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How far from best are the Dolphins in the AFC East?

You know the joke: One Dolphins fan asks another if he thinks the team is close to a championship. The other guy answers he is convinced the Dolphins are indeed close.

"We're just an offense away," the guy says.

Well, the topic of how close the Dolphins are or are not came up, in part, in my Sunday column. Several members of the Dolphins make the point in the column that they believe they are quite close. You'll learn immediately how close one person believes Miami is to the Jets and Patriots.

I never really got into a debate with the folks about how close they think they are or aren't. What's the point? It's just an opinion. And opinions are cheap.

The fact is the Dolphins thought themselves pretty close last year when owner Stephen Ross talked about going to the Super Bowl and coach Tony Sparano agreed at the team's awards dinner. They were wrong. The Dolphins were no closer than the year before.

So, frankly, the opinion in-house at Dolphins camp can be questioned.

My opinion? Hahahaha.

I picked the 2007 Dolphins to go 10-6. They were 1-15. Would you believe I was just a year ahead of schedule on my prediction?

Anyway, I'm dreadful at such predictions.

But a consensus opinion is something different.

If you, Miami's intelligent fans, combine your good thinking and come to a consensus, maybe you're better judges of just where the Dolphins find themselves today. Obviously, today is not the day that matters. The Dolphins will draft and there will be some sort of free agency and trade period.

But today gives us a baseline. Today tells us how far the Dolphins must advance this offseason.

So tell me: How far are the Dolphins from winning the AFC East, for example? Maybe if we combine all your comments, we can reach a consensus.

 

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8-8

a center and a gaurd away from contending..... the running backs were there, henne can throw, just have a steller line.

You've got to be joking? Armando, your getting just as bad as Dave H. Look around and see all the good playoff teams that make it far into the playoffs all have QBs and WRs that can strike quick. NO would have won, if it wasn't for Seattle's upset. To just make it to the playoffs you need to score alot of points, the defense will follow.

6-10 without real competition at QB and RB. Miami has to look past Henne and Brown. And look for better competition.

Your dreadfulness is not limited to your predictions.

See your columns, bloggs ect ect...

"Drama Queen"

Agree w mackenzie, SIGN LOGAN MENKINS! He is the prize offseason acquisition. Draft mark ingram, sign a vet qb to compete w the chads and spend all other picks on olinemen. W the return of odrich and edds, I wanna see this kory sheets kid, we can win the east by 2012, maybe even a wild card in 2011,

with the way NY and NE are playing nowadays, who knows. Ask Chad Henne.

they are close.. need a QB, vince young will do.

It's gonna be fun battling Buffalo for the cellar - not!

Hahahaha is about right...

About as close as we are to China.

Are you kidding 4-12 from the thirteen teams that we are gonna play in 2011 all of them are much much better than us. even the raiders,browns,texans ect.

This is how far of to be exact.
Center- pro bowl caliber, not a shmuck like Berger
TE - SEE ABOVE production is bad here
ILB- SOLID IN COVERAGE
RT GUARD-
SAFETY- MAY HAVE IN JONES ALREADY
RB- ABLE TO HANDLE 20 CARRIES A GAME AND AVG 4.2
WR - WITH SPEED
Notice no QB? because I think Henne could be the answer if all the problems are fixed. 1 major problem was Henning.

For starters, Mando, with all the coaching changes, drafting delimma, and the CBA quagmire, no one can accuratly predict where we stand. Just pointing out the obvious.

But if you want, I will say we can be anywhere from divisional title holders, to chumps in the league...any given sunday.

IMO...

Gotta go, to tha dock...

We only need a QB, 2 RB, TE, t Gs, a C, WR, 2 CB, FS, 2 DE, ILB, OLB

Jets have blown thier wad. As JT stated, "This is the last time you'll see this team together as it is now." So we're not as far away from the Jets as we were before thier seasons end.

The Pats on the other hand are a bit more decieving. The primary formula for beating them has nearly always been hitting Brady early and often. The entire team seems to feed off of him. Kill the head and the body dies.

So to close the gap on the Pats another pass rusher complimenting Wake's ability is in tall order. Thier defense ig good but not great.

So get more solid pass rushing from someone else not named Wake, solidify our offense with the right offseason additions, beat all of the teams we're suppose to beat, and win at least half of our games we're not favored in.

Consistent pass rushing may be the biggest key to making all things equal in the afc east. Pretty boy Brady hates getting hit. LOL........

All we need is a much greater pass rush and we can make the Pats or Jets play down to our offensive level. LOL...........

DB says kill the head and the body dies...On that note, we first need a head, as in Head Coach, until then our body is dead.

You gotta give the D credit. They 'll save 5 wins from getting away. But without some production from the running game. It will be unlikely they can win 12 games, from stellar defensive play alone. IMO, an effective QB would make everyones job easier. And lead the team in the right direction.

Ahh can we get the off-season going first, Maybe the Draft??, all this things does affect the predictions game. As of right know we only have 2 back up running backs and just one QB, Humm what is we get CJ as Running back and Payton Manning as QB will this change the predictions game ?? How about just Ronnie and Henne returning will this change the predictions?. I for once believe were CLOSE. For once we have good young foundation including the coaching staff. Now we need a few skills players to take us over the top, but will have to wait and see whats happens in the off-season

I can see them as good as 11-5 as long as Henne doesn't start. He's really not very good and never has been consistent even in college. Any QB that can give us 20 tds and 10 int will get us to be a legit contender.

The Fins have a better D than the Pats.

And a comparable D to the Jets, despite all the hype the Jets D gets.

The Pats and Jets however have a QB.

The Fins have 3 very good WR's, a workhorse pound it down your throat RB in Ronnie and a good OL that needs one piece, an OG with Incognito expected to move to Center.

Getting that OG should be easy enough.

Getting a fast RB to compliment Ronnie, not so sure.

Getting a QB - very hard.

The Fins will be miles away from the Pats and Jets until they get a good QB.

Despite the strengths in other areas of the team.

There is a GROWING PROBLEM in the Cyber-world with people who over-use the shortcut -- "L O L"


DyingBread:
Just in case you were unsure,
You're part of the problem! not the solution!
(LOL...)

The NFL is a mercurial league where surprise teams appear nearly every year. Nobody was picking New Orleans to go from a .500 squad to champions in 2009. The year before, you'd have qualified for a head exam if you said the Cardinals would be playing for a title.

It's unlikely Miami will do the same, but not impossible. They need plenty (including an upgrade at the most important position on the field) but they are also NOT the terrible team some seem to think they are. Not even close.

New England remains the brick wall, of course. With a young and improving defense along with all that draft ammunition there's little reason to think they won't continue to win and win big. The Jets are also better---now---but their foundation is not as solid and I don't think that's a team built to sustain success over a long period.

For the moment, I'd call Miami a third place (again) team that hovers around .500 next season. In the unlikely event they find a true answer at QB, however, all bets are off. They already have the makings of an excellent defense.

resign Brown and Soliai + get Zach Miller, Logan Mankins and draft straight fire offense... playoffs AFC east by wildcard need franchise QB to compete w Brady

if Von Miller is there at 15 it'd be interesting to see them pass

We are one Jets or Patriots injury away from winning the AFC East. Football is so unpredictable and CHARACTER goes a long way. How many games did we loss this year by 3 points or less?????????????

As a Dolfan in Mexico City, I don't have access to college football. (Except for a few bowl games that are shown on cable TV) And feel quite frustrated when you guys start telling which players Miami Dolphing should draft and I have no idea who they are. That prevents me on entering the debate.
How can I get info about college players that is more accurate than highlights on youtube so I can form a well informed opinion?

Sorry for the typo, I meant Miami Dolphins and wrote Miami Dolphing by mistake.

We can be much closer than a lot of people think with the right offseason additions. But everything is predicated on that.

Until we see what those offseason additions are its extremely difficult to make a fair and accurate forcast. We can ancipate right now but it still means jack nothing.

Here's to you Merv Griffin! LOL... LOL..... LOL..... LOL............ LOL!

shinaco---In all honesty, I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot.

All of us like to play "armchair personnell guru" with these college guys but the truth is we are clueless as to who will actually make it in the NFL. And those that think they DO know are liars, lol.

There's a bunch of websites out there that will give you "rankings" and opinions on college guys---especially as the draft nears---but generally they are little more reliable than fan opinions. Which means they aren't reliable at all.

The draft is genuinely a crapshoot. Personally, I stopped "projecting" how guys would do years ago because it's pointless, but I still enjoy reading the opinions of others , even with a BIG grain of salt.

HMM They need to improve the offensive line, they have NO quaterback, could use an upgrade at runningback and are Way too slow on D with players that not only cant create turnovers and fumbles They cant catch 1 single ball that hits them in the hands or chest. So yes they are close. Close to yet another rebuild. This team is the third best team in the division, unfortunatly there is only 4 teams in the division. Parcells didnt draft any good talent and they are paying the price. Maybe the next regime will get the team going but that will take serveral years to even start. The dolphins sucked for the last decade and look to suck at least for the next several years at best. The owner is a fool who is clueless about running a football team. Nice job to take away the home feild advantage of playing in the sun and humitity. Maybe you could bring in another celebrity semi owner. He is too flashy and hands on. Ross should have fired Ireland and Sporano and gave the team to Bill Cowher.

We must focus on O-line and RB in this draft. Here is what I think Ireland should do assuming a CBA is signed before the draft:

1). Sign free agent Logan Mankins (RG) -- pay whatever it takes -- we'll have two pro bowlers on the O-line.

2). Trade down the 15th pick for a late 1st & late 2nd.

3). Take Gabe Carimi (RT) in the first -- Mankins can teach him the ropes.

After the first day of the draft, at night:

4). Trade Carey for a second rounder -- dump his hefty salary to help pay for Mankins.

5). Trade Crowder & Merling for a second & a fifth.

6). Take Casey Matthews (ILB) in the second -- do not let another Matthews get away.

7). Take Daniel Thomas (RB) in the second.

8). Take Phil Taylor (NT) in the second.

9). Take Jake Kirkpatrick (C) in the third -- watch the Senior Bowl tapes and see how he handled Paea (DT - OSU) who is projected as a first rounder.

10). Take Delone Carter (RB) in the fourth -- this guy broke Csonka's records at Syracuse and never missed a game in 4 years.

11). Take Andy Dalton (QB) or Rick Stanzi (QB) in the fifth.

12). Take Jeremy Kerley (WR) for speed in the fifth.

Jeff, I hope you are reading and taking notes.

We beat the pack because they were injured we almost beat the steelers because the roth just came off his suspension. Name one team who the last two years not just one year that had a oppurtunity to go to the playoffs and dropped the last three games. Even better name a team that dropped six games at home that was able to carry the same team into next year and win. We cannot have the same team and expect any less. Guess what we still have the same coach and decision makers. How many of you old fans have changed your world views or philosophy on life recently. I say that because they are going to be the same peep don't offen change how they are.

You can put me down among those who think the labor situation is going to be ugly and VERY protracted. The players are already clearly preparing for a lockout.

A guy like Logan Mankins would be nice, sure, but I think the odds right now are that there isn't even going to BE any free agency period.

I don't look for this to get settled until close to the actual season, with a strong possibility of an abbreviated schedule ala 1982 and no free agency at all in 2011.

What a very dumb question. On offense all we know is that Jake long turns up every week and plays his heart out injured or not. Everything else is unknown.Is the rest of the line fixable? Was Henne badly coached or is he useless? Is Brandon Marshall waiting to fit into a system that works for him or is he a grumpy prima donna? Do Hartline and Bess have an upside? Most important can Daboll put it all together? If you know the answers to any or all of those questions please tell Sparano or Ireland - they are dying to know. If not shut up.

Dr Roberts,

I think the opposite. At some point during thier careers at least 6 out of the top player have a fantastic chance of making the pro bowl or becoming all pro. Out side of the top 10 there's still great chance but the odds began to dwindle.

As you start parting away from the 1st rd you get more into really good starters than nearly sure fire pro bowlers. Still there's potential for bust that's present in each and every round. It just significantly decreases as you move up the draft board.

I believe once getting into the 3rd rd, there's greater chance of a guy being a good backup than starter. Still, just like a guy can be a top bust. It's not totally impossible a guy ddrafted 7th rd or is a udfa can become a pro bowler or all pro.

Just that the further you move down the draft board the greater the odds are that the player has to overcome.

What the hell is wrong with you fair weather Dolphin fans!We are leaps and bound ahead of the jets and here is why....the Jets are a 6-10 team...Denver, Detriot,Cleveland, Houston, and Minnesota should have won those games if their stupid coaches or Ref(Denver) didn't blew it. All these games the Jets were losing with less than two minutes left and they got lucky...we are young, strong, and tough and we beat the jets 3 out of the 4 times we played Rex Ryan so call number 1 defense...

A Loooong way off. The Pat's have 6 picks in the first three rounds of the draft, we have 6 in the entire draft, drifting back. We have the #4 QB in the East, Baaack some more. The O-Line is third best in the East, back abck back, gone into oblivion. With good fortune, the Fins will reach the Playoffs within the next 5 years. Psyche, no chance with the current Coching Staff.

Get your head out of the clouds

Some of you still don't get it. It doesn't matter how our safety or O-line play or who our RBs are - all that matters is who our QB is.

Do you think the pack can run the ball?

Do you think the Pats win more than 3 games without Brady?

Do you think the Colts have drafted anyone worth a dang since about 2004 other than say Pierre Garcon?

Do you think the Steelers have a good pass defense or wouldn;t trade their o line for ours straight up in a heartbeat?

Quickly, name a bad team that has a good Qb? maybe the bolts but they aren't a bad team as just generally mismanaged and lacking discipline and coaching.

Now quickly name a team that is pretty good with a bad Qb. maybe oe, the NY jets - but man, that team was made for a one year push and mortgaged - not the way you do things.

So you can draft OTs and RBs and WRs and a play making safety until the cows come home but until you have a Qb who at minimum top 15 in this league - NONE OF IT MATTERS!

u got it right alafins fan

Well said DB

They will pick up another used up or overrated quarterback another team is dying to lay on them.

The bottom line is this.
The defense of the current dolphins team is very close to being playoff caliber. The offense is way far away from being anywhere near playoff caliber.
Just try to remember the Marino years...we had a playoff caliber offense, and a horrible defense. And how many rings did Marino get.
So there is your answer, untill the dolphins can find a way to get both sides of the ball working well at the same time, we are no where close. And they have not been able to do that is a very , very long time.

The problem is they didnt fire this resime. The coach doent have time to develop a qb because he is playing to keep his job for now , not planning the future of the team

I hope the Pats choke on all those picks.

Under this regime, never. Especially if belicheat and Brady are still together

Speculation. all speculation. I will trust Sparano to judge talent and win with this team. 1- we were injured 2- henning is gone 3- you never know who is really gonna work out after being drafted. it is a crap shoot. 4- we were alot better than our record indicated and we were injured all year long. so, support sparano or go get another team. i think we are close and i also think we draft stanzi after mark ingram to push henne. have a competition and the best qb starts- bottom line. go fins!

I also live in NJ in jetsland

personally, I don't fear the Pats and their picks at all. i do fear brady though. I mean if you want to compare our roster to theirs, where are they signifiantly better? Qb and o line. besides that, our secondary is as good as theirs, our linebackers are better, our d line is better, our receivers are better, and our backs, even in decline, are as good or better.

Qb, difference between 14-2 and 7-9

They will be a bad team till they hire a new staff. One that can plan the future not spend all our picks to save there job. We did that last decade with DAVE

Everyone likes to hit 100% on 1st and 2nd rd players. In the 1st rd you want impact starters. In the 2nd you want to at least get a good starter, hopefully more.

In three years this region hasnt been absolutely awful in this area.

2008 1st rd: Jake Long 2009: Vontae Davis 2010: Odrick. Even if Odrick turns to bust that's a 67% success rate which isnt awful when considering its only been 3 drafts.

2008 2nd rd: Chad Henne(Hey at least he's made starter, lol), Phillip Merling(was a starter too) 2009 Sean Smith(starter), Pat White(bust) 2010 Koa Misi(starter)

So of 5 2nd rd picks 4 have been starters with only 1 complete bust(White). Not 100% but still not awful, other gm's have done a lot worse.

Getting outside of the 1st and 2nd rd is where it begins to get a lot more tricky. I believe our success in the rds outside of 1st and 2nd have not been much greater or much worse than any other nfl organizations.

Our greatest achilles heel may have been in free agency up until landing Dansby and Marshall last season.

Very much speculation. We don't KNOW about much of this coaching staff as they are new. We don't KNOW what will happen with the CBA, and we don't KNOW which personnel will be added or subtracted.

So, speculatively speaking, based on what we've done in the offseason so far, I can imagine a season much like this season, so anywhere from 6-10 to 9-7. Still not good enough IMO to compete with the Pats and Jets. Just about good enough to top the Bills.

Some physical pieces are in order but it mainly has to do with the will to win. Talent alone gets teams to 8-8 in the NFL...heart wins Super Bowls. The good news is that I think Sparano knows what this looks like and will hopefully put it on the field, starting with QB. Pats and Jets do not drop meaningful games against weaker opponents...we do! That's a heart issue that needs to get fixed. The best teams know the current Dolphins just roll over under pressure, including Jets and Pats...and perhaps even Bills now. That's our biggest problem.

With a strong draft, and some decent FA pickups, I believe we can compete for the division.

Needs that need to be addressed: QB, RB, OL, K/PR... Oh and some speed at WR. As long as most, if not all of these are addressed, I think we'll have a chance...

dont get carried away with to defense they are slow cant get turnovers and can slow people down but cant stop them. The are just ok. Not like when zack and jason were here

We are as close as the QB allows us to get....PERIOD

With the parity in the NFL we aren't that far away. Three seasons ago I didn't know where to begin to guess what we needed in free agency and the draft. We've narrowed the gap but the needs that are left are very tough to fill. We need good QB play, a more consistant o-line, and someone helping Wake get pressure on QB's. We are close on the o-line. We just need to stay heathly and stop that crazy rotating so the unit can gel. One more potential pro bowler (Pouncey in the draft?) wouldn't hurt either. You also need good coaching and players believing in the system and playing hard for 60 minutes. Ireland believes they have put a good staff together and Ross has definately gave them a since of urgency, we'll see what happens.

My armchair qb wish list:
1.Pro bowl type center
2.Pass catching tight end
3.Depth behind Brown at RB
4.QB to compete(Kaepernick,Ponder,Stanzi?)

Keeping fingers crossed!!

Dan Henning is gone, so we're already better. This team is not far away. Using a 1st rounder on Solder or Costanzo from BC, putting them at RT and moving V. Carey inside will go along way to improving the O-line. Maybe there is a solid veteran G or C free agent out there also. Mankins would be great and I think the Dolphins should pull out all the stops to get him if he's not franchised by the Patsies.

Improved O-line and the "3rd year leap" from Henne equals playoffs. If Henne doesnt progress, then we're middle of the pack again. Pretty simple. I have confidence the new offensive braintrust will be a breath of fresh air for Chad.

If DJ Williams (TE-Ark) is there in the 3rd, he should get a long look as well

We beat Green Bay and should have beaten Pittsburgh if the play calls got us any TD's after the turnovers.

An aggressive OC gets us 2 more wins in spite of the inconsistent play of the interior OL and QB.

10-6

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