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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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Our O-Line was a mess. I said right before our first game Soprano made a huge mistake in Pre-Season by not setting the O-Line in that 1st preseason game and going with it. He tinkered and screwed with it the entire Pre-season and look what we got. Also this churning of the bottom of the roster every stinkin week provided what? NOTHING Another mistake.

Chico you there? I posted yesterday "Henne was who I thought he was" to Rob in OC.

Anyway fellas,

To back my point. I remember Henne being indecisive too many times. He was a 4 year starter and never seemed to progress to where I thought he would. He did have some nice moments at Michigan but I am not surprised by the lack of pocket awareness, accuracy, no touch and no leadership I see with Henne in Miami





I believe as well our O line is in rough shape.

If going after an O lineman in the first round is there strategy, they will either take a RT or move back in the draft to grab an interior lineman.


The problem with college QB's (aside from the precious few GENUINE can't miss guys like an Elway or Manning) is that people see them doing all these great things on tv but the speed of the game is VASTLY different at that level.

As often as not, it simply doesn't translate to the pros---especially against much more sophisticated defenses.

It's the very definition of a crapshoot with these guys, and our assessment of how they'll do at the pro level is probably wrong FAR more often than right.

Hell, even the people PAID to make those assessments are wrong constantly. The list if "can't miss" busts is endless.

How many of us wanted Brady Quinn, remember? Let alone colossal busts like Leaf, Shuler, etc.

Bottom line: No problem at all if Miami drafts one but I'll wait and see with my own eyes (and about 2-3 years) before knowing anything at all. And the odds of bust are just as good as boom no matter how much homework they do.


I am with you on that one. I knew there was a problem with all the movement in the preseason as well with the o-line. I had a feeling as well that it was going to be a problem.

The running game was a problem for 2 reasons. Ronnie Brown ran not to get hurt and averaged a pathetic 3.6 a carry for a #2 overall pick and also only had 1 run over 20 yards. On the other hand the supposedly washed up Ricky Williams averaged 4.2 and had 3 rushes of over 20 yards.

I know they hadn't played all year but that doesn't take away from the fact that the team was not only counting on them to play but they were supposed to be starters. It doesn't matter if they were hurt before the first game or after the second game, they were all on the roster and supposed to contribute to team success. Our team was supposed to be judged by what ALL of the players who are on it can do. The fact that our projected starters were injured for the GB game hurt our chances at winning that game same as Green Bays injuries.

And losing Will Allen was a HUGE loss. Will Allen (instead of JASON ALLEN!) playing opposite of Vontae Davis makes our defensive backfield SO much better and we probably win two of the games we lost in the early part of the season. You know the games where our DBs were being torched enough that they had to sit Sean Smith. If Will is in there we don't have that problem.

Also, Clay Matthews doesn't play on offense. We were comparing our defense to their offense so you can only use offensive injuries to make your point.

Whatever happens I hope it happens quickly

Personally I think Newton is the 2nd best QB in the draft behind Luck. The most impressed with any college player all year was the Bama game-on the road against a very solid team who just happens to be the defending natl champs...Down by 21 points early, he scratched and willed his team to victory. No other player has faced scrutiny like him all year and yet he performed each week (mental focus and toughness). He is strong armed, confident, mobile and a leader (something Miami QB does not have). I doubt most of you can name two other players on Auburn? Other than Luck, no other player meaned more to their team than Newton....If he is available at 15- Miami should take him!!!

Me too Bobby but we were told there will be a decision"sometime" this week. I can't take the waiting!

JB, I'm not a personnel guy, and don't watch enough college ball to even be an amateur scout. My theory is you have to be in it to win it. Most franchise QBs are found in the 1st-round. So I say play the probabilities. Others here say that's a waste of a pick. But other than Long, I say which 1st-round draft pick has been TOTALLY irreplaceable (Odrick, Davis, Allen, etc.)? You guys probably can't name a single one.

SO, play the probabilities, draft a 1st-round QB this year and every year until you find that guy. Trade for or pick up a veteran too in the meantime. Just one that fits in whatever it is Miami's trying to do on offense.

But, UNTIL that QB is found, sure, we might luck out and win games 1 year, but we won't be consistent (because we're relying on QB play). Get a consistent QB to have a consistent team.

And, I'm not saying this folks like it's easy. But I'm saying it because it's been the same issue for the last 20 years, and it hasn't been resolved.

So, instead of peering around tables and under chairs, isn't it time to address the ELEPHANT in the room?


I was dead set against Quinn.
Yes it is a crap shoot, but the common denominators I have seen in successful NFL QB's are:

1. The physical tools required.

2. Work ethic.

3. Intelligence

4. Heart

Unfortunately not all of these traits can be measured.

Andy NJ my aplogizes I saw it yesterday and thought it was a funny coment on chad henne I dont see henne as a starter in miami much longer but who know


I know Newton may take a season to get up to speed....He makes plays, and you can't coach that out of him....when a play breaks down he will make something out of nothing...my hope is that he has a terrible BOWL GAME and falls down to where we can aquire him.....He will be an exciting winner upwards of 10 seasons

POSTING @ 12:32 is NOT me fellas.

Someone needs to get a brain on here. You are apologizing to me with my name?

Again fellas posting @ 12:32 NOT me.


I really can't disagree with that logic. The only thing that I ask is that we get a QB that matches our scheme.

And if it's by way of the draft, I hope the fan base has the patience for him to develop.

The Marvin Lewis situation is interesting to me. This may be the first time I can recall a coach being so fed up with an organization that he's basically firing THEM with no guarantee of continuing as a HC elsewhere.

Lewis is putting a spotlight on how extraordinarily cheap that franchise has been under Brown. Apparently, his frustration stems over having training facilities that are inferior to some high schools and a skeletal scouting staff.

Even a guy like Belichick couldn;t win consistently under those conditions.

Makes me wonder if Lewis might do very well in a more solid organization that actually spends money.

I have one question?

When is the last time we won 11 games?

When is the last time we won the AFC Crown?

When is the last time we made the playoffs?

and finally...what is the common denominator in all of those things???? and it AIN'T THE COACH!

ITS THE QB Stupid!
Bill Clinton


I am with you bro. I am sold on Cam Newton's athleticism and talent alone. At the 15th pick in the draft why wouldn't you take a chance on that much talent. Cam Newton has size, athleticism, leadership and the over rated arm strength you all mention that Henne has.

JB--agreed on those QB factors. And not one is more important than the others. ALL are necessary.

With Henne, I'd actually feel ok about him at his age IF there was some fire and passion to his game but I see virtually none.

I just don;t know how that can be taught, either. My gut says it can't.


There is no doubt he would be exciting to watch. My hang up on Newton is probably the fact I am of more of conventional thinking at the QB position and prefer a pocket passer.

I have just not seen many, although there are a few, running QB's have success in the NFL.

Good QB play = long term success and play off apperances

I ventured off to comparing their guys who sat out to ours. But, Ok. You wanna focus on their O vs our D? Miami STILL had a HUGE advantage!

You're talking no W. Allen & Odrick

GB had a concussed Rodgers the week before(Top 5 QB) with little to no practice, a banged up Driver(VERY good WR), Starting RT Tauscher OUT, J. Finley OUT( top 2 statistical TE to that point), R. Grant OUT.

GB's O injuries were much more significant to our D injuries & they still moved it on us. Finley was a pro-bowl type player. Tauscher was a pro bowler. Grant is a 1000 yd rusher. You're comparing those losses to W. Allen & Odrick? Come on LOL That, to me, is a VERY weak argument.

Not to mention again, they also had no Matthews, Bigby, Pillar etc...Not EVEN close.

Our defense is not what everyone thinks it is. Against good teams they struggled ALL year. Miami's dominant games on D came against inferior teams. You can look at the game books to see that. Proof is in the pudding. Good QB's & good offenses had their way with us this year.

By the way, does Al Davis seriously think he's going to have a line of good candidates wanting to coach out there as long as HE'S still around??







Like you (possibly)...grew up watching Marino and fell in love with the drop back passer style...I hated running QBs....never liked Randal Cunningham, didn't like Steve Young, and Hared to see Elway run....

But times have changed and its not the late 80's anymore....Peyton Manning is a fossil and perhaps the last of his kind.....

If we don't change with the game....then we will be left even futher in the past

what sparano could say; henne had only 6 minus plays and graded out fairly well. we'll watch more film and correct those mistakes. we have a really resilient bunch in there. they get it,they really do. clemons had 46 offensive plays;only 2 mistakes(for touchdowns). we're getting ready for next year.

Posted by: greg z



It's always tough to project a QB in that spread offense. Josh Freeman was a shotgun QB at Kansas State though as was Sam Bradford of more recent QBs. Donovan McNabb ran a version of a spread option at Syracuse.

I don't think it's going to matter all this Cam Newton debate though because unless Miami trades up I think he will be gone. Too much bad QB play in the NFL and many the teams ahead of Miami suck because they need a QB too.

I think it is safe to say that Sparano will be given one more year. Goodell gave a promise to the fans today that a new CBA will be done and there will be football next year. With that being said it helps alot. We can address some of the needs like we did last year in FA. OL is obviously the biggest need to address.

I think people might harp on me a little but Thigpen looked a little like Jay Fiedler yesterday. If given proper time to prepare for games he could be a stop gap till we get the next Marino. Most of the QB's in this draft are overrated. With that being said we should trade back to get a 2nd rd.


Phillip Rivers is a fossil??

DC....saw your post....I will lay out the case for McNabb tommrow...or later tonite...its almost quitting time

Simply incomprehensible to support Ireland/Sparano. Some of you are in such denial I don't understand why. What have they really done after 3 years? They failed to build on oline other than their very first pick. Two old slow RB's, no deep threat wide returner, no good returner that can ever break anything (Cobbs??? have to be kidding me), the special teams worst in the league, all they did was build a good D line in 3 years and nothing more. Heck they went into the 2010 with no viable 2nd string QB. They are clueless folks, in over their heads. The team didn't play for Sparano yesterday, they like him personally, but not even they believe in him. He stuck with a lame OC for three years and never took responsibility for him, 3rd and long and still running up the middle. Fear of throwing a long ball more than once a game...Pathetic...really...nice guys finish last. Tony S is a nice guy...nothing more. Folks this team is way further from competing than some of you think. Consider the needs: QB, Two RBS, TE, LG,C,RG, WR, returner, ILB, OLB, Special Teams coach, OC, HC. And some of you think we are a few players away? Put the pipe down and thing about it.


Wow your showing my age. Actually Marino was drafted the year I graduated High School.

Okay Joe you proved your point. Not only is our offense the worst in the league but our defense sucks too. We are YEARS away from being relevant, YOU WIN. Now if you will excuse me I'm going to hang myself. (It sounds like a better proposition than continuing this conversation :)

Being a Dolfan since the 60's and remembering well, Griese,Morral,Czonka,Blanda,Mark's bros,Marino,Bonacontti,Shula, etc.brings memories of great players and great coaches.

Today the Fins and the coaches are a joke and it's embarassing to be paying $ and time rooting for a team that plays like S_ _T and haS a owner, Ross, who is satisfired with this travesty.

It's soooo sad that it's pitiful!


dr. roberts - it is a crapshoot and there have been plenty of 1st round busts, but I would rather take my chances on a highly rated 1st rounder than a 2-5th rounder. They are rated high because many people think they have the tools.

It's time to make that investment. I am fed up with trading down for marginal players.

Where the he ll is the Henning Gone headline???

No...Rivers isn't a fossil

In all fairness, what else CAN Sparano (or any other coach) really say about their players? No respectable coach throws their guys under a bus and disses them in public. You'd lose every guy under you by doing that.

Let's not forget Sparano DID bench Henne this year. The fact it only lasted two plays is a result of Pennington's bad shoulder, not a coaching decision.

I don't think Sparano is married to Henne at all and would love an upgrade (if he's still around, that is) but he didn;t have many choices in that regard this past season. He had to coach what he was given.

Anyway, what Sparano says publically and what he thinks privately are likely very different things. Just like any other coach.

Why do so many of you bloggers have this love affair with Odrick? What has he done? Played one f'ing down? I keep reading "When Odrick's back next year, our D-Line is set". Our D is far from set. Like Joe Schmoe said above, we our D struggled all year against good QB's/offenses. I think we have a good D, but all year it seemed they could never get off the field when they had to. Just know that it won't be magically repaired when a oft-injured rookie D-Lineman gets back in the lineup.



You say Sparano's an enforcer? He got embarrassed by Porter, yet played him all season instead of making an example of him, NOT an enforcer. Year 1 Parcells came in and kicked everyone out of the training room. These past 2 years, guys who LIVE in the training room (Crowder, etc.) get extensions and the list keeps growing. Henne showed 3 weeks ago he was unfit to finish out this year. Sparano KNEW that, benches him. Does he stick with his ENFORCEMENT, nope, returns Henne to the game, changes nothing, and the same thing happened all December. Not sure what enforcement you see from Sparano.

Detail-oriented, Sparano's had SIXTEEN weeks of paying attention to detail. Name me ONE thing he's done to improve the team (no, not pickup an "acorn", I mean what has HE done as Coach to improve the team). All these stats he keeps, throws out, what has he done to use those to win a game? What detail has he plucked that led to a win?

Dude, you're giving Sparano WAY too much credit for either something the Coordinators did or the players did. Sparano's done very little other than minimizing penalties (but Miami's historically not been a very penalized team).

So, one thing, minimized penalties. Great. Reason to keep him? Doubt it.

"Thigpen looked a little like Jay Fiedler yesterday. If given proper time to prepare for games he could be a stop gap till we get the next Marino".

He's going to be a stop gap for the next 100 years? Because it's going to take at least that long to find the next Marino. The only reason Fiedler had modest, and I do mean modest, success is because he had a top three defense.

And it's disturbing to me that people are still looking for the "next Marino". How about we just concentrate on getting someone competent at the position and go from there. I mean seriously "the next Marino"? If we're shooting for the stars why don't we try and find the next Johnny Unitas or the next Joe Montana? Lets go all the way.

And I'm afraid

I used to think that NO WAY Sporano drafts a Rookie QB....

Now I think he HAS to draft one as part of his VISION that he lays out to MR. Ross....plus it shoud/will buy him 2-3 more years.....

ITS THE QB Stupid!
Bill Clinton

ALoco---I wouldn't be looking for Miami to be able to move up in the draft. You need real ammo to do that and we have very little in that regard.

Just don't see that as a realistic possibility and who's the "can;t miss" guy we'd be targeting anyway? I don't think ANY of the QB's fit that parameter and if they did other teams would have more ammo to get them anyway.

This blog couldn't be any farther from being wrong. Miami is an offensive coordinator, a QB, and a dynamic running back away from being contenders

Browns go 5-11 twice, Mangini gets fired. Miami goes 7-9 twice.....

Just sayin'.

Did WAKE play yesterday???

If he did or didn't...why does it seem like our D is only as good as HIS QB pressure/sacks

That man needs some help...he can't be expected to keep up that pace for another season or 3

WJRUSU....I don't think it's that simple my friend...

Mangini wasn't well-liked by the players in either NY or Cleveland. Not that you HAVE to be a well-liked guy (Lombardi, Landry, and Shula had their share of bad relations with guys) but with a marginal coach it's a quick ticket out.

Not the same situation with Tony. I'm not endorsing him staying, just saying the internal dynamics are very different. Mangini is just a really negative guy.

Wake did play yesterday..we need another good OLB amd DE to rush from the other side to free wake up more...did u ever consider that wjrusu??

We need another corner. Sean Smith is WAY worse than Jason Allen. Sean Smith can not cover and con not tackle. Sean smith also can not make an interception. So why is this guy wit "great ball skills" even playing? Funny how you look at our leading int leader and it's Jason Allen. Pathetic. Dropping interceptions IS a big deal. If our guys hold on to them--not even all of them-- we win more games. Period. And after watching the New England game my one conclusion is this-- a GREAT O-LINE makes EVERYthing better. Our QB's never have the time that Brady did. And even when the backup QB comes in-- STILL-- lots of time and great run blocking. We have a big pile everytime we try and run the ball... We also need some better young wide receivers. Wallace and More are so far from being special.

For all the Henne backers saying that "He was a four year starter at Michigan this.....He broke records that"....He also had on offense-Mike Hart, Breaston, Braylon Edwards, Manningham, Arrington,Long....Oh and just to prove another point; that maybe the Defense was bad and thats why he never won the big game- Alan Branch, Lamarr Woodley, Leon Hall, David Harris, Shawn Crable,and Brandon Graham (I think?)...I think a number of those guys have done pretty well on their own... So Maybe Henne owes them thanks for getting him to the NFL!!!

Legit number 2 WR with speed...did you consider that wjrusu??

0X80 I agree whole heartedly. I can not for the life of me figure out why no one can see the most obvious call for new leadership.

When the Trifecta came in their stated first order of business was to fix the two lines, O-line and D-line.

Three years later and outr o-line is actually worse than where they started from.

How is it possible that they can't be held completely responsible for this total failure? Isn't Solai a Mueller pick? Our D-line is good and hopefully Odrick will make it better but who knows.

And our o-line is much worse, no need to get into specifics. But the fact of the mater is Ireland picks the players and Tony coaches them and they are bottom three in the NFL. THAT'S IT RIGHT THERE. A f***ing o-line coach and the gm said they would build out from the lines and failed to do it. It was their first priority.

And now we should trust that they're going to fix it, with what proof? They already proved they could make it worse but that's not what we're going for here.

It is for this reason and this reason alone that I wouldn't even hesitate in letting both of these men go.

Thanks Cow....i don't remember them calling his name once....


I'm not endorsing him staying with the team.Simply pointing out what I believe to be his stregths.

He has been a disciplinarian in regards of benching players for breaking team rules.

You don't become the least penalized team for lack of discipline.

As far as Crowder receiving an extension, do we really know how much control he has on that side?

I know Sparano has his weaknesses, but he is an honarable guy and doesn't deserve some of the hate he is getting.

I think you are sharing valid points and not one of the haters and I am not saying he should be our guy next year either.

Along with Wake, Smith was probably the most improved guy on the roster this season.

Yes, he NEEDS to make some of those grabs but if you didn't see a guy making FAR more plays than he had as a rookie then I have to question if maybe you need an eye exam, dude.

He and Vontae are among the least of the team's worries moving forward.

Np bro, he was there, but since he had no help from his opposite side the Patty's doubled him and took him out of the game...we didn't have Dansby either so that didn't help much as well

Another hard day over...now its time to beat the traffic....you guys made this day fly by


ITS THE QB Stupid!!
Bill Clinton

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