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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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is ray snortin sumptin?

Through a straw

This team desperately needs a solid running back. The R&R show is over. I won't be surprised if they take Ingram if he is there.

Home, Armaggeddon is starting, that's why we are hiding on this blog!!!!

Shockey is PROVEN PERFORMER....he is only 30...plenty left possibly 3 more years at the very top..at his best he is a BEAST....I certainly do not think he is on the wane...

This is a no brainer...Fasano is mediocre at best...this would solve TE for a couple of years at least...

My only concern is that he is a renowned party animal...and Miami is a haven for funtimes...but if we disqualified all young party loving guys...we would possible be able to muster 3 teams nationwide...they ALL party.!

So under Sparanos strict eye, I feel he would flourish...id do it....it take scare of one problem...next is sign Soliai...

That's my point mojo, thx.

Remember how terrible the playcalling was? Yeah.

We need to plug holes via FA...and plenty

bigalfy,

With all due respect, take a look at Shockey's numbers last year and tell me how it 'solves our TE for a couple of years at least'. Last year was his worst season, stats wise, in his NFL career. I'm all for bringing him in and giving him a chance but I think we'll be lucky to get two years out of him in Miami.

Bigafly - Shockey has played in NY and New Orleans, both bigger party towns than Miami. Anyway, any city with a football team has no shortage of party options...the party angle is irrelevent really.

DC@ 5:35PM,

Im not sure if "OVERALL" this is a weak draft. But it seems to be one a little weaker at "OUR" critical need areas. That's what we need to be most careful about in drafting.

We dont wanna draft the wrong guy say 1st or 2nd rd and in the end he never develops even slightly better than the guy we have him replacing. That's my biggest fear of selecting the wrong guy in the wrong draft grade.

Many just dont see the proper coerrelation to draft grade and a guy may recieved the highest draft grade only because everything below him really sucks.

Have to remember every starter in the nfl regardless of position would recieve a 1st round draft grade right now and could bump most all of the college players in the draft to like a 4th rd draft status at best.

Straw Straw very funny! If you really think there's a lot of players that going make a impact right away than you right and I'm wrong but this draft doesn't look like a strong draft!!! But WTF I know or any body else in this app knows!!! we all could be wrong the draft is you get lucky or not that's how it is bro!!

The proper way to grade the college players is how you would project him to do against other nfl players at his position not how he is graded amongst his peers in the college draft. Do this and you end up with busts FAR more than landing a gem.

I respect everyones opinion but there are lots of players that are in the HOF and they didn't even get drafted or they were late round draft picks so drafting is hard to predict especially in the first two rounds!!

Barring that a top 10 offensive player doesnt fall. If we had to use our #15 pick, the best available offensive player is undoubtedly Mark Ingram.

Why? First of all Bama runs a pro style offense. Then Ingram has the size, tools, and vision to become elite. Yes, he lacks homerun speed, but can you think of anyother overglaring knock against him?

If we had to draft a player at #15 addressing a critical need offensive position. Mark Ingram has the greatest potential of all to be one of the 10 best in the league in year 1 that would be available to us.

Ray,

Drafting in the 1st and 2nd rds isnt that difficult. You just dont get overly caught up in need.

Drafting is like s*ex. The harder up you are the prettier the ugly girls get.

DB, time will tell, but I seriously think we may not be able to trade down, and if Ingram is available at 15, he just may be the BPA there, and as well, we desperately need a RB.

You have to base your needs on the draft. Not base the draft on your needs. If you do you'll spend all of your high picks just to still walk away with nothing.

I dont want to see our team do this. Never date the ugly girl out of desperation!

DB, don't know about you...but I'm not too proud to admit...dated the ugly girl out of desperation in a pinch or two or three...

0x80,

There are two teams with 2 2nd rd picks, New Endgland is one of them. If one of them are targeting a particular player in the mid first they maybe willing to trade thier two 2nd rd picks for our #15 pick.

If we could get two 2nd rd picks for our #15, I believe its something we should seriously consider pulling the trigger on.

We are left now with nothing to talk about other than to speculate on the draft. I understand this. I also understand TS will be our HC next year and there is nothing we can do about it. Amongst all this chat about who to draft, trade down, which FA to pick up, the overwhelming issue with me is that with TS as HC, we will never win a playoff game. I hope we draft players that can be utilized in any scheme with the next regime, because I firmly believe the next regime is coming soon.

0x80,

LOL... That's why I used the ugly girl example. Ive done it a time or two myself when younger. But I didnt feel very good about it once I was done.

It's something you're always trying to keep underneath your hat hoping your buddies never found out! LOL....

0x80,

It's been leaked out speculation that TS has been restrained by the bit. Now it's been publicised this season TS will be given more freedom.

Im now curious to see where TS can lead on his own now that he's thrown the bit. It's completely his team now. It's post up or puke up, no more excuses!

DB, I think its highly unlikely someone is going to give up 2 second round picks for our #15. Last year the top 15 was pretty hot, this year even the top QB's are falling daily. Admittedly, we know nothing, could happen...its just that this years 15 pick is not anywhere near as desirable as last years 12 pick. We'll see how things play out. It's the media convincing us this is not the best draft, but maybe the real scouts know better and we'll be able to do business. I'd like to see us trade down, but if we can't and Ingram is there, I think sometimes the most obvious makes the most sense.

I think Ricky or Ronnie could help another team. I can seriously see Ricky helping NE and wouldn't be surprised if he ends up there. I don't see either of them as a feature back anymore. I don't care how many backs are available in round 4, we need a serious workhorse back. Ingram may just be that, can always add a crafty speedback later, but the powerback you take while you can get it.

0x80,

We can speculate being able to move down or not all we want. I wouldnt waste a whole lot of energy with that thought if I were you. It may happen, may not happen.

Still having Ingram as a fallback position(#15) isnt exactly terrible. He may not be the next Emmitt Smith, but tob be even considered in the same breath is a great honor.

DB, I had worked years in the computer field. Back in the day, there were various mainframe (those are the really large ones) computers for a company to choose from. Some of those companies don't even exist anymore or no longer make those grand beasts. Anyway, there was an old adage, no manager ever got fired for choosing IBM. In this years draft, at 15, Ingram just may be the 'IBM' pick.

0x80,

I know we talk about the speed back factor in the draft but if Kory Sheets can stay healthy we may already have that change of pace homerun hitter already on our roster. Kory Sheets is a change of pace homerun hitting type that needs to be healthy in 2011.

If Sheets can stay healthy he and Ingram could make a great dynamic duo!

Right, I've heard some good things about Sheets. Seems like they have him pegged for returns, but he can still fill in at half back, change of pace. I don't think Hilliard is the guy and I don't think Ronnie or Ricky can be a #1 back any longer.

The thing I dont like about considering Hilliard as a starter is that he's neither a speed nor powerbacks. I think he has to have an absolute great offensive line just to max out at 1200yds in a season.

In Hilliard I see a guy that can possibly be an overachiever. But believe he'll always be far from greatness.

I see him as a bottom 3rd of the league starter at best. But he may be doable if you have a great offensive line an already have a lights out passing attack. But you'll never be able to pin a large part of your offense on his back.

I think Hilliard might can get you 2-3 100yd games a season as a full time starter. Expecting more could be very unwise.

DB, we have none of the criteria you suggest that would enable Hilliard to perform well. I think he is a servicable back up in a pinch, nothing more. Bottom third of starters I don't think so, maybe bottom third of second stringers.

It's interesting that with so much obession about QB (rightly so) and a speedy WR, most bloggers are forgetting how much we really NEED a RB, more so than even a TE, which we really need because if Fasano gets hurt we are screwed, most teams carry two starter calibur TE's. Hate to say it but I don't see us getting one of the few QB's in this draft that they would want...and most likely they will do what they can to build around Henne and maybe pick up a FA QB.

0x80, I say bottom 3rds starter because Im assuming he would look much better on a team like the Saints(Breeze) or Packers(Rodgers). Those type teams would use him far more out of the backfield not soley depending on his lack of running out of the backfield prowess.

We dont have the high impact passing attack to use him this way with any even small degree of regularity. We're already using the dink and dunk with our wr's. Incorporating a rb would just be more of the same.

Plus to many defenders clog the short to intermediate areas of the field because of our drought of speedsters on offense. He wouldnt have much room to operate as a consistent pass catching rb in our offense as it presently is. And he has no drive-bye speed to boot.

0x80,

Shockey was on espn in today. They were saying he was being interfviewed in Miami. Shockey stated he has a physical tomorrow. But when asked for which team he declined to answer.

He was in Miami and has a physical tomorrow. So when I put 2 and 2 together it suggest the physical is for the Dolphins. Why be in Miami, which isnt your home(besides playing at the U) if you have a physical schedule in another city or state the very next day? Hmmm........

Thelonius Monk, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Grady Tate, also were not "drafted", but they could be heard.

Interesting. I think picking up Shockey if only for a year is a wise move. We are short picks and we could use a TE. If we can save a pick on TE, that helps us significantly. I don't buy into the talk he is washed up. He is a pro bowl player with years of experience that we can plug and play. With he and Fasano sharing plays, less wear and tear on each, I'd think he at least has another year or two in him. Yeah some will make the injury argument, but if the price is right, take him now and worry about another TE next draft.

I have my reservations about Shockey, but if they got Incognito to play disciplined, they can get this guy to do it also; they are of the same mold.

Their not quite from the same mold....

Shockey is know as one of the NFL's biggest Party Animals!
.
.

They're

Who cares what he does in his private Life, as long as he obeys Rules?

shokey WILL SIGN WITH THE DOLPHINS THIS WEEK END .


SOURCE....NFL

ALoco,

I believe he will sign with the Dolphins. Was being interviewed from Miami today on espn stating he has a physical with a team tomorrow but wouldnt state the team's name. Putting 2 and 2 together (In Miami + Physical Tomorrow) it seems the most logical thing to deduce is that team is the Dolphins.

He might never be Tony Gonzalez, but an abundance of talent he has.

DB,


I HOPE IRELAND IS WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE THIS TEAM AND NOT SITTING IN HIS OFFICE DRINKING AND EATING AND WEARING SHORTS .

AFTER WE SIGN SHOCKEY WE LET FASANO GO HOME .

0X80

I Agree but if a team is will to give me 3 to 4 picks I'm going for it, like 2 second. Rd One #3 one #4 I will jump all over that...

I would think that is. a great trade if it happens I wish it does, Have depth on every position good competition. And that makes your team betters and more hungry
If that happens you use the majority of those picks on the offensive side of the ball period!!

That's a no-no, ALoco.

Here's why we should sign Shockey:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/09000d5d813b6918

If you watched the video link I posted. I'll guarantee you Gibril Wilson thinks Shockey still has a lot left! LOL.......

Just watched the NFLN where both Deon Sanders and Brian Baldinger thought Miami would be a great place for VY to try and revamp his career.

I know it's one of those, for what it worth type things. They sited a coaching staff that may not fully believe in Henne and Miami would give him a legit shot to start compared to many teams.

I'm all for it and I think beside Orton and possibly Flynn there really is nothing else that works for me. Even those two may be too hard to pry from their teams.

Kolb will exact too hefty a price. All the other QBs have a ton of warts. I like D. McNabb but he is heading down that final stretch run and may already be declining.

Cheers,

Hey DB and 0X80,

How you fellas doin?

I see you guys chatting a lot about Ingram at #15.

It is so funny to me how we all want the Fins to win and be that next rising squad. I couldn't see it any more different than you two.

Arian Foster and Lag Blount were both UNDRAFTED FA backs. Ronnie Brown and Ricky were both 1st rounders that never really lived up to their actual draft status and draft position.

Ingram is busy cutting weight so he can become a "combine transformer" and post numbers that are not generated from the same football weight that made him a high ranked RB. I just don't believe the guy will be all that. He speed is average and he came from a pro style program that had a ton of talent opening some gaping holes.

Both R & R have done some good work to be sure but neither has carried the team to the promised land. And you both want to bring in someone that has similar build albeit lighter.

I would rather let Ricky go/trade him and resign Ronnie to a more palatable number. Ronnie Brown has expressed an interest in staying and has an all around skillset to be in a lot of variable offensive sets plus can block.

I feel strongly enough about it that I would even overdraft a guy like Titus Young or get #15 DEF draft value DE Cameron Jordan or Adrian Clayborn and still come out ahead. Heck I would even go so far as to take QB Colin Kaepernick there and still win.

My answer to the what are we gonna do at RB question is pick up DeAngelo Williams in FA.

Makes the draft fun to see what the Fins end up doing.

Cheers,

Rob-OC,

Doubting this fo would do it but I believe the best win now option at qb is to bring in VY. The loser in the Henne/VY starting battle wins the backup spot.

Doesnt mean the Fins qb future is completely solved but it does stabilize the position for the 2011 season. Depending on what whichever qb who wins the starting job looks like for the entire 2011 season then we know for 100% certain if we need to spend a 1st rd pick in 2012's draft.

My hope is that either Young or Henne shows it's ok to move on with them eliminating need to spend a 1st rd pick at qb next year. Henne's a fa beginning in 2012, so if he thinks he can be a starter elsewhere upon losing his starting job here in Miami, let him walk and draft a backup in 2012. If not keep him as a backup here.

I actually think there's still upside with VY. He didnt have very many weapons in Tenn outside of Chris Johnson.

If we can focus on surrounding weapons and bring in VY we might just be ok offensively in 2012. That's why I say Ingram at #15 if we cant trade down, then add a speed #2 wr who would be available 3rd rd.

If ingram can be the load back then perhaps Kory Sheets can stay healthy and become the change of pace homerun hitting rb to pair with Ingram. I think its a very interesting possibility.

DB,

Tis a very sound plan my man. Henne needs the serious competition and I feel that VY could unrest the starters job from him.

If, under a fair training camp battle, Henne can stave off someone of VYs caliber maybe he can take the next leap forward.

I am betting on VY in that battle as I just feel there are too many things I see in Henne's game to fix in one off season.

Either way, both have started and won games so we would have that balance just as you are stating.

I looked it up and Henne has 46 yards rushing in his career so far. VY has that in some halfs.

I wonder how Daboll feels about using plays that play to each ones strengths? That would be two different types of offense for those two guys. What about Sparano's famous/infamous play counts for players... I wonder if Daboll tends to ride the hot hand more at QB or Running Back?


Cheers,

Rob-OC,

In theory, Im sure the coaching staff's intent was to keep a fresh legged rb coming at defenses. But you have the draw the line somewhere. If a rb is showing to have a particulary strong hand that day ride his a*ss to the promised land.

Just like Kenny Rodgers sang, "gotta know when to hold up, fold up, walk away, and run. Surely Henning didnt consult this wise philosophy in his usage of our rb's last season. Hopefully the new OC doesnt fall onto the same lame sword.

DB,

I like everything about your post @ 12:53 except the Ingram choice at #15. I don't want "plow horse" I want "TD horse". lol

I know you miss 100% of the shots you don't take and I can't see going the chain mover 3 yards and a cloud of dust type back. I go a lot by what my own eyes tell me and that is why I can't hop on the Ingram bandwagon. I believe he will work hard and be a decent blocker for his size. I just feel that he won't be able to escape the NFL speed on DEF and will get tackled before he really gets going.

FA DeAngelo has already gotten done vs NFL players and seems to be a passionate football player.

I would resign Ronnie Brown and team him D. Williams. I would also add a speedster RB later like Noel Devine or Dion Lewis later in the draft if possible.

With a backfield of DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown and Noel Devine that should upgrade the speed and TD ability on screens, dump passes, wheel routes and block and release type stuff.

Cheers,

DB,

Nice Kenny Rogers reference DB.

I am like you, maybe Sparano will not be "The coward of the county" and get more FTS theory rolling. "Feed the Stud" should prevail at least until the 22-25 carry mark.

When we had games were both backs (R&R) touched the ball less than 15-18 comnined I was like huh? We are a running team?

Sparano's job is at stake so I would think he would let em run more if they start off well. No game was more puzzling than the Baltimore game when Ronnie Brown gashed em for a bunch of yards and a 12 yards TD run early and then it was crickets chirping second half?

We will have to wait for the Daboll effect. He beat the tar out of New England and did it by running their big back on them all day.

Cheers,

Rob-OC,

Ingram does run under a 4.6 40yd dash. He isnt snail slow by any means. He just isnt a Chris Johnson.

Sometimes you cant blind yourself between the difference of sprinters speed and football speed. Emmitt Smith had football speed, had great vision and knew how to set up blocks.

Ingram has those exact same attributes. This is why he at times draws Emmitt Smith comparisons. Not because like Emmitt he doesnt have great breakaway speed.

Ingram's compared to Smith because he seems to have "ALL" of the exact same tools in his toolbox, not just one.

Emmitt didnt exactly set the world on fire as a college rusher either. But the overall tools that he had in his tool box translated very well to the pro level. The overall tools in Ingram's toolbox reminds lots of experts of this. So the comparisons.

Remember lots of guys set the college rushing landscape afire in college then suddenly come to a thud at the pro level. What allowed them to be successful in college gets nullified when playing against guys as athletic as they are in the pros.

So you need that something extra. Smith had it and it seems Ingram has a lot of those same extras that will give him that ever so slight edge in the pro's as it did for Smith.

VY would also give us that extra added ability to pick up rush yardage like Vick did when he was still in ATL. You can never underestimate the ability of qb that can improvise when the original play breaks down or isnt there.

It makes gameday gameplanning a little more nerve racking for opposing DC's.

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