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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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Aloco Speaks in Quatrains like Nostradamus, Aloco, Are you trying to tell us something????

Aloco, Besides King Kong and Mighty Joe young and curious George, are there any other famous Simians?????

A qb that can lead a receiver would be great. I thought the down and out pass was a prerequisite to becoming and NFL qb. Henne can't throw to an open back facing him 3 yards down the field.

A good tight end. A good guard and tackle. Another sack machine. And finally the tin man Ireland needs a brain and the lion Sparano needs some courage. What do you think Sparano is looking at when he practices his fist pump?

Would'nt be funny if Pete was actually Aloco.........

How far from AFC East champions? A little bad luck for NE (Brady going down)and jets, a little good luck for us. But what good is that if you can't advance?

A better question would be, how far are we from being a perennial contender? A team that if not in the playoffs one year, is there the next and the next.

We're only a player or two away from being the best 4th place team in the AFC East.

dm1. How dare you against the doom and gloom here, I'm with you 100% 7 Wins with an inept O, just an efficient O will get us to 9to10 and competing for the Div

Disturbing...need not add anything.

Take it for what it's worth

cuban on drugs .

let's not talk record wise. until they get a franchise qb, and good coaches, probably another 3 to 4 years.

I think it's AMAZING how the spread offense works for sooooo many other teams, and rightfully you can't be that way all the time, but I think we ALL would like to see the chains off and the playbook opened up. I LOVE a Running Back that can pound the crap out of the opposition, but you ALWAYS hold your breath when you see that ball heaved 40 yards or so in the air, and it would be nice to see it more than once in a while.....like more than once every other game or so. If you are going to charge me a quarter of my home mortgage to see a ball game from the "cheap" seats, then I think we as Dolfans deserve, and should be able to COMMAND a little more bang for our buck. So far, and I think most people will agree, I really just don't believe our beloved team going in the right direction with this "offensive" minded approach, think about it, teams going to the Super Bowl have a STAFF of High Caliber people working for it, people that are in line for Head Coaching positions. Hopefully our Owner will hear our cries and actually step in and force a change. Thanks for letting me vent fellow fans, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir....:) Ed "Special Ed" McKinsey, AW1 (AW,NAC) USN Retired....

Because the Quarterback position is a huge question mark. The Dolphins could fall anywhere between 4-12 and 11-5 next season. It's almost that simple.

I've been a Dolphin fan for almost 40 years - the Dolphins are about as close to winning a championship as the Browns are - this team doesn't have the talent (QB, RB, OL and secondary) to win and they don't have the character or heart to win.
I've told this story before - I hate Chris Berman - when the Dolphins "fired" Don Shula and hired fat Jimmy Johnson they had a short special on ESPN - Berman said "The Dolphins will rue the day they let Don Shula go." I was ready to drive to CT just to punch him in the face - but I thought, hey - they'll win the Super Bowl a few times and all will be forgotten - boy was I wrong and the worst part is - Berman was right.
Think of all the embarrassment this franchise has put us through since Shula left - *losing 92 to 2 to Jackoffville in the playoffs - *fat Jimmy quitting and then staying and sucking - getting blown out three years in a row in the playoffs - *NE knowing our plays and fat Jimmy not changing anything up - *Wanny never able to win the big game at the end of the year - *going 1-15 - *drafting Ted Ginn Jr. and his family - *following that up with a 1-15 season - *fat Tony Sparano going 11-5 with the easiest schedule maybe in league history and then losing at home (I see a pattern here)- *the whole Dez Bryant situation - going 1-7 at home - AT HOME!!!! - *the whole coaching fiasco after this terrible season - on and on it goes.
I don't ever remember being embarrassed when Don Shula was the coach of this team - they were the class of the league - what do you guys think? I'm sick of it and it doesn't seem like this Ross idiot has any clue what he is doing. I don't see a championship anywhere on the horizon.

Armando, you should know better than to ask these lousy, negative fans their opinion. Miami has the crappiest fans in football and have nothing positive to say. Not worth asking these losers anything.

The fans just need patience. Tony is learning and Henne is learning and the new coaches will begin to learn soon. Brady won't last forever and Belichek isn't so smart because he doesn't even know the snap counts for each player and doesn't realize that even if a player did poorly it can still be a positive if errors were down. The fans just need to learn not to criticize and to spend more time in church.

5-11 or 6-10 at best thats all i'm saying we all know the issues with this team.

With a Lame Duck Head Coach...we are looking at 4-12...

That close, huh?

Mando, I believe that the dolphins have a lot of work to do in order to seriously contend for a superbowl. they are a QB away from going 10-6 or 11-5, but how far away are they from a SB season? that'll take more.

1) Obviously a new QB, the most important position in sports, is in order. Chad Henne is skilled, don't get me wrong, but he is not good enough. two consecutive 7-9 seasons prove to me he has not made any progress. Red Alert.

2) They need stronger interior offensive lineman. Jake Long in my opinion is a future HOFamer if he keeps these seasons up, and he is a gamechanger. But as long as Pat McQuistan and Lydon Murtha are starting, D-Lines will be laughing in our faces.

3) They need a dynamic ground game. Ricky is too old to shoulder the ground game, and Ronnie NEVER runs straight...always shifting laterally, killing they play almost immediately. I do, however, think Ricky would fair well in a backup role similar to what he did this season.

4) Speed. Who's their burner? Marlon Moore? not only is he still extremely inexperienced, but he isnt considered the cream of the crop when dealing with speedy wideouts. Half the time, he's not even active on gameday.

5) Depth at special teams. Special teams can make or break a team. Brandon Fields (along with a Santonio Holmes drop) won the game in NY this season, and Dan Carpenter won countless games for us along the course of the year. When we couldnt block for our kickers, it changed the entire tempo of the game. Reshad Jones on punt coverages, however, is a bright spot.

That is my vent.

p.s. I'd love to see somebody other than Davone returning punts. everytime he settles under one he scares the crap outta me.

They are about as close to winning a super bowl as I am to winning the Mega Millions
1 in a 165,000,000

We will all die before it happens.

We could use an improvement at the return spot. Returning kicks is an art. Just being fast doesn't cut it. You have to understand where the setup is, and how it whould be blocked. Carrol got a little better as the year went on. But I don't believe he is the best answer going forward. Kory Sheets could be the guy, I think before his injury that was going to be his golden ticket for a roster spot. Return guys can be had later in the draft. My advice. Find a college program that excelled in the special teams department. Find a guy with some experience, and knowledge of the position.

don't know why the fins went out and got a off./cordinator who's offense was ranked 30th out of 32 teams. but hey they must know something we don't. so i don't see how we can be better next year.and please hope they don't go after vince young ( head case ).i know henne is bad .but we can do better at the Q B spot.

How far?
About the same distance from Earth to the other side of the Milky Way Galaxy that's how far.
That would be about 100,000 light years!

Only an offense away

Listen guys. All the Dolphins need is to pray the players from all the teams they'll play next season get injured so they can finally beat them. ;D I've been hearing the same things every year so I'm tired of predictions. I'm just gonna sit back and watch. It's been way too long since I actually felt great about this team.

Wow! This may be a very special season. For once we're going into a season expecting absolutely nothing.

We usually go into season with dreams of granduer and instead get only grand nightmares. The last time we went into a season expecting absolutely nothing we got an afc east title(2008) before the sky fell.

Everybody stay negative, it could be a very good omen for us! LOL...............

Next season we finish 0-16! LOL..............

In 1972 we were afraid not to win. In 2010 we were afraid of losing. LOL............

logan mankins, a solid center, either ronnie or rick, a young speedy back, a speedy wide receiver. getting odrick will be like getting a ist round draft pick next year. trade back to the late first for a second. if miami has a runnung game, henne will be fine. see mark sanchez

the fins are not that far from the pats.. and i won't mention the jets, bc the jets are not a good example of a good franchise.. their team is full of mercenaries... the partsies have done it more through the draft...

if i were the fins, I would try to address the OL during FA, if not, I would trade down, and get an additional pick... I would get the best tackle with their 1st pick and try to trade Brandon Marshall and Carey and draft Hankerson. there's a reason why the kid broke Andre Johnsons' records at UM.. He's going to be a beast in the NFL, and he's one of those rare talents that was just a decent WR in college bc he lacked the great QB. and then grab a RB. We had too many issues with the OL last year, and that was our main issue. it wasn't Henne, nor Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams. You won't be able to run or throw if you don't have a decent OL in the AFC East... that was the common factor with the Jets and Patriots.. You either have an excellent QB or an excellent OL... I think we're closer at getting ourselves an excellent OL.

Miami has a growing list of quarterbacks with the entitlement of a "Development Period".

If a good prospect is available halfway in the 1st Round, then the Dolphins have to go for it.

I do understand players need time to develop but this is ridiculous.

And don't forget to bring in some assassins to help Ritchie Incognito on the Offensive Line.

Move over Buffalo,here comes Miami

We do need some big pieces i.e. QB, RB, a solid pass defending safety(I honestly think Rashard Jones can be the man layin the wood in the secondary) another veteran cb to get some competition in the secondary, and obviously as many o linemen we can get to show up to camp. this is a big list but we don't necessairly need ALL of these to compete I don't think. How close are we? Don't Forget we beat one of the teams playing in the Superbowl and if it hadn't been for a blown call we would've beaten both of them... I'd say were closer than everyone thinks.

They are a good QB and offensive line away. If they had those this past season, they end up at least 10-6 11-5. But in reality, they're playing for 2nd and a wild card birth unless Brady blows out his knee again. So are they close to that? Considering the Jets have one of the oldest rosters in the NFL, many key starters set to becomes free agents, and little salary cap flexibility for the forseable future, there's reason for optimism. But again, you need a good QB.

We better be taking Hankerson. Greg Cooper will also be available. We draft lineman every year & where has it gotten us? They either suck, hurt or dont make the Team. Also, there are many throws Henne cant make.

We better be taking Hankerson. Greg Cooper will also be available. We draft lineman every year & where has it gotten us? They either suck, hurt or dont make the Team. Also, there are many throws Henne cant make.

I am not the biggest optimist. I really dont think we are that close. We are a QB away from playoff contention. But Championship contention? Thats a different story. There are holes everywhere.

QB, RB, FB, WR, C, OG, OT, NT, ILB, OLB, FS, SS, CB, and of course our entire Special teams coverage and return units.

Vernon Carey, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Yerimiah Bell are all at an age where their best days are behind them.

Polite, Incognito, Hartline, Fasano, Crowder, Clemmons/Jones, Carroll/Sapp, Misi are all serviceable at best. Some more than others. Could be upgraded.

Who knows if Solia was playing for contract or if he is the real deal so I cant put him in my "doing just fine list".

My Longterm Stud list is Long, Marshall, Bess, Davis, Smith, Dansby, and Wake. We are solid there. But thats about it.

Mr. Chang will place a Fig Newton on your head and you will dream of Moon Cakes.

I liken the Dolphins approach/blue print to that of the Steelers and Ravens. Clock management ground control offense. Physical smash mouth 3/4 defense. Steelers and Ravens both have better QBs WRs RBs TEs and OL. They both also have better safties and LBs. not to mention the Ravens beefy Dline as well and the overkill of dominant LBs the Steelers have. Its safe to say we are a far cry from where we want to be.

My 2011 Mock Draft "Tradeback Scenario"

1. Titus Young wr -----Boise St
2. John Moffitt g -----Wisconsin
3. Jake Kirkpatrick c -TCU
4. Kendric Burney cb --NC
5. Ricky Stanzi qb ----Iowa
6. Noel Devine rb -----WV
7. BPA

Kendric Burney was phenominal in Senior Bowl defending the slot wr's. He dominated and should be a huge upgrade at our nickelback position.

We need wr speed more urgent than spending a 1st rd pick on a TE. Therefore signing fa ZACK MILLER should be a fo priority this offseason.

Ricky Stanzi would be a steal at 5th rd. He has great pocket awareness but there are still things needing cleaning up in his game. He wont challenge for starter position in yr 1, but it's doubtful the 1st rd drafted qb's will neither. But I think Stanzi could be ready to challenge for the starter spot in year 2 and definitely start by year 3.

Good post Daniel. I'd like to add to your list of deficiencies: With the exception of Mike Nolan and Todd Bowles, the entire coaching staff isn't fit to lick the shoes of the Steelers or Ravens staffs. As far as the front office? Likewise. Until the regime is changed, you could have the Steeler's personnel in Aqua and Orange and we'd still be 7-9.

5-11 this year at best, and no real hope for the future. This is a very weak draft for our positions of most need. Last year, we missed the boat on the speed receiver, pass rushing OLB and TE. At the very least. I have zero faith in this F.O.'s ability to pick the right players.

If I had known that the 80s were going to be the peak of my fandom, I would have recorded every game so I could have watched real football on Sundays in the 2000s. I have a DVD of the Chargers/Fins - yes, THAT game. We may have lost but it was possibly the best game of all time in my book. (Caveat - I was not witness to the undefeated season so I can't speak to that).

testing, testing

Wow, how many of you guys that think we are close are drunk? or have never played football? This team is in turmoil, and the only good thing is we will get one more chance at the number one draft pick, Luck!
I don't want another 1 and 15 season, but I'd rather have a shot at Andrew Luck then a mediocre 7 and 9 again.
The reason Dabol and all the new coordinators are crappy is no real talent wants to be associated with a lame duck regime.
God I miss the days of marino and griese.

God, we are the laughing stock of the NFL and some of you think we will go 11 and 5! If Parcells couldn't do it what makes you think his hand picked idiots can?

Parcells brought Fatsono and Fagland to the Phins, what makes you think they are better than him. Give me something to hang my hat on. Parcells gave us the 11-5 season, because of 1)Chad pene and 2)a weak schedule.
Parcells walked because he realized not every coach or front office man will shine.
If the man that brought the 2 bozos in walked away, what the hell are doing with them.
Simple, the 2 morons will will make us suffer next year, but we will get Andrew Luck!!!! And that makes me happy

By the way Amando, pull your head out of Ireland and Sopranos ass.

We are closer to being moved to CA than to winning a Championship.

Wow Oscar, I was just thinking the same thing!!!!

If we're gonna be a run oriented team, then we need another O-lineman, plain and simple. Preferably a good pulling guard, but a decent center will do. If we really want to open up this offence, then we should get two(2) pass catching tight ends (like Bellicheat did last draft) and THEN go for a speedy WR/PR. Our biggest weakness is a decent TE in the seams! Go back and look at the season, if you don't believe me. That will open up B. Marsh and Bess and any fast wide-out we get. Henne gets another year to prove he's not a bust and that last year was a sophmore slump, but have a veteran QB (and a rookie) in case he digs himself a hole he can't get out of. We're a young team and made a lot of young team mistakes last season. Gotta give 'em a chance for redemption. Barring major injuries (and a few lucky calls), we go ...10-6!

Ross was denied public funding for the stadium and I am so happy! I work hard in miami for my money and I will be D***** if i give an 80 year old billionare my hard earned money to screw my beloved Phins.

Tracy, have you ever played football? Hene is done, you don't understand. If you have no respect in the locker room, there is no way to get better. Hene was a Parcells/Ireland gamble. Get a Left takle and QB in one draft.
They never bothered to look at Ryan.
I hope if Ireland is around in 2012, he doesnt ask if Andrew Luck's mom is a hooker.

Oh by the way we passed on aaron rogers! Parcells said it best, "if they dont bite as a pup, they wont bite....Hene! Why do you think the man that drafted Hene said he is not an NFL QB and walked away.

I lived within walking distance of the OB and on my way there and as there was not enough parking space, all the neighbors used to rent their parking spaces for ten bucks. Man, was that part of the City full! I do believe that moving North, the Dolphins lost a lot of Patrons, specially from the City of Miami and farther South.

Henne will be here if there is a season, but in my opinion, he won't last long.

I saw Hene at an event and the guy has no balls. I have all his games since being a dolphin and he is really scared, shy and need Penne to hold his hand.
This is what the abandoned two morons think is there next Dan Marino!
Hene could hold Dan's jock strap!!!
So sick of this mediocrity.

We have plenty of time....considering the 8 or 10 week season we'll have next year.

How did we become the Detroit lions? F**********************

Here's the logic behind my prediction: 1) Dan Henning cost us 2 wins last season because of his strange play-calling (at least 2 wins, if not more), 2) you can chaulk up at least one loss to injury (Pennington's game as a starter for instance), 3) due to frustration, poor coaching (whatever), the Dolphins tanked the last 3 games of the season because we knew we wweren't going to the play-offs. 4) we went 7-9 last season. Ok, so if we can make up half of the games where we lost. (6 total) and add that to the 7 that we won, we get 10 wins! So, 10-6 isn't far fetched by any means.
The biggest problem is this: Has Tony Sparano become a lame-duck coach? Will the team buy into what he's trying to do again after what happened last year? Has Ross given Sparano a death sentence along with his 2-year extension after the non-recruitment recruitment for a new head coach? Will these guys win for any of our Front Office this season due to the CBA etc.?

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