« How a conversation turns into a rumor | Main | Marshall and Wake among the NFL's Top 100 »

Breakout players for 2011 -- whenever that starts

Before we head into the weekend (which some fools are claiming will be the final one as May 21 is supposed to be the end of the world) I want to give you my personal list of Dolphins players I believe should be on everyone's list of breakout players for the 2011 season.

...Whenever that 2011 season gets underway.

Breakout players are defined as players who have yet to show their signature talent. They are young players who have much potential but little in the way of stellar production to show for that potential. Cameron Wake had a breakout season in 2010.

The next Cameron Wake for the Dolphins?

My list:

1. Guard John Jerry: He was a starter much of last season but struggled finding his niche and then keeping it because he battled a sickness and that kept him from perfecting his technique and he wasn't strong enough and he probably needed a lesson in being a professional. Enough of that. It's the second season. The hope is he's working to get stronger as prescribed by the club's strength and conditioning coaches and he is going to get every opportunity to be a starter -- with every opportunity being defined as he's a starter Day 1 of training camp and then it's up to him to keep the job.

2. Cornerback Vontae Davis: Next season will be his third as a starter. It's time to live up to the grand potential he showed as a rookie. Davis is easily the most physical of all Miami corners. He works hard to get his body right. He works at the art of playing CB. But last season he had only one interception to show for his trouble. He had four interceptions as a rookie. You might claim he wasn't picked on nearly as much as he was as a rookie and that is correct. But he was beaten for at least four TD passes. That's not the ratio of interceptions-to-TDs anyone expects from a star CB. And make no mistake, Davis has the potential to be a star. It's time for him to reach that potential.

3. Free safety Reshad Jones: This kid is a ball magnet. He always seems to be around the football. The football always seems to be around him. It stands to reason the Dolphins, who want more game-changing plays in their defensive backfield, will give such a player an opportunity to win a starting job. If Jones continues to show that ball magnet ability, it would then make sense he bursts out of his role as a special teams player and situational player.

4. Wide receiver Marlon Moore: You cannot coach speed. Moore has it. He showed that potential with that 57-yard TD catch against Oakland last year. Coaches saw that and their eyes popped out. Unfortunately, Moore wasn't ready for more work. The following week he dropped a couple of passes and his chance for more playing time diminished. But a young wide receiver typically makes the biggest leap in ability between his first and second year. Moore is getting ready for that second year. A caveat: Most NFL wide receivers get plenty of work in that offseason between their roookie and second seasons. Moore isn't getting that with the Dolphins due to the lockout.

5. Defensive end Phillip Merling: Coaches were hoping for big things from Merling at this time last year. He was seemingly starting to figure out how to be a professional. Then he blew out his Achilles' tendon jogging on his own a month before training camp. He had to wait until the final five games to work himself off the Non-football Injury list. It wasn't a total loss, but it wasn't what everyone expected, either. Merling gets another chance at it this year -- hopefully while completely healthy. A big hint whether he'll be primed for a big year is how well Merling practices when training camp opens. He is known for at times not being a great worker in practice.

HONORABLE MENTIONS -- Koa Misi, Jared Odrick: Misi collected 4.5 sacks as a rookie mostly on sheer desire and refusal to quit. He was playing the SOLB for the first time in his career. He was playing in the NFL for the first time. He was probably a little undersized in that he needed to improve his upper body strength. As for technique ... what technique? The assignment this offseason and training camp is to address all those. We'll see the results.

Odrick was an instant starter at RDE. That says something about the kid. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they were not able to see the fruits of his potential. After a solid training camp, Odrick broke his leg in the season-opener. Four weeks later, he sustained an injury to the other leg that forced him out the remainder of the season. He gets a new start in 2011. The club has high hopes for him. So do I.

Check back Monday for more Dolphins information and analysis. Also, please follow me on twitter. Finally, I guarantee you the world will not end on Saturday. I have a Most Highly placed Source.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Breakout players for 2011 -- whenever that starts:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I predict Brandon Fields will have a pro bowl season. The record is 114 and I expect him to equal or even beat that.


My take on Sparano thus far is he was handcuffed to and possibly handcuffed by Dan Henning. As a poster posted in the blog,"If Sparano checked out of a Dan Henning play, what did he have to check into except another easily diagnosed Dan Henning play."

With no OC experience himself, Sparano is pretty much handcuffed to hic OC no matter who he is. Daboll predicts less predictability with his schemes plus that was one of the primary reasons the much versatile Clay was drafted as a h-back.

We're seeking less predictability and to create more mismatches on offense. But we'll see how well this all translates to the playing field in 2011. Still Daboll and Henne will playing a tremendous 2011 in determining Sparano's Fin future going forward.

Get udfa qb Pat Devlin. And if Arizona Cardinals release qb John Skelton, grab him. The two can be developed.


Could you please elaborate on your 4:56 PM post. The record is 114?

Are you insinuating an even greater number of "punts" than in 2010? Please dont say your're predicting total offensive disaster making 2010 look like the Rams "greatest show on turf" incomparison. Please say there's no hope in dope.

Most punts during a season record is currently held by Bob Parsons (1981) and Chad Stanley (2002) at 114.

Bob Huff,

Though it's no loss to sign a ufa qb, too go undrafted raises astronomical red flags. The probability of an undrafted qb becoming a star maybe only 1 in 20,000 in over every 50yrs.

There's better probabilty in signing a total 1st rd bust as a unrestricted fa at the bare vet minimum. If a ufa makes 3rd string backup he may have slightly out performed his ceiling.

Not to mention the resources plaed into developing the guy a minimum of 4yrs just to make a decent backup of him.

Dying, trying to bring a little humor into your day.

Sorry but until Ireland and Sparano are gone, I don't see a significant improvement for our beloved Dolphins.







LOL. Even though you posted it, as a loyal Fin fan Im sure not even you are looking forward to seeing that happen. If anything Im sure you would rather see Brandon Fields get the record for fewest punts ever attempted in nfl history. LOL....

Dying, last season I left 2 games twice in the 3rd quarter. I also (didn't count them) turned the channel a bunch of times.

Until last year, even 2007 season, I never left a game early. I have over the years occasionally changed channel on TV. But it became a regular event last year.

Really tired of not wearing Dolphins gear the whole week after the game. Know what I mean?

Justin Credible,

You're right, being a successful HC isnt OC experience dependant. But you do have to surround yourself with the right OC and personel to pull it off. Case in point:

Don Shula/ Howard Snellenberger. Shula was a DC prior to becoming an HC. He was also blessed to inherit the legendary Johnny Unitas in his first HC gig with Baltimore Colts.

He also was blessed to inherit what was a nucleus to a future dominant championship team and one of the most unheralded offensive minds in OC Snellenberger to ever coordinate the game. Snellenberger also went own to began the legendary status of simply "The U".

Shula was a very, very fortunate HC. Sure he had coaching talent, but things sort of miraculously fell into place for him no matter where he went.


I still wore my Fins gear even after losses. Yes, hecklers would heckle me, but you know what still works? Reminding them they still hate us for the early 70's and because the 72 undefeated untied championship season has still yet to be duplicated. Thats still the greatest team ever.

They try to bring up other teams they think were better, but I always respond with, "how many games did that championship team lose thier championship season?" then quickly follow up with, "How many games did the 72 Dolphins lose in thier championship season?"

Usually they see that as thier "Q" to quietly walk away. LOL...


When hecklers say we're still living off of 1972 glory, I respond, "Even after all of these years they're the undefeated untied championship still stands alone, doesnt it?"

They shut thier heckling traps and then run for cover! LOL...

Basically we're no longer bragging about what happened nearly 40yrs ago, we're basking in the glory of what truthfully stands even in today!

Dying Breed! You're on fire tonight, I agree with ALL your posts including the one about wearing your Dolphins gear after a loss! You're a GREAT fan!



You guys are morons thinking the NFL is redemption for your own deficiencies.

DB @ 05:04 PM

The main issue I have with that comment as I have posted before - it's up to the head coach to ultimately be the leader. Whether or not Henning had another play to turn to is not the point. Sparano could have said look you are consistently repeating certain things that aren't working, we need to make some changes, add new plays, ect. Even IF Sparano was 'under orders' as you say to following Henning, a true leader breaks the rule when necessary.

If Sparano couldn't lead Henning or Pasquali or that ST coordinator, I question whether he can really lead anybody. Seeing is believing. I have not seen it yet.

Thats 2.....lets see if we get a third.....

Odrick...dumbest pick in years...passing up Dez for Odrick...unreal.

Davis....overrated and is usually seen chasing someone blowing by him. Good tackler, that's about it.

Reshad Jones....will be a star.


I'm looking for hartline to have an outstanding year... Hope he does breakout along with henne... We could use a great year from them bith

chad henne, hilarious. guy is such garbage

...If there is one guy that needs to step up his game it is Henne. Weather or not this is a realistic expectation is up for debate. As it goes now he is our quarterback. This team is going nowhere unless he can elevate his play.

On the defensive side of the ball. I would expect improvement from a few of our younger players, actually the unit as a whole. The defense I believe will be the identity of this team.

dd dont worry he will never start another game for us

Got to give you guys kudos for keeping the football talk going while the possibility of seeing the actual thing happen is twisting in the wind.

I would think that if even half of the players mentioned today have better seasons than last year, don't even have to be breakout out seasons, we would have a shot at the playoffs.

John Jerry is huge though, if he comes around with the addition of Pouncey we could have a dominate OL. The would greatly help Henne and the running game.

Forgot Chad Henne (as honorable mention at the very least).. Playin withOUT Henning!!

not sure if this was posted yet.


not sure why people keep saying that sparano has never been an OC. He was the cowboys OC during parcells last year with them. He called the plays that year

IF we are having a season this year, let's see what happens, with FAs etc. If we don't have football, then we rely on other sports. But don't beg football to come back, ticket prices will go up in a bad economy!

End of days?

nothing to do with today's topic, and I do not know if somebody post this before:
the routes are trash, I know, but that is coachable, the point is, he is very instintive.

Yep it's Saturday and we are all still here...when will these "end of the world" people start to get it?

adrian solorza,

Route running is and isnt overrated. Its part technique and part not making mental errors. Mental error is worst of the two.

As far technique, it really is and isnt overrated, dependant upons the special skill set of the wr himself. Gates is pretty special in his ability to have that seperating speed many wr's do not possess. If a wr doesnt particular have that gift then he depends upon precision of route running to gain separation.

Gates does have the special gift or inordinary burst which allows him to naturally create separation. Still, with precision of route running to go with the natural burst of separation, Gates could become practcally indefensible on the nfl level.

The guy could practically become the next Jerry Rice. The hardest thing for any naturally gifted athlete to do is to put in the hard work require to refine a special gift to take it to a level where he inevitably stands all alone on the mountain top above all of his peers.

I hear ya cowkilla. I've just watched some of the funniest shyte ever produced by man, documentary specials on some of these predictors. Hee-lar-ee-us

Jesus Christ when asked when the end time will come:

"No man knows, not even I, for "ONLY" my Father in Heaven truly knows the coming day."

Guess this rules out Nostradamus and the Mayan calender too!

Amen DB. Funny how bits and pieces are used for the sole purpose of proving some unfounded point

Speaking of Jerry Rice, I would still be happy if Gates could just become the next John Taylor.


If God did not tell Jesus christ the end day. Then what in all tarnations makes people think God told Nostradamus or the Mayans, or anyone else foir that matter.

People are so gullible. But maybe not enough, I searched the internet nearly all day for a "end of times" sale and could not find even one! LOL....

thank you very much for the answer DyingBreed, It's late, good nigth every body.

If retailers believed there was actually end of times at hand they would have began 95% off all merchandise worldwide beginng Jan 1st 2011! LOL........

Good point. Woulda been nice for a merchandise extravaganza. Something like: buy one pair of socks, get a 3D tv half off


I was thinking more in line of going to the Cadillac Escalade showroom floor and driving off with a 2011 for about $200 bucks. Now thats an end of times sales for the ages! LOL.........

The guy coming up with the world ends on May 21, 2011 should have his world come to an end one second before midnight of the 22nd. Everyone should be standing in line to be one pulling the trigger.

LeStar Jean WR
Nic Grigsby RB
Adam Froman QB
Cedric Thornton DT

When you hear the Jews have rebuilt the temple, then its safe to believe the biblical anti christ is in power. When these things have come to pass then its safe to believe the end is near.

However, according to biblical scholars even this isnt the end. Jesus comes back, defeats Stan in man form(anti christ), then banishes him and his wicked followers for 1000yrs. Then he is unleashed again upon mankind(his evil followers version of mankind) for another 1000yr. While Jesus and the righteous ascend to Heaven during this time.

So according to biblical reports, it still be well over 2000yrs before all of these things come to pass before a true end of the world. Even when this time does come God has already promised a new Heaven and a New Earth.

who is remotely interested in all this? seems like fans always like the other teams player (simms) better. no need for another average receiver.

the jury is out on all of our draft picks. all the hype and hope won't change the fact they ain't never played a down and we just don't know what we got until we see them against nfl competition.


I like your predictions, especially Jerry and Jones. I think Jerry was getting better and then got sick with an undisclosed illness? Reshad Jones looks like a beast, he's all over the place and a ball hawk, hopefully Moore or Gates can be that speedy WR we need to open up the passing game. Henne has potential and hopefully Daboll and a new offense can salvage his career. Vonte and Smith, Jones and Bell roaming around, with Wake and Misi on the edges, and Soliai in the middle, D wil be sick.


Are you kidding me? Y-Bell imo is the guy Reshad Jones is most likely to replace. Though still very good against the run, Im sorry to burst your bubble but Bell couldnt stick his own morning shadow in pass coverage.

There isnt a TE in the nfl that when he sees Bell's #37 in front him, who doesnt consider #37 his lucky number when defensing them in coverage. Bell's one of the biggest reasons why at times the pass rush doesnt have time to get to the qb.

As a qb, in passing situations, just walk up to the line of scrimmage and identify your reciever Y-Bell is in coverage against and you automatically know that reciever will be your safety valve.

Is anyone concerned Miami will have three starters on the Defensive Line as Free Agents next year in 2012????

Langford, Merling and Soliai who was tendered a franchise tag this year of 13 million dollars!!! The team will be over the cap with high salaries to Soliai 13M, Long 12M, Marshall 10M, Dansby 8M.... it doesn't all count towards the cap, but you can see if langford, Merling and Soliai have a good 2011, there is NO WAY the Dolphins will be able to retain more than one at best.

In addition, if Henne shines, he to will be FA in 2012 and will command a hefty contract. Okay,not highly likely, but one never knows.

In any event, the team strength could turn into a weakness with the loss of 2 to 3 starters on the Defensive line next year....as this team never seems to plan ahead.

Shula knows,

Last I checked we had to use two picks to trade back into the 2nd rd to grab Thomas. Meaning we had 7 total picks. I remind you one of the 7th rd picks is NT to develop as insurance to Solia.

Merling, are you kidding? We played an entire season without him in 2010 no problem. Langford? Just means Starks goes back to DE where he was a pro bowl type player in 2009.

So by my mathematics, we resign Solia(2011 performanced based) and if Langford and Merling walk no big deal. Langford was a 3rd rd draft pick and we do at least as of now have a 2012 3rd rd pick that can be used on his replacement.

Merling has done nothing but underachieve since he's been a Dolphin. Barring a quatum leap in his 2011 performance. Good riddance.

Also if the offensive addition of 2011 all pan out. 2012's draft can be used soley to upgrade both sides of the ball equally.

If you noticed, this regime's 1st draft(2008) was used to kind of fix leaks on both sides of the ball. So was 2009's.

Then 2010's draft was purely defensive, while 2011's has been purely offensive. To me this means 2012's draft will be the 1st "luxury draft" this fo has had since its been here.

Although Henne's 2011 performance will be a very tell-tale sign if we need to use 2012's 1st rd pick at the qb position. If not, 2012's draft begans solidifying us as a playoff calibre team for years to come. Unless of course someone else comes up with a new date that they want the world to end. LOL...

If Henne turns the corner in 2011 there's absolutely no reason in the world why we cant enter the 2012 nfl season as prohibitve playoff favorites.

If Henne does 50% better in 2011, he'll throw for around 3600yds, 23-24tds, and 13 int's. With those numbers from Henne we finish at least 10-6 in 2011.

to ensure his leadership position,sparano has hired a bunch of coaches without distinction but who he can control. his son should be a nice addition to the conservative thinking of the 1980's nfl,where running the ball was a way of life. nowdays it reeks havoc on your oline and rb's,the IR will be growing by the week. the elite teams with brady,manning,brees,rodgers etc continue to throw the football to set up the run.

Talent+Hard Work=Luck.

Luck=preparation meets opportunity



Lets see, we got educated self made gazillionaire businessmen on one side.

Then we have a bunch of dumb jock types that couldn't even graduate from High School, save for the fact their REALLY good at playing GAMES. That's PLAYING G-A-M-E-S.

These dumb jock types, with their less than stellar ACADEMIC careers want the EDUCATED, self made Gazillionaire businessmen to open up the financial records for them?

ROTFLMAO! DeMaurice, even if the owners opened up their books for you, you'd have to hire someone to read them for you, DUMBASS!

STFU and PLAY!!!!

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.