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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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And, to the person(s) who want to throw personal insults instead of logic, yes I played Football! 2 years Junior High, 3 years High School, 1 year Junior College .
How much experience do you have?

All the above, except I played 3 years as Nevada Wolfpack.
By the way not insults, just fustration.
Why are you sold on Soprano?

Not sold on Sparano. But, what choice do we have? Gotta go with the date you brought to the party!

Playing football and coaching is different. Very few coaches in the NFL that actually played pro-ball and coached....just 'cause you can play doesn't mean you can teach.

I started out playing on the O-line and D-line early on, but as guys got bigger, shifted to FB and ILB way back in the early 70's in central Florida. Back in the day before a lot of these rules that they've got now. In my day, you could still clothesline guys and grab 'em by the back of their helmets and stuff. If you weren't muddy and bleeding, then you weren't trying!

Do you really believe Soprano and Ireland are the answer? There resume walked out in may this year.
Please tell me what Soprano (offense line coach)has done to have your confidence.
He is a great motivator but not a great football mind (unless you like FG fist pumping).
We hired a fired OFC from the bengals, because no sane person would hitch his carreer to this mess.
!0 and 6, in your dreams.
Irelands last hope is Colin Kaeperneck, and I think (know him and seen all his games and films), but there's too many problems on offense. I hope they take him, but it's going to be a long season and I would rather have the number one pick then anoter 7 and 9. If you think !0 and 6, good luck but not gonna happen.

A stint in the Navy (1975-1985) put a damper on my football playing days. Too old when I finally went to college afterwards.

Let me answer with a question. How far would the Patriots and Jets would be from us if we had Tom Brady at QB and the Pats had Henne instead?

I base it on the players we have and the fact that our offence became better the day that Henning left. The biggest obstacle is if the players can buy into what Sparano's selling. That's the big question. All things else being the same as last year, yep! I think we wind up 2nd in the division behind NE in a Wild-card slot above the Jets. That's my opinion. You've got yours. I hope mine is closer to the truth. I didn't like the Tuna. Am not sold on our FO as it is, but there is some young talent on this team. I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater just cause tthe fans want to whine.

Comparing Henne to Brady? Hahaha! Are you serious? That's apples. And oranges!

But we don't have Brady!!! Bad question, and by the way Brady is overrated.
Since we are talking hypothetical, Marino with the hoodie?

Tracy...more like rotten apples to nice oranges

Yeah but..."if the queen had balls she would be king"

Who's to say that Dan Henning wouldn't have screwed up Brady the way that Henne is now. The kid's still gun shy from last season. The game never slowed down for him. Oh, he had moments when he flashed some talent, but then he had moments when he melted down. How much was the coach? We don't know. Can he be fixed? We don't know that either. Can this new OC develop him? We sure don't know that. But, all the young talent from last year just got another year in the NFL under their belt

That's cool Tracy. Serving your country is heads and shoulders above 3 years as a backup in college.

You can put all the problem on Henning! He's gone. Honestly, you have been in the military and football locker rooms. There is something about Hene that is weak. I can't put my finger on it but he has no confidence. Maybe he was ruined with the whole chad penne big brother thing! You cant be an elite QB with his personality.
Have you seen his press conferences? "Um yeah, that was the played called, um yeah I still have a lot to..um work on.
Would Dan the Man ever say such BS.
I'm sorry, I think he's done but you might prove me wrong.
I'd rather have a gunslinger with and attitude then scared boy who cried when he was benched.


Oh, I agree on that, but we really have no idea what we've got with this kid. He's confused and it showed on the field. Now how much of that was the OC trying to make a young Pennington out of him and not playing to his sstrenghts, we don't know. But, we're about to find out, huh? And, we're gonna see why he was rated so high outta Michigan. So, maybe the mental reps this off-season will make a difference or maybe the game slows down for him. I've see a lot of QBs struggle their first year or two, but usually the ones that flash every now and then get it sooner or later. Let Henne start connecting with some WRs and TEs a little bit and he can get the locker room back and in a hurry with a win or two. Seen it happen before and it's not too far-fetched for this team. They always do better when everyone thinks they're gonna stink. They love being the underdogs. It motivates them. We shall see what we shall see.

Ok, later guys. Have a good one. Us old folks need our beauty sleep! Nite.

I cant call this early what Miami's record or chances at contending are for next season, But I can tell you that I have never heard a HC say "I can't tell you what went wrong i'm gonna have to look at the tape and see what has to be corrected" . He had to have said that more than any HC in NFL history. And when JI said the same thing just a little wile ago it really put doubts in my mind that this organization knows what the hell is going on whit this team. The season is over! are you telling me you don't know why this team sucks? you need to look at tape now after the season is over to see what needs to be fixed? the tape thing should have been done during the season Jeff. O sorry, 5-11

front office and coaches are suspect at best. tony has a very hard time putting his thoughts into words. he seems content in doing the same things over and over,expecting different results. he was excited to play for 3 points most of the season. coach couldnt get a oline nor special teams to work. he didnt have a 2 minute offense. he "lost his team" 3-4 games from seasons end the last 2 years. a coach that was going to be fired got a 2 year extension? its gonna be a long year with no playoff hopes till we clean house. 6-10 record at best with ireland/sparano/henne for 2011.

This site has been taken over by Dolphins exceptionalism. Similar to American exceptionalism (the viewpoint that no matter what the facts say, America is the best at everything in the world).

Therefore, I'm predicting Miami will be 16-0. Facts, who needs facts. All I need to believe is my gut. We'll win every Playoff game we're in (even though we've not won ANY this decade). We'll go and win the SuperBowl, oh, and Chad Henne will be MVP, and we'll be only the 2nd team to go undefeated throughout the season.

16-0, write it down.

Oops, I mean 3rd (forgot about those pesky Patriots).

Edds and odrick will play nice backup minutes... they give good depth to the defense I would like to see more of Alama Francis as well he shows a lot of promise

This is still a parity league. Every team is a few components away from the Super Bowl. Hell, the Browns are looking very interesting for next year.

One component that cannot be analyzed here, though, is how the "team" components come together. Perhaps it is the psychology of a team that allows them to accept success. The Jets have the components, but maybe the coaching doesn't provide that intangible of ingredients working together properly.

The Dolphins are as close as any team in the league. How they play as a team next season is dependent upon the psychology of each player as well the group. Soooooo, if they are and remain rattled - team and coaches - from this year's disappointments, another long season awaits.

Given that the Dolphins have no second round pick, this draft is enormously important. That worries me. Problem is, they will trade down in first round and that means they will not get the starter Rey need from this draft. They will probably get a late second rounder which will help depth. I just think that with the state of the O line and skill positions, including QB, they are a ways away. Three years or so. Don't forget, the Jets and Pats will get better at the same time the Dolphins are trying to. With this coaching staff and their conservative philosophy, it could be a while before "we" are good again.

somewhere between 6-10 and 12-4.

DC....you are a horrible fan....how dare you bring up the FACT that we haven't won a SB in a decade....while the Steelers are playing for their 2nd SB in 3 years.....WE ALMOST BEAT THEM....we can hang our hat on that.....

Your statements are almost as ridiculous as those who say we need to draft a QB with 1st RD talent in the 1st ROUND....even though 57 percent of all SB winning QBs were taking in the 1st rd in the last 21 years (including this one.....thats like playing black jack and having rain man count your cards.....

But forget that...it makes WAY MORE SENSE to draft another lower rated QB....we've been doing it for 15 years with outstanding resuts......

We can hang our hats on 2008.....11-5 baby.....Oh wait! Chad Penington is a former 1st rd QB.....I wonder if that had something to do with our success....NAH.....

I said SB....i'm delusional...i meant Playoffs.....

We're 8 players away: QB, RB, TE, OG, C, ILB, DT, Safety.

we haven't been to a SB since 1984 (27 years....)

11-5
Add some pro bowl talent to the offensive line, and you got a contender.

Passing teams are iffy at best, remember Marino never won a super bowl, and Manning and Brady are sitting this one out.

Our example is the 72 dolphins.

Find a couple of explosive players and if the QB (Henne or whomever) can make a few plays the team is the playoffs...Should have been this year if Henne didn't blow at least 3 games for them...Fact is, they are very close to the Jets but to be a Superbowl contender they need a QB who is dynamic and that is not Henne..So, they need to draft one...

lol Kris. That's actually good if you believe DB. He doesn't put much stock in going to SBs and gaining experience (because it didn't help the Bills). He believes in having a solid team that wins the SB on their first chance. Since we haven't gone since 27yrs (I guess his thinking goes), we can amass the talent that's alluded us all that time this offseason (or next maybe) and be a force to contend with.

Also, Charlie Sheen will be giving up all drugs including alcohol this upcoming year, and the Washington Nationals will win the World Series while we're at it!

Oh, and money will grow on trees, and NO American will be obese.

HAWK 1052....the year is 2011.....I SAY AGAIN 2011!!!!!

You must have been in a coma for the past 40 years because football has evolved into a passing game....again the year is 2011!

and BTW....this Rodgers Kid and Rapistberger....1st RD talent....its not coincidence.....

di you know the Saints were a passing team.....sis you know the Pack hasn't had a running game all season.....

You have already mentioned Manning and brady so I don't need to tell you abnout how there offence works......

Its not a coincidence that only 4 TEAMS FROM THE AFC HAVE BEEN IN THE SUPER BOWL IN THE LAST 10 YEARS.....ITS THE QUARTER BACKING....

and its no COINCIDENCE THAT THE AFC HAS ALSO WON 7 OF THE LAST 10 SUPER BOWLS...ITS THE QUARTER BACKING....with the exception of Trent Dilfer

You're an idiot. This was an extra lame blog entry today, Mando. And by the way, don't say "you know the joke", followed by something that isn't a joke at all, it makes you sound really lame. It was a haphazardly made-up circumstance at best, forced to fit as a "joke".

I mean seriously, if you had just started it, "how close are the dolphins to a championship? Just an offense away." I would actually have smiled at the joke there, and perhaps even thought you were clever... but instead you just had to make it this big, cute punchline, didn't you?


Thank you! Finally someone has figured out this guy is a bastardization of journalism.

sis=did

and I really can't believe we are talking about the 1972 model.....seriously.....

and it's no coincidence the Owner almost dumped the HC this year...ITS THE QUARTERBACKING!

Just trying to pile on Kris.

DC....thiw way of thinking is mind boggling.....

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink......

Its possible that we feild a team and make it to the playoffs this year...anything is possible....the seahawks did it this year....and I think the last time they did it was like 3-4 years ago....

If you want to make sporadic apperances in the playoffs....once every 3-5 years.....then ignore the QB postion...

If you want to be a constant and consistent playoff team...who has a say in determing who wins the SB.....they get a 1st rate QB.......by hook or by crook....

theres a reason you know who the best QBs in the leagues names by heart....its because they are playing IN JANUARY...almost every year....and you are surprsed when there not

try taking some prozac, makes things seem much better than they are.

Billy Graham and Stephen Ross, the only two people in the world that can get a stadium full of people screaming Jesus Crist!
8-8 next year no matter who they bring in

10-6 would be fine w/ me, as long as it's apparent that the QB issue is solved, or being solved. Playoffs would be nice, but I'll take 10-6 as my starting point.

Kris, problem is, you and I are idiots. We know nothing. We're not professional football players nor coaches nor hold any NFL job. Therefore, we don't know what we're talking about.

But, Mike and Mike this morning had one Joe Gibbs (some guy they said coached in the NFL and won 3 SBs). I know, he's a NASCAR guy now and knows nothing about the NFL anymore. He's a has-been. But this has-been said, "this has turned into a QB league. You go with the hot QB. If you want to win, you need a great QB." Not my words, Joe Gibbs words.

But he's an idiot too. We all know NOTHING!

DC....what gives your post and Joe Gibbs words even more credenceis that he WON when the league was ALL ABOUT hard nose running and playing great defence....

Then he came back ound found out (the hard way) that the league had changed....the "old" way no longer worked......

I give a lot of respect to Joe Gibbs for recognizing it...and admitting it.....it a QB driven league.....

The NFL is doing something called THE YEAR OF THE QB....there a reason its called the year of the QB and not the year of the DT, WR, C, TE.....

i'm sure with a little reading one can find out

So kris where do we find this QB? I'm totally serious. Do you think we can find a franchize QB in the FA? fat chance. no team lets a frachize QB walk. Maybe in the draft? So who do you think will be franchize qb in the draft? Gabbert? he'll be gone by 15. Mallet? same thing. I think the FA have one or maybe 2 QB they want to target in the early rounds. IF they are both gone by 15 then they'll have to take best player available or trade down

Boulder, correct. That's why it'll be very hard for Miami to maintain any dominance (other than 1 season at a time) of the AFC East until they find a franchise QB.

Lets' see...we split our season match up with the Jets and lost by a whisker to the Steelers (bad call in end zone).

Beat Green Bay in OT...and got shut out by the Bears with our 3rd string QB and 4th string Center.

We CAN compete with anyone and am as excited as anyone to see what our offense looks like come Aug.

10-6 and a #6 seed is doable.

BoulderFinFan,

I'm with you.... in taking the best best player available if none of the 1st RD talent QBs are there...I don't think we should trade down.....in my opinion if we take the best player available (in the no QB scenario) we add depth...and thats a good thing....besides....who in this team besides Long and Wake would you say coudn't use some competiton......

To add to your QB thought....I'm a Newton and Locker guy.....

My reasons are this.....Newton is a natural.....he's gonna win in this league.....maybe not day one or year one.....but by year 2 or three he will be fully ready to become a top QB in this league....and I am willing to suffer if he starts day 1. of course he won't because he will hold out until the week before pre-season starts......

Last year Locker was the best college QB in the world....he was this years Luck.....now every little thing he does wrong he gets picked apart.....something isn't right about that...and i'm not buying it.....

Those are the 2 guys for me....in my opinion

I understand the theory and reasoning of who beat who and because we beat so and so we are close....i do understand that....

but i believe that football isn't about one game....its about a body of work....and out body of work was WIN ONE....LOSE ONE..... after week four...until we changed our motto to lose 3 in a row....

The teams that people will mention we beat....they didn't have that philosophy....they coud string together wins.....build confidence in both the team, management, and fans......

Winners are built by winning......500 teams are built by WIN ONE...LOSE ONE.....

Its really that simple....

Sometimes you just have to look in the mirror and admit to what you see....not the future you....not the you, you want to be, or are gonna be.....just the you that you see....

The you I see is 16-0. And Carpenter becomes the most under-utilized PK in the history of the game, because all our points came from TDs.

Anyone saying "this QB is a lock" coming out of college does not know football.

There are countless examples of QB's in college who look great in the spread offense, only to fall flat once they get under center and have to read NFL speed blitzes.

Picking talent at the QB position has become the single hardest job to fill in the world and NO ONE has the correct formula to pick a sure winner.

One can only hope a QB comes out of a college that ran an "NFL type" offense like Sanchez did at USC, but there are NO guarantees, NONE.

I'm giving Henne my support in this new system and truly hope he finds success, because he CAN WIN in this league.

Oh, and Mando puts up a post every 2 hours (that's 12 a day) all offseason!

If we were the Packers (who drafted talent like Donald Driver in the 7th round) I'd have full faith in my team to turn things around quickly. Unfortunately...

Just about every season some losing team beats the eventual SB winner for that season. For that losing team to conclude they are close because of that is ridiculous. For all those who say we beat GB and theoretically beat Pitt, please tell us what happened at home against the lowly loser teams.

In general, just seems like too many fans are content to hang their hat on an occasional playoff appearance, even if its a quick out (ie 2008). They just don't realize that Miami used to be a perennial play off team like the great teams of today. Pitt has maintained a model of excellence for some time....then there are the Al Davis's and Miami Garbage Owners of the world that talk about excellence, but only in the past tense.

To the bloggers who call the realists here the Gang of Defeat, we are only the Gang of Higher Standards. While some of you are content with celebrating 2008, we are not content with celebrating a rare playoff appearance let alone a playoff loss.

Every postion is a crap shoot k-dog.....and every pick is a crap shoot....

there are no guarantee's in life or the NFL...but woudn't you like for your team to go for it......

I can't keep laying out percentages because most on here neither care or just chose to ignore them rather than acknowledge them....

You talk about them like those percentages I mentioned are Kris's opinions.....

In actuality the are NFL facts....easily reseachable and easily provable.......

why would you not want to play the game with a deck stacked in your favor as opposed to never know what the next card might be?

and if Henne gets the crap scared out of him and begins to perform like he was drafted to...then guess what....

we win that way too!

Its a WIN WIN situation

Plus que quelques minutes et je vais voir Drew Carey sur "The Price Is Right." J'espère qu'il a une érection aujourd'hui pour que je puisse voir les contours de son énorme pénis!

Is this team closer? YES and here is why. This team is young, maybe the youngest in the NFL with some talent on it. Talent such as Jake Long, Sean Smith, Vonte Davis, Brandon Marshall to name a few. As this team starts to grow together it will start to "get it". What happens this year of all those dropped INTs all of a sudden are not dropped? What happens when we get some more offensive weapons and things start to click? This Dolphin team has a defense a lot of teams would like to have. I have all the confidence in the World this team will grow and get better this year. Unlike the Gang of Defeat, who by the way NONE live on South Florida, I don't root for failure but root for improvement. I am not a GM nor am I an NFL employee. I believe in letting the people who are actually the "professionals", people who actually work in the NFL make the decisions. I am a FAN who buys tickets, goes to the games and has a blast. I prefer NFL people build the Dolphins, not out of state fry cooks.

Not sold on Sparano. But, what choice do we have? Gotta go with the date you brought to the party!

Posted by: Tracy474 | February 01, 2011 at 01:47 AM

This mentality has been preached by the Jaguars & Texans without any results for YEARS. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you'll improve.

There are ALWAYS options. You just gotta be willing to pull the trigger. Teams fired coaches at the end of the season for god sakes. One team did it with 1 game left! They weren't afraid of the uncertainty of the CBA.

They saw their teams heading in the wrong direction and made the move to reverse course. Miami chose to do the opposite.

Bobby, Matt Millen is an NFL person, he ran the Lions into the ground for a decade. I'm sure you would have had your seasons tickets in Detroit, your fun tailgate parties and your wishful hoping. Just because someone has a particular job title, doesn't necessarily mean they have any competence. The Peter Principle is alive in well in Miami.

All your 'what happens when' mean nothing, zilch, nada, if they still don't ever happen after decades of waiting. Facts are facts, 7-9 this season is in no way an improvement over 7-9 last season. Enjoy your sausage fest at the tailgate party. If you were having a blast watching Miami display its worst offense in history against the Bills, Browns, ect... then you are more into getting sausaged than a fan of the team.

I said it before, I'll say it again.,The addition of cast-offs and off-spring added to the Miami coaching staff and retaining a head coach that's clearly over his head well either make Stephen(Hollywood)Ross a complete Genius or a clueless buffoon..(I'am betting on the latter by the way)

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