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What they do, not say: Pass-rush edition

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.

But ...

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.]

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Are the Dolphins going to resign Wake? Tell me that they are not thinking of letting him go ...Please!

Armando...Thanks for posting a heads up.

Just look at the 2 teams in los Super Bowl. Both could pressure the passer from both sides. Look how the jets beat Brady and the Pats. Pressure. By far the best players avaialble in this first round are on thr defensive side of the ball.

Since the rules on offense have changed. The way you attack on defense has as well. 1 stud pass rusher has always been a must. Good defensive teams are realizing having 2 guys that can get to the QB helps neutralize some of the advantage. The next position that is evolving in front of our eyes is the nickel corner. Again good teams are moving their best cover guys inside in certain situations. We cannot win if we can't cover teams that spread us out. This is outside of the box thinking, but I think nickel corner is the second choice behind olb in this draft.

Wow. First by accident!

Rats.

this team is so bad

I still believe they will do everything possible to move down the draft board so they can pick up a 2nd round pick. If no reasonable offer is available they will have to pick the best athlete on their board - offense or defense.

The big need is Offense,but if the value isn't there they shouldn't try and reach for someone.

Darryl,
How are ya man?
I agree that having two pass rushing specialist is something that has become more prevalent. Along with a good push up the middle. Miami's defense is starting to take on a nice look. I believe getting Will Smith back under contract was a great move and adds some veteran depth. And a player who has shown consistent willingness to work with younger guys to help them develop. I have noticed a few High $$ defensive players being released from clubs this past week. It certainly makes FA a more interesting event. I suppose now we are all on hold until the millionaires and Billionaires get their minds right and decide to play ball...Huh?

Are the Dolphins going to resign Wake? Tell me that they are not thinking of letting him go ...Please!

Posted by: captcrush | February 20, 2011 at 12:02 PM
------------------------------------------------

Can Wake is already signed through 2012... Miami has begun preliminary contract negotiations one year early in an effort to get him paid. Miami did not even have to speak with him about his contract until next year, but chose to start working with him now since he is obviously worth it, and should be paid in accordance to his performance. I'm sure they will get him straightened out by Summer or the beginning of the season at latest. He is in Miami until 2012 one way or another.

*** Through 2012... Not until, my mistake.

IF they go defense Ryan Kerrigan would be an upgrade if they could groom him into a 3-4 OLB... 6-4 255 he is prototypical size and would certainly be an upgrade but how much is that upgrade worth? Moving Misi to the inside would have to be necessary as well... Trade Crowder while we still can get value he should be able to get a 4th or 5th rd pick

They give you a week off when the combine begins....good planning...BRILLIANT.

beerphin,

Kerrigan will be a great player coming out of Purdue. Most have him as a top 25 pick and I would be shocked if Miami used that pick on a defensive player. A guy like Brooks Reed out of Arizona who had a great North South game and is a 4-3 DE 3-4 OLB experienced player may be around as deep as the late 3rd or even 4th round. Steven Friday out of VT will be available in later rounds and has good speed and can drop well into coverage.
Neither are my favorites or anything like that... Just guys I have looked at that have good resume's and will be around when Miami is picking.

It's what they do, hardly what they say, that has confounded me for decades. It is if the FO hears, but never listens. Hopefully, the era of disfunctional draft/FA selections will end. But I have reservations...

Let's look at the entire organization as a whole?

Oh dear, we have a melting-pot. A FO crew of rejects and hype. The lone exception being Nolan. Colectively, they may assume the braintrust needed to get this franchise turned around for the better.

But if they are in total agreeance with attending to defense as a top priority, they are assuredly willing to except that our offence can not, and will not, put us in a position to win the game. That requires mandatory focus on the offense.

This bullsh!t wayward thinking of, "defense first", asummes we can't possible win offensively.

This is more inline with the, field goal in the red-zone mentality, and regretfully relies on the defense to save the day.

Every war concludes with such phenomonia. Advance or retreat...Conquered or destroyed.

Digging a trench is the mental equivelent of desperation. Offensive advance has always proven that the ditches are clogged with dead soldiers. The art of flanking always usurps the entrenched.

If this franchise wishes to dig in defensively as a priority, they are already admitting defeat. Albeit, a slow death.

Weeeee, Carpenter kicks another 50 yard field goal! Now we are only losing by 11 point, 3 to 14...

Kerrigan is a leader on defense I think if they are serious about fielding one of the best pass rushes we need leaders that can one day fill the JT/ ZT void dansby is doing alright but I don't see him as being anything like ZT when it comes to being a leader... let me clarify different not bad. This year has one of the strongest defensive prospects but the really good ones will be gone by end of rd 2

There is a lot of late value on the offensive side though you can grab a valued RB 3rd rd and value QB 4th. if they go D 1 rd this year they should do it 1st FA Champ Bailey and we are straight on Defense for a while. Otherwise draft all Offense

I'm not that familiar about the guys on defence coming out who can provide a pass rush. I have no problem with them doing this but not at the expense of filling the voids that exist on offence. No question that pass rush will continue to be important in this division. Is it good? I believe so. Could it be better? Absolutely! I see improvement coming from Misi, Starks, Odrick and Soliai if he's back. It's a good not great pass rush team.

IF they look to upgrade Oline Castonzo/ Solder would upgrade RT and Carey could move to the inside. That is what I would do if Cam Newton or Julio Jones are gone. Defense i'm high on Robert Quinn if he falls or Kerrigan. Brooks Reed is a solid mid 2nd rd grade

Gulf Phin...good post. I just happen to disagree. By taking a defensive player first it would be by no means be taking a defeatist attitude toward the offense. I'm not going to make war analogies, I get your point. But even you stated that Nolan is the only piece on that warrants any thought. Well it is his unit that is well on it's way to being the identity of this team. This doesn't mean ignore the offense, or keep the kickers foot warmed up. It means that the best players in this first round happen to be on the defensive side. We need some players to complete this unit. These players may be available to us at our spot.

Now if there is a player the Phins fall in love with between now, and the draft. And he happens to be an offensive guy. Great. we should leave the door open to other options. We went defense at all cost in last years draft, because the thought was the offense was close. We should learn from our mistakes. If the best player available is a defender. Sign him up.

Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and Cameron Jordan are all prospects at 3-4 OLB

Quinn will probably be long gone before us, he missed this past season due to some transgression but as he tests out he will rise fast. Da'Quan Bowers is No 1 and is most likely a top 3 guy.

ddave

Did you see the Carol Burnett Show last night? Very funny, and that Tim Conway is a scream!

Gulf fin,

I think you have the organization pegged correctly. It so happens that your views mirror my own regarding the general incompetence of this staff on the offensive side of the ball.

I have been hammering this on the blog for some time.

The fact that Ireland and Mr FG thought the offense was close last year is a clear indication that this staff is delusional.

They completely missed that having ZERO vertical threat to the offense would hamper the production of BM in a big way.

I saw that one coming for my couch in Oregon.

They are 3 years in and they are just starting to get that the team needs speed.

This is a conservative group working in what has been a aggressive and dynamic league for many years.

The Dolphins will fall short as long as Mr FG and his cronies are in power.

Their minds are not able to concieve the right moves to bring a dynamic style of play to the Dolphins. Mr FG is not capable of that.

I thought Ross saw that but he did not have the balls or money to clean house.

one name I haven't talked about could fill that LG position if he were to be okay with switching from OT is Tyron Smith USC, He lacks the ideal size for LT and he is undersized but really strong I think he'd be a perfect fit at G if he were to be okay w switching
DD, I'd agree with that as long as certain players are off the board. Newton, Jones, Castonzo, or Tyron Smith and trade down pick ups in order Torrey Smith, LeShoure, Pouncey, Locker, Rudolph, Watkins, but I'd try to trade down first.

-before going defense...

A couple of things. Have to agree with Sullysfin. Mando, whoever your boss is tell him this is not the right time for the Herald to 'furlough' you. Long dry spell after the draft would be the time.

IMO, the right thing for the Dolphins to do is not go into this draft with the thinking 'we're just a few pieces away'. Realize we're 6-8 quality players away and it's nearly impossible to get them in 1 year. Realize no CBA is going to hurt teams like Miami worse than say a Pitt or NE team. To not reach for a QB in a weak class.

In other words, go after game changers on both sides of the ball and NO reaching. Have a more realistic approach. Improve across the board in 2011 and make a push in 2012.

That's what a competent GM would do. Ireland? Impossible to know what goes on behind close doors. It seems Ross wants to see some fireworks on offense. Ross likes Ireland but we're told his job is on the line. Impossible to predict what Ireland will do. I just hope he picks game changers not role players.

I think what Armando is saying is what I have been saying for the last several weeks...There are only a few positions on the team that are not open to picking the best available player in the draft. That includes defenisve line. Look, the draft is loaded with players at defensive line positions. You can NEVER have enough good, if not great, defensive lineman. If we get a defensive line stud and there are just not that many 1st round caliber running backs or quarterbacks available at 15, more power to us.

Aldon Smith and Wake creating pressure would be interesting but Kerrigan would be the better run stopper and beast in the backfield. Smith is more athletic and might be better in coverage. Both would be interesting upgrade Quinn and Miller are most likely unattainable


Ocala Howie says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:10 am
LOL
my girl cat does that too, then she licks my wifes nose and drools all over her face…

Jetssuck says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:14 am
my cat try’s to lick me but I don’t allow it because this cats tongue feels like sandpaper. My dog licks me. Anyways ,Gotta get a couple hours sleep for the race.

This is a sample of some posts over at the Sun Sentinel. LOL

NJ and his girlfriend TIM have the nerve to say things about the fine folks here at the herald.

Posted by: Tiburon | February 20, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Tiburon it is true about that over there. They are a sad pathetic bunch along with their leader NJ

THEY WILL TAKE THE FASTED RUNNER THAT IS IN THE COLEGE. DID YOU SEE ABOUT THE MOON BEAM ON TV IT SOUNDED LIKE HOME AND THE ((GANG OF DEFEAT)) ALL THE HYENAS TO

The low value pick at 15 is RB or QB anyway.

Picking at QB or RB at 15 would be reaching and would set the team back further.

DB's posts of late have been right on the money.

The team needs to use quality picks on O-linemen. Plus the team desperately needs a top flight WR opposite BM to balance the field.

You need two immediate starters out of this draft. None of the QB's who will be available at 15 are 1st year starters.

If you desperately want another QB to challenge Henne then the best bet would be to sign VY.

Hartline is not that guy.

Is it just me?

Am I jaded?

I have seen nothing from Cam Newton that would make me want to draft him. MAYBE if I was a GM for a different team, I MIGHT feel SLIGHTLY different.

As the Dolphins GM I wouldn't even consider it.

He's a great athlete no doubt and has good wheels. Other than that, nothing but question marks. Can he read NFL defenses? Can he make ANY of the throws against NFL level cornerbacks?

I just haven't seen anything ARMwise that would make me spend a pick on the guy.

So again, is it just me, or has the Pat White pick severely jaded me?

I'm saying NO to Cam Newton. Way to big of a reach, stretch, gamble, project. Whatever you want to call it, JUST SAY -NO-!!!!

I think hiring Bryan Cox is essential.

He could teach our guys the proper response for situations like the Westhoff Wall.

Heck, he might even be able to teach Channing Crowder how NOT to be a little p u s s y be-atch when getting slapped around and spit on.

HIRE COX NOW!!!!

FINE!

WHATEVER!

PS: Heineken Mini Kegs ROCK!!!!

Bottoms UP!!!!

Have we signed BOB SANDERS YET????

If not....then y-not?

If its the CBA stuff then fine......

But when it gets resolved.....he should be among the 1st FA signings.....

I know the knock on him is INJURIES....

But the bottom line is a guy who is always around the ball....IS ALWAYS AROUND THE BALL....

Crowder is always injured...and he's never around the ball.....


1ST RD PICK.....FOR 1ST RD TALENT!!

beerphin says:
February 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm
NJ why dont you stop egging these trolls on. You are just as bad as they are. Why dont you grow the f up!!!

This post was at the SS !! Maybe the real beerphin would like to know he's being impersonated !

An Odin sighting.

I thought you had shut it down until the draft.

I think the Cam talk is irrelevant as he will be drafter prior to the 15th pick.

I was initially with you on not seeing the hype.

However, I understand that he can make ALL the throws with zip, is accurate down field and excelled in a progressively more complex offense as the season went on.

Add to it the importance of extending plays as the trump against the increasingly good Defenses and he could be a very good long term answer at QB.

Kiper has him not going past #3 though so it is a moot point.

He is the only QB I'd consider in the 1st round.

I'd rather see the Dolphins sign VY though.

We haven't signed Bob Sanders because he is a "Glass Safety" and we don't need "glass" players. Col Sanders is of more use to us at this point lol.

Jetssuck says:
February 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm
what a sad life u must live. My cat and dog are like family and they provide great pleasure to me. My cat is probably smarter than you…

Hmmmmmmm.....provides great pleasure to me. What a sick freak he is. NJ please control you minions at the SS

Bod Sanders ?? how many more players on the IR do the dolphins need ?? where do some of these idiots come with this crap from ??

Dolfandave....you can have a short memory if you like...but he gets injured bring the pain to the opposition....and turning the ball over...

We don't have a ball hawk on our D like the COL..Bob Sanders


1ST RD PICK...FOR 1ST RD TALENT

conchita are you calling kris an idiot ?? I agree !

IDOIT...yeah..thats the write word.....

you must have some huge keyboard muscle...

BIG BAD ASS Conchita......TOUGH GUY....

Scary.....

2 names I have never seen before....can we get a 3rd??

Oregon DP..I agree with you.. I was wrong about Newton running a simple single read, run option offense. He was running a much more complex multi read, route proggresion offense by the end of the season. The only question mark, or red flag is snaps from under center. How will his footwork, and technique hold up when he needs to make 3,5,7 step throws. These are all reasonable concerns.

I have come around on him, and think he is the only first round quarterback that should be on our radar. Like you said, he will almost certainly be gone by fifteen. and if he was to fall to us maybe that in itself should raise some doubt? I wouldn't be for a trading up tp grab him as the price would be too much. As much as I like him. I think this is the wrong answer.

Rob in OC is banging the VY drum as well. The thing with all of the free agent quarterbacks is that none are free of critique. All have some holes that can be broken down and argued that we should pass. But when free agency time or a trade comes(when ever the CBA allows this) We will have to settle on someone. Knowing this player will probably be a stop gap until we find the next "franchise guy"

Kris . Idoit ?? can you spell ??

Interestingly, I have posted several times here, and at PhinPhinatic that another pass rusher would help cover our lack of big play's from our DB's.
A great defense...i mean Ravens great can make up for a mediocre offense. if our D had made big plays in 3-4 of our games, we would have 11-5, not 7-9.
It is, I believe generally easier to upgrade defensive than offense, as WHERE does the elite QB come from?
Certainly he has been an elusive animal in Dolphin-land.

I see the KIDS have come out to play....

Odinseye...Great to read your posts again. How have you been?

Fellas...Why does anyone care what is goes on at the SS? They don't bother us. Let it go!

Here is what I would do. I would say, I need a rb, whatdoyagot? I would draft the best player at a position and trade him for what I need. No use in trying to fool anyone. They would have to be blind not to see what the Phins lack. And if you give a bit you will get back. It always happens.

So draft a player that another team needs outside of your division ensuring that they have what you need and trade. Simple and true. Gasp

Trying to hide the fact is just plain stupid and not real in these days of endless videos, pictures and stats.

A GOOD POTATOE IS THE RUSET FOR BAKING AND TYHEN SALTY AND PEPPER

Kris dont be fooled it is NJ posing as conchita. He is an idiot and started posting here again when his pals at the SS get insulted.

Krissy you sound tough and scary. Dont bother coming over at the SS, we eat you guys for breakfsst. LMFAO

breakfsst= breakfast

Kindry..I don't understand your premise. Why not just draft what we need, and develop him ourselves? I'm guessing your saying this with the thought the CBA is resolved? No trades of players until this is figured out. In your scenario, please give me an example so it makes some sense to me.

I don't know what you mean by short memory Kris. I remember quite well that he is extremely injury prone. He played 9 games the last three seasons. Are you the same Kris on Curt's Dolphins Discussion list? If so, Hi.

ddave

Kris it is NJ for sure I was just there and he is up to his games again

If we cannot aquire a second round pick. Does this expand our draft board? What I mean by this is. Would a player that perhaps has a high second round grade come into play knowing we don't pick until the third round? Say Titus Young for instance. He will definitley be gone by the time we pick in the third round. Do we risk taking him to early because he doesn't represent value at this spot? Or do we take him because WR is a position of need, and he is the best available? You can insert your guy here if you want. My point is does the board get bigger because we have no second round option?

DD,

Good post at 5:51pm. It's a subject that hasn't really been discussed....what do the Dolphind do if they are unable to trade back? Tough one! We're all assuming they will be able to but what if they can't? I guess the easy answer is they take the best player available but what does that mean? Some will argue QB. Some will argue WR. Some will argue OL. Some will argue BPA. It's a tough call because if you take an OL you are now in a situation where you can't address WR. RB, QB and any other position until the 15th pick in the third round and FA, whenever that might happen. It's why if they can't trade back, they really need to make certain they get value at 15.

I sure hope not, traditionally teams that draft for need first generally do worse. Ideally we should try to fill needs w/ free agency assuming there will be such a thing this year. We should grab the best players(hopefully at a need position) in the draft.

Odin, welcome back my friend! I thought you were in rehab or something.....lol. I agree with you on Brian Cox, the passion he brings reminds me of Ray Lewis, Nolan can be the General and Cox can light a fire under their butts....I am toasting your return to the post!

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