First the news: ILB Rashad Jeanty signed a contract today with the Philadelphia Eagles. He went with the Eagles even though the Dolphins and the Jets also offered him similar one-year deals.
The reason the South Florida native went north?
A source tells me he was simply more comfortable with the situation in Philadelphia over that with the Dolphins and Jets. He felt he had a better chance to start there than in Miami or New York.
On another front:
If you are a Dolphins In Depth reader with any standing or memory, you know I've told you to be wary of what the club and its personnel say but always accept what those folks do as gospel.
We remember this lesson from the Gibril Wilson lovefest of last offseason that led to his departure. We learned it when Cam Cameron loved on Daunte Culpepper publicly while I told you the kid was on the outs -- and months later he was cut. We learned this when Dave Wannstedt went on and on about how valuable Dan Marino was and how he could write his own ticket in the waning years of his career and, meanwhile, the Dolphins had him come to their offices to void his contract and usher him out.
It is not always about what they say. It is about what they do.
Well, the Dolphins last year where seemingly thrilled with Cameron Wake exploding onto the NFL scene with 14 sacks. They repeated time and again how pleased they were with rookie Koa Misi's development as a pass-rusher even though he showed good-not-great ability and good-not-great results with 4.5 sacks.
(For the record, I think Misi will be fine as a pass-rusher. He's more an effort guy, a high-motor guy. He's not the most gifted guy on the field, but he'll get his stats because he never quits and works hard. And he'll probably be a bit better when he learns the game and techniques better.)
So the Dolphins seemed quite pleased with their pass-rush and obviously the 39 team sacks for the season was good enough to tie them for 10th in the NFL.
While the Dolphins seemed satisfied in what they said about their pass-rush, their deeds yelled otherwise.
Even as many folks were hoping GM Jeff Ireland would improve the offense during the season any way he could -- perhaps putting in a waiver claim on Randy Moss -- he instead went with a waiver claim on outside linebacker Shawne Merriman when San Diego cut him loose.
Obviously, Ireland and the Dolphins saw a need to improve the pass rush at the time even as Wake was going nuts on offensive tackles.
Recently, The Miami Herald reported, the club interviewed former linebacker Bryan Cox for a defensive line coaching position. Although the club has yet to finalize anything on that front, a club source says part of the intrigue with Cox would be getting him to 1.) help defenders upgrade their pass-rush skills 2.) bring a more aggressive and perhaps even emotional approach to the front seven.
So, again, pass-rushing is on the club's mind.
What does that mean?
Obviously, the team is not afraid of improving an area of the team that is already fairly stout. It's a good idea because, after all, the New York Giants long ago wrote the recipe for defeating Tom Brady and the Patriots and that was hurry him, rush him, sack him, and hit him time after time.
This also suggests we should not lose sight of available pass-rushers in the coming draft and eventual free agency. I won't go into names here. It's too early for that. Or you can do it in the comments section. But, I tell you, do not sleep on additions to the pass-rush this offseason even as everyone is focused on offense.
Sure, the Dolphins haven't said they want to add a pass-rusher. But remember, it's about what they do, not necessarily what they say.
[NOTE: This will be the last blog update until Feb. 28. The Miami Herald, you see, imposes mandatory furloughs on its employees to reduce salary costs. It does so twice a year, lately. I am on mandatory furlough this week so I will not be working for The Herald thus not allowed to update this blog.
That doesn't mean I'm off this week. I will still be on my morning radio show, Armando and the Amigo, every morning 6-10 from Monday to Friday on 640-Sports in South Florida and streaming live on the web. If anything Dolphins related happens, you can bet I'll be discussing it on the air and taking calls about it, too. So you can tune in or call, if you wish.
I will also be live on my twitter account which is under my name. Please follow me to get my tweets. Later this week I will be sharing information on the NFL scouting combine. I'll hope to be back here with you on Feb. 28.]