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Some P.R. issues also football issues

The Dolphins, like any other NFL team, can suffer two basic kinds of black eyes. The first and most important one is a black eye to the football team itself -- be it in the form of an injury, or a loss, or anything that affects competitive advantage.

The second much less important hit, in my opinion, is the public relations and marketing hit a team might take from time to time.

The Dolphins today are dealing with two situations that offer both a P.R. hit and possible football hit. And I'm here to discuss what you care about: The football hit.

The situations? Diverse as they are, they involve the possible hiring of a new offensive lineman and the celebrating of a national championship college team.

Let's deal with the college team thing first. The Dolphins over the weekend announced that on Oct. 23, in conjunction with the Denver Broncos visit to Sun Life Stadium, they would welcome at least 20 former Florida Gators players, coach Urban Meyer, the Gator band, and that crocodile mascot thing to Sun Life to celebrate the Gators' 2008-2009 national title team.

If you listen to my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, you know this news got Hurricanes fans all angry because they view it as a betrayal by the Dolphins of the Hurricanes, who happen to be the Saturday afternoon tenants at Sun Life Stadium.

It is a marketing and P.R. issue because the Dolphins are today dealing with some irrate Hurricanes fans calling and e-mailing complaints.

I'm not concerned with that. That's intangible stuff.

What concerns me is football. Just football.

And this idea is bad from a tangible football aspect. Understand that Tim Tebow plays for the Denver Broncos. Well, he rides the bench for the Denver Broncos. That's not the point. The point is, the Dolphins on Oct. 23 could be welcoming into their stadium a sizable number of Gators fans, many of whom I imagine will want to see the guy that helped them to one national title and led them to the other do well.

A lot of those Gator fans, who otherwise might not attend a Dolphins game, just might find themselves cheering for Tebow -- who plays on the Broncos. And they might find themselves rooting for Tebow's team -- the Broncos.

So the Dolphins, a team that was 1-7 at home last season, might be unknowingly welcoming folks that will be rooting against the Dolphins that day. That is not exactly maximizing the home field advantage.

That can, to whatever small or large degree, affect Miami's football team and even work against the home team. That makes it a football issue that goes to the heart of competitive advantage.

On another front, you no doubt are already aware the Dallas Cowboys today released center Andre Gurode. He is a five-time Pro Bowl player. It was not an easy decision for the Cowboys -- certainly tougher than the cutting of Marc Colombo.

And now, as they do with most veterans that get cut, the Dolphins will consider their options. They will weigh whether Gurode might upgrade their troubled offensive line and decide whether to try and add the player.

This presents a football issue and a marketing and P.R. issue.

The P.R. issue? The fact is most Dolphins fans I interact with are sick and tired of the Dolphins picking up former Dallas Cowboys players. Many of them have not panned out, with most fans pointing to Akin Ayodele, Pat McQuistan, Cory Procter, Keith Davis, and Nate Jones as examples of that.

Obviously, Jason Ferguson worked out (for a time), Lou Polite has worked out, and Anthony Fasano has worked out (when his hands don't betray him). The jury is still out on Colombo and Kevin Burnett.

No matter. Many Miami fans are just sick of the Dolphins hiring Cowboys retreads.

So the possibility of hiring another Dallas castoff in Gurode is an emotional issue to folks. It is a P.R. question.

But again, I don't care about the P.R. aspect.

I care about football. And again, this is also a football issue.

As everyone is aware the Miami offensive line is coming off a bad game. When coach Tony Sparano growled their performance against Tampa Bay "wasn't good enough," he was being kind.

So do the Dolphins add a Gurode to upgrade that line?

I hope not.

To begin, Miami's biggest problem is on the right side of the line where right guard Vernon Carey seemingly hasn't gotten comfortable with his new spot and right tackle Colombo just yielded two sacks in the Tampa game.

So even if adding Gurode adds a good player, it doesn't directly add a player at either position Miami needs help. Yes, Gurode played guard early in his career. But he played it so poorly, he was nearly cut. It wasn't until he was moved to center by Bill Parcells that his career took off.

But the Dolphins have a starting center. Mike Pouncey is a big investment. He has played every snap this preseason at center. He is a center. The Dolphins are invested in making him into a good one.

The football question is do they abandon that idea for now to bring in Gurode to play center and move Pouncey to guard? The move likely improves your unit a bit in that it adds experience at center, adds more agility at guard and creates a competition at right tackle between Colombo and Carey.

But it retards Pouncey's progress as a center. It practically changes the entire dynamic of the Miami line, thus erasing whatever chemistry that line had built the past four weeks or so. The move also reeks of desperation and is a sign that suggests the team didn't get it right in moving Carey and signing Colombo in the first place.

Do the Dolphins do it? Do they add Gurode?

It's a P.R. question. But it is also a significant and serious football question.


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Apologies....I guess Jackson is a center. The article did say the Eagles have tried four different guys at RT. Maybe we can get one of them for this team....LOL.

Moving Carey back to tackle would not be helpful. Need a new, decent RT. Acorn, anyone?

Dot they add a 5 time pro bowl center?

OF COURSE THEY DO!! Pouncey has done well at OC as rookie. His progress will not be "retarded" by moving him to G. He picked up OC as a rookie, he can do it as a 2 or 3 yr veteran too.

Armando, sometimes your logic is just not logic at all. You and all talking heads. Pick up the Pro Bowler and block for the Bush!

Cut Colombo this week. Put Garner at RT. Can't be any worse. What's Ron Heller doing these days???

Of course the Dolphins are satisfied with their offensive line. Until they bring in somebody better. Just like Mr. Ross was very satisfied with Sparano, before and after the Harbaugh fiasco. Stay tuned. . .


Posted by: theDiggler | August 29, 2011 at 03:08 PM

What is a Tennessee Volunteer alum doing on the Dolphin blog?

Yeah it is easy to bash the FO over the cowboy rejects but this offensive line is apparently in trouble and that means you have to do whatever you can at this point to shore it up.

IMO bringing in Andre Gurode does not stunt Pouncy. O-linemen are moved all the time and he could actually benefit from learning from the veteran.

The whole situation is stop gap because you are not going to find long term solutions at RT or RG on the waver wire. The long term solution was missed in the draft and in FA over the last two years.

Odrich was a luxury pick and ought to have been a O-linemen instead, probably the Thomas picks as well, because a serviceable FA RB could have been signed instead. Hindsight is 20/20.

The confounding thing is that Sparnao/Ireland did not perceive the need to upgrade RT/RG and thought that Columbo would be suffice.

Odin, they were getting beat off the snap badly... Murtha may have been worse because he was backing up before the snap and getting holding penalties.

Luckily Jake will be back, but if Carey and Columbo continue to get beat off the snap (which they know the count of!!!) we are in deep DODO on the right side.

My point about the knee jerk is that we don't want to be shuffling linemen with two weeks left till the NE game. What team out there is going to be cutting a starting level guard or tackle. These guys have to suck it up and start playing better.

It has been discussed in here for years that the trifecta/bifecta believe they are the smartest guys in the room and look at every one else as morons.

Also agree with the poster lamenting how it took Sparnao 3 years to ‘take a look in the mirror’ and figure out his team needs to play to win and score TD’s rather than playing not to lose and 3 years for Ireland to see the team needs speed. Both revelations are way behind the curve and have resulted in numerous losses over the last several years.

Didn't we sign another tackle this offseason from the Seahawks? I believe his name is Ray Willis. Is he not practicing well enough to warrant an opportunity to play RT or are the Dolphins just trying to maintain continuity?

Posted by: Nick B | August 29, 2011 at 03:09 PM

After signing, Willis missed a week of practice for personal reasons and got little to no playing time.

Last night he played from the late third on. He was playing against 3rd and 4th stringers but he did look a tiny bit better than Jerry, Colombo and probably Murtha.

At least to me he did.

I dont think fistpump knows how to fix our off. line...he is awful judge of talent..Spent a week coaching Jerry in senior bowl and now looks like he will be cut..piss poor job

Why didn't Ireland go after McGahee? You want a guy who hits the hole hard?? Willis McGahee. No dancing with this guy. He and Reggie Bush would of been perfect. Could of used that 2nd round pick on a tight end or another offensive lineman.

Sparano looks like he will be stubborn with Colombo

Posted by: bobbyd12 | August 29, 2011 at 03:17 PM

What else can SpOrano say RIGHT NOW?

They all said great things about the safety, Gilbert Gotfried, until they cut him two days later.

Somethings in the works, it HAS to be(I hope).

The foundation for all team offensive success is the offensive line.

If it takes using several more premium draft picks on offensive linemen then so be it.

Thomas could be a good RB, but we will not know until the offensive line is able to run block.

Henne appears to have progressed to the point where he can shine some despite the poor pass blocking. How good would he look if the line could make a pocket?

Pouncy was projected as a G by most teams coming into the draft.

#1 Fan. Barry Sanders couldn't run behind that right side right now

Watching the Miami-Tampa game. I can't believe how Brandon Fields can punt a football. I've seen Reggie Roby for many years, but I don't think the Dolphins ever had a punter with a leg like Fields. Man can this guy punt!! Unbelievable.

I know he's an old dude but what about Brian Waters. Still a pro bowler.

I'm one that loves to preach patience, but Colombo was cut by Dallas because of bad pass blocking and he is still bad. I'm not sure he will get better.

My point about the knee jerk is that we don't want to be shuffling linemen with two weeks left till the NE game. What team out there is going to be cutting a starting level guard or tackle. These guys have to suck it up and start playing better.

Posted by: Patrick | August 29, 2011 at 03:36 PM

I agree, I don't want any more shuffling. That's why my initial reaction to signing Gurode and sliding Pouncey is a resounding NO!.

It's admittedly a stop gap if we do that. I say forget it. Let Pouncey get his lumps now, he's the future. He, Long and Cognito will benifit playing together.

If were going to have stop gaps regardless, lets plug them in at guard and tackle and let our keepers KEEP developing TOGETHER!

One thing they may be hiding is the zone blocking, stretch type of blocking scheme they showed in game two. It's more about clearing an area instead of playing man up. It looked like they went man up on the Bucs and we can only hope it was by design to not show their hand...

Odin, did you notice this as well?

Whatever Sparano is going to do with the line he better kick it in the ass. T minus 14 days.

Odinseye, Incognito was and still one of my favorite pickups. The guy straight up can play. The second Ling comes back, that left side is 100% better

And on the other hand....

It's preseason. They are trying things, experimenting, getting a feel for where the strengths are.

It's preseason. Sure its more comforting to see them blow the other team out, but we really can't draw too many conclusions from anything we see right now.

It's preseason. During a real game, the starters will play the whole game and adjustments can be made.

It's preseason. Still.


Simon Says, the offensive line has been an issue for 4 years. Is preseason that long??

Is not getting Dallas players that upsets me is they go after the wrong ones.... they should have gone after WR Williams and RB Marion Barber not the clowns they go after!!!..... and WHO CARES IF THE CANES ARE PISSED OFF THIS NEW OWNER ONLY CARES ABOUT BOOKING THE STADIUM WITH CELEBRITIES (WHO ARE A BUNCH OF LOOSERS), THE ESTEFANS, MARK ANTHONY, J LO PLEASE!! JUNK BEER, STUPID HALF TIME BANDS, A NIGHT CLUB??? PLEASE Mr. Ross is a douche!! HE IS YOUR P.R. NIGHTMARE!!!

Bottom line is these guys can't get it right. And our coach is supposed to be an o-line expert. Thank Goodness for that.

something needs to be done and soon..........
that line is the worst I have ever seen 0 push
yes 0 push ... put Carey back at Tackle
and get jerrys fatass in shape at guard

Owner Ross, will sink the Dolphins Franchise just like Al "decrepit" Davis did to the Raiders AND Jerry Jones is slowly but surely doing to the Cowboys..... These guys should be behind a conference table, discussing ways of ripping people off millions of dollars in their annual corporate meetings BUT should not be in front of an NFL team!!! THEY ARE CLUELESS AS TO WHAT THE SPORT, THE TALENT, THE DRAFT, COACHING AND FURTHERMORE WHAT THE FANS TRULY WANT!!!!!!

ps. Roger Godell is a douchbag too!

Better marketing idea:
Moon Over Miami Night.
50000 fans drop their pants and tell the chciken gator to KOA.

Gurode to play center and move Pouncey to guard? The move likely improves your unit a bit in that it adds experience at center, adds more agility at guard and creates a competition at right tackle between Colombo and Carey.

Why not?
They brought in Larry Johnson..... and the way things are going we're happy to have him!

"....welcoming folks that will be rooting against the Dolphins that day. That is not exactly maximizing the home field advantage."

You said it Armando, 1-7 at home last year. What competitive advantage are you talking about?

I'm sure there will be less fans cheering for the Broncos then cheering for the Jets when they come to Joe Robbie on Jan. 1st.

If we cared about maximizing home advantage we'd be making the opposition burn in the Florida sun, rather than giving that advantage away.

..If you listen to any of the F.A.G.S(football anaylist guys) It seems like half the teams in the NFL have major problems on the offensive line. Even teams expected to make deep runs in the playoffs have huge concerns right now.

2 of the teams in the final 4 last year had below average offensive lines. One of them made the Super Bowl.. I think what is happening in the NFL is this.

If you look at the 3 recent drafts..What position are teams loading up on? Defensive line. These lineman are more desirable now, as D-coordinators are adapting to the modern rules, and style of play. Also more teams are running 3-4 defenses which are designed to stymie the run. Mix these two factors together, and playing offensive line isn't as easy as maybe it was 5years ago.

These lineman are defensive lineman are super atheletic. Look at a guy like SUH..He runs like a freekin tight end, and has the agility of a running back. These guys have never been built like this before. IMO it is going to take a few years for the offensive lineman to fully catch up to the atheletisim of their defensive counterparts.

We aren't the only team searching for the answers at the line. It could be there is just a shortage of quality lineman that fit todays offensive game.


Posted by: joey Watts | August 29, 2011 at 04:11 PM

Who cares indeed! I don't care if you take............WAIT SECOND!

Did you say JUNK BEER?

Oh, the humanity!!!!

Those who support and/or affiliate themselves with THE U of M may have to accept that the hurricanes may no longer be playing at Sun Life or anywhere else. Ross, being the real estate mogul that he is, may be trying to attract a new tenant for select Saturday afternoons. Who could blame him? It's just business. The people of S. Florida should appreciate that Ross is being proactive in maintaining a college football presence in the area.

Armando, If the fins lose to Denver because there are too many Tebow fans in the stands, then they deserve to lose. That doesn't sound like a football issue to me, it sounds like a bs excuse and I'm tired of hearing them.

Shut up and play football. That should be this year's mantra.

No on Gurode. We don't need a center. Hey, if you need an RT, get an RT.

Face it, plugging the hole at RT by signing a C and making everybody else cheek over, would be like installing a drain in the hallway because your toilet is plugged.

It addresses the problem, but it doesn't fix s**t.

No. Sign either Leonard Davis or Brian Waters. Leave Pouncey at center and move Carey back to guard.

QUIT SWITCHING AROUND THE O LINE!!! Leave the guy where he's been playing before there will be other gaurds & tackles put there when cut time comes if needed!!!

Pragmatic Poster: so your saying the Canes will get the Death Penalty?? Absolutely ZERO CHANCE of that happening. ZERO everyone down here in South Florida, from radio to paper to sportscasters all agree on that. Not gonna happen

I disagree on Mr. Ross to. It seems that a lot of people who complain don't actually go to games. I appreciate Mr. Ross's effort and enjoy a lot of the things he has done. I have no problem trying to make that Stadium more fan friendly.

Hey Armando...did you even think to ask if Pouncey might actually want to move over to the RG position? If he's such a "natural" at RG then freakin move him over to RG.
Put Gurode at Center, where he went to 5 Pro Bowls and move Carey out to RT...cut that fat ass Jerry off the team along with Columbo and put Murtha on the bench.
There, that was so god damned easy even a CAVE MAN CAN DO IT!
Come on Tony...get your head out your ASS!

"Yes, Gurode played guard early in his career. But he played it so poorly, he was nearly cut. It wasn't until he was moved to center by Bill Parcells that his career took off.


Off a little bit. Though i think parcells did a lot of good for this team in the long run, hes the one that actually changed Gurode from guard to center, then back to guard.

bobbyd12, I seriously doubt the NCAA ever gives the death penalty to anyone, ever again.

Everbody knows what it did to SMU.

However, if ever there was a program that deserved it, I think you could make a case that it would be UM. Look at the sanctions placed on USC because of 1 player (Bush). How many players are involved at UM?

What I am saying, is this: If I owned a stadium (I know...but if I did) I wouldn't feel too bad about hedging my bet.

The Gator thing is just ignorant. For one, the guy is a bench player who might not even be with the team by then. Secondly, it alienates Miami and FSU fans alike. Are they going to honor former UM teams? FSU teams? Plus, it's the Broncos for crying out loud. They're going to be horrible! I think a lot of Dolphins slash UM/FSU fans will skip this game all together just to prove a point to ownership. The hate between these 3 schools is to deep to basically pick sides. There's other rivalrys besides Michigan and Ohio State Steven Ross!

Before everyobe has a nervous breakdown over the gators day. It should ve noted that the same invittation was given to the hurricanes BUT they turned it down.
Now for something that actually matters. Sparano is in a no win situation. In years past the the OL has been one constant revolving door and has been no chance to gain any chemistry and now ge seems like he is sticking with this group. I say people need to relax. There is time to progress still. Many of you are the same fans who called for Henne's head after the first preseason game. I think this offense will be just fine. The days of us running and running are over. I think you can expect our offense to be run and i dont mean with the same results but more like the Patriots with a pass first approach.

I could care less about the whiny, gator and hurricane fans..........However, its no secret that ross is a marketing moron when it comes to football.

Unfortunately, Sparano may have to wait until teams cut to the 53-man rosters to address the O-line problem. No one is going to want to trade a RT for Merling right now. And, that's our best move. Colombo may be mean and strong, but he's also big and slow and pass rushers are going by him like he's standing still (which he pretty much is). Murtha is struggling at LT and may not be any better at RT. Too bad Jerry couldn't suddenly have the lightbulb come on for him instead of acting like another bust. Don't swap Pouncey! Just get a RT. (A pass catching TE would be nice too!).

Mando, are u serious? Worried about the Olines chemistry? Bahahahahaha! They haven't had chemistry for 3 years. Sparano cut half the line before week one last year and replaced them with retreads and cast offs. I think signing an all pro player can only be a positive for this team. However, problem is, that this fo doesn't sign all pro players. They only sign second level guys or less to bloated contacts. They suck in plain English.

We are in trouble with this Oline, there is no chemistry!

The Canes still play football? So irrelavent I had not noticed...

Sun Life stadium is NOT the Hurricanes home. They are merely tenants that couldn't afford their own on campus stadium like almost every other college football team in this state. (even FAU has it's own stadium) The Dolphins may choose to do whatever they want with their stadium. Joe Robbie built this stadium for his Dolphins, not for the Miami Hurricanes. Their home was sadly reduced to a pile of rubble a couple of years ago.

Also, I highly doubt there will be more Canes fans than Gator fans as the Hurricanes can't sell out any of their own games, let alone a game honoring a fan base that sells out a 90,000 seat stadium for a game against Charleston Southern.

Normally I love your articles, but this one was a joke! Stop reading into stuff lime this. You sound like a girl who is not getting enough attention!!! Remember, all we need to fill seats is W's! We beat NE first game and I can promise you nothing else would matter. Stop crying and report the news!!!

Love you,


This UF celebration in the U's backyard is making me sick. Talk about a slap in the face to the Hurricanes. I will be boycotting that game for sure and I hope all the loyal Hurricane fans do to. That would be the right thing to do. I don't agree with Mando in a lot of things, but the Dolphins are surely making this about Tebow therefore taking homefield advantage away from our Dolphins. FRONT OFFICE, HHHEEEEEEELLLLLOOOOOO!!!!!! Idiots.


As If I needed a reason not to attend any Dolphins games, Steven Ross, and Mike Dee just gave me another one .It seems that U F plays more games at the Gator Bowl then fill in the blank stadium, and this is U OF M 4th season there. And furthermore why can,t they call it fitb field at Joe Robbie Stadium , as if it wasn't for him there would be no Stadium

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