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Marshall and Wake among the NFL's Top 100

If you're still paying attention to football these days -- and the assumption is you are because, well, you're on a football blog -- then you're probably aware of the fun exercise the NFL Network is undertaking in ranking the league's top 100 players.

The countdown started at No. 100 and is down to No. 61 so far with more installments on the way until we reach No. 1. I have the feeling Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will find themselves vying for No. 1, and if they don't something is definitely wrong.

Dolphins players in that elite group?

Cameron Wake hit No. 63 in the released list of top 100.

"They asked me and when I voted, I didn't put myself in there," Wake said.

Riiiight.

Wake definitely deserves the recognition. But that which is most exciting about Wake is that while other pass-rushers such as Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley will already find themselves rated behind Wake, there is so much further Wake can go.

I see Wake becoming every bit as dominant as Woodley's running mate in Pittsburgh, James Harrison. Harrison isn't as big, isn't as quick or as explosive as Wake. He is much more refined in his technique, he's slightly stronger in the upper body and his work ethic is beyond reproach.

DeMarcus Ware also will be ranked among the league's top 39 players.

So Wake, with one great 14-sack season on his resume, can definitely improve. (I would tell you he'll be a lot better if Koa Misi or another Dolphins rusher offers a counter-balancing rush threat as Woodley does for Harrison.)

Interestingly, Wake rates ahead of Houston defensive end Mario Williams on this list. Williams, you'll recall, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft. Think of the bargain the Dolphins got in adding Wake as an free agent out of the Canadian Football League.

Wake isn't the only Dolphins player on this list. Brandon Marshall is the NFL's 61st best player, according to the voting by his peers.

I have no problem with the ranking. Marshall, when he's right, when he's healthy, when he's feeling confident and engaged and enthusiastic, can be elite. Unfortunately, if you pay attention to the video of Marshall on the NFL Network site, most of his highlights come when he's in a Denver uniform.

Now, I recognize Marshall played most of his career in Denver and only one season in Miami. But the point I'm making is I still haven't seen in Miami the WR that Marshall was in Denver. Just look at his running ability in the Broncos uniform. Watch Marshall's ability to cut once he has the ball to make the defense miss. I didn't see that in Miami last year.

I saw Marshall break tackles on sheer strength and power. But I didn't see that kind of quickness. Not even close.

Marshall was working toward getting back that kind of quickness this offseason when he was stabbed by his wife in a domestic violence incident that is still unsettled. And although Marshall is expected to recover from the incident with his wife, he has not yet returned to working out fulltime.

NFL.com senior columnist Vic Carucci writes that Marshall deserves to be higher on the list of the Top 100 if one accounts for talent alone. But talent is not the only thing that decides a player's success in the NFL. So Carucci points out that Marshall is ranked where he is based on the fact other players didn't trust his him off the field.

Carucci goes on to outline the off-field issues Marshall has had and makes the point that if one is not on the field or free of off-field worries, it is tougher to reach one's potential. That, the columnist hypothesizes, is the reason a talent of Marshall's scope is pushed down the list of the top 100.

I would tell you the Dolphins have two more players with significant hope of being in the Top 100 -- ILB Karlos Dansby and LT Jake Long.

Dansby might or might not make it. Long is a certainty.

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F4F...

Yeah, unfortunately I have been exposed to the "It was all Shaq" argument before. And in all honesty, I am not taking anything away from Shaq, he was "A PART" of a very dynamic and fun team to watch.

Like you pointed out however, Zo had some of his best career work in that series and he was very close to the end of his run. Haslem, just like the past couple of nights against Chi Town is ALWAYS a competitor and will cause headaches all around for the opposition.

I am a Heat Fan... But I cannot honestly sit here and say I watched every game during the season, I usually watch a game or so every week. Al of the High game number sports brutalizes my patients. The whole idea of being a 1/2 game back.... or playing the same team 2 or 3 time in one run and the outcome being of very little meaning just scrubs against my since of urgency. The urgency that 16 games, 6 against Division rivals brings.

In Football, you either win 3 out of 6 in the division... or it's "season over"... Win 3 but drop 2 Conference games... same story..

You get the point I'm certain?

In regards to Marshall, I was at the Dolphins game at GB this last year, and Marshall looked darn fast there. He caught a bomb in the endzone that was called back because his toe was just over the back line.

Marshall didn't have a great season, but he had an alright one and was close to a pretty good one, if such plays would have gone his way. The only way he won't have a monster season soon is if him and his girlfriend's physical altercations keep him off the field.

Seems this series Chris Bosh and the Heat have finally figured how to get him going to now become a legit member of the big 3. Looks like as a result of this the Bulls are going down 4-1.

Noway do the Mavs beast the Heat with the big 3 and Haslem going strong too. Wade will probably guard Jason Terry and shut him down. Haslem again will guard Dirk and slow him down. Jason kidd's no big scoring worry.

The Mavs biggest problem is they really dont have an answer to Lebron offensively or defensively. LeBron will be able to free lance on defence a lot because he wont have to guard a great scorer. Since he wont have to spend a whole lot of energy on the defensive end, I look for Lebron to average over 30pts per game against the Mavs. I dont see where they have much of an answer to Wade neither.

Derek4,

Always good to catch you on Bro! Did you get a chance to read the post from Florio on the current state of the CBA I put up for the blog? It`s on page one and it is probably the best one I`ve had the chance to read yet as I`ve had a long running suspicion regarding DeMaurice Smith and his handeling of the matter.

Derek4,

By the way I don`t really take Basketball or Baseball for that matter very seriously until after there All Star breaks and even then Baseball I won`t sit and watch for 90 games more like the last month of the season when everybody starts making there push.

Linguist,

You know one thing that gets very little attention about Marshall’s season last year was the fact he was playing right off a duel hip scope. The first did not go well, leaving some scar tissue, the second coming very close to the beginning of camp. Costing Marshall considerable practice time... and obviously costing him speed and explosiveness in his game.

Never mind the fact he was in a new city, new team, new system (A system which sucked) with a QB who was not only having his own bad year, but was being victimized by Henning and David Lee to defenses. I can tell you this, I attended all but 2 home games, 80% or more of the time that I focused on watching Marshall, he had no less then 2 DB’s hanging on him, and a safety floating about 5 yards behind him shutting down his RAC numbers. ALL OF THAT... combined with a poor run attack and you have to admit 1012 yards don't look so bad on Marshall’s stat sheet.

I am really hoping this damn knife wound does not set Marshall back all of the time he has been working with trainers on speed and more speed. I delight in the thought of having a faster Marshall and a 4:3 new guy for DB’s to deal with, plus a slot guy like Bess, a great possession guy like Hartline and this guy Clay who I think will be “Butter” to the bread of this offense…!

DB @12:52,

Agreed Lebron is the wild card in all of this and you can`t put a price on Bosh coming alive cause it will give Dallas alot to think about past Wade and Lebron. I think you are probably right about D-Wade being the man on Terry, no way they let slow Bibby let him get in a groove and expect to see Tyson Chandler and Anthony war on the boards under the basket.

F4F

It is good catching you also. I have really been busy plus just doing a bit of reading and player study on my own.

No, I did not catch the Piece from Florio but will certainly do so... I am not certain if you read it, but a week or so ago I wrote a post on the Herald concerning my thoughts about DeMaurice Smith and his handling of the matter.

I see DeMaurice making a great deal of statement that have a very "Angry" overtone about them. Not a professional approach IMAO. I feel DeMaurice has an agenda, and I feel that he is willing to allow some players to suffer to see that agenda propitiated. I also see a situation developing where the parity that the owners and NFL have worked so hard to achieve over the last 30 years could evaporate into a cloud of confusion and disorganized hacking of the league. My personal opinion of Smith is that he is the worst thing to have happed to the NFLPU and now the NFLPA.

I see the draft, RFA and several other issues all being under attack. What I see DeMaurice shooting for is the ability of players to
A. Choose where and when they will play right out of school.
B. Demand guaranteed contracts even though their playing time is limited to what they wish to contribute.
C. The ability to leave whenever they please to the team who is the highest bidder...

All of these plus the end of the draft would be the death knell for what we know as the NFL and what would be left would resemble WWF Wrestling and their business practices!


I will go read the piece...

fin4life,

Should we win the nba title this year, I consider it a steal. Even at first signing of the big 3 I had severe doubts they could win a title with what basically amounts to a supporting cast of scab players. Only exception imo being Haslem, though Anthony is much better than I tought he would be.

Still I forsee an upgraded supporting cast in the works. I think Mike Miller's on the trading block, Anthony might be back, Haslem will be back, and the rest of the scrubs will be dumped.

Mean I didnt think the Heat would be able to win a title "THIS" year.

Derek4 @1:14,

Good post you took the words right out of my mouth, the guy has an agenda which could very well includes a massive restructuring of the league as we know it, scary thought. I don`t think at the end of the day this pans out for him though, the players only gripe is with there % of the pie and health benefits which is getting a big push from retired big names like Ditka, Butkus and Turley.

At the end of the day cooler heads will prevail when making money, the bottom line, becomes a concern for not just the players but the league as a whole. I think the owners while in a position of leverage don`t really want to jeopardize there 9 Billion and growing enterprise. I tell you what Smith may accomplish is in being the 1st NFLPA League rep who gets tossed.

At the end of the day no one deserves it more, I remember Gene Upshaw and his labor crisis of the 80`s and while I didn`t like it I understood ans believed he genuinly had the players best interest at hart. Smith on the other hand has rubbed me the wrong way since day one with his confrontational stand in these proceedings which were always respectful under Upshaw. All of this from a guy most players can`t possibly put to much faith into because he`s not one of them an ex-player and I think that did hold water under Upshaw for alot of guys because he understood them and what they live as Pro Athletes.

DB,

I think Miller is deffinetly on the block, he doesn`t fit well on this team which really only needs an averege Point Guard with a running big man could be Dexter Pittman and they are set. I just hope Riley doesn`t abandon picking up young talent thru the draft and FA, remember how that bit the 06 squad when they had to start moving salaries

F4F...

Just read the piece on page 1. Thank you for the heads up.

BTW... How's it going Dying Breed...?

F4F,

That piece reiterates what my thoughts have been for weeks. Look, I am not giving the owners a free pass. There is no doubt they have been complicit in some TV contracts that were not disclosed. These are matters for the attorneys however, NOT Smith!

Here is the difference between the owners and Players (or their leader Smith at least).... The owners ARE making offers. The owners ARE trying to get a deal on the table. They were trying in March, but to me it was 100% apparent that Litigation was Smiths plan... Smith NEVER had negotiation on his mind. What Smith fails to get… is in his version of things… Only the Lawyers win!

And, he will lose in the Litigation. He may win a battle or two... but those who own the teams not those who want the money and everything else NOW will win the war! Players are just like anyone else who goes to work and collects a check for doing so. However, Smith wants to see a league where owners and players have equal say so and equal profit structure.

Tell me, How in the hell can you justify the players who do not contribute so much as a penny to the day to day operations of a Franchise OR pay the day to day bills ranging from Garbage collections to Medical staff and supplies and to Taxes both City, State and Federal?

Here is what I see and here is what I trust. Players have a shelf life of 4 to 15 years. Most hit 7 or so and are gone. Do you trust the people who will only be around for 5 - 7 years to operate a NFL that is looking to the future and the long term growth of the sport. OR, do you look at the owners who will have the team for decades and who have EVERYTHING to gain by long term success? I would be willing to bet these 20 something players are thinking about RIGHT NOW and their $$$ right now.... Where the owners are thinking long term and league growth and stability.

This is where I cut my favoritism as a fan. I love the players who are on the field RIGHT NOW... But, they will be long gone and I will STILL be watching the NFL and a whole other group of players... done so for 45 years and counting!

Derek4,

I see it the same way, DITTO!!!!!!

HAVE A GOOD ONE FELLAS, CATCH YOU LATER.

Same to ya F4F

Talk to you soon...

Bestow your blessings upon us, Oprah. May your Word be a beacon unto mankind.

DEREK,


YOUR ANSWER LAST NIGHT RE THE CELTICS AND THE HEAT WAS ...CLASSIC,NICE AND I LEARNED SOME THING ALSO ...THANK YOU .

DB,

I read your top tem ILBs in the NFL today and I take exception with a few of the guys you have in there. First of all, no way London Fletcher is a better LBer than Dansby. Maybe you didn't watch a lot of Redskin games last year but Fletcher just can't get his body to do the things he used to be able to do quite easily. He was a fine linebacker in his day but that ship has sailed. Dansby today is a better, more impactful linebacker than Fletcher. I'd also have Dansby ahead of Ryans and Vilma. Vilma is an undersized linebacker that fits in what the Saints do but again he's not as versatile as Danbsy and doesn't have the impact on games that Dansby does.

To me Dansby is a top tem ILBer and it's unfortunate that he's going to miss out on the top 100. He must have JUST missed.

Where did Henne rank?

Not in the top 100, but he ranked higher than his coaching staff if you rank the two equally.

F4L, BTW, my frustration rant was not at you either, although you responded like you thought it was. Comment by JB and Vincent Lathem... those are the ones i am talking about.

THEY SHOUL ONLY RANK THE TOP 20 PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE ,NOT 100 ...AFTER 20 ,THEY ALL CRAP .....

OR THEY CAN RANK TOP 5 PLAYERS FOR EACH SPOT ......

Poizen,

I get your point of view regarding Henne and believe me when I tell you I hope all the Off-Season moves and change of scheme flip the swith on in his head. I just wont give him a total pass either because we`ve all seen some Q.B.`s do more with less than what he had to work with, although there were games were the play calling completely stalled him and the O.

In week two last season vs. Min. I thought he came out and had a great start and once we score on our 1st possession Henning just went into a lets protect our 7 point lead mode, if not for big D stand at the goal line plus the big sack by Wake in the endzone that gets us six we could easily have lost a game we were in complete control of, again squarely on Henning and Sparano.

That doesn`t leave Henne without any fault of his own, he does hold the ball for what seems like an eternity back there and never seems comfortable going thru the entire progression without getting happy feet or staring down the rush but I think that was more about getting drilled about being a caretaker/Manager than about being a winning and agressive Q.B. I believe he is more the gunslinger that I saw at Michigan than he is anything else but again the blame is evenly distributed between the Coaching staff and his lack of execution, just MHO.

Bored out of my friggin mind!!

not enough football talk

withdrawals

YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT HENNE AS HE'S BEEN IN LEAGUE FOR MORE 20 YEARS ,HE'S IN HIS SECOND YEAR AS A STARTER .

I have to admit I wasn't too impressed how they treated Cam Wake on the NFL Network yesterday. Jamie dukes couldn't even look at him. I must have missed it but who was Jamie Dukes again when he played in the NFL again? How many Pro Bowls did he go to? That's right....ZERO!! A little respect fellas. Cameron Wake is coming off a very fine season, is considered one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL and deserves more respect than that. They tried to make him look stupid, even having Warren Sapp give him bunny ears at one point. Think they'd do that to Tom Brady or Ray Lewis? Not a chance!

They tried to make him look bad after he said Troy Polamalau was the best player in the league, saying Ed Reed was a much better safety with twice as many INTs and three times as many TD's. For the record, I agree with Cam...I think offences have to scheme against Troy....I'm not sure they can say the same for Ed Reed. Pitt is a much different team with Troy....is Baltimore without Ed?

Don't worry Cam, Dukes and Sapp are just a couple of old fat men now who WISH they could do some of the things you can do and wish they could be paid like you will be. Their dislike for anything Dolphin was very apparent. Make them eat their words brother!!.....

Warren Sapp is a terrible analyst, and I say that because he does not seem to do his homework. It seems he watches a game eating chicken wings and a beer on direct TV then thinks he is a expert. I honestly think he does no more than we do evaluating games. The only reason he is on TV and we are not is that he played in the NFL. But to be a good analyst you need to study the game. It does not seem he does this. And who is this Daisy Dukes character?

Poizen,

Agreed on both. They're also on there because they come on with all this bravado. They really bring very little to the table, other than trying to be controversial. I keep waiting for a fight to erupt on air with Dukes and somebody else...it's coming....just watch.

Aloco,

It doesn`t help Henne that the two guys he came in with (Flacco, Ryan) have enjoyed immediate success in the league. Yes Ryan plays on a better Offense but Flacco when he came in played with slow possession Rec. as well, remember that. He had a big RB in MCclain but in Mcgahee he`s had nothing more than a serviceable 3rd down back cause he has only been a shadow of himself since the Fiesta Bowl injury of 02, Ray Rice had not yet fully come into his own in 07.

It hurts Henne`s case even more when you see Sam Bradford walk into an even worse situation in St. Louis and play as well as he did and aside from Donnie Avery who was hurt all of last year I dare you to name me one of the starting Rec. on that team? I want to see Henne succeed as well but he gets no more free passes from me with excuses like his line couldn`t block which isn`t 100% true either or how many games was he sacked more than 4 times like I asked yesterday? In the NFL today with all of the exotic blitz packages you better get the Football out in a hurry and he held it to long back there for my taste. I wish him all the success in the world but will call him on what I see.

Agreed Craig and Poizen, I've been sayin that for years. I'd go as far as to suggest that Micahel Irvin, yes Michael Irvin, offers better analysis than either

CraigM/Poizen,

Dukes is the biggest most full of himself know it all jerk on that channel, I sometimes get the feeling the other guys don`t think much of him either and while were at it how can they have a show called playbook with two of the biggest brain dead idiots in S.Sharpe and J.Theisman running it, don`t you guys remember the King of stating the obvious on Monday Night Football in Theisman or how even the most novice fan can breakdown the plays Sharpe tries to illustrate, Woodson was terrible as well always seemed nervous or something. I do like the round table crew with Mariucchi, Sanders, Irvin and Sapp because they go at each other based on there own takes in situations and it gives you a prespective of what goes on behind the scenes.

CraigM,

I didn`t catch the whole interview, so they gave him bunny ears at one point, huh ? I guess they should thank there lucky stars that Cam is so mild mannered because I would have made Sapp eat those bunny ears at the least slapped them out of his hand. I did see were he said Palumalu was the best player and thought it an interesting pick by Cam going unconventional and not picking a Q.B. and yes Sapp rolled his eyes at him which I thought a bit unprofessional.

F4LIFE...

IT LOOKS GETTING CHAD.PENNE THAT YEAR DID HURT HENNE MORE THAN IT HELPED ............. I PREDICT HENNE WILL POUNCE STRONGLY IN 2011 .

I AM HAVING WHITE PIZZA W/ANCHOVI,GOAT CHEASE,OLIVES AND ROSMARY .........

Aloco, I agree as you know. According to D. bess henne is throwing the ball incredible in these fitness things they are doing. I guess Bess has hinted that Chad was stymied by coaching last year. The problem with that is Henne denied that in interviews. I personally think he Denies it because he dos not want people to recognize his obvious weakness which he is not the most mentally strong QB. He let the coaches in his head way to much. That being said a different coaching approach can fix that, and it sounds Henne is trying to prove he is mentally stronger with some of his interviews. I like what I am hearing.

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