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Dolphins a loooong way from being good enough

The question the Dolphins were asking, the question I was asking, the question you had to be asking as the New England Patriots dismantled the Dolphins 38-7 on Sunday, was ARE THE DOLPHINS THIS FAR FROM BEING PATRIOTS GOOD?

Make no mistake, the Dolphins do have talent. Their defensive line is good and deep. Their specialists (punter, kicker, long snapper) are among the better ones in the league. Their wide receiver corps is one good deep threat from being outstanding. The corners will be good once they figure out how to catch interceptions.

But this game was such a total butt whipping, such a domination, that it had to raise questions about, about ... everything.

Remember the Patriots didn't play Wes Welker, or Deion Branch, or Aaron Hernandez. Remember they turned the lights out on the offense in the fourth quarter -- running instead of passing on third down, and running one fourth down when they could have kicked a field goal.

And still the Patriots looked like they're a great team while the Dolphins looked like a bottom drawer team light years from competing for a title. Understand that New England won twice as many games as the Dolphins this year. Twice as many!

And they're rebuilding. And they have three picks in the first 33 selections of next spring's NFL draft. And they have six selections in the first three rounds.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, will be without a second round pick.

Miami will have the No. 15 pick in the first round behind Carolina, Denver, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona, Cleveland, San Francisco, Tennessee, Dallas, Washington, Houston, Minnesota, Detroit and St. Louis.

Can the Dolphins pluck a super star at No. 15 that will bridge the gap between them and New England? Only if that guy is a future Hall of Fame worthy quarterback. But those don't typically hang out until the 15th pick in the draft unless several folks in several NFL outposts are blowing it on draft day.

The point?

No matter what happens in the next couple of days. No matter who the next coach or general manager is -- be it Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland or someone else -- this Dolphins team isn't borderline title ready.

They think they're close.

They think they're one or two players away. I believe they're five or six players away. And as we saw on Sunday, that's a far, far way from the team the Dolphins have to beat to win their division.

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Anyone watching the game yesterday saw a true coach on the sideline. Pats are up 38-0 and Belechick got upset at a delay penalty in the 4th quarter. This man knows football, breathes and bleeds football. We need a coach to infiltrate the locker room with passion about playing and winning. We've seen enough of the FG fist pump. 80 yard drives that result in 3 points wont get it done in the NFL. Sorry Tony- Time to go. It was real. It was fun. It just wasn't real fun. Next!!

My "dream" for the Dolphins in 2011. January, Dolphins hire Harbaugh. February, labor dispute resolved. April, in a stunning turn of events Luck says he will not play in Carolina and forces a trade to the Dolphins in ruturn for their 1st round picks in 2011, 2012, and Chad Henne. May, I win the lottery. December, Dolphins wrap up the AFC East by crushing the Jets for the 2nd time in 2011. Come on now, a guy can dream!


HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!

Jason LaCanfora's tweets:


Some of the parameters of the Dolphins job change, I'm hearing Cowher not a fit there.
half a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Reply Retweet . Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland very likely to stay there. Cowher would want bigtime salary and make sweeping changes to football ops. So, unless
2 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Reply Retweet . Hearing people close to Cowher don't expect him to land in Miami at this point. Dolphins very well might fire Sparano, but hearing that ...

It's official Eric Mangini is done in Browns-ville

I agree that no matter who coaches if he dont have a QB he's not gonna succeed, unless you have a defense like Baltimore had in "03".....And the fin D has been susceptible during games, Not to Mention the Dolphin Special teams that New England could make a 30 minute highlight reel on what they did to the phins this season.......

ok, I was wrong about Tampa but I'm not wrong about the QB play. It's a chance that needs to be made. Miami has a young team and can handle it. after years of watching poor QB play this is what needs to happen. at worst, you get good competition with Henne. that is better than what they have now.

...read tweets from bottom up

Watching NFL network:

Said Jeff Ireland appears to be safe but Sparano might be out.

Says Cowher probably not a fit because he would want control over personel and to start a new regime from top to bottom.

Not a fan of coaches having total control. It didn't work here with either JJ or Saban (and for that matter Shula's drafts in later years were pretty lousy, too)

Even Belichick has traditionally worked with a strong GM rather than having a one-man dictatorship over personnell.

If Jeff Ireland is safe I can't say I am against it. I don't think any of us know what kind of control he has had if any before Parcells stepped away. Who knows Henne could of been Ireland's guy or maybe he was Parcell's guy. Regardless Ireland needs to shake things up. If he stays pat with Sparano and Henne the Dolphins will be blacked out locally all year.

In Ireland we trust?

Andy NJ...if that true it seems like the right call to me....the GMs job is to aquire talent....Ireland has done that...its the coaches job to develop talent.....the coaches have not done that

Sporano still on for his 11:30 news conference. Looks like he's staying. He deserves a chance to turn around the offense like he did the defense.

Chemtrails, which are also commonly referred to as aerosols, differ from aircraft vapour trails in that they often linger in the sky for hours and can be seen in grid-like patterns, in parallel lines (see above) or forming ‘X’s in the sky.

ireland was handed job of miami's football czar with only ross to answer to. he didnt earn the poition. all the parcells guys should leave together;just the way they came.

Dr. Roberts,

I am with you on that too. I don't like coaches having double duties. I for one am a big Jon Gruden guy. He is an A plus X and O's guy but he sucked when he had say over personel and he worked with a GM but had final say.

If Ireland stays, no way Cowher comes to Miami...he wants total control and I don't like giving him that much power.

....so with Cowher out, who's next on the list?

In three years the fist pumper has fixed one thing on his team, and that's the defense, and it wasnt him that fixed it it was Mike Nolan, He(Sporono) that kept the Zombie(Henning) and that's why the fins have been 1 and 10 in the month of december/jan,the last 2 years, sorry but change must come...........

Nooooo to Cowher...Nooooo to Gruden...Stay the heck away from these big costly names...Haven't we learned ANYTHING in the last 10 years?? Good Lord, no wonder we can't make any progress...We do the same mistakes OVER and OVER again...!

kris,

yeah man I am fine with Ireland staying on because like I said who knows how much he has put his imprint on this team. Miami has some talent but need some Ferraris to make it work.

bill parcells didn't pick the players for the giants when he won....

Parcells hasn't won a super bowl since then...

Yet Armando still LOVES Parcells.

We have limited draft options this year, but the Dolphins should focus solely on getting a QB(s). If there is someone they really like then we need to do what it takes to get that QB. Trade up potentially. We're pretty much starting from zero at QB. I don't think Thigpen or Henne are even second string backup worthy. We'll never be in contention for anything again as long as there is a lack of talent at QB.

Put 100% of the focus there and make the rest of the team patchwork if they have to...Teams that have a franchise QB are good for years on end. Teams that don't are left in perpetual mediocrity just like the Dolphins are now.

I wouldn't definitely rule out Cowher based on those "tweets." Maybe he IS looking for absolute power, maybe he's open to other scenarios once he talks to people.

Harbaugh could be a possibility but if he likes the Bay Area (as most people do) the Niners job would certainly be tempting as well and would excite that fanbase.

Many fans love Morono's fist pump.

But they are blinded and don't see that his coaching style (super conservative), playing for field goals, never taking chances, never overruling the OC, etc...

Why are some of you so blind?

Make no mistake, Ireland is part of the problem. He's average at player evaluations. Do you want average?

Fellas,

Outside of keeping Sparano (because I can't fathom keeping him) who would you guys want and who do you think is going to be the coach in 2011?

I want Gruden personally. Although he might be going to Cleveland or possibly too rich for Miami. He gets the most out of his talent. He knows how to coach up QB's and that's what Miami needs. They need a coach with an offensive mind (Stephen Ross wants entertainment) and someone who can coach the QB position because Miami clearly needs a QB.

From day one, I have maintained that Henne wasn't it because he doesn't have IT. When he was drafted, noticed that he wasn't too thrilled about the whole situation. I mentioned it during a live blog session and was told that Henne was just quiet and shy. Give me a break. He didn't show emotion then as he doesn't show emotion now because even though he likes to play football, he is not PASSIONATE about playing football, and it shows.

Just look at it this way. What was Brady doing on the sideline when the Dolphins were on offense? He was studying, looking at photos, discussing strategy and gaming. This guy was playing for nothing, yet, he continued to WORK. What does Henne do in the same situation with much on the line (his job) and getting his ARSE whipped? Nothing! He sits on the bench with that dumbass look on his face as if nothing matters. PASSIONLESS. QUITTER. LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM. It is what it is folks. Henne lovers will bash me for my opinion but it is quite clear that Henne was a bust from day 1. Some here will continue to drink the Kool-Aid and that is fine; you can have my portion because I won't drink it.

Just one note here:

If it's wide-open offense you want then Cowher is NOT your guy. He's the very definition of an old-school, run first philosophy. Always has been. There's no reason to believe that would change in Miami.

I like the guy and think there's plenty of merit with that style...just saying.

cocoajoe,

There is no way any of us know what Ireland is capable of. He was in Parcells shadow for 3 years. Look at the situation in Detroit with Matt Millen. Millen was horrible but they kept his protege whose name I can't recall but he has done a good job. Your statement is clearly personal and not fact. None of us know what goes on behind the scenes we can all guess.

Honestly, Gruden scares me.

I recognize all the good in his career but just can't ignore what a shambles he left Tampa in at the end. His drafts were absolutely horrible.

Don't hate the guy at all...but I see a mixed-bag there.

ireland hides behind the scenes,not willing to venture out from the shadows. he's been unwilling to give the media or fans a philosophy or direction. his picks have been done in secrecy with a dart board. we'll never know the truth about anything that happens because thats the parcells way. he only apologized to dez when story leaked out. i dont trust him.

Gruden as STRICTLY a coach, paired with a strong GM would work for me...but I have a hunch he's gunning for more control than that (with little reason to give it to him based on his record with personnell)

REPORT FROM NFL NETWORK:

STEPHEN ROSS TO MEET WITH TONY SPARANO AND JEFF IRELAND SOMETIME THIS WEEK.

For a guy like me that doesn't sound good. I like a swift firing. I don't like the what are we going to fix this situation. Sparano is over his head as a Head Coach that much is obvious. Miami is going to be black out locally all year fellas if they keep both Sparano and Ireland.

Jim Harbaugh!!! We need a young coach who's hungry, who wants to show the world what he has accomplished at Stanford is no fluke!! We don't need a guy with a big ego, that's won a SB before, he'll walk in and have the same mentality as Johnson and Saban. "I know it all cause I've won it all, I'm always right, everybody else is always wrong!". No thanks! And by getting Harbaugh, we get an excellent QB coach, which, needless to say, we desperately need. He's GOT to be our guy. Mr.Ross, make it happen!!

Dr. Roberts,

I want Gruden but don't think it will happen. I too would want him only as a Head Coach. I don't like total control guys either because there is no lateral movement or a way to shake things up if things go wrong.

greg z--- Agreed the whole "secrecy" thing is annoying as hell but Belichick is really the guy to blame for it. He was the first to employ this hyper-paranoid level of treating everything from injuries to personnell moves as State Secrets and it's spread across the leage.

Ireland & Co.'s style is what 80% of the teams in the league are doing these days, unfortunately.

It would be awesome if:

*We signed Bill Cowher as coach and kept Mike Nolan as DC. Let's add to this the need for a new OC, Sp Teams Coach as well as new QB & OL Coaches.

*We cut Ronnie and Ricky and traded Henne.

*We sign DeAngelo Williams(RB), Steve Breston(WR), and Zach Miller(TE). Also sign a veteran QB as a backup and a couple special teams guys for the coverage unit.

*We draft Jake Locker(QB-1st) and a guy like Kendall Hunter(RB-3rd). Picks 4-7 all on defense.

*We cut Jake loose right off the bat. He would have a solid line. A stud TE. Two solid RB's and a great FB. He would have a star No.1 wideout and two studs in split-end Breston and slot Bess. Hartline and Moore would round out the WR corps as deep threats. Cowher and Nolan would milk all they could out of the defense. A new special teams coach and a couple of key players would drastically improve the coverage unit. And we'd be a playoff team. One more year of solid picking in the draft and for Jake to grow, and we'd be contending for titles.

NEWSFLASH - Compared to the Pats, we will not sniff a division title in years. Yesterday showed us why we need a change. It all starts with winning your division & at this rate, that ain't happening for awhile.

Disturbing trends over the years & within this season are grounds for getting rid of them. Here they go, in no particular order:

1.In 3 years, we have been unable to defend TE's

2. Special teams are piss poor every year with a climax in 2010.

3. Poor coaching decisions.
Example A. Having Moore return a kickoff for about 40 yards & then replace him on the next one for Patrick Cobbs.

Example B. Continuing to play Chris Clemmons at FS even though he has the reaction time of a snail & instincts of a brain dead person.

4. Your so called Franchise QB showed signs of progression early in the season and now is in a complete tailspin (Think John Beck)

5. Insistence on changing the o-line every season with less results than each prior season. Destroys any continuity for passing or running. See #7 for proof

6. Inability to equip this team with any game changer. Offense, defense, or ST. Most notable Offense.

7. Offense 2008 - 14th in ypg(with the easiest schedule in the world), 2009 - 17th in ypg, 2010 - 31st in ypg

8. All the wasted draft picks, money & bust FA signings which have kept this team from ever getting beyond mediocre.

9. Defense continues to be great against inferior teams, but is unable to stop good teams. NE could have scored 52 if they wanted to.

NE's 2nd team o-line was mauling Miami's #1 d-line. As the schedule got tougher, even with supposed better talent, this team regressed. The numbers speak for themselves. Thats on Sparano, ireland, Henning & the rest of them...they gotta go if we ever wanna catch up.

WHY DO YUO GUYS SAY COWER DOSNT GROM QBS AND ALWAYS THINK OF THE RUNN,HE DID A GREET JOB WIH TERY BRADSHAW

Can't imagine getting more than a 5th rounder for Henne. Where's his value aside from maybe being a reclamation project (or semi-solid backup) for someone?

Just can't see a long line of suitors for him.

DLT,

Just curious, how do you address our offensive line?

Remember, if you're going to do fake ALoco posts the "L" is capitalized.

(but "greet job with Bradshaw was a lol)

New England may win the Super Bowl, and get more chances than the Dolphins in the draft. New England has improved its game with talent acquired from the Dolphins. New England has made better choices than the Dolphins in previous year's drafts. New England's game plan is superior to the Dolphins' game plan. New England's coordinators design better plays than the Dolphins' coordinators. Etc., etc., etc. Need I say more about the cause of the problem of the Miami Dolphins football team?

Another thing to consider when draft time comes around. Without CBA in place.

1) Free agency will come after draft.

2) Players can't be traded for draft picks.

It will interesting to see how the uncertainty of what free agents you can aquire affects the draft.

Joe Schmoe, to me, point#5 is the biggest head scratcher. I REALLY don't understand what the thinking was behind those decisions. And for the record, Joe Burger sucks. How can any of Miami's so-called experts think for a second Burger was a better option than Grove??? That's retarded.

The Dolphins problem is on the offensive side of the game...Henne doesn't have the mentality to play...he's too slow and has shown to be afraid to take risk's....never mind he's not really accurate...just two examples yesterday, he throw behind Marshall and Bess. Here's two QB's that would be an vast approvement over Henne in the draft, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. Both should be available from the 3rd round on. Both come from offense's that are aggressive and both can run well.

Not sure why it needs to be pointed out the Patriots are better than the Dolphins. Last I checked, they were pretty much better than 30 other teams as well.

It's like pointing out that the ocean is salty or that Ernest Borgnine is old. I think we get it.

I think Seth McKinney was a better center than Joe Burger. Yikes!!

Aloco, You do know that Terry Bradshaw was retired 5 years before Cower got there??????LOL At ALoco, Keep up the "Insane" fight my Lil friend.......

With the OL, I think Miami would probably want to go with Incognito at C next year (he says that's where he's most comfortable as well), upgrade at RT, and possibly move Carey to a guard spot.

Not saying that would solve everything but I think it would be a lot better.

If I NEVER see Lydon Murtha again (and I mean even in a mall or Burger King) that would be nice. Man was he awful.

3. Poor coaching decisions.
Example A. Having Moore return a kickoff for about 40 yards & then replace him on the next one for Patrick Cobbs.


Joe Schmoe....I thought I was the only on that saw that...WTF???? who does that???

Fishypete, when Thigpen went in the game, he looked just like Henne. He made some very risky throws where almost 4-5 of them were almost picked.

Thiggy made some nice throws down the sideline to Marshall & Bess, but Henne has done this too this year.

Yesterday I realized Henne isn't dumb. If he is, then so is Thigpen for attemtping the same passes. Thiggy has a little more touch. The problem with the offense is the offense more than the QB.

Joe Schmoe....I thought I was the only on that saw that...WTF???? who does that???

A coach who doesn't have a friggin clue. Proof positive right there Sparano is oblivious. When something works, PULL THE DAMN PLUG ON IT! Instead of giving Moore a look, he brings Cobbs back in? Unexplainable.

Craig, you say Denver was mediocre with Shanahan. I say they turned any guy off the street into a 1,000 yd. rusher (something we can't do with 2 legitimate, 1st-round backs.

What you need to watch for in DC is how Shanahan's SYSTEM will be put in place this offseason, and how much BETTER the team does once he finds the players to play in it. Sure, McNabb was a mistake, but there are fools on here (you might be one) that want to repeat that mistake in Miami by drafting McNabb. Frankly, Grossman's outplayed McNabb in his 3 games because he's better in Shanahan's system.

You'll see next year how many wins Washington has, and you'll see how many Miami has, and you can decide then about Shanahan.

My point wasn't about any other team, it was about having a SYSTEM on how to win games and structure your team and draft/acquire talent in today's NFL. Miami currently doesn't have that system. They haven't had it for over a decade. And they've been just awful over that time.

You can talk all day about drafting this guy, or 4-5 guys there, but that might only fix things for a year.

If you want a LONG-TERM fix for this team, there's only 2 things that need to be done (not saying either is easy or can be done this offseason). 1) Have a SYSTEM that works, meaning, consistently wins games in today's NFL, and 2) find a franchise QB.

That's it. Everything else is on the fringes. You want a great oline, dline, WRs, RBs, ST, that's ALL FRINGE! The two points I mentioned are how you provide long-term stability to a NFL franchise.

JB, it may be to our advantage that FA comes after the draft. Whatever holes we can't fill in the draft can really be pursue in FA. Especially FA running backs, very impressive guys who will be available.

THE GANG OF DEFEET IS NOW ATACKING ME,CUBAN IS A BROWN DONKEY AND DYIG BREED IS A BRONWN MONKY

Andy from NJ, WTF are you talking about? Personal? No, it's business. Parcells never intended to stay and that's a fact. Why would a manager in any buisness bring in a new employee and not let them do their job, especially knowing they weren't going to be there long? Offer advice, answer any questions but NOT do their jobs for them? It just doesn't make sense.

One more thing, Parcells himself when asked about a year ago said, drafts were a group decision. And that includes Ireland.

We need 2 QB's & 3 RB's. I hope Ross gets his checkbook ready. Just to fill those holes ALONE it would cost us the whole draft.

Add to that a TE, WR, Nickel DB, FS, ILB, C, LG.

MAYBE a RT & RG too. Oi vei

gosh u bunch of girls sound like we went 1-15 again yea im including you too Armando, 7-9 is not that end of the world, we just need a coach who can take advantage of what the players do good and not so much trying to fit them into a certain mold and that wants to go win a game and not sacred of losing it.

If Fisher becomes available I would do nearly anything to get him.

I know many would disagree based on his recent track record but I think you'd find few people around the NFL who don;t have tremendous respect for him. And don't forget the Titans don't exactly have a Robert Kraft or Rooney running the operation. Bud Adams is a historic cheapskate.

Short of that, I'm actually a fan of finding the "next" great coach...the young assistant clearly on the rise that has the right motivational skills and pairing him with a solid GM structure. Remember, every "name" didn't start out as a star. They all came up the same ladder.

No chance Ross follows that route (I think Sparano is staying, anyway) but I'd be fine with it.

Joe,

One thing I noticed yesterday, was the lack of use of the shotgun.

Originally I thought Hennne wasn't comfortable in it, but then I see Thigpen doing the same thing. Even saw play aaction when there was no way we were running the ball.

You do have to wonder what effect the OC and QB coach has on these guys.

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