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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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Trade Bess and Camarillo? You're nuts, not gonna happen.

i think miami needs to draft a DT with the 12th pick, someone like cody, or williams. i am not to worried about a WR the can pick one in the 3rd,4th round value after all they got Hartline in the 4th and he had a good year and try and sign demeco ryans, and they need to be more aggressive on defense, they have two good cover guys, and when will allen comes back move him into gibril wilson spot.

Pricemaster guess thats why u won't tongue kiss your boyfriend until he brushes his teeth in the morning.

Hey pricemaster Ur mom must be real proud of her piece of turd (YOU) that she delivered from her disease infested snatch!

Kind of ironic that your going to Boston to cover the Patriots game Armando. Any chance your might be dropping off a resume at the Boston Globe for your dream job so you can cover the Pats 24-7? If your staying in the city, the Globe is easily reached via 93 and a quick turn on Morrisey Blvd.


the boston globe would BE honored to hire armando as long if he works for free since they were near closing the paper few month ago after laying off a lot of people .


yeah price,whats the reasoning behind those comments??? i agree with phinatic half those wont even be on the team come sept.

i cant understand y we would'nt do everything (within reason)to obtain joshua cribbs....are you kidding me!!! this guy is clearly one of the top 5 play makers in this league,so why wouldnt we trade ginn porter and like a seventh round to get this young beast on our team? i think this is an absolute no brainer. i mean this guy was on one of the worst teams in the league,and one of the worst offensive lines.imagine his guy on a team that can actually block for him.not to mention is there a better fit for the wildcat in the league?????? i love ronnie,but i'm sorry this guy is better,and by alot....sorry ronnie. i know we need all kinds of help to be a great team i.e. olb d-line SAFETIES and a strong wide reciever hopefully through fa,but joshua would make us a feared offence from the min he joins the team.........does anyone else agree with this??? peace GO PHINS IN 2010!!!!!

Price Master is a complete moron

Dolphins will acquire offensive weapons in free agency. They will use the draft to aquire defensive needs. Parcells has forgotten more about football than most on here will ever, ever know.

I'd love the Dolphins to pick McClain but not sure if he'd be there. Failing that,maybe a Sergio Kindle or Earl Thomas would be a good option but cant imagine Parcells picking Bryant or any other WR in the 1st round. Cody or any other NT is'nt worthy of a pick that high either

Although there is need for a "big-play" WR, the focus this off-season should be to improve the D. The recievers may not have much speed but they have good hands(except Ginn of course, sorry Ted). The D seemed to have more holes as the year went on, and there complete lack of effort in the first half at the end of season, indicates a MAJOR problem. Joey Porter is done, Taylor is not a 3 down player any more, and Wilson must go. They need to find the NT of the future, and at LB they must value smarts over physical ability, because they looked lost most of the year.


I watched McClain play yesterday and he seems to me like a good investment, much better than Crowder and Ayodele.. but Dansby would be available... I doubt the Fins will spend their 12th pick on a Safety, since they are other needs in the team that are more important (i.e. NT & ILB/ OLB/ WR)... It would be ideal if the Fins could trade for a WR or 2, but it would be perfect if they can just grab Brandon Marshall in FA, but it would be very hard since he's monetary value will be high, plus there's a risk that he might be a trouble kid down here... Alson, don't forget that Mile Austin is available and that it was the Trifecta who grabbed him for the Cowboys, so I wouldn't be surprised if they sign him as well; that would leave Ginn as the odd man out. The fins need to find a good 1st or 2nd WR in FA in order to compete next year; I have my doubts about this WR squad, and the 2009 numbers prove it. We also need help on ST, kick and punt returner.. Let's be honest, if it wasn't because of Ginn's 2-TDs against the JEts, suck, suck, suck, the kickoff return ranking would have been at the bottom of the barrel.

I'll be happy if the Fins start getting rid of mediocricity if they can stary by:

- getting rid of Ayodele
- getting rid of T. Ginn and his family
- getting rid of Wilson
- getting rid of Porter
- getting rid of Fasano

I don't see why you fans want a troublesome WR like Marshall..?


Do you read what Armando writes? He's lucky he gets a paycheck!

Anyone know who was the first to report on the George Edwards coaching change?

Yeah Indiana... I bet you didn't want that "troubled" WR from Oakland either. What was his name again? Oh yeah, Randy Moss. He went to the Pats and wipes our ass with his hand towel every time we play them. This is not Cecil Collins. This is one of the top 5 WR's in the game, and a difference maker. Regardless of being a bit of a diva.

pricemaster - I have to disagree with many of the names you mentioned to start next year...many of those guys just are not that good and did not prove themselves this year enough to be around next year. I think as do many other's here that there will be a lot of guys gone and free agents plus draft picks will replace them. It will be a very different team next year in my opinion. They really should be looking @ a running back RB will not be the same great runner with his injuries and RW may play only one more year but his status is up in the air. GO FINS - NEXT YEAR WILL BE YOUR YEAR!

If Mc Clain is avalable at 12 we take him if not they should trade down.If they can get a 20 or 21 pick aswell as a second rounder it would be great. There will be a good nose or safety at that spot. Spikes could very easily be avalable @ 12 in the second round and a tight end or wide reciever would be good value at the end of the second

Draft Thoughts

I agree with many of you about Rolando McClain. He is a stud that is better then any linebacker currently on our roster. He was around the ball all game last night. I do think he will be gone by 12 though. I think a good player to grab at 12 is Dan Williams from Tennessee. He is a NT and we sorely need to address the position.

I haven't seen Pierre from South Florida but I do see a lot down in Florida like him so that is another possibility. We need to address our D big time. We need players at every tier. Front 3 - NT, LB - at least 2 starters, FS - someone who can play the pass!

The two most glaring needs for the dolphins are WR and NT. Almost every other position is set with what we have on our roster right now, even S. I expect us to do whatever it takes to get a #1 WR who can fly AND CATCH, and is a proven commodity in the NFL. If that takes trading our first pick for it, so be it. I have always been hoping for FSU alumn Anquan Boldin, but I am afraid he may be the wrong fit. Brian Hartline should be the other starter, with Cam and Bess also getting decent touches and Ginn fighting for his life just to have the #5WR and play on special teams (perhaps not even returning). RB has got to be our deepest position, I don't see us having any other RB on our roster, unless he is on the practice squad to replace the roster spot after Ricky retires. Henne has proven to me he is the quarterback of the future, and Thigpen is there if he goes down. Pat White may be competing with Ginn for a roster spot and the #5WR/Wildpat. Would not be surprised at all if he didn't make the team. May be one of the Trifecta's few bad decisions along with the likes of Wilford. Offensive line is pretty much set besides some T depth. TE will probably be addressed, but then again, we may just see Sperry and the kid from Monmouth given a chance.

On the defensive side, DE I believe has a lot of depth and upside with Merling and Langford showing flashes in their sophomore years along with Starks showing he is a very capable 3-4 DE. DT WILL be addressed with either the first or second pick. I could see us trading down with our first pick for a WR, and picking up a NT late in the first. OLB has a lot of names right now, and I would very much like to see Cameron Wake get a lot more playing time next year. Would not be surprised if Joey Porter's big contract is gone next year, and JT finishes his career in Miami next year. Wouldn't it be ironic if JT and Ricky rode off in the sunset together. Akin and Crowder will both be on the team next year. I could see us picking up a MLB in the first couple rounds of the draft, though. Corners are set with Smith and Davis starting. Will Allen may be gone next year, and we will add depth in the draft. Clemons, Tulver, and Gibril will compete for playing time alongside Bell with Gibril being cut if he loses the starting job.

My way too early depth chart is as follows:

QB: Henne, Thigpen, Draft Pick
RB: Brown, Williams, Cobbs, Hilliard
FB: Polite
WR: Cribbs, Bess
WR: Hartline, Camarillo, Pat White
TE: Haynos, Sperry, Fasano (really have no idea what this will be)
LT: Long
LG: Smiley
C: Grove, Berger
RG: Thomas/Garner(DL rotates, why not OL;may start wildcat-like trend
RT: Carey

DE: Starks/ McDaniel
DE: Langford/ Merling
NT: Draft pick/ Soliai
OLB: Wake, Anderson
OLB: Taylor, Moses, Walden
ILB: Crowder, Torbor
ILB: Ayodele
CB: Smith, Jones
CB: Davis, Jason Allen (no Will Allen)
FS: Wilson (I know this is an unpopular pick), Clemons
SS: Bell, Tulver

Notable Cuts: Joey Porter, Ted Ginn, Will Allen

That makes 23 on offense and 22 on defense leaving 8 roster spots for rookies and free agents, including this Johnston that we just signed who I don't think will even make the 53 man roster. Maybe he will make the practice squad, but I already have 5 OLB's on the roster even with Joey Porter being cut.

Dolphins win the division next year with a third place schedule and Chad Henne hopefully being let loose.

In conclusion, Christian Ponder wins the Heisman and the conference next year for FSU.

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