5 yds gain with a high chance getting picked. Ginn got his flaws but he does a hell of a job adjusting to the ball if its underthrown. By stretching the field Bess and Fasano would get much more space to work with and break a 5yrder for 25-30 once in a while.

Somebody was mentioning Ryan Clark as a potential FA pick up!!?? are you kidding me??? stop falling in love with system guys who look sexy because they play to a freak (polamalu)... TJ Housh, Bart Scott, etc etc etc

Ayodele is playing awefoul, out of position, bad tackling and too slow
JT, technic-wise still a beast but too slow and stiff
Porter, is not himself...he really needs to get healthy and still can be a force as a pass rush specialist..(remember 2008)

UPGRADES ARE NEEDED.... and i dont think NT is a huge need

Wilfork...yeah would be sexy but i feel like he is a little up with his weight lately (= more injuries = less production)

LETS FACE IT

- MILES AUSTIN
isNT going anywhere... i remember someone saying last season - we should have used that 2nd rounder to get him as a RFA from Dallas....wait...that was ME
==> i give you another name ROBERT MEACHEM
offer the saints a 2nd rounder

- BRANDON MARSHALL / VINCENT JACKSON
if either one of them ends up as a FA im surprised and the market will go crazy. i love both players. both have some ?? (off the field) but are crazy players. the chance to sign one: 10%

MY LAST POINT:
==> SHARPER

listen nobody was expecting us to win the super bowl this year, not even MrTuna. So does it make sense to sign a 30+ safety? and as mentioned a not so fast anymore Sharper in our system, yeah he would have picked that ball yesterday, but he would have looked lost on many deep balls as well.

If we are so weak at lb than why woul we cut Matt Roth, he's playing better now than anybody on our team, riddle me that Mando....

no pressure up front ,no push by front 3.

@ Tony Sparano

im not even wasting my time with idiots like you. Why dont you go to the Jets board and sign up, as you seem to be one of the FA crazy idiots punk.

Your needs = LOL
ask Don Shula in 1972 where he would like to have upgrades and he would list 3/4 of the positions dumb ass no roster is perfect

Hate to be Colts fan or even player today. That locker room has got to be demoralized today. The Colts fans should all get refunds for paying hard earned dough to see a gutless coach insert a bunch of bench warmers. Seriously what if the fins sat all the starters this sunday to ensure a higher draft pick. Same quitting principal that Caldwell used to justify whay he did. It would be a huge scandal. Colts Coach should be fined by the league. I hope fhey are rusty and lose their first playoff game which btw will be after a bye. Gutless Coach. Shame shame.

marco dont you get sick of yourself your views are so off the real point here is nobody cares what you think go away

my last point is on GINN!!! i believe GINN is getting a BAD rap. WE DONT USE HIM!!!! I think our coaches started reading these BLOGS sometime during the season and started listening to these insane ppl. GINN won vs. the JETS, had good game vs. the COLTS, and its not his fault the coaches gave up on him. He might not be the bravest of WR but how many are. this team is full of clones at WR spot(hartline the better). ITS not GINN fault he never had a veteran WR to school him on his craft,maybe we should blame the WR coach. WHY GINN never get those little bubble screens,why is BESS running reverses,why is hartline recieving all the go routes. get GINN some help and this kid will shine and for GODSAKE put him on punt return,BESS will never score on a punt return since ginn is not a #1 WR

Everyone posting anywhere on a Miami newspaper blog knows I'm the original Crowder hater...HE JUST SUCKS!

Couldnt agree more with Armando. The LBs and Safeties have been mostly awful all season in coverage. It is no wonder that teams exploit Miami's passing D with the TEs and RBs. With rookie CBs susceptible to giving up long pass plays and its pretty clear why Miami's pass D has been so bad this year.

Of all the reasons why Miami is 7-8, I'd put the pass D at the top of the list.

Gee Mando I have only been saying that for the last month or so....

I am glad you are putting the heat on the injury- plagued Dolphins to make the improvements required to win consistently. There are lots of holes in need of improvement. BUT, run tackling problems aside sans Crowder on the half-full side the Dolphins are fifth in the NFL in sacks...pretty good.

In any case, an upgrade at ILB would be good. Also, TE, Haynos and Fasano have dropped way too many and they need a big play WR. Look back at the Dolphin great teams, they had Warfield, Nat Moore, Irving Fryar, Duper/Clayton...

what about pat turner? they draft the guy and all he does is sit on the bench. another wasted pick. cameron wake couldn't do any worse than the other linebackers right now. they waist all this money on these guys and they don't even play. grow some balls and take a chance on a vick or owens.it couldn't get any worse than it is now.

I'm tired of hearing that 'controling destiny' crap. If the destiny is to lose, no amount of 'controling' will mean spit. You cannot control destiny. Let's face it, the Jets might can make the playoffs IF they win next week, but that is only because WE LOST to Houston... NOT because they're a better team, after all, we did make the Jets our bitch...TWICE.
The Jets aren't getting anywhere near the Super Bowl, and everybody knows it--there isn't a person anywhere, except perhaps the most clueless of the notoriously "haven't-got-a-clue" Jets fans, who could even think that.
I would rather that the Jets fans be sick about preserving the Dolphins' perfect season, even if it means that they do make it to the playoffs. Their days are numbered and they know it. And which is the greater accomplishment?
Our game was with the Texans and we lost--bad calls, miscues, poor pass coverage, whatever-the-reason; it had nothing to do with the Jets. I am glad the Jets won, and especially the way they won--trust me, nobody is going to suddenly think the Jets don't stink just because they beat the Colts' scrubs. It was more than obvious that Peyton Manning had the Jets beaten. What more did the Colts have to prove? So, thank you, Jets, for helping us, the team you hate most, the Miami Dolphins, to preserve the greatest feat ever recorded in the history of football--the PERFECT season.
THAT is poetic justice.

The Dolphins linebackers (not including JT, who is playing out of position) should be embarrassed - terrible year.

Some of you are the biggest ret ards ever. At worst we are 7-9 with tons of injuries, bad luck and growing pains. Ask the Bucs, Lions, etc if it can get worse than now! Trifecta came in and kept less than a third of the players from the previous regime. Thats a lot of players to find. Not all of them are going to be homeruns! It's like explaining advanced physics to a 3 year old...

SOME DECENT SUGGESTIONS TOO BAD YOU ALL HAVE MORE BRAINS THAN THE FAFTECTA.

IM SURE THEY WILL BE BUSY LOOKING FOR THE NEXT PAT WHITE OR TRYING TO SIGN THE NEXT WILSON OR WILFORD. OHHHHHH THEY ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO SMART!!!!!

ALSO ON THE SHOPPING LIST SHOULD BE A BIG SET OF BRASS BALLS FOR YOUR HC. THROW IN A HOPE AND A PRAYER THAT YOUR QB FROM MICHIGAN ACTUALLY GETS BETTER INSTEAD OF WORSE (SORRY BUT THROWING MULTIPLE 3 INT GAMES IN DECEMBER DOESN"T COUNT AS IMPROVEMENT IN ANYONES BOOKS OTHER THAN YOU IDIOTS).

BUT DONT WORRY LOSERS YOU STILL HAVE 72 TO CLING TO.

TONY SPARANO = ERIC MANGINI. HE IS BEING EXPOSED. IT TOOK 3 YEARS IN NY AND IT WILL TAKE 3 IN MIAMI. ENJOY 6-10 NEXT YEAR. HOW DOES ANY NFL HC NOT HAVE HIS TEAM READY TO GO IN BACK TO BACK PLAYOFF GAMES????

BWAAAHAHAHAHAH JAPMAN.

YOU SET THE BAR AT THE BUCS AND LIONS. WAY TO LOOK DOWN LOSER.

WINNERS ASK HOW TO GET BETTER, NOT IF IT COULD BE WORSE. BUT I GET IT. IN MIAMI YOU STILL CLING TO 72 SO GO AHEAD AND THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH WORSE YOU COULD BE BC GOD KNOWS YOU ARE NOT GETTING BETTER.

I agree Japman but to not show up in two straight elimination games? Linebackers are supposed to be the leaders of the D - the baddest dudes on the team. It was embarrassing - I know everyone doesn't hit on all their moves and this regime has more hits than misses for sure - but we need to improve our LB corp in free agency - now!

Nice posts Marco! I like the way you think and I hope you're right about Ginn. I'm not as positive as you unfortunately about #19

An interesting player that is about to hit the market is Derrick Johnson, MLB, KC. The dude seems like he's been around forever but is only 26, KC brass doesn't like him for some reason, is an athletic freak, and will definitely play with a chip on his shoulder.

There is also Julius Peppers who made noise last year about wanting to play OLB in a 3-4. If that was true, he will be out there this off season.

There are also several other name LB free agents out there but I think a number of them will be resigned:

Elvis Dumervil OLB 25
Carlos Dansby ILB 28
DeMeco Ryans ILB 25
Barret Ruud ILB 26
Shawne Merriman OLB 25
Derrick Johnson ILB 26
Kirk Morrison ILB 27
Thomas Howard ILB 26
Larry Foote ILB 29
Rocky McIntosh ILB 26

I agree that the D(especially the LBs) didnt show up. I think part of that is Crowder going down really early. He is the Mike and the leader of the D. Ayodele and Torber are a servicable backups in a pinch. They are not starter material. You work with what you have.

Tortured dolphin, you are an idiot. It's easily displayed with your usage of caps. You dont know football or much about writing either. Why dont you take a quick shower and bring your computer in as well so you miss anything?

CROWDER SUCKS!!!! the end!

Btw....where the F*CK has Patrick Turner been? You mean that Ricky Williams running a fade in the endzone is better than Turner running the same play....i don't care what he does in practice during the week....surely he can execute this play....so frustrating!!

Considering the score at half time,I'd say the Dolphins D made some great adjustments to give us a chance.The injuries are what killed us this year....plus the schedule.One more point on the Colts.....maybe they figured it would be better to try and keep the Dolphins out of the playoffs.No matter what happened to our team this year,we sure made it exciting.

Armando,

Thanks for being the only S. Fla. writer to tackle the true issues. Our Team is in need of serious defensive upgrading. Not only at all 4 LB spots, but NT and Safety as well. On Offense, we will need 1 maybe 2 RBs a fleet footed TE and the all ever important WR. Bill et al did a fine job on the OL, QB and DE and CB spots, no doubt about this. But now this is where Bill shines. The LB and NT spots will be fun to watch again next year.

Mando,

You can't fill every hole in 2 seasons, and this team had major holes. We didn't offer Torbor a huge contract, and the fact we acquired him and Ayodele in the same offseason, while having Crowder, tells you they didn't plan on him being the starter. I liken the Torbor signing to that of a Joe Berger signing, a Nate Garner signing. A player who can play if needed, but is nit wanted to be on the field for any extended periods of time. Hell, people have been clamoring for himto replace Crowder for about a month now. It was only when he actually had to replace Crowder, that we saw his weaknesses. As for Ayodele, him and Fasano for a 4th round pick, you're telling me right now, having saw these two guys for two seasons, if you eent back in
time, you wouldn't make that trade? Because it us obvious anyone with a brain would. My problem with this regime, and it's not a problem, because I see the way they are building this team, is giving big money to guys with injury histories, ie Crowder and Jake Grove. Also, the Gibril Wilson signing. I only really complain about 1 move the FO made the past 2 years, and this one is it. How could they not have seen his flaws? And by not seeing it, it leads me to wonder if I can count on them to find a good replacement. So yes, the LB corps needs overhauled, but of we had gotten 2 LB in the draft this past offseason, you would be writing this blog saying we needed CB help direly. Patience people, patience. Through 2 years, the regime has shown a knack for getting quality players, both through the draft, and in free agency. They have missed as well. Also factor in the undrafted free agents, there are a few major contributors. There is reason to believe we continue making good personnel decisions as we move forward.

I must say its been difficult to work today, and every Sunday after a loss. Especially when there have been questionable calls against our team.
1) NO Darren Sharper Fumble
2) Holding calls on Solia and Personal Foul on Camarillo
3) Tripping on Lou Polite, puhlease! Ron Winter has a history of game changing tripping calls, just ask the Viking fans when they lost to Pitts. Yep thats right Ron Winter called that tripping call when the Vikes had the TD called back for what would have been the deciding points.
Seems every week the Fins get screwed by the zebras on serious game-changing momentum swinging plays. Never seen anything like this have you?

Again, I completly agrre with you Armando regarding our LB`s. Since the first game (at Atlanta), I realize that our LB`s were not that good. Do you think that Ayundale or Crowder are game-changing material? Do you think that they are good tacklers? No way. The funny thing is that Parcells always find good (or excelent) LB`s but this time if you ask me he failed. We are in a re-building mode, so lets keep the process, begining with the LB`s position, then the WR (we need a game-changing guy) and a free safety. The Gabriel Wilson experiment fail. This is my wish list :
1. ILB (two if possible)
2. WR (by free agency or draft)
3. FS (someone better than G. Wilson)
4. NT (Ferguson is not getting young and Solei isn`t the answer)
5. RB (Ronnie will be coming from a second leg injury in three years and we need someone really fast with breakaway speed)
6. OLB (Porter and Taylor are not getting better, plus both had lost a step or two)

Guys I agree the officiating has been spotty, but I would venture it safe to say every team in the 7-8 or 8-7 category probably has similar qualms. Did Sharper fumble before scoring, yes. so that, on the refs. But the refs didn't lose the rest of the game for us. And I get that 24-10 compared to 24-17 affects how we call plays, how NO calls plays, bit it happened. And we were still leading. Bill Buckner is blamed to this day for the Red Sox series loss, yet there was a Game 7. Same with the Bartman play with the Cubs-Marlins. As for the Solai holding, he did commit the hold. Polite did leg whip the guy. I mean you have to have seen that right? Be honest. The Camarillo one was the one I have a problem with. in theory, yes, it was a late hit (he even got fined for it) but a red should never make a call when it's that close a call, to decide a game. That is where I take issue. And all of these calls were magnified by the fact we lost. If we had won, not that big a deal. If you are honest with yourself, you'd remember in the NO game, Bess had a play ruled a catch, when it was clear the ball hit the ground. The equipment didn't work, no challenge. If we had won that game, you guys would say "it happens to every team, you just have to deal with it" The biggest problem in the last 2 weeks has been falling behind 24-6 and 27-0. When you dig a hole that deep, you have to play PERFECT to comeback. And that also means having every iffy call go your way, every bounce of the ball go your way. So I would rather we focus on what we have control of. Rather than the idiot refs. Because we aren't the only ones who they have made terrible calls against.

Well let's hope that the fins don't waste draft picks like they did last year in taking Pat White as high as they did (when he would have been there in the 3rd if not 4th round). As bad as Cam and Co got crushed for the Ted Ginn "family & punt returner" logic, the trifecta should have gotten as much for the "drafting for the Wildcat" logic. Seriously, besides one 2-point conversion...what has that pick done this year?

Matt Roth

Matt Roth was on the PUP list until after the trade deadline, so we could not trade him.

Matt Roth would have been a free agent next year, so no one would have traded for him after the season ended when they could sign him for free once he hit the FA market.

And as for this year, he was not performing. His number were insignificant. Some think he stopped playing, some say coach didn't give him a fair shake after the Rothgate incident, but whatever the reason, he was a dead weight for us, taking us a roster position.

Releasing him was the only option we had, since Coach was not going to play him anymore..

Attn Pat White haters:
The following QB's had fewer snaps as rookies than Pat White:
Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, Bret Favre, Matt Cassell, Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, Chad Henne etc.
You're not supposed to get production from your backup QB unless he's the holder for the place kicker.

Our LB's suck...This isn't a secret, and anyone suprised about Torbor and Ayodele this year must have been napping last year....

I recall once upon a time this regime saying "Make the system fit the players, not the players fit the system"

YET, almost ALL of our DT's, DE's, and LB's are from a 4-3. In fact. We would be much better suited running a 4-3, especially with the absense of Ferg. JT played most of his career a DE...I've said this all year. I suppose the guys that get paid millions think DE's make better OLB's and DT's make better DE's....absurd

This coaching staff plays Pat White 1 or 2 snaps a game so that the offense has some familiarity with his cadence in the event that Henne is hurt.
That's it. No more no less.
It was the same plan they had for Henne before the season started according Mando in this blog 4 months ago.

How much better would this look

Porter, Crowder, Ayodele (Torbor)
Merling, Starks, Langford, Taylor(Wake)

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