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The prototype is important to the Dolphins

As I hope you know, I wrote a column for today's Miami Herald pointing out that it is a mistake to believe the Dolphins don't chase players with questionable characters or keep troubled players simply because of what Bill Parcells said in his one and only press conference with the team years ago.

Please read the column and see how the Richie Incognito acquisition thus makes sense to the Dolphins. For those that disagree with me and think the Dolphins should put a full-court press for acquiring a troubled type such as Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos, the column might give you hope that move is still possible.

My opinion is it would be a mistake but that's another matter.

Anyway, in doing the legwork for the column, I re-read the transcript of that long-ago Parcells press conference and came across something that we all should remember as the Dolphins go forward in selecting players this offseason:

"Traditionally, I've tried to set a prototypical standard for each position," Parcells said in that presser. "I try not to make too many exceptions in that regard."

What that means partly is that the people running the Dolphins have a certain standard they set for their OLBs, ILBs, CBs, QBs, NTs, every position. If a player meets that prototypical standard, he can be graded in the other areas these folks view as critical factors for playing the position and being on the team.

If a player cannot preliminarily meet the standards, he's unlikely to be considered much further.

That, I suppose, is one reason the Dolphins weren't really interested in keeping Zach Thomas around for the 2008 season. Sure his age and injury history played a role, but the fact the guy is 5-11 and 230 pounds simply doesn't fit the Dolphins prototype of an inside linebacker which is 6-3ish and 245-250 pounds.

I suppose this adherence to prototypes -- prototypes proven through the years on both offense and defense -- might be a reason the Dolphins aren't likely to pick Michigan's Brandon Graham with the No. 12 overall selection in the coming draft.

Simply said, Graham apparently doesn't meet the standard for a Dolphins outside linebacker. He's 6-1 rather than 6-3 or 6-4. That minor size deficit costs Graham in Miami's evaluation. He would have to have great agility, great hips, great ability to leverage his opponent, great change of direction, great speed, all manner of great attributes to make up for those two or three inches of height.

The Dolphins want monsterous offensive linemen. The 295-pound guys that helped the Denver Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls years ago are not the types that interest Miami.

The Dolphins generally are looking for big receivers. They want receivers that are big targets for young quarterback Chad Henne.

The Dolphins need 300-plus-pound defensive ends. Jason Taylor, who broke into the NFL as a 242-pound defensive end in a 4-3 defense, has to move to OLB in Miami's 3-4 scheme.

Generally, the idea of bigger is better is a Dolphins staple now.

Sure there are positions where size doesn't eliminate a player from consideration. But there's a reason players such as 5-8 Jim Leonhard and 5-8 Bob Sanders play safety for other teams and not for Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells.

Obviously the Dolphins braintrust believes in what it does because they've seen what has worked in the past. And, yes, while there is always a possible exception, sometimes when the these guys make an exception it backfires.

Take Pat White for example.

He doesn't have prototype quarterback at height at 6-feet tall. He's light for the position at 190 pounds. He doesn't have an exceedingly strong arm. He's not exceedingly accurate. In none of these regards does White meet the prototypical standard for his position.

Was he a winner in college? Yes. Was he a playmaker? Yes. Did he start a bunch of college games and gain a ton of experience? Yes.Is he bright? No doubt. Is he all about team and not very much about self? Yes. In these regards, he meets some critical factors for a Parcells-Ireland quarterback.

But before the duo got to those critical factors, maybe they should have gone back to the prototype. Because they seemingly made an exception with this player ... and the results aren't good so far.


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Dolphins will pick Kindle w the 12 pick and trade up for Hayden!!

Dolphins should use pat w at wr! Why not let him play with gloves which us when he shined

Are we going to try Philip Merling at strongside OLB?


You are sounding a bit schizophrenic my friend. Which is it? You said you were against the signing of one Diva of protype size and speed i.e (Brandon Marshall) with questionable character but for the signing of another hot head (Ritchie Incognito) reasoning that not all players can be choir boys.

You can't have your cake and eat it to Armando. If the "disguised one" is good enough for the trifecta then Brandon Marshall should be good enough as well. Assuming the fins offer the proper package for him (no higher than a second round pick and a contract with a behavior clause)

Players win championships. Choir Boys end up singing about them..

I wonder if you could ever find out if the trifecta had Pat White on their board as a 2nd round pick all along, or if someone was able to really campaign for him like Henning, Lee, or Sparano, because of the WildCat.
I just seems so out of character with their normal course of action in picking players.

I've been talking about the trifecta's size requirements from here to kingdome come with some people on here. That's why i don't have players like brandon graham and sean weatherspoon my list.

I agree Mando. They didn't pay him that much, nor did they give up anything for him. If he gets his head on right, he adds depth to an already strong unit.

Bravo Armando....very good article...brings a few here back down to earth. I don't always agree that bigger is better, but it's not our game after all...Parcells is dealing the deck.

It's not a fair comparison bwtween going after Incognito and Marshall.
If the Mr. Magnito experiment implodes, it's hardly a bump in the road.
Marshall and his price tag would a completely different can of worms.
I'm not saying I wouldn't go after Marshall, I would.
Too compare the two, you can't.

NJ, LOL...everyone has known about the Tuna Mold. It's never been a secret.

The point of the discussion that Mando is trying to get at, is that on the occasions that Parcell's goes outside of his box, then what or when are his exceptions to do so.

Do you or anyone here see any players in this offseason that he might be willing to go outside his prototypical mold on???

Pat White is one that still certainly blows us all away :)

Bigger is better. As long as bigger doesn't mean slower.

Speed Kills!!!!

Little Ditka, dude.. common.. marshall for a 2nd round pick? this isn't the price is right.

Incognito is a good signing because he provides quality dept with little or no risk.. not to mention he came cheap. if he pisses anyone off we cut him, no cap penalty, no strings attached. think about the flip side if we go for marshall -high risk, high price. not to mention we would be spending a 1st round pick on a WR and WR isn't our biggest need. Sure, it would be nice, but I would like to see our defense fill it's MAJOR holes before we go out and do this. our defense has a chance to be great and we have a great running game and many quality receivers. if we wait until next year for that big play receiver it wont kill us

Getterdone , LOL , Try telling that to half the people on here. That's what i meant in my post. Some still don't get it. good night all !!

I agree you can't compare the two...Incognito is nothing more than a scrub...a cheap scrub, Marshall IS a top 5 receiver...do top receivers get paid for what they produce or should they? Of course. Nothing is written in stone...I wouldn't discount the Dolphins holding out for the price of Marshall to drop..but that is a risky game that others can play also.

I don't know why fans are surprised about White, he fits the wildcat package.

nice article mando----Rob u betta talk to mando ---(he gettn at BG)

Size does matter-and kindle is not a parcells player either---he is more of a Steeler OLB---

If they go pass rusher it is Morgan or JPP---if it isnt pass rusher ---it opens the door to all the Earl Thomas, Dan williams, and slightly Cj Spiller fans----they will never draft a wr at 12----so DEZ is a no go---Look for Benn in round 2 he has that Boldin type build---and he can be a player with very good YAC potential-----


I agree witht the list of 2nd round offense game changers---but im not a Best fan---i respect his production and his speed, but i dont think his wiggle in a tight space is at the level of Spiller, mccluster or mcknight----

Mccluster running that 40 means nothing to me--some guys just dont run a good 40---you loo at tape---mccluster turns the corner your nt catching him---mcknight is slower then Best---but i like mcknight agility and wiggle alot---super smooth---i think out of those 4---him and spiller would be the most effective pass catchers----and that is a huge component of being that next BIG TIME DECOY---ALA REGGIE BUSH

KC Allen, the price is right...lmao....classic one.

on Brandon Marshall
How bout let's make a deal...Tuna is like..Monty, I'll take what's under the box instead of what's behind Door #1 :)

Earl Thomas

Nice article mando.

When is the tickle party going to begin?

WTF! Sounds like someone got to you mando. Looks like a whole lot of backtracking to me. Its not even your style Mando. Oh boy, the herald done gone and emasculated Mando.

fishypete and NJ PHIN,

One of the people Armando "brought back down to earth" was himself.

He is basically giving up the ship on OLB/DE Brandon Graham. I have ALWAYS seen why people knock him and acknowledge his less than prolific stature. People often try to turn him into a midget with their comments "stubby arms" "So much shorter" and that's where I draw the line even if Mr. Parcell's mostly does not.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to look at Parcell's teams and see what type of players he likes to build with.

I am and have always spoken about Brandon Graham from a talent standpoint and a "I feel he will be one of the best defenders to come out of the 1st round" perspective. If the Trifecta doesn't want to pick him... that will end up being on them. Comparing apples to apples I still stack BG's serious motor, extra leverage from his 1-2 inch less height and awesome hand combat skills on his plenty athletic frame vs any OLB/DE type in the draft.

If the Kindles, Hughes, Morgans, JPPs want to stack stats in few years, I'm game!!!!

Parcells is buying the grocceries and his team is exactly where he wants it to be by all his transactions. I know for fact that No one would argue he/they have made mistakes on a number of players since he took over... rigid criteria or not.

The fun of all this guessing to me is more in identifying "killer players" that can play and hoping the Fins have the same feelings about them and draft them. It's not so much fun to play the "what is BP thinking" game and simply sit back to watch and see if I guessed his moves correctly. You are not acting as GM at that point it is more like picking the same lotto numbers as BP.

I may be in the minority but that is what drives me to do the research, watch the game footage and sort through tons of stats and data on college players for gems.

Cheers gents,

Marshall is the only OFF player I would even THINK about using the 12th pick on.
Otherwise the Trifecta goes defense early and often.
The Dez Bryant and CJ Spiller fans can't seem to figure this out. Ridiculous.

Miami may sign marshall but I think they're waiting to see if they can trade down from the #12 spot first and acquire an additional 2nd round pick; then they'd swap a lower round 1 pick for marshall or Vincent jackson

KC Allen,

Don't laugh... with Marshall's wrap sheet and list of on the field temper tantrums there are obviously teams lining up to tell Denver that the #1 round tender is still to high. ONLY Seattle has even kicked the tires on the guy!

I think the fact that 30 teams have basically had a united front regarding this talented player is VERY telling! His stock is definitely dropping. Imo...


I wasnt really sold on getting bigger players everywhere on the roster when Parcells took over, but now I absolutely get it and think it is the way to go. This is a very physical game where a team's ability to aviod injuries goes a long way in determining how good they are at the end of the year. And bigger players simply get hurt a lot less often. So I support this "bigger is better" philosophy 100%.


BG wont be a dolphin but i can see he is one of ur guys---so im rootn for him to prove me wrong---i think another aspect of him that might turn scouts away---is that even on paper he compares to a guy like darryl tapp in height and weight---but the body compisition isnt close---BG body is just really unimpressive from length to muscle tone-----Tapp is ripped, makes him appear more like an athlete

Not saying that really matters b/c if your strong and you can use leverage that all that matters---but when he goes to the combine and senior bowl--and he got weighed with no shirt on---it prob really turned Tuna away

Its a part of the process and a lot of the measurements wavor people opinions too much--some times a football player is just a football player period.....

My picks for the fins

Go get Mclain or Morgan or go nuts and get Spiller and you have a huge playmaker!! How about Spiller first and LB or NT second. The problem w that is u still need a WR! Hmm

Funny how u used Bob Sanders as an example. He is the PERFECT example on why Parcells would never draft a guy like him. He is super talented, but only 5"8. Simply too small to play safety in the NFL, and thats why he hasnt played in 3 years.

brandon marshall comments are being talked about alot and if you think there is no chance your wrong---there is always a chance---who would of thought when ricky was being thrown out the league and tuna came to the phins that Tuna would label a pothead like ricky his favorite player...u never know how parcells will feel about a player---

The whole idea that only one team brought marshall in for a visit isnt significant--a lot of teams want him the only reason that no-one is willing to give up a 1st round pick for him is b/c every GM in the NFL knows mcdaniels tipped is hand too early---

By no means does mcdaniels want BM back---so why give up a first when you know the broncos will be the first ones to blink and lesson thier asking offer---its a game of poker--and in the end there will be 5 or 6 teams in the bidding...he is too talented and too young

I wouldn't discount Spiller...seems to me Parcells traded for a Running back named Martin who again seems to be the same style and size as Spiller. He also paid a first and a third rounder for him...so Parcells isn't afraid to trade draft picks IF he feels he has the right player.

I won't laugh or be suprised WHEN Denver lowers their asking price for Marshall.

Just for the record, I busted a gut when I heard they signed Quinn :)

Rob in OC

Would you agree Parcells likes physical players above anything else.

The Giants won Super Bowl 25 using power football. I think that's what Parcell's style truly is. Found this on wiki so take it for what it's worth.

"The 1990 New York Giants were built to head coach Bill Parcells' specifications of "power football": a powerful defense and an offense that sustained extremely long drives. "

This is what he is trying to install in Miami. I just wonder if that's good enough in the year 2010. Good formula on its face. But the really good teams can strike very very quickly. And to counter that with long sustained drives will cost us the game if Manning or Brees or Rivers or Shaub is on the other side of the ball. Those guys can strike very quickly.

Wow SPILLER in a fins uniform !!


Thanks for the review of my 2nd round game changers post bud.

It is AMAZING that you see McKnight as having better wiggle than Best! WOW! Talk about seeing things differently... I think Best has probably the best wiggle of anyone in the whole draft. Followed closely by Spiller. I would be happy with either but if I could use a 2nd round pick on Best and still get a DEF guy in the 1st that would be lights out ideal imho.

I know you are a guy that looks at things objectively and also doesn't mind thinking out of the box which I totally respect.

We can cordially agree to disagree and simply wait and see these dynomo's apparently playing for other teams if The "Tri-criteria" wants to hit up a moose DT or a Long OLB prospect to fit the defensive mold.

I have SUPER quick and Active ILB/OLB Jamar Chaney (too short as well) and S Morgan Burnett or S Rashad Jones all targeted as my 3rd rounder.

I hope TE Jimmy Graham lasts till the 4rth but, I think he will get taken in the 3rd.




I answered you about Barnes and Pat Simonds in the last blog, just before this one went up.

I see Simonds as a good UDFA signing. Then pack some more weight on him in the trifecta's conditioning program and see if he could be a TE.
Anywho, I kinda see him as a convert to TE.

First Round. Hayden or Spiller or Mclain! Take Spiller but if berry is available take him . Where is Miami going to get a FS???

I can't see Spiller as even a consideration for the Dolphins at this point.
I also can't see the comparison between a proven commodity like the Pro Bowler Curtis Martin to the prospect CJ Spiller.

OLB is probably where Parcells is going to go unless Morgan is available

Spiller will win rookie if year

OLB in first round and WR second round and surprise S in third! ILB in 4th round! DRAFT a NT next year !! Go fins!!

interesting thought---if Dymarius---"BAY BAY" thomas---(by the way i cant get enough of that nickname)stock is rising super fast---i think him and dez bryant are locks for the 1st round---cuz HITLER has spoken---and says Thomas is now a 1st round pick---Hitler is Mayock---b/c i have never seen a guy with more influence over popular opinion---

But back to my thought----if golden tate is there in the 2nd round---do you think he is a poor mans Steve Smith (panthers)---a wr that could start for us and give us that extra wildcat back to use---he could fill too needs possibly if he is as good as some people think---

What i like about him is he compares to steve smith to me with his agresssion and explosiveness to attack the jumpballs---but the kid works so hard---he really impressed me with his work ethic-----

Is Thomas Jones on the phins raidar seeing how it is ricky's last year and Ronnie is injury prone?

i know he is gettin old but he is a Beast and will be great for a few more years

Mclain to fins in first! Tate to fins in second .

Fake GM,

Didn't we have a ton of folks on IR last year?

Or were they simply just too old (Ferg) and the rest too small?

Ronnie Brown is a BIG back isn't he?

I agree it helps to have bigger players and would not want to go to battle with a sea of small ones but, discounting a bunch of players that are 1-2 inches shorter may be playing too much into old school thinking.

Sean Smith seemed to be a step or two behind a number of WR's on many plays last year. I guess time will tell if he is a tad too big and slow at the CB position or if it was just that he was a rook.

The big player debate holds more water with me as you get closer to the ball and Center. It is a passing league with rules changed every year to keep the TD's rolling in. The smash mouth guys will always be a fan favorite but the consistant guys that aren't physical freaks like D Revis will continue to be the best options imo.

Good post...very thought provoking.


sign in no order:
olb:j.t.& t.laboy or k.bullock
fs:oj atogwe(rfa) or mark roman< nt:k.clancey or d.lewis
te:lj.smith or alge crumpler
cb:d.townsand or a.henry<< rb:b.westbrook or w.parker
trade for marshall 2nd.rd 2010 & 4th in 2011.

something like this need's too happen.besides the te/cb/rb because those are'nt as pressing need's as olb/fs/nt/wr in no order.

I like Tate 2nd rd but I like LaFell and Benn better than him


Thomas Jones is a KC Chief now.

good post @1:44 allen

Thomas Jones already signed with the Chiefs.

Offerdahl we miss u

Favorite fins. Offerdahl and Griese and Stephenson and McNeal and Warfield

Favorite fins. Offerdahl and Griese and Stephenson and McNeal and Warfield

Posted by: aquaandorange | March 18, 2010 at 02:12 AM

Hey, don't forget Tim McKyer.

OK seriously, you got a problem with the Csonk?

Los Lobos,

Good post with some nice points.

If I had to say the "Big People" "Power Football" team that Parcells is trying to build in his heyday Giant's Superbowl image than I think it may fall short in this day and age. The Jets, Ravens and Bucs have all proved that if you have a CRAZY DEF anything is possible... yeah the Jets totally backed in but then almost made the freakin most of being in the second season with their #1 and strong running. Of course Luck played a huge part as the Bolts Kicker simply had a horrific game or they probably win.

The main "Achilles Heel" of the "Power Football" team is exactly like you said...it robs you of the ability to switch gears and get back into games should you have some bad breaks or fall behind due to luck or bogus P.I. calls etc.

I don't mind the long play drives and eating clock, they simply need to make sure there is a couple guys (better than Ginn if he can't raise his game this year a lot) that can't get deep and will make the play or draw the P.I. ... The easiest free yards in football.


im out all..im prayn 4 some sharper news


I saw that and due to already having Turner that may not be such a bad idea. It would really depend on how they view Turners long term potential... yr 1 bubkus... year 2 I hope he can at least be a rotational guy to see if he is a gamer.

The long shot 6-7 round guys are so hard to guess at... =)


cheers allen...have a good one bro


That is why I had to reshape my board as I think the real Vlaue is not giving a 1st for Spiller it's giving a 2nd for Best and getting a literal carbon copy.

Maintain the power to get biggest/baddest/best DEF player in round 1 and then probably again in round 3.

I am not a huge fan of comparing guys that have already been there and done it in the NFL to college guys either. Thats why i usually say "reminds me of so and so" or "a so and so like player" speaking in absolutes is tough with the bust factor lurking around every call made on player talents.


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