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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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So you would rather have sevreal players on st make the difference in 3 games. And not a franchise QB?

We were blown out twice by a pats team bound to improve. With the moves we can make and those the jets have to make I'd say we are closer to runner up status. Prediction second place and playoff contender. Side note, sign santonio holmes to add speed and takeaway from the jets would be a nice start to get us closer to second

Ok, ok, I see what you're thinking DB (my bad). We used different definitions for the word "contender." So, your view is you don't need to make the Playoffs, just be "in the hunt", therefore in contention, which makes you a contender.

Ok, with that definition, yes, we can be a Playoff contender sooner rather than later. I guess my definition was saying "actually making the Playoffs, therefore being a SuperBowl contender." So, that's tackling a different animal than what you're talking about, so I take your points to your definition.

Sign holmes, draft a running back late rounds with speed or FA along with signing Ronnie, depending on availability look at drafting a qb or a solid LB that can make an impact unlike Channing. Cut him.

One solid QB away, from the playoff's

It's "fare," not "fair." I see that mistake all the time. Almost as much as people seem to think "lose" is spelled "loose."

Asking how the Dolphins will "fair" must be a question about carnivals or good weather.

Well, if they "fair" poorly I suppose they'll "loose" a lot of games.

DC,

You're contradicting yourself. If a team wins 10 games theres almost always a great chance that team will make the playoffs. The exceptions are usually far and in between.

If you believe there's ever so slight a chance to win 10 games. Then you have to believe that teams has an ever so slight chance to make the playoffs.

9-7 would have gotten us in the playoffs in 2009. Without the rash of late season injuries that year we could have considered ourselves perrenial playoff contender coming into the 2010 season.

Still we're not that far away from this being a true statement. Certainly not 2-3yrs from becoming a legit wildcard contender even with Henne under center. Henne can just jeapordize our ability to advance if we have the right pieces around him and he doesnt improve.

8-8 next year

Without significant upgrades in team speed, offensive line, QB, RB and bottom 3rd of the roster in general they are basically in the middle of the pack and cant really get over the AFC East hump to win the division. The daunting task of accomplishing this in one offseason is tough. It happens..there are huge turnarounds almost every year but the probablilities are not encouraging at this time. Basically too many missed opportunities. Why did they not take a chance on Michael Vick when he was returning to the game? Why pass on Randy Moss again? Sure some of the draft picks have not worked out...some have. Why trade T. Ginn when you clearly still lack speed in spite of adding Brandon Marshall to the team? Too much ego behind some of these decisions. There also seems to be an aversion to taking risks on veteran players that are questionable such as Vick and Moss...but they come initially will relativly small investment...the Eagles scored huge by taking that risk and that kind of player does not come along very often. The only way I dont consider such moves is if I already have a franchise QB. No way anyone at any point could ever contend thay Miami has had one since Dan Marino. Missed opportunities have and may well continue to plague this team. Could very well cost some jobs next year as being competitive in this division will be as tough a task as you could ask for at this point.

One solid QB away, from the playoff's

Posted by: d phin fan | January 31, 2011 at 04:36 PM
-----------------------

Sentence needs no comma and the word playoffs is not a possessive, therefore no apostrophe.

DC,

You're contradicting yourself. If a team wins 10 games theres almost always a great chance that team will make the playoffs. The exceptions are usually far and in between.

Posted by: DyingBreed | January 31, 2011 at 04:40 PM
-----------------------

The correct term is "few and far between."

Either way, the Pats have won the division I think 8 out of 10 times this past decade, the Jets have gotten to the Championship game the last 2 years, we have a far way to go to compete with either of those teams. It doesn't take a one-time division title (as nice as it was in '08). Because in '09, we were right back where we started.

We can't win by the skin of our teeth, with a patchwork of players, most of which aren't elite or have worked together for awhile. We need to amass a TEAM. That means an offense that knows each other, is comfortable with each other. A defense that can play off each other, back each other up, and a special teams that actually all look like they play on the same team. Plus a coaching staff worth a damn.

That's what it'll take to get to where I want to be, and I don't see that on the near horizon.

DC,

No you still dont get what Im saying. Im sayoing with a good draft and a key fa signing we can very realistically make the playoffs as a wildcard. Not be in the hunt. We were in the hunt until the last 3 games this year. That is not what I mean.

What part of 9-7 10-6 teams are usually wildcard playoff teams are you not understanding? LOL.......................

Lil Aloco has a better chance to "Bed" a super model then the fins sniffing a playoff appearance next year... IMHO...

Pete,

TY for the correction astute professor of Harvard literary dept. How did mankind ever evolved from beating the old lady over the head with clubs and air conditionedless rock huts without you. LOL..........

CUBAN THE PRESIDENT OF THE GANG OF DEFEAT WILL BE SNIFING LIKE THE MONKEYS ON THE PLANET OF APES MOVIES.

I Wonder what pete thinks of Tony(The Fist pumper)Sporono's english????

Cuban Menance,

Be careful what you wish for. You could end up banging on lil ALoco's front door begging for sloppy seconds! LOL................

WHY MY FINGER SMELLS LIKE CHEESE?

After pre-season of the Scam Cameron days, I had them at 4-12. They went 1-15, but I guess I beat 'Mando here, which doesn't surprise me at all.

We're maybe an 8-8 team now, but getting worse. I say that because the two toughest teams in our division, the Jets and Pats, are good and getting better. We're mediocre-bad and judging by our coaching and front office changes, we'll be getting worse. So, I think we're presently an 8-8 team that will underachieve and come away with 4-6 wins next season.

How far are we? We need three lineman (the whole interior), a running back and a quarterback. That's not an entire offense, but it's pretty close.

Our coaching (or lack thereof) will cost us at least two games. Since I have no faith at all in our front office, I predict a bad draft (like all the others in the Ireland era), so that's another two losses after we lose the running backs we have and further dilute our existing personnel with bad acquisitions.

Ross is a moron, Ireland is terrible and Sparano is in over his head. I don't see us improving with the present ownership ... ever. We're in a Dan Snyder situation: Done in by the money guy.

I'd say we're very, very far from being competitive. Four years at the least, and getting further.

MANDO: DO NOT WORRY. THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE
ANY FOOTBALL. SINCE THE NFLPA HIRED DE SMITH,
HE HAS ONLY ONE GOAL IN MIND, SCREW THE OWNERS
& THE NFL. HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE GAME, & CERTAINLY HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE FANS.JUST
LOOK AT HIM. HE ALWAYS LOOKS PISSED. I JUST
WISH,THAT THERE IS NO FOOTBALL THIS YEAR. THE
PLAYERS DESERVE TO BE LEFT OUT. I HAVE NO SYM
PATHY FOR GREEDY MILLIONAIRES. SCREW THEM,THEY
HIRE A GUY (DE SMITH) THAT IS A MERCENARY.HE
HAS NO FOOTBALL EXPIRIENCE,NO BACKGROUND WITH
ANY TEAM, HE IS AN OUTSIDER TRYING TO MAKE A NAME FOR HIMSELF, SO HE CAN BECOME POPULAR & RUN FOR OFFICE IN WASHINGTON.LET THE PLAYERS GO THRU THE SEASON WITH NO PAY CHECKS, & LET THE OWNERS LOCK
THEM OUT FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. FOOTBALL IS THE GREATEST GAME ON EARTH, BUT THESE CLOWNS (PLAYERS) DON'T DESERVE
WHAT THEY HAVE
THIS GUY IS BADDDD NEWA. I HOPE HE REALLY FAILS, AND IN THE MEAN TIME THE NFL GOES TO
HELL. GOOD THING BASEBALL IS COMING & WE HAVE
THE NBA, & COLLEGE FOOTBALL WILL NOT BE AFEC-
TED. IN THE MEANTIME THE NFL TEAMS ARE ALREADY
LAYING PEOPLE OFF. LETS SEE IF THE PLAYERS &
THE UNION ARE GOING TO HELP THEM OUT. NO WON -
DER THE GOP HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DESTROY THE U-
NIONS FOR A LOT OF YEARS. EVENTUALLY THEY'LL
SUCCEED BECAUSE THE ARE GREEDY.

Pete,

TY for the correction astute professor of Harvard literary dept. How did mankind ever evolved from beating the old lady over the head with clubs and air conditionedless rock huts without you. LOL..........

Posted by: DyingBreed | January 31, 2011 at 04:50 PM

---------------------

Should be "evolve" rather than "evolved" and "conditionless" rather than "conditionedless."

Mr. Muddle, Welcome to G.O.D....................

Cuban bangs on ALoco's front door for sloppy super model seconds. ALoco doesnt answer. LOL.............

I think it possible to be a contending team next year(my definition of contender is a playoff team, they all have a chance)If a few things go our way.
1..Somehow find a running game. take the pressure off the quarterback to have to throw as many times a we did last season.
2..Find a quarterback that doesn't throw so many interceptions. We have to take care of the ball better.
3..Better situational football. This goes for time management, playcalling, redzone efficiency.
4..Defensively, Turnovers. The defense did this well in the first few weeks. keys to victories in every game we won.Also getting off the field on third downs. The Baltimore, and Chicago game pop into mind right away. It is hard to play teams well on first and second down. Have the chains in your favor, then give up first downs. Killers
As bad as we all think this team was. We were not blown out(except the 2 Patriot games) In each losing game. We were within a possetion of tying or going ahead at some point oin the fourth quarter. If we can execute in these areas I mentioned we might be able to right this ship.

Pete,

Can also get you to scratch my nuts when they itch?

With the coaching staff they have assembled on offense, I believe the defense will be worn down by the fifth game. Then we have to rebuild it. No steps forward, and five steps back. Doesn't get you many wins.

I Wonder what pete thinks of Tony(The Fist pumper)Sporono's english????

Posted by: Cuban Menace | January 31, 2011 at 04:53 PM

-----------------

It's abysmal.

By the way, you misspelled Sparano...first names are capitalized...as is 'English' when referencing the language, rather than as an adjective. For example, "he put english on the ball" in describing a game of pool.

One Tom Brady away. And perhaps two offensive linemen that play comparable to Smiley and Grove who don't stay injured.

pete,

How many used tampons can you swallow before burping? Inquiring minds would like to know. LOL...............

Sure, just send me your address and I'll scoot right over. I have lotions too. Oh, and short nails.

DAYING BREED AND CUBAN LEAD THE GANG OF DEFEAT PARADE IN PLANET OF APES CITY.

Have you ever swallowed a dirty man tool or do you only prefer clean ones? LOL............

the cuban menace already on drugs .

I'm not the one making constant references to gay sex.

Just saying...

ALoco,

Since now Im an official team member of Planet of the Apes City. Can you suggest any great banana-split recipes? LOL........

GANG OF DEFEAT MEMBERS WILL GO TO APE CITY AND EAT THERE FOOD FROM BOWLS ON THE GROUND.

Pete,

Any grown man critiquing another grown man's english sounds very gayish to me. LOL...........

Thank You Pete, I Stand corrected., What are your thoughts on Tony's coaching??(Feel free to not capitalize)......

ALoco,

I will gladly eat my banana-split from a bowl. Now give a damn recipe buddy! LOL...............

DB, I don't think you can be a Wildcard team in the AFC East going 9-7 (it's happened once in the last decade, in 2009). So, realistically, you have to win 10 games to be a Wildcard team.

Do I think we can miraculously put it together in 2011 and win 10 games, yeah, maybe, miraculously. Do I think we'll go very far in the Playoffs, no.

I think it's more likely we get to the Playoffs in 2 years, and hopefully repeat in 3 years and go farther. But, again, that's a lot of wishful thinking, because when is the last time Miami has gone to the Playoffs two years in a row? That's what I'm saying. History is NOT on your side here. And that's kinda what Mando's alluding to in his post. To make the Playoffs, we have to win our division, so be better than the Pats and the Jets. The Pats seem to be reloading, so not really on a downturn. The Jets might be on a downturn, but we really don't know that either. We are where we have been all decade (on a mediocre plateau). I need to see signs of true progress (not 1 year progress) in order to have any faith that we can be "consistent" Playoff contenders (which is more my goal, rather than just making the Playoffs one and done).

Pete,

Any grown man critiquing another grown man's english sounds very gayish to me. LOL...........

Posted by: DyingBreed | January 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM

---------------------

Really? Well, I guess a lot of college classrooms must be "gayish" if that's the case.

DC,

All that I can say to conclude this debate is that I hope youre severely wrong. Im sure, so do you! LOL..........

I am a life long dolphin fan and we have sank to an all time low as an organization...so until we take care of those problems will we win a championship.

PETE IS LIKE CESAR THE TALKING MONKEY THAT IS THE LEADER OF THE PLANET OF APES., THE OTHER IN THE GANG OF DEFEAT WILL FOLLOW HIM AND BEAT THE HUMANS


DAYING BREED AND CUBAN LEAD THE GANG OF DEFEAT PARADE IN PLANET OF APES CITY.

Posted by: ALoco | January 31, 2011 at 05:03 PM

LIL Aloco, Are the apes putting out a Team this year???, And if so what division are they playing in??

I'll accept the challenge, Aloco. Not sure if I'm hairy enough, though.

As for the 'English critique' stuff I'm just yanking chains. It's a boring day, lol.

pete,

Last checked, your qualifications for posting here and the Heral'd requirement greatly conflict. I like the Herald's requirements much better.

Dude school's been long over for a lot of here and no one here solicited your english or editing services. We are not a part of your class professor!

School's out dummy! LOL..............

ALOCO,

I WANT MY BANANA-SPLIT RECIPE AND I WANT IT NOW! DAMN IT! LOL.................

LIL Aloco, Is "Pete" gonna be Head coach of the "Ape city Monkey's"??????? And if so, I'll bet my bottom dollar he beats any Tony(Fist pump)Sporono team.....

THE APE CITY TEAM WENT TO THE MONKEY BOWL GAME AND THE GANG OF DEFEAT WAS IN THE STADUM SELLING PEANUTS AND BEER

the question of how close miami is to winning the afc east can be answered once we see what ireland and sparano are able to do with the FA talent that will be available once the cba is done and what players they will draft this year. they have a good enough defense to compete with anyone. so, if they can correct enough of the problems on offense, they may be able to compete for the afc east title as early as next season. i don't see them as an 8-8 team. they had some injuries that didn't help them last year and i'm sure the d backs will do a better job of hanging on to interceptions this season. with the players they already have on the team such as odrick, edds and sheets plus the fact that others like reshad jones, nolan carrol, roberto wallace and marlon moore will have a year of experience under their belt they should improve as long as they stay healthy. if they are able to acquire a couple of key players on the offensive side thru FA they will be even better off. throw in some talented, speedy guys on offense from the draft and they are a lot closer than people think. the big question at the qb position can be less of an issue if they can do something about the OL and the running game. correct those two areas and the qb position is less of an issue. pennington's return, although questionable, could really end up affecting how well the team does or does not do this year. if he is fully rehabed by the time camp starts and goes thru it well enough it gives them the luxury of drafting a qb and giving him a year to develop. sparano may choose to put him in the lineup to give them the best chance of winning games this year while taking the year to bring along a rookie qb and possibly giving him a chance to start next year. so, there are a lot of variables that go into what this team can do during the 2011 season. i'm optimistic about this season. i was optimistic about last season. i look at what they were able to accomplish on defense and i think they can do the same on the offensive side of the ball. therefore, i feel that they should improve enough to go at least 10-6 if not 11-5. not good enough to win the east but probably good enough to make the playoffs.

Aloco, When the Patriots play the "Ape City Monkeys" And they sack Tom(Bunchen)Brady will he say the famous phrase "Get your damn dirty hands off me, You damn dirty ape"????

BANAANA SPLIT RECIPE IS FRESAH CAVANDISH BANANA FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM TWO SCOOPS AND THEN IN MIDDLE DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM CRUSHED WALNUTS ((YOU CAN TOAST THEM)) AND BITTERSWEET DAR CHOCOLATE HOT FUDGE MELT WITH A LITTLE BUTTER NO CHERRY UNLESS FRESH THE ONES IN THE JAR ARE DISGUSTENT

APE CITY TEAM WILL HAVE PROFESOR PETE IN COACHING AND THEN THE GANG OF DEFEAT MONKEYS ARE THE DEFENSE BACKFIELD THERE WILL BE A GORILLA RUNNER TOO

Looking forward to the challenge, Aloco. Are there any NFL rules that say the Dolphins can't have a gorilla running back?

I MEANT THE MARASHINO CHERRIES BEFORE,.,THEY ARE TERRIBLE

we need a TE S RB QB OLINE AND COACHING STAFF EXCEPT FOR NOLAN ..

FRESH BLACK BERRYS BLUE BERRYS AND STRAWBERRY MUCH BETTER ON THE BANANA SPLIT THAN THE DISGUSTENG MARASHINO CHERRY

Aloco, If the "Monkeys" From ape city are behind in the 4th Quarter do you see them Flinging there poop at there opponents???, And if they do, what penalty will be called??? Unsportsmanlike Conduct maybe??

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