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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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You gotta have the bad to appreciate the good.

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


ITS THE QB Stupid!!
Bill Clinton

To those of you saying we don't have the ammo or none of the qb's in the draft are "can't miss" picks, you are wrong and have the same kick the fg mentality of Sparano.

We can trade current players that is our ammo.
Matt Ryan wasn't considered a "can't miss" pick.

We must make a move or I guarantee we will be having the same conversation each and every year. Look at the good teams and then look at the bad teams and tell me how their qb play is...

For what its worth, Mortensen on ESPN said he expects the Dolphins to make a decision about HC in the next 24 hours.

I agree Dr. Roberts. Sean Smith did improve as the season wore on and had a ton of knockdowns. That means he's in the right position to make plays and that's what is most important. He will get better at hauling in ints as he seems to be a well motivated kid.

Sean Smith is a problem?? I'm sorry but every offensive coach in the NFL is laughing at you right now. When Sean is in there they throw at Vonte more for a reason. Does Sean Smith need to hang on to the ball, ABSOLUTELY!!! But the fact he got his hands on many balls to pick off shows he is around the ball, A LOT

JB---totally agreed with you regarding Sparano.

It's as if some folks think saying ANYTHING positive about the guy is an endorsement and that's not the case at all.

That said, I'm not going to dump on him the way a true weasel like Saban DESERVED it.

Tony Sparano is a good man. Period. I can desire a change and still recognize that much.

Today the Browns beat us at firing their coach first. Did you know that the Browns and Dolphins have an history of not been able to get it right with a coach since 1996? With the Browns, Mangini followed Chris Palmer, Butch Davis and Romeo Crennel on Cleveland’s coaching carousel. The instability up top and lack of continuity perhaps best explains the Browns’ 64-129 record and one playoff appearance since their rebirth in 1999.

The Dolphins currently has Sparano (or Morono as some like to call him on this blog), who followed Cameron, Saban, Bates, Wannstedt, Johnson since '96. I am leaving Shula out of the mix: He's a legend here. Our record is slight better than the Browns: 125-109 and 9 playoff apperances.

Yet, it feels like we are comparable in many ways to the Browns. Some great name coaches there but none were able to turn the teams around. My point is, could any coach, a star coach as Cowher turn a team around if we don't have the brilliant drafts and trades that the Patriots organization have possessed the last few years? I have my doubts.

So yes, Armando, we have a loooonng way to go. Until we are able to put together a front office of great minds (and some luck), we will never catch the Patriots for years to come.

At last but not the least, I apologize for some of the comments I made yesterday on your blog. I was really venting out at the way the Dolphins played yesterday. Yes, we played as bad as the Jacksonville blow out in '99.

Happy New Year to all the Dolfans. I truly enjoy chatting with some of you this year. Keep in touch through the draft, ahs and ohs.

Peace Out,


Mando, Come on man! The Fins slept thru this one. It's pretty obvious that we need a QB, as Henne is a disaster of a project. He should have been the 2nd string since mid season. Aside from the INT's, he is absolutely immobile, slow, and lacks the quick thinking that a QB needs. He's the worse QB I've seen here. Very Jay Feely like. We will need to address the RB situation, and the OC needs to be canned, but I think the base "D" and "O" are pretty solid aside from that.

dr. roberts

I heard that too on ESPN but then read on NFL network that Stephen Ross will meet with both Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano all this week. So I guess until something is is said we can only guess.

DR,R oberts,

agree you on the draft and Sean Smith is sure improved a lot this year ;

Kris , nice quote,it's the QB stupid .

the gang of defeat are still a sleep .

Sporano is a joke as well. What do you people see in him? He is happy with medocracy, and seems to be lost most of the time. And, you do realize the coordinators are his guys. Henning is his responsibility.

I think we should go after Orton and try and get Kosar to be the OC!!!!

Here's the thing with Smith. I think a lot of folks got wrapped up in his poor play early on and then refused to believe their eyes when he started playing MUCH better after his benching.

The drops were huge, no question, but you're not even in position to MAKE those plays without being in the right coverage.

He's a big guy with a huge wingspan and range. That's a VERY valuable commodity against bigger receivers.

If you saw the tip he made near the end of the Jets game (which prevented a likely game-winning TD) you understand just how valuable that size and athleticism can be.

I'm sure the int's will come. He's a keeper.


Denny, Soliai was a Mueller pick. I hate to repeat myself, but I just don't understand this unconditional loyalty to this regime. They are overwhelmed with needs, they had too many misses in the draft, even though I will give them kudos for Bess and Wake. The other glaring thing that I've harped on several times, why don't so many of these Sparano fans see how dumb the guy is? Easily the worst game day coach we ever had. Remember all that Henning bashing for 10 weeks? Don't they realize Sparano is Hennings boss and ultimately responsible for how he does his job? TS just doesn't have OC experience to know how to override Henning, or he didn't have the balls to tell him we don't call a run on 3rd and goal from the 14, yet we were STILL calling runs on 3rd and LONG. That my friends falls back on Sparano...He is 'supposed to be' in charge, period. Also how could they not have known how fragile Pennington was after the last surgery, not know he was not ready, how could the HC of a team not know he has no viable 2nd string QB? Clueless, in over there heads. Ireland, so arrogant like he knows more then everyone, yet everyone is drafting DYNAMIC players and he is drafting mostly lugs and experiments and bringing in endless castoffs from other teams practice squads....does anyone really believe that is recipe to beat Belichek? Sparano can't outwit his own shadow.

Last time I checked, the Pats are not undefeated. They are not lightyears ahead of every team in the league. they struggled against several teams this year. Yes, they are good! very good! But the Fins have similar talent (except for QB, of course). Where talent wise are they leaps ahead of us aside from QB? perhaps Offensive line is a notch above, but the rest is just good coaching and being a solid team that is on the same page. The FIns are lost and it is mainly coaching and a terrible QB (who is supposed to be the on field coach).

Hate to say it, but before hiring Kosar I think I'd want to get the guy in a rehab program.

I know that sounds mean, but have you SEEN Bernie lately??

Ross is a smart man. I believe if he does make a move he is going to have a pretty good idea of the repalcement before he does. Perhaps that is the reason he is waiting to make his descision.

Curious about something here. What do you guys (and some gals) think of the Alabama QB? He is projected to go really late in the draft, but something about the guy tells me he might be better than what he appears to be. We know he is well coached (we hate Satan, but he is a good coach)and he showed well in the Bowl game. Think he might be a good risk to take in the 3rd or 4th round if he is there? Just curious.

Check this out, Todd McShays initial mock:

1. Carolina - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Denver - Nick Fairley, DT/DE, Auburn
3. Buffalo - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
4. Cincinnati - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
5. Arizon - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Gabbert did say he is going back after Missouri's bowl game but with a potential CBA with a rookie wage scale he might want to reconsider because the wage scale won't be in place until 2012 draft

Denny, I didn't say our defense sucked. I said it struggles against good teams. This is fact. We really didn't stop a good offense all season. I'm not making this stuff up, I'm sorry I had to burst your bubble and lead you towards suicide. Sadly, stats don't lie. Miami's D is not what people hype it up to be.

Don't hang yourself. at least Miami's D is close to being fixed. You have something to live for.

Don't forget, too, that IF Miami makes the change then they MUST adhere to the Rooney Rule and interview at least one minority candidate. If you don't do that you get penalized.

It's not like Ross can just get on the horn this afternoon and hire Cowher or whoever. There's a protocol he must follow.

I'm not criticizing the timing either, ACCEPT for Henning. 24hrs is long enough to send the old man into retirement.

And if he doesn't want to be pushed, he should be forced.

THAT'S SOMETHING Sparano can do TODAY to show he understands what needs to be done in the future. Tell the media Dan wouldn't leave, and so I TOSSED HIM!!!

yea, I have heard Bernie lately and he sounds drunk.

OK, fellas...have to actually be a bit productive now and run.

Nice batting things around with you and sorry if I get a bit long-winded at times!

So many want CHANGE. Fire everybody seems to be a popular battle cry.
Out of the skillet into the fire, as my father used to tell me.

Change is not always the best avenue. What has been lacking here since the days of Shula has been consistency.

I'm not endorsing anybody, I'm simply saying we have to get off this carousel of changing regimes every 2-3 years and get behind somebody and run with it.

yeah cant forget about the rooney rule maybe they can interview the guy that the pitt panthers just fired. ooooooooooops! maybe not

Two quickie comments because I gotta run...

I agree with those defending Smith...yeah his blown too many interceptions, but a deflected pass is still considered a great play. Plus he has long arms to match up with the taller receivers than many corners don't have.

Ross is not so dumb to fire the coach without being confident he has the replacement he wants. Most likely he is doing his due diligence on that. We may hear nothing for a couple of days. The fact he has made no PUBLIC statement of confidence in Sparano, shows either he is seriously debating it or just a man that keeps is game plan close to his sleeve, either way a good sign.

Even Peter King said in his column today that the word was late season Sparano likely would stay, but after losing at home to Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit and then the total lay down in NE, just how to you explain that away to Mr. Ross?

This is what we need. 1) Sporano and Ireland stays. Look at the last three years of the draft. Besides Pat white & Henne, we have drafted solid players. Dansby & Brandon Marshall great pick ups. What are we missing. QB. Look at all the teams in the playoffs and it start and ends with a QB.
2) Get a QB. 3) Get an Offensive Coord.
4) Get a good QB coach. 5) Running back. 6) Interior offensive linemen.

With that we will be successful.

The Dolphins Suck

I don't like the Rooney rule at all. It is an insult to minority candidates to interview just for the sake of interviewing them when they have no chance at getting the job anyway. If there is a legit head coaching search then by all means there should be a fairness in the search but if say for example the 49ers who apparantly want Harbaugh know that's what they want they shouldn't have to interview anyone else.

Figrued I stir the pot with that one.

Much more productive forum than last night. Thanks for the thoughts, gotta try to get some work done though, CYA.

Except for Home.

I am on record as desiring a lesbian owner, GM, and/or coach for this franchise. Lesbians are the most industrious and hard-working Americans of all.

yeah david successful untill we make the playoffs and never get past the first round because sparano doesnt know what the heck hes doing on sundays and will always get outcoached in any big game lets just face facts we need a new head coach

OK it's 1:37 and the Regime is still intact! Not impressed ROSS!!! Let's get moving...Mangini was fired at 10:08 this morning...What is it going to take for you to grow a set! Fans don't want to come to a stadium and watch their favorite team go 1-7 to teams like the lions, bills and the brownies...wake up...get rid of SPARANO, IRELAND AND FOR GODS SAKE GET RID OF HENNE!!!

Thigpen looked ALOT like Henne yesterday.

Allot of questionable throws into traffic.
Balls that could have been Int'd. 1 taken away via penalty.

Bunch of passes off target like up the right seam to Moore that was underthrown. Have we seen Chad do that this year? YEP.

Last week Shuler stopped his route & Henne threw an int to where he should have been. This week he wasn't looking & ball hit him in the face.

The pass up the middle to Moore was off target but Moore found a way to catch it with 2 guys on him. Good job of the WR bailing out the QB.

Yesterdays game convinced me Henne or Thigpen aren't the biggest issue. It's the 0-line & offense system itself. Both QBs were making the same throws & bad ones.

Henne threw 2 consecutive jump balls to Marshall like Thigpen did last week.

Either they are both stupid or it's the offense. Aside from a little better touch, Thigpen would fare no better than Chad. If Thigpen played as much as Henne behind this line, he'd be throwing off time, not allowing plays to develop or would be running for his life too.


BLOW IT UP ALREADY. I'm tired of having to constantly re-check the Net.

Henne threw an interception 3 minutes into yesterdays game. It wasn't tipped, it was at the other team!

Joe S,

What's up buddy! The reason both Thigpen and Henne look similar is because they are both back ups bro. It's pretty plain and simple to me.

For the record, I am not a lesbian myself. My husband Charles and I have been married nearly 30 years. It is simply that I recognize that lesbians are quietly the Titans of Industry and natural leaders. The Dolphins would have great success under lesbian guidance.

Thanks Andy!!!

On Marshall:

1. His schtick is old after 1 year. Flailing his arms as if to say "Told you to just throw it up" after making a catch. Only to see him drop the very next one.

2. Flailing his arms again & sitting a play out cause the ball fell 10 feet in front of him. He obviously didn't see Henne get clocked and lucky the ball fell incomplete & not a sack.

3. Mucking it up with Thigpen & yet had not seen him do that all year with Henne. What a joke of a team player. Could you be anymore OBVIOUS?



we need an adult head coach that understands this is pro football and like it or not there are guys who practice like superstars and play like garbage and guys who practice like garbage and play like superstars and sparano falls too much in love with the great practice guys and thats just one reason you end up with a so so roster and a 7-9 record or worse every year

great drafts?
you have to be kidding?

Andy, I knoww that. My point is that the offense is too damn predictable. They both played the same. Like I said, either the offense sucks or both players are stupid. I go with the offense firstly.

Debb, the Pick Henne threw was into double coverage. Almost every throw seemed to be into double coverage. I saw thigpen do it ut his were lucky to fall incomplete.

I really don't think either QB is as bad as we think. I think the offense is more to blame.

Agree with Joe on Marshall.

I guess you people that have nothing better to do then to blog stupid comments should go to another place. You obviously don't know a thing about football. Henne is a backup and will be nothing more than that! This team will consistantly be a 7-9 team until a real QB and speed comes this way. Oh and we learn to draft football players and not 2nd round baseball players! (pat white)

Joe...you have to understand all that's behind Marshall's actions. All the behind the scenes stuff as far as the QB coach, henning, and Henne himself. This is not Marshall's fault, he wants to win, and those coaches aren't helping. Watch BM thrive with a new OC, QB, QB coach, and possibly HC.

Jimmy Johnson and Dan Marino need to reconcile their differences, and forgive each other to end this QB curse that is haunting us year after year.

Well, I will eat my words earlier in the year. I thought Henne was the answer, and i am not sure I feel that way any longer. He took steps back. I will still point out I think the O-coordinator and the coach have big blame in his progress. He needs to play more loose and not so worried he is going to get pulled. But we still need another QB.

I think we should hire as GM the guy who said the Colts have "injury protected" there team. What planet are you from dude?

The NFL is evolving, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Miami is still playing the Dallas offense from the 90's. We need a new offensive coaching staff to upgrade our system and find the right QB to run it.

Remember; whatever you think about what we have, in the NFL consistently winning teams have continuity at both the Head Coach and QB positions (Colts, Patriots, Green Bay, Giants, Falcons, Saints, and Steelers). That's the recipe !!!




Pats cheat. Organizations Ned to STOP trading with them!!!!!!!!!!

DEB has spoken. ALL HAIL DEB! Anyone with a differing opinion is ignorant in all things football.

This is a team that needs a coaching staff that will utilize whatever talents or lack of to its max. The weak schedule coming up will help bring confidence to the whole club.
But I'm sure Henne won't behind center for next year. It's likely Sparanus may stay but it won't help the team. It'll only help Mr Ross to save some bucks while looking for a new coach once Sparanus' contract expires, after 2011.

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