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On top assistant hires: Daboll and Cox

The Dolphins made a handful of coaching changes after last season and the most important one will be the addition of Brian Daboll to become Miami's new offensive coordinator. Although initially skeptical about that hiring because all I saw was the fact the new coach's offense ranked lower than Miami's last year, I've completely changed my mind on this addition.

Brian Daboll is instilling a more aggressive, more dynamic offense for the Dolphins this year than you've seen recently. The success of the unit will fall on the talent running it, but I'm encouraged by what little the Dolphins have shown in practice and Friday in the preseason opener.

The offense attacks, which is what an offense is supposed to do. It does multiple things, making harder to prepare against. And I've yet to see Daboll call the incongruous end around at exactly the wrong time.

The second most dynamic addition to the staff?

Bryan Cox.

You'll hear a lot about Cox in the coming days for all the wrong reasons. Simply, the Dolphins will make him available to the media Tuesday and so the pack will write about him because its a seemingly easy story: Former Dolphins Pro Bowl player returns to South Florida to coach where he first played.

That is not the reason this hiring is important.

The hiring is important because the Dolphins are entrusting their most valuable defensive playmaker to Cox. It is up to Cox, who recorded 14 sacks in 1992, to help outside linebacker Cameron Wake make the next leap in his progression. (No, he's not fully formed yet.)

Wake led the Dolphins with 14 sacks s in 2010. So what is the next step for Wake? Well, the toughest assignment in the NFL is not having one good season. The toughest assignment is gaining everyone's attention with a good season and then following it with more good seasons.

Consistency suggests the player is maintaining a level of play, but in truth, consistency means the player is getting better because he is managing the same high level of performance despite the fact opponents are now trying to stop him, adjusting for him, scheming to erase him.

Wake has to get there. How?

He's explosive. He's got God-given gifts. Now, under Cox, the idea is for Wake to become a craftsman, a technician. Yes, he still has that amazing first step, but to remain elite he has to learn the tricks, the hand-fighting, the use of his hips and leverage.

I get the feeling Cox will also talk to Wake about harnessing his emotions. Cox was a master at it. Wake is more controlled. Maybe a little letting loose could help here.

Cox has work to do with Jason Taylor and Koa Misi as well. Misi, a grinder, needs to learn to play his position perhaps more than any Dolphins pass rusher. He gets his mostly on athletic ability and sheer determination. He needs work on his technique.

Taylor knows pretty much everything he'll ever know. But Cox is not beyond challenging his players, milking them. Cox and Taylor together are a couple of great pass-rush minds.

It is no secret I'm a fan of the Cox hire. I covered him throughout his Dolphins career. I loved the guy then and still do today. The Dolphins of the early 1990s were a finesse team. They didn't have a reputation for being able to push anyone around.

I loved the moment in 1991 when, as a rookie, Cox challenged the Cincinnati Bengals bench after they laid a hit on kicker Pete Stoyanovich. Here this almost anonymous fifth-round pick was leading the charge of standing up for Dolphins pride. Amazing.

In the summer of '92, I went to East St. Louis, Ill. with Cox when he went back home to the old neighborhood. I went to see first-hand what kind of place this guy had molded this fearless, confrontational, often angry man. I remember him asking me, "Are you crazy?"

East St. Louis was then and I suppose remains today a tough place. The most obvious example of how tough this place was is the city government had street lights flashing red and yellow starting at dusk rather than running through their natural progression. The idea was to let motorists stop only momentarily at the lights rather than sit there for a couple of minutes -- because that way drivers wouldn't get jacked up or pulled out of their cars as often.

I visited with Cox and his family for three days. After my visit one day, I announced it was time for me to go back to my hotel. It was around sunset. Cox, obviously concerned I kind of stood out in the neighborhood, asked if I needed him to follow me out of town.


"Do you want to borrow my gun?" he offered.


If I had been smarter I would have said, "You betcha!"

Obviously it was a cool experience for me. Cox was always open and honest. The guy hated Buffalo and he said so -- remember the Bills at the time where Miami's biggest rival and the reason the the Dolphins didn't make at least one Super Bowl.

The Cox dual one-finger salute of the folks at then Rich Stadium is a classic detailed below. It led to so many stories and a feud between Cox and the NFL that I could not possibly detail them all here. It was, shall we say, interesting. And, believe it or not, it served to unite the Dolphins defense behind Cox because all his teammates were enraged at the situation.

Cox played with vengence and the team lost something the day he went to the Bears in free agency. He's back now. There's gray in his beard and his belly is a bit larger than it was then.

But is this going to be a good hire by Tony Sparano?


[Please be sure to catch my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, this morning and every weekday morning 6-10 a.m. on 640-AM in South Florida and 640sports.com on the web.]


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...Great story about Cox.

As Nolan is to the defense. Hopefully Daboll brings the same qualities to this offense. A unit that last year was about as exciting as watching the paint dry. Hopefully Daboll learns to scheme plays around our indivdual players strong suits. Enough has been said about our old playcaller(no pun intended). Time to move forward and see if this offense can resemble a modern NFL outfit.

Now time for some Henne Bashing...Ready..Break!

Yeah man, good addition for sure! Cox was a beast and that's what we need!

LMFAO at the moron (no offense to tards reading this blog) who thinks the east is a toss up. Vegas loves you! In related news did you know that Henne is going to shatter Marino's records?

TorturedDolphan | August 16, 2011 at 12:16 AM


Below is a re-post of my explanation for the AFC East being a toss up. Instead of calling me a moron why don`t you read it and tell me where I`m wrong because while the smart money would probably be on the Pats, I firmly believe that 2nd thru 4th place are a TOSS UP!!!! The Division will be tightly contested until the end.

By the way which Marino record will Henne break? His cosecutive starts are not within reach maybe the 5,084 yards in a season? That is the only record he still owns genius, the all time yards and TD`s now belong to Favre. The TD`s in a Season to Brady with Manning in 2nd and Marino in 3rd.


I see a Pats Team that has alot more question marks than in resent memory. For starters if you analyze there moves on D, it becomes pretty apparent that they will use some 4/3 scheme this year if not play it as there base out right. Haynsworth is better suited at DT in a 4/3 not a NT in a 3/4 and even less effective as a 3/4 end, Wilfork was a beast at DT in a 4/3 in College and Ellis was always better pass rushing in that formation as well. You look at the fact they didn`t go get a MLB to pair with Mayo after the bad Season they got from B.Spikes and you can start doing the math. There now going to bring in a 35 year old S.S. on a bad knee and it becomes very apparent it`s not going to be as cut and dry as it has been in past Seasons.

The Ocho experiment apparently is not going according to plan why else bring in TJ with Branch already on board. In N.Y. they got some crazy talk going were they actually think there better than last year?? Wonder what the HELL there smoking out there. They lost there big play deep threat who runs a 4.35/40 and replaced him with a posession guy who`s best 40 was in the 4.45 range 10 years ago and hasn`t played since 2008. They then also loose there slot WR and replace him with geriatric D. Mason, couple that with the loss of Ellis and the double teams it will mean for Pace with a rookie now opposite him and I don`t see how they think there better. By the way they also got a big fat question mark on the right side of there OL.

In actuallity the Team that got better addressing there needs with solid young players at key positions are the Bills, call me crazy but there rookie DT is a stud and they have boasted one of the better secondaries for sometime now, if they can play the run better look out. On O they add x-factor Brad Smith hurting the Jets some more while making themselves better, expect to see Spiller in the slot like us with Bush and if Fitzpatrick progresses then they become a very legit opponent again. In analyzing everybodies moves including our`s I think the AFC East is a toss up for the 1st time in a decade.

fin4life | August 15, 2011 at 04:29 PM

I`m still waiting for you to school me with you infinant wisdom!!

Love his last comment."I'ám a strong black man and they hate it!"

Here's some wisdom...

The AFC East IS a Tossup...it's between the JETS and the PATS.

Miami will be as bad as ever, and the Bills are not ready for prime time.

Fin4life, that probably the most researched and analytical comment you've posted! You're on the money, keep it up, great stuff!

As long as Henne is the man, we will be subpar! I hope I'm wrong, but unfortunately I've been right about him since he joined the team...

After the video of Cox flippng off the fans in Buffala watch the next video of the week 16 game between us and the Bills that year, I had forgotten all about the fight Cox gets into in that game late, man he wasn`t playing around he was really throwing some blows at Bills FB Carwell Gardner, sweet!!


Classic last sentence in your post!

On the topic I have always liked Bryan Cox's fire. I hope he can teach the pass rushers a thing or three. He was a tough guy at the time so I hope he coaches tough. I don't think that TS does.

When TS makes a statement in effect saying that he likes the group of TE's he has but not so much for their receiving abilities...Hmmmm.

Off Topic.

The challenge with having a guy like BM, or what appears to be a nice speedster in Clyde Gates is Henne has to get them the ball.

RATS! Here in lies the rub.

Henne will hit some throws and not have a terrible percentage with the check downs but it's the keep the chains moving throws that scare me.

I was scouting the competition and taped the NE game on NFLN. You should if you get a chance.

I may be called crazy but even if I took ALL the bias out that I possibly could...I would still say Mallet would crush Henne in a head to head competition in Miami, with our "Terrible, juggled, rag tag OL", right now as a rookie. He will be a star, mark it down on the coulda, woulda, shoulda list now.

Barring injury Miami will rue the day they didn't take this guy.

The very first play of Mallet's NFL career he has a blitzing LB that has him dead to rights crashing in. He deftly steps to the side and avoids the hit to deliver a strike to their rookie RB Ridley.

Later on the same drive he bolts right outrunning the rushers and tosses a dart on a rope and almost nails a killer TD from 20+ yards away. It was a step long out of the back of the endzone.

But I digress. According to the Mallet haters he should already be buried in a big, Scarface size pile of the white pixie dust already.

But we got a grinder 2 rnd RB in Daniel Thomas! Yay F.O. ... Good call!

Keeping Ronnie Brown, staying put and drafting Mallet in the 3rd, Gates in the 4rth and Bilal Powell in the 5th would be light years ahead of the RB DT in the second and NO QB!

Sorry man, I am just losing it as I know how much and how long this will haunt me.


DENIAL defined as the inability to see or accept reality! Henne simply is wrong for fins. I will root him on none the less. Sad to see so many pieces in place. By the way losing Amaya will sting in time. I loved Amayas potential!

Wow tortured-moron,

Your offensive line might actually be worse than ours this year....OUCH!! I hear Mark Sanchez wanted to fight rex over last years ALMOST benching in back to back losses to NE and MIA(MUD WRESTLING**UGH***)....yea...be scared, be very, very scared if i was u....glad im not by the way...just sayin!!!


Amaya had some game to be sure. I was waiting for the NFL workout program to put some lead in his pencil and then he could really lay the lumber on hits.

Now he is a Saint! I sure hope Reggie can stay healthy and contribute.



I wouldn't worry too much about NE falling off too much.

They have Brady and both their TE's are studs. Add that WR Price, Ridley their RB looks like a dual purpose threat and the normal BellyCheat coaching/shadiness advantage and they are still stacked.

If anything I hope one of their better lineman shake loose after cuts and can maybe help the Fins solidify things?


Here's some wisdom...

The AFC East IS a Tossup...it's between the JETS and the PATS.

Miami will be as bad as ever, and the Bills are not ready for prime time.

FistPumps ForFieldGoals | August 16, 2011 at 01:45 AM

Here is your wisdom spun on it`s head Fisty,

The Jets have about as big a problem as we do and maybe even bigger on the right side of there offensive line. I said it in my post @4:29 and was later vindicated watching them on Monday night vs. Houston or didn`t you see the revolving door smacking Sanchez and McElroy in the face all game or do you not watch and simply pull your assertions out of thin air??

The Texans also ran on there 1st team D off tackle left and right at 4 yards a clip, very teling about the state of there 3 down lineman. There slot coverege was non existant and you`re going to tell me with the geriatrics they plan to line up opposite Santonio that there a better team, don`t even get started at RB were LT will once again shoulder the load, NO I will say it here, it will be all they can do, to beat out the Fins and Bills.

The Pats are coming out with a very old core to put around there still green Defensive nucleus and are now bringing in TJ at WR which doesn`t sound good for the OCHO experiment and say what you will the Chan Gailey led Bills wil put up a fight expecially if Fitzpatrick builds on were he left off. I`m not annointing us Div. Champs but will say this year will be a dog fight in the AFC East. The big question really will be if these older players have enough in the tank for the Pats come late Nov. or will Brady have to put up over 30 every week with an avarege supporting cast??

Aight, bedtime for Bonzo.

Cheers Fin Nation!

Patsies are still the team to beat in this division, Jets are more of a flash off and on again team...but they tend to pick it up at the end of the year...we'll know how we stand right off the bat monday night against NE...

Bryan Cox was one of Shula's best picks EVER!

I liked the guy just because of where he came from.

I LOVED from the guy from the moment he got up in the Bengals face.

PS: Armando, good to see your catching up with the rest of us in regards to Daboll being better than a severly aging and outdated Hennings!

There's hope for you after all!

ValHalla my Goofy Friend!


Beieve me I`m not sniffing glue and don`t believe we unseat the pats but do feel that the large engulfing bridge between the teams in the East is not quite as narrow anymore, I will repeat a paragraph of what I wrote which is self expanatory.

Below is a re-post of my explanation for the AFC East being a toss up. Instead of calling me a moron why don`t you read it and tell me where I`m wrong because while the smart money would probably be on the Pats, I firmly believe that 2nd thru 4th place are a TOSS UP!!!! The Division will be tightly contested until the end.

As long as we have Henne we will suck. I hate that we have a good team besides the QB and TE spots...

The real ? is fin....how far is it from a playoff berth drop from 1st place in this division then it is to 2nd place....it still could mean 8-8 which doesnt exactly instill confidence that this team is much more improved than last years squad...on paper maybe..but even thats a toss up..i do agree that I think sanchez brings the jets down to our level than lets say, us down to buffalos level....of who is still I believe the bottom feeders of this division.

cow, I agree if anything was an epic FAIL for this team in the offseason...it was definately those two areas of this offense...

Rob in OC, great post to DD! If Henne performs, we're in the mix, if he doesn't we're not. It is not encouraging that rookie QBs are performing better than he is.....I don't have faith in the man


Just saw your post, thanks and by the way nice to catch up again, it`s been a while.

Odin, Bryan Cox had a motivating attitude, not a negative one! I agree, I think he will light a spark in the D!

It's been too long fin4life, I always appreciate your posts! Sleep well my friend, I'm checking out....


I also believe we have some significant question marks on O, will the new dynamic duo of Thomas and Bush hold up thru an entire Season?? Will Long be back and how effective will he be given he hasn`t even practiced since week 17 last Season?? Will Sparano actually get it right with the personnel on the right side of the OL.

To many questions but the Jets have them in spades as well and the Pats are no longer the elite of the AFC while the Bills are quietly making nice moves to get in the fight. All I`m saying is the Division will be more of a dog fight than people think. Everybody is simply sold on all these older vets both the Jets and Pats have signed as being the answer and IMO there as much of a ? as anything else.


The thing I worry about is not guys like Plax, or Mason, Ocho, against this defense , i have enough confidence in Allen, Smith(sometimes) and Davis shutting down these type of guys...ITS the TE position that worries me most in the passing game for those teams, like last year, Containing guys like keller and Gradoniski was a huge problem for this defense...guys like Misi,Taylor,Barnett, and Dansby(whose not known for his coverage skills) are gonna have to step it up this year in order to have success for this defense to flourish like they can....


I got good and bad news, so I`ll give you the good 1st. In Burnett we have an exceptional LB for pass coverage, the problem or the reason he didn`t stick in Dallas next to Brady James at MLB is he`s another one of these injury history guys. He was hurt a big part of his time in S.D. as well and it`s the reason he became available but there is hope. Did you watch Edds on passing downs all over the field last Friday, he covered nicely and even broke up a few passes. I think were better with these two than what we had with Crowder and Dobbins, I really do.


Crowder couldve been upgraded by a stringed puppet and we wouldve been better off as far Edds, I do like the kid but he was also burned badly by hernandez in that NE game last year...but I blame that more on just not being accustomed to Nolans Defensive sheme at the time given his lack of playing...still the kid shows promise, I just hope he can build his reputation thru to the regualr season...its too tough to put much stock in what players do in the preseason....

yea, im gone too...PHIN OUT!!!

Sounds like Crowder gave up,he had no mental dicipline. I hope to see more Matt Moore passes this pre-season to Marshall. Henne better watch out, things could go bad in a hurry. Marhsall got stabbed last year for bad play.

Burned badly in the NE, the kid got hurt the 1st week of training camp and didn't play the whole season. What are you talking about.





Brian Cox is a strong violent person and X player.

Think Brian will be a good LB coach and players will respond to him, perhaps reaching another level.

Of course the lawsuit is all BS, but that is the American justice system which anyone can sue anyone

Jimmy Smith should def start over fraudulent CB sean smith.























mark sanches just threw another quick slant. hope dansby is aware of just how much they love this play.

What do you guys think about the Dolphins maybe takeing Terrell Pryor tomorrow? Good or bad move?

Terrell Pryor:
6'4" 240 lbs
40 time: 4.5

They are projecting him to go in the 5-6 round of the supplementel draft!

That wouldn't be a bad place to take a chance on a player like him!

It's all about the O-line for the Dolphins. Right now the way they are playing, you are looking at only 4-7 wins this year. Everybody will blame Henne, but what QB can function without a running game and zero pass blocking? If Long isn't back by the third pre-season game, then we've got even bigger issues....

Tell it like it is Armando, Parcells called Tony and asked him to give Cox a job~~~Bet on it, Cox was one off Parsells guy's~~~~~~~

X Dolphin WR Pat Turner that the Dolphins could not develop now w the AFC Jets scores a TD last night

Nother big Acorn gets away and joins a more successful team earning more money in play off games the last 2 years

Bryan Cox was a Miami player first. He played for 5 different teams. Only two of those years with the Jets and 4 with the Dolphins!

It is simple guys! TS and Ireland picture this ground and pound football team. They draft Long, fill in the pieces with cast off players. No run game! They wait 3 years and draft Pouncey, pick up ex-cowboy cast offs and same result. If they are going to commit to a G&P running game they need to commit to the players needed to do so. You need proven 16 games players in the trenches because it take a toll on the OL. You can't pick up a guys that have injury problems and run the ball 30 times a game. They will be out in a week.

You don't need great receivers in a G & P offense because teams will play the run and leave single coverage. You can't have All-Pros at every position either so you have to go one way or the other. Run or Pass and the pass would be better served with the West Coast offense.

Well, it was nice to see the Jets look as rusty as we did in their 1st Preseason game.

On the Daboll/Cox hires, time will tell, but yes, I agree, it's already proving to be light years better than anything Henning did here. The offense might show some life this year, maybe some explosions and even 2 pass plays in a row. This is night and day for Henne from last year, hopefully he doesn't muck it up.

I think Wake will be fine, he's a beast. I'd like Cox to improve Misi. He's got good potential, and could be a huge asset to the team, but he just needs some more growth at the position. However, MORE importantly, don't know who the secondary Coach is, but he's got a bigger problem to fix than Cox. Our LBs aren't the problem, our secondary is (and has been for the last few years). We need at least ONE ball-hawk back there. I'm sick of seeing highlights of an opposing receiver blanketed by a Dolphins defensive back, and STILL winds up with the ball. Saw it again last week. Guys, LOOK FOR THE BALL for *&^%'s sake. Put you damn hands up. Anyway, that's where we need the most work on defense.

We will lose a few games outright. We will almost win about 11 games, but end up losing six of those.

7-9 for the 3rd season in a row.

TS is taking a dangerous chance if what he said is true; he gets one of those starting OLinmen hurt in Friday's game and we are in deep s-it. And so will he.

If Henne struggles this year, it won't be because he doesn't have talent - it'll be because Daboll is throwing too much at him too fast. Give him two or three running plays and a couple passing plays and WATCH HIM EXPLODE!!

The first two pages of the playbook are where the good plays are anyway.

Is it Ross who is insisting on having Henne as the starter, or is it TS? I'm beginning to wonder.

they skipped drafting a qb and rolled the dice carson palmer would be available. he is the only one they really wanted. they gambled, they lost.

ross wants a celebrity coach. sparano is the opposite of celebrity. vegas has him as the #1 coach in the hot seat starting the season.

Great Coaches make Great decisions.

to think ross wants henne because of the michigan connection is not logical. too petty.

Agreed, dice.

dice = oscar

I think it was Seminole Sam who asked me if I thought great Coaches also needed luck. I replied, yup. They make their own luck.

oscar = yaaaaawn

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