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Dolphins among the Top 10? Not quite yet

ESPN is fond of lists. Very fond.

This offseason the monolith sports giant has published Top 10 lists for 10 NFL-related positions and jobs. The rankings ostensibly measure the best of the best at their jobs in everything from the running backs, to quarterbacks, to coaches to ownership.

The ownership ranking published Tuesday gives bigtime props to New England owner Robert Kraft, whose group is ranked second among the Top 10. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is ranked No. 10. In all, five AFC ownership groups are listed in the Top 10.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his celebrity minions partners are not among the Top 10.

I'm not surprised. Last season was not Ross's finest -- especially at the moment he hung his coach Tony Sparano out to dry publicly by looking for a Michigan alumnus replacement without telling Sparano and then being suprised it was somehow news.

So there's that. There's also Tuesday's news that Ross cut salaries to all club employees across the board. ESPN didn't consider this in rating owners as seveal who imposed auterity measures well before Ross and the Dolphins are on the list, including Johnson.

All is not otherwise lost, however. Ross is learning. I think.

His last couple of months have been better than the first month he had in 2011. Unlike in 2010, he didn't place extra pressure on his coach and quarterback by proclaiming the Dolphins a Super Bowl contender or saying his quarterback could eventually be better than Dan Marino.

That is progress in learning the sport and its culture.

(Note to Ross: It is perfectly acceptable to predict a Super Bowl, and indeed encouraged by me, if your team is legitimately that well stocked. It is also absolutely fine to fire up the fan base by suggesting your quarterback might become Marino-caliber after that QB has a season in which he throws for 30 TDs and 4,000 yards. Just sayin'.)

In regard to the most important aspect of ownership, I believe Ross already gets it. He opens the wallet and gives Jeff Ireland or Bill Parcells or whomever is hunting for free agents, the necessary resources to land those free agents. Last year, he did exactly that with Karlos Dansby and Brandon Marshall. He gets a 10 out of 10 from me on that.

So maybe Ross isn't in the Top 10. Maybe he's not even in the Top 20 yet based on the still not-forgotten indiscretion of earlier this offseason. But it's not a hopeless situation.

And that brings me back to the ESPN power rankings list.

If you notice, the lists breaks down the Top 10 coaches, quarterbacks, cornerbacks, linebackers, safeties, tight ends, wide receivers, pass rushers, and running backs.

Not suprisingly, the Dolphins are not very well represented on these lists, with only two members of the organization making any of the lists.

Marshall made the Top 10 list for wide receivers. He came in at No. 10 so it's not like he dominated the list, but at least it suggests the Dolphins have a viable option for the quarterback to count on regardless of his issues off the field.

Sometimes being so close to the team, one lsees all the warts and forgets the beauty of a player. It's easy to lose sight of the opinion of those around the league of the team. That Marshall is on the list reminds me, at least, of his still-valuable and valued gifts. He is a cornerstone player if he can get his personal life right.

The QB list? The RB list? The CB, S, and TE list? No Dolphins are found there.

Cameron Wake matches Marshall in barely making the pass rusher list at No. 10. That's not a putdown. Being the No. 10 pass rusher in the NFL is an honor. DeMarcus Ware is listed as the NFL's top pass rusher on that list, with Green Bay's Clay Matthews, Indy's Dwight Freeney, Minnesota's Jared Allen and K.C.'s Tamba Hali rounding out the top 5.

I wouldn't complain about Wake being No. 10. All the other players on the list have had at least two seasons as double-digit sack artists. Wake was very good in 2010 but the idea is to have some consistency to make a rise on the list.

So what do these power rankings mean when considered in unison?

Well, when the so-called experts don't have your teams quarterback in the Top 10, you have issues in a quarterback league. When your running backs are not among the league's Top 10, and the head coach has proclaimed you a running team, you have issues. When neither the coach nor the owner who considered replacing him are among the Top 10 as decided by peers, pundits, and other so-called experts, you have work to do with your franchise starting from the top down.

Is that true? Is that fair?



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sparano's first year brought a division championship, albeit PENNINGTON had a LOT to do with it. it is extremely IMPORTANT this year to avoid a repeat of last years depressing performance in which it seemed the offense avoided the endzone. sparano, daboll, and the new QB's coach need to take pre-emptive measures and make the red zone THE top priority and devote excessive amounts of time trouble-shooting henne prior to the new season. fix his reads, and have him study that playbook till he knows it like the back of his hand so he can speed up his whole process. he needs that fire in his gut that marino had, he needs to want and think he can win every game, he needs to want to beat the mannings, he needs to want to proove he is the best. he needs to become the ultimate competitor. he needs to take control amd direct the offense and get fired up. maybe this will come with confidence. so their you have it, he needs to rely on nobody but himself, he needs to, just like pennington, be the difference maker. the team needs to rely on him.

2 of the top 10 teams (Jets and Patriots) are two of ESPN's favorite teams. ESPN is extremely biased in their NFL coverage and refuse to watch their NFL programming... ESPN shsould just change their name to ABM; Anybody But Miami...

ESPN does hate the Dolphins. i goes back to Berman being an overt Bills lover.

But also blame the boring and difficult to watch Sparano, FG 1st style.

I dont think ESPN or any other network hates Miami. I think it is more likely them playing to the larger region for higher ratings.

i was suprised not 2 see vontae davis on that list i defintley can say there isin't 10 cb i'd rather have then davis

ya man hes defintley top ten even the players around the leauge give him credit so screw that list after 2 seasons hell be as good as any1

Armando are you just bored or something? I realize you've got to write something but come on.

There are two kinds of Dolphins fans - those who b-tch and moan and rage against the seemingly instituional incompetence and those in denial. Oh, we're one of the youngest teams in the league, we have a bright future, we're gonna have a top five defense and Henne just needs BS. I hate the Patriots with every fiber in my body, but let's face it, they are better from the top down, ownership to coaching, drafting to playing, philosophy to strategy. Parcells was a good idea but just like the Jimmy Johnson move we didn't get what we bargained for, we got a has been that didn't have the sand to follow through. Ireland clearly is not the answer - he keeps getting his lunch money stolen. Ross needs to find what the Falcons or maybe the Chiefs found - something anything - tired of looking at Patriot butts.

Why do i see everyone here knocking sporano? 1 name and 1 name only should be mentioned with our predictable offense (or lack there of) HENNING who by the way is gone now... I still have not seen hennes full potential, i cant say if he will be good or bad... oh and our d? ranked 5th overall last year... we dont need d... hennes 10 of 40? the 40 can be pinned on henning... the 30 interceptions/incompletions can be pinned on a bunch of factors, like, hartline not catching the ball, marshall not catching the ball and hennes inconsistency. ya cant pin it all on henne, or sporano... it remains to be seen if sporano is the coach of the phins future... henning was the veteran, sporano let him roll... thats what you do as a young coach. henning was great back in the day, but like all great things, it has to end sometime, he ran out of ideas. it happens... i want the phins to be relevant just like the next guy... lets just not confuse relevant with CONSERVATIVE... THROW THE BALL!!! oh and instead of bashing what the phins were last year, and the year before, lets support our team... by the way... the entire team will be looking up to henne by the time the next season starts, weather its this year or not... him and jake have been organizing the workouts.

It is very difficult, as a running back no matter how good you are to be sucessful in the NFL with a below average offensive line. I think the Phins have addressed that dificiency with the drafting of a top center/guard in Pouncey. If we can continue to pick up a couple of large bodied, bad attitude offensive lineman, either Ricky or Ronnie or both will gain 1000 yards this year, if they come back. The new OC must decide if the Phins are going to be a run 1st offense or not. Either way the success or failure of an Offensive unit starts and ends with an offensive line.
By the way Ross did screw up last winter trying to look for a coach without first giving the boot to the present coach. However, as far as cutting salaries of employees while the NFL players are on strike is a good common sense decision, the teams income are the players if they aren't available there is no income. Don't give up on the rookie owner yet and for sure don't give up on Henne, he is going to surprise this year.

Don't know what is wrong what is rite but i know that every one has there own point of view and same goes to this one

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