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Coach talk of the day, but QBs are the thing

The topic of coaching is apparently a big deal in Sunday's Miami Herald, with one columnist ripping the idea of retread coaches while also applauding the fact Bill Belichick doesn't hire retread coaches -- and thereby forgetting Belichick himself was a retread when New England hired him after a fiasco in Cleveland.

Don Shula, by the way, was also a retread. He won more games than any coach in the history of professional football but the Dolphins recycled him after Shula fell out of favor with Baltimore owner Carroll Rosenbloom, who no longer wanted Shula.

Dick LeBeau was a bust as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pittsburgh Steelers recycled him as their defensive coordinator and he's helped them win two Super Bowl titles since 2006 and Pittsburgh has the stingiest defense in the NFL this year.

So recycling isn't so terrible if you put the right person with the right situation.


In my column, I tell you the hiring of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is a Hail Mary by the Dolphins based on his history and the players he's likely going to have to work with in Miami.

Speaking of players, and finding players and adding players -- that is more important for the Dolphins to do this offseason than anything else. This column gives you names of a couple of veteran quarterbacks the Dolphins will absolutely consider this offseason, assuming labor peace is finally achieved.

Frankly, I'm not excited about any of the veterans likely to be available. Orton? Young? McNabb? Bulger? Flynn? Maybe Kolb, if you overpay?

Let us start out understanding that certain QBs are primarily West Coast offense types. And the Dolphins do not employ the West Coast offense. So I don't think the Dolphins will be hot in pursuit of Donovan McNabb.

Other QBs don't make sense based on what it will cost to get them. Kevin Kolb could be the starter again in Philadelphia at some point next year. Yes, the Eagles are apparently going to try to re-sign Michael Vick, but one does not get rid of a good player because you have another good player on the roster.

So the Eagles are approaching this with the idea of keeping Kolb, barring a significant and advantageous trade offer. If you are the Dolphins, do you trade a high pick or picks for a player as unproven as Kolb? Tough.

Kyle Orton? He was good last season with 20 TDs and 9 INTs. He has some chemistry with Brandon Marshall. He really does make the most sense of any veteran out there. But that assumes the Broncos are going to make him available. That assumes the price for acquiring him is not outrageous in Miami's view. That assumes much desperation by the Dolphins ...

... well, I guess he's a fit.

Carson Palmer? ESPN reported today he will ask to be traded from the Bengals. He will apparently threaten retirement if he isn't traded. The Bengals may be open to trading him, but again, the price is not going to be a bargain. Also, what has Carson Palmer won in the NFL?

This column also makes the point that adding a vet is not the only order of the day for Miami. The fact is the April draft is likely to come before a labor peace is forged. And so teams will go into the draft assuming they must address their needs in that draft without the benefit of a certain free agency ahead.

In the past, free agency came first, then the draft, then the remnants of free agency. Teams went for it in free agency, fill in with the draft where free agency failed them, and then filled in further with the last vestiges of free agency.

This time, if free agency is delayed as expected, teams will hit the draft as their first and best hope for soliving problems. And so, should the Dolphins take this approach, they will be adding a quarterback in the draft.


No idea. You know the names. Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert. The Dolphins will look at all of them.

Hopefully they pick the right one ... this once.

[BLOG UPDATE: I'm in Pittsburgh today covering the AFC Championship game. We'll have a live blog of the game when it begins at 6:30.]


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DB - I do remember an FSU lineman getting frequent mention.
Knowing this regime, they probably pick an OL in the first rd.
BTW I'm totally OK with BPA regardless of position.


LOL... Totally AGREE @ 3:47!

Our moribund, old school, Packer Sweep er, Wildcat (with basically no consistant throwing element) for 3.1 yards and a cloud of dust is not cutting it.

We need some burners to keep the defenses honest.

Heck ev en as bad as Ginn was, teams still played our run game differently when he was on the field. Sigh, if Ginn Jr would have only made it to OZ to get his heart.

The thing that sux is, I really liked WR DeSean Jackson (blog archives would prove it) coming out of Cal. I knew after the failed Ginn experiment Fins brass would not pick up a speedy, thin framed guy like Jackson the following year. Arrgh!


Darryl Dunphy!

Wassup my brutha from anutha mutha?

Great counterthought post @ 3:36.

Glad to see you on man. Some good convo threads today. Lot of ideas and post thoughts worth reading from peeps today.


Obviously having some speed at WR would be great. But I think that when looking at prospects. Don't fall in love with their speed numbers, and size alone. What I think we need to be paying attention to are guys that can get off the line, and beat press coverages. We had fast recievers on our team. They hardly saw the field and people wondered why. Well, they could not get open, or away from physical cornerbacks. I also think that more then a
"speed reciever" a "pass catching tight end" would do more to open up the offense. Marshall already creates space for other recievers. He keeps safties occupied, or at least thinking about him. Having a guy that can get up an into the seems now makes usually the best linebacker occupied as well. Now the dimensions open up as far as runnning the ball, and the middle of the field. Something we failed to exploite much last year.

Under David Lee's tutorledge, White couldnt even throw past the LOS let alone land one in a vast ocean. A terrible waste of a 2nd rd pick.

Thigpen has shown ZERO improvement and seems to be a terrible waste of a 5th rd pick. We couldnt even get a 7th rd pick for him right now. It would be great value to get a 5th rd pick for Henne right now.

Just giving you guys a look at a name that has been consistent with the overall qb problems in Miami. That name is unquestionably David Lee's.

kiper has the dolphins taking ingram, mcshay has them taking mike pouncey. go f$uk your momma you piece of sh$t!


Regarding speed I know two things for sure.

You can teach it. The player either has it or doesn't. That is why I don't mind focusing on it. I do agree that you REALLY have to roll up your sleeves and find out if the player is a "Track guy" that runs fast with a watch in shorts and then can't make that translate to functional football speed.

Ginn is a prime example. A very fast linear guy. Not so much for quick side to side, make you miss ability. A certain amount of that is a required "must have" to make a splash in the NFL imho.

The 4 players I mentioned in my speed post I feel all have suffiecient levels of both speed, quickness, spatial awareness, make you miss ability to be impact players in the NFL. I mean they have to be explosive football players and I think all 4 of those guys can contribute to the Fins explosiveness quotient right away.

I do realize that there are a ton of Renaldo Neamiah Skeets track star guys out there. We do need football players ala Wallace, Hester, C.J., DeSean Jackson, Best, Knox etc.



As for wr's not getting of the line quickly enough, I remember Steve Young commentating a game and saying, "Henne goes thru his progressions too quickly."

This may have been part of Henne's problem. He may have been moving to the next progressions a hair before the wr's did "get open". This just might be another way of looking at it instead of "hte wr's weren't getting open".

Peyton Manning has a way of making rookie wr's look great. Just think about that Steve Young comment for a minute in relationship to this.

Rob in OC...I always thought Armandos blog is at its best and the most fun after the season. Especially when folks get their mad scientist draft formulas going. Keep up the great posts. This place is always better when youre contributing.....

I say draft Torrey Smith from Maryland, Martez Wilson from Illinois or Mikel Leshoure from Illinois.

Then fulfill your need positions with the rest of your draft.

Steve Young may have seen wr's breaking open the split second Henne went to his next progression. If this is the case, I hope Daboll notices and gets Henne to stay with a progression a hair longer as needed.

Dying, how Lee escaped criticism so long is truly baffling. With all the pro Henne people blaming his progress on coaching, nary a word about the QB coach.

I'll tell you something else, I'd be reluctant at making Pennington a QB coach. We/ve had enough 'managers'.

Bears/Packers game going pretty much exactly as I anticipated it. Packers offense has ability to put more scores on the board against 2 very good defenses. LOL............

If there is no labor agreement does it make sense to look for a QB this draft?

It's almost seems like we should trade down to pick up a 2nd rounder and pick the other needed offensive possitions.

I just don't hear a lot of good things about this years QB class. I hear some names but no clear one that will be available when we pick.

I'll be interested to hear who we should go after with our #1 if we don't trade down. Some people have said OL/Center. Others RB, or possibly QB.

Dying...You are absolutley right, and it drove me nuts. Henne looked like a chicken dancer with his head clucking around going through his progressions. I'm not going to blame it on the O'line, because even early in the year, when he was getting great protection he looked like a sprinkler head. He did a poor job at letting plays develop. A lot of it is his footwork, and ability to make subtile moves in the pocket. Especially in diress. The master of this craft plays for the Steelers. Watching Ben buy time for his recievers is an art. This is why Ben is Ben, and Henne is Henne. But if Henne can improve in this area at all. I think you are on the money.
Back to the younger speedy guys. When Hartline went down and Moore got some PT. It became really clear to me why he (Moore) struggled to get on the field. He could not get off the line. I have to assume(which I shouldn't) that Pruitt remained on the practice squad. I mention this point because I listened to an interview with Namde Asimngowa(no idea at the spelling) He said the toughest matchups hands down are the guys with good technique. That speed guys can be nuetrilized easier, then players that know how to beat coverages, and most importantly get off the ball. It was a very good, and informative interview.


How Lee escaped? I admit in the beginning I totally missed it too. We were to busy drinking the the White was a total 2nd rd bust and becoming divisive over Henne or Thigpen being our guy when Henne's critical flaws overcame us.

No one could come up for air long enough to consider David Lee's name is the common denominator in the development or lack there of concerning all 3 qb's.

Lee tutorledge led to White not even being able to throw the ball past the line of scrimmage, Henne being totally inept at the most critical moments, and Thigpen showing zero improvement since the first day he arrived. Common denominator for all 3?

QB COACH, DAVID LEE! LOL................


I hear ya on the David Lee not being the best QB coach around theory. Lotta folks are saying everything about Henne's development was due to Henning and Lee "messing" him up.

Now realize I am just coming from my point of view and am not trying to pick your opinion apart DB.

I just have a hard time believing that their coaching (either by style, play calls, vocalness, timing etc) could do that much damage.

I do recognize that pulling Henne off the field to do Wildcat plays is unorthodox and sometimes downright lame. But is that what makes a Pro level QB throw a 10 yard out 4 yards overhead of the receiver? Henne is a bit of an enigma to me. He will botch an 8 yard easy as pie toss to a wide open back up TE but will come back a series later and make a nice lazer toss 15 yard curl?

The up and down accuracy is what I just can't build a link from coaching wise. I mean he is not always one or the other all the time which would cause me to fault bad coaching more.

I guess that is why I can wait for this Daboll era to get going as it will be with the house cleaning both OC and QB coach that we will see Henne's porgress.

If Henne rises to some greater status it was more coaching, if he sinks or stays the same it should be on him.


Either all 3 qb decisions(Henne, White, Thigpen) by the fo were terrible. Or DAVID LEE was not up to standards in the correct coaching of ALL THREE.

I like the odds that Lee's name is the common denominator in the assumably failure of all 3 a little better. LOL........

Id bet money they sign VY. He's young, experienced, 31-17 as a starter, and will cost nothing to obtain. McNabb and Hasselback are too old and are used best in a west coast offense. Orton or Kolb wouldn't be bad, but it would take a 1st at least to aquire Kolb and they don't have a 2nd as it is. A 3rd isn't enough to get Orton IMO. They should draft a qb high, but they have to win now. So I doubt they sink a 1st into a guy that likely won't play next year.

Carson Palmer requested trade from Cincy and may retire if wish not granted

Here is a question. What is the percent chance that Henne is the starter next year? IMO, with the reality of this particular offseasons speedbumps I'm going to say it is 50/50. This isn't a question of should Henne start, or does he deserve to. I'm just trying to look at the reality of our situation.


IMO, even though Henne still has numerous areas to improve upon. His most glaring criti cal deficiency of all was 3rd and longs. For me it's a little forgiveble becuase even the greatest nfl qb's may only be about 10% better.

The greatest problem with 3rd and longs is that it seemed we may have well been amongst the highest in the nfl in number of 3rd and longs faced. We are near bottom ranked in points scored to prove it.

Henne was actually a little above average running the offense when not facing 3rd and longs or forevers. LOL.............


Carson Palmer has a good body of work and did have some ok games in the last quarter of 2010. He has had a fairly lame (by his earlier standards) last few years overall though.

The fact that scares me most with a Carson Palmer pickup is that he had Ocho Cinco and a fairly revitalized T.O along with RB Benson and wasn't able to deliver.

What does he do with our OFF?


Hey there rob. I believe the 'culture' in Cincy is the issue. A change of scenery may be what the doctor ordered

we dont want palmer


After offseason evaluations by Daboll I'll say it's 65/35 Henne is the starting qb in 2011. I say the primary problem as a whole was the totally unbalanced amount of 3rd and longs we faced in 2010.

Most as a result of poor play calling, penalties, drops and at times poor route running by recievers. Of Henne's 18 picks at least 6-7 seven are on the reivers alone. Just that could have brought the picks down to around 12-13 for the season and sustained a few more scoring drives.

U don't want palmer

Armando, you are of a similar mindset as the coaches who coached their way to a loosing season. Sparano still has a job because he has agreed to change the offense in a substantial way. That said players with skill sets on offense will allow the Dolphins to win enough games for a playoff run. The Dolphins will have to go after offensive skill players in the draft and free agency. Also offensive lineman. Yes they need a quarterback to play in front of Henne. An athlete with some NFL experience and speed. That's what works in todays game. Don't be surprised to see the Dolphins try to get Brady Quinn.

ill say 90 percent of problems was awful henne, ill stick to my guns, he will not start opening day

DD and DB,

I will pay special attention to this common denominator of QB Coach D. Lee now that he is removed. Coupled with Hennings removal there is a lot of new ideas and concepts about to be introduced.

"If" Henne is back as a starter we can monitor progress in 2011. Again, I am thinking that if they can get someone else capable of playing ahead of Henne from an ability standpoint, they will.

I will have to get a peek at they way the offensive plays are designed as well. We have seen Hennings scheme so lets see if the NEW DC is up to snuff. We he let opposing DEFs crowd the LoS as much? Will our OFF players get open more or less often? Is the running game more deadly?

My eyes tell me that Henne is a tad robotic (less than fluid), lacks peripheral awareness (catching guys jumping offsides by getting the ball snapped and seeing potential blitzers), has trouble buying time shuffling in the pocket, has issues with his reads and timing, and of course being consistantly accurate.

I hope I am dead wrong and the new coaches can fix those things with coaching.


dishpan @ 4:47

You are correct, a change of scenery does do the trick sometimes... see Jay Cutler.

Be interesting to see who the Fins brass hangs their continued employment lives on.


Armando, you are of the mindset that the players the Dolphins go after should be perfect or without any character issues. Look at the Jets for example. Coach those imperfect players. That's what Belechick and Ryan do as coaches. You thought the Dolphins would never get Brandon Marshall and you wrote about that. Then they got him and he became their main offensive weapon without any major issues. Go figure

Dying whoa buddy, wasn't pointing finger at you, just a general comment about Lee.

I mean, how many negative comments do you remember hearing about Lee until the last couple of months?

DB @ 4:50,

I agree fully that of those Ints and WR drops many are the receivers fault.

I am glad many of those are potentially correctable.

The ones that I am more concerned about are the ones where everything about the play went right until the throw. Like over the course of the season, how many plays did Henne throw the ball uncatchable out of bounds? Sidelines and endzone passes included.

I will give Henne a chance to compete fairly for the 2011 QB job, I just hope they bring in good competiton is all.

Thanks for the posts bud.



Thankyou for that commit about O-line. One of the few that get it. It doesn't matter who we put back there with this line. This regime has had 3 yrs to build an O-line. They stated that was first point of importance and all we have to show for it is a LT. Yet Ross extends the masterminds behind these decisions. This organization is diseased from top to bottom. Ifell like this is a remake of "Major League" but with football. How bad can they make it.


Henne's accuracy issues on some throws can be directly linked to footwork in the pocket. The arm follows the feet, not vice versa. If Daboll can work to improve this where David Lee, it will be of tremendous value in Henne's accuracy.

However, I dont expect Henne to have 100% alleviated ALL critical defiencies. But I do expect to see close too 50% improvement in these areas. I feel that's a reasonable expectation number.

10% or less improvement in Henne's critical need areas will fall far short of needed improvement and invites regression more than progression.

I agree that the FO will do what they see fit to bring in some competition for the starting quarterback job. All of this would be null and void had Henne played a little better the last month of the season. I think that he has to take a brundt of the blame. I want to go back to the fourth quarter of the Buffalo game. I think that circumstances of that outcome cemented the "WE NEED A FRKIN QB OR WE WILL ALL DIE" sort of hysteria.What I mean is that Henne was coming off that stinker against the Browns. The season at that point was lost, as was any confidence Henne might have. The Buffalo game began even worse. But steadily as the game grew on, Henne got better. A fourth quarter TD that drew his team close, and the ball. It was the first time since the Oakland game that Henne looked like an NFL quarterback. This could have been the moment everyone was waiting for, The fans, the team, the orginization. Henne was going to bring us from behind and win the game. Impressive, because he started so bad. The last drive, Henne gets us down the field. A couple of great throws, and good decisions. Then we get into Field goal range. And Henne is taken out in favor of a couple of wildcat plays. Momentum gone, yardage lost, any flow, or hope for a TD squashed as we face a third and forever. My point is that. This was an opportunity for Henne to gain some confidence. Not only for himself, but with his team. And it was stripped away by the evil genius. The rest of the season was a trainwreck, and now we are in limbo.

DD @5:24 Spot on

The 2010 oline were actually better pass protectors than the 2009 oline. At least until late season injuries took over.

Run game issues included:

1. Foremost of all the inability to force DC's out of 8-9 in the box on obvious run downs. This was the lack of a legit deep threat issue.

2. Berger(C) isnt overwhelming at the point of attack in run game but maybe doable without 8-9 in the box.

3. Incognito's stout at poa but primary weakness is pulling.

4. Jerry's weakness seems to be pass protect. Same as guy he replaced(D. Thomas. Problem as a rookie maybe picking up correct blitzers and consistency in run blocking techniques. You're not going to consistently overpower guys as he did in college. Old habits are sometimes hard to break.

5. V Carey's an above average vet but far from great. He can also look bad if the guy next to him isnt technically sound enough to add to some of his own defiencies.

When considering things which happened that are not related to the offensive line itself. Overall the 2010 offense just wasnt nearly good as a whole to overcome self inflicted wounds placed upon itself. This offensive unit needed to be nearly flawless just to be ranked bottom tier top 10. LOL.............

Really sucks to see BJ Raji make and hold onto a pick 6 when our db's couldnt see it. Mike Nolan should take that film and make our db's relentlessly watch it during the new season! LOL.....................

"couldnt do it"

Kiper and McShay haven't got one Dolphin draft
Right in the last 3 years. Not one player
But I still name them as Miami Draft experts

Duh Uh Doh!!!!!

Duhphan 77

OMG! I now forsee Kaleb Haney's name being ballied about on this blog!


Haine looks pretty good as a third string QB for the Bears. I think he is worth a look at based on his play today.

Any nfl qb can look good when the DC hasnt had chance to prepare for him. Still it didnt take long to figure him out.


gman just stop. haine isnt the answer anywhere


If the Steelers win today we can at least claim we beat one of the SB participants or champions and came within a blown official's decision of beating the other.

Not saying we're nearly that good, but does show how unpredictably "wacky" the nfl can sometimes be! LOL................


He still did more in just over a quarter of play than the first two QB's. The bears came back in the last quarter and still had a chance to tie the game despite them being out played for the first three quarters. I may be mistaken but don't think he played much during the year and came in a pressure situation and gave the Bears a chance.

Here's hoping for a Steelers v Packers SB


I don't think any of Miami's QB's would have played any better in that situation.

Martina Mcbride...wasn't she a tennis player in the 70s?

No wait, a NASCAR driver?

keep talking you mother fuc$er. go wash your pu##y. why don't you post your real name. now go f$ck your daddy!

Get a veteran QB and draft a QB also. The NFL is a QB driven league and without a competent QB the Phins are going nowhere.

I've been reflecting on the fact that the four teams that played in their division's championship games today (GB, Bears, Steelers, Jets) all played the Dolphins this year. And, we were fairly competitive in those games (well, almost). Kinda makes me wonder if maybe we aren't as far away as we think. Just a couple of calls going our way, a few passes caught, an interception or two and WE coulda been the ones talking about the Big Show!
Hope! The last bastion of a Dolphin Fan!

You forgot Nathen Ethridge of Idaho.
He just won mvp of the East, West shrine game.
He was projected to be a 6th rounder, but may not last past the forth.

hunter and devine aren't every down backs. they are good "change of speed" backs that you can use in place of your bigger back. the every down backs coming out this year are ingram, leshoure, williams and thomas. devine's numbers not only fell off this year but he only had 4 one hundred yard rushing games, four games of less than 40 yds and only had 50 yds rusing in the bowl game. might as well go for dion lewis.

Hey dm1dophan,

Just to be clear, I never said that RB Noel Devine was an every down back.

RB Noel Devine averaged 5.9 yards per carry over his entire 4 year career at West Virginia. He scored 32 TDs and went for over 4,300 yards against some pretty decent teams in the Big East. He had injury issues and didn't play nearly as much in 2010 after 3 straight years of playing in every game. That would explain the "falling off" you had noted.

As for his bowl game and ONLY gaining 50 yards rushing...he only had 8 carries for a 6.3 average? One of them was a 28 yard run he ripped off. Mr. Devine can't help it if his running QB Geno Smith kept it 12 times. What did you want from the kid?

Mark my words, RB Mark Ingram is not going to be an NFL stud imho.

RB Ryan Williams is intriguing. I wouldn't say first round material though. I like him most of the bigger backs.

RB M. Leshoure from the fighting Illini (not a first rounder either) will be a bruiser but does not fit the need this team has which is to get more chunk yards.

My contention is I would take my chances by resigning Brown to a lesser salary (as Ricky said he doesn't like the coaching). I think the Oline play regresssed more than Browns talent faded. I would go get a nice change of pace back like Devine or Hunter and couple him with Brown.

Don't sleep on Hunter either. He has gone over 1500 yards twice, also over 4,000 yards and 39 TDs. They said DeAngelo Williams would never be a full time back either due to his size. Hunter has a good frame and with continued growth and an NFL weight program he can get bigger and stronger.

Lastly, with Sparano and his "Play Count" system mentality, no one should be in jeopardy of over use. He used that logic to a fault; even when Ricky or Ronnie were getting hot.

If you don't like Hunter or Devine as a Fin I can respect that and it is duly noted.


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