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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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So what is the deal with names being in blue or not being in blue?

The running out of bounds to avoid an unecessary hit is not my issue with the guy.. but the times he jumps out of bounds a yard before the first down marker when it was plainly obvious he could have made it that kills me..

also, when he is returning kicks and gets in traffic, he legs start to buckle a little - like my little dog does when someone makes a loud noise.. it is instinctive of those that are small and live in physical fear to turtle like that... which now leads me to his new name...Ted (as tough as my 5 lb chihuahua) Ginn

Indiana doesnt pierce have injury issues?????

Indiana,

Please stop. No Pierce. Ginn Sucks. Ever heard Parcells famous quote? "If they don't bite as pups, they don't bite."

Or actually, my chihuahua has a bit of bite in her when she has the upper hand.. so maybe he should be Ted (half as tough as my 5lb chihuahua) Ginn..

nj is the rex ryan of this blog.
mystery poster was CHASE or NYSCOTT
both great posters and class acts

LipsinToronto - I agree with you. Stopping a yard short of first down is my point that the guy doesn't know when to avoid a hit and when not to avoid a hit. That is a downside of Ginn. I still think he can be coached some more. Not saying coached into becoming a #1, but if we had a #1, he would be a great #2 complimentary with us already having the great possession receivers. I do think Ginn can benefit this team, but obviously not as a #1.

Carlito - I am not saying we have to get Pierce, but was just wanting to get opinions from everyone since not many people has said much about him. Just football conversation. We do have Sheridan now on our coaching staff, so that may benefit us as he probably knows if Pierce would be worth it or not.

I made a comment earlier that i think bringing in a certain receiver could help with Ginn's toughness. Which is one more positive i see in that whole situation although i was not a fan at first. Those two COULD be great together.

i was reading a mock draft on some app i have on my blackberry... this guy has Mia taking Brandon Graham. any thoughts on that?? cant say i know much of him.. see he was MVP of the Senior Bowl, but look where that got us last year lol

WestVaFins - Which 2 could be great? If you are talking about Holt, I would stay away from him. I think he is to old to make a difference, but I am not in charge. Holt I feel would possibly be a progress stopper. Either way if we draft WR's or pick up any who is not making the team or the active list?

We have Ginn, Bess, Camerillo, Hartline and Turner. They usually only had 4 active throughout the year last year.

Brandon Graham will be a stud in the NFL in my opinion. I'm THINK he is better fit for a 4-3 defense then a 3-4 defense we run, so not sure if we will take him??

Indiana, enough teaching..I like Pierce to, class act even when cut but it's time to let Wake and the kids play...teaching belongs to the new DC... It would be allright to have one veteran back there but like Carlito said, time to let the pups out

This from ESPN NFL East blog:

In the first installment of the AFC East mock roundup, we have the latest projections from ESPN's Todd McShay, Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, Wes Bunting from the National Football Post, Robert Davis from Football's Future, Arizona Republic reporter Bob McManaman, Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki, Rob Rang and Chad Reuter at CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com contributor Peter Schrager and Scout.com analyst Chris Steuber.

No. 12 Miami Dolphins

McShay's pick: Rolando McClain, Alabama inside linebacker
Banks' pick: Rolando McClain, Alabama inside linebacker
Bunting's pick: Brandon Graham, Michigan outside linebacker
Davis' pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
McManaman's pick: Brian Price, UCLA defensive tackle
Nawrocki's pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
Rang's pick: Dan Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
Reuter's pick: Ricky Sapp, Clemson defensive end
Schrager's pick: Dan Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
Steuber's pick: Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State receiver

Dear Mr. LipsinToronto

" it is instinctive of those that are small and live in physical fear to turtle like that... which now leads me to his new name...Ted (as tough as my 5 lb chihuahua) Ginn"

From Wiki

"Chihuahua breeders often use terms like miniature, teacup, tiny toy, apple headed, or deer headed, to describe puppies."

I like Apple headed or Teacup myself.

Ted Teacup Ginn

Soiled :)

bobbyd12 - Pierce is middle LB, Wake is a OLB I thought. The starting guys could be Wake, Pierce, Crowder, Taylor. Not sure what rotation we would do though. This is all an idea and only for football talk. I'm not saying we need to do it. There is an obvious connection with our LB coach (former Ginats DC) and Perice, so you all should know Miami will be one of the destinations talked about by the national analysts for Pierce...

I agree that Armando blogs tend to be to negative towards the team. I'm not asking him to be a cheerleader but it would be nice once in a while for him to acknowlege the pluses once a while.

thanks for the info Indiana

no Pierce pls! on the other side of 30, disk problem in his neck... and he cant cover in space for nothing. nice dude, gave the Gmen lots of key vet leadership, but no thanks

I didn't realize Pierce has a serious bulging disk medical condition... One hit the wrong way his career could be over..I don't think that's worth the chance for our team

Who are these clowns saying Ricky Sapp, Sergio Kindle, , Brian Price and Brandon Graham at 12?????

Brandon Graham wouldn't be a bad idea at 12, but I am uncertain on if he plays the 3-4 or 4-3 or both. They guy is solid, but depending on what style he plays matters if he fits our team. Ricky Sapp and Brian Price would surprise me at #12 pick. Kindle wouldn't be that terrible as he is rated the #2 OLB and everyone on hear say we need LB's...

Who are you thinking Carlito if you don't like the guys you mentioned?

The more I think about things, the more I think we will go defense with the first pick. It will matter who is still left on the board, but it also seems like there is better talent with the top defensive players then then top offensive players...

I agree with the consensus Rolando McClain or Dan Williams with the 12th pick...

I like Ricky Sapp and Brandon Graham, I just think they are late first rounders... Same with Kindle, but I am not sold on him... he is a project

Indiana i assure you it was not tory holt that i was referring to lol. i just am choosing not to mention a name because it will spark up half the people crying to the heavens for him and the other half threatening to burn their marino jersey if we get him. Ya get me.

Carlito, I agree 100% McClain if there , Williams if not

I really like Williams but i think we can get Cam Thomas or another in a later round to fill that hole and can really get a playmaker at LB whether that is graham or mcclain.

I have not read all the comments about Pierce from the Giants. He is 31 and has a neck injury. What has been the overall consensus about his ability to still perform?

A good WR away on offense & LB's, DT & a GOOD safety away!!! YES this team could be great!!!

If pierce is able to still contribute at a reasonable level, then, he would be a definite upgrade over Akin Adoyle (or however you spell his name).

Also we should use Camarillo as trade bait.

TN- Pierce is slow and dinged up man!

This is what the Dolphins should do...

Trade our 3rd rounder for Boldin (Offense taken care of somewhat)

Resign Ferguson (Am i the only one who hates the idea of drafting a NT at 12?)

Sign Dansby as a Free Agent

Go with Clemons at Safety

Draft McClain at 12 (If available)

Draft OLB in the 2nd

Please no Madden references guys. This is all possible i believe

WestVaFins - Come one let's hear the name. At least it would be football talk and not stupid talk (non football garbage) like some poeple do on here. Can I take a guess and maybe say TO?? I have no clue who you are referring to, but would like to know.

Carlito - What it McClain is gone and Williams? Then, who you got?

don't forget jet fan the Fins STILL own you!!! It will continue next year too!!!

Williams will not be gone at 12

What does anyone think camirillo would be worth in a trade?

Indiana i started as anti-Boldin but the more i begin thinking about it i can deal wiht it. Everyone says he is getting old and too injury prone. Well some guys just need a change of scenery. He will give us two good seasons would be my guess. He helps our young receivers develop. Shows Ted Ginn how to take a hit. Helps our young developing quarterback. Has the ability to go across the middle which allows for Ginn to stretch the field with his speed. That ball will not be thrown to Ginn but leaves that option open and just extends them out of our box so we can run. He brings playoff and superbowl experience. From all i can tell he is a good locker room guy. I am just not crazy about any of the recievers coming out this year and so we use the draft to make our defense strong and we see how much he can improve our offense. Just all thoughts i dont know but it all starting making more sense when i thought about it.

Mark, Fergunson is 35, coming off a serious injury and is THE mist important component of the 3-4..you wanna take that chance???Dan Williams is being raved about and has made a serious move up the boards...Cam Thomas also looks like he won't make the second round or will go way before we get a shot at him...he's not the "flashy" pick but he will improve the Defense almost immediatly.. I don't think we lose with Williams if McClain is not available

Carilito,

I like Williams at 12. he could anchor the middle for years. He has a strong lower body, quick off the ball and good penetration. I think he could develop into a NT that would require 2 linemen every play. He is durable too.

I also, like McClain. It will be interesting what thewy choose. NT and ILB is a glaring hole that needs to be filled.

We can get a young OLB in 2nd and 3rd to develop for taylor/porter replacement if wake does not pan out as an olb or is Wake a DE?

TNPhinfan,

Wake is too small for 3-4 DE... He is also clearly the most dangerous pass rusher on this team... 5.5 sacks this year, but he had fewer chances that everyone else... If you look at the stats for how many snaps Wake was in for and how many qb pressures he got out of those snaps, it is impressive

Armando, your logic falls flat. Comparing W-L records is faulty lcgic since any good team can appear to be below average if they are missing just a couple pieces.

And I do mean just a couple when referring to the Fins.

The Fins need just four pieces to be a playoff team, assuming Chad Henne develops as expected.

1) upgrade at WR
2) upgrade at ILB
3) upgrade at OLB
4) upgrade at safety (an NT to replace Fergy can wait till next year)

That's it!

You are overlooking the fact that the OL is solid, Ronnie is coming back, we have three pretty good #2 receivers who will get better, two solid young CB's who will get better (and Will Allen coming back), a good 3rd down pass rusher in Wake, one solid safety in Bell, and for all the flack Crowder gets he's a decent if not great ILB.

Is it possible that these 4 holes could be filled this year via the draft and FA?

Yes.

That means we are close.

Of course the wild card is the assumption that Henne will improve substantially. If he does, we are close. If not....

I agree, wake needs to be an every down player. Question is how he matches up in coverage and on the run. They could also use hi on either side of the ball for the rush and put the stronger pass/ run defender opposite wake. I believe that is how they used Lawrence taylor with the Giants. Of course Wake a,int no LT or does he have LT potential?

Guys, on scout.com under the NFL draft part, they have a bi-weekly interview with Cam Thomas that will happen all the way through the draft. The first interview was pretty good. It is something I am interested in reading, because I like the guy a lot.

I think the Tuna likes his veteran NT in FA. He picked up Fergie every place he went.
I think they make a move in FA for a NT and draft a project in the later rounds.

I hope Rams pick a QB a first. Then I would trade up to # 2 to take SUH

As for Wake, Did you guys watch the Pro Bowl? The D had to run 4-3, no blitzing. Well a lot of the OLB were 3-4 guys, like Harrison, Woodley, Ware. They were getting KILLED in coverage. I am not worried so much about Wake in coverage, because that's not his job. I believe he is athletic enough to every once in a while drop into a zone, and occasionally cover a TE or RB. But not every play. He needs to be better at the point of attack, setting the edge, that is my big concern moving forward. Mike Nolan will help a lot. His role will be to get the QB. And with increased oppurtunities, he will do that.

MJZ,


It would be a huge mistake not to take an NT in this draft there are so many available Williams, Thomas, Troupe, Cody...etc... there wont be this kind of talent at NT for years

waterboy,

what FA Nt are we going to get?

I do not see the Pats letting Wilfork go, especially, to a divisional team. I hope it happens, but, very unlikely.

Waterboy,

Dolphins would never make a move for Suh, he is a 4-3 DT... not an NT. There is a BIG difference.

We can get Hampton from Pittsburg

Carlito,

If we draft ILB OLB 1st what NT do you think will be available 3rd/4th round. We still need an upgrade at TE, OG and the Big Beasty WR that even Henne has requested.

Noone is talking about it, because of the draft, but I have gone back and started rewatching all the games, and I am even more impressed with Henne now that I am not so heavily interested in winning. He made some AMAZING throws. Of all the young QBs I have seen the last 3 or 4 years, I believe he and Aaron Rodgers are the two best I have seen IMO. Henne in the 3 games I rewatched the last few days, made 5 WOW throws. Throws where if you paused it halfway, you would have absolutely bet disaster was coming. I for one can not wait until this season after he has taken all the first team reps and has a full offseason as the number one. And to show I'm not drinking the kool aid, I wasn't high on drafting him. He has proved me wrong.

Hampton isn't going anywhere

WestVaFins - I was not on the Boldin bandwagon either, but as the days go on and the more I read I am slowly beginning to like the trade, IF it happens! He wants to play in Miami which I like. When a player is happy with where they are, they play better (i.e. TO, Moss, Ochocinco -- all are proof of that)!

Carlito - Williams will probably be there at #12, but I bet other teams thought Ted Ginn would be around outside the top 10 and he wasn't. So who you like if both Williams and McClain are gone? (hypothetically speaking)

Carlito,
What do you think about Pat White's future as a Fin?

They showed the Franchise tag numbers for each position, and DT is a little over 7 million. That is a bargain for a guy like Wilfork, I can't see NE not going that route. But, they did draft Ron Brace, they do have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds, and it is a deep NT class in this years draft. I really could see them going either way. I am not sure that even if he were to become a free agent, that we would even make a serious run at him. IMO he would be an incredible get, eliminating one of our biggest needs, and is still only 29. But his asking price may be more than we want to spend.

Pat white will run the wildcat here and there until the wildcat is no more adn then the dolphins will have wasted his potential by doing that to him. Screw it just get rid of him soo he can be a back up somewhere at least because they are setting him way back here and i would love for him to no longer be a dolphin so i dont have to defend him in here any more LOL.

Indiana, what do you think of Earl Thomas? He is relatively small, and a redshift sophomore, though a ballhawk and would be a great compliment to Y Bell. I might consider him at 12 if a few of our first options were gone by 12.

Why did they screw Pat Whites motion? Why draft a guy that you have to change his motion? I agree, this is another player that got burned. Would have let him on the clipboard patrol and as QB # 3....

It would be hard to imagine both McClain and Williams both gone considering the needs of teams picking above us...It all hinges on Denver, do they take Dez or do they take McClain???

Which that all comes down to whether Marshall is in denver or not,

Waterboy - SERIOUSLY?? Do you know what it would cost us in draft picks to move up 10 spots? Don't think the front office will do that especially if they lose a 3rd in bolding trade if that happens...

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