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Sparano explains why he sticks to prototype

Last week I explained to you that the prototype player is important to the Dolphins.

I told you the Dolphins have certain specific size and speed and other requirements they don't deviate from very much. And I know you like it when I tell you things like this because then you get to argue with me about it.

But then someone with serious credibility says the same thing I said and then you come around because suddenly Salguero's not on the island all by himself anymore.

Well, Tony Sparano explained the idea behind drafting for the prototype, signing prototype free agents, and being careful about not making too many exceptions on the prototype during the NFL annual meeting a couple of days ago.

Here are his thoughts:

"If you continue to turn your cheek to prototype, to size, to speed, to those types of things, to the mental part of it, to the prototype players, to the position specific skills, then all of a sudden you turn around and two years later you look at your football team and you have a team full of non-prototype players," Sparano said. "So you have a lot of non-prototype players and you’re a small team, you’re not a big team. You’re a slow team, you’re not a fast team because you like this kid and you like his qualities and he’s a good football player.

"So I think in some situations you’ve got to be cautious about the prototype thing and that you might be passing on a good player, so we try not to do that. We try to take all of those things into consideration and we do, that’s a fact. But I also do believe that you don’t want to look back later on and see a team full of non-prototype players. That’s not good in this league, to be a small team or to be a slow team or to be one of those types of things. It’s not a good thing. The thing I keep hearing from people that play us is, ‘Wow, they’re physical. Wow, they’re physical. They’re big, they’re physical.’ That I think is because of the type of people that we bring in."

And so that is the reason that despite my appreciation for Brandon Graham, for example, I see little to no chance the Dolphins would draft the Michigan star to be their OLB because he's 6-1 and not 6-3 or 6-4. It is a shame because, clearly, the adherence to prototype forces the Dolphins to pass on certain guys.

Dwight Freeney would have no place on the Miami roster. A Zach Thomas, even in his prime, probably wouldn't be a fit, either. Neither would Darrell Green, who I would rank as the best cornerback of all time. He was only 5-9 and 180 pounds.

But the Dolphins have a philosophy and it has succeeded in the past in a number of different places so who's to argue. I'm just here to 'splain stuff ... and hope coach Sparano backs me up on it as he does this time.

By the way, tell me who you believe to be the best cornerback of all time. And tell me other non-prototypes that were among the game's greatest players.

[And come back later this afternoon. I'm going to wash the Vette this morning, but I'll update the blog in the afternoon or earlier if there's any news.]

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Damn I hate to say it...BUT...Deion was the man as shut down corners went.Could have been better if he could tackle or pressure the Q.B

it is easy to comment on the undersized player that is overlooked......in hindsight.
do not paint yourself as a draft expert.

How about Drew Brees for great non-prototype quaterback?

Mando

How had their prototype been working so far?

Gibril Wilson, the TE a year earlier (already forgot his name) -- then they contradict themselves and take Pat "Tiny" White who can't even play. Everything that comes out of their mouths should be blown out their ass. How Girbril would be better next year and is released a few days later. How Starcks was playing solid and was also released (still trying to figure that one out). Anything they say is iether a lie or they are just overwhelmed and maybe really aren't as good as some people believe.

Their FA evaluations have been pathethic at best. Last year's draft probably rates a C- to D+ at this point, even if it is too early to tell. If Turner and Tiny White both bomb, it will rank pretty poorly. Keep in mind their TE in the 5th is practice squad material. Only their two CB and maybe Hartline seem like good picks. Not very good 3 for 7.

Let's trade the trifecta!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mando

How had their prototype been working so far?

Gibril Wilson, the TE a year earlier (already forgot his name) -- then they contradict themselves and take Pat "Tiny" White who can't even play. Everything that comes out of their mouths should be blown out their ass. How Girbril would be better next year and is released a few days later. How Starcks was playing solid and was also released (still trying to figure that one out). Anything they say is iether a lie or they are just overwhelmed and maybe really aren't as good as some people believe.

Their FA evaluations have been pathethic at best. Last year's draft probably rates a C- to D+ at this point, even if it is too early to tell. If Turner and Tiny White both bomb, it will rank pretty poorly. Keep in mind their TE in the 5th is practice squad material. Only their two CB and maybe Hartline seem like good picks. Not very good 3 for 7.

Let's trade the trifecta!!!!!!!!!!!!

pick #1

rolando mclain

cam thomas

nate allen

cam sheffield

brandon lang

ben tate

I'm too young to have seen him play but, from people who did say, any conversation about the best CB ever has to include Night Train Lane.

He among the all team leaders in ints, but might have been better even known at the time as a ferocious hitter (he was at first trying to make the Rams as a DE).

Lane has the single season INT record (14)....and he did that in a 12-game season.

For non-prototypical players, how about two guys named Mark Duper and Mark Clayton? 5' 9" each, 185 lbs and 172 lbs, both were small receivers who played big.

Sparano sticks to his idea of prototype because he lacks creativity. It'll be the reason he loses his job.

My favorite non-prototype player had to be Mike Singletary...all around one of the greatest LBs of all time

And Dishpan, Sprano sticks to prototype because that's Parcells philosophy and who really does the draft....Since Parcells is the BOSS, Sprano keeps his job..thk u

I think (T.S.) will be a great head coach sooner than later.

I would have to agree with aquaandorange that bryant is too much of a head case. I remember a few years back when we passed on another head case wr, I just can't remember his name oh yah Randy Moss. I think we all know how that turned out.

I like the fact that we are big and physical (not aggressive but big and physical). What I hear the most from the, supposedly the people who know these things, is we are big and physical, but we are the second slowest team in the NFL. The slowest being the Lions. The problem is there are very few big, physical and fast players available in the draft. Especially, when we don't pick the best player available, we pick for need. As long as we pick for need and not the best player available we will continue to pic,middle of the road players and after two drafts and three free agent years we have a bunch of big, physical but average players. The exception being Jake Long and maybe Davis.

Mando, thos is a great article, ur 100% right on ur favorite player Brandon Graham...Especially at LB position Parcells is not going to take him, he is gonna be BIG and 6:1 doesn't cut it for Parcells for his vision of a LB...

This is typical Armando:

1) Find player coach or team with stated belief or principle.
2) Use exceptions to said credo to assail it.
3) Put up a youtube video at the end for wow factor.

By the way I didnt watch the vid, but DG ran a 4.5 40 @ age 50 w/ cameras rolling recently- I think its Darylgreen.com . I hate the skins, but living in the DC area I can say he's a great guy too.

THE prototype is Dick "Night Train" Lane. 6' 1", 194 lbs. Fast, hard hitter with no fear and no compassion for receivers, running backs OR quarterbacks.

Germany,

The Prototype NT is not 6'4... They are more of a short, stumpy build.... Other than Ferg, we don't have a true NT on the roster... The average is thrown off by Tony McDaniel at 6-7, but he is 3rd string and far from the "prototype" at nt... Dan Williams is the prototype size and skillset for 3-4 NT, that is why he is coveted by so many team.

p.s. Suh is a DT, not a true NT, in a 3-4 he would play DE

Mando,

I don't think anyone was arguing with you about the trifecta targeting players with protoype size and skills, its fairly obvious, the only exception so far has been White...

But if it is make believe arguments that you need to keep the blogs coming, so be it

Are there any members of the Ginn family left to draft? LOL!

I am pretty sure I was the best...

Everytime this comes up, I envision a chart painted on the doorway at Davie. 'YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE THIS RIDE'.

parcells is getting old and with that losing some of his mind

Bobby, it's all the same "entity," get a clue. What Sparano does is what the Dolphins do. What Parcells does is what the Dolphins do.

At least now Morano has mentioned the word SPEED / FAST.

This Regime has collected and resigned players with no Speed: Clam Chowder, Ayodele, Torbor, Eric Green, Joey Haynos, Fasano, Ernest.

Get me some speedy LBs and TE

All you have to do is look at the guy Miami coveted in FA and got to play ILB Karlos Dansby, 6-4 250lbs. There's your prototype.

Thank goodness we have professor Armando to 'explain' simple things to us poor, dumb readers. Salguero, I know you've got insecurity/ego issues, but could you at least try to be less condescending?

Fans want more on the Dolphins, and less of your self-aggrandizing. If you have info on the team, just report it. If you do a good enough job, the readers will give you credit.
That way we won't have to hear you endlessly blowing your own horn.

There. I've 'explained' it.

There have been more great prototypical players than non-prototypicaly players, so cherry picking a few of the greats to make your point makes you look like Obama. Give me a big, strong, fast team any day.

There have been more great prototypical players than non-prototypicaly players, so cherry picking a few of the greats to make your point makes you look like Obama. Give me a big, strong, fast team any day.

Nasty

Well said JaxDolphin, well said

Watch out for Taylor Mays. He fits the prototype.

Hey Carlito,

yes I know DT are probably more 6'3", but as you figured it out McDaniels is 6'7" and messes up the average hight. As Solai is messing up the average weight.

Solai 6'4" / 355
McDaniel 6'7" / 305
Ferguson 6'3" / 310
Starks 6'3" / 305 (Did count him in to get down with average size and weight again)

Thats how I did get the average
6'4" / 319

Suh has 6'4" / 307 (they say he is more a 2 gap player not like McCoy 1 gap, so NT should be ok for him - if he can not play NT nobody can in this draft)

Williams 6'2" / 327
(Thats not 6'3" and far away from 6'4")

Cody 6'4" / 354 (like Solai)
Cam Thomas 6'4" / 330
Torrell Troup 6'3" / 314
Linval Joseph 6'4" / 328
Al Woods 6'4" / 309

Cheers

we need ball players plain & simple. if its such a big fuss about who to draft bring Marshall in for a visit, and make a deal w/ denver smiley & 3rd 2010, conditional pick 2011 maxing out at a 2nd round if he reaches certain marks. now i played against dumervil in high school hes 5'10" at best so i dont wanna here bout that size b.s. graham is a baller jpp just isnt in tuned with football he didnt even know the basics 3 years ago just imagine trying to coach him 2 play that techniquetrade for marshall re sign jt trade down in the 1st & lets gear up for the 2010 season lets go phins!

I would like to see or hear them define "prototype" by each and every position. Because the roster does not add up just yet.

Hi everyone! I used to post under the name The Knight who says Ni! but I'm trying out a different name. Is anybody else very, very lonely? I really could use some of you to become my new friends. Maybe we could chat or get together and bake cookies. Anyone?

Good morning fellas. I just wanted to see the blog for the day before heading out. Well anyone who remembers me posting knows how I want Brandon Graham. I understand Miami has their prototypes but I still hoped they would look the other way with BG. So if JPP is gone and a player like Derrick Morgan who both are better sutied for 4-3 DE are gone who is the prototype? Kindle? I have been saying all along to the dismay of W VA and others Miami will go Kindle he is 6'3 250 and can add size to his lean muscle frame. That is if they go OLB because no one else fits the "prototype". Anyway fellas have a good one and I will be on later when the wife goes and gets here nails done and I can post in peace lol.

And a real quick comment Waterboy I hope you are so so so so WRONG about Taylor Mays. I'd rather have Dez Bryant and I don't want a WR in round 1. So that tells you what I think of Mays. Talk to you fellas later.

The best corner back ever is still in the game Champ Bailey! only the top teir quarterbacks will even throw at him

My favorite non prototype player of all time is Steve Largent. At 5-10 and 180 lbs, the guy was great. I will never forget his hit against the bronco's safety.... shattered the guy.

Mr Bungle, Id like to collaborate on the upcoming 2010 Mock Draft. You can give your picks, and I can chime in if I think it "Fitz" the team in question

Mays = WLB.

And i'd have no problem with Derrick Morgan being the pick. Nolan would put him in a position that takes advantage of his strengths.

Sorry, suh is no NT

Kory Sheets had a 5.0 YPC avg last year for the fins.

If the Dolphins really want solid production regardless of size/weight, etc....they will pick: Brandon Graham, Weatherspoon, Benn, Hughs,Washington, JPP, or Owens. I don't think Morgan is strong enough to play either position.

I have been a Dolphins fan since I can remember watching a football game. But after all these years, I am finally starting to give up on what is happening. To the point I am not sure my Sunday Ticket is worth it.

When I sit down to watch any type of sports event, I am looking for something that is exciting, something that makes me sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation. Sometimes it does not even matter who wins because the game itself was so good.

Well, when I get ready to spend my Sunday afternoon devoted to watching the Dolphins, I am losing my enthusiasm more and more each year. It is the same boring game plan week after week. How many five yard pass plays can a game plan contain ?

I understand what the organization is trying to do, and it might just work in the end for them, but from a fan stand point, it has become very very boring !!! And if it does not work for them, and the Dolphins are going to remain a middle of the road team year in and year out, let them be a middle of the road team with some excitement, something that will make me crazy with anticipation for Sunday afternoons.

Concerned Dolphin Fan

Yo Armando I agree with sparono here. I think teams who take the undersized guys with oversized heart like your Brandon grahm are already good with prototype guys. Take greenbay for instance. Last yr they took clay Matthews who was very skinny and not too strong. They already had a great front 7 and secondary. We need to "strengthen the fort" with prototype guys to ensure we have a solid all around team. Then we can take smaller guys who we think can be difference makers in their career.

Inimounts - Bess is far from the problem. He is not a #1, which is the whole problem. If we had a #1 wr you would see Bess in a different light. We need playmakers on offense. I are going to take Spiller if he is available followed by Bryant...believe it.

If the Dolphins go prototype with Mike Iupati, I would be pretty happy. He is over 6'5", weighs 331 pounds, and, believe it or not, is actually very quick on his feet. Do a search in youtube with the exact title of: "Mike Iupati: The Samoan Juggernaut (Idaho) Highlights". Click on the link with that title (should be the first one), watch him play, listen to what the broadcasters say, and sit back and drool. I can't believe this guy is athletic enough to pull to the opposite side of the field on running plays at his size. There was a ridiculous stat on him going over 800 plays without allowing a sack. This guy is a beast!!! Also, sounds like a high character guy and not a headache like Dez Bryant.

bryant will be there at 12, and 13, and 14,........ dez is dropping like crazy. we dont need some guy who wont work hard. take lupati or williams here. i like benn in the second round for our wr.

Sorry to say but Benn will be long gone by our 2nd pick.

Rob in OC. This is about the 5th time you've stated that derrick morgan hasn't Bench pressed. This is not true. Morgan benched 21 reps at his great pro day.

If lupati is taken at 12 then i can no longer defend this front office. Another lineman is not a first round need.

That being said on Iupati, Earl Thomas (S, Texas) would be an awesome pick too. He looks like a stud on film. Check out some of the highlights on him. If both are available when the Dolphins pick (as projected), that would make for a very interesting decision. Safety would probably be the greater position of need and Thomas looks awesome but how often do you get an athletic, quick OG at over 6'5" and 331 pounds. It is interesting that Scouts, Inc., has Iupati ranked 14th overall and Thomas 15th overall. They are only one ranking apart. The more I think things through, the more I want to see the Dolphins go after a DT in the later rounds (perhaps Terrence Cody from Alabama). Unless someone great amazingly fell to us like Eric Berry, I want the Dolphins picking either Iupati or Thomas with their pick.

part of my youth was spent in D.C. so I saw Darrell Green every sunday. Darrell was a hard working guy. hell of a nice guy. showed up for the biggest games for the skins'.

However, Prime Time was, IMO, the best shut down corner ever. He brought superbowls to SF and Dallas in consecutive years. Never seen such impact of one player in a time period in the 30 years I've been a football fan.

Troy Polumalu...

He's not a prototypical player and the man is a beast !!

prototype is more strictly followed when it comes to the big fellas. front 7 on defense. OL-TE-FB on offense.

Mando, Sprano will likely end up doing the complete opposite and take graham. They say this and that, and then turn around and do the other.

I love these guys, but i still don't understand the Smiley situation. But, I trust tony knows what he wants on the OL.

Germany speaking,

Nice research, and thanks for passing the results along.

I had actually started to do the very same thing myself a month ago, when I noticed that nearly every LB they have is 6'3" 250lb. I was merely looking to debunk some of these draft "experts'" mock picks to Miami, so I never got past looking at the LBs.

Wow.. Good stats Germany !

You must have a lot of free time on your hands... ?

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