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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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"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"

Saban was a college coach who had the same things to prove coming into Miami. All he proved was that college coaches are hit and miss and just because they're good coaching 18 to 20 year old KIDS doesn't mean they have a clue how to deal with 25 to 38 year old grown men with families.

Everyone thinks there is a proven solution that will work if only we listen to their advice. Think for two seconds please. Name 5 successful college coaches who made it in the NFL, I will name 5 who didn't. Name 5 first round qbs who succeeded, I will name 5 who didn't. Then I can name 5 fifth to seventh rounders who are hall of famers and busts.

There is no definite solution. We can only hope that in 2 to 3 years we can look back and say Ross made a good decision.

If Ireland stays then why not make Nolan the head coach?

Face it, the fish stink! It don't matter who the coach or GM is. The real fact is most of the games you did win were with smoke and mirrors, besides that, you can't even fill your stadium up even if you are in playoff contention, now that is sad! Then again, I guess that 1-7 home record don't help either.


If Ireland stays then why not make Nolan the head coach?

Posted by: BoulderFinFan | January 03, 2011 at 11:41 AM


Not impossible to envision, but there's not much about Nolan's track record in that job to excite you.

Sparano has a considerably higher W/L percentage as a head guy, actually.

Nolan is a terrific coordinator (most of the time, anyway) but that doesn;t necessarily translate into great HC skills. Very different job.

Boulderfinfan, sometimes great OCs or DCs are just that. I would hate to see Nolan leave his position as DC to try Head Coach again

Aloco, WTF???????????????????????????????


I was thinking more of the QB position. Miami hasn't gone after a first rounder since 83.

If they are unsure about being able to aquire a quality QB through Free Agency, how aggressive will they be in the draft.

Joe I agree with almost everything you said but how is it that you say our defense can't stop the good teams? Steelers,Packers,Jets, not exactly inferior teams.

JB, to me, Henne has looked shell shocked since the Titans game. I firmly believe Thigpen would fare no better if he played longer. Having played behind that o-line all year, Henne knows whats coming. He needs to get rid of the ball quick or get buried. No time for multiple reads.

With more playing Time, Thigpen would suffer the same way. BTW, Henne was in shotgun against the Bills but not this week. And Yes, 3rd & 11 & we're running play action LMAO

Even if you discounted everything else, and graded Sparano for being a game-manager solely, how would he grade out this year?

Anyone that says anything above a D is lying to themselves.

Are you willing to put a "D" Coach against the best in the league twice a year next year? If not, you have your answer on what Ross needs to do.

jocol, thks for stopping by u troll ass-hole. Now go back down on ur Jet boyfriend

Mr. Aloco

Because of you I am now hooked on phonics

Did they fire Dan Henning yet?

sparano giving press conference now on www.miamidolphins.com

Uncle Soiled, What should the mighty airbreathers do????????


By your crap shoot logic it sounds like you are saying we should play rock,paper,sicorrs for our next head coach, and throw darts at a board (blind folded) for our first draft pick....I refuse to believe that...

I side more with DC Dolfan in the sense that you have a system that you live and die with....and you draft/aquire according to your system.....not hope for the best....

But I shoudn't be giving DC any credit because i am "one of the fools" whi thinks McNabb would be a good stop-gap..lol

You know what's sad? These reporters ( Armando and others ) either write their opinoins or repeat ( not report ) the obvious. What happened to the day where reporters ask the tough questions ( the ones that made Mora go playoffs!, or Parcells have a meltdown )! Any of you on this blog can do just as good a job and have great input but where's the reporter in Ross's or Sporanos face asking the hard questions. There's people out there that spend their hard earned money on tickets and Ross and Sparano could care less!! This team used to be the winningest sports franchise in history and now we're a joke. For GOD'S sake we were beat by the LIONS! Armando become a reporter and not a leech! Get the damn answers! I guess you just went to jounalism school for a paycheck!

if i had to pick between keeping ireland as GM and Henning as OC i would keep Henning.

The problem is evaluating talent, they ran the wildcat because they have a bad base offense, that the same reason they dont take shots down field. Henning is the scapegoat, but his hands are tied because the QB and O-line sucks

JB, honestly, I'm not impressed with any FA QB coming out. I don't want to pay McNabb big money that's for sure. We do need to draft a QB and sign a FA so at minimum we have competition in camp with Henne.

Gonna check out the press conference...check back later, fellas.

Ok, as a Pats fan my recommendation is for Ross to give the coaching job to Mike Nolan. He's a smart guy, did well with Miami's defense, had success coaching in the NFL, like Belichick had a father who was a long time coach, and like Belichick likely learned from his previous mistakes and would be an excellent coach the second time around. Belichick couldn't find any Head Coaching job for years after Cleveland.

Haven't heard it anywhere else--forget Cowher and Gruden. Promote Mike Nolan

Denny, Gb was playing with a QB who was concussed the week before. Still threw for over 300 yds on 18 completions. With a banged up Donald Driver, & the 1st week without Finley. They were regrouping after so many injuries. I don't put much stock into it. If we played them tomorrow, they'd tear us up.

Vs. Pitt, look at the stats from that game & tell me we really "stopped" them. Big Ben threw for over 300, 70% completion, 2 td & a 132 QB rating.

How'd we do against Baltimore? No good.

The Jets? Seriously? The team that went 13 quarters without a TD? We caught them in a funk & I think they're still in it. Yesterdays game is irrelevant. I still think they beat Indy though.

Good offenses tears this Defense up.

Thanks NHFINSFAN.....its good to know Henne has "over 900 plays...and Tyler has over 100"...lol

I may get flamed, but I have been a Henn supporter all along. Perhaps it's because we needed him to suceed simply because we didn't want to start over at the QB position.

The problem I have had lately is his comment about "its not life or death" as it pertains to making a mistake.

I personally become very angry with myself when I make a mistake and am a very competitive person. I understand it isn't life or death but I have to question his "fire" after a statement like that.

LO, give us a break. Why do Bess and Marshall run out routes ALL the time? Dan Henning's offense is the perfect build for Chad Pennington, not Chad Henne. His dink and dunk philosophy and make no mistakes by the QB is an outdated offense in today's NFL. Henning, I hope the door not only hits him in the ass but knocks him down on the way out.


Hot off da presses

Sparano fired in Miami.

Possible coaching candidates Todd Bowles the secondary coach, Sherman Lewis Dallas WR coach and Ron Rivera SD defensive cordinator

Montreal, you say Bellicheck's don't grow on trees. True enough. But the Saints got a Coach who's pretty good. So did the Falcons. Rams Coach is good. Seattle got one. Baltimore. Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh. Kansas City. All these teams have recently gone out (in the past few years) and acquired the TYPE of Coach that can put a system in place and make/teach/manage their teams to victories.

No, I wouldn't put all those guys mentioned in the same league with Bellicheck, but I'd say they are MUCH closer than a Tony Sparano. Sparano is a cheerleader, that's it. NOT a teacher, NOT an enforcer, NOT an advisor. A cheerleader and sometimes motivator (for what that's worth).

THOSE franchises have either not fell off or turned their teams around (and it didn't take half a decade to do it).

What's our excuse?

JB, my problem is Henne didn't play like this at Michigan. Somewhere between Michigan and today, his confidence and competitive leadership has been coached out of him. Now I don't know who stays or who goes but unless his name is Harbaugh I would rather give Sporano another year to get it right with a totally new offensive philosophy and offensive coaches. We will see shortly.

kris, That's just it. That's my point exactly. Logic doesn't dictate future success for an NFL team if you look at the track record.

Logically your team should be set if you have the first pick in the draft and you take a qb or you should be screwed if you get one in the 7th. But we have Ryan Leaf and Tom Brady to throw that out the window. Logically an experienced head nfl coach should be a better choice than a first timer but we know that doesn't always work. I'm just saying to everyone that's stating "this is what will fix the Dolphins", get your head out of your a**es because no one will know what's going to work until it's already worked. At that point some people may say I told you so but they were only guessing to begin with. Ofcourse our owner has to listen to advice and make an educated decision. I am in no way suggesting he throw a dart.

Tony's body language was very down today...not just from the loss, but you can sense that his days are numbered.

He was honest in his feelings and he really does like coaching the dolphins...

time will tell what his fate is this week.

kris, I wouldn't be calling you a fool if we acquired McNabb and installed a West Coast offense (that's the system he works best in).

But I don't think we're doing that. And that's why McNabb wouldn't work here. That's his system, not a good fit with whatever we're calling our offense, and that's the way it works in the NFL.

An (OLD) good QB on 1 team doesn't just transfer to another team unless they have similarities that makes it a good fit.

Like you said kris, I have an open mind. Lay out your reasons why McNabb would be a good fit here and maybe I'll rethink my position.

However, I saw the guy all year. And, other than the long-bomb, I'm not sure what McNabb offers more than say a Chad Henne.


I agree scheme has to match the QB in any situation.

Motivating and knowing how much a guy practices or plays in a game does not make you a head coach. It makes you an overly enthusiastic statistician.

Sparano is not a coach. I don't know what other proof people need. Morono will NEVER get this team to the next level. He's too narrow minded, old fashioned & is incapable of playing the game the way it's played today. That's why he tries to play it like in the 80's.

As for Jeff ireland? He better hope it was Parcells making all those bone headed signings & draft picks. He'll need to convince Ross of that for him to have ANY hope.

McNabb is about 30 pounds overweight...that's reason enough for me and the main reason that Shananhan benched him...HE'S TOO SLOW.

sorry again, but all those losers are still gone. sometime today or tomorrow.



I disagree with your assesment of Sparano.

1) He is an enforcer.

2) He is detail oriented.

3) He is amotivator.

These are his strengths to name a few. I don't know if this is enough to out weigh his weaknesses though.



im not defending henning i hate his play calling, but what im trying to say is that he is not the main problem. i dont like irelands drafts.

"I side more with DC Dolfan in the sense that you have a system that you live and die with....and you draft/aquire according to your system.....not hope for the best"....

You're not siding so much with DC dolphan here as you are siding with all of the teams that have used this formula and had success.

It's also what the Dolphins are doing right now so I don't really see the point that is trying to be made. Are the Dolphins not drafting really big players and have they not installed a system that is designed around a rushing attack and grinding clock eating style?

Cameron installed a system that was about speed and quickness. He was given one season to make it succeed. Tonys been given 3 seasons. Neither have succeeded and they used two different approaches. I'm not quite sure where that all leaves us.

I just listened to sparanos presser. He doesn't sound like a coach thats gonna get fired the next few days


I posted yesterday as a joke in the words of Dennis Green or something like it "Henne is who I thought he was".

Henne regressed every year at Michigan. He had a spark as a freshmen and then it got worse every year. He always flopped in big games and played his best when Michigan was down and the pressure was off. He does the same thing for Miami.

Ditto Boulder

bobby, I'm not sure nolan stays if he doesn't get the HC job.
Ross has a very tough decision to make. If money is not the issue then he should just go out and get cowher. We might not win a superbowl anytime soon but we can be a playoff team next year with cowher.

Joe, need I name all of the injuries the Dolphins were dealing with the week against green bay and all season for that matter?

Why is it that fans of a team are so fast to point out that their team won a game only because the other team had injuries but just as quickly completely ignore the multiple injuries on their own team? Odrick, Crowder, Will Allen out, and 3 other players on defense were banged up that week! That is the NFL and injuries effect our team as much as they effect our opponents.


I will agree with you to a point....nobody really knows if something is gonna work until it HAS worked....but I got to say its more of a percantage thing rather than a just an all out crap shoot....There are far more 1st round draft picks enjoyng success in the NFL than there are 6rd draft pick...even if they do bust more often then we like....I think we owe it to ourselves to take that chance....but Only for Newton...in my opinion

didn't henne beat a much higher ranked LSU in the bowl game his senior year? That was a pretty big game wasn't it?

I agree with DC about having a system. Consistency in sticking with that scheme seems to be a problem here.

An offensive scheme needs to be dtermined first with the new OC and then find a QB who matches it.

DC, you mention before we need a franchise QB. That is alot easier said than done. Your suggestion?

Until he's told he's fired, if he's ever told, he needs to go about his work. Why sulk? He's a man, should act like it.

"I just listened to sparanos presser. He doesn't sound like a coach thats gonna get fired the next few days"

That was by far the most coherent and intelligent presser I've heard from Sparano.

Whatever happens, I genuinely wish the man well. He's not a backstabbing weasel like Saban nor a power freak like JJ who disrespected the Dolphins history and saddled the franchise with Wanny.

Tony is an honorable guy and I have no doubt he loves the Dolphins and desperately would like to get the job done.

That's not an endorsement (I'm fine with them making the move) only saying he doesn't deserve the kind of contempt heaped on some past Dolphins coaches.


I actually posted that yesterday. Are you stealing my lines? Or did you mean you saw it yesterday?

This team has to decide what they want to be. Pats and Belichek want to throw 65% of the time and run 35% of the time. Make a decision and go out and get the players to make it work. And I'm tired of if it works, go away from it. Cleveland's TE caught 10 passes for 100 yards, they used it all day because we couldn't stop it. AND there is a WHOLE field to use, not just sideline and out routes all day long. Like I said, need an outside OC with a different philosophy and a scheme that we stick with.


I think our real problem is our Offensive Line. We could not run all year. You can not tell me that Ronnie and Ricky just suddenly forgot how to run?? In the Patriots game there were no holes for either of our RB's. Our QB at times yesterday barely got the ball before he was side stepping a defender. Thigpen looked ok because he is more mobile the Henne. That is why I say its our offensive line more then anything else. With that being said. Sparono's specialty is the OL. Three years later even with Carey and Long... its still one of the worst in the NFL. The OL was better last year before we cut every one. Take it for whats its worth. But if they release Brown, Williams or Henne it would be a mistake.With the 15th overall pick you have to take the best player out there but if you can't get an OL men you better pick up a veteran from some where or this team won't be able to run or have enough time for anyone to get down field.

I don;t know how anyone could seriously mention McNabb at this point.

I saw him fading (badly) here in Philly and he's only regressed further from there.

He's also a locker-room divider who is NOT good for overall chemistry.

Yes, we absolutely need to upgrade QB but McNabb is NOT the answer---and hasn;t been for the better part of 3-4 years. The man is toast.


You do know everyone is saying Newton is 3 years away from being a starter and needs to be in the right system.

Do you believe this fan base can be that patient?

Denny, you bring up guys who hadn't played all year. Will Allen didn't make it out of traning camp. What big loss was he? You never had him to begin with!

Odrick played a half. What did we really miss out of him?
Crowder DID play in GB.

The guy who didn't I believe was Jerry. And based on how he played the rest of the season, we were probably better off him not playing.

You're comparing Miami's guys who didn't even contribute to proven starters & probowl type players on the packers. Oh, and I fogrot, Clay Matthews, a likely Defensive MVP candidate. He didn't play either!

Fair enough Kris. But put me on record as being one of the guys who is scared of taking Newton.

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