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Dolphins sign Johnston to go big at OLB

The 2009 season exposed the Dolphins in a lot of different areas and one of those was the linebacker corps.

The team is already addressing those issues and I'm not talking about the coaching change with George Edwards that I was first to report on Thursday. I'm talking about the signing Thursday of OLB Brian Johnston, most recently of the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions.

Johnston is interesting because he was drafted by the Chiefs as a 4-3 defensive end. He played in nine games for the Chiefs in 2008 and made three tackles in that span. But when KC hired Scott Pioli, Bill Parcells' son-in-law, and then switched to a 3-4 defensive alignment, the team cut Johnston.

Well, now the Dolphins, a 3-4 team, are hoping Johnston can move well enough and not be exposed in space so much as to be a possible answer as an OLB. We'll see who's smarter, Parcells or Pioli.

Johnston seems like a Matt Roth type and in that regard the Dolphins have had success converting undersized 4-3 ends into OLBs. Remeber they even experimented with moving Vonnie Holliday to OLB?

Frankly, the Dolphins need an OLB that can hold the edge of the defense and defend the run because that was a weakness in 2009. If you doubt that, think back to the TD run by Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then think back to the two other TD runs against Miami in that Buffalo game. Then stop thinking and watch the video and you'll know what I mean.

Miami's run defense on the perimeter needs help. Maybe Johnston can provide some help.

[BLOG NOTE: I am flying to Boston today and will be covering the AFC Wildcard playoff game between Baltimore and the Patriots on Sunday. We will have a live game blog of that game on Sunday so please join me here. Meanwhile check back for more updates today as more Dolphins news and analysis pours into this space. Follow me on twitter.]

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Forget trading a draft pick for Josh Cribbs (as you suggested earlier today). This next draft should be a nuts and bolts draft (linebackers) with a WR thrown in there at some point. If the Dolphins spend their 1st, 3rd, and 4th round picks on a LB, and use the 2nd round pick for a WR, that would sound like a good draft to me.

the first round i want rolando mcclain from alabama because he would be our answer at the middle linebacker spot... he is 6'4'' and 258 pounds and is quick as lightning..... in the second round i would like to get a player like golden tate or terrence cody the DT from alabama.... then then use the rest of the draft on safeties, linebackers, DL, and TE and we are ready to go..... and in free agency get another receiver and OL help......

I think that some of the team's strengths (OL, CB, RB, DE) really covered for how bad the linebackers and safeties were on this team. That was a bad, bad, bad Buffalo team they lost to with a patchwork offensive line and a 3rd string caliber QB. The linebackers were really exposed in that game and the Houston game. This team desperately needs 3 or 4 linebackers that can run. Expect that to be fixed in the draft.

I can not believe how this regime is talking about Henne like he is an afterthought. He played great for a first year starter. Absolutely loved how he played this year.

that FG was BS

Terrence Cody would be a great pickup in the second round, but he likely won't last until then.

Hey Armando.

What about the signing of WR Ryan Grice-Mullins out of the CFL???

I don't think any of the Dolphins OLB's have trouble setting the edge. Joey's actually good at setting the edge. He just got caught in an inside spin move on what was a passing play on that Fitzpatrick run. Outside runs in general really weren't a problem this season.

The Dolphins problem with the running game is up the middle. When Ferguson went out, the NT position was real weak with Solai. Crowder, Torbor, and Ayodele just aren't that good.

Joey Porter is awful against the run, just awful. He is part of the problem. And he will be even worse next year, because he will be another year into his thirties.

Armando....I don't know the specifics but appears Cribbs will no longer play for the Browns. The man can catch and he can run.....would be a nice fit in our offense!!!

GO FINZ!!!

Fake, I did not suggest the Dolphins trade for Cribbs, I asked what everyone else would like the team to do.

Was T.O pushing off in that vid?

No to cribbs,thats my vote.

Sounds like Porter's days are numbered. Just can't see them address needs so soon in non-playoff team offseason unless they don't think the players they have now is the answer.

I still don't see Miami passing up a NT if a good one is still on the board. When Ferguson went down so did the defense. The NT makes or breaks a 3-4 defense.

with the first pick USC TAYLOR MAYS (S).
He is like a young Polamalu

Miami's season ended 1st and goal at the three yard line when some idiot called for a running back pass. Stupid play calling will kill you every time.

First of all, what does this team need? Playmakers. All of u saying no to cribbs, the best playmaker in NFL, go be pats fans, please. Why did w beat the jets? BecUse ginn earned his money and did for one game what cribbs does EVERY game. We don't need johnston. We shouldn't have gotten johnston, but it sets the tone for what these fools think we should do. If we had picked up Braylon edwards mate we would be in the playoffs. Because WE HAVE THE WORST WR CORE IN THE LEAGUE. I say trade for cribbs, trade for ocho, draft Jermaine Gresham and let's get to the damn playoffs!

I thought the Pats vs. Ravens was on Sunday?

Two words Romeo Crennell as Defensive Cordinator

if we dont change our D coord. nothing will change. when we had him at s.u. we gave up alot of points and were gutted for chunk yardage all the time. same in miami! defense is stale;fresh blood is badly needed. i hope the regime can fire a friend.

Looking at that video made it painfully obvious who is the weakest link at OLB...Joey Porter. Every running TOUCHDOWN was to his side of the field. If I were an opposing Offensive Coordinator I'd salivate at the thought of my running game going for touchdown after touchdown to J. Peezy's side, time to hang up the pads and do what you do best...TALK!

why would you trade for cribbs when you already have ted gimp jr?

I believe the Brass will chose the best possible defensman on the board at 12 or trade down. It could be Safety, NT, or LB. I don't see a WR taken that early by them.

I do not believe Chad Henne was injured (Eye injury my @ss), I do believe Parcels and Co. took our advice and put Pat White into action to see what he was made of... Sadly, we found out. But lets give him another try before we write him off.

I think the Tuna wanted to lose the game. He knew the playoffs were out of reach. He wanted a higher draft pick. He wanted the team to understand you don’t lose 3 games to start the season to just luck out and make the playoffs. He wanted them to earn it. And rightfully so!

If you think about it, Miami was robbed of so many games this season by Ted Ginn and the Zebras. I know other players contributed, but those 2 were the worst offenders. We had a difficult schedule and many injuries. But Miami had valuable learning experience for many players on an extremely young team.

Today people are impatient. It is a characteristic common in most Americans. We could go out like Big Boy Rex, waste all our picks, and sign a bunch of old people just to squeak into the playoffs for one year. Or we could make a blueprint, set a goal, and execute it to perfection. Parcells will be back, this is his signature 3rd season where magic happens. We will win the division, make the playoffs, and actually win a playoff game.

Greg Z,

I've been in a position to have to fire a friend. And it's hard to do. But as a manager, it's part of your job to surround yourself with the best people you can find.

Man up Parcells and swing the ax.

make Pat White a reciever, let the Chad's run the show, and thigpen the #3 QB

I say fake gm is right on the money. Henne had a fine first year. Much better than Sanchez. I loved how calm he was. The TB game showed a lot -- not afraid to be a gunslinger again even after the interception. Take a look at Elway's first year. He stunk it up. So did Manning, Brees, almost all the greats -- Marino excepted, but he's almost always the exception.

Henne's the man, and the coach ought to give him some credit, which I expect he's probably doing privately. I also think the eye injury was bs. It was good to see, though that Thigpen could be a good answer as backup.

BTW- jets suck

Parcells continues to go big, instead to go fast.

Do we need another big guy who's going to be burned even by second-class TEs or RBs?

Parcells and his 80's football have led us to respectability.

But he'll never lead us to greatness.

It seemed like every team 50+ FG against the Fins went through the uprights? 56 yards in the Bills game? Come on!

I'll try using English this time...

It seemed like every 50+ FG attempt against the Fins went straight through the uprights? 56 yards in the Bills game? Come on!

Armando..or anyone,

In reference to some posts about tanking the Pitt game intentionally, I heard that if there is no new CBA that teams that make the playoffs will not be able to sign any FA's. Can anyone verify that?

Go FINS!

Thanks for the translation Steve...I thought Yoda was posting on here for second!

Go FINS!

Another fine article. Armando has to be considered one of the best writers that cover the Dolphins. I went to Draft Countdown and looked up the inside and outside backers and was a little dissapointed in the heights and weights of these guys. The estimated 40 times were not impressive either. Ideally, we want guys tht are 6-3 to 6-5 that weigh at least 240lbs and can run faster that the average NFL Tight End. The Trifecta may be forced to convert Defensive Ends and that usually takes 2 or 3 seasons. The big news is how fast McClain and Spikes run their 40's. If we get one of them and move Crowder to cover the Fullback, the coverage of the middle of the field will be much improved next year.

This team needs to prioritize. Needs in THIS order:

DT is an absolute MUST! I say try moving Merling inside to fill the void. He is a bust as a DE. He seems slow too. Maybe with his thick lower body he can keep his feet and occupy lineman. If not, find a replacement.

2 new Olb's & 1-ILB. Athletic guys who can cover, not just pass rush! Instead of knowing JT and JP are coming off the edge every pass down, a little flexibility & exotic blitzing to confuse the offense would be nice.

Find out if Clemmons is your man at FS. If not, get a cover guy! Big plays over the top killed this team ALL YEAR!

Get a young RB. I know they are a dime a dozen, but invest in 1 if this is gonna be an 80's version of the Giants. Ronnie is injury prone and might be a FA & Rickey has 1 year left.

Resign Fasano and pick up a monster blocking TE. Enough of the Haynos experiment.

Dump Ginn & pick up a WR who can make a tough catch in traffic! Wether it be down the sideline or over the middle. He doesn't have to be fast. Fitzgerald isn't fast, he is just a beast when the ball is in the air.

Find a return guy to handle punts & KO's. Bess is not a PR, PERIOD!

Cut: Wilson, Porter, Ayodele. Re-sign JT if you can and make him situational.

It may seem like alot to do but between the draft & FA, its not impossible to fill those needs & be a contender next year.

We all know what's going to happen on draft day:

With the 12th pick of the draft the Miami Dolphins select...

Right Guard Univ of Connecticut

Good move, i like it, he might develop, and i hope, and pray we trade Porter to Denver, and our second round, for Marshall, that would allow us to either go after a MLB or S in first round. The tricky part of this offseason, is if we can acquire Wilfork..

All of you that are throwing blame around can't forget about the stupid timeouts called and other defensive and offensive blunders called by the coaching staff. There is plenty of blame to go around as long aas its not pointed at Me, the head coach!!!

LOL

None of the following will be playing for the Phins next season:

Vince Wilfork
Brandon Marshall
Anquan Boldin
Joshua Cribbs
Calvin johnson
Rolando McClain
Terrence Cody
Eric Berry
Dez Bryant
Golden Tate

Deal with it.

There is a good chance that most of the following will be starting for the Phins next year:
Gibril Wilson
Akin Ayodele
Joey Porter
Jason Taylor
Paul Solai
Reggie Torbor
Kendall Langford
Ted Ginn
Anthony Fasano
Greg Camarillo

Deal with it

Hey pricemaster u better deal with the fact that your gonna be dead ass wrong. Ginn didn't even start this whole season, yet u have him starting next season? Dude pay attention before opening your mouth. Half those guys u mentioned might not even be Dolphins next season, much less started lol.

Cody will be gone by the 2nd round. I think Miami will go etiher S, NT or MLB with the first pick. It all depends on who is left when they pick at #12. It is hard to say yes or no to Cribbs on a trade, because we do not know what the Browns want. If you can get him for a 5th-7th round pick or a bum player on our team I say do it. He could be a valuable weapon, but I don't think he is worth going after if he will cost a lot in a trade...

PriceMaster - What makes you say both of those comments? Any justification for your thoughts? Just curious...

They do Zonk,but Armandos wife doesn't know that.... shhhhh!

Maybe we can TradeTed(where's the nearest sideline) Ginn & a low pick for Cribbs

The bad news: Ginn is only worth a 5th round pick

The good news: The Dolphins don't have a 5th round pick.


When the Dolphins trade Ginn for a 5th round pick, I will be happy.

Indiana,
The players currently on our team are just that: on our team and under contract, they have no trade value.
The college players I listed will be gone by 12th pick.

So you think the ALL of the following players will be gone before 12th pick?

Rolando McClain
Terrence Cody
Eric Berry
Dez Bryant
Golden Tate

Not EVERYONE of those players will be gone...

If you think they will provide a mock draft of the first 12 picks

What are the thoughts on Jordan Shipley's performance last night?

I think he was very dominate in what was supposed to be a GREAT defense and with a true Freshman QB throwing it to him

Players likely to be gone

Gibril Wilson
Akin Ayodele
Reggie Torbor
Joey Porter
Ted Ginn

Without a cap, Dolphins will get rid of people who fail to perform and or people with bloated contracts

And replace them with who carlito?

Indiana,

Shipley is good, but he is just like all the other receivers the Dolphins have in Hartline, Bess, and Camarillo.

The Dolphins need a true number 1

Pricemaster,

The only position out of those that would be an issue to replace is ILB.

Sounds like Matt Roth Junior, Revisited the III to me......but at least it shows they're still active & alert.

Now.........dump PassQBaloney & wherefore art thou, Romeo!

Chris Clemons at FS
Rolando McClain at ILB
JT, Wake, or Anderson at OLB
Anybody else at WR

When Ginn is here next year, are you guys gonna cry all season about it. Its about as annoying as John Gruden and every other announcer talking about the Wildcat everytime we played. BTW that was a simply amazing adjustment by Brian Hartline on that touchdown throw...Like they had a Jedi Mindlink going. Esp since the corner was right with him...just awesome.

Carlito,
So there are top of the line safeties, OLB's and KR's that are not under contractto other teams?
Or do other teams covet our players so much that they will give anything to have them?
The only players with real trade value are Bess and Camarillo. One of them will be traded, for a defender, and that will make room on the depth chart for Turner.

The type of players that are available are guys like Brian Johnston who couldn't get on the field for the Lions & Chiefs.

Pricemaster,

You do not need a top of the line safety to improve over Gibril Wilson.

If you actually read my comments, I am not talking about trading for players. I said I would take a low round pick in exchange for Ginn, but Wilson, Ayodele, Torbor, and Porter will either be cut or not re-signed. Any wholes can be filled with players already on the roster, or through the draft... but I'm sure you didn't read that one either

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