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Why not the Dolphins? Let us count the ways

The Dolphins are officially in "Why not us?" mode for the third consecutive year.

What is "Why not us?" mode you ask?

It is defined by not being consistent enough early in the season to have a clear and certain path to the playoffs late in the year. The team asking the question finds itself teetering on success or disaster late in the season. It is defined as being bad enough to be in dire straits, but still good enough to perhaps pull off the improbable and sneak into the postseason.

And that is exactly where the Dolphins see themselves today on the eve of Sunday's possible season-defining meeting against the New York Jets. The Dolphins are 6-6 and longshots to make the playoffs, but coach Tony Sparano is selling his team on the idea that a longshot sometimes sneaks into the playoffs in the NFL.

So, why wouldn't it be the Dolphins?

“This is an important game," Sparano said Friday. "My message to the team is that, the team that we’re playing was 6-6 last year at this time and ended up losing in the AFC Championship game, so … ran off a bunch of wins at the end of the year. We’re still in the hunt, somebody from that group that is in the hunt right now can possibly do that. So, why not us.”

OK, if you are a fan that only wants to read the happy news, please stop reading now and go to the comment section to agree the Dolphins have a solid chance to get in the playoffs. It's all good, see you during the live blog Sunday.

If, however, you want the truth, stick around. Here goes:

Why not the 2010 Dolphins?

Well, for one thing the comparison to the 2009 Jets is ridiculous on so many levels I cannot believe Sparano went there.

First, the Jets had one of the NFL's best running game last season. They were No. 1. Their defense was also dominant. They were No. 1 in the NFL in total yards (not important) and points allowed (very important). And New York still required had to profit from the fact both Cincinnati and Indianapolis basically laid down -- playing reserves for a majority of their games versus New York -- for the Jets to back into the playoffs.

The Dolphins have neither the running game at this point nor the defense to carry them into the postseason. And, the chance a couple of teams will lay down for them at the end of the year is not great. The Patriots might, might do it if they've already clinched home field advantage before the regular-season finale, but there is no assurance of that.

Barring that, Miami must travel to Foxboro where New England is undefeated this year and just administered a 45-3 whipping of New York. So the comparison between the 2010 Dolphins and 2009 Jets is just not logical.

I will tell you that "Why not us" mode worked for Miami in 2008. The Dolphins struggled mightily early in the season before finding their identity and rolling to the AFC East title. But, again, that team enjoyed a different and much more favorable situation for turning "Why not us" into "It is us!" than today's Miami team.

The Dolphins had an easier schedule in 2008. Their running game was superior than it is now. Their quarterback, Chad Pennington, didn't make mistakes and ultimately was in the conversation for league MVP. The Patriots didn't have Tom Brady, who was out for the season with a knee injury. The Dolphins were healthy almost top to bottom. And the Jets collapsed.

It was a wonderful sum of all the right circumstances that led Miami to the playoffs.

This year, the Dolphins are not a healthy team. Just Friday, the club announced both right tackle Vernon Carey and wide receiver Brian Hartline are out for Sunday's game.

So the Dolphins might once again be asking everyone "Why not us."

Unfortunately for them, this year there are myriad reasons why not.

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Odin, I couldn't agree more. Ireland just doesn't get it. Parcells was/is full of $hit as the day is long but even he could let things slide if you were good (see Ricky Williams).

Ireland is the same kid you punched in the mouth in the 3rd grade.

takeafterme,

REPOST:

Thats exactly how nfl gm's end up with 1st rd busts at qb. Looking at numbers alone.

You have to look at level of competition, talent surrounded by, the sytem and offensive philosophy of the system he comes from. Is it simple or complex?

You also have to look at the kid's decision making skills. Then after considering all of these things you still gotta look at his mechanical strengths and weaknesses, size, arm, touch, and athleticism.

Then there's desire, can he lead grown men( leadership and maturity), reads, progression, how fast he gets rid of the ball, sacks, what situations he's most often throws picks.

There's so much more that goes into drafting a qb 1st rd that goes a lot further than numbers alone.

Where is Africa Nigeria Grant?

Belichek's system is very simple and basic. Look for players very difficult to game plan for and put them in specifically designed schemes that are difficult to game plan for.

On the other hand we land players that arent difficult to game plan for and place them in schemes equally undifficult to game plan for then blame it on execution.

Wake up Parcellians this isnt rocket science! LOL............

Hey Dying, you're right about the Parcellian big is better doctrine. But it goes hand in hand with the 60s 3 yards and a cloud of dust philosophy. It's only one of the problems but it might be argued, the biggest one.

Cocoajoe,

Danny Woodhead coudnt even be a towel boy on this team when considering the Parcellian mold.
UNF^CKING BELIEVABLE!!!

Not sure I agree with that Belichek assesment. He knows how to put players in a position to succeed, and he also has TOM BRADY. Show me a GREAT coach and I'll show you a BETTER QB!

Someone please name me a great coach who didn't have a great QB?

I wonder if the Parcellians will ever get memo "player profiling" isnt the same as judging "player talent". How long will teams have to keep beating our brains out before this message gets accross?

deytreder,

I know there's no way to guarantee it. But I honestly believe Carson Palmer would look like Tom Brady if Belichek had him. Palmer's looking average in an enept offensive system.

I believe Palmer is a top 5 qb and would be proving it if he were in the right hands.

On the other hand, if Brady were now in Cincinati he wouldnt fare much better than Palmer is right now. So great qb great decision makers go hand in hand.

One without the other equals pedestrian results.

Sa

deytreder,

There has been a great coach to win a SB without a great qb with the 2000 Ravens defense. Still there has never been a great qb that's won a championship without a great coach in any kind of recorded championship history.

Dying, this bunch has made so many mistakes, it's just mind boggling. They let good players go with no compensation I might add, sign castoffs....loved those Cowboys, seems like when in doubt, sign a Cowboy. That should have been a clue.

But it all goes back to player evaluation. Somebody said earlier, a person off the street could do as good. I'm inclined to agree with him.

Carson has not looked confident in a long time, and I don't think he looks as comfortable or throws the ball as well as Brady. I think Carsons best days are over. The reality is, you need both, and its very rare that a great coach and great QB end up on the same team. It isn't as simple as drafting or trading, its an elusive accomplishment.

I would be all for trying to sign Carson Palmer this offseason. But the downside of it is he has to come here. I just dont think Palmer would look much better in our present offensive system and philosophy.

deytreder,

I beg to differ. Great coaches and qb's ending up on the same team is much more common place than you think. We witness it at the ned of nearly every season.

They are called SUPER BOWL CHAMPS buddy. LOL...........

DB, I knew you would mention the Dilfer. But who was the GREAT coach? Billick? Great? That is a stretch. And you know they won on insane defense, that was a fluke, a one year wonder and nothing more. How many SB did they win after that, or even come close? 0.

deytreder,

Tom Brady wouldnt look comfortable throwing the ball if he had two ball hogs like Ocho Cinco and TO in his ear every f^cking play. LOL...........

deytreder,

Like it or not, the single most defining criterior for being a great coach is leading your team to a SB victory. You'll be in a very lonely place trying to convince the SB ring doesnt place Billick in very lofty company.

John Madden only won 1 SB. Would you classify him as not being a great coach too. If so you find many that disagree.

Lots of great coaches have won only one SB. Turning the trick without a great qb is even more difficult. Its difficult enough doing it with a great qb.

deytreder,

My deal is that when a team's successful everyone in the organization deserves a little of the credit and vice versa when a team isnt successful. They all need eachother.

If Fred Flintstone and Jughead aren't a championship calibre combo I'll suck a teradactyl egg!

When Mr. Burns gets these guys executing properly, we'll be unstopable!

Yaba-Dabba-Doo and a Fist Pump Too!!!!

Well then by the same line of thought, it was a mistake to pair Marino and Shula together. That was a bad move by the GM.

NEXT YEAR 2 CHOICES ;;;;;;;;

1- IF TONY AND IRELAND STAY FORGET ABOUT DRAFTING A QB .IIN THE LAST YEAR OF THEIR CONTRACT THE WILL NOT WAIT TO DEVOLP A NEW QB BUT PACKING A FEW PLAYERS FOR A FRANCHISE QB.


2-IF THERE'S A NEW RGIME IN TOWN ,THEY WILL DRAFT A QB IN THE FIRST ROUND AND WAIT TO SEE AND THAT MEANS ALL YOU DONKEYS SHOULD WAIT BETWEEN 2-4 YEARS TO SEE IF IT'S WORKING .

I SAY TONY AND IRELAND BOTH WILL STAY TO AVOID THE 2-4 YEARS WAITING ........WHAT SATY YOU

Also Earl Morrall will never go down in any of the historical annulls but he was a very key ingredient in the makings of our 72-73 undefeated season reeling off like 10 straight victories. Had Morrall fallen on his face we never even make the playoffs.

Griese was out for 10 games.

deytreder,

Now you're doing serious grasping:

Well then by the same line of thought, it was a mistake to pair Marino and Shula together. That was a bad move by the GM.

Posted by: deytreder | December 11, 2010 at 07:49 PM


Clearly they made a SB together. We could never build a truly dominant defense or running game around Marino. We consistently drafted to far back and were over taken by the Buffalo Bills who finally started getting thier upper level draft pick right under Marv Levy.

Between the Bills and Broncos also beginning to get thier lowly draft picks right. We were just squarely overtaken. A victim of our own overall success. You only get rewarded for that by picking further back in the draft you know.

Making it more difficult to build an ovcerall championship calibre team. I do know what Im talking about.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW!

Cha CHING!!!!

Time to shut down the snow plow and break open a bottle.

It's a freaking Blizzard outside, got a fire going inside and me and my favorite Midget Hottie are staying in for the night.

Life is GOOD in the WOODS tonight!

Death to rexy's wetsies!!!!

deytreder,

We did make one helluva run at it in the Marino era considering where we consistently drafted and being overtaken by both Denver/Buffalo overall talent wise. Now we just look downright pathetic even though our draft status has been consitently lower than in the Shula/Marino era. LOL.............

IS IT TRUE THAT MARINO KNOWN FOR NOT SIGNING ANY THING BEFORE HE GETS PAID IN FULL .

Watching the Heisman show right now. If junior LeMichael James comes out this year he'll easily have the greatest impact next year of the 4 guys up for this years award.

THE HEISMAN PRESENTAION IS ON ESPN , I SEE NEWTON , LUCK AND OTHERS

Just said Oregon rb Lemichael James is the nation's top rusher and scorer in 2010. The guy's absolutely electric and game changing!

Aloco,

If we draft a QB in the first round, we're not wasting anymore time.

We start him from day 1 and if he hasn't won a Super Bowl by WEEK 3 we cut him and start over AGAIN.

As good as Henning and Sporano are at developing young QB's he should make the Hall of Fame by season's end!

LeMichael James:

Oregon running back LaMichael James has done a lot this season. He leads the nation in rushing yards (152.91) and has helped the Ducks capture the Pac-10 title as well as a perfect 12-0 season followed by a spot in the BCS National Championship Game against No. 1 Auburn on Jan. 10.

James has clocked 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the time of his game before.

This guy would look great in Dolphins green should he come out this year and is avaoilable for us!

DB, mentioning Dilfer is grasping. The subject here is findng a winning formula. Not focusing on the biggest fluke SB winner and trying to suggest that is a model for success. Only once did Shula/Marino win more than one playoff game in a season. That is not exactly my idea of making one helluva run. Buffalo made a far better run than than they ever did.

WHO'S GOING TO GET THE HEISMAN AWARD ? IT'S ON ESPN

Damn! LeMichael James is only a sophmore.

LaOdin likes the sound of LaMichael James.

I think he could make LaOdin forget about LaRonnie and LaRicky in La-No time!

deytreder,

Obviously this is leading to nowhere. Myabe we both can just agree to disagree. Capiche?

Damn, Kellen Moore looks like he's Andrew Luck's son sitting next to him. LOL............

DB I agree with u 100% on all of those things. He plays in the SEC. I understand the system that he's playing in is one that assists him plenty but all in all his numbers are through the roof for playing in the SEC so competition isn't the factor the real factor for him will be NFL offenses. I'm all for anyone u feel would be better because I know that u know ur stuff but Cam Newton looks like a risk because he's not a pocket passer and Luck looks good but his numbers are a little shy of what Mallet has done. Why do u not think Mallet can play in the NFL and do u think Henne is the answer and if not who do u bring in t replace him?

ANDREW LUCK
CAM NEWTON
KELLEAN MOORE

I SAY ANDREW LUCK WILL WIN

DB, can't we at least cuss each other out first, see which foul names we can get through the blog censor?

I hear you friend. It's too far fetched to expect any regime to come in and get a SB in 3 years. It's also important to know when to invest further in what you have and when to cut losses. I'd like to see a new GM/HC that we respect and admire, let them FINALLY bring a top notch QB to the team, and let them ride for awhile. Watching the two stooges bumble about is just not very comforting.

Cam Newton will win.

It has been written!

If not, I will rant and rave and scream and cry about what a conspiracy the Heisman award has become!

takeafterme,

I just hear to many experts sayin Mallet's decision making's a HUGE issue. No one really doubts his talent, in decision making they are saying he throws very untimely picks and bone headed palys.

This really scares me when talking about replacing Henne. Henne has some boneheade issues too. Sounds like replacing a bone head with a bonehead. Replacing Henne with Henne. LOL..........

deytreder,

I agree with you 100% on everything buddy! LoL............

Can any poster here that's from our early 70's championship era imagine what our offense would have looked like without Paul Warfield and Mercury Morris? Pretty much what it looks like right now. LoL........

30 tds 11 ints that aint bad almost 3 t 1 tds to ints

in the words of a very middle of the road x coach. "playoffs? playoffs?? are you kidding me? PLAYOFFS???

Too many reasons why "IT WONT BE US" this year. too many to go into but there are plenty of reasons why NOT us.....I'll just say Dan Henning is near the top of the list!!!!

Larry Czonka was pretty much a 25-30 carry 85yd per game power back. Morris could score from anywhere on the field and so could Warfield.

Pretty much..........

Except I think you could add Jim Langer and Larry Little to Morris and Warfield.

How about Warfield for one of the coolest football names of all times.

WARFIELD!!!!

takeafterme,

30 tds 11 picks can easily translate to 20tds 21 picks on the nfl level with the faster more sophicated pass rushes and coverage designs. Especially if the qb has decision making red flags coming in.

On the nfl level a 20 td 21 pick qb might be called 3rd string qb.

Tony Dorsett still looks pretty young standing in the background I believe he's slightly older than me. LOL........

ODIN, YOU R RIGHT .NEWTON IS THE WINNER .HE LOOKS GOOD AND SAYS ALL THE RIGHT THINGS .

WE CAN DRAFT NEWTON AND START HIM LIKE SANCHEZ.HE'S THE NEXT 15 MILLION A YEAR MAN .

Odinseye,

I do agree with all in your above post! LOL........

superPHIN,

You were NEARLY right if you just said "near the top".

I don't care if God was the GM and Jesus Christ himself the Head Coach, Dan Henning would still be terrified of the Hail Mary!!!!

So your saying that both luck and newton as well as most qbs in college will be 4th stringers because their td to int percentages are worst than his lol.

Larry Little is not only the greatest dolphins pulling guards of alltime. He's one of the greatest period. The Pats John Hannah was one helluve guard too.

takeafterme,

Just saying with boneheaded decisions red flags Mallett may be more succeptable than others. When there a huge red flag about a qb's decision making proceed only with the greatest of cautions.

You better have the absolute best qb coach in the league before deciding to tread that path.

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