« Chad Henne still a loooong way to go | Main | Tony Sparano on 2011 season: 'I got all confidence in world and you should, too!' »

Some of the tough decision facing Dolphins coaches

The Dolphins are about to play their final preseason game before making their round of roster cuts to get down to the NFL 53-man roster limit and coach Tony Sparano says "hard choices" are about to be made.

I'll say.

I'm looking at players such at Will Allen, Phillip Merling, Tyrone Culver, Gerald Alexander, Nolan Carroll, Lou Polite, Phillip Livas, Ryan Baker, Frank Kearse, Larry Johnson, John Jerry, Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore as those presenting Sparano and his staff with those unenviable choices.

Let's look at them in no particular order:

Marlon Moore: I love this kid. I think he has loads of potential. He will play in the NFL, that is beyond question for me. The question is where? He's stuck in a numbers game in Miami. If the Dolphins keep their usual five wide receivers, he might be the last man out. The problem here is Moore needs to be a core WR to make the team because the Dolphins don't trust Moore on the field as a WR and don't have the time to develop him as such by playing him because they have better players at the position right away. Fact is, with development and experience, Moore will probably become better than Brian Hartline. But the Dolphins continue to go with Hartline because he is better right now and right now is most important to them. Thus Moore has to win a job on the roster as a special teamer. In that regard, he basically has to be better than Roberto Wallace. Sometimes he is. Most of the time, he's not. Thus his problem. If the Dolphins can find a way to fit six receivers on the roster, Moore makes it.

Roberto Wallace: Big, strong, loads of potential as a receiver. He's not the speedy deep threat that Moore is. But he's a better special teams player. That seemingly gives him a better chance at the fifth WR job. He's likely goin to play a ton against Dallas. He needs to produce on both offense and special teams to solidify himself. He obviously has not nailed down a job. But a good game could go a long way in helping him do that.

Phillip Livas: You want to root for this kid. You really want to root for him to return another punt for a TD. But after that initial explosion of attention he got, caused by that impactful 75-yard punt return against Atlanta in the preseason-opener, Livas has been quiet. Quiet gets you cut. He has shown potential but zero consistency. Barring another amazing game, I don't see how he makes the team.

Ryan Baker: This kid is like the old truck that starts up in the heat and the cold, doesn't mind never getting washed, sits unattended and needing a tune-up. And yet, when you ask for it to haul away a tree stump, it gets the job done. Problem for this old truck is the Dolphins have been building their defensive line with Dline versions of Freightliners. There are some serious, quality players on this unit. And so the old truck might have to go on the waiver wire.

Phillip Merling: He is probably the fifth of five fine defensive ends on the Miami roster. Yes, that makes him a trade chip. I wouldn't be surprised if he is dealt. But I know the Dolphins believe you can never have enough 6-4, 300-pound defensive ends, particularly when they are still in their early-to-mid 20s. Merling doesn't seem as explosive as he was in flashes before his Achilles' injury. But did I mention that he's 6-4 and 300 pounds and can still move very well? I believe he makes it. Unless he's traded.

Lou Polite: Sparano has made it clear he values Polite. Good FBs are very hard to find today. The coach has gone so far as to say it will take a lot of convincing for him to part with Polite. But the new offense has seemingly diminished Polite's role. With Charles Clay working in as an H-back type, the FB is not nearly as often on the field. And with rookie Daniel Thomas coming close to disappointing in the preseason, the club may find a need to keep an extra running back just in case. That also could hurt Polite. Me? I still find it hard to see the Dolphins let him go. Plus, I believe what Sparano says.

Larry Johnson: He's probably going to play a good deal against Dallas. That should give us a picture of what he's got left in the tank because we haven't seen him in practice which are now closed to the media. He is not pushing Reggie Bush nor Daniel Thomas for a roster spot. I perceive the battle here is between him and Lex Hilliard. This one is impossible to call because, well, I just don't know all the facts. Imagine a sportswriter admitting that? Wow.

John Jerry: What a bitter, bitter disappointment this guy is right now. If things had gone according to script, he would have used his rookie year in which he started eight games and come back this year a solid, capable, star-in-the-making right guard. Instead he came back soft and unprepared and went from starter-in-waiting to perpetual back up. Frankly, if it weren't for his draft pedigree (a third round pick last season), I could see him cut. That probably doesn't happen. But make no mistake, the fact Jerry couldn't lock down a starting job threw the Oline plans into chaos.

Culver, Carroll, Allen, Alexander: Two of these four will make the team for sure. One of these will definitely be cut. The other is kind of in netherland based on what happens in the game. To me, Allen seems a likely cut right now. He hasn't really stayed healthy in two seasons. He was tripped up by a hamstring injury earlier in camp. He used to be a good player, but we're not sure what he is now. And he's scheduled to make $1.5 million. If he's on the roster the first day of the regular season, that money is guaranteed. That's a hard thing to do with a player whose recent history is to be done by October. So I wouldn't be surprised if the Dolphins cut him and then tried to bring him back later. If they cut Carroll, he'll likely get picked up on waivers. Alexander to me represents special teams insurance. We'll see how valuable at the game Thursday. Culver is valuable in that he he can play dime, works in all the special teams, and can help in the nickel in a very tough spot. But has he made plays? Some. Not big ones this preseason. And that puts him at risk.

Kearse: I love this kid. But he's a kid. He has to learn to play. He isn't anywhere near Paul Soliai or even backup Ronald Fields. He feels like a practice squad guy to me.



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Some of the tough decision facing Dolphins coaches:


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

Anyone who thinks we can't afford to keep Polite just for short yardage situations should remember the great Pete Johnson in 1984.

Here are his stats for that glorious year: 68 atts. for159 yds with 9 tds

He retired after only one year in Miami to go on to a successful career as a sumo wrestler in Japan.

Sapp.. I rather have Will Allen he can cover but has the same problem that the other guts have can't make INT's But I like Sapp he could of had a couple int him self last year!!
I don't think he can't cover I think he was playing in a defense that he didn't learn yet!!
I think he will be more productive this year..,
Plus he is healthy and cheap!!

Kearse won't last on the practice squad. He'll be gone.

Pete Johnson you brought back memory man I wish we had Dan the man back but with a better OL and running game!! Imagine bush with Dan, bush will be the top back in receiving, also I will keep Moore instead of Wallace, Moore is a big play waiting to happen plus you can't teach speed!!

No dude stop with the childish uneducated comments dude grow up or just leave to the jets app!!! You Moron

He retired after only one year in Miami to go on to a successful career as a sumo wrestler in Japan.

Posted by: Carlitos Estevez | August 31, 2011 at 04:19 PM

Pete Johnson was a bull dozer. Not much on the high light reels, but the 9 td'd were nice!

A sumo wrestler in Japan? C'mon man, you yanking the chain?

Armando dude, man you don't have anything that is remotely close to how the PHINS should keep or cut!! Dude either you a young kid or you just plain stupid!!

Oder, Tell us about your BIG night at the demolition Derby?, How many toothless people(Besides yourself) Will be there? You Mean your not Playing some Big Gig tonight? BAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAA, Oder Kills me.

Hey my mom is 75 years old that's not cool.
She very sick...dude you just embarrass your self and your parents... You just told us that your parents also uneducated and had no parent skills in how to raise up kids and install morals and respect!! Yea I see now who you really are a LOSER!!!


A sumo wrestler in Japan?
Not really!


Good post, I agree, Nolan is the man. Get him Hookers, a Limo, the key to the city. Whatever he wants, just leave the guy alone!

As far as trading Merling, I'd do it myself if it got us a good enough O-lineman. Without Merling we still have McDaniels, Starks, Langford, Odrick and an improving Baker. I like the depth and I like Merling, but we have a MAJOR problem with the o-line. No depth there either.

If this O-line don't get it done, our offense don't get it done.

The other thing in your post I'll commen on is Wilson. He's looked a little lost at times ths pre season, but it's understandable. Being a new rookie, new system and the situation he came out of.

Having said that, I think the kid is a straight up baller. I'd definitely keep him and bring him along slow. As long as they don't F his head up throwing him in too soon, he could be the final piece for our secondary by next season. Maybe the nickle we desperately need.

ray, your logic is flawed. First, we substitute YB for a less experienced player, balls are going to be flying over their heads. Second, Odrick will not be the starter at RDE. Third, Sean is much superior to the other CB's you mentioned. Lastly, I dont believe any of your training Camp observations because, frankly, you're an as-hole.


Thanks and I agree with you on Merling but you know how it is this current staff havnt had a success drafting or signing free agents only incognito, Big Jake and maybe Pouncy
The jury is still out and he has no experience
So we trade him and end up with?????
We just don't know. Hey I have no confidence in their decision making. Sad to say!! I also believe and I with you on this
The OL might just be our Achilles heal and that can cost us a playoff spot, because how about if Henne could have a real good year and because of the OL he might look bad and end up being release or traded!! Next year.


I have no Time for BS.


Listen, either you learn Football or we are going to take you to the stake.


What have said or done to you that you come out at me line this... I dont say start Wilson I said if Smith doesn't improve and keeps dropping int, Mike Nolan needs to give Wilson some playing time thats all. So what's wrong you Tampon fell off or leaked or something!!!! Chill dude.., we all entitle to a opinion, this is america! Oh that's right you not from this country... Dude go study your citizenship so you get to learn peoples right!

Oder, Tell us about your BIG night at the demolition Derby?,

-Ah, that was ah, a joke. Armando called Baker a trusty pick up.........ah geez, never mind.

How many toothless people(Besides yourself) Will be there?

-Well dowdy doody ya'll sheet, were all toof-less where I come from(get it? tooF because of the no teeth? Christ, never mind! It's just no fun when your audience is stump dumb and stoopid too) ah Hyukka yukka.

You Mean your not Playing some Big Gig tonight? BAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAA, Oder Kills me.

Posted by: Just The facts | August 31, 2011 at 04:39 PM

Playing the County Fair wasn't just a gig. We KICKED OFF the County fair. We were the first event on the schedule. They paid us to play for them BEFORE the stock car race or any livestock showings-YeeHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!

Opened up with Red House by Jimi and Rocked It OUT!!!!

It's a tough way to make Free Beer and MONEY, but somebody has show off with a Stratocaster every once in awhile.

PS: I picked up some TANG and she even had ALL her TEEF!!!! YeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaaaaWWWWW!!!!

(get it truth? all her TEEF? You know, teeth.........awwwwwwww geeeeeez! NEVER MIND!)

Fu-k you, ray.


Posted by: ALoco | August 31, 2011 at 04:57 PM


Posted by: ALoco | August 31, 2011 at 05:01 PM

Why does that sound like me? I wasn't bullying Ray. We were both actually discussing football in an exceptable fashion(you like the way I used he word: fashion don't you? Huh? Huh? YEAH!).

Anyways, why you accuse me of being NJPHINFAN? I kno you know better. Just check the IP adress, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

When have I made a grammatical or spelling error in Internet? You People better learn how to write or you'll be "passed over".

Shows how stupid they are. Moore "will be" a better receiver eventually than Hartline, but they need to win "now." Stupid. They aren't going to the Superbowl so they don't need to "win now." Sparano needs to save his job, that's all it's about, and that's not in the best interests of the team.

They need to build the team with the best players.

The Stupids.


You ain't want none dis dawg! Uh-Uhhhhh!

Say sumptin, come owwwwwwn, wish you would!

That's all you got? THAT'S ALL YOU GOT?

PS: Which reminds me, you GOT any Good Goose Breast Recipes?

PSS: Say that last sentance 4 times really fast.

I wish Henne, Sporano, Ross and Ireland were on this list!

There're sure to be some surprises on cut down day, there always are so I hope Carey and Colombo are two surprises. They both play on the right side of the OL and that sucks, but Sparano hasnt no one to blame but himself. Colombo really sucks. And Carey is suck #2.

Alright Oscar thanks!!!

You just proven your level of
Education which is none, you're classless
And you have emotional problems, you can't carry a educated conversation. Which that equals LOSER LOSER LOSER!!!!


Aloco, Oder is the blog drunk.

I know this bunch has fixation with Cowboy scrubs. But what is truly amazing is their (Sparano for sure and maybe Ireland) jobs on the line, they seem hell bent on sticking with Columbo. Carey out of position is bad enough but the combination of the two just goes beyond words. It's like they want to get fired.

Don't forget the prepositions and double letters, ray. But, boy, your Grammar su-ks!

Actually, prepositions are very important. They are part of how I tumbled Fidel Castro.

You not as stupid as your post.. Because you can understand my bad grammar!!! As long that's understandable my comment got out there...

Yes, ray, but that's Me. Other People would ignore you.

I guess you and I have something in common everyone ignore us!

What if Colombo and Carey will play well during the regular Season? Shut your trap, People, unless you want flies in there.

In this Medium, you don't need notoriety, ray, rather anonimity.

Oh, yes, these comments are being read by various Groups througout the World. Be aware.

Of course the Dolphins cut Murtha,Colombo and Sapp.....can we cut Sparano and Ireland too while we are at it?

Hambone Jones,
Dude you had me in tears I was laughing so hard at your comment!

The Phins had the opportunity to draft a good player while coaching the Senior bowl and who they pick OG Jerry.This ambagious duo most go

The Phins better keep a check on the Ravens backfield, they have too many of them and there is a kid, that could be something in free agency ( Anthony Allen) from Georgia Tech he was pick in the 7 round (225)

how about trusnick? will he make the squad potentially?

We finally get a guy that can return punts in Livas and they are going to cut him??? We have not had a punt returner score since Ted Ginn a couple of years ago. Livas does it the first game he is in. They moved the lines in kickoffs so no one is going to return anything there, but in punt returns, Livas is exciting.

"This kid is like the old truck that starts up in the heat and the cold, doesn't mind never getting washed, sits unattended and needing a tune-up. And yet, when you ask for it to haul away a tree stump, it gets the job done."

that, is an amazing compliment...

Dolphins looking to cut some good players, that has to be a good sign right?

I see Kearse doing some good things on film. Practice squad for sure.

Fire Ireland and Sporadicano NOW. Only a brain-dead staff would release Ricky AND Ronnie only to bring in Larry "I've Always Sucked" Johnson.

After 40 years and more as a Dolphin fan I am getting fed up with the incompetence on this team that starts with ownership and ends with the coaching staff.


Excellent article. Keep it up. Business Law Lawyer http://worldmissionfoundation.org/start/?attachment_id=37

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.