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The great transition that is, was, & must come

I wrote a column in today's Miami Herald that focused on how the Dolphins have continued winning despite undergoing a difficult transition at quarterback, cornerback and nose tackle. Those transitions are the toughest there are in the NFL --  obviously at quarterback but particularly at nose tackle if the team runs a 3-4 scheme.

Check out the column and you'll see some fascinating statistics that prove Chad Henne, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, and Paul Soliai have been exceedingly effective in replacing valuable veterans.

The column also gives you a hint where future transitions will be needed.

The column does not address where the Dolphins have already made changes previous to this season. The offensive line and defensive line is where those changes came first. That's where Bill Parcells built his foundation.

And the offensive line has delivered, as well it should since it came at a price of $156 million.

"Here's what has been the most impressive - and when you watch an offensive line play, it's never pretty, it really isn't," coach Tony Sparano said. "Their tenacity, I think is a good word, they really are, they're a pretty tenacious, resilient group. They're doing some ugly things hard, and as long as you're doing them hard, you've got a chance. They're giving us a chance that way. Those guys would probably tell you that's a compliment. First of all, I don't dish many out their way, but secondly, that fact in the offensive line, it's not always pretty. It's a different position than most, yet, they're pretty tenacious, and they're pretty resilient. I think that that's the thing to me that stands out the most about it, it's that even when the game gets a little bit ugly, they keep grinding pretty good."

The defensive line has been effective of late also. Sparano said he challenged his defensive ends to play well last week against Jacksonville. They did. And Randy Starks was excellent.

"I think he’s having a great season, I really do," Sparano said. "I’ve said it before, but Randy was physical again yesterday, he had four or five tackles, tackle for loss in there, made a big play in one of those situations. There's still things Randy can get better at, there really are.

"Fundamentally, go back to that again, there's some things in the game yesterday that Randy will watch the film, and he'll know he left out there on the field. He played pretty good in there yesterday, physical, did a great job I thought. We asked our defensive ends yesterday, Randy, [Phillip] Merling, [Kendall] Langford, to do a hard job in that run game yesterday. Their job was very, very difficult from what we asked them to do from a defensive standpoint yesterday, but I thought the three of them, they really did a pretty good job in that game."

Starks is interesting because he came from the Tennessee Titans as a free agent in 2008. He had never played in a 3-4 defense. He'd always been a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Well, he kind of struggled in his first year. He really wasn't much of a factor. But he seemed to get it in training camp. The light bulb seemed to flicker on and now it is burning brightly.

"I think I've had a breakout season," Starks said. "This is probably the best football I've been playing throughout my career. It could be the coaching, the coaching staff. The coaches help me a lot, coach Kace, Kacy Rodgers, he's helped me. Maybe this defense fits me better, maybe I'm just a 3-4 type of player, not a 4-3.

"The first time I ever played 3-4 was last year. It was a hard adjustment for me, but now, I'm getting the hang of it."

Discuss ...

And remember to check out the column for those stats and what I've been told is the next coming change of youngsters replacing vets.

Also, follow me on twitter.  You'll be able to see a picture of my Christmas tree the wife and I just finished trimming.

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5 catches 67 yds vs NE

BAAAAAAAM ! Finfan 13 . 4 cathes ?. Your 10 year old probably knew fasano's #'s better than you. Bwahahahahahahahahaah !

OHHHHH menace . The truth about aloco and you. I got it

NJ, What's the weather gonna be like tommarrow????

Here is Fasano's #'s for the year 24 catches for 254 yards 1 TD 2 fumbles. Anyone care to tell me if that is good or not??? Don't bother we all know these stats suck.
Sperry's stats for 1 game 3 for 31 and a 1 TD. Those aren't bad for one game and if you extrapolate that over an entire season his numbers would make Fasano look like the garbage he is.

Why does it really matter what the weather is going to be like tomorrow? Just curious...

Gloves back ON....Indy, because Nj controls the weather, And YOU KNOW THIS .. MAN....

Indiana , i'd take gresham in a heart beat. gresham and fasano in a 2 te set, that's perfect.

And Sperry is a rookie those stats were his FIRST career start. I don't think he is great, he just can't be ant worse than Fasano....period.

Menace , we've been lucky the past few day . It's been warm but it'd going to get cold tommorrow my friend

DAMN YOU..........

Cuban,

I'll apologize. I thought you were Aloco/many me. Just the same, I think alot of his "stuff" is funny(demented, but funny). So it really doesn't bother me.
I had to lay off the fire water after the Buffalo loss and the victory over the Patsies.
As far as the "little smoke", I do commune with nature every now and then ;)

TONY SCHEFFLER!!!!

I also like Jermaine Gresham. Odds are Parcells will not take a player with injury problems in round 1 though. No chance Gresham drops to pick #50 or so when the Dolphins draft the 2nd time unless he hasn't recovered from his knee injury. I would be all for it if they did though.

Menace it gets worse. It's going to be freezing the next 4 days. DAMN ME !

Worse thing is NJ, I work the 9pm to 5am shift at the mall......

Mando

WOW...........best article this season by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!!! Good Job! GO PHINS!!!!!

Keep'em COMING!!!

Odin, I always say getting back with nature is a good thing... or was it getting BACK at nature is a good thing... Whatever, good to hear your not burning/looting/raping the villages /towns next to you....This might help the economy though i dought it with barack at the helm, then again i dought anyone could fix this mess, though i think a certain Deity in jersey might be able to help....

Todd Mcshay has the fins taking Golden Tate with his first mock draft... Not that it matters at all, but do ya'll that think would be a good pick? I haven't really seen anything of him besides his highlight. He looks fast and quick, kinda like a percy harvin or steve smith..

I was going to ask you if you work the night shift. It will be in the 20's at night the next 4 nights. dress warm my menace.

NJ PHIN COPY OTHER PEOPLE HARD WORK AND CLAIM FOR HIMSELF .
CLASSIC CHEATING .GOOD POIND CUBAN MENACE .

POINT .

Dont like the name, reminds me of "GOLDEN TAINT" What ever a taint is.....

CAN NJ AND CUBAN CUT THEIR FIGHT ALREADY .WE R TIRED OF BOTH OF BACK AND FORTH .TALK FOOTBALL OR GO TO BED .


Chase, I don't know Tate's forty time but he doesn't have good size 5'11" 195. I think we need a bigger guy, this team is loaded with 5'11" WR's.

Aloco, drink the Kool-aid, take the meds,slop the pigs, But whatever you do dont get in the middle of a Cuban/Jersey fight......

That's why i'am a agnostic NJ....And why i curse you nightly...:)

I FIND HENNE VERY ABLE TO BE A FUTURE SUPER BOWL WINNER AS LONG AS FINS GET READY OF TED HANDS OF STONE GINN .


Because of the cold weather ? :)

YES!!!!!!!!

nj,start taking your med to stop cursing at me ,i told you i am not aloco ..

What the ..... oh never mind...........

New Jersey is the taint of America

Where is Carlito any way???? he's going to be P.Oed he missed Mando....

Chase, I don't think Tate will be the guy. I like him but not in that 20 slot the Dolphins will be picking around. I think better players for the Dolphins would be OLB's Jason Pierre-Paul of USF or Greg Hardy of Ole Miss. Even Earl Thomas, S, Texas or Taylor Mays, S, USC. D. Morgan, OLB, GT would be nice but will be long gone probably.

Don't see the Trifecta going WR, based on history. Gresham, maybe, WR, no.

Mark, Please tell me the TED(NO JOCK STRAP REQUIRED)Ginn experiment will be over after this year...

I'd favor the Tae pickjust to hear Chris "Stoopid Nicknames" Berman utter the words:

Golden "Showers" Tate had a big day.

NJ School of Typing ruined my (lame) joke!

Mark, NT and ILB are more of a need than OLB. I'd take either one of those S though. I think Gresham, coming off that bad injury may slip a little, can't see us taking him in the middle- late middle of the first round. I think he falls to early second. I think we can find a TE and WR in FA, or a trade. B. watson and D. Clark are noth FS TE. I would like us to get V Jackson, but SD will franchise him if they can't get a deal done.

"both FA"

Cuban: I stuck up for Teddy last year but he's gone. That's why I've campaigned for Mardy Gilyard of Cincy on this blog before. If he's available in the 3rd round, the phins should jump all over this guy. Good receiver, deep threat, good hands, and awesome returner.

FinFan13: ILB - if Rolando McClain from that dirty Alabama program in the first rd - sure. Not Brandon Spikes though. If people aren't happy with Channing, they surely won't be happy with Spikes since they are virtually identical players. Spikes is a bit faster but that's it. I think they have the same strengths and flaws. Personally, I like Channing Crowder, I think he does need a better ILB to play with though. Akin used to be a very good linebacker but he's spent. There are also a lot of good ILB in free agency. Management may make their splash here. Dansby, Ryans, and Ruud are all eligible for free agency. Dansby and Ryans may be available. Ryans might be sick of that loser franchise and Dansby might be sick of that cheap franchise.

Agreed on Gresham.

Cody will probably be the same case as Gresham. His value dictates that he will probably be drafted between the Dolphins 1st and 2nd picks.

The Christmas tree is finished. At least I'm finished with my part. A picture of it is up on my twitter account for my followers.

Merry Christmas to you and your Family Armando... Same to all bloggers Happy Holidays...

Do you have a Dan Marino ornament too?

I have a Dolphins Helmet ornament I got years ago... still has the old school Dolphins logo on it...

I don't have a Marino ornament. I do have a U Christmas stocking.

My wife hates it.

She roots for, well, never mind. Don't want to start controversy here.

Mark,
If we could pick up either Ryans or Dansby it would be an upgrade. I don't like Spikes either, agreed Crowder clone. We could put Ryans or Dansby at Crowders position and put Crowder in Ayodele's. I think if Cody is there when we pick in the first, the FO should jump all over him.

Armando, let me guess, she's a UF fan....

I love that stuff. next to my marino ornament, my favourite ornament is of the two old guys from the muppet show that shout random slurs about the show when you press a button.

A better NT prospect is 6-3 327 pound Dan williams of tenn, he's a rock. i'm afraid Cody will eat his way out of the league. He's 2 down lineman who dropping to the end of the 1st round - early 2nd. Miami winning it's last 2 game has all but assured miami won't have a shot at McClain. He's top 10. DAMN !

Any word on if Young will be playing???

Say it ain't so Mando, NOT FSU?!?!?!?

Armando,

How long do you think it would take to eat a large prim rib off of Stark's stomach, and do you think that was motivation for his good season?

Nice tree!!!

Or the gators ?

Not FSU.

The WORST possible team you would want anyone to root for. The WORST!!!!!!!!!

That's her team. It's also her family's team which drives me NUTS!

The worst team???????? Hmmmmmm....

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