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Are the Dolphins close to Saints, Colts? No!

In the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIV, I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this phrase: The Dolphins aren't that far off from winning a Super Bowl. They played both New Orleans and Indianapolis well and should have beaten them. So they're close.

The logic apparently follows that since the Dolphins lost to Indianapolis 27-23 the second week of the season, then lost to New Orleans 46-34 on Oct. 25th, Miami is close to being pretty good because those two teams are obviously championship caliber.

And it's not just fans seeing the Dolphins through this prism.

"I think we're close," Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said on his Ronnie Brown radio show on 560-WQAM this week. "I think we have a lot of the right pieces to the puzzle. I think we still have a few things we need to tweak and get better at. But as a team, we're pretty close.

"We played both those teams this year and, to our credit, we were in the games and had an opportunity to win both of those games. So that says, as a team, we're close. But there are a few pieces to the puzzle we've got left."

Now, you're not going to like this so if you're not in the mood for an honest dose of reality, simply stop reading now. That way you'll go on about the rest of your day thinking your team is close to being Super Bowl-caliber because it hung tough with the two Super Bowl teams.

The rest of you, read on.

The Dolphins are nowhere near close to the Saints or the Colts.

Some facts:

NFL teams are judged by what they do through an entire season, not by what they do in one game. And during the 2009 regular season, the Colts were 14-2 while the Saints were 13-3. The Dolphins were 7-9. So Indy won twice as many games as Miami while the Saints almost accomplished the feat.

Both the Saints and Colts won their respective divisions and were No. 1 seeds in the playoffs. The Dolphins finished third in the AFC East and didn't make the playoffs

The Dolphins aren't close.

Any logic that suggests one team is comparable to another based on the outcome of one game must be uniform. So anyone saying the Dolphins are close to the Saints because they almost beat the Saints, must then have to keep a straight face as they say the Washington Redskins are close to being as good as the Saints. The Redskins, after all, lost to New Orleans by a 33-30 score on Dec. 6th. And yes, the Saints played everyone in that game and did everything they could to win.

So do you think the Redskins are close to the Saints?

Taking the argument one step further, if you think the Dolphins are close to the Super Bowl champions based on playing them close in one game, you must also believe the Tampa Bay Bucs are better than the champs. Yes, Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 20-17 on Dec. 27th.

And you cannot argue the Saints gave up in that game because Drew Brees completed 32 of 37 passes for 258 yards with 1 TD. He completed 10 more passes against Tampa than he did against Miami. But the Bucs won.

So do you think Tampa Bay fans are foolish enough to believe they're close to being as good or better than New Orleans?

The Dolphins aren't close.

Finally, of course, there's the empirical argument against the Dolphins: The Saints have better players. And more of them. The Colts have better players. And more of them. That cannot be disputed by any right-thinking NFL fan or player.

Tell me ... what player on the Dolphins offense rises to the level of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning? Let me answer -- none.

What receiver on the Dolphins could start for the Saints or Colts? Let me answer -- none.

What defender on the Dolphins makes as many game-changing plays as either Indy's Dwight Freeney or Who Dat's Darren Sharper? Let me answer -- none.

The Saints had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Colts had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Dolphins had three -- Yeremiah Bell, Dan Carpenter and Jake Long.

Long didn't play because of injury. Bell got on the team because Indy's Antoine Bethea was in the Super Bowl. And Carpenter played because Nate Kaeding injured himself the first day of practice.

So both Super Bowl teams have more than twice as many Pro Bowl players as Miami, even when we all know the reason the Dolphins had three was due to extenuating circumstances.

The Dolphins aren't close.

And it pains me to hear Dolfans saying they are close to the Saints and Colts because it suggests they're not being realistic. Or just don't know what they're talking about.

[I'm off the rest of the week but if anything happens, I'll update you on twitter. So follow me.] 


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logic...you're starting to grow on me salguero.

And th same article could have been written about the Saints and a beat writer last year at this time. Or the Giants before their Super Bowl run. I agree we are not Super Bowl favorites, but I can say for sure we are far closer to the top, than the bottom. Regardless of us having the 12th pick in the draft. We are built with not just short term success, but the long haul. The Saints have 21 players who are either finished with their contract, UFAs or RFAs. Mando, I love your work, but you seem very negative, I hardly ever see positive posts. There is much to be happy about, and work to be done. I look forward to the continued rise of this team.

What do you mean start for the Saints or Colts? What receiver on our team COULD EVEN MAKE THE SAINTS OR COLTS SQUAD? NONE.


Thank you armando. I've been telling fans on here the very same thing. But there are some Delusional dolphin fans like ROB in OC who think otherwise. Also Carlito to a point . Then you have whacko's like bigafly who think miami is a boldin away from the promised land. LOL ! . Miami is about 2-3 years away from being a perenial super bowl contender. That's why i've been preaching for miami to fix the defense in the draft before they move on to supplement and offensive weapons at wr/rb and free agents.

supplement offensive weapon..... omit "and " typo

You should take your own advise instead of posting about me . that's truely pathetic and pretty sad if you ask me. thanks for stopping by :)

I can guarantee you if he avoids injury and gets his speed back to par, greg camarillo can easily start for the saints. Or take austin collies role and have better numbers.

Good post and a nice honest look at reality, but I think you might be taking it a step too far. Don't forget that the Dolphins lost their starting QB, starting RB, starting NT, and best CB last year. All those injuries hurt the team, but there is not a team in the NFL that can compete after losing those key players. I would say that if the Dolphins stay healthy, they ARE close to being contenders. They are a young and deep team who can play with anyone. They made that clear in the games against the Colts, Saints, Jets (x2) and they beatou the Patriots. I am not one of those fans that is so ignorant that they can't see the phins need help in several areas, but they can compete. The records alone don't tell the story. The fact of the matter is that Ronnie Brown and company can compete with any team on any field any day. You can't argue that when you look at the production. They are not that far away from being great, but Henne needs to take the next step and they need to be healthy.

Ronnie is right they r close they need a legit #1 wr that will help ginn and bess they need a legit te the offense would be set for henne. On defense they need a scheme nolan could be the answer but the phins got to load up on lbs and get that special dt for the 3-4 defense to blossom.and oh yeah they need alittle luck on there sidelike all sb teams have had in the past. If this acomplished by the big tuna and the tuna helpers via the draft mostly and free agency it will be an exciting up coming season for miami.

advice you idi@t .. look it up.
now go back to the sun sen...
thats all you deserve

I agree with this article... my only thing is that IF the fins had a D player that is a game changer and a WR that is a game changer then they would be a super bowl team. for what they have and all the injuroes they went through this season. i thought they did pretty well.

" ronnie is right they r close they need a legit #1 , a legit te , a scheme from nolan , lb's and that special Dt for the defense " . Just ALL those needs ??? That 's it ?? wow , they are close. LOL. :)

What dose it really matter where they are at this point? You don't go by what a team dose from its previous year. Every off season is the same, fans chanting that their team is the next Super Bowl champs. Football teams go year by year. Why? because teams pick up free agents who may or may not fit in their system, rookies play like vets or turn out to be a bust, players come and go as well as coaches and players break out as well as decline. Let me ask this...Who thought Darren Sharper was going to have the season he had? How many of you thought Wes Welker would become a Pro Bowler? Remember Devin Aromashodu? He was pretty solid towards the end of the season for the Bears and Chris Crocker also had a good season for the Bangles. So I say enjoy the off season hype and get into the spirt of chanting your teams name because its part of football.

One thing I would like to point out...The Bucs comparison is horrible! Armando, you should know teams peak during different parts of the year. Miami played them while they were peaking, Bucs played them when they were in a slump.

Mando, the Dolphins ARE close.

All we need is a star QB, a RB that doesn't get hurt or isn't retiring after 2010, a couple of WRs, a center that doesn't get hurt, a younger NT, a FS that doesn't suck, a WOLB that actually wants to play in Miami and a SOLB that isn't 35 years old and has his best years behind him.

Then there's the ILB that can't cover anyone and the returner that only knows how to run out of bounds. We address these minor issues and we're right there!

It's hard to argue with facts.

Yeah advice , follow it , lmfao !!. . Thanks for stop by again sweetie. Sorry to disappoint you but i'm not into men. try the male singles section. good luck :)

Redskins fans don't say their team is close to the Saints because they ain't. And neither are we.

That's why Sparano is just setting the goal of winning the division. Being a Super Bowl contender is like two years down the line at best.

you brought it up
you are the one in a gym looking at other guys...
freudian slip or wishfull thinking?
maybe part of your history...
no wonder u are here day & night.

so long looser

I dont know that the Dolphins are close to winning the Super Bowl next year. But there is a lot of young talent on the team and it is definetely headed in that direction.

Home or misty , you just can"t get enough of me can you ??. LOL ! i told you i'm not into men. Now stop trying to court me . try the male singles section. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with that special someone, I hope he treats you right . Maybe a good spanking will DO. BYE BYE SWEETIE !!

The Phins have the offensive line that can be SB caliber. They have a promising young QB in Henne. They have the running backs. They have 2 very promising CB's. SS is solid and the DE's are OK. The team needs a WR, a pass catching TE, 2 linebackers ILB and a OLB. A NT and a FS. The Phins are about 7-8 players short and can be filled in one off season. If the trifecta can pull it out. If the Phins even get 4-5 of these positions filled they can be a very solid club. So I don't think they are as far off as say Detroit or Buffalo. Remember this team had to deal with alot of injuries to key positions this past season and still hung in till the 3 game losing streak at the end.

ALL of our WR's could start on both teams! its about the QB and manning has made Collie, Garcon, Gonzalez, Stokely good, I'm sure he could do that same for ours.

While you may be right in your thinking but why in the world do you enjoy constant negative writing about the phins. It is obvious that your just dont like the Phins. Even if the Phins ever win the SB I think you will have something negative to write about.
The whole core realty is do we still have a ways to go. Yes we do. But we are coming back from being a 1-15 team to actually giving the SB teams a good game.

while I'm not sure all of that was really needed. Can you really say that Ted Ginn wouldn't be amazing on any of those teams? I think you are dumb to think otherwise, they have a QB and offensive system that could utilize his talents.

With that being said ...

I think the best way of looking at things was Ronnie's point of view, 'WE ARE A COUPLE PLAYERS SHORT BUT HAVE SOME GOOD PIECES IN PLACE' so if that is true who says those players aren't already on our roster or even better we draft them this year. We are young and getting better .. I think our window to winning championships starts next season, than we might reach the level of the superbowl.


Wait until free agency and the draft are over, but I anticipate a good draft a very good draft by Parcells and co.

Then if you look at next years schedule and see a major difference from last year, daunting teams we played, and the Dolphins getting better with the pieces of the puzzle Parcells has in place. It's quite possible we can finish 11-5 and make a run in the playoffs. I believe Henne will be a top ten QB next year and will have thrown thousands of touch passes this off season. He will be better.

Mike Nolan will make this defense better and who ever Parcells drafts is gonna make a immediate impact. Get in the playoffs and make the run from there, we may not reach the Super Bowl but look at what the Jets did, people, including me where turning their stomach at the thought they were one game away from making the Big Dance. The divison is anyone's as we split withe Patsies and beat the Jets twice and they made it to the Afc championship. Yes as you pointed out Armando we came close to beating both the Saints and the Colts, say what you want but there is something to be said about that...

CBS' Phil Simms and Bill Cowher and ESPN's Ron Jaworski asserted the Dolphins are ``close'' to being a legit championship contender. ``It's a division up for grabs, and Miami is in a very good position,'' Cowher said.

I'm taking their word Armando over yours, like Dan Marino has said these guys are tough and have one thing that is not measured in the pro bowl, is, HEART! Do you have any heart Armando? Those are the players Parcells and co, draft along with talent, they have to have heart so that when the chips are down players don't become introverts! And fold up like a cheap velcro wallett.

I personally think that they have a shot at the divison and 11-5 record and making the playoffs. After that anything can happen. And if you look at some teams that made a 3 year transition from chumps to champs, well the 49ers did it in the early 80's. The Cowboys did it in the early 90's. And the New Orleans Saints in Sean Payton's third year has taken them from Aints to Saints Super Bowl Champs. All of those teams did it in three years. The Patsies and Belichick did it in two, after going 5-11 his first year, they go 11-5 the next, yeah you could say he had spygate help, but the point is it can be done.

I just hope Parcells and company make you eat your words!

Armando the eternal pragmatist


JUst caought up to what you said, man are you fkn kidding me!

Boldin has the luxury of playing with a polished QB and a reciever who commands double teams and a offense who airs the ball out a whole lot more than the Dolphins do or will ever do.

Watch and see as Boldin struggles to get near 1k yards this year with Matt Leinart are you fkn kidding me, that is the last I will say about that crap, please....no more man, your logic is flat out bad and if you where running the team we would be perrinial losers. I'm done with this I guess there is a reason no one responds to your fetish for a diva WR logic. Marshall-Boldin wow just fkn mortgage our whole draft why dont you, i'm out.

Sorry typos: polishe, Hall of Fame QB

Sorry typos: polished, Hall of Fame QB

I think we are closer than you think. I don't think we are close only because of two game but rather that we had one of the hardest schedule this year and injuries to many key players and we were competitive in all of our games. I think if we have a good draft and a some additional free agent additions we can make some waves next year.

once again you fail to grasp the obvious which is that the NFL is the definition of parity. The Jets made the Championship game this year, the Ravens last year. Do you think those were good teams? They werent. Neither are we but we dont have to be anymore to win the Super Bowl. You simply have to be healthy at the end of the year and get hot in the playoffs. There used to be a time when at most four teams had a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. Nowadays its closer to twelve or even sixteen. Considering we had essentially a rookie playing QB, two actual rookies playing CB and our best player on offense Ronnie Brown injured then you can safely say that yes we are close even if we did nothing. And we're not going into the offseason doing nothing. We will add more talent and get better. Next year we are in the mix. Not because we are a great team but because we no longer need to be to be called a champion

I admit the Fins aren't close to the Saints or Colts, but I do believe the Fins are closer to them then they were two years ago, or three, or four. The fact is, progress is being made to turn the Fins into a winner. The gap between the Dolphins and the elite teams in the NFL is narrowing. Maybe it's not narrowing as fast as us fans would like, but it is narrowing nonetheless. Give the Fins a couple more seasons to put the finishing touches on the roster and add some playmakers on both sides of the ball. I'm confident the Fins will have a team good enough to contend for a Super Bowl within the next 3-4 years max.

right on.parity is the name of the game.the era of dynasties is over.a good bet is super bowl champ not to repeat.even better to miss playoffs.


You've either pissed off a
s w e e t,
perfectly innocent Lady (...who was just trying to share her opinion,)


You're being stalked by RUPE HALL!!!

(I can't tell which...)

You are basically incorrect. We are building and they are built. After the 1-15 fiasco we are where we should be. Unfortunately we ended up picking late in the first round after a surprising 12 win season. We will hit 12 wins this year with a good draft and injuries kept to a minimum. Are we going to win the Superbowl this year? Everyone starts at 0-0 and very few people picked the Saints.

i agree with bootang,
the reality is a bunch of teams are close to being contenders with a little tinkering and a few extra key players.
some of those teams won't do the right tinkering and more of them won't get the key players they need.

will WE????

In a way the Dolphins are close. If Peyton Manning swapped places with Chad Henne, the Dolphins would instantly be a top 5 team.

Yeah, they're not remotely close to the SB teams. Good teams don't lose to Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Tennessee with their season on the line. Good teams consistently beat mediocre teams like the Dolphins.

Ronnie Brown was merely being the good soldier. He said there are a "few" things they need to tweak. That's being somewhat accurate. We can't ask him to point fingers without causing arguments in the locker room. Besides, we already know what is needed. The real question should be, when they do finally get what is needed now, will the positions that are seemingly stable today, still be that way when these other positions have attended to?

Hey Mando, ever wonder why these two teams throw all of the time? They have no running game and suspect defenses. You seem to always leave the meat out of an article.

I will give you credit that those are all really good points. But the fact remains the same. NOTHING is set in stone in the NFL. So next year we likely to see a Lions/Texans Super Bowl as we are a Colts/Cowboys Super Bowl.

This team is on that right side of being a contender than years past. So yes we are close. A few tweaks to this roster can do real damage, and adding depth will only be the cherry on top for a good 3-5 year run. This team could have been in the playoffs this year if we had strong depth to adress the injuries we got with this year. It would have even helped with the defensive rotations, that's where wr got killed no back up players to come in and help the starters. DEPTH is what we need!

Two reasons why the dolphins will not play in the SB. Sparano and Henning!!!!!!!!

mando, thanks for telling it like it is!!! i think last years draft class came up short. we need to build the defense;should have been a priority in the 09 draft. we wasted some picks with guys who couldnt get on the field.

You forgot to mention the fact our best players and team leader were injured most of the season do you think had they played we would have the record we have? And just cause you when there you think the jets are a better team than the dolphins just because they back up into the playoff and made a run? i wonder why on earth you cover this team your an idiot

Every team is "close" every year...that was the point of parity.

Now, the Browns weren't close in 2009. But sprinkle in the proper ingredients and they could field a team that makes a run.

There are teams that are dynastic, like the Patriots. But when the Giants and Steelers win Superbowls and do nothing exceptional the following year, it says something about the leagues parity.

Don't you agree Armando?

I hear people on here saying if it weren't for injuries we could have done this or that, and we are close, but the fact is injuries happen and good teams find a way to win despite the injuries. Our phins didn't get it done.

Look back to 2008 we had an easy schedule, were fortunate enough to have no injuries, fortunate enough to not have turnovers and with the exception of 3 games all the games we won were by 7 or less. We won the division on a tie breaker with the pats because we had a better conference record and they played without brady (a good team finds ways to win when a key player goes down).

This year our defense was atrocious and we are not going to get all the pieces we need with this years draft alone so Armando is right we are not close, or do you people even watch the games.

The Dolphins are no closer or futher away then then the hated jets. They are our mirror image. And before you talk about beating them twice last year really think about the 2nd game.

We do not have the ability to beat any team in the leaugue as evidenced by our close but no cigar losses to the NFL's best teams. However we do have the ability to lose to anybody like the bills, ten, hou. When our division or season is on the line.

I hate to say it but one has to ask the question.

Do we play to the level of our competition, or do they play down to us?

Miami is close, take the saints roster, player to player, & compare them to the dolphins. Thats the only way to do it. Start at Left tackle & move down the the O-line. Compare each starter.

You cant just throw out, that they are better, We beat them head to head this year, just didnt beat the Refs too (See SI photo), this with a QB that had only a handful of games under his belt.

I agree with whoever said Ginn is an offensive weapon on another team. our scheme is terrible and the coaches need to figure out how to better utilize that speed. Thats what they get paid to do. If you know he isn't gonna catch a slant over the middle because he is a P...then stop running him there. The pats don't miss use randy moss. They went and got a mediocre talanted reciever with a huge heart and made him the over the middle guy...i think they call him Wes Welker

The only way to do it Steve is to play the game...

c'mon man

The doofins couldn't even make the playoffs and are gonna be fighting with the Bills for last place aaalllriiiiggght dionk!Jets going all the way next year.BUUURRRP!!

maybe not super bowl yet but i promise you armando if the dolphins add boldin and dansby and have a solid draft they will be in the playoffs in 2010 11-5 or 10-6!


I know everybody on this blog wants defense, defense, defense!

I am of the mindset that a great offense makes a mediocre defense really good. meaning if you can get up by 2 scores with the ability and threat to score more you will force the other team to be one dimensional and your defense looks better than it actually is...something like the Colts/Saints/Patriots (when they were dominate). This trend was kinda perfected by the rams when they were the greatest show on turf. But i think it was really started by the bills back in the 90's

Ok, let me premise my remarks with this statement: I love Chad Henne, I think he can be a great QB in the NFL.
Now, the biggest reason we're nowhere near the Saints and Colts (which doesn't mean we're not close to being SuperBowl contenders) is because Henne does not yet have the experience of Manning or Brees. QBs usually need about 4 years to master their position, Henne has just finished his first. He's going to make plenty of more mistakes, and that's the natural progression. These other QBs (including Brady, Rivers, Big Ben, etc.) are at their peak or past of their potential. Henne's is an "up-and-comer". He needs probably another 3 years before we can assess if he'll be as great as these other elite QBs. In the meantime, it would help if the Trifecta could build the rest of the team so that when Henne's ready, there won't be anything standing in the way of contending for championships year in and out. But, by then Ricky, Will Allen, Peezy (obviously), JT, Ferguson, and others will be long gone. So these next few drafts will be the most determining factor if the Dolphins are ever going to be an elite team such as the Saints and Colts.

Miami is a long way from playing deep into the playoffs or reaching the SB. Last year draft was not that good. Pat white at #2 disaster. The receiver from USC did not even broke the starting lineup. This 2010 draft has got to be a bases loaded home run. They can't afford to have a mediocre or good draft. They need to pick future stars for this team to be competitive. Stay away from free agency built exclusively from the drafts.

Mando, dont listen to these Pollyanna window lickers who say that you are too negative for giving people a reality check. No matter how you slice it, 7-9 is mediocrity. Plain and simple.

The Vikings were close. The Chargers are close. The Ravens and Cowboys may be close. The Dolphins need to make wholesale changes to even think about being "close". A couple of new mediocre acquisitions like in the past couple of years isnt going to cut it in the AFC East. They desperately need playmakers.

Only thing wrong with you thinkin DC is that when Big Ben won his first super bowl he was in his second year i believe. But like the dolphins they put the ball in the hands of their veteran running back Jerome "the bus" bettis and let him and quick willy run them all the way to the superbowl. That and having one of the best defenses to be assembled in a long time. The running game check we got that. A solid defense hopefully we get there. With those two things it takes the ball out of Hennes hands and we can make the same push they did. Because that game plan is a hard one to execute i believe they made the playoffs as a wild card team and the last one in at that. Sooo no offense but that was not great logic.

Of course they're not close they have a garbage QB no WR and two broken down RBs aaaaalllllliiiggghhhht.Doink!Jets only need to add depth the awfulins need starters.Buuurrrrppp!!

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