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Dolphins mysterious personnel staff make some mystifying moves

Let me begin here: I am not a genius and I hate to second-guess. But some things simply do not add up and critiquing what is being done is not second-guessing, it is judging what is happening, and often times failing, right before your very eyes.

Having said that, I do not get the Dolphins' pesonnel moves sometimes. I also don't get their non-moves sometimes. In other words, when it comes to personnel acquisition, I often do not get the Miami Dolphins.

Let us begin with the latest and work our way back. You'll notice that today, as the Dolphins travel to Cleveland for their third game of the regular season, the team's secondary is one pulled muscle from being in shambles.

CB Vontae Davis is out with a hamstring injury. S Chris Clemons is questionable with a hamstring injury suffered weeks ago. Will Allen is questionable with a hamstring injury suffered in practice Thursday.

The Dolphins are starting Nolan Carroll at one CB spot even though he struggled in the preseason and then has struggled so far in the regular season.

It is a difficult situation authored, in part, by happenstance of injuries. It is also a difficult situation authored by strange personnel decisions.

To wit:

At the end of the preseason, the Dolphins decided Benny Sapp was their best option as the nickel back. He won the job and I agreed with it because he made plays in games (one interception) and had tons of plays in practice. Will Allen was mostly injured, nursing a hamstring injury for three weeks, after he missed the past two seasons with knee issues.

So I got that Sapp was on the team. The decision spoke for itself. The Dolphins saw what everyone else saw and they made the right call with Sapp.

Then after one game, they changed their minds. The Dolphins played one game in which Carroll, Davis, Sean Smith, and Sapp were beaten for significant gains or scores and decided that Sapp had to go.

The only guy that made any plays in the secondary in preseason, indeed, the only defensive back that made a play against New England, got fired.

Yes, Sapp had given up a 99-yard TD catch to Wes Welker. Yes, he gave up a 2-yard TD grab by Welker also.

But guess what? Jones took a bad angle on that Welker play and could have made the tackle around the 40-yard line if he hadn't. Guess what? Sapp played that WR screen perfectly in the first half and forced the tip that Jared Odrick intercepted, and that remains the only play the Miami secondary has made so far this season. Guess what? Players give up 2-yard catches in the NFL all the time.

Still, Sapp got the axe.

So basically, Miami's personnel decision-makers watched Sapp throughout six weeks of training camp, in four preseason games, in countless practices and nearly a thousand repetitions, and deemed him worthy of being on the team.

And then changed their mind in four quarters of football against the best quarterback in the NFL the past decade and an offense that led the league last year and is en route to that again this year?


So Sapp was out, even though as a vested veteran, the Dolphins were then on the hook for his 2011 salary.

Then they brought back Will Allen to replace him. Yup, the guy who's been injured most of the time since 2009 and was injured most of training camp was brought back last week to replace Sapp. And guess what? One week later, he's injured again.

Brilliant thinking, personnel department!

With Davis also down, the personnel department had to go find another cornerback. They couldn't rehire Sapp, although he knows the system and he's obviously in shape and would fit right in because, you know, that would look bad. It would look like somebody made a boo-boo in hastily firing him after New England.

So they go and sign Nate Jones. They go get a former Dallas Cowboy, of course!

Jones actually was not a bad player -- around 2009, that is. In 2008-2009 he was brought to Miami as a nickel back. He served a purpose and then was allowed to leave because, frankly, he has flaws and he was paid handsomely by the Denver Broncos. It was the right decision to move on.

Except now Denver has moved on. They've apparently found someone better. And the Dolphins?

They're back to 2009's solution. You know what that tells me?

The Dolphins haven't really addressed the nickel position well enough since 2009 to avoid having to resort to the old answers. Two years have passed and they're still trying to solve problems with old answers. What were they doing the past couple of years? Why didn't the issue get resolved in two offseasons of free agency and drafts with a better, younger, more expensive player?

Why are we trying to solve old questions with old answers you've already decided weren't good enough?

This example is not the only one bothering me about the personnel department.

They draft A.J. Edds in the fourth round in 2010. Nice pick. But after he gets injured and is out for the entire season, they cut him before the 2011 season begins. The kid got no opportunity to be in a Dolphins offseason conditioning program. He didn't have the luxury of OTAs or offseason camps. He was basically brought to camp a year after reconstructive surgery and told perform or you're cut.

And he led the team in tackles in the preseason. And he was cut anyway.

And for what?

Dante Rosario.

Yup, the Dolphins cut Edds to make room for Dante Rosario. No disrespect, but a great personnel man whom I greatly respect said this to me about Rosario when the Dolphins picked him up: "Rosario sucks!"

I took it with a grain of salt because I figured the Dolphins knew what they were doing. I will not make that mistake again.

Rosario was cut by Carolina. He was cut by Denver. He was then signed by Miami. And he was cut two weeks later because they found out what the other teams and that personnel man already knew. He's not the answer for them at tight end.

By the way, speaking of tight end, I'd like to hear from the personnel department why they looked the other way all of free agency and the draft on tight end. Jeremy Shockey signed with Carolina. Zach Miller signed with Seattle. Greg Olsen was traded from Chicago to Carolina for a third round pick.

And all the time the Miami pesonnel department is wanting us to believe the Dolphins are fine at tight end? No upgrade needed? Ok, if that is your best evaluation of your situation, fine. I will defer to your expertise.

But then you throw that expertise to the four winds and once other teams start cutting tight ends, you pick them up, one after another, like a homeless person picks scraps out of a garbage can?

What? The proven guys were too good?

You had a really good feeling about Jeron Mastrud, who has zero catches in 10 NFL games?

All I can say is Charles Clay, a running back in college, better be a stud tight end.

He also better be a short-yardage stud and blocking fullback stud because the personnel department decided Lousaka Polite was expendable. Polite was excellent in the locker room. He was one of those players that fit the team's "right 53 players" outlook the past three years.

And on third-and-1, he was nails. Polite carried the ball 15 times on third-and-one or fourth-and-one last year. He converted 14 times.

This year the Dolphins are only 2 of 4 on third-and-two or less. They are only 1-for-2 on fourth and 1. So already they've blown three times more short yardage plays in two games than they did all last year handing it to Polite.

But, maybe the personnel department would argue it had the answer for a fullback. Paul Soliai!

How'd that work out against New England.

Look, the truth is the personnel department wouldn't argue anything. General Manager Jeff Ireland is not talking to the media. He hasn't spoken since the draft. I asked to speak to him this week. Nothing.

His right hand man, Brian Gaine? Hardly ever see the guy. Doesn't mean he's not around, but he is definitely a behind the scenes guy.

And that's fine. They can stay behind the curtain. But their moves?

I promise you, from this point forward I will continually put them before your eyes.


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That has to be one of the best articles, posts, you have managed to come up with. I have slammed you before for writing garbage, but this time, you out-did yourself. Facts can't be disputed. It is what it is and you can't dispute the hard facts.

Two things I'd like to mention.
1. Please slam the Fins front office with a passion. Rip into them. Write what us fans want to say but don't have the platform that you and the rest of the writers have. Nail them; crusify them; rip multiple butt holes in them; have no mercy and just tear them to sh#t. Ireland is a joke. A wannabe idiot who must have blown the Tuna to get the job that he got. Yikes! that is nightmarish just thinking about it. Have the Armando site squarely on Ireland's, Sporano's and Ross's forehead right between their eyes and pull the darn trigger (Words are your bullets Armando and the paper is your your gun). Wow!! glad I got that off my hairy chest.

2. I love a good conspiracy. So, here is one for thought. Is it possible that Haizenga (you know, pimple face) orchestrated this whole thing with the Tuna to bilk poor Ross out of a billion bucks? Think about it. The smelly Tuna had a weird contract where he could leave at will and still be paid. Smells fishy. Then, Tuna brings in a relatively no name O-line coach from Dallas to be the HC along with Ireland. On paper it might have looked good to Ross, but was it really? The Tuna thing was a deception. A smoke screen to sell the team to Ross. I can't think of anything else that would point as to why the Fins are so inept at EVERYTHING they do. They just suck at drafting, getting free agents, negotiating for players and draft picks, and even at going after other coaches. I mean, really, how totally stupid, ignorant and inept can this franchise get?

Bad Karma

Huizenga- kicking Shula to the curb to hire the pompous Johnson.

Ross- absorbing Fat Tuna's con man contract.

Ireland- flying around the country with Ross on his private jet on a coaching search without letting Sparano go first.

Sparano- hiring son for "quality control" even if only for one season.

Nolan- annoying ALoco (unforgivable).

I happen to know a former NFL player. He says the whole NFL laughs at Ireland as GM. Our GM is a laughingstock of the NFL. nice...

I want Coach Gruden.

I'm convinced Ireland is a double agent for the Cowboys out to ruin this proud franchise from within. But the question is why? Is it for the Thanksgiving Day/Leon Lett fiasco?

Hmmm...my overblown conspiracy sense is tingling.

I have scratched my head so much in the past 2 years I think I am going to send the Dolphins a bill for my Rogaine. This is ridiculous... The one good thing with this coach is I do not have to endure hearing the Cam Cameronish " I am not to worried about that" things at press conferences. Good God it is hard being a Phins fan sometimes.

This guy Ross makes me an the Bengals owner, whats his name, ah, ah, ah, oh yea, Mike Brown, look like a genious.


Ross surely knew about the fishy tuna contract before he bought the team. The contract also stipulated no meddling from ownership, so Ross had pretty good reason to hope that Parcells wouldn't run away like a big fat @$%&* if the team went south.

I predict Ross will clean house from top to bottom and put in a non nonsense football guy. Hopefully, Cowher will be available. Armando, email your blog to Ross and see if he responds. That would be hilarious...

Ah yes, I see many of you are catching on. Finally.


I haven't post anything in your column for awhile now because I am embarrassed with the Dolphins organization, from the way they have been playing to the way management has been running the organization (post Shula era). Nothing good has come out of Miami since the Shula/Marino days. Nothing. What you wrote today says it all. I no longer ask, "what were they thinking?" I just chuckled and shake my head in disbelief.

Maybe my son will live to see the Dolphins be great again. Me, I ain't that old but I'll be damn if things change in Miami.

And one more thing, somebody higher up the ladder in the Herald must have given you the green light, finally, to speak the truth about the Dolphins, ugh? If not, did you do some soul searching? Either way, about time 'mando, about time.

All I can say is I want just one round in the octagon with Ireland. I seriously do NOT like this guy and I believe someone is greasing him on the side. Its either that or this has got to be the most ignorant, stupid, brainless, a-hole in the league. And the idea that a mid-season coach change is bad, I don't care. Sporanus has no class, no intelligence, and sucks as a HC. Ross needs to do whatever it takes to bring in Jeff Fischer. Its the only hope we have for the future.

ALoco is right, waiting for Armando to write an article criticizing this front office is like waiting for Jacory Harris to throw to his open receiver for an INT!

Great article Mando, as you look at the body of evidence, this regime seems to be unqualified. The sad state of affairs, unfortunately, will scare off other possible coaching talent such as Cowher,& Gruden. Edds was definitely a mystifying cut but Belichek will make a usable part out of him like Rob Ninkovich, Welker and the rest of our retreads. If Sparano was such a great evaluator of O-Line talent, we should have most of the starters from '08 still playing only now, would be more cohesive, (Donald Thomas) with 3 years experience under their belts.Instead, it's constantly "blown up" and the rock flipping continues. Shula must be sick !! I've been a fan up here in NY since 1970, but, its is getting more difficult to keep interested.


Great article this FO better be done after this year!

Ireland is GArY with the silent "r"

Like we've all known for sometime now...


The personnel decisions are questionable at best.
The coaching leaves us fans scratching our heads.

Heck, I thought about putting in an application for coach, but I already have the greatest job in the world.(FF) I know I could do better than TS!

Keep on them Mando! Leave no ACORN unturned!



Mando!! Congratulations, you're finally seeing it from our point of view! Well said!

DC............ KRIS
OC............ ODIN... I THINK



This organization needs structure and direction desperately! The front office all the way down to the coaching staff is a joke and they need to clean house! GREAT ARTICLE!! I couldn't agree with you more! BILL COWHER 2012!!

the fans are relieved to know that we now have a pair of BOOTS on the ground that are looking threw the same lenz. finally someone that has a small piece of ross's ear is using his megaphone! we all HEAR you, and we all hope this puts the machinery in place to repair the front office or at least upgrade it by hiring someone who will actually watch the games. i like mike nolan alot, but is he still on vacation? his defense hasn't shown up yet, and their talking promotion? maybe clay will silence fans who were screaming for kevin boss in much the same way daniel thomas did concerning ronnie brown, but still you can't tell me their isn't a couple of roster spots currently occupied that wouldn't be better served with LOUSAKA POLITE. they don't need to justify LOU'S roster spot on the team, this would be a very popular decision that would relieve fans of the dread they now feel in short yardage situations, forcing defenses to defend LOU'S bonifeid 99% conversion rate yielding an explosive dimension to 3rd down that is now possible given the addition of bush, and if we decided to install our version of the triple TE-set, LOU would provide our own unique twist that can prove better then the pats. i don't understand the logic in releasing lou, this recipricated the advancement made by the bush signing, and the detrimental mis-use of bush by calling his number between the tackles play after play is disgusting. when we are surprised by another team who unexpectedly runs the triple TE-set on us, i hope we are step ahead of it, i hope we are installing our own version so that we may learn how to defend, it's coming and not just the next time we see brady!



Armando thank you and all, we've been talking about this in here for the past week so it's nice to see someone else sees the same things the fans do. But I have a problem with you putting it "before our eyes", and only because we already know these things, in essence you're preaching to the choir.

What I and many others in here would really appreciate is if you guys would start putting this stuff before the front offices eyes. Meaning ask them about these boneheaded moves and damn the consequences. Who cares if they get mad at you, they already give reporters and fans the silent treatment so how much worse could it get? What are they going to do kick you out of the facilities again? GOOD! Then you won't have to be tortured any further with this incompetent FO. Let the questions fly because Jeff and Tony should be held accountable just as they hold the players accountable.

No more, 'well I shouldn't ask that because they're the pros and I'm sure they have a plan or know what they're doing'. It cant's be like that anymore and you proved they don't know what they're doing in this article. And the funniest thing is that you barely scratched the surface! Ask these questions but direct them at Tony and Jeff while also making sure to get copies of these stories onto Ross' desk asap.




what would you do? love all the smartasses until they are the ones dealing with the issues as they come.

we need another strong draft and this time, with a new HC. btw, ireland will not remain with team.

Great column opens your eyes to management, Greg olson for a third I'd take tha all day to get ourselfs a solid downfield threat in the middle of the park but also couldn't open the playbook in more 2 tight end formations with 2 solid blockers an pass catchers

...Great article Armando..Probably your best work since the 2010 draft.. Spot on.

I seriously believe there are people on this blog who could make better personel decisions than Ireland has. Everything Armando posted has been discussed here already. Worst of all is that Ireland doesn't have to own his baggage. He and his lackies get to sit in their cushy offices making their huge salaries and make these crazy decisions without impunity. Ridiculous!




(( BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE )).............

My whole take of the personnel issues we're experiancing, not signing proven free agent players to fix our problems. Is because Ireland is obsessed with finding basement rummage pearls, or basement bargains. Sure now and then you'll stumble upon a real jewel, but you can't base your whole strategy on finding hiden treasures, he needs to start paying top dollar for top players that can be game changers. ( IRELAND, STOP TRYING TO OUT SMART YOUR SELF, YOUR LOOKING MORE LIKE A CLOWN EVERY DAY)

Anyone who watches the Dolphins games over a period of time can see we need a pass catching TE. Does Ireland even watch the games?

ALoco...A lot of Armandos posts of late have been less then stellar. The posters here usually have a good pulse on the heartbeat of our team. So usually throughout the day we discuss similar topics to what Armando ends up writing.

This post had some good points about some inside information that some may have suspected, but had yet to be confirmed..I just turned on the pc so if I was late commenting, and my compliment came across as redundant jibber jabber...those would be the reasons.

BTW..Tonights dinner special...Roasted Pork Belly, with pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms, Watercress, and Plum Marmalade... delicious.

Great article! We will be thanking these clowns next year, when we draft A. Luck and land B. Cowher, as GM and coach.

Please keep doing what you do best! Fourteen-games to go!

What was that Tony, "feed the wolf." Thanks to you, the wolf is eating plenty of dolphin!

Parcells was the right man after 1-15.

Time to move forward; the experiment didn't work.

Well when we go 7-9 for the third year the experiment will be over and bill cowher will bring in a Mirror image of the steelers

its time to start over again, thisteam has a few good players, the next regime could build off that, id rather start over again and at least have a few wins next year with mostly young new players. i hope cower is still willing to talk if tony is canned,i remember on cbs last week Cower describing what couldve been done against the pats the week before, isnt he a defensive guy? anyway, Ross needs to start over and not keep leftovers from a staff he didnt hire. no one will blame him if he gets rid of tony, i mean teams do it all the time with players, sign them to a contract, them get rid of them the next year. I truly belive cower is the man, i mean even Fisher if you belive in the hype of a previous SB winning coach cant win it with another team. Both of these coaches still have a good20 years left in them of coaching, im sure we could get at least 5 good years and a decent winning team. its clear tony isnot the man, we had one good year with him and the reason was pennington, see what having a smart QB can do fora team?? Lets go Cower!! he is ready and waiting for the dolphins! he will take it in a heartbeat and should bepaid whatever he wants, and be given the power and control of the team, his record proves it!, what has tony proven? only that he can lose a few more pounds than Rex? he constanly produced winning teams and only missed the playoffs a handful of times. Im kinda of hopeing Miami loses a few more and in a few weeks, i think he willget canned if they only win one game, and promote nolan to acting HC until the end, who knows, maybe He will stay or go, i dont care, I think the majority of people want a proven coach, just like Elwayhired John Fox right away,
thats my 2 cents

Cower could make Miami the new Steelers as they and the pats fade out of glory!!

@phinsman, from your mouth to God's ears.

Even Ray Charles can see, that the Dolphins are in serious trouble!! No doubt this is Henne and Sopranos last season in Miami. But more important is that Ireland has got to go too! The guy is the worst GM in the league. Whats concerning is, Ross believes everything Ireland says. Last season, Ireland was on the jet with Ross looking for a new head coach.
Ireland blames all the wrong doings on the coachs and players, hes yet to accept responsibilty for any of the Dolphins problems. He should be the very first one let go.

Tuna and Ireland = bad groceries

This team makes bad personnel decisions since Shula and Johnson? Like the ones you mentioned? And:
Passing on Drew Breese in the Draft,
Passing on Drew Breese in Free Agency,
Trading away Wes Welker,
Passing on Aaron Rodgers in the Draft,
Passing on Matt Ryan in the Draft,
Passing on Braylon Edwards in Free Agency,
Etc. etc. etc.............................

I know a former clown who is insulted when we refer to our front office as clowns.

Go Bills Beat the Patsies and Leave the Phins in the Bottom of AFC East Glory Hole ;)

...Aloco..The belly meat of the salmon is delicious..Have you tried Tuna Belly, or even better the Tuna"collar"? The pork belly is great. Roast it,actually braise it for 4 hours. Press it overnight so it is uniform. Then crisp the skin throw it in the pizza oven 600 degrees for a few minutes with the braising liquid...Awesome.

Excellent. I agree 110%. The big mistake this FO made was not picking up a legit seem threat TE. With any of those guys you mentioned this Offense could have been something real nice, even with Henne behind the gun. Reggie Bush does help him in the passing game and it looks as though Daniel Thomas will be better than Ricky or Ronnie as long as he can hold onto the ball. And we do look lost on 3rd/4th and short situations. With Polite and any of those TE's we would have been a potent offense.

With Davis also down, the personnel department had to go find another cornerback. They couldn't rehire Sapp, although he knows the system and he's obviously in shape and would fit right in because, you know, that would look bad. It would look like somebody made a boo-boo in hastily firing him after New England
-Armando Salguero

The 3 Stooges with the help of David Lee and Dan Henning invented a BACKDOOR offense called the Wildcat so that they wouldn't look bad for giving NoodleArm a $10mil contract without a physical first. That was after they benched Wilford for criticsm of NoodleArm, the same Wilford they gave $6mil to. I've been saying this over and over for 3.5 years now. Henne, Wilford & Ginn were all on the roster together and we never had to go through that darkest of periods that made all of us look like h o m os.

Never would have thought our D could be this bad though. I don't care what offenses they played...to give up that many yards is pathetic. This D was top 5 most of last yr! The only thing we couldn't do was stop TE's and get turnovers. Another year with all the same players and now were garbage? Jones over Clemons was going to be the call even with Clemons wasn't hurt. Terrible choice there. No accountability.

The other day you wrote about Solai's contract negotiations without ever mentioning the salary cap or budget.
Today you do the same with the list of TE's available as FA's.
You're also writing this with the assumption that those FA's wanted to come here.
Nobody wants to come here.
Andrew Luck is not coming here.
Bill Cowher is not coming here.
The only FA that signed here is Dansby. And we had to make him the highest paid LB in history (look it up).

a lot have teams have made it to the superbowl who had deficiancies on defense, those teams would just put up huge numbers on offense. the rewards are there for dabal(who has already made HUGE strides on offesnse) to take! the fins can make this leap! with the exception of LOU POLITE, all the pieces are in place, and the proper use of reggie and the resigning of lou are the paramount inarguable keys! can dabol take this offense to an all time high that successfully exploits the hurry-up, an offense that plays with increased team speed and one that will explode out of the Redzone and into the Endzone? no one saw buffalo coming...does anyone see the fins, with an improoved passing game that is only getting better, gates and clay very well could be the next surprise, a new STUD running back and if properly used, a game changing threat in reggie. all that is missing is our defensive resting drive sustaining multidemensional deversion creating hammer, A.K.A. LOU POLITE who is currently unsigned because there are players such as the afore-mentioned rosario who are incorrectly prioritzed as having more to do with the final score then lou who are occupying his roster spot. even though the secondary is hurting, the defense isn't that bad and the front seven should step up, but the ailing secondary is yet another justification to repair our short yardage game by resigning lou allowing us sustained drives that rests the defense and any other possible benefits. teams like the pats, packers... just keep scoring, why can't we do that? WE CAN! resign LOU! use reggie in a way that benefits the team... LETS GO GUYS!!!!

Anyway until we can field a competent defensive backfield we have to plan on scoring at least 35.
If that means we have to drive the field 10 times so that we can score 5 times so be it.


we must get our respect back ,every team in the nfl is laughing at us.
start with cutting all management and coaches,they simply suck waaayyyy too much.
My picks, if I had drafted the last 5 years:
A. Rodgres
P. Willis
R. Mallett
just to name a few!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, you guys can't be pissed....If so then shame on you, and you must be DUMB and BLIND.....

this is what we need LOSE AS MANY GAMES AS WE CAN..

TO GET RID OF THESE BOZOs, just like I DID Wannstache's last 2 years ROOT AGAINST THE FINS, so the TRUTH comes out; and the dumb fans see the truth........


ARMANDO, I think the Sparano and Ireland experiment is over. The team's bad energy has metastisized since Ireland thru Sparano under the bus. The owner did it also. The fins need to go out and find a Don Shula (a hungry coach who grabs steals in the draft and knows how to coach a QB). How the heck were the Fins not ready for the hurry up offense. Why the heck were all those CB's cramping? Why was Nolan not prepared? Why were the Fins so anemic last year on offense. Why is your coach an OL and the OL still is not solid. How did you not pick a QB in the last draft?? What the heck is going on. The party of denial is NOW OVER. Folks, it is time to clean house and start building with OFFERDAHL AND ZACH THOMAS type energy and plucking true acorns like MARINO and STEPHENSON out of the draft. Come on Miami wake the F___ up! Time to dust the front office. Very disappointing as I had such high hopes for this defense. The contagion effect of loss and injury and back stabbing has infected a once proud organization. I will wait with hope for the next iteration of the MD's!!!!!

Always a Fin Fan

it's simple, get rid of the loser morono and his butt buddy ireland after tomorrow, let nolan finish out the season, and start fresh with a new coach. plenty of options there, and a new qb. these clowns that are there now are doing nothing but burying this team into the ground.

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